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Painting for the joy of it

Local artist Kirsten Sneath featured as artist of the month

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - For local artist Kirsten Sneath, painting is an expression of joy and relaxation. With bright colors, her work shows her emotion.

The Wilsonville Public Library will be getting a pop of color in March from artist of the month Kirsten Sneath, just in time for the official start of spring. With a vibrant collection offering 48 pieces, Sneath is hoping to provide some springtime cheer while Wilsonville waits for real flowers to bloom.

Growing up in the United Kingdom, Sneath got her first taste of painting as a student. But the hobby took a backseat as she and her husband, Chris, relocated to Oregon 10 years ago for his work.

"We were only supposed to be here for 18 months or two years, as it was only supposed to be a temporary position," Sneath says. But when Sneath's husband was offered a permanent position the couple jumped at the opportunity and settled in Wilsonville.

But it wasn't until two years ago when her daughter started attending school full-time that she rediscovered painting. SUBMITTED PHOTO - Based off of one of her childrens favorite posters at their home, Sneath painted this playful otter at the request of her children.

"I started making cards and then after a while I started adding paint work to them and I found that I enjoyed the paint work more, and gradually it's just grown and grown," Sneath says. "Whatever takes my fancy to paint I usually get going and it just kind of took off from there."

Starting off with acrylics, Sneath painted animals, flowers, seascapes and nature while stationed at her art studio set up in her dining room.

"It's like a therapy for me being able to paint and be in my own little world," she says.

An acrylic and watercolor painter and amateur photographer, Sneath says that she creates for the joy and beauty of it, learning more with each piece she completes. But her foray into watercolor didn't come until a chance meeting with a hummingbird.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Based off off of hummingbird that took up residence in her backyard for a year, Sneath painted the bird in all seasons to make a series. "I was watching a hummingbird outside of our back window and it was there in every weather and so I started doing these little watercolor sketches and I loved it," Sneath says.

Sneath's collection at the library will feature a mix of more realistic portraits in acrylic and more whimsical watercolors, each work containing a happy vibrancy in terms of color and content.

"It's a collection of favorites and I've done a lot in the last year of newer stuff — I don't seem to be able to stop painting," she says with a laugh. "They bring me happiness. I love doing what I do and I hope that that comes through in what people see."

Contact Wilsonville Spokesman reporter Claire Green at 503-636-1281 ext. 113 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..