By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

The painting came to her in a dream.

A black, white and gray piece of a spiraled keyboard, ukelele, trumpet and floating musical notes.

The artist, Doris Jackson, titled her work Unfulfilled Dreams.

“I love music but I never had the opportunity to take lessons,” Jackson said. “My dad played by ear and he thought all us kids should have that gift. I woke up the next morning and I had this vivid image of what I had dreamed and so I drew it and painted it in the same day.”

Two and half years ago, Unfulfilled Dreams could have described her painting career, until, at age 68, Jackson decided to take a watercoloring class with the Keizer Art Association.

“I’ve loved it ever since,” Jackson said. “I’m obsessed.”

Jackson, KAA’s June Artist of the Month, has long been fascinated by watercolor, drawn to the paintings at museums or in people’s homes. But with a career with the Department of Education and two boys of her own as well as three stepsons, Jackson never had the time to pursue it herself.

At Oregon College of Education, now Western Oregon University, Jackson minored in art but never took painting.

She was invited to Angela Wrahtz’s watercolor class, which meets Thursday mornings at KAA, by Terry Witter at a dinner party.

Next thing she knew, Jackson had turned the craft room in her home into an art room, and was taking photos on her phone when she traveled for future paintings.

One of the works in her KAA exhibit came from a photo of a flock of ostriches she took while in New Zealand five years ago.

“I put them on there and they looked so plain I couldn’t stand it,” Jackson said. “I had to do something else. They’re going to be a chorus line so then I added the stage and the curtains.”

Jackson has also been inspired by trips to Portugal and Spain.

In December, Jackson is going on a cruise around Australia and next spring will explore France and Germany.

“I take my own photos of flowers or scenery,” Jackson said. “I have a quirky mind so you never know.”

Jackson loves animals. Another piece in her exhibit at KAA is of her daughter-in-law’s cat, Sasha. She’s also painted Misty, the former family dog, with her tongue sticking out from an old photo on a hot summer’s day.

Painting people is much more difficult.

When she took a life drawing class in college and the nude model posed wearing nothing but tennis shoes, Jackson drew the tennis shoes.

Jackson doesn’t set hours for herself but just paints when she has the time.

“I’m a pretty fast worker,” Jackson said. “Everybody has their own techniques, their own style. My style is totally different than someone else’s style. I tend to like detail but not as bad as some people. Other people are much more abstract in their work.”

Jackson’s work can be seen for the rest of June at the Keizer Art Association gallery, located at 980 Chemawa Rd. NE. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 1-4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.