ILWACO - Longtime Peninsula artist Marie Powell was chosen again this year to create a painting representative of the area for the 2003 Discovery Coast Visitors' Guide.
Powell painted covers for the guides of 1992, '97 and '99. She said that she still enjoys it.
"It's a real honor to have been chosen to do this," said Powell. "But it also is a great advertisement for our business and for me as an artist."
This year's cover features Port of Ilwaco landmark, Jesse's Ilwaco Fish Co., in all of its bright red glory, amongst the reflective waters of the harbor. She created the work with watercolor and soft pastel, her normal medium.
Powell said she created the painting to order after speaking with Chinook Observer editor, Matt Winters.
"I finally decided to do something of the Port of Ilwaco," said Powell, who recently moved the Shoalwater Gallery, which she operates with her husband Randy, to the harbor. "The businesses along the port here are just starting to come alive. It's also a really picturesque area - people love to come down here."
Powell has been painting for over 25 years and has operated her own gallery for 12. She is a self-taught artist without formal art training. She says that she not only enjoys the artistic aspect, but also the business part of things as well, which is her and husband Randy's primary source of income. Powell taught at Ilwaco High School for 19 years prior to becoming a self-sustaining artist.
"I've really enjoyed the last 12 years with the business and doing the artwork," said Powell. "It's just a great lifestyle for me."
Another part of her lifestyle exists in another hemisphere. She and Randy have been part-time citizens of New Zealand the past three years, a place they have been visiting for a decade.
Powell said that print sales of her past cover paintings have sold very well for her. Special limited-edition prints of this year's cover are available at the gallery and at the Chinook Observer.