Mostly self-taught, painter Jeri Raynel identifies her style as an expressionistic. Her work, she says, comes from a place of emotion. Even when painting for a class, she chooses an image that resonates with her somehow. Her new show “Jeri Raynel: A Powered Up Mind” is a marked change from some of her past work which focused on the emotions surrounding the loss of loved ones to breast cancer. That work, she says, was a necessary part of the “evolution of soul, mind, and spirit” that made her newest show possible. This new series evokes the current energy in her life; love of Salem, connection with friends, the textures of the buildings, and the vibrant colors of summer in the city. As she describes it “the contrast of energy and calm that is a spectrum of life.”

The bold lines and rich, vibrant colors are what you notice first, but textures are very important to Raynel’s painting. After starting with oils in her teens, Raynel moved to acrylics. She uses both wood and canvas, which she loves for different reasons. The feel of wood, and its ability to easily support the many-textured layers she favors makes wood the choice for some of her work, while canvas is better when she wants some of the piece smooth. Her style is very “hands on” sometimes literally using her fingers. For her breast cancer series, actually painting on her body and making images on the canvas that way imparted a very personal aspect to the pieces.

Although she was born in Portland, Raynel lived a large part of her life out of state, including three years in Italy which she characterizes as “pivotal.”  She admires the culture there that encourages calm, winding down, and taking time to enjoy things.  She brought some of that worldview home with her when she moved back to Oregon and settled in downtown Salem.  Having coffee at The Governor’s Cup, where she loves meeting friends, people watching, and enjoying the art displays. This makes her especially excited that her show, “Jeri Raynel: A Powered Up Mind”  will be at The Governor’s Cup through June and July. The wait to show at the popular spot is about a year long, and she is thrilled for the chance to display her art at one of her favorite places.

Relocating to Salem has been “coming home” for Raynel. In the three years she has lived here, Raynel has made connections with the Salem Art Association and the Friday Artists. She is impressed with the number of talented artists who live in the area, and happy and excited to see so many businesses supporting art and artists.

Raynel’s goal in her paintings is to invoke feelings, ideas and memories in the viewer. She says that this show comes from “experiences, emotions, hopes, and dreams” and feels that the work, and the “powered up mind” necessary to create it would not have been possible if not for “Salem, the downtown vibe, and the people in [her] life.” She hopes that people viewing her work will be drawn in and share that excitement.