Artist Statement

Bob Keefer makes original hand-colored photographs of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. His black and white photographs are individually printed and then hand-colored with artist paints on archival paper.

Although he uses contemporary materials, the practice of hand coloring photographs is as old as photography itself.

The slightly vintage look and feel of hand coloring lends itself well to the Northwest landscape, whether the dreamy look of the westside forests or the starker shapes and forms of the eastern desert.

Keefer has been making hand colored photos and selling them online and in galleries since 2002. Each work is original and unrepeatable.”

Bob Keefer, Featured Artist, Don Dexter Gallery, Eugene, OR

Displayed at Don Dexter Gallery

Hand Colored Photography, October–November 2009 (Q4)
Red Rock Canyon, 2013
The Secret Forest, October 2016–December 2016 (Q4)

Where do you find your inspiration?

Inspiration comes in all kinds of forms. I mostly find it in the work itself, the gradual process of coming to terms with the look and feel of places that I visit or people whom I meet.

Favorite thing to do in or around Eugene…

Go to concerts at the Hult Center. See a play at Oregon Contemporary Theatre or Very Little Theatre. Meet friends at Perugino.

Quote that inspires your creativity…

“Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”

—Chuck Close


The Secret Forest by Bob Keefer
October 2016–December 2016

The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest outside Blue River, just an hour’s drive from Eugene, is little known outside scientific and forestry circles. Established in 1948 to study tree growth, it was the Andrews that hosted biological research in the 1960s and 1970s leading the Forest Service to understand the full biological value of old growth forest — changing Oregon’s timber industry forever.

My work on display here grows out of a series of artistic residencies I have done at the Andrews. I use the traditional process of hand-colored black and white photography to focus on the mystery of these deep and haunting woods.

All photos in the show are framed and measured 9×12 inches (framed size). Price is $200 each, including frame.

Logs by Bob Keefer, Don Dexter Gallery, Eugene, OR
A 9×12-inch hand colored black and white photo.



Writer and photographer Bob Keefer graduated from Harvard University in 1975 and spent four decades as a newspaper writer before retiring in 2013 to turn his attention to fine art photography. He wrote about art and artists for most of the 30 years he worked at The Register-Guard in Eugene.

In 2006 he was a fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts’ Journalism Institute for Theater and Musical Theater in Los Angeles.

Keefer has shown his hand-colored photography at the Karin Clarke Gallery and the Jacobs Gallery in Eugene, and at the Blue Sky Gallery in Portland.

You can see his work at He lives on 18 wooded acres outside Creswell with his wife, Lisa Strycker.