Washougal Art Festival returns to Reflection Plaza

Annual event featuring 25 artists set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12

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Camas resident Doug Kabel creates oil paintings of mountains he's climbed, including the Himalayas in southeast Asia (above). (Contributed photo courtesy of Doug Kabel)

The Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance (WACA) will hold its seventh annual Washougal Art Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Reflection Plaza, 1703 Main St., Washougal.

The event will feature work from 25 professional regional artists in a variety of styles, including watercolor, acrylic, photography, glass, mixed-media, found-object, oil, and others.

“More than 45 artists applied to be a part of the festival this year,” said WACA board member Janice Ferguson. “A jury of local art professionals selected the individuals invited to participate. We are delighted with the high caliber of art on display and for sale and are excited to showcase these artists.”

WACA selected the glass artwork of Washougal resident and festival participant Shirley Bishop for the festival poster and advertising.

“We are excited to have Shirley Bishop’s artwork as the centerpiece of our festival poster,” Ferguson said. “Her work perfectly captures the spirit of creativity and expression we strive to foster at the festival.”

The event will be held in conjunction with the first Washougal Songcraft Festival (see accompanying story in this issue), and for the first time feature local authors. Information about plans for the new Washougal library will also be on display.

The festival will feature The Paint Roller Mobile Paint Party, which will offer free, artistic projects for children.

“This has been a very popular part of our event,” Ferguson said. “We love providing kids a chance to explore their creativity and leave with their very own artwork.”

The event will also feature a raffle and 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,” said WACA board member Chuck Carpenter. “The raffle and silent auction help us to do that. We appreciate the generosity of our festival artists for their donations and the participation of festival attendees to purchase tickets and bid generously on these wonderful and unique items.”

WACA encourages visitors to discover works of public art by using its map (, which provides locations, artists name and the year installed for more than 50 installations around town. Maps will also be available at the festival.

Artists taking part in the 2023 Washougal Art Festival include: Alecia Hall (acrylic); Beck’s Original Woodworking (wooden boxes and spoons); Cyndee Starr (mixed media); Denise Clark Weston (oil painting); Doug Kabel (oil on canvas); Heidi Cardoza (wildlife photography); Hiroko Stumpf (watercolor, acrylic); James Aul (pottery); Julie Koch (mosaic); Karen Reule (sterling and fine jewelry); Leslie Struxness (photography); Liz Pike (oil on canvas); Michelle Wright (wood and resin); Rebecca and Craig Demeter (wood and fiber); Regina Westmoreland (mixed media); Renee Bryant (mixed media); Richard Britschgi (lapidary art); Sandy Moore (fabric); Sara Dimitt (acrylic and oil on wood); Bishop (glass); Soraya Runckel (watercolor and acrylic); Tamara Dinius (mixed media); Toni McCarthy (jewelry); Travis Lee (ornamental floral pieces on wood panels); and Wendy Davis (oil on canvas).

For a preview of artists and their work, visit

Camas artist paints mountains he’s climbed

Several of the artists, including Davis, the Demeters, Aul, Hedlund, Koch and Kabel, will be participating in the event for the first time.

Doug Kabel, a Camas resident, started painting in 2017, mostly on a whim inspired by artist Bob Ross’ instructional television shows that were popular in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I had told my wife, ‘You remember the Bob Ross show?’ She said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘I think I can do that,’” Kabel said. “For Christmas, she bought me a Bob Ross kit — one canvas, a DVD for one of his shows, six tubes of paint, a palette knife and two brushes, and that’s literally how I started.

“I thought I could do it. I’ve always been kind of artsy in my life, but normally directed towards music. I used to do calligraphy as a kid, and I used to paint those little ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ miniatures way back in high school. But I never really thought about painting as an artist. I don’t even know why I told my wife that. She got me the kit, and then I just started from there, from literally scratch, and the rest is history.”

Since then, Kabel has painted hundreds of paintings, most of which feature one of the many mountains all over the world, including New Zealand, Norway, Chile, and Nepal, that he’s climbed.

“People generally paint what’s interesting and beautiful to them,” said Kabel, who was driving to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming when contacted by the Post-Record on Thursday, July 26.

“I joined the Seattle Mountaineers in 1986, and I’ve been mountaineering and rock climbing for most of my life. That’s the type of scenery I love. When I started painting, it was just natural to (capture) either mountains that I’ve climbed or areas that I’ve seen with my own eyes, and try to represent them in paintings. It doesn’t have to be recreated perfectly, but I like to make it so that when I see the painting, I’m happy with it and it brings back good memories.”

Kabel relies on the photos that he takes during his climbs to produce his work.

“I take thousands of pictures. My wife would tell you that I never delete anything and that there’s just too many photos,” he said with a laugh. “I put together an idea of an area that is representative of a place and then maybe an angle or a couple of different features that I remember, and build a sketch that captures the things that I remember the most, or something that was either memorable during a period of time, like either during or during and sunrise, or something that stuck out to me as I climbed.”

Kabel has shown his work twice previously, but admits that he’s not particularly focused on selling his work. He would rather let other people experience something wondrous that they may never experience themselves by viewing his work.

“That’s probably my favorite part, being able to give some of (my work) away as gifts,” he said. “I’ve done numerous commissions for people who want a specific (type of) scenery, or something that means something to them. It’s incredible to be able to help people connect with experiences that they’ve had. I was totally shocked that people might have pretty strong feelings about a painting that I did for them. I love to do it.”

For more information about Kabel and his work, visit or