My name is Sherrill Gaughan. My first exposure with acrylic paints was in my early 30s when I would paint the front window of our home for all the holidays. My kids loved it and it provided me with a creative outlet. Painting on glass was a wonderful way to experiment and learn due to its temporary nature. It was not until I retired six years ago that I decided to try acrylic painting on canvas. I learned techniques by looking at art, art books and watching YouTube videos. I have added other mediums to my art such as inks, gels and paint pens. My joy comes from moving paint around the canvas and seeing where it takes me.
The McKenzie River has flowed through my entire life and has provided me with endless inspiration to paint nature through memories camping as a kid with my family, fishing, floating the river with my husband and sharing the outdoors with my children and grandchildren. Two weeks after the 2020 forest fire, I saw for myself the devastation and the loss of many of the things that I thought would always be there. At the time I felt that in my lifetime the forest would never be the same, but I also saw there was beauty, resilience and hope. Nature has a wonderful way of healing itself. Art heals, too. Now when I look at my painting “McKenzie River Fire,” I feel a rebirth of the forest.