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 sketching 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 joyful times, causing a strong desire to drive her life’s direction into the field of art.  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 graduated from Cal Poly State Univ with a Bachelors Degree in Applied Art and Design and 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, seeking a more flexible and rewarding schedule, she carried her sense of balance and design over to a fine art career painting in pastel or oil, 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 teaching pastel workshops. 


Her work has been displayed at The National Arts Club NYC, the Butler Institute of American Art Museum, The Oregon Historical Museum, The Portland Art Museum, and the Favell Museum. Recently, Brenda’s work has received national attention in The Pastel Journal (Front cover, Dec 2014), Southwest Artist Magazine Aug 2013, Plein Air Magazine April 2012, , The Best of America Pastel Series II and she was a Featured Artist at the 2nd and 3rd Annual Plein Air Conventions in Monterey, CA. 


Boylan is currently represented by The American Art Company in Tacoma, WA., Brian Marki Fine Art in Palm Springs, CA., Earthworks Gallery in Yachats, 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

Signature Member Pastel Society of America  Aug 2011- present.

Member Laguna Plein Air Painters Association May 2013-present.

Associate Member American Impressionist Society May 2012-present.

Signature Member Northwest Pastel Society  April 2007- present.

Member Beaverton Arts Commission Sept. 2000-present.

Selected Awards and Recognition

President's Award, Pastel Society of America, Sept 2014

Outstanding Pastel. FASO Bold Brush, Aug 2014

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 2005, 2007

Jurors’ Choice EBSQART.com Reflections Show, May, June 2005

Peoples’ ChoiceBeaverton Arts Showcase, Feb 2002


Selected Group & Solo Shows

Brian Marki Gallery, Portland Paints the Desert, Mar 2015

ART Elements Gallery, The Verdant Valley Solo Show, Nov 2014

Pastel Society of America, 42nd Annual Exhibition, New York, NY. Sept 2014

Portland Art Museum, Plein Air Invitational, Portland, OR. Aug  2012, 2014

Pacific Northwest Plein Air, Hood River, OR., Aug 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

International Association of Pastel Societies, IAPS Annual Show, Butler Museum, OH., July 2010, 2014

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

Los Gatos Plein Air, Los Gatos, CA., June 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Lake Oswego ChronicleLake Oswego, OR., June 2011, 2013, 2014

Beaverton Arts Showcase, OR., Feb 2002, 2007, 2012, 2014

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

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

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

Laguna Plein Air Painters AssociationAnnual Best of Plein Air Show, July 2013

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

,Caswell Gallery, Passages Solo ShowTroutdale, OR., June 2012

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

NPS Annual Pastel International, Northwest Pastel Society Tacoma, WA., May 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Randy Higbee Gallery6 Inch Squared, Costa Mesa, CA., Dec., 2011, 2012, 2013

Butler Museum  Pastel Invitational, Pastel Society of America,  Youngstown, OH.,  Dec 2011

Pastel Society of America Annual, National Arts Club, NY, NY., Sept 2011, 2014

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

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

Portland Open Studios Tour, Portland, OR., Oct 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

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


Permanent Collections

Kaiser Permanente, Hillsboro, OR.

City of Lake Oswego, Lake Oswego, OR.

Dahl Family, Portland, OR.



The Pastel Journal (Cover Story) Dec 2014

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

Gateway to Sedona, Oct 2014

Umpqua Plien Air, Sept 2013

Painter's Showcase, Sept 2013

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