Kim Solga is an artist, muralist, and author. Kim’s landscape and floral watercolors can be seen at The Gallery in Mount Shasta and her website. Kim’s paintings are on display at the Mount Shasta branch of Scott Valley Bank (now Mechanics Bank) and in the homes of many Siskiyou County residents. Kim painted the mural on the side of the Dunsmuir City Hall. With a grant from the Shasta Regional Community Foundations she is painting mural on the Stream Wise building on the corner of Ida at 600 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd. Kim's watercolors paintings are created primarily on location in remote wilderness location. She well known as a water colorist who captures rivers, waterfalls, glaciers, mountain scenes and plants.
Lauri: How long have you been an artist?
Kim: All my life! It all started when I was a child and I received some crayons. That is why I started KidsArt.com in 1986. I want kids to have access to art materials. KidsArt is an online store selling a variety of art supplies including child-safe painting and drawing supplies to books on teaching art, and much more. KidsArt, also, prints and sells the popular KidsArt booklets, written by Kim
Lauri: Your paintings are primarily landscapes, but you create the sense of an intimate place where we can see the view you have selected to share with us. As the viewer I can imagine myself in the wilderness sitting on the rock where you are painting your artworks, Is that where the inspiration comes from, your intimate relationship to nature?
Kim: Yes, Look at where we live! I spend a lot of time river rafting, hiking, camping and climbing. We are on the water 30 to 50 days of the year. My partner and I have a Westy (Volkswagen Westfalia) we’ll go out camping just to be outdoors or to watch a meteor shower.
Paints and sketches...tools of the trade.
Lauri: So now here you are painting a mural on the side of the Stream Wise building on the corner of Ida at 600 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd.
Kim: I received an Arts in Community grant from the Shasta Regional Community Foundation to paint this mural. It’s going to have a waterfall, bears and a couple of deer in it when it’s finished. I designed the background from a couple of watercolors I painted. It’ll take about 3 weeks to finish painting.
While this is a stylized abstract image of the mountain I want it to be as realistic as possible. I’d like for mountain climbers to be able to come here and identify climbing pathways. My hope it that this mural will serve as an instructional tool for climbers and mountain enthusiasts.
The Farm Bureau of Siskiyou County is currently fundraising for me to paint a mural on their building on 4th St. in Yreka. I'm looking forward to doing one I designed featuring 4-H farm kids and animals. (To see pictures and more information link to this article in the Siskiyou Daily.
Left to Right Turkish Girl, Horse Camp Cabin, Matterhorn Climber, Spring Tulips 3 - Kim Solga watercolors
Lauri: I know you spend a lot of time on the road and the river. Where have you traveled?
Kim: From far south of the equator to the Arctic Circle. Last year we went to Africa. We’ve traveled to New Zealand, Baja, Alaska and Northern Canada. We’ve kayaked in many places in the United States including the Salmon in Idaho. We kayaked the both the sea and rivers of Alaska.
We were in the Gates of the Arctic National Park in northern Alaska waiting for the weather to clear so a bush plane could pick us up. I was passing the time by tossing rocks into a pond...skipping stones…I picked up a stone and when I inspected it I realized it was projectile point with a broken tip. Here I was in a very remote part of the world with no roads in or out and find that someone has been here before me. I placed the point back down where I found it, following the principles to Leave No Trace.
Lauri's Rabbit Trail: One of the fun parts things about writing this blog is the rabbit trails I get to follow. I found this quirky video if you would like to learn more about The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace...then I went to the NPS.org and followed a link to an On-line Awareness Course that I spent about an hour taking and passing the test to receive a certificate in Lead No Trace. Have Fun!!
Lauri: What is your essential camp tool?
Kim: A good sleeping mattress, warm sleeping bag and a rain canopy that can be put up quickly. Comfort is all about the gear. When we go over to kayak the Kalmath with our families for 3-5 days we set up a gourmet kitchen, propane cook stove, lots of ice chests for food with plenty of Hors d'oeuvre and alcoholic beverages.
We’ve done the 3-4 week Grand Canyon Colorado River rafting trip many times. You just call up one of the outfitters who can plan your meals and load them into frozen ice chests that melt on appropriate days so you are eating fresh steaks on your 7th day in the canyon.They have it down. It is indeed painless travel.
These are a sampling of Solga's watercolors of the Grand Canyon visit her website to see more and read her story. Solga.com From left to right: Saddle Canyon, Deer Creek Falls, Havasu and 164 Mile Rapids
Lauri: Do you have a favorite eatery in the county?
Kim: We were coming off the Klamath River with 30 hungry river rafters. We stopped in a Natalee Thai Cuisine 1225 S. Main St. in Yreka at 6:30pm on a Saturday night. They found us seats, gave us our food very quickly, wrote separate checks and did it all with grace and a smile! I split the Tom Kha Soup that came out of the kitchen with a fire under it. It was filling and delicious!
River Rafter's Turkey Chili for 16
This recipe can be cut in half or divided by 4 if you are planning on feeding a hungry crowd of river rafters.
6 garlic cloves
4 lbs. ground turkey
3 standard cans northern beans
2 standard cans pintos
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 large cans whole green chilis (dice them, maybe buy diced) (30 oz)
1 large can hominy (30 oz)
2 standard cans corn
chili powder to taste (2 tsp or more)
cumin to taste (2 tsp or more)
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. jack cheese
Saute meat, onions, garlic, add cans, spices (chili powder, cumin), water to desired soupiness.
Garnish w/ sour cream, grated cheese, lime, hot sauce.
Kim's Tips: This freezes well and also make a good first night meal when "on the river." You can also make this a day before serving, as it benefits from "resting."
If you make this at home you can use fresh rather than the canned foods we have to pack for the river.