PENDLETON - Local artist Lorie Baxter will have a showing of her work beginning Friday through Sunday, Sept. 19 at the Lyle Hotel & Restaurant, Lyle, Wash.
Using scrap metal and scrap laminated cabinet board, she covers their smooth surfaces with long, broad strokes using both brushes and rags.
One very large painting on steel in her studio weighs 50 pounds. The dark and pale blue paints blend at the horizon to draw in the viewer. Another, smaller painting on copper uses similar colors with layers of paint plus some swirled circular paint layers near the top.
The small painting was one of the first she did after she opened her studio. It was created the day the Challenger exploded.
Baxter said she mixes paint with lots of glaze to give some of her layers of paint a very translucent quality. Her paintings also substantiate her love of shapes and demonstrate her interest in the relationship of space and form.
"I've only been at this two years," Baxter said. "The term 'artist' makes me feel a little strange. I used to paint 30 years ago."
Baxter taught in the nursing program at Blue Mountain Community College for six years and had an art gallery in Pendleton for five years after that. When she closed the gallery, she became very active with arts advocacy supporting both the Oregon East Symphony and the Pendleton Arts Center.
Her show at Lyle, titled "57" stems from her dreams about making whole paintings during her sleep, and from her retirement, at age 57, from her work in human services.
"The Lyle Hotel is an old railroad hotel," she said, "with a charming, small dining room that will hold about a dozen paintings at the most. I'm just tickled to be asked, although it's a little frightening."
Family and friends have encouraged her so much, she said. A friend in Ashland operates the Jega gallery and invited Baxter to show her recent works, sight unseen, during September.
Penny and Jim Rutledge, owners of the Lyle Hotel & Restaurant, invite interested parties to meet Lorie Baxter and her husband, Dr. Al Baxter, at a reception for the artist and opening of the show from 5-7 p.m. Friday.