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Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Anji Grainger

Ask a Local: Anji Grainger

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Apolloni Vineyard
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An Artist’s Touch in
Tualatin Valley

In many ways, it all started in Oregon with studies in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design from Oregon State University. This is where artist Anji Grainger dove into the intricate world of capturing the beauty of the outdoors. Next, came studying acrylic painting…followed by the full breadth of mediums (oil painting, drawing, sculpture, pottery—you name it!). These artistic endeavors eventually led her to watercolor studies with some of the greats, including stints in Florence, Provence and Sicily. Her award-winning art didn’t just set her on a globe-trotting journey, but on a personal journey, as well. In her own words, “Being an artist has been a journey of healing for me. Coming out of a severely abusive background, I have found joy in life and a way to express my inner self. I am able to use art as an expression of who I’ve become.” Through her many journeys, Anji found her way back to Oregon.

Today, home is in Tualatin Valley’s Bethany area. Bethany holds idyllic neighborhoods that seamlessly go from great local restaurants to a picturesque lake and park. In other words, Bethany and the Tualatin Valley as a whole is a lovely backdrop for an artist’s play. As Anji puts it, “My work derives its inspiration from the magic and wonders of nature. I am drawn to see and focus on what others may not notice. If we look closely, there are many wonders to see inside a raindrop, within the soft folds of a rose petal or in the tiny pieces of pollen clinging to the back of a bumble bee. My goal is to give the viewer a look into the unique creations that surround us and to portray a feeling of magic and mystery.”

Experience the magic of nature and the magic of Anji’s art for yourself with the upcoming Washington County Open Studios Tour (October 20-21). Anji, a veteran of this annual art event, loves the chance to share her techniques via demonstrations in her intimate studio space. Connecting artists with art lovers in an authentic and welcoming setting is a no-brainer. Anji touts the Washington County arts community as one of “vibrantly talented” individuals. She said, “Each artist offers their own unique vision of the world we live in through meaningful expressions of their artistic gifts.”

Anji’s Recommendations

As a Tualatin Valley local, Anji is well-versed in not only art but also the best restaurants, wineries and trails of the area. We asked Anji to share her picks. There’s a bit of an Italian theme here—perhaps influenced by her artistic studies in Italy!

decarli Restaurant

Chef Paul Decarli makes use of his Swiss-Italian-American roots with a truly phenomenal menu (and wine list to match).

Brooklyn Trattoria

Bethany’s Village welcomes a new Italian eatery to its collection of fantastic food offerings. Take in the smells and sights of the semi-open kitchen while you wait for your food to arrive.

Apolloni Vineyards

This stunning vineyard, winery and tasting room specializes in the production of Pinot Noir and Italian-style wines. Tradition, Italian culture and family are the founding values of Apolloni Vineyards.

Buxton Trailhead

The Buxton Trailhead is the perfect starting spot for a walk, run or bicycle ride along the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. No matter the season, take in the soothing nature scene of this beloved trail.

Visit Anji at the Washington County Open Studios Tour—and then check out some of her local recommendations.