Watson shows vibrant pastels at library

The Hood River County Library doesn’t let a little thing like complete upheaval interrupt its regular programs for long. Local art is once more finding its way to the walls of a long hall connecting the several rooms housing library materials at temporary quarters in the old Sprint Building on State Street.

After an interesting display of Dream Catchers created by the students of Klahre House, the hall walls were hung with a collection of 143 Peace flags created by various members of the community during the first annual Hoodstock Celebration at the Hood River Marina. That celebration was sponsored by the Columbia Gorge Fellowship for Peace.

During the month of November, local artist Karen Watson will display nine of her vibrant pastel paintings in the library. Watson works as a nurse at the Family Birth Center in Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital.

In only three years, Watson has won an honorable mention at the Hail Mid-Columbia art show and first place at The Dalles Art Center garden show. She captured an honorable mention and a second place at The Artists of the Gorge show in Stevenson, Wash., where she has participated twice.

She has sold a number of paintings in the Hood River Valley, and has work hanging in The Frame Shop and at The Columbia Art Gallery. She will hang a show at The Dalles Art Center in May.

Watson studied art for two years at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

“But I wasn’t serious enough about my art at that time,” she said. “I transferred to nursing school, married, and had a family. Then, at age 40, I suddenly began to create art very seriously indeed.”

Watson credits the beginning of this artistic rebirth with her attendance for one week at Camp Menucha in Corbett, where for seven days straight she immersed herself in art.

“It was wonderful,” she remembered. “No responsibilities, no cooking, no school schedule, no job except to create art.”

A pastel teacher at the camp opened the world of color to Watson, who had previously concentrated her efforts on large neutral-toned representations of the human figure.

“I love pastels. I am an impatient person, and pastel work goes quickly,” she said. “I don’t know another medium where you can achieve such rich and vivid colors.”

Watson gathers many of her images from photographs she has taken or friends have supplied, and sometimes blends several images together for a new effect. Watson took lessons from Judith Cunningham last fall.

“A lot of artists seem to want to convey messages in their work,” said Watson. “I can’t claim to be that complex. I just do my art because it is joyful, fun, and a great way to express myself. It helps me escape from everyday cares.”

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners