Brenda Lindstrom has worked as a banker, cosmetologist, esthetician, cosmetology teacher and photographer. She studied business administration in college, traveled internationally, served as a stay-at-home mother and currently helps her husband run his Camas-based small business.
Through it all, Lindstrom’s creative passions and love of learning have remained strong.
That’s why the Washougal resident is so excited about her latest pursuit — painting.
Lindstrom, who will be one of the featured artists at the Washougal Art Festival, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Reflection Plaza in downtown Washougal, owned a photography studio in downtown Camas from 2010 to 2013 and runs a photography business called BrendaKay Imagery, but has focused on her canvas art in recent years.
“When my daughter was getting ready to graduate high school, I decided I needed to really focus on something else, so I turned her bedroom into a studio and started painting,” Lindstrom said. “(Photography) just felt like it became a little bit too stifling for me, and I wanted to do something tangible with my hands. I kind of put the art into a category of one of my joys and passions. I love it.”
Lindstrom started painting in 2010, taking a class from Camas art teacher Elida Field. She began with acrylic paint, then moved on to encaustic wax. Now, Lindstrom is working with oil, using the wet-into-wet process. She paints portraits based on her own photography, and recently started to learn the classical styles.
She hasn’t sold any of her paintings yet, though. While she’s open to the idea, she doesn’t necessarily want to turn painting into a career.
“The reason I’m doing this art fair is because I’m getting too many (paintings) in my house. I’m like, ‘I have to get rid of some of this. I can probably sell this,'” she said. “But I don’t want to feel that tug of, ‘I spent so much money on this, so now I have to sell it,’ because I don’t need that kind of stress. I want to do it for the joy that it gives me, and if it can give joy to other people, that’s good as well.”
Lindstrom, who was born in the Seattle area, grew up in Coos Bay, Oregon, and moved to Washougal in 2007, is inspired by her love of nature.
“How can you look at the color of the sky and the sunsets and the trees and how they grow and people and not be (inspired)? To try to create that in a visual form is quite a challenge because things are so complex,” she said. “I really like color. My work is very colorful. But I also like to create the mood of something.”
“I appreciate genuine people. That’s what I strive for in my work – authenticity,” she continued. “I like that in other people, so I want to give that to other people. I don’t try to be like somebody else. I just try to do what pleases me and what I think is pretty or inspiring, and then I try to share that with other people.”
Lindstrom describes herself as a “lifelong learner.”
“I’m pretty self-taught,” she said. “I like to be challenged to learn new things. When I travel, I like to meet other creatives and attend workshops and go to art fairs. I like to see what other people are doing so I can keep my own work fresh.”
“I believe that we’re supposed to do things with the gifts that we have,” she continued. “I guess I’m still looking for what my best gift is. I think I already found it – it was raising my daughter. I’m trying to go to the next place now because she’s 25.”
‘High caliber of art’ to be displayed
The fourth annual Washougal Art Festival, presented by the Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance (WACA), will be bigger than ever this year, with 29 professional artists and a variety of musical and dance performances.
Descriptions of the artists are available at washougalarts.org.
“More than 50 artists applied to be a part of the festival this year,” WACA board member Janice Ferguson said in a news release. “A jury of local art professionals selected the individuals who were invited to participate. We are delighted with the high caliber of art that will be on display and for sale and excited to showcase these amazing artists.”
Entertainment will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the duo of Jay “Bird” Koder and Al Perez at 10:30 a.m. At noon, local dance instructors Daniel Martinez and Lindsay Lucas will perform.
At 12:15 p.m., local musician Wayne Havrelly (who also works as a Post-Record reporter) will perform, followed by the Rain or Shine Trio.
“Our past festivals have been such a success for us, our artists and the community that we are excited to host the event again,” Ferguson said. “We are pleased to provide accessibility to original art in such a fun, festival environment.”
New this year will be a silent auction for works of art donated by participating artists.
“A goal of the festival is to raise funds to bring more public art to our city,” WACA board member Chuck Carpenter said in a news release. “This auction is one way we do that. We appreciate the generosity of our festival artists for their donations and the participation of festival attendees to bid generously on these wonderful items.”