Author Archives: Backstreet Gallery

About Backstreet Gallery

We are a co-op gallery of over 20 artists in beautiful Florence, Oregon. Find watercolor, acrylic, fiber art, jewelry, pottery, glass, wood, mixed-media, and more in our gallery. We believe art is for everyone so you fill find art in every price range and style imaginable.

Carole Hillsbery Featured in May

March Show4 blu

Carole Hillsbery featured at Backstreet Gallery

Nationally acclaimed watercolorist, Carole Hillsbery, is spotlighted in May at Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay Street.  Her reception will be held on May 9, 3-5 PM during the Second Saturday Gallery Tour.

Originally from Florence, Carole lived in Arizona for 30 years then returned home to her beloved Florence. “It’s a great place to slow down and a great place to paint and draw.”

As a child Carole loved to draw. Carole’s expertise in painting started over 40 years ago when she began painting with oils. She continued painting while she homeschooled her children.

After taking a workshop from Katheryn Davis, Carole found her chosen medium—watercolor. A prolific painter, she set high goal. In 2003 she began entering competitions. Thinking that those goals were, “like going to the moon,” she continued perfecting her signature style—loaded with rich color, and impressionistic forms. Her paintings draw the viewer in emoting the joy that radiates from her personality. She’s a storyteller so watch for the tale that each of her paintings impart.

A unique aspect of Carole’s work is executing watercolors on canvas. The painting is coated with beeswax that seals the canvas bringing back the look of watercolor wetness.

While many artists are accepted into watercolor societies, her goals included becoming a Signature Artist in several National Art Societies, which meant multiple submissions juried in for each award. She’s  on her way to achieving her goals. Her Signature Memberships are Transparent Watercolor Society, Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, and Arizona Watercolor Society.  In the 2014 Watercolor Society of Oregon’s traveling show Carole took a fourth place. She’s just been juried into the latest Northwest Watercolor Society show qualifying her as a Signature Member.

Carole’s works have been exhibited at Earthworks Gallery in Yachats and Mind Power Gallery in Reedsport. The Reedsport Hospital hosts a reception for her show on June 5th from 5-7PM.

“As soon as I learn something new, I want to turn around and teach it.” In April, she held a one-day workshop at Kenneth B Gallery. An outstanding teacher she conducts workshops, at all levels. Her manager and close associate, Charlene Wilson, books workshops for Carole all over the western United States. If interested in attending one of these wonderful workshops here in Florence, contact her at Carole paints for fun, teaches for fun and transmits that through her workshops. So come and have fun.

Her Backstreet reception includes refreshments. Denny Weaver will provide a sweet mellow background on his acoustic guitar for the event.

See more of Carole’s work here.

Featured in April 2015, Little Dickens 2014 Best of Show Winners, Bill Johnson and Jan Woodford

Bill and Jan

Backstreet Gallery presents artists Bill Johnson and Jan Woodford, the artists who won the Best of Show awards for last December’s Little Dickens Show. Their new exhibition will be mighty but maybe not miniature. Their reception is April 11, 3-5 PM during the Second Saturday Gallery Tour. Refreshments will be served.

Since childhood, Jan Woodford has loved art with her parents fostering her talents. She’s been painting and developing her expertise for 50 years, and pastels for the past 16 years.

Jan loves to work in series. Her most recent endeavor is her masterfully executed seascapes where one can almost feel the sea spray with waves crashing against the shore. She might paint with oil, plein air or take photos and combine them in the richness of her style with pastels. One of these beautiful seascapes won best of show at the miniature show in the 2D category.

She is equally adept at portraiture. Jan coordinates the Figure Eight artists who meet biweekly with a live model.

In February the Library showcased her marvelous body of work. She has exhibited at Tsunami Gallery, Mind Power Gallery, and Peace Harbor Hospital. She creates with a group of artists at Old Town Coffee where she is a permanent exhibitor. Being a FRAA member, Jan’s art appears at the Art Center.

Bill Johnson entered several Little Dickens Shows and won awards at each show for his 3D pieces.

He too has been artistic since childhood when he loved to draw hot rods. At Pasadena City College, he began to take art and design classes. He pursued a career in the aerospace industry. Later he worked in residential design and graphic arts.

Workshops like Artist Is You, Art and Soul and an assemblage class with Michael de Meng have influenced his present day art.

He expresses himself by gathering discarded objects that he finds in thrift shops and garage sales then transforms and assembles them into freestanding sculptural pieces. Machine parts, clocks, watches, dials, meters, gears and chains are a few of the items you might find pieced together in his unique sculptures.

Come enjoy their distinctive creations during April at Backstreet Gallery, 1421 Bay St. open daily 10-6PM.


By Jan Woodford

Bill Photo 2

By Bill Johnson

March Featured Artists Pattie Brooks Anderson and Stephanie Ames




March Show-finalPattie Brooks-Anderson, Stephanie Ames featured at Backstreet Gallery in March

“The Spirit of Being” is a body of unique artwork by two of Backstreet’s finest artists, Pattie Brooks-Anderson and Stephanie Ames. You’re cordially invited to a catered reception on Saturday, March 14, 3-5PM, 1421 Bay St. with guitarist, Michael Erbentraut.

Pattie Brooks-Anderson, Vice President of Backstreet, brings to her unique, signature watercolor-ink paintings education, experience and a profound essence of the spirit she experiences. She reaches past the art of drawing into the submerged artist within. For her, painting channels a universal place found in quiet.

She loves animals. Through her technique and use of whimsy, she captures their sense of spirit, the same sense of spirit she feels in creation. She seeks to relay this sentiment to her viewer, in kindred agreement with universal appeal. She fashions a golden thread conveying the emotion that she feels creating and imparts that to her audience.

While ambling in forests, on beaches, practicing Qigong or experiencing its inspiring language, an image often appears. Other times she has no idea in mind. A mental picture expands while creating. “I often don’t know what I’m painting until close to completion. As the painting develops, messages seem to come though a source greater than myself.”

Stephanie Ames, masterful photographer checks tide tables or sun/moon charts. She knows where to film stunning sunsets, high tide splashes against rocky shores; and when to capture the light bathing a form, in a mood, a feeling. To ensure photographing the image she envisions, she may spend hours or days waiting for the right light to spill its magic on her subject.

She has developed technical skills to the point where she is confident that she can “display the image the way I want.” Seeking to capture the intensity, the emotion she experiences on location she relays similar reactions to the viewer.

Her passionate photographs embody the spirit with which she reaches beyond the subject and finds its essence.

Stephanie Ames is Backstreet’s Display Committee Chair, where she utilizes her aesthetic sensibilities to transform the interior of a building into a first rate gallery of distinction.

Playing his fine flamingo guitar, Michael Erbentraut entertains for this reception.  He’s a wonderful presence in our community. He can be seen and heard around Old Town practicing and chatting with folks as he goes.  No one is ever sorry to be hearing his sounds … just very impressed and ready to enjoy.

Share the intensity, spirit and emotion of these kindred artists as you experience their incredible art!



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