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Rick Stare


About the Artists:

Northwest photographer Rick Stare has been capturing images of Gales Creek for the last six years, looking for moments when the world above is reflected in the complex surface of the moving water; and sometimes the world below the surface is also revealed. The experience is dynamic and challenging, as the light and the water is constantly changing. He is not trying to provide a documentation of the overall scene, but rather looks for images and patterns and colors that evoke emotions or memories in the viewer.


My World Transformed

My photography reflects my deep connection with the natural world, which became evident to me when I was a young child exploring the woods and creeks near my first childhood home in Ohio.  Family vacations to lakes in Michigan and Boy Scout campouts in the woods and canoe trips down rivers helped reinforce this connection.  My father was a dedicated naturalist and he was a strong influence.  But the experiences that are most intense and memorable are when I am alone in nature, immersed in the 360 degree panorama of sights, sounds, and smells of the forest, creek, ocean, mountain, canyon, or rangeland.

When I was seventeen I began taking photographs with my best friend, and quickly realized that I had a special love for photographing water, and especially reflections in the water.  When I moved to Northwest Oregon I found that the tree-shaded creeks and rivers of the Coast Range were a vast treasure trove of clear water running over rocks, a perfect recipe for beautiful and interesting reflections.

I find reflections in the creek to be immersive and mesmerizing.  The world above the creek is imperfectly replicated in the reflections we see.  The world is transformed by the unknowably complex algorithm of the water’s surface, and that surface is constantly changing.  The water transforms the knowable world above into a more mysterious and abstract place that draws me in. 

My photography has always involved a search for both beauty and meaning.  As a spiritual seeker, I am drawn toward the mystics who desire above all else the direct experience of the Divine.  Being in Nature, I feel very connected with the life force around me.  In each image, I am expressing how I felt, being alive in that place, in that moment. 

The challenge for any artist is how to take the panoramic scene in front of you, filter it through the emotions you are feeling at that moment, and somehow represent all that in an image on a small flat surface that can evoke in the viewer an emotional response of their own.  I am not really trying to show you what Gales Creek looks like.  I am trying to get you to respond to a more universal experience of water and light and found beauty.  Perhaps you will remember a place where you had a similar experience, or perhaps you will now go out and see the world with a new expectation of finding beauty.

Gales Creek begins high in the Coast Range in western Washington County and flows east along Highway 6, eventually leaving the foothills and flowing through Forest Grove and joining the Tualatin River.  I chose Gales Creek because it is beautiful, but also because it is accessible to me.  I can be at my favorite spots in less than 25 minutes, which encourages me to get out more often and develop a body of work.  

                                                                          --Rick Stare


While I respect the craft element involved in capturing the motion image, I freely use digital technology. I use a digital camera, because seeing the image in the field gives me the instant feedback I need to fine tune my technique. I also use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom software to achieve the color and contrast I want. Seeing the tree paintings of Wolf Kahn and Tom Thomson inspired me to use color more expressively. For the longest print life, I use archival pigment inks on 100% acid-free cotton rag paper.



9.3 x 14 image size, $350 unframed
12" x 18" image size, $350 unframed
16" x 24" image size, $500 unframed
18" x 27" image size, $650 unframed
All above sizing in Edition of 10 (combined all sizes)


Please inquire on size and pricing.




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