(Above: An acrylic painting by Jamie Newton is titled “the flip cast,” from a heading on the page of the bass fishing manual he used as a background for a series now on display at the White Lotus Gallery

By Randi Bjornstad

Looking around at artist Jamie Newton’s solo show at her White Lotus Gallery — and despite the fact that she’s known him for many years — H.P. Lin can’t help but marvel at Newton’s unique way of looking at the world and then rendering it as art, whether painting, carving, or assembling.

“He’s really very process-oriented, but he incorporates things in a way that would not occur to me,” Lin said. “I have a hard time articulating it, but when I see it, it just grabs me.”

twenty-five Lines (eight in the rain) is the title of one of Jamie Newton’s “rainwork” paintings on display at the White Lotus Gallery

Newton’s show, Rainwork, Linework & Things with Wheels is on display at White Lotus until mid-July, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 7. It includes two distinctive new series in Newton’s oeuvre. One is based on allowing actual rain to help determine the final composition of the painting. The other superimposes bold black-and-white, almost calligraphic designs on pages from a bass-fishing manual, and even take their titles from headings on the background paper.

In a statement about the show, Newton calls the creation of the rain paintings a partnership of artist and weather.

“I like the process here, that it’s a collaboration, the way that each one is unique to the day, and even to the time of day, to its location, The rain moving through might be female rain, it might be male rain, it could be somewhere in between,” he writes. “It’s going to be different based on the direction that the weather is coming from, and that is going to be different from day to day because of much larger patterns that are dictating the way moisture moves through the environment. And yet when you pull it down to this particular piece of paper, it’s just its own unique thing. It’s not going to be the same tomorrow, and it wouldn’t have been the same the day before yesterday.”

He also celebrates the chance to feel and smell the rain as it falls on him and his paper and “becomes a record of this one specific moment, and place, in time.”

Part of artist Jamie Newton’s series on exploring lines includes vertical sculptures of maple wood scored with vertical lines and scorched; photo courtesy of White Lotus Gallery

The linework in the title refers to the lines in his rain paintings, some of which have titles such as “twenty-five lines (eight in the rain) 17/18 dec 2018,” which he describes as ink and rain on paper. But it also suits the inclusion in the show of pieces of vertical maple wood that Newton has scored with vertical lines and then scorched.

The other part of the title, Things with Wheels, reflects Newton’s habit of collecting castoff assortments of oddments and putting them together in new, fantastical but also imaginable combinations of new uses.

In this show, he’s put together an assemblage he calls “farmboat (mobile and foldable),” a contraption that consists of, among other things, a wheelbarrow frame, circular barbecue rack, ironing board, and metal bucket.

Newton readily admits to a bit of whimsy as he writes, “And then there are wheels. It may be a relationship to the idea of cycles, cyclic patterns. Or movement. Or it may be I just like putting wheels on stuff.”

To Lin, it’s all part and parcel of Newton’s extraordinary way of interpreting the world around him.

“I believe it’s his thinking at a moment — he sees it, thinks of it, and that’s what it is,” she said. “I think Jamie Newton feels a lot of joy in his work. With some artists, you don’t get that sense of joy.”

Rainwork, Linework & Things with Wheels

When: Through July 13; opening reception 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 7

Where: White Lotus Gallery, 767 Willamette St., Eugene

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Information: 541-345-3276 or wlotus.com

The Rainwork, Linework & Things with Wheels show at the White Lotus Gallery features several of Jamie Newton’s acrylic on pages from a bass fishing manual; photo by Randi Bjornstad