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Mar-19-2008 13:33printcomments

James McGrew's Work to be Shown at Lawrence Gallery in Portland

McGrew primarily paints his favorite subject- Yosemite, but also captures other spectacular parks such as the Grand Canyon, Redwoods, Grand Teton.


McGrew's Glen Aulin Sunset Oils, 30"h x 40"w, $9900

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Lawrence Gallery will feature the work of several artists for the month of April, 2008. One is James McGrew, an award winning artist and naturalist who devotes his career to sharing nature’s beauty with others. He possesses an intimate knowledge of his subjects and combines backgrounds including art and science with extensive experience.

James first visited Yosemite at just four months old, and for as long as he can remember he has explored its natural history and drawn its features and wildlife. He received his first pastels at eight years old, oils at ten. Today, he still prefers these mediums, but he often makes his own paints and pastels to create effects not possible with commercial products.

McGrew paints in three classes of work including: plein air, miniatures and larger studio works. The plein air process involves painting on location where the rapidly changing effects of light and atmosphere force the painter to quickly capture the essence of a scene in a few hours or less.

Back in the studio, McGrew may combine plein air paintings with his photographs and most important his strong visual memory to produce more complex pieces from four inches to four fee wide. Miniatures are so finely painted that much of the detail is only visible under a magnifying glass.

In addition to his artwork, McGrew has worked as a seasonal park ranger/naturalist leading seven day backpacks through the Yosemite High Sierra Camps.

Supervisors and visitors say “his enthusiasm for Yosemite is contagious.” McGrew holds a B.S. in biology, with chemistry and geology minors, giving him a strong understanding of his subjects. His master’s thesis (environmental education) deals with the interrelationships of art and science in Yosemite’s preservation as our first protected natural park. McGrew has presented this topic at academic conferences and currently works with Emmy award winning film maker, Sterling Johnson, to produce a High Definition Video on Yosemite’s art history. He also teaches art classes and plein air workshops.

McGrew’s paintings have hung in galleries, museums, and collections across the US and abroad. His paintings, photography, and biological illustrations have been published in a number of formats including limited edition prints, video, brochures, and magazines. McGrew’s paintings have won critical acclaim and awards in international competition including 1st in pastel and 2nd place overall in the Lake Oswego International Miniature Competition, 2002. Most recently, all three of his entries were accepted into the Arts for the Parks show based in Jackson, WY which will tour the US for a year. This prestigious show receives over 3,000 annual entries from many top landscape and wildlife painters. McGrew primarily paints his favorite subject- Yosemite, but also captures other spectacular parks such as the Grand Canyon, Redwoods, Grand Teton. However, one of this favorite subjects is not a national park: the Oregon coast. “My objective in painting is to generate a sense of love and awareness for our parks and their resources in hopes of contributing to better preservation for future generations.”




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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.