Four artists will share Second Story Gallery in September

Inspiration through friendship

Kathy Sork, AnnaMarie “Suzy” Clement and Linda McCulloch (left to right) pose by a six-paneled group watercolor they helped create. The other artists who painted panels were Julianne Schreiner, Carolyn Gunderson and Judith Sanders-Wood. Buy this photo

Second Story Gallery ‘Inspiration/Exploration’

“Inspiration/Exploration,“ will run at the Camas Public Library’s Second Story Gallery, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., from this Friday until Saturday, Sept. 29. There will be a free public reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday as apart of the Camas merchants’ “First Friday” celebration. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 834-4692.

Camas First Friday ‘Art, Women & Wine’

The Camas First Friday theme this month will be “Art, Women & Wine.” It takes places on the same night as the Second Story Gallery reception. The event will run from 5 to 8 p.m. downtown and includes an art walk featuring more than 20 local female artists, wine tastings in bistros, and a reception at Elida Art Studio & Gallery, 421 N.E. Cedar St. For more information, visit www.downtowncamas...

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McCulloch used mixed media to create this piece.

The joy and excitement of creating art is shared by a group of women who have gotten together over the years for artists’ retreats, classes, or just painting in their garages.Now, AnnaMarie “Suzy” Clement, Kathy Sork, Julianne Schreiner and Linda McCulloch will share their love of art with a group show at the Second Story Gallery through the month of September.

The four met while serving on the board of the Southwest Washington Watercolor Society in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Like their friendship, their artwork continues to grow and evolve.

“We all bring something to the table, be it a new material, a new idea, a new approach, a new style or the joy and excitement of just being together, sharing our art,” said McCulloch, 69, a Camas resident.

Currently, they are experimenting with mixed media in addition to traditional watercolor painting, which is the basis behind the art show theme of “Inspiration/Exploration.”

“It pretty much says what all of us are doing now,” McCulloch said. “We are using different materials and doing a lot of collaging. A new material will inspire us to use it in a non-traditional way, and explore.”

All of the artists describe the Watercolor Society as a nurturing environment, and credit Clark College continuing education classes for helping with the technical aspect of painting.

“Sometimes it’s the only time we get to see each other since everyone has retired,” said McCulloch.

Although the four artists are sharing the gallery show, their watercolor group is six strong with Carolyn Gunderson and Judith Sanders-Wood. The two were unable to participate due to other commitments.

The tie that has kept this group together for years is their love of painting.

“We all speak the language of art without needing to use words sometimes,” McCulloch said. “What one doesn’t think of, the other one does.”

Added Clement, 57, “We feed off of each other for inspiration.”

Sork, 65, compared it to the latter part of a race, when the athlete draws upon the enthusiasm of the crowd.

“Sometimes you hit a wall, and you just need to let go and listen,” she said.

Every year, the group tries to get away for an artist’s retreat of some kind, even if it’s just for a weekend.

“My husband will jokingly say, ‘Oh, going away with the girls again?’ But we really do spend a lot of time working,” Clement said. “We’re pretty strict about that.”

Added Schreiner, 80, “We know each other really well and are good friends who have an understanding of each other’s work.”

When asked what they enjoyed most about painting, all four noted it is both relaxing and exciting.

“It’s the anticipation of putting something on paper and wondering how it will come out,” Schreiner said.

“What I love most about art is the colors,” McCulloch said. “They excited me. When I’m painting and get immersed in it, I’ve gone to a different place.”

“When you’ve got something good, it effects you the same as excellent food,” Clement said. “There’s a zone you go to.”

“When you’re an artist, you’ve been painting since you were in the womb,” said Sork. “Sometimes when you paint something really good, you can’t stop looking at it.”