About the Artist

Brenda Boylan PSA, NPS





Growing up on the southern California coast, Brenda Boylan lived in humbling conditions, often exercising her imagination with every available art material to feed her creative muse. Because of the warm coastal weather, a great majority of her time was spent outdoors as she discovered her surroundings either on the shoreline, in the desert canyons, or eucalyptus groves.  These places are embedded deep in her memory as her most difficult yet joyful times, causing a strong desire to drive her life’s direction.  Rising above many challenges, she earned her way through college and earned a B.S. degree from California Polytechnic State University in Applied Art and Design.


In the height of the 80’s, Boylan began her artistic career as a graphic designer in Oregon creating designs for high profile sportswear clients such as NIKE, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, and Avia.  In 1994, Her sense of balance and design carried her over to a fulfilling fine art career, quickly earning her the distinction of Signature Memberships with the Pastel Society of America and the Northwest Pastel Society.  Her biggest joy is the practice of plein air painting on location in organized plein air events as well as enthusiastically teaching the pastel medium.  Her work has been published in Plein Air Magazine, Southwest Artist Magazine, The Best of America Pastel Series II, and displayed at The National Arts Club in New York City, the Butler Institute of American Art Museum in Youngstown, OH.,  as well at the Favell Museum in Klamath Falls, OR.  


Boylan is currently represented by The American Art Company in Tacoma, WA., Caswell Gallery in Troutdale, OR., Earthworks Gallery in Yachats, OR., and Art Elements Gallery in Newberg, OR. and Attic Gallery in Portland, OR. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children.


Artist Statement

Painting is my refuge and my source. It is where I lose myself and find myself, again. As I layer pigment down in the form of pastel or oil, I am transformed to another level of consciousness, much like meditation, where I develop a joyful, poetic conversation with my subject. Each painting measures another step in my journey as an artist that often results in a never ending discovery of my visual world.  Working both outdoors and in my studio provides room to communicate color relationships, light, and form. This desire to create and interpret what I see around me is a gift, a treasure, and the roadmap to my best and truest self.



Professional Affiliations

Member Laguna Plein Air Painters Association May 2013-present.

Associate Member American Impressionist Society May 2012-present.

Signature Member Pastel Society of America  Aug 2011- present.

Signature Member Northwest Pastel Society  April 2007- present.

Member Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters 2004-present.

Member Beaverton Arts Commission Sept. 2000-present.

Selected Awards and Recognition


Award of Excellence, Yamhill Plein Air, July 2014

Honorable Mention, Los Gatos Plein Air, June 2014

Second Place Award, Pacific Northwest Plein Air, Sept 2013

Best of Show, Purchase Award Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, June 2013

Best Farm Scene, Pacific Northwest Plein Air, Sept 2012

Second Place and Honorable Mention, Yamhill Lavender Plein Air, July 2012

Third Place Award, Los Gatos Plein Air, June 2012

Pongson Espada Memorial AwardNorthwest Pastel Society 25th Annual International, Nov 2011

Pastel Painters of Hawaii AwardPastel Society of America 39th Annual, Sept 2011

Honorable Mention AwardPacific Northwest Plein Air Festival, Aug 2011

1st Place AwardYamhill Lavender Plein Air Festival, July 2011

Blue Ribbon AwardLake Oswego Festival of the Arts, June 2011

Peoples ChoicePacific Northwest Plein Air, Aug 2010

Best in MarinePacific Northwest Plein Air, Aug 2010

Kitty Wallis Award of MeritNorthwest Pastel Society International Show, July 2009

Honorable Mention, HIllsboro Plein Air event, July 2009

Honorable Mention Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters 4th Annual Show.  Sept 2008

