Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


November 16, 2023

Karen Bertroch

Darbury Novoselic with one of her art pieces at her show at the Naselle Community Center on Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 4 pm.

While we live in what some might call a "backwater" area of southwest Washington, we are privileged to harbor artists and writers. One unique artist is Darbury Novoselic from Deep River.

She is well known to folks at the Grays River Grange where often Darbury brings her bread to meals held there. Now she is showing us her love of art. Through that medium, we can see her artistry in the fiber art she creates in "the barn" on the farm where she and her husband, Krist, live.

Krist clearly supports her work and is very proud of her.

"Give her the attention," he said.

Last Sunday, her show was open to the public at the Naselle Community Center, and it will again be open to the public next Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Her large pieces of art, or tapestries, are magnificent, intricate, with every inch silk-screened, painted, and quilted, then finely quilted on a large quilting machine with rows 1/32nds of an inch apart.

The fabric is made entirely of silk. She creates her own designs, then uses a silk-screening method to set the design onto the silk, then paints on it, if needed, and then quilts breathtaking silk thread designs to bring the top piece together with a backing. The results can take your breath away. Her pieces are indeed room size; they would cover a floor easily in a large area. Her designs may have several images woven into the background. Using silk as her medium, and the finest threads, the colors and patterns are set to last for generations. Her art is unique, unlike anything we typically see.

Many of her pieces are hanging near the walls or in the center of the room at the Community Center, but only when you stop to inspect these huge pieces do you see the stitching, and how intricately the patterns are set up. The stitch lines are so close together that the piece looks as if it were one cloth, yet it is not. This is silk, a unique medium that holds paint beautifully, like the silk scarves that we all love to see. Silk absorbs color in ways cotton cannot because of cotton's density. And silk holds color for many decades and when you consider it came from silkworms, you hopefully will stop and look longer than you might at a cloth quilt.

This is art. I once went to a fiber art show in Coupeville on Whidbey Island. I spent over an hour just looking at what creative artists can do with simple cloth, yarn and thread and even small pieces of wood. Fiber art is unique and not everyone has the patience or the creative design talent to develop a piece that impacts the viewer in new ways. When you realize the love that's involved, the time taken, the patience, the skill and the drive that causes someone to finish such large pieces, the true gift for fiber art impacts one as few genres of art can. These are not paintings or pottery, or carved wood, all skills we are used to. This is art with love in every stitch.

Darbury has a workroom in the barn and spends part of each day there. She is a woman who "doesn't leave the farm often." She bakes bread every day, excellent bread, and she is an artist in both the kitchen and her studio.

Photo of the Week: If you are a quilter, an artist, a person who loves fine things, or if you are just curious, as I was, I cannot begin to tell you how much you will enjoy seeing these pieces and looking at the stitching, as well as the painting and silk-screening portions of her work. She is the photo of the week standing in front of one of her pieces. You can see her and her art in all their glory in Naselle over the weekend. If you are not local, the trip will be worth it.

Another Art Show will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Grays River Grange from 1-4 p.m., featuring the Westend Artists, Carol Ervest, Noreen Fitts, Gail Wahlstrom and Sandra Prucha. Their art will be for sale. I enjoy the mailbox watercolor I bought a couple years ago at their annual show. Painted by Gail Wahlstrom, it is one of my favorites.

If you are alone for Thanksgiving, Joel Fitts tells me the regular CAP Thursday lunch will be open and a Thanksgiving meal will be offered that day. What a great opportunity to give thanks with our neighbors and friends who are also alone on that day. I'm going.

UPDATED FOOTBALL STATE BRACKET. Comets football team will take on Wilbur Creston-Keller at 12:30 p.m. on Sat. Nov. 18 at Moses Lake, Lions Field.

Calendar of Events:

Mondays & Wednesdays: Balance Class Naselle Community Center 2-3 p.m.

Second Monday: American Legion at 6 Rosburg Hall meal at 6 p.m. Meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesdays: Naselle Lutheran Church: quilters in morning, knitters in afternoons.

Third Tuesday: Naselle/GRV School Board at 6:30 p.m. in school library.

Wednesdays: AA meeting Grays River Grange at noon.

Wednesdays: Play Group Naselle Library from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Second Wednesday: Grays River Flood Control District at Fire Hall 5:30 p.m.

First & Third Wednesdays in Dec: Senior Lunch at Rosburg Hall. On Dec. 6 and 20.

Second Thursday: Johnson Park Board meeting at 10 a.m.

Thursdays: CAP Senior Lunches at Rosburg Hall at noon on Thursday.

November 18-19: Darbury's Tapestry Show at Naselle Community Center. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 18: Gene Quillhaugh will provide music at Rosburg Hall. 6:30 p.m. Free.

November 23: Thanksgiving meal at the CAP Senior Lunch at noon Rosburg Hall.

December 2: FAFF Christmas Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors contact:

December 2: West End Artists' Show (Ervest, Fitts, Wahlstrom, Prucha) at Gray's River Grange 1-4 p.m.

December 3: FAFF Christmas program at Deep River Church at 1:30 p.m. and soup supper at Naselle Lutheran after Church Program.

December 4: West End Artists' Show at Grays River Grange from 1-4 p.m.

December 17: Lighted Christmas Parade at 4:30 p.m. along Knappton Road in Naselle.

January 17: County conservation meeting. 2 p.m. at Courthouse, 3rd floor.

Words for the Week: Shop locally and donate locally for the holidays.


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