Featured Artist Denise Sirchie

Denise Sirchie working on a sculpture of a fish in her studio

Life Through the Lens of Mosaic

For Denise-w-Staff-of-LifeDenise Sirchie, mosaic is her view of life itself: absent of boundaries, void of restriction, free–the latest evolution in a lifetime of expressing herself through art:

My passion for art was awakened around the age of 9; I attended an art class every Saturday each summer through the age of 14. I was taught the basics: sketching, oil painting, pastels, charcoal, still life and portraiture by an inspiring, memorable teacher. As maturity permitted, a short train ride into Philadelphia allowed me to attend the Philadelphia College of Art. I acquired independence, a taste of city life, but more importantly.new eyes. I believe it was then that I began seeing not the ordinary, but the unique possibilities within simplicity.

After college and several years of traveling, I settled in California. Pottery lured my interest and after 4 years of mastering the wheel, clay and porcelain became my new best friends. Upon marrying and then the birth of my son, my art transitioned once more, this time through a child’s eyes: simplicity in form, with bold, contrasting colors … as innocent and beautiful as a child. A few years later, we migrated north and settled in Portland. Life was sailing along smoothly until an early diagnosis of breast cancer. Lights flashed, sirens screamed, treatments commenced, and realizations surfaced.

Therapy for my soul and mind was found in mosaics. I had always admired the media; my husband supported my interest and insisted I give it a try. Self-taught through the help of books and friends’ advice, I became immersed.

Ten years later, the passion to create and the desire to stay healthy is joined in a marriage of determination. The direction of my art is constantly in motion. The freedom that the media allows is alarming: the reason I love it so. As Ralph Waldo Emerson summarizes: “Artists must be sacrificed to their art. Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.” Bzzzzzzzzzzzz

In addition to the mosaic sculptures that draw so many visitors to Village Frame & Gallery, Denise creates stunning architectural mosaics and other commissioned pieces. Her art is included in the book, Mosaic: Finding Your Own Voice, by Brit Hammer-Dijcks, and she is exhibited throughout the western United States. Denise is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists and the Pacific Northwest Sculptors.

Village Frame & Gallery is proud to represent Portland mosaic artist Denise Sirchie.

Stop by during October–or any time–to see her original artwork in person. In the meantime, here’s a preview of some of her latest works:


Featured Artist Kaye Synoground

Self-portrait in watercolors by Kaye Synoground


Kaye Synoground, beloved mother, wife, teacher, and artist passed away in July, 2015.

Kaye was a career artist with over thirty years of experience including professional illustration, as an owner of her own studio gallery, A Closer Look in Multnomah Village, and teaching at places like the Multnomah Athletic Club and The Multnomah Art Center. Kaye was a member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon, the Colored Pencil Society of America, the Beaverton Arts Commission, and the Westside Artists group. Her work has been exhibited at the Washington County Museum, the Columbia Arts Center, the Halvorsen Gallery and the Newport Visual Arts Center. She also has had work published in “The Best of Colored Pencil” 1996 and 1997 by Rockport Publishers in Massachusetts.

Kaye passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She had enjoyed a brief remission in the spring and early sumer of 2015, during which time she worked in her studio and put on a lovely retrospective show at Village Frame & Gallery in Multnomah Village. An artist until the end, Kaye showed a zest for art and life that was remarkable and was admired by all that knew her.

Monday Art Break Edition 1

We Interrupt this Monday for an Art Break

Let the phone go to voicemail for a few minutes and enjoy …

Colorful house under red and green tree canopy with a bright yellow sun overhead.
Detail of Premier by Marie-Claude Boucher
Image of Louis Robechaud's painting Le Caves
Le Caves by Louis Robechaud
Horizon II by Richard Hall
Horizon II by Richard Hall

Ahhhhh … that’s better, isn’t it?

We now return you to your regularly scheduled activities. Let’s do this again soon.

Featured Artist Farooq Hassan

Artist Farooq Hassan in front of one of his paintings

November 7th is First Friday with Farooq Hassan

“Colors are like music … there are many tones. I’m like a composer who writes a piece of music. There is harmony and contrast. When I see an empty space, I put something to cover that emptiness.”

–Farooq Hassan

Artist’s Bio

Artist Farooq Hassan in front of one of his paintings
Farooq Hassan

Hassan spent his youth in crowded cafes and on the docks in Iraq, striving to capture on paper the colorful scenes playing out before his eyes. He disciplined himself to not lift his pencil from the paper, but instead to draw a person with a single line.

As a young man, he taught high school. “We did our best to create art, not politics,” Hassan recalls. He also collected stamps, a hobby that eventually led to an unusual and satisfying outcome–he ended up designing more than 75 commemorative postage stamps for the Iraqi postal service.

For 50 years he built his standing as an artist. His work was exhibited in London, Amman, Basrah, and Baghdad. In Iraq, he was considered a national treasure. Then, politics changed his life forever.

Between 1980 and 1991 Hassan moved 22 times, always one step ahead of political strife in Bagdad. After the Iran-Iraq war ended and the first U.S. Gulf war resulted in sanctions, times were hard and dangerous, and yet, it was a time when art began to flourish again. Hassan devoted himself full-time to his paintings.

Life in Iraq was especially perilous for his daughter, Dalia, a reporter for the Washington Post and translator for the American and NATO forces. She took an opportunity to immigrate to the U.S. and encouraged her mother and father to follow her.

