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Browne takes walk on wild side with art

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Rudy Browne, 70, is a Meadow Vista artist whose show, “Views of Nature,” is on display through the end of September at the Arts Building Gallery, located at 808 Lincoln Way in Downtown Auburn. How long have you been painting? I have a BA and an MFA in art. I stopped painting in 1980 to teach full time. I retired in 2003 and returned to painting — I wasn’t sure I could do it again. Since then, I am in the studio five days a week. Do you have preferred subjects? My preferred subject is people, especially jazz musicians. “The Faces of Jazz” series is ongoing. I?have completed approximately 70 portraits. How did the idea for this exhibit come about? Living in the foothills demands you pay attention to your environment. During hikes with my wife Judy, I began to take photos and to pay closer attention to the area’s beauty. To wax poetic, the four seasons are like sirens’ songs, each with its own message. I love it here. How long did you work on the pieces for this show? Since 2009 I began the “Views of Nature” series. The last piece was completed in May 2011. The animal portraits were logical additions because once a portrait painter always a portrait painter. Tell us a bit about the paintings in this exhibit. The paintings are a bit schizophrenic in that some are loosely painted and some are meticulously done. “Molly’s Raven” dictated a very deliberate approach. “Autumn Aspens “and many of the landscapes are done in broad strokes. “Rushing River” is almost abstract and Reflections is pointillistic, dabs of pure primary colors. What is your favorite painting of the bunch, and why? “Reflections” is my favorite. The top half of the scene — the trees — is ignored and only the trees’ reflections are painted. How much of the work for this series was inspired by the the foothills? Being a jazz painter, I did not think I would do “foothill art.” Yet as artist, I could not ignore where I live. What are your favorite spots to paint and hunt for subject matter? The river is our favorite hiking, relaxing, reading and creating destination. How do you feel about the finished product? Why should people come see it? This is the first body of work I’ve done without people. I’m pleased that I am not limited by subject matter. The show presents another aspect of me as an artist. Since all art demands an audience, I want viewers to look at the work and hope that on some level it communicates. Also, though subtle, there is some humor present. We take art too seriously. Anything else you’d like to add? Art is simply another form of communicating. We need to appreciate the artists’ efforts when they share with others. It is less about liking or not liking but that each of us, thankfully, has a different way of seeing and thinking. If a viewer walks away with a question or two, that’s a good thing. If they walk away with a purchased piece, that’s a great thing! ~Loryll Nicolaisen