Katherine Dunn and James Dumble exhibiting fresh, playful and evocative paintings May 14 through June 8 at RiverSea Gallery, 1160 Commercial St.

Dunn's series of paintings, "Land Speaks," is a testimonial of where her heart lies. Her collection of acrylic paintings is done on canvas or found wood. James Dumble presents mixed media paintings on paper, canvas and plaster. Meet the artists at the opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14.

Dunn delights in the evolution of each work, beginning by layering on colors without a conscious plan. These paintings draw the viewer into a folk-like evocation of nature, figures and animals. She calls her paintings "little mysteries," because it is only after she has finished a painting that she might discover some unexpected symbolism or meaning. Dunn says that her work "reflects my relationship to my steadiest of companions and muses: nature and animals."

'Unnecessarily So,' mixed media on paper by James Dumble.Dumble, an Astoria resident, paints with a similar vision to Dunn. His work is dramatic, and at times nonsensical. It is this sense of play and thought that connects his work to the underlying theme present in Dunn's. Dumble creates visual planes in his abstract paintings, flat and angular surfaces that are combined with columns of words and numbers to enhance the intensity. He enjoys the unexpected in his work, believing that "man has moved into a world of precision and being in the box and in control." Dumble likes to combine various media, including oil stick, charcoal, colored pencils and pastels, to see what appears. Adding more intrigue to his work, Dumble has added another layer, "a mixture of painting and poetry."

Both Dumble and Dunn enjoy the exploration of their art; they do not limit themselves to traditional technique. Dunn has been known to utilize found wood, such as discarded cupboard doors, for support of her paintings, while Dumble has often turned to plaster as the surface for a painting. Both artists enjoy employing the building of surface through collage, as well as the process of removing pigment to expose what lies beneath.

RiverSea Gallery features contemporary North Coast and Northwest artists, with original fine art and fine craft in all media and distinctive designer jewelry. Regular business hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call the gallery at (503) 325-1270.

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