If an image can be didactic without a title, and Michael David's often are, removing the imagery, as David does in his current encaustic paintings seen at Bentley Gallery (Scottsdale, Arizona), focuses your attention first on optics. But check the title of the show's central work, "The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes," and the cinematic quality of the blood red sun of a tondo, and see if that doesn't take you in some surprising directions. If the landscape's presence is indirect in his body of work, it couldn't be more explicit to both the form and content in Vanessa Renwick's current project at PDX Contemporary (Portland), "as easy as falling off a log." Given the Pacific Northwest locale, shades of Ken Kesey's Stamper family, the show conveys how immersion in the environment pushes us to anthropomorphize it. A send-up image like "flat as a board (knot)," translating a bit of tree bark and pine needles into a frontal nude, helps puncture, without contradiction, the environmental polemic.