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Summer 2014: Artwork

Art Section Artworkfor - Summer 2014 Issue


The art in our Summer 2014 edition vibrates with a bold use of color and a deliberate exploration of form. Hard and soft lines interact, negative space speaks volumes and inner secrets are hinted at – though not revealed – through a woman's gaze. Oil painter Oriana Lewton-Leopold depicts women through the context of the intimate space of their bedrooms. Watercolorist Amy Robinson, meanwhile, explores portraiture through minimal lines and sparse environments that elicit confrontation. Collage artist Koka Filipovic layers found objects and cut paper in a process that is as meditative as the product. Sculptor Carole Murphy's pieces reference life through curves and sculptural gesture despite their steel and cement construction. Our feature artist Roya Motamedi explores her world through color and shape, creating map-like layered paintings that lead the viewer down pathways both physical and cerebral. I find myself wanting to look closer and dig deeper into each work.

Sarah Fagan
Guest Art Editor

Featured Art by Roya Motamedi

Looking at an oil painting by Portland artist Roya Motamedi is rather like viewing the earth from above. The colorful fields are reminiscent of distorted city blocks or, perhaps, farm plots as seen from a plane. Squares and rectangles with soft, curvilinear edges create inviting compositions; they are Piet Mondrians with organic palettes, sans harsh lines. The eye is beckoned to take the next corner, to meander. While they are not literal maps, one gains a sense of time and place from Roya's paintings, as well one should: Much of Roya's work – and all of the pieces in this issue of VoiceCatcher – are based on different cities and villages in which the artist has lived.

With a childhood spent in Afghanistan, school years in Japan, and time in Mexico, New York, and now Portland, Roya has been shaped by many different spaces. "I paint across my languages and cultures and the paradigms to which I am bound," she says. Through color and form, Roya wordlessly describes her impressions of place.

Space and life "become shape," she explains about her thought process while referencing her series of paintings entitled Ajijic. "I see my painting as a letter, a letter to a friend, my father," she continues. "Ajijic is the place we lived in Mexico. My painting weaves the sun of Mexico, the dusty road where dogs nap and donkeys work."

Roya describes "daily color, light" and, perhaps most importantly, "emotions" as her inspiration. Roya does not paint place with the eye of an objective cartographer, but with the heart of a diary-keeper. Her personal experience is imbued in her work.

When framing her work, Roya often attaches her paintings to frames in a strong but removable way using small magnets. The purchaser, therefore, is encouraged to reorient and reframe the work as she likes. In this way, Roya offers a democratic solution to the old cliché about abstract paintings ("Which way is up?") and allows a personalized viewing experience. The viewer participates by making looking, seeing and experiencing art an active role.

Roya is currently represented by Blackfish Gallery in Portland.

Enjoy a sampling of Roya Motamedi's work in VoiceCatcher's Featured Artist Gallery:

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        Out of Eden by Melanie Green

        Under the Tongue by Cindy Stewart-Rinier

        it wasn’t the rain by Ann Sinclair

        And the King Was in the Counting House by Geraldine Foote

        Aurelia Aurita: Moon Jelly by Lois Rosen

        What Cape Alava Was Like Then by Linda Strever

        ʻAʻā by Burky Achilles

        Still Life With Cabbage by Margaret Chula

        Mother of the Drowned Child by Penelope Scambly Schott

        Summer, When Green Turns by Cindy Stewart-Rinier

        Relic by Jennifer Foreman

        From the yes column of “is there a god?” checklist by Jennifer Foreman

        Binders Full of Women by Shawn Aveningo

        Even in February Every Woman Wants to Be a Feast by Claudia Savage

        Weddings I Have Ruined by Tanya Jarvik

        Thicker Than Water by Claudia Savage

        Weekend Wayfarers by Elizabeth Stoessl

        Wordscape by Tanya Jarvik

        Talking Herself into Onward by Melanie Green


        Tribes by Thea Constantine

        Carnage by Heidi Beierle

        Owyhee Barbie by Marylynne Diggs

        Permeable Divide by Kamala Bremer

        Pepper Anderson Meets the Amazon by Linda Ferguson

        The Day I Stopped Typing by Kate Comings


        Brooke by Oriana Lewton-Leopold

        Elizabeth by Oriana Lewton-Leopold

        Silence Considered by Carole Murphy

        The Egg Sisters by Carole Murphy

        Garden Gate by Koka Filipovic

        Purple Shade in the Garden by Koka Filipovic

        Untitled with a Flamingo by Amy Robinson

        It's My Party by Amy Robinson


        A Work of Art by Leilani Garcia

        What the Bees Did to Me by Colette Au

        Things I never said by Molly Benson

        Wabi-Sabi by Janet Webster

        Foresters by Sophia Mautz