Sunflowers

Camas Gallery is featuring “Field of Sunflowers,” which is a brand new body of work by Liz Pike in oils on canvas throughout the month of July.

The gallery, located at 408 NE 4th Avenue in Downtown Camas, will host a special reception this Friday, July 5 from 5 to 8 pm, during which Pike will do a live painting demonstration in oils on canvas. Visitors will enjoy complimentary wine, cheese, and Liz’s famous chocolate truffles.

Friday’s reception will be like no other as the public is also invited to view the new “Sunflower Mobile,” which is Pike’s latest creation — a moving original oil on fiberglass. The sunflower mobile is a renovated six-passenger golf cart decorated in Pike’s signature sunflowers.

“All of this work in the studio is totally new, since the middle of June,” said Pike. ”I’ve been in here day and night since then. I had to finish the sunflower mobile first. I’ll be the studio from noon until 8 pm after my farm work. I hand painted my sunflowers on the fiber-glass body, and there’s a sky painting on the inside of the roof, so it’s always sunny at Shangri-La Farm. The reason I wanted it is to have people ride from the airport through the trail when we have events.”

“I’ve been eying the golf cart at Sundance Rockery for quite some time,” she said. “Every few months I’d tease the owner there about the golf cart and then in March I went in there to get gravel for my paths. He offered to sell it to me for $900. It needed lots of work. I had to spend $1400 in new batteries. There are eight batteries that are 6-volts. You have to link them to get to 48 volts. Neil [her husband] was totally skeptical of the idea but now that it’s done he loves it. He shows it off to his buddies at the airport hanger [he’s a pilot with planes at Grove Field airport in Fern Prairie].”

Why doe she paint?

“Why do I paint? Well, it’s just really fun and relaxing and I get to go somewhere else,” she said. “It’s an expression. I get to paint happy things, too, which I guess you can tell I like to paint happy things. That’s why I like sunflowers so much, and I paint them at different stages.”

“I really like bright colors and I really like nature. I love being outside so I guess painting things that are inspired by the outdoors is who I am. I have this working two-acre farm and it requires a daily commitment. So, I balance the farm commitment and my promise to myself as an artist. My whole life I’ve had to take care of things, you have to make a living. I had to focus on raising my kids and now I can just be a farmer and an artist. And I have the support of my husband.”

After leaving the State Legislature following three terms, Pike is able to balance these two loves: Farming and art, which led to last year’s creation of Art Farm — an art class with the slogan “we grow artists.” She holds regular classes in a converted studio at her Fern Prairie farm.

To learn more about Art Farm, visit LizPike.art

The mostly self-taught artist feels like her work is evolving.

“It’s getting better,” she said. “There’s more detail with the oils. I love doing this!”

Sunflowers
Artist Liz Pike on her newly renovated “Sunflower Mobile.”

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