Dorothea Hover-Kramer moved to the peninsula a year ago to be part of the active arts community here. She started painting about four years ago in southwestern Oregon and has just gotten back to it now that the move is complete. She was president of the Illinois River Valley Arts Council in Oregon, which under her leadership became a leading grant- and award-winning organization.
Hover-Kramer started with watercolors but decide she wanted more intense, brighter colors, so she switched to acrylics. She likes them because they clean up easily with water, she needn't worry about matting, she paints from dark to light instead of light to dark and she can paint over mistakes.
On one of her pictures of the Olympic Mountains,
she started with a dark blue then gradually added white to add dimension and depth until she got to the white snow. She finds this style of painting easier than trying to paint around the white to preserve it, as watercolor artists must do.
Hover-Kramer first uses a large, flat brush to apply the darkest color she plans to use. Her second brush is large and round. Gradually the brushes get smaller and finer until she adds fine details with a very thin, pointed brush.
She mixes paint with a small pallet knife, occasionally using it to add details.
"I love playing with color," she says. Her paintings reflect that, with hues that are strong and bold.
Hover-Kramer recommends that beginning painters find a teacher, then explore as much as possible on their own.
"It all gets better with practice," she says, adding all it takes to be an artist is resilience, persistence, consistence and a controlled work schedule. The main thing is to have fun.
One benefit she has found to living in this area is the variety of teachers and groups that paint together. She meets every week with a group whose members share techniques and encourage each other.
Hover-Kramer is a retired psychologist and a licensed counselor and nurse. She travels worldwide to present workshops and has authored seven books about energy therapies. While most of the books are for professional therapists, "Second Chance at Your Dream" is for the general public. It addresses engaging your body's energy resources for optimal aging.
She serves on the boards of Friends of the Fields and the Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic where she chairs the Wellness Program Committee.
Hover-Kramer is the February featured artist at Gallery at the Fifth, on the corner of Hendrickson Road and Fifth Avenue in Sequim.