The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Carolyn Henderson
the Times 

Talk about art


March 12, 2020

Money and time.

Most people wish they had more of both. Rare is the person who feels they have adequate amounts of each.

But as important and necessary as money and time are, there are two elements that are just as, or even more important-two elements that we simply can't get too much of:

Hope and encouragement.

Watercolor painter Shawna Wright focuses on these two elements in her paintings. The Milton-Freewater, Ore., artist, who began seriously painting five years ago, creates watercolor images of birds in nature. Integral to each image is a hand-written Bible scripture, generally one with a promise to the reader.

"Bible promises have been a key part of my life," Wright says, explaining that the words of both Old and New Testament have brought comfort, hope, and happiness throughout both high and low times in her life. It is this comfort, hope, and happiness that she seeks to impart to others through her art.

"My goal is to encourage the discouraged, bring hope to the helpless, and comfort to the grieving."

In addition to original watercolor paintings, Wright creates inspirational calendars featuring her artwork, as well as prints, note cards (she calls these "God Tweets"), and refrigerator magnets. Recently, she has published two interactive journals – one for mothers of sons, and another for mothers of daughters – that incorporate her artwork, scripture promises, and pages for writing, or journaling, upon.

She creates big things in a small space, working out of a desk in her office where she tapes down her paper for each new project. But somehow, the art finds its way all through her house, resulting in a laundry room that is less focused upon storing stacks of folded clothes as it does art inventory. On the walls, branches and abandoned bird nests hang alongside Wright's paintings.

"It's my space. When I walk into it, it makes me happy."

And that's what she wants viewers and purchasers of her art to find: happiness through hope and encouragement.

"I enjoy going to retirement homes with my art; it's fun to see the faces light," Wright says.

"It fills my heart knowing that my artwork was a ray of sunshine to their day."

Through April 4, Wenaha Gallery (219 E. Main, Dayton) is showcasing the inspirational watercolor artwork of Shawna Wright, as well as her cards, journals, magnets, and prints. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


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