Water, with its qualities of reflection, transparency and movement has been the focus of April Waters’ paintings for decades.
When she is inspired by a place, she goes there often, in different seasons and on different times of the day. In most cases, she sketches or paints on site. Sometimes, she hires a helicopter pilot to fly her over the site to see what it is like from above. Equipped with sketches and her experiences, she then paints in her studio using oil on canvas or oil on panel.
As she focused her painting on the rivers, creeks, estuaries and coastlines of the Northwest, she became interested in water in a larger context. She traveled to meet, learn from and photograph contemporary women leaders who were making significant environmental contributions around water. After meeting each one, she painted a large scale portrait to bring attention to their work. Her series of paintings of Dr. Helen Caldicott, Dr. Wangari Maathai, Dr. Vandana Shiva and Maude Barlow represent women who are working, or who have worked, to protect the watersheds of the world and assure that fresh water remains available to all.
She has been invited to exhibit her paintings at several conferences regarding women/and or the environment including ‘Women Reshaping the World’ sponsored by Living Futures. She was honored to speak and share her art at the Willamette River 2100 Conference sponsored by Oregon State University and in November, 2017 she was the artist in residence at the national conference of the American Water Resources Association.
Waters has a Bachelor of Fine Art from University of Colorado, in Boulder and worked for many years as a Registered Nurse. Now her works are in many places of healing including Salem Hospital, the Hope Orthopedic Clinic, the Slocum Orthopedic Clinic in Eugene, the PeaceHealth Medical Center in Springfield and the Adventist Memorial Hospital of Portland.
Paintings by Waters are also in the collections of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Oregon State University, Mount Angel Library, the Edward Allworth Veteran's Home and many others. Waters was selected as a National Park Artist-in-Residence for the Crater Lake Centennial Celebration and exhibition at the Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland. The painting Wizard Island, Crater Lake was exhibited at the American Embassy in Kyrgyzstan through the United States Arts in Embassies Program. Her painting, One Water is in the collection of the State of Oregon through the Percent For Art Program and is currently being exhibited at the Health and Wellness Center of Western Oregon University.
Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions over the past thirty years including a one person show in the office of Oregon’s Governor.