Painter Margaret Coe’s newest work is on view through Nov. 25 at the Karin Clarke Gallery

(Above: “Window View 1” reflects the scene painter Margaret Coe sees from her Eugene home.)

By Randi Bjornstad

It’s been a Margaret Coe/Mark Clarke kind of autumn in Eugene galleries, starting with a solo show of the late Clarke’s work at the Karin Clarke Gallery in October, followed by the opening the same month of “Our Lives in Paint,” a retrospective of the married couple’s long careers, on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art through April 1.

Margaret Coe’s “Unnamed-5” is one of her recent Oregon landscapes

November has been Coe’s turn for a solo show called simply “Margaret Coe: New Painting,” at the Karin Clarke Gallery owned by the Coe and Clarke’s daughter. The exhibit runs through Nov. 25.

“This is a show of my mother’s recent work, much of it inspired by a trip she took to Italy last spring,” Clarke said.

It includes more than 20 works, some done “plein air” in Venice and at Lake Como. Others are more detailed, personal interpretations that Coe completed following her return.

But the exhibit also features canvases that reflect the artist’s painter’s eye for the local community, such as some from a series called “Window View” that Coe began after one of last year’s big winter storms, documenting the weather-related landscape visible from her home in Eugene’s Laurel Hill Valley.

A canal in Venice is part of Margaret Coe’s recent series of Italian paintings

“I try to display each of my parents’ work each year, sometimes alone and sometimes as part of a larger exhibit,” Clarke said in an earlier interview. “I am really happy to do this one, because it shows the spirit and the continuing growth of (Coe’s) art since my father died in January 2016 and how she has integrated that loss into her own life through her paintings.”

Coe, who relishes travel, has developed a particular eye for creating series of paintings derived from her jaunts. Previous to the most recent Italy artwork, she created a set of paintings based on the view from a train trip she took from Eugene to Chicago.

Her most poignantly dark series grew out of another, tragic, looking-out-the-window experience in 2011 when she spent time in a Portland hospital as her toddler grandson was dying from a brain tumor.

Some of Coe’s other series have portrayed the landscapes of Oregon, French villages and small towns and countryside in England.

Margaret Coe: New Painting

When: Through Nov. 25

Where: Karin Clarke Gallery, 760 Willamette St. in downtown Eugene

Hours: Noon to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday

Information: 541-684-7963, or

“Unnamed-7” by Margaret Coe, from a recent trip to Italy


Randi Bjornstad

Has more than 30 years' journalism experience after a previous stint as a land-use planner. Got first rejection slip at age 11, but the editor wrote an encouraging note. Lives in Eugene, Ore., with husband-and-photographer Paul Carter, adorable dog Tallulah and quirky cats Pearl, Audrey, Garbo, Harry and Ozma.

randi has 175 posts and counting.See all posts by randi

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