White Salmon resident and watercolor artist Kristen Olson was recently presented with the First Place award at the Southwest Washington Watercolor Society's latest exhibit.
This win makes two in a row for Olson who also won an award in the society's fall 2001 show.
Over 100 paintings were submitted to the SWWS 23rd Annual Spring Show. Olson's watercolor "The Opposite of Talking is Waiting" took exclusive first place honors. Last year her "Dance of Joy" painting won for best transparent watercolor.
That contest also had a separate watermedia category.
The Vancouver based SWWS opened its spring contest to both active and associate members of the society. However only those pieces judged of high standard were accepted into the final exhibit.
This year's judge was Oregon watercolor artist Ruth Armitage, a signature member of the National Watercolor Society.
Olson has been painting watercolors for three years and began painting full time just two years ago. In that brief time she has won several honorable mentions in area contests and has received praise from her peers in the local art community. This most recent win garnered Olson a cash prize as well as art supplies.
In June a new exhibit of Olson's watercolors will be featured at The Dalles Art Center in The Dalles. The "New Artists" show will also feature paintings by another local artist, Bill Sturman.
Other work by Olson can be viewed at the Columbia Art Gallery on 2nd Street in Hood River, and at the First Fridays art walk held each month in downtown Hood River.