Darren Orange told Pearl Rotarians on Dec. 11 that he is a “speeded up” artist who works primarily with oils to paint the environment and nature.
Why the speed in producing paintings that have won numerous awards? Darren says that speed in his “intuitive” painting lets him be unusually creative. As told to the Rotarians, Darren likes to start a painting by throwing different colors on the canvas in a somewhat abstract form. He then works intuitively with quick hand motion to revise and add to the painting (pigmentation, as he calls it).
In some cases, the painting will end up in a fairly abstract form. In other cases, Darren sees (as he works) the potential of realistically describing specific examples of the natural environment. Much of his “concrete” or representational work focuses on the landscapes of Oregon and Washington coastal areas and the Northwest interiors to the east. The process ends when Darren feels that the painting makes a statement that is compatible with his interest and love of the natural environment. While Darren’s paintings may focus on specific examples of nature, they almost always contain some abstraction.
No doubt, many art experts would see his mode of working as a bit offbeat. But Darren is a highly respected artist who lives in Astoria. L.C. Smith, an art collector, provides an articulate assessment of Darren’s work, “His treatment of environmental and human degradation – in paintings, collages, and bronzes – is defined by an unblinking fierceness. He is a relentless, driven and exacting observer of our age, of Nature, and of our impact on Nature. The resulting work is monumental, enduring and of outstanding significance."
Darren has been obsessed with art and the natural environment ever since his childhood when he lived by an apple orchard in Central Washington. He told the Rotarians, “As a child, I liked to do things with my hands such as build forts. I was never bored. As high school came along I knew what I wanted to do--go experience things.” He attended Western Washington University. In 2000, he and some college friends moved to Astoria near the mouth of the Columbia River. Darren now works out of an Astoria shop, Homewrecker Studios.
The quality of Darren’s art is indicated by the fact that he has exhibited at many galleries in the United States. Darren has been awarded the Oregon Governor's Award for the year 2019. He will be presenting a solo exhibition in the governor's office in Salem, December, 2019.