Media: Graphite pencil, colored pencil, and/or watercolor are the media Connie uses to create art. With these tools she achieves pictures that contain strong value contrast and a well-defined center of interest.
Subject: Working from photographs Connie expresses her love for the scenic beauty of our western states and her deep fondness for old relics. She combines these two interests to portray her awe for the early people who came to settle this area and who worked through hardships with strength, vitality and courage. Connie marvels at the creativity and ingenuity of those who began with little or nothing but by using materials at hand produced items they needed as well as beautiful works of art. She wants to share with you her enthusiasm for the vast variety of this land, and our people.
Constance (Connie) O’Harra was born in Salem, Oregon in 1937. She now spends summers in Oregon and winters in Nevada.
Living on a century-old family farm in eastern Oregon for over 50 years has instilled in Connie a sense of history and an interest in her rural surroundings. Entrenched in the beauty of flowing wheat fields, open hillsides and untouched forests, she feels a connection to those who came many generations before her and lived amidst the very same backdrop. She draws strength and contentment from the vastness of nature, and is happiest wandering along a wooded stream, or in the stillness of the Nevada desert. In her rural meanderings she often stumbles upon derelict farming machinery and deserted buildings. She then finds herself imagining the story of the people who once used those implements and inhabited those buildings. This leads her to the pencils and easel to recreate these images on paper.
Connie’s lifelong desire for artistic expression grew from many days spent fishing remote lakes in the northwest with her husband. The magnificence of the mountains around them inspired her to capture their beauty on paper. For her 50th birthday gift, her husband bought a course of oil painting classes and the necessary supplies. She has continued taking night classes and private lessons from local artists.
Riding 8,000 - 10,000 miles per year with her husband on a Honda Gold Wing motorcycle afforded her many opportunities to take photographs from which she works. As they cruised through rural areas of the western United States, her husband became accustomed to quick stops or fast U-turns when they would come upon a herd of antelope or elk crossing the road, or when they happened upon an old building or piece of machinery. Through their travels, now on a Can-Am Spyder, she endeavors to explore the hidden niches of the western states, and to continue capturing and sharing the vast variety of this land and its people with her paintings and drawings.