Sally Bailey of Mt. Hood wins state art award

Winning a prize for a calm scene has artist Sally Bailey excited.

Bailey, of Mt. Hood, received first place for her painting, Oregon Spring, at last weekend’s Watercolor Society of Oregon competition.

This is the second straight year a Hood River County artist has won the WSO first prize. Hood River’s Dick VanVoast won the same award one year ago for a floral close-up.

Bailey painted the McMinnville farm scene this summer.

“It took me 45 minutes to an hour — plus 30 years,” Bailey said. She won other art awards but said this one has special meaning.

“It’s by far the best. It brought tears to my eyes,” said Bailey, who had never placed higher than fourth with WSO.

“It meant a lot because I have been involved with the organization for many years, I know so many people in it, and I know the kind of art that is judged each year,” Bailey said.

Members of the society were invited to submit two slides. Judge Mark E. Mehaffey looked at 350 paintings. Mehaffey, who is from Michigan, commented that he selected Bailey’s painting for its simple bold shapes and strong complementary colors.

Bailey primarily paints in acryclics and watercolors, and said the work is a bit of a departure for her.

“The judge was drawn to the purple and lime green colors, which are unusual to see in a landscape,” Bailey said.

“It’s recognition, and it gives me the incentive to paint more in that direction,” Bailey said. “I’m known for my pictures of fruit and abstract style, so if this is the kind of thing that wins prizes I’ll keep with that.” The 20 award winning paintings will travel to galleries around the state of Oregon including Salishan, Pacific City, Newport, Coos Bay and Grants Pass. The show is currently hanging at Valley Arts Gallery in Forest Grove through the end of October.

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