In 2010, Hassan and his wife, Haifa, joined their daughter in Portland, Oregon. Hassan was 71 years old and he had lost everything: his reputation as a master artist, the paintings he had created in Iraq, and his home. So, he set about renewing himself through painting.

Hassan is currently represented by galleries in Iraq, Jordan, and in Portland, The Geezer Gallery. This month, Village Frame & Gallery is proud to exhibit the work of Farooq Hassan. Join us Friday, November 7th for our First Friday reception, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. to see Hassan’s work for yourself and meet the artist. In addition, local jewelry artist Susan Koch will be showing a selection of her bead designs.

Sample Works by Farooq Hassan

It’s Almost Trick or Treat Time in Multnomah Village!

Illustration of Multomah Village shops surrounded by bats, jack-o-lanterns, and a witch flying overhead.

Illustration of Multomah Village shops surrounded by bats, jack-o-lanterns, and a witch flying overhead.Spend Halloween in the Village for a Spooktacular Good Time!

It’s that time of year again! Bring your ghosts and goblins to trick or treat in Multnomah Village this Friday. The fun starts at Starbucks, winds around the Village–through Village Frame & Gallery, of course–and finishes up at Dr. Jensen’s office.  Along the way, there are lots of fun things to do and 1000s of trick-or-treaters in costume. This has become a major annual event in our neighborhood, so we hope to see you there this year!

Will we recognize you? What are you dressing up as this year? Tell us in the comments section or on our Facebook page. Better yet, post a picture of you in your costume!

More details on Halloween 2014 in Multnomah Village:

Poster for Halloween celebration in Multnomah Village.

Save the Date: Special Event October 1st at Village Frame

Poster of illustrations: 2 colorful women, a distinguished gentleman smoking a pipe, and a self-portrait that looks like bubbles

Whimsy Meets Style: The paintings of Jerry Hammel

October 1, 2914 ~ Reception 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Jerry Hammel was a long-time resident of Hillsdale, one of those old school graphic designers who never used a computer. He passed away five years ago, never having shown his work publicly. So, for the first time anywhere, Village Frame & Gallery has the honor of exhibiting Jerry’s observational, playful, stylistic art. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us.

Poster of illustrations: 2 colorful women, a distinguished gentleman smoking a pipe, and a self-portrait that looks like bubbles

Artist Diane Flack at the Gallery for First Friday

Diane Flack. (Image source: Portland Society for Calligraphy)

June 6th is First Friday in Multnomah Village. Join us at Village Frame and Gallery for an exhibit of calligraphy, block printing, and other paper arts by Portland artist Diane Flack. She will be at the Gallery:

  • Friday, June 6th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 7th from Noon to 4 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Artist Statement: Diane Flack

I have been a freelance calligrapher for about 22 years and a block printer for ten. I also play at watercolor and hand made books as well as artist books and cards. I love the look of ink on a page. I am also in love with paper, all kinds of paper.

While studying block printing with Denis Cunningham, I also fell head over heels for patterns, negative space and all aspects of block printing. The process is very labor intensive but the result is always a surprise, not always a good one. I often find a photograph or see a scene that catches my eye because of the lights and darks, contrast of positive and negative space and composition. Then I draw, or redraw it to capture the scene in a block print friendly way. After carving and inking, the process is a mystery, just waiting to be pulled. Sometimes the mystery is solved with a successful print and sometimes I must go back and retrace my steps, make adjustments, carve more, and attempt the process again.

I am interested in realistic scenes of people working, charming old cars, interesting traditional kimonos, and celebrations of life. I am used to people who work hard and respect the beauty of classic cars and 40’s images. I have no fidelity to genre. I am interested in all kinds of patterns.

Block printing is exciting because it is a lesson in simplicity. Taking an image down to the most simple lines is often rewarding, often misleading. Being able to read a print the first time around is my goal. Not like a child’s painting, where you must say, “Tell me about this,” because you have no idea what it is supposed to be. I love it when I pull a print and hang it up for inspection and someone will say, “Hey, that’s a great cowboy!” I am experimenting with abstract geometrics inspired by the Gee’s Bend quilts. I also love fabrics and textures.

My work has been purchased by Lewis and Clark Library, and hangs in prominent homes in Portland, Washington, California and Rome, Italy. I have been fortunate to show my work with Print Arts Northwest, University of Arkansas in Rome, Focus on Books Conferences and the Streff Gallery at Marylhurst.

I have served on the Boards of Focus on Book Conferences, three international conferences hosted by the Portland Society for Calligraphy, the Marylhurst Alumni Board and the Multnomah Arts Center. Chair. I teach Bookbinding and Calligraphy for Portland Community College and sub in three of their libraries.


Art by Diane Flack



More First Friday News

First Friday Poster for June 6th

Father’s Day is Right Around the Corner

Image of painting of boats on a city canal by Jeremy Sanders

Jeremy-Sanders-Boats-JSVFG100-2Are you ready?

Sunday, June 15th is Father’s Day this year. Show Dad how much you appreciate him with a gift of art that will provide him with year’s of pleasure. Village Frame & Gallery has a variety of gifts for fathers and many are on sale this month, so if you are looking for something unique, stop by the Gallery.

When choosing art as a gift, look for:

  • Images that evoke a shared memory of an experience, place, or time.
  • Works featuring the recipient’s favorite place, hobby, or other interest
  • If the recipient is a collector, for instance of model trains or antique tools, pictures that fit into their collection

As always, if we can be of service while you are shopping for Father’s Day, please come see us during our usual business hours or call for an appointment.