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A View to the East
Liang Wei
Mike Smith
October, 12 - November, 6
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery is pleased to exhibit new paintings by Northwest artist Liang Wei and preview new water colors, pastels and oils by Mike Smith.

Moody, thoughtful and alluring are a few words that are frequently used to describe the paintings of Liang Wei.

Born in China, Liang Wei was trained as a traditional portrait artist and landscape painter before moving to the Northwest more than 15 years ago. Highly educated and well respected in his career as a painter there, he was able to respond to the influences of the Western World and American painters upon his move to the US.

Influenced by Edward Hopper, Grant Wood and Northwest Contemporary Susan Bennerstrom, Liang Wei's landscapes reflect a style that is moody, provocative and thought provoking all combined with an excellent foundation in composition, design and technique.

While exploring landscape painting primarily the fifteen years, Liang Wei still manages to do commissioned portraits in traditional settings for corporate executives and various private individuals throughout the northwest.

Mike Smith was born in 1942 in Portland, Oregon, and spent his childhood growing up in Vancouver, Washington, and the Puget Sound area. He now resides in Camas Washington, a small pulp and paper community located on the shores of the Columbia River.

He graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in English Literature. Smith began drawing and sculpting at the age of two, after an interlude of baseball, he became a serious full-time artist at the age of twenty-five. He supported himself doing graphic design and other commercial art endeavors while pursuing his fine art career.

He has tried to abandon any "school" of painting and uses an autobiographical approach. His subjects are mostly found in his backyard or around the neighborhood in which he lives. His dogs, the cat, his rowboat, and ducks in his pond, are all included in the bright watercolors of his paintings. He also sculpts in bronze, paints in oils and does silk screen prints.

Smith says, "People always want to know the meaning of my work and where I get my ideas from. My work is simply about the people and places and animals I love. Images, unlike the written word, do not dictate to you. After twenty-five years of painting almost every day, it has become my world." It is fun-filled, colorful, and full of life.