Corban is happy to welcome Paul Toews as the February artist in the Psalm gallery. The show will run through Februrary 29. An artist reception will be held February 17, 4-6 p.m. at the gallery.
Toews uses a variety of media—pen and ink, watercolor, pencil, and charcoal—to depict landscapes and subjects common to the rural foothills of the Cascades. A timber man by trade, he loves to work with and on wood, allowing the grain of the wood to inspire him in its outcome. Toews also collaborates with local hand-forge artists for the framing and design of his paintings.
Describing his life and work, Toews says, “My roots are in the country. In the fields of my parents’ farm which was nestled among the foothills of the Cascades, I learned the pride of hard work and practical wisdom. Along the wooded ridges bordering those fields and the hedgerows that ran through them, I soaked in the poetry of nature. In young adulthood, the timbered mountains pulled me into a life as a timber man. There I satisfied the physical need to be tested and the mental urge to walk the edge.
“Yet the mystique of nature was a force that drove my creativity, compelling me to express myself more and more. My focus became visual art and storytelling. This all started sometime before 2000 with a close call in the woods. Since then I have learned more, taught more, painted more, and written more than all those previous years combined. This has included shows at Bush Barn, the Illustrated Gardens Gallery in Corvallis, Soda Creek Gallery in Sisters, Elsinore Gallery in Salem, etc.
“I’ve taught workshops and classes at my cabin near Detroit Lake, at the Bush Barn and Art Media in Salem, and for three years in my gallery called Art Gone Wild in Stayton. I’ve taught many other places such as Breitenbush, Northern Idaho, the coast area, and as far east as Boston, Massachusetts. After closing my gallery, I continued classes in my own studio on Third Avenue in Stayton’s quaint downtown. I also teach art, storytelling, and what I call ‘life studies’ for a wilderness therapy school for at-risk teens.”