Judy Weiner
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About the Artist


Judy Weiner's studio at Windy River Farm in Grants Pass, Oregon

Artist's Statement

My way of helping to counteract the growing fear and misery in our present world is to care-take my gardens and to paint the many facets of my rural environment as clearly and beautifully as I am able.

My work focuses on my unique personal experience with the flora, fauna, water, rocks, clouds, etc. that make up this particular place. I am a chronicler or scribe with paint. My work is narrative. I am acknowledging and describing the infinite parts of the whole. In some sense the paintings are an ever-expanding record, a journal of my meanderings around the environment in which I am a participant.

My classical realist painting style — with a bit of magic mixed in — is, for me, the best method of representing the wonder of our natural world.
—Judy Weiner

Background

Judy Weiner was born in St. Louis, Missouri. With private instruction in art, she painted from her girlhood through high school, before earning a BA in English Literature from Northwestern University. She then did graduate work in environmental education at UCLA. In 1977, she moved to Grants Pass in Southern Oregon.

Since 1980, she has run the 28-acre Windy River Farm with her husband Peter Liebes growing organic herbs and seed crops. She and Peter also produced their own line of herb seasonings and teas.

In 1998, she decided that she'd rather paint Mother Nature than tend to it and started painting in the afternoons. She finds the farm a wonderful place to study nature where she often catches glimpses of deer, raccoons, rabbits, elk, herons, and blue jays. She's become a keen observer of the seasonal changes of the native flora and fauna of Southern Oregon. "I'm equally interested in all of the stages of the life cycles of the plants and animals here, not just the exuberance of a blossoming spring," she said.

Since 2000, Judy Weiner's paintings have been included in many group shows, including the annual Art About Agriculture series sponsored by Oregon State University, Davis and Cline Gallery and Aalta galleries in Ashland, Oregon, the 2nd Annual Wildlife Show at the Grants Pass Museum of Art, Art in Bloom at the Rogue Gallery and Art Center in Medford, Oregon, and the Schneider Museum of Art's Shakespeare as Muse exhibition. She has exhibited in solo shows at Aalta Gallery, Davis and Cline, the Rogue Gallery, and the Newport Art Center in Newport, Oregon.

The artist was awarded First Prize in Oil and Acrylic Painting by the AAUW in 2001, the University Honda Honor Award in 2004, and the Northwest Environmental Award in 2005.

Judy Weiner currently serves on the exhibition committee at the Grants Pass Museum of Art.

Statements about Weiner's Art

[In the late 1990s, after a break from painting of over 30 years, Judy decided she wanted to paint again.]
"It took me about a year to get comfortable holding the brush again," she said." "I love the act of putting paint on the canvas — that's what turns me on. It's so exciting to make objects on the canvas look three-dimensional. I'm trying to understand the surface and the texture of how the old masters, especially Rembrandt, painted. His paintings are spectacular — they glow," she said.

Oregon Home, Sept.-Oct. 2002

As a small farm owner, environmental education consultant, and wood sculptor, Weiner has had a varied background and education that contribute to and enliven her artistry. During a trip to Italy in 1996 as the artist was immersed in the frescoes and [the work of the] old masters, she recalls her feeling of epiphany: "I realized that I needed to make art that had the same uplifting sense of spirituality," she says, "of glowing gorgeousness and excellence that I was experiencing in these works — but with my personal subject matter which was and is the elements of the natural world."
Ashland Daily Tidings, March 17, 2005

"How I paint is my chosen way to depict the subjects I care mightily about. It is with learning and practice in the classical craft of oil painting, attention to accurate depiction of subject matter, and intent that I paint the natural environment I am privileged to participate in."
Medford Mail Tribune, In Praise of the Natural World, Rogue Gallery, March 2005

Immediately eye-catching are the dark oil paintings by Judy Weiner of natural themes, birds and flowers. Their richness and complexity are striking.
—Edith Decker, Grants Pass Daily Courier, June 12, 1999

This work is not saccharine or nostalgic, but a singular and focused vision … at first glance [it] appears to be very traditional … It is the composition and placement of the elements in her paintings, however, that transcends the traditional … Weiner creates solid atmospheric backdrops and lushly detailed renderings of our local natural world … Each painting is a moody and thoughtful look at the world that is left to us in the 21st Century.
Ashland Daily Tidings, on Weiner's work in the Davis and Cline Gallery, Feb. 2002

For Judy Weiner, of near Grants Pass, the "sweet are the uses of adversity" speech in As You Like It suggested the fabric and flux of the natural world. Her oil with varnish rendering of a bit of goose fluff is an explosion of form and color.
—Josine Ianco-Starrels, curator, Shakespeare as Muse exhibition, Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, Oregon, 2004

Not only is seeing your work inspirational to us from a creative perspective, but it's also enriching for our Oregon Home readers in viewing exceptional works that showcase Oregon's finest artists.
—Bryan Drendel, Art Director, Oregon Home, in a letter to Weiner, Oct. 28, 2002

Using a camera to capture ideas, she photographs images around the farm. She often combines elements from several photographs to develop her compositions. Her large paintings take a couple of months to complete with many layers of paint and glazes that give her work a delicate, translucent finish.
Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, Oct. 2009

Judy Weiner reveals herself in her paintings … thereby divulging her feelings for nature. After a while I remember having been there myself, long ago when I was a child eagerly exploring in a forest, touching soft petals, and fat mosses, the rough bark of sleeping trees — wondering if small animals lived in that hollow log. Places of mystery, of hidden pleasures and dangers, that can only be sensed if we, strangers, enter that enchanted realm.
—Josine Ianco-Starrels, curator, The Art of Judy Weiner

It was a surprise — an unexpected pleasure — to immerse myself in Judy's world when I had the opportunity to set up and photograph over 50 of her lush artworks for this Web site. I got to see each of her paintings close up on an easel with rolling hills and a clear cerulean sky as a backdrop. Windy River Farm on a sun-drenched autumn day is a bit of Eden: her inspiration is apparent. Beyond the imagery of the paintings, the textures and luminescence of the work are beyond describing by way of a photograph. I was deeply touched by her vision and experienced a sense of oneness with her idyllic natural world. An art show like this happens but once in life.
—Randy Johnson, photographer, artist, and Web designer, Oct. 2011


Two Sad Bears in the natural photography studio of Windy River Farm


The studio and garden at the idyllic farm in rural Southern Oregon

Contact: Judy Weiner, 348 Hussey Lane, Grants Pass, OR 97527 judynweiner@gmail.com

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