ART OF MEDICINE
Pastel on Paper
By Katrina Thorstensen
Katrina Thorstensen, a certified nurse-midwife at DHMC since 1986, has been interested in art her whole life. "I remember going to oil painting classes when I was just eight or nine years old," she says. But in college, Thorstensen realized she wanted to work with people and concluded that "being an artist was a very solitary life." She continued to do "some kind of artwork on the side, however—drawing, printmaking, watercolor." Then, about five years ago, she discovered pastels and has been painting seriously ever since. "The first thing that drew me to pastels was the intensity of the colors," she says. Although pastels "are thought to be pale, they're actually pure pigments and can be beautifully intense." Another benefit of the medium is that she can work on a painting for a while, then "stop without worrying about paint drying." She does mostly landscapes because she likes the sense of space and the quality of light in the outdoors. "Many people comment that it must be very relaxing for me to have my art to do," she says. "Actually, it is not relaxing at all. Doing art is something that I now have to do, like a problem that just has to be solved. It's absorbing—and it can be satisfying or frustrating—but it is not relaxing."
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