beginnings flowers impressionist romantic karen powers

Flowers, Birds, and Beauty — The Photography of Karen Powers

beginnings flowers impressionist romantic karen powers

Beginnings, by Powers, flowers photography, represents God making a way through the darkness and helping her find her way to the light and having hope again.

Parents make a huge impact on their children’s lives. That’s one of those things we say and deep-down believe. But there are those days — we’ve all had them —  when we think, “I’m talking to the air here. I don’t think what I say or do is making any appreciable difference.”

If you’re having one of those days, think about Karen Powers, a nature photographer from Richland, WA. She is walking proof that mom’s words matter:

“When I was younger, my mom gave me an Instamatic camera as a gift,” Powers remembers.

“At summer camp I took a picture of a waterfall. Later, after the film was developed, there was a similar photo in our local newspaper.

“I still remember my mom saying that my picture was a lot better than this one in the newspaper. Well, I don’t know if she was biased or not. But I believed what she said, and that gave me confidence.”

burgundy hollyhock flowers photography romantic karen powers

Hand rendered brush strokes applied to original photograph add a sense of impressionism and romance. Burgundy Hollyhock, photography by Karen Powers.

Powers went through high school with that Instamatic. Years later, she “wore out” her first digital (dslr) camera, a gift from her husband. She launched a business doing senior portraits, wedding photography, and images for stock photography before concentrating her energy on fine art photography, with an emphasis on flowers and birds. Unsatisfied with the camera alone, she began experimenting with “developing” her images into artistic representations by incorporating digital enhancement using graphic and illustrative software.

Endless Possibilities

“By using brushes and editing techniques in the software, I fell in love with the process and endless possibilities,” Powers says.

“There is a huge learning curve, but the possibilities are absolutely limitless. After processing, each piece is a truly and completely unique piece of art.”

Powers’ studio is both outside and inside, and it all starts outside, either in her garden, where she is constantly growing new varieties of flowers to photograph, or in the mountains, through which she bikes to find wildflowers, or public and private gardens in the region. In the winter and early spring, she photographs birds. A bird feeding station outside her kitchen window attracts smaller birds, while river walks open up the world of waterfowl and birds of prey.

dram queen purple pansy abstract colorful photography karen powers

Deep purple pansy blended with rich colorful tones creates a painterly effect. Drama Queen, photography by Karen Powers.

“I’m frequently thinking about how light is falling, and what a good composition would be for a certain plant.

“Typically, I look out the window, see what’s blooming, grab my camera, and go. I follow the bloom schedule of the flowers around my garden. Iris, tulips and rhododendrons in early spring; roses, calendula, daisies, dahlia, and on and on in the summer.

“I think it’s safe to say that if it’s blooming, I would love to capture it.”

Flowers in the Studio, Too

And then it’s time to move to her indoor studio, a large room in her home with two floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on an atrium filled with flowerpots and plants. An oak corner desk houses computer and digital tablet. Another desk is space for matting prints, practicing calligraphy, and dabbling with watercolors, her latest foray for enhancing photos. Her artwork covers the walls. A bookshelf groans with volume after volume on flowers, flower arranging, wildflowers, flower identification, gardening, birds, art history, and photography.

gladiolas garden flowers romantic colorful karen powers photography

Joyous and colorful, garden gladiolas are a Voice of Gladness, photography by Karen Powers.

“Finally, there are comfortable chairs that provide a space to just sit and ponder.”

An emerging element to Powers’ work is reprography, the process of reproducing, reprinting, or copying graphic material by mechanical, photographic, or electronic means. Working part time as the reprographics specialist at a local church, Powers has access to five separate copier machines, a Riso (mimeograph printer) machine, and an Epson large format printer.

“This has been a tremendous opportunity to apply my knowledge of digital art and to learn the geeky side and the technicalities related to the printing side of creating artwork.”

Honoring the Creator

All the observation, learning curves, research, floral and bird identification, and, ultimately, the capture of images on film and subsequent enhancement, have a central goal: that of creating a work that honors the work of the original Creator. Powers believes that God has created much beauty for us to behold as a reflection of who He is, and as an artist, she celebrates that beauty.

“He is so gracious and loving that He gives us beautiful sunsets, majestic mountains, and the most intricate, delicate flowers to top it all off.

“I try to capture some small bit of that stunning beauty to bring honor to God, the original creator.

“My desire is to share the beauty I see all around as well as a sense of peacefulness.

“I want to show viewers a place where they can step out of the traffic and rest.”

Wenaha GalleryKaren Powers is the featured Art Event at Wenaha Gallery from February 15 through March 14, 2022.

Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at


love letter communicating laramie charles wysocki

Stay Communicating: Love Letter from Laramie by Charles Wysocki

love letter communicating laramie charles wysocki

Next to a face to face conversation, a good long letter is an excellent — and private — way to communicate. Love Letter from Laramie by Charles Wysocki

Communicating with one another is essential to healthy, strong relationships.

