Painter ‘makes art happen’

By Dani Palmer

Cannon Beach

He’s new to Cannon Beach, but Blue Bond has been doing his art for over 40 years. The painter learned from some of the best and exhibits his paintings in art shows throughout the West. Over his lifetime, Bond estimates he has completed more than 2,500 paintings.

Now he teaches art classes and sells his paintings at the Blue Bond Studio and Gallery in Sandpiper Square, right next to the Jeffrey Hull Gallery.

Bond’s gallery opened this summer and is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Bond and his wife, Karen, travel back to Vancouver, Wash., where he teaches art courses at their studio and gallery there.

Q: How’d you end up opening shop in Cannon Beach?

A: We came over here to see about putting our paintings up in someone else’s gallery and there was a for lease sign in the window. I thought, “Wow, I’ve never seen Cannon Beach with a gallery available.” I just jumped right on it, and that’s how we got it.

Q: Tell me about your artwork. Is there anything in particular you like to paint?

A: I paint Western themes. I like to do animals, like horses, and portraits and people.

Q: How’d you get started in art?

A: I started when I was in grade school. I’ve always been interested in art. All my life. I really excelled in drawing and things like that. It just developed from that. And I’ve spent 40 years pursuing that. It’s a type of thing you never master. You just try to get better. Some people say to me, “Oh you’re so fortunate. You can paint.” There’s not fortunate. It’s thousands and thousands of hours a person wants to put into that, learn how to do that. You never, ever master this. I’ve never talked to a painter in my life who just said, “I’m there.” Somebody will say, “Which is your best painting?” and I truly believe an artist will answer “Maybe my next one.” I think it’s that way with anything we do. We always want to get better and better and better.

Q: What do you offer at the studio and gallery here?

A: I offer art classes for someone that would want to do a private art class right here in the studio. I do commissioned portraits. A lot of people bring in photos of their dogs or their horses or their children or a self-portrait. They’ll drop them off and I paint that right here in the studio. I’m kind of unique here that I paint in the studio. People are really interested in watching the art happen.

Q: Do you work with people of all art skill levels?

A: I do. I like to work with adults. I teach people how to paint, how to look at a photograph and paint it on a canvas. It’s looking at something and being able to paint it. With the use of cameras today, you don’t have to be a master drawer. You can use all these aids, like cameras and projectors, to help you. That gives you the ability to concentrate strictly on how to put paint on a canvas. I’ve had professional artists come in and spend time with me just to learn how to paint fast.

Q: What’s it been like being in Cannon Beach with all these other artists?

A: Oh, it’s incredible! They’re so interesting because they’re extremely talented. It’s really nice when they stop by my studio ­­— that we can talk art. It’s like anything else. If you’re talking with somebody in your profession, you understand each other better. Another interesting thing is people come in from Canada or Wyoming or Montana, and some find my art refreshing because many people here paint the rock or the ocean. I said I wasn’t going to do that rock because everyone else has done it and has done it so well it’s intimidating, but I’m starting to get into it. It’s really made an impact on my life. Much more than anywhere else I’ve ever been.

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