Painting in the great outdoors

It was the morning sun lighting up the 120-year-old Snoqualmie Depot that drew watercolor painter Kathy Collins’ eye.

The Lake Forest Park native was among 28 artists who set up their easels in Snoqualmie last Sunday for the first-ever Snoqualmie Plein Air Paint Out.

“Painting outdoors is the most fun thing I can do,” Collins said. “Getting into a new place, I always get inspiration.

“There’s so much to see here,” Collins added.

Introducing new artists to the Snoqualmie Valley was the point of the Paint Out, said event organizer Jeff Waters of the Snoqualmie Arts Commission.

As train cars rolled by, artist Kristin Becker of Kirkland painted a Maui scene from memory.

“This is my first event like this,” Becker said. “I’m pretty excited. I look forward to painting what is around me as well.”

Becker came prepared for rain or shine. A tent kept the direct sun off her canvass, and her artworks for sale were secured against the summer breeze.

Finishing up her watercolor of the depot, Collins couldn’t help but touch it up, adding flecks of light.

“They say it takes two people to do a painting,” she said. “One who paints, the other who says to stop.”

The winning painter of the event, Petra Fursman, won a night’s stay at the Salish Lodge and Spa for her watercolor of the downtown gazebo. Jody Sands, of Isadora’s Books and Cafe, hosted a reception following the Paint Out.

Waters said he was pleased with the turnout. All participating painters planned to come back next year, and bring their friends, he added.

As the word spreads, this event could become enormous over the next few years, Waters said

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