A painting by Kodiak artist Dan Ogg was among 62 pieces selected for the Northwest Watercolor Society’s Annual Membership Exhibition “Waterworks Unchained.”

His piece, selected from more than 300 entries from artists around the world, depicts a vibrantly colored scene featuring a “tween,” someone who is not a young child but not yet a teenager. 

For inspiration, Ogg drew on scenes at his fish camp during salmon season at Uganik Bay on the west side of the island.

“The colors (in the painting) are colors that are around fish camp: the greens of the hillside, the greens of the door paint, and the outfit that the person is wearing is vibrant,” Ogg said. 

Each year the society chooses from among hundreds of members to showcase their artwork in a Seattle gallery. This year, the exhibit is online. 

Although Ogg has previously submitted his artwork, this is the first year his piece was chosen. 

“This year I got accepted. I was pretty excited about that,” Ogg said. “I’m really humbled ... There were a lot of talented people who got chosen.” 

The most challenging part of painting “Tween” was balancing the light and dark colors, as well as getting the colors just right, he said. 

“Your white is the paper. Once you put color to it, it's hard to get the color back out of it. Once you lose the white, it's gone. ” he said. 

The piece, which he worked on bit by bit, took him a total of 10 to 15 hours. 

Ogg has been painting since high school, where his passion for watercolors first began. 

Although originally from Maine, Ogg moved to Kodiak in 1974, after he finished college and heard there was a wealth of opportunities for work. Within 30 minutes of landing on the island, he found a job at a cannery that no longer exists. 

At that time, most of the streets were dirt roads, he said. 

Throughout the years, Ogg worked in construction and in local government before he  decided to set up a salmon setnet site with his family. 

Ogg was Kodiak Island Borough mayor in 1980, and had a seat on the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly for a time. He also served as a state representative in the Alaska Legislature from 2003 to 2005. 

Throughout his life and his career changes, he always continued to paint. 

“It’s ongoing. I keep doing it, I get better at it,” he said of the art-making process. 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Northwest Watercolor Society has decided to host the “Waterworks Unchained” exhibition online, which is available for viewing at www.nwws.org through Sept. 12. 

The Northwest Watercolor Society, which was founded in Seattle in 1939, describes itself as an artistic resource in the Northwest and aims to promote and elevate the art of watercolor as a medium and to encourage the growth and creativity of its artist members. 

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