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Lynn Rothan: Listening to Nature's Rhythm 

Local artist's sculptures on display at COCC

  • Lynn Rothan

Lynn Rothan lets the world speak to her, showing itself and its beauty. Then she takes it from there. Intuition is key for Rothan, which you can see in her retrospective show currently on display in the Pence Pinckney Gallery at Central Oregon Community College.

The quality of life and the colors of the high desert called Rothan to make her home in Central Oregon in the 1980s. "Having sunshine all the time, as a painter, is amazing," she says. It's obvious how the natural landscape inspires her work. Often, using a variety of mediums, Rothan seeks to enhance what's already there, showcasing beauty and allowing it to be alive.

It's not just metaphorical, but also literal for Rothan. Her current show has nine large gourd sculptures that tower over 8 feet high. Gourds and seed pods are reoccurring images in Rothan's work. The latest creations contain some gourds that have been in her studio for over 20 years. Sometimes, Rothan carves the gourds and creates bowls, but says this time she wanted to stack them. Careful to not expose people to the risk of mold gourds can carry, Rothan waxed and sealed each one, doing her best to not disturb each gourd's natural state—while also enhancing their beauty through carving, burning and painting. Interestingly, the gourds are still alive, the seeds in each one still viable.

Rothan is also a ceramic bead maker.

"Looking at the gourds, you can see how they would be beautiful as a bead. So, I started saving them. Some kind of magic happened and I found that the gourds told me what they wanted to be."

Sometimes a painting or a sculpture can be a prayer or an offering back to the natural world that inspires us. Rothan's work is a beautiful reminder of that. By listening to nature and being one with it, Rothan allows others to see the beauty in the world she's clearly discovered for herself.

"Pods-Nurtured Regeneration"

Jan. 11-31

Pence Pinckney Gallery

at Central Oregon Community College

2600 NW College Way, Bend

About The Author

Teafly Peterson

For the last 20 years, I have been working as an artist and an educator. Some days I am better at one than the other. The good days are when I am excellent at both simultaneously. I love those days. I teach a variety of mediums– painting, drawing, photography, writing, film making. Mostly what I teach is how to...
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