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Artwork by Katherine Cruse on display at UU Hall

The Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship has chosen to hang a revolving display of work by various artists which creates a new sparkling presence for all to enjoy.

Our space was recently inspired by local Pagosan Susan Junta’s son, Benjamin Junta’s paintings.

We are now surrounded by a new group of paintings by local artist Katherine Cruse. She and her husband, Tom, recently returned to Pagosa Springs as full-time residents.

Katherine Cruse began painting in 2005, after she moved to Dayton, Ohio. There she studied both privately and at Sinclair Community College, and she was an exhibiting member of the Towne and Country Fine Art Center in Kettering, Ohio. She works exclusively in oil and paints a variety of subjects, including still life, the human form, and abstracted landscapes.

Cruse grew up in California and has lived in various parts of the country. She began coming to Colorado 25 years ago, bringing Explorer Scouts from San Antonio, Texas, to the experience of backpacking in the Weminuche Wilderness. The Western landscape often informs her paintings, although she also draws inspiration and ideas from life and from photographs.

Her name may be familiar to some Pagosans through her columns in the Pagosa Springs Sun, which appeared regularly from 1999 through 2004. She is the author of “A Year in Pagosa Springs; Cruising Through the Seasons,” a humorous and sometimes wry account of her life in this small mountain town. She is also the author of “Pagosa Country Day Hikes,” which draws on her years of experience of hiking and backpacking in the region.

Katherine says, “Painting was something I needed to pursue, after I started dreaming about applying color to canvas. It took two more years and then I took off, or my painting did. I’m interested in getting color right, getting what I think I see. I’m still learning and changing. My painting is often gestural and impressionistic. I like to find the energy in a subject and portray that. I like everything about the process of oil painting — even the smell of the medium. And I like the fact that a painting often takes off in its own direction, which may not be where I intended to go when I set out.”

You are welcome to attend Sunday services at 10:30 a.m. where child care and activities for youth are also available. The Pagosah Fellowship is located uptown at Greenbriar Plaza Unit B-15, just north of the fire station.

If you would like to view Katherine’s paintings at other times, you can call her at 731-2602.

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