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Young talent makes splash at realty office

September 10, 2005

At the age of 14, Claire Stevenson has already sold some of her paintings, donated others, and done her first commissioned piece of art.

The commissioned piece, an 8-by-8-foot painting of colorful salmon, -- titled, aptly, “Salmon,” -- now hangs in the reception area of the new Century 21 Cascade Pacific Real Estate offices, on Fourth Street in Hood River (next to the Crazy Pepper Restaurant).

What is probably most remarkable about this piece is its size – how does a 5 foot 6 inch girl paint on a canvas that’s 8 feet tall? Where do you keep it? How do you transport such a painting?

“I stood on a chair,” Claire said, her fish earrings dangling. “And I worked on it in the garage – it took me about a month.”

Claire’s mom, Nanette, said they had rented a U-Haul truck to bring the canvas from Portland to their home in White Salmon. But when it came time to transport the finished painting, no U-Hauls were available, so they brought it over to Hood River on a flatbed truck.

“And there’s another 8-by-8 painting coming – she’s already started it,” she added. “It’s a continuation of the same painting – it’ll go right next to this one. It may take her a bit longer, though, since school has started, and she’ll be busy!”

Claire has been doing art “forever,” her mom said.

“She started painting with acrylics in middle school; in the 5th grade,” she said. “She’s self-taught, basically, except what she learned at school.” Claire’s art teacher of the last four years is Camille Hinman.

Bill Kinkaid, owner of Century 21 Cascade Pacific, said he learned of Claire’s work from one of his brokers, whose daughter goes to school with her.

“It has woken me up to a whole new thought process – why not use these buildings to spotlight young talent?” he said.

Claire was asked to submit three designs, of which they would choose one. She had a transparency made of the one chosen, and projected that image onto the canvas, where she drew it in.

“She chose all the colors,” Nanette said. “I want one of these! A smaller one, that would fit in my house! We really thank Century 21 for supporting young artists like this,” she added.

Century 21 relocated to Fourth Street in June.

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