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Central Oregon Coast Artist Exhibits Surreal, Colorful Works at Florence Visitors Center

Published 05/22/22 at 3:25 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Central Oregon Coast Artist Exhibits Surreal, Colorful Works at Florence Visitors Center

(Florence, Oregon) – Down on the central Oregon coast, the little town of Florence knows how to mix art and everyday life. Even business life, perhaps. In that spirit, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center has an art gallery, hosting an ever-revolving exhibit of local artists' work. The newest one on the roster is a mixed media called encaustics created by Jo Beaudreau, owner of BeauxArts Fine Art Materials and Gallery in Florence.

Encaustics is a unique painting technique that has been around for centuries, utilizing pigments mixed with resin and hot wax.

“This year's works featured a challenge since we have been living in challenging times - why not embrace and take it head on?” asked Beaudreau.

With these particular works, Beaudreau chose for herself a set of guidelines, to utilize round shapes of varying sizes with neon colors. Within this framework, the result was abstract landscapes that are dreamy, surreal: portraits of forests, lakes, beaches, sunsets, sunrises and more. All of it used the encaustic techniques.

“Neon colors are, appropriate to our times, a challenge - hard to work with- because they are so vibrant,” she said. “Not many artists use neon colors in their works, but I was inspired by seeing a Monet painting at the Portland Art Museum, a huge 10x10 foot work of his lilies, and lo and behold, he had used dayglo pink in his flowers and other vibrant colors. Neon colors don't translate well photographically, they are best seen/experienced in person, just like this amazing area in which we live.”

If you’re lucky and you have your camera – and if you know what to look for – you’ll be there to capture some strange sights and some unusual moments.

Beaudreau's works have been exhibited across various parts of America and in galleries and shows, as well as being a mainstay on the central Oregon coast.

“We are thrilled to have Jo’s work on display again,” said Bettina Hannigan, president/CEO of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “She’s so multitalented. Her last exhibit was her magnificent photography. This time it’s her artistry with a paintbrush. Visitors are going to love this exhibit,” said Bettina Hannigan, president/CEO of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.”

The ocean/beach environment isn't like any other, and Oregon's coast – with its wilder conditions and seesawing weather patterns – isn’t like many other beaches in the world. It changes, often drastically, from day to day, moment to moment. Not just on the beaches itself or at the tideline, but in the sky as well.