The worlds I create in my paintings often focus on making visible the fleeting qualities which add to our understanding of Place. ~Kendra Larson
As the descendent of loggers, the wild west myth has shaped my identity. The art I create aims to explore this and phenomena that makes the West Coast special; here the veil between the spiritual and physical world is thin. Over the last decade my work has touched on themes of Astronomy, Magical Realism, Feminism, and Phenomenology in Oregon. I consistently explore new imagery, painting mediums, substrates, and color palettes. I enjoy learning about new media and taking on the challenge of expanding my paintings to a 3D space. My installation, “Patchwork Galaxy”, was a collaboration with Astronomist Todd Duncan that aimed to spark a conversation about everyday wonder and the Sublime. Recently, as a response to the wildfires, I have started a daily practice of creating oil pastel drawings of smoke. This is also a ritual/ mediation on the monotony of life during the pandemic. Last year I continued my community involvement with my art podcast, Art Gab. My sister and I interview local artists and help promote the community, but also discuss process and passion of artists working during a pandemic and in response to social unrest.
Ultimately, my work reignites childhood wonderment, sheds light on the sublime, and calls on the viewer to protect natural spaces.
Kendra Larson is an artist based in Portland, OR with a primary focus on the ephemerality of Pacific NW landscapes. Her paintings and drawings explore historical ideas of the Landscape, Romanticism, environmentalism, and wonder evoked by the natural world. Her current body of work focuses on making visible the fleeting qualities that add to our understanding of Place; the role smoke, fire, clouds, snow, movement, sound, and fireworks play in nature. Originally from Salem, OR, she received her BFA from the Pacific NW College of Art and an MFA in Painting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has shown her work in venues in the United States and New Zealand. Larson is a past Signal Fire, Caldera, Sitka, and New Pacific Studios (Masterton, New Zealand) artist in resident. She is represented by Augen Gallery in Portland, OR and teaches at Portland State University and PNCA. Recently she was awarded both a Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) Project Grant and Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant. When not painting she can be found hosting an art podcast with her sister called Art Gab (http://stumptowncreative.com/). She also enjoys hiking around Mt Tabor with her son, husband, and studio dog.