March 20, 2021 — Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay St. in Historic Old Town Florence, will spotlight the works of award-winning photographer Stephanie Ames and water media artist/author Pattie Brooks Anderson during March and April.
With a remarkable eye for the unexpected, Ames views subjects in a unique manner. A master at composition, she presents ordinary and scenic beauty in a powerful style. It isn’t accidental that she captures breathtaking sunsets, hummingbirds, crashing seas, rusting trucks or a rustic barn at the perfect time. She researches the tide tables and the sun and moon charts. Ames positions herself at the right moment to catch the sun or moonlight, illuminating her subject in a spectacular way. This advantage combines technical skills with excellent equipment.
She also loves to travel the west to discover “old, abandoned farmhouses, vehicles, and ghost towns. The images shown here are a retrospective of those travels,” she said.
Ames’ work is impressive in sepia tones, black and white, or full color.
The beauty of the Northwest and her love of backpacking, birding, kayaking, snowshoeing, and rock-hounding put her in a myriad of inspirational locales. Within her photography, the viewer experiences the intense emotion that Ames feels at the moment she snaps an unforgettable photo.
Many Oregon Coast travel guides and “Oregon Coast” magazine carried her photos, which have shown in Eugene’s Jacobs Gallery and Portland’s Blue Sky Gallery. Her work has been juried into numerous shows: Corvallis Art Guild, Florence Festival of Art and Jazz, Florence Artistic Visions and more.
Brooks Anderson, Backstreet Gallery’s president, creates her signature paintings with a wash of rich colors in various water media. Though she starts with an idea, the fluid motion of the colors and patterns couple with her inner inspiration and reflections filtering through her mind. Her spontaneous, intuitive process combines natural locales with animals or people in a magical way. Trees are an ever-present subject that surround her subjects.
With no particular subject in mind and with no “why,” the painting imparts this knowledge to her. Beginning with a brush, she adds a layer of black ink, a web-like structure that defines the subject which slowly reveals itself to her. She refines this with a pen and ink.
“I have believed for a long time that these images and the subsequent messages are transmitted through a source greater than myself, or perhaps, from a part of myself that is connected to this source,” Brooks Anderson said.
Once the idea blossoms, she often uses the internet to find multiple images that enhance her ideas. A remarkable creation, in an unusual and unique style, emerges.
After completing her extraordinary paintings, Brooks Anderson’s mind turns to inspirational words. Her love of nature, animals and her concern for the environment result in animal stories that touch the hearts of both children and adults in her illustrated books.
Backstreet Gallery is located across from Mo’s and is open Thursday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with plans to open more days soon.
For more information, visit www.backstreetgallery.org.