Birds of a feather
Husband and wife duo create complimentary odes to nature
Tucked away on a 5-acre farm in the Eola Hills of Amity, it's easy to see where artist couple Toni and Steve Tyree draw inspiration for their nature themed pieces. With a mixture of 8-10 oil and watercolor paintings and a dozen metalwork sculptures, the Tyrees will be showcasing an exhibit dedicated to the beauty of the natural world at the Wilsonville campus Clackamas Community College (CCC) Jan. 9 through March 17.
When looking at the upcoming exhibit, viewers likely wouldn't guess that the pieces weren't created as a set but rather as two separate collections that ended up complimenting each other.
"We have our own studio spaces," Toni said. "There's shared subject matter because we both happen to love nature."
Toni said that she and husband Steve have both been involved with art for large portions of their lives, and that although she majored in art in college and was a graphic designer professionally for many years, she creates for the joy of expression now.
"I wanted more freedom with the art," Toni said.
Painted from inside of their home, Toni's work centers around vibrant colors. From landscapes to animals, she paints whatever appeals to her at the moment. Compared to the quiet and serene creation of Toni's work, Steve's artform of metalwork is less placid and more industrial.
Steve started to sculpt small steel animals in 1974, taking advantage of the welding skills he had picked up while working at this brother's auto body shop. As Steve's skills developed, he developed his own techniques of fabricating his work from sheets of bronze. Many hours of manual labor go into Steve's pieces, all of which are created by hand without the aid of casts and molds.
"I'm always working everyday on something," Steve said. "When there's a pile, I'll do a show."
The show at CCC materialized when a mutual friend invited them to show in the space. With an ongoing body of work growing between them and having no individual shows planned in the immediate future, the couple accepted the offer and are approaching the exhibit organically.
"I haven't really picked out any pieces yet," Steve said with a laugh.
Although the exact shape of the show is a mystery, the couple said that they aspire for people to walk away from viewing it with an appreciation of the handmade and the natural world.
"I hope that take away a love of nature and a peaceful feeling," Toni said.