Snoqualmie Valley Artist Spotlight: Beth Vanden Heuvel’s Drawn to the PNW

Beth Vanden Heuvel, a resident of North Bend and a self-taught artist, has woven her passion for the outdoors into her digital and watercolor artworks. Her current art primarily depicts scenery around Washington, the Snoqualmie Valley (digital), and PNW native plants (watercolor & ink).

Beth’s love for nature guided her academic pursuits, leading her to forestry, fisheries, and spatial data sciences for her undergraduate and master’s degrees. Parallel to her career as a fisheries data scientist, she launched her art business, Drawn to the PNW, in 2020, blending her scientific knowledge with her artistic talents.

In recent years, Beth has expanded her artistic footprint. She opened an Etsy shop, established a presence on Facebook and Instagram, ventured into wholesale, and began showcasing her art in local breweries and cafes. Her participation in the North Bend Farmers Market and various artisan markets across the Snoqualmie Valley brought her closer to the community.

Beth’s inspiration for her artwork comes from walks in local parks and trails with her dog, Pepper. She also enjoys creating custom art pieces that capture her clients’ outdoor adventures and cherished memories. [Beth can be reached at b-vandenheuvel@comcast.net]

Beth began exploring digital art in 2021, partly influenced by the need for a more flexible and forgiving medium that accommodated her dog’s presence during her creative process. Says Beth, “At least 80% of my art has been made with my dog sprawled across my lap.”

This transition allowed her to continue her art without compromising on any precious moments with Pepper. She says, “With digital art, I have an ‘undo’ button for when Pepper shifts her snuggle position and bumps my arm… with watercolor and ink, there’s no room for error. My unwillingness to compromise snuggles with Pepper has been a key factor in my recent focus on digital art.”

Her journey in art started with simple drawing and crafts. Early watercolor classes with a family friend laid the foundation for her color theory and painting skills. Beth attributes her artistic development to constant practice, repetition, and keen observation of her subjects.

Beth’s college studies, especially plant identification, significantly influenced her botanical art. The desire to capture the beauty and essence of local plants, regardless of the season, became a unique aspect of her work. Her scenic art aims to celebrate the beauty of her surroundings and evoke fond memories for those who connect with her pieces.

Beth humorously recalls her early days as an artist, trading Pokémon drawings for Jolly Ranchers in elementary school. She firmly believes that art is a skill that can be developed with practice rather than a mere result of innate talent.

Beth chose North Bend as her home for its proximity to various outdoor opportunities, a decision influenced by her frequent visits to the area during her childhood in Kent. She resides with her husband Derek, her dog Pepper, and a delightful group of chickens while being fortunate to have her extended family within close proximity.

Beth’s art is displayed at the South Fork Restaurant and available for purchase at various locations, including the Snoqualmie Trading Company, North Bend Trading Company, and Little Alps Gallery in Leavenworth.

Her participation in events like the Tehaleh Holiday Market, North Bend Holiday Bazaar, and others at Microsoft Commons and The Village Market in Issaquah brings her art to a broader audience, celebrating the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest through her artistic lens. Her work can be seen at the following locations soon:

 Current and Upcoming Events: 

  • North Bend Holiday Bazaar in North Bend, WA — December 2, 9 am-3 pm
  • Microsoft Commons in Redmond — December 5-7, 10 am-2 pm
  • The Village Market in Issaquah — December 9, 10 am-2 pm

As Beth Vanden Heuvel continues to blend her love for the Pacific Northwest with her artistic skills, her journey is a vibrant example of how passion can shape one’s life and career. From the lush landscapes of Snoqualmie Valley to the delicate intricacies of PNW flora, her art captures the beauty of her surroundings and resonates deeply with those who experience it.

Beth’s work extends beyond visual appeal through her expanding presence in local markets, online platforms, and community events, fostering a unique connection with nature lovers, art enthusiasts, and the local community.

Her story, rooted in the serene backdrop of North Bend and enriched by her scientific background and self-taught artistic prowess, continues to inspire and captivate, painting a vivid portrait of the region’s natural splendor and the endless possibilities of following one’s creative calling.

[Visit the gallery page to see examples of Beth’s work]

[Featured Image Beth and her dog, Pepper, at the North Bend Farmers’ Market last summer.]

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