December 30, 2010 in Washington Voices

EWU grad returns home after creative adventure in Portland

Jennifer Larue
Jesse Tinsley photo

Darcy Lee Drury stands with a wall of her paintings.
(Full-size photo)

Drury’s exhibits

Darcy Lee Drury will be showing her paintings, prints and jewelry alongside metal artist Nanette Bishop Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. at MAX at Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley. The free monthly event includes wine tasting and snacks. Drury also will be the featured artist at Barili Cellars, 608 W. Second Ave., Spokane. Her show opens with a reception Jan. 7, 4-9 p.m. Check out for more information.

Sitting across a table from Darcy Lee Drury, you might notice her finger moving, almost dancing across any handy surface. She doesn’t do it obsessively, only occasionally when the mood hits her. It’s like air guitar, only she is air drawing, thinking and observing like an artist.

“I reduce images to lines,” she said. “I also associate things with color.”

Drury’s “air drawings” fill a portfolio, unique caricatures of people she has met reduced to black lines. As she flips through it, she easily recognizes who the subject is and where the drawing took place.

She also does large “caricatures,” portraits filled with color and movement from the slight squint of an eye to a smile waiting to happen. She loves doing faces and it shows as she somehow captures the energy and essence of her subjects, not in a traditional style but more intuitively, using colors like shades of emotion.

While her portraits contain a certain level of structure in order to represent the subject, her abstracts do not. “Creating an abstract is more meditative,” she said. “Without a reference, without a plan, I am able to really ‘go inside.’ ”

“Going inside” refers to intuition; whether it’s emotional or spiritual, playful or fun, she just allows it to flow, painting remarkable studies of what lies within.

Drury, 27, grew up in Spokane. She graduated from Lakeside High School in the Nine Mile School District and from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in art in education (K-12). She taught art at Cheney High School and then headed to Portland for an adventure. There, she substituted as an art teacher, worked in restaurants, and fully submerged herself in the art world.

“I became part of an artists community, creating my work in a large warehouse,” she said.

When the studio/warehouse shut down, she headed home and moved in with her parents in north Spokane. There, she paints on a tarp that lies on the floor in a large room in the basement.

She has shown her work at half-a-dozen local venues and sells prints and jewelry at Fresh Abundance, 2015 N. Division St. She teaches art and is constantly seeking out creative endeavors, ways in which to expose others to the benefits of authentic expression whether it’s air drawing or painting.

“Artistic, authentic expression, regardless of the material outcome, is extremely healing,” she said. “We could all stand taking a minute to further express ourselves and explore our artistic sides.” 

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