New art display speaks ‘Aloha’

A painting a day keeps the sight-seeing blues away.

That was the attitude of Parkdale artist Wendy Best when she and her husband, Dick, traveled to Hawaii with their two children, children-in-law, and baby grandson.

The trip was the childrens’ gift to celebrate the Bests’ 40th wedding anniversary, and included stops in Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island.

Best has customarily used acrylic or oil paint on canvas, but for traveling she didn’t want to lug along all that heavy equipment. Watercolor paper, a minimal assortment of acrylic paints, and a few brushes made up her entire kit.

“And a ruler for the horizons,” she added. “Acrylic-on-paper was a whole new medium for me, and I really enjoyed the spontaneity it allowed me. I used the acrylics rather like water colors, and got quite a nice washy effect, but then could overpaint for strength and color.”

In twelve days Best created 14 paintings.

“When painting in the open air,” she said, “you can’t take more than an hour or so to capture what you see, the light changes so rapidly. And I could fit all my painting gear into a small shopping bag, so I could hike around and look for subject matter.”

“Although, there isn’t much trouble finding something to paint in Hawaii. Everywhere you look there is color, light, motion, and beauty.”

Best portrayed plenty of beaches, palms, and rocky headlands, but she also painted a still life of flowers, a fountain, and her memories of Volcano National Park.

“I’m so glad I brought along cadmium orange light paint, because it is exactly the color of glowing lava,” Best said.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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