ShoreLake Arts Gallery mounts new show

Saturday, January 14, 2023

ShoreLake Arts Gallery Presents
Caryn Vainio and Ian Shearer
January 4 - February 18, 2023
Town Center at Lake Forest Park
Intersection of Bothell and Ballinger Way NE

ShoreLake Arts Gallery is exhibiting a selection of works by painters Caryn Vainio and Ian Shearer. See these works and the creations of other local artists during gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, Noon to 5pm. Located in the Town Center at Lake Forest Park. You can also view and purchase art in the online shop!

The ShoreLake Arts Gallery is not-for-profit and features changing art exhibits on the walls every six weeks, as well as jewelry, ceramics, glass, paper goods and more by over 100 local artists.

About the artists:

Squak Mountain - Caryn Vainio
Caryn Vainio
is a mixed media painter and printmaker focusing on Pacific Northwest landscapes and lives near the foothills of the Cascade mountains. The evergreen display of nature through each season inspires her work. Her work has been purchased by private collectors and has been purchased for inclusion by the City of Seatac in their public art collection. Although she has no formal art school training, she's engaged in art of many forms all of her life and has intertwined it with her long professional career as a designer.

Caryn Vainio
Artist Statement

I'm a mixed media painter and printmaker creating energetic, bold paintings that interpret my sense of the Pacific Northwest landscape. I'm drawn to the comforting closeness of the PNW's mountain trails and the complexity of its coastlines and islands, and I find inspiration over and over even in the same favorite places.

As a former scientist I employ the idea of wavelengths: my work focuses on conveying the wavelengths of the landscape that are hidden from the eyes but deeply felt. I believe painting is at its purest form when it conveys these hidden, personal wavelengths. My acrylic mixed media paintings start with rough, invented compositions inspired by my frequent time in the local Cascade foothills; I build intuitively from there with energetic and active layering and mark-making. In contrast, my watercolor and ink paintings start with compositions inspired by a more expansive, cinematic, and distant view of the mountains and waterways of the Pacific Northwest coastline.

With landscape as the initial foundation, the thread throughout all of my work is that of interference and disruption, particularly the disruption of the real and the organic by the unreal, the artificial, and the inorganic. These themes surface from my long career working in future-forward tech industries like games and virtual reality and how I see them layered over our physical reality, for better and for worse.

Welcome to Post Alley
Ian Shearer
Ian Shearer is an artist based in Seattle, Washington. He is a graduate of The Academy of Art University of San Francisco. In 2018, Ian survived a massive stroke. Through intense therapy he was able to regain use of the right side of his body, however, his painting style and abilities were greatly changed. These changes have led him to "start over" as an artist. Currently, Ian's work focuses on urban landscapes. Using the city as a lens to explore themes of isolation, subjective reality, sensory experience, and memory; often finding beauty in the everyday moments of urban life. These moments intrigue him, especially as ordinary moments become extraordinary in the wake of disability. Through his work, Ian is currently exploring the changes in his visual language and working on developing a dialogue of post-stroke experience. Adding another voice to a condition that affects hundreds of thousands and documenting the recovery process through mark-making. More of Ian's work can be found at

Boys Night - Ian Shearer
Artist Statement

How does one see when their brain has changed? I paint so others can see what I see.

As a gay man, my life falls outside the parameters of the straight and conventional. As a recent stroke survivor, my life as an outsider is even more pronounced.

Through intense therapy, I've regained the use of the right side of my body, but my painting style and abilities have greatly changed. After a long and isolating recovery, learning a new way to see has led me to appreciate the poetic murmurings of the ordinary.

My practice is informed by a necessity to create a new pattern language for myself as I navigate post-stroke experiences of aphasia and multiple sensory processing disorders. I paint ordinary moments and places as a reminder of the profound beauty that exists in the banal, as Bruegel's and Vermeer's paintings documented their societies in historical and emotional ways. Not just the physical planes of Seattle and the U.S. are changing, but society is too. My landscapes capture both the ordinary and extra-ordinary. Painting is not so much a way to make sense of the world around me as it is a way to share the exquisiteness of the overlooked. Our exalted quotidian.

Due to light sensitivity, I mostly paint the city at night. Urban landscapes reveal our subconscious yearnings. I show the streets as if traversed by a "caneur" or a detective - those figures who catalog the isolation of the human condition, the shifting faces of identity, the lost or rewarded memory, and desire.

I soak my preliminary sketches with water and let the paint drip and splatter, guiding the painting's eventualities in a recreation of my sensory discordance. Values are intentionally muddled and obscured, an echo of how our brains purposely select some criteria in favor of others in order to perceive and interpret. Structures melt away; a person's arm is translucent. Objects are half-drawn or barely suggested. A wet warp of perspective inviting you to my disorientation.

In my most recent body of work, I have begun adding small bits of text from my medical records. Sometimes as lettering in signage or disguised among the varied paint textures, often flipped and scrambled mirroring the effects of aphasia. The small type is intentionally hidden in the piece, underscoring the reality of invisible disability - unnoticeable at first, but always there beneath the surface.

I want the viewer to have the impression of walking into a moment; an image to give forth to a witness full of feeling. I paint my ghostly figures as representational resonances of the thoughts and memories we all share, despite the different ways we see our respective worlds. It is the profound isolation of subjective reality that unites us all.

The ShoreLake Arts Gallery is a program of ShoreLake Arts and is located inside the Town Center in Lake Forest Park on the lower level. 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA 98155.

ShoreLake Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to cultivate creativity and inspire our community through the arts. Established in 1989.


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