Oregon Art Beat

Portland Artist Shelley Jordon Animates Personal Paintings

By Bruce Barrow (OPB) and Jessica Martin (OPB)
Jan. 22, 2020 2 p.m.

Shelley Jordon used to spend hours creating detailed, realist oil paintings. But taking time off to care for her husband during an illness radically changed the direction of her work.

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"I couldn't focus on those long, large paintings. I started exploring more interior subjects, really bringing to fore more emotional quality in my work," Jordon said. "I started making these paintings and they were so different, and I didn’t know when I should stop and when I should keep going. And so I decided to photograph the process of making these paintings."

Shelley Jordon documents her work.

Shelley Jordon documents her work.

"Oregon Art Beat" / OPB

This new path turned into a work of animation that explores the multi-generational story of the artist. It's a narrative infused with people and stories from different countries and generations, including Jordon's grandfather, who was the first motorcycle cop at Coney Island in the 1930s.

Professor of Fine Art at Oregon State University, Jordon finds teaching a way to give back, nurturing the next generation of artists. "I feel like it's a real privilege to help them find their own creative voice," she said.

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