And while this seems so painfully obvious that it’s not worth mentioning, it is worth mentioning. Because, like eating food that truly nourishes, getting out for a walk, and turning off the TV, it’s one of those things we’d be better off doing, but don’t often enough actually do.

“Oh, I keep in touch with all my friends and family by texting and posting on social media,” some say. “I’m too busy to do anything else.”

But digital chatter, as many are increasingly learning, has little to do with strengthening relationships. Communicating via social media is like sitting, tete a tete, near the nosy neighbor’s fence, trying to have a private conversation. She butts in too much, scolding us for what we say, insisting that we acquiesce to what she believes. And she’s not beyond blocking our conversation completely, for our own good and that of society, of course. Such  (community) standards she has!

Charles Wysocki’s artwork, Love Letter from Laramie, reminds us that, when we can’t see the people we love, be with the people we love, interact face to face, close and personal, with the people in our lives who matter, we stay communicating by staying creative and interactive. A young woman in the wild, inhospitable west stops everything she’s doing to read the letter from the one she loves. These are words for her eyes alone, thoughts shared between two people that do not need to be, nor should be, filtered through an algorithm.

Meaningful communication requires not only time, effort, and persistence, but also — most importantly — privacy.

Stay Communicating — It’s How We Stay Strong

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Love Letter from Laramie by Charles Wysocki. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at to start the conversation.

More works by Charles Wysocki are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.


Stay Talking: Courtyard by William Phillips

courtyard couple talking courting summer romance william phillips

What better way to spend a sleepy summer evening than sitting by the gentle pond, together, dreaming and daydreaming and planning and talking? Courtyard, limited edition print, framed, by William Phillips.



Interacting, one human with another.

There’s just no replacement for these activities. Letters are nice, although fewer people take time to write them anymore. Outside of wartime censorship, there is a modicum of privacy with a heartfelt letter that allows the writers to share their thoughts.

Nowadays, however, we’re told that letters and cards are out of date, replaced by texting, posting, and digital chatting on social media. Increasingly, we’re encouraged to look at these as replacements for human to human, face to face talking as well.

Substitution for the Real Thing

But what a sad substitution for meaningful, and effective, conversation. Most of us have received a text in which we’ve uttered, “Huh? Is the writer mad or something?” that no emoji can counteract. Similarly, many people have posted a comment on social media, trying to genuinely express their thoughts — which differ from “popular,” approved public opinion — only to be excoriated online. It doesn’t take many interactions like these to recognize the extreme limitations of phone texting and social media postings as a means of true, honest, safe communication.

And Smart Phones? It’s funny how many times people talk to them, saying, “Do you hear me, whoever’s listening out there?” Except when it’s not funny.

The artwork, Courtyard by William Phillips, shows a means of communicating that transcends all technology because it is timeless. A young couple enjoys a sleepy summer evening by the quiet waters of a pond. Sitting side by side in the grass, neither one is looking at their phone, thumbs twiddling. Rather, they are talking.

What about? We don’t know. Because they are sitting close enough together to speak in low voices, they are able to keep their conversation private. Any trolls would be relegated to a distant bridge, where they could battle it out with the largest billy goat.

Talking. There’s just nothing like it.

Stay Talking

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Courtyard by William Phillips. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at to start the conversation.

More works by William Phillips are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.


tender moments couple close hugging snow john weiss romantic art

Stay Close — Tender Moments by John Weiss

tender moments couple close hugging snow john weiss romantic art

Some moments are so close, private, beautiful, and intimate, that they require physical touching. Tender Moments, limited edition giclee canvas, framed, by John Weiss.

Human beings need to touch and feel and be close. The interesting thing about the word, “feelings,” is that it is not limited to what goes on in our mind. As warm, gregarious, social beings, we crave also the actual touching of one another: being close physically strengthens the bonds of feeling close emotionally and spiritually.

This is a vitally important fact to never, ever forget.

There may be times when we cannot physically hold hands, lean into one another, stand close enough to speak — tete a tete  (intimately and privately) and sotto voce (too softly to be overheard by strangers) — but if such times do exist, they need to be brought quickly to a close. There is a strange illusion that communicating via phone text or social media post is an adequate replacement for physical closeness, but this is exactly that, a strange illusion.

The artwork, Tender Moments by John Weiss, is aptly named. The memorable moments, the ones which settle into our heart and create a space of warm comfort and joy, are frequently the quiet, “ordinary” ones. A couple stands close together in a snowstorm, side by side and leaning into one another, doing nothing more than enjoying each other’s presence. The family dog leans in as well. This is a moment of trust and peace, of intimacy and warmth. These elements are crucial to human relationships, and without them, we risk losing the very essence of our humanity.

Stay Close and Connected

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Tender Moments by John Weiss. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at to start the conversation.

More works by John Weiss are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.