Welcome to my studio

JANELL SORENSEN:
  I explore Oregon and the world for my inspiration, but most of my work comes to life amid the paint tubes, brushes, and easels of my Eugene studio.
   On this tour of my artwork, I'll show you my new "Striagraphic" series, my log cabin illustrations for the book Cabin Fever, my paintings of Oregon mountains, and more.
   I grew up in Salem, Oregon, where I studied art and learned to love the outdoors. After studying at Oregon State University and the University of Heidelberg in Germany, I graduated from  the University of Oregon in education and continued with graduate work in special education.
   I taught preschool for many years, but since 2001 have devoted myself full time to my art and to editing the books of my husband, William L. Sullivan. Our 40-year marriage has been an artistic adventure in itself.
 
 At the age of 21, I bicycled a thousand miles across Europe with BIll from France to Norway. Two years later we began building a log cabin by hand on a roadless river in Oregon's Coast Range. I learned to fell trees with a crosscut saw and to wash diapers on a wood stove. My pen-and-ink drawings illustrated the story of our summers at that log cabin, raising a family in the wilderness.
   In 1985, while Bill hiked a thousand miles across Oregon for his adventure memoir, Listening for Coyote, I struggled to keep my job and handle two small children in a tiny Eugene apartment, running through thirteen babysitters.
  Since then I've found that Bill's work as a guidebook author and novelist has actually helped my art. I've joined him on nearly all of his research trips, exploring the remotest corners of Oregon. Often, while he hikes to windswept summits or prowls unknown side trails, I stop at a mountain lake to sketch out a watercolor in the backwoods. Occasionally he returns from a winter backcountry ski adventure with photographs that inspire an unusual winter painting.

   Lately I've developed a new style that melds the realism of Oregon's mountain scenery with the striated boldness of abstraction.

   Continue your tour with a closer look at my new "Striagraphic" series!