Artist Reflects on “Pollination”

The latest exhibit that the gallery on the first floor of South Santiam Hall recently showed was entitled, “Pollination,” and featured a collection of works by Eugene based printmaker Tallmadge Doyle.

Doyle, originally from Upstate New York, knew she wanted to be an artist for a very long time, “Being an artist is the only profession I seriously thought about doing,” said Doyle.

Doyle attended the Cleveland Institute of Art before moving to Seattle. She eventually settled down in Eugene about twenty years ago in order to go to the graduate school at the University of Oregon. Doyle says Oregon’s natural beauty inspires her work.

“I love Oregon, its natural areas, its forests, its rainy weather, its flora and the fauna. I’ve gotten a great deal of inspiration from nature and the natural environment,” said Doyle.

The prints on display in “Pollination” showed multiple series from Doyle, including “Shifting Migrations,” a series that incorporates silhouettes of butterflies and foliage.

“Sometimes I start out by sometimes investigating scientific information, for example, about climate change, about severe weather patterns, I look at climatic maps, I read articles about various species of butterflies whose migration has changed. That information is sort of a ‘jumping off point’ for me to get into my images. I have this collection of images in my head that I draw upon. On my computer, I collect images and information and it all sort of comes in and comes out in these different series of work,” said Doyle.

“The title of the show is ‘Pollination’. I’ve always been very interested in animals and insects that pollinate and the cycle in nature. Pollination is very symbolic of that cycle.”

Doyle introduced another “jumping off point” regarding natural beauty.

“Interconnecting webs that are present in nature along with expressing the fragility of the environment, and beauty of the environment,“ Doyle said.

“A lot of these works are very subtle environmental statements. Not statements of activism that shout at you, although there is nothing wrong with that, it is just not my style. I like to bring the viewer in with color and composition, aesthetic beauty and then give more of a subtle message perhaps.”

Doyle also offered advice to art students.

“Expect to work very hard. You have to be your own promoter, your own sales person. You have to make connections. There is a lot more to it than just creating the artwork. It would be wonderful if that was all there was to being an an artist… It is a good idea when you start out to have two other things you can do to make money while you develop your work and get your name and work out there, because you’re going to need that to pay bills,” Doyle said.

She suggested artists should look at the work of others as well.

“Always be looking at work, always go to see other people’s work, go to galleries, go to museums, go to art happenings, performance art….really diversify what you are going out there to look at. You really need to educate yourself, even if you go to a great school, you really still need to keep educating yourself every minute,” said Doyle.

On the same note, Doyle said she was thankful for the opportunity to show her work to college students.

“It is great to have the opportunity to show here at this community college. I love college students being able to see my work and being able to talk with them about it.” Doyle said.