Honorable Mention Art Spectrum Colourfix Challenge, July 2007

Member’s Choice EBSQART.com Flower of the Month Show, Aug 2007

Jurors’ Choice EBSQART.com Reflections Show, June 2005

Jurors’ Choice EBSQART.com Elements Show, May 2005

Members’ Mention EBSQART.com Flower of the Month Show, April 2005

Members’ Mention EBSQART.com Flower of the Month Show, Feb 2005

Peoples’ ChoiceBeaverton Arts Showcase, Feb 2002


Selected Group & Solo Shows

Portland Art Museum, Paris in the Parks Plein Air Invitational, Portland, OR. Aug 2014

Door County Plein Air Invitational, Door County, WI. July 2014

Favell Museum Invitational, Favell Museum, Klamath Falls, OR, Sept 2013

Plein Air Showcase, Art Elements Gallery, Newberg, OR. Sept 2013

Plein Air Easton! 2013, Easton, MD., July 2013

9th Annual Best of Plein Air ShowLaguna Plein Air Painters Association, July 2013

Los Gatos Plein Air, Los Gatos, CA., June 2013

American Impressionists Society, 13th National Juried Exhibition, Indaianapolis, IN., Nov 2012 

Plein Air Invitational, Portland Art Museum Portland, OR., August 2012

Passages Solo Show, Caswell Gallery, Troutdale, OR., June 2012

Los Gatos Plein Air, Los Gatos, CA., June 2012

Trilogy Quick Draw Invitational, Allison Resort, Newberg, OR., May 2012

26th Annual Pastel International, Northwest Pastel Society Tacoma, WA., May 2012

6 Inch Squared Randy Higbee Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA., Dec., 2011

Pastel Invitational, Pastel Society of AmericaYoungstown, OH.,  Dec 2011

Visual Showcase Beaverton Arts Commission, Beaverton, OR., Nov 2011

25th Annual Pastel International, Northwest Pastel Society Tacoma, WA., Nov 2011

Pastel Society of America 39th Annual, National Arts Club, NY, NY., Sept 2011

Caswell Gallery Plein Air, Troutdale, OR., Sept 2011

Signature Member Show, Northwest Pastel Society, Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, WA., Aug 2011

Pacific Northwest Plein Air Festival, Hood River, OR., Aug 2011

Artists Refuge, Tualatin Valley Wildife Refuge, Sherwood, OR., June 2011

Los Gatos Plein Air, Los Gatos, CA., June 2011

Lake Oswego Chronicle, Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts,  Lake Oswego, OR., June 2011

Trilogy Quick Draw Invitational Allison Resort, Newberg, OR., May 2011

Seven Wonders of the WestAmerican Art Company, Tacoma, WA. May 2011

CityscapesCaswell Gallery, Troutdale, OR., May 2011

6 Inch SquaredRandy Higbee Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA., April 2011

Pacific Northwest Plein Air, Hood River, OR., Aug 2010

IAPS 16th Annual ShowInternational Association of Pastel Societies, Butler Museum, OH., July 2010

Amato's Group Exhibit, Amato's Gallery, Beaverton, OR., Feb, April, June, 2010

Celebration Oregon, Plein Air Painters of Oregon, High Desert Gallery, Bend, OR. Oct, 2009

Portland Open Studios Tour, Portland, OR., Oct 2009

NPS International Show, Northwest Pastel Society, Tacoma, WA., July 2009

HIllsboro Plein Air, Hillsboro, OR., July 2009

Portland Open Studios Tour, Portland, OR., Oct 2008

Portland Plein Air & Studio Painters 4th Annual Show, Portland, OR., Sept 2008

Portland Open Studios Tour, Portland, OR., Oct 2007

Beaverton Arts Showcase, OR., Feb 2002



Outdoor Painter Online, Nov 2013

SouthwestArt,  Aug 2013

SouthwestArt, Nov 2012

Outdoor Painter Online, Sept 2012 

Outdoor Painter Online, June 2012

Outdoor Painter Online, June 2012

Outdoor Painter Online, May 2012 

Plein Air Magazine, May 2012 Issue

Best of Artists, Pastels II, Kennedy Publishing, 2009


Jury Appointments

Umpqua Plien Air, Sept 2013

Painter's Showcase, Sept 2013

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