Sunday, April 28, 2013

Deborah Sterk - Exploring Boundaries

"Drift" by Deb Sterk
I've been friends with Deb Sterk since she became a member of the Blue Whole Gallery in Sequim. She sort of exploded onto the scene and I, along with many others,  was blown away by her plein air landscapes. She always seemed to capture the essence of a moment in sensitive color and authoritative brush work. It's easy to recognize good work when you see it and Deb's collectors recognized it too. Her work has always sold well and often when I was working at the desk at the Blue Whole, customers would come in asking specifically for her work.

"Interlude" by Deb Sterk
Deb has studied with a lot of fine and well known artists over the years and has degrees in art as well. Her work definitely leaves a strong impression and she was just getting rooted in her voice and career when she decided to make a move in a new direction. This always takes courage and "chutzpah" on the part of an artist. It's difficult to make changes when you are finally getting known for a specific style. So I have to hand it to Deb because she took a big leap when she took her work in a more abstract direction. 

While still having a representational bent, her work has taken on a different feel. The colors are peaceful and yet vibrant and one gets the distinct feeling that she's excited about her new direction if not yet settled in it. But that's what it's all about anyway, isn't it? We're all abut the journey. You go girl!

Deb describes the work appearing here as "Intuitive landscapes done in acrylics. These are small 5 X 7 paintings done quickly, using a dominate color and two spice colors."
"Through the Two" by Deb Sterk

Be sure to visit Deborah Sterk on this year's Sequim Arts Studio Tour.

                                                                                           -  Blog Master, Susan Martin Spar

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Charlotte Watts Fine Art Photographer

Charlotte Watts is one of the Peninsula's premiere fine art photographers. She is especially known for her wildlife photography for which she has won numerous awards. Last year Charlotte was honored to be chosen by Awagami Paper Company (making paper in Japan since 1700) to represent their handmade Bizan paper at Photokina, the world's  leading imaging fair. This fair occurs every 2 years in Cologne, Germany.

Watts has been using Awagami's Unryu 55 for nearly 3 years, and used it exclusively for her series of handmade scrolls "Farewell To Manzanar". You can see her review by going to :

Additionally, Charlotte was one of 40 photographers chosen for Vermont's PhotoPlace Gallery "Birds: Real or Imagined", Jan 2-26, 2013.An exhibition catalog of this work was done and is available through Blurb Books.

The photographer has just returned from a trip to view the birds up in the Skagit Wildlife Reserve and environs. A record year for swans! 

Charlotte Watts

"Snow Geese Descending"
Visit Charlotte this year on the Sequim Arts Studio Tour. You can also view her work at

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Janet Beers, Watercolor Artist

Janet Beers, Watercolorist, lives and works in Sequim, Washington. She credits local artists Robert Brown, Carol Janda and Melissa Penic as having been instrumental in strengthening her skills in watercolor. lIn addition she has studied with Tom Lynch in workshops on landscapes which she states have increased her boldness and confidence in using more vibrant colors.  However, it was George Zien and Kim Johnson of Phoenix, Arizona with steering her toward portraiture.

Janet describes her work:  "It is tremendously rewarding to watch a child or adult emerge as I recall their features re-create their likenesses in watercolor.  Pets are equally fun.  The last years have given me tremendous artistic pleasure while realizing the prior years of working with pastel, charcoal, pencil and ink were the base upon which this new experience has grown.  I will continue to strengthen my skills in portraiture while enjoying and exploring landscapes and still life"

Take a peek at Janet's development of a painting below:

"Rudy is slowly coming together on Arches 300# cold press watercolor paper.  I changed his hairline because has has gorgeous flowing white hair.  He gave me an "attitude" that made me smile.

Cadmium Red Light, Gamboge, and a touch of Cobalt Violet were used for skin tones, with touches of Cobalt Violet Deep and Alizarin Crimson for highlights and shadows.

I work at an easel, allowing the watercolors to move easily and often sit back and just let them course through the work.  When they move they create more excitement than I can with a brush."

"After spending hours studying different shots of the Victory motorcycle on a number of web sites, I just decided to go for it left lots of white paper, and used an unending supply of Cobalt, Sepia, Cobalt Violet Deep and Ultra Marine Deep.  

The background was a mixture of several greens, Cerulean, and Cobalt.  I tipped the painting upside down and let the colors flow on the dampened paper. " 

"After clean-up and trial-matting, he looked ready to roll, so I finished the horizon and called it complete."

Visit Janet on the Sequim Arts Studio Tour to see more of her work.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Premiere Watercolor Painter George Zien will be featured on Studio Tour

A realist, George Zien is one of the Peninsula's most accomplished watercolor artists. A Phoenix resident for many years, George moved to Sequim, WA in 2001. 

His work has been displayed in galleries in Arizona, Washington and Colorado as well as in private shows in Arizona and California.  George's originals are included in private and public collections throughout the country.  Commissioned portraits of people and animals have occupied a great deal of his time but he also enjoys painting structures as well as landscapes.  

George's attendance at Scottsdale Artists’ School and participating in workshops has provided him with fuel to fire his imagination.  He has traveled in Italy and Canada seeking new and unusual subjects for his art.   George invites you to visit his website and to share it with friends.  He is a member of Sequim Arts & Northwest Watercolor Society and facilitates a life drawing group every Tuesday in his studio.  Each summer for the past four years he has taught a four day watercolor workshop with a fellow artist. 

George describes his work and art as a "form of communication". He says, "Although I tend to be a realist, I like a bit of mystery in paintings.  Most everything we see is art, and I find satisfaction using watercolors and paper to record images that are appealing.  Lights, and especially shadows, are intriguing and add dimension to my efforts.  Changes in my style are welcome as I evolve as an artist." 

George's work and studio can be visited on this year's tour. His work can also be viewed on his website at He may be reached at and (360)5829622 or (360)461-2724. 

"Bison" by George Zien

"Herding" by George Zien

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sequim Elks inspire Artist

Susan Gansert Shaw finds her inspiration, as do many of the artists on the Peninsula in the beauty and wildlife that surrounds her. “Much  of my recent work  reflects the shapes, light and colors of the landscape and are done on paper using pastel, watercolor and graphite.  The vastness of the sky, the openness of the fields and the horizon line that reaches forever is a never ending source of inspiration.”   

Susan creates, plays and laughs in a variety of mediums and styles.  Her love of color and passion for light are surpassed only by her vitality and good energy.  Her latest pieces including “ Pussy's for Peace” and “ A Roosevelt Decision” encompass attitude and humor - the very nature of the subject.  Some have social undertones. Some are political and some just are. Enjoy!

"A Roosevelt Decision", Mixed Media

“Pussy's for Peace” , Mixed Media
Susan was raised and schooled in upstate New York where she received her BFA from Syracuse University. She later found herself and her art flourishing in the coastal town of Forks where she lived for thirty years before moving to Sequim. “The move from the “west end” to the north peninsula area was not an easy transition for me, but as I breathed into the north coast of the  Olympic Peninsula and our Rock Hollow” I find myself totally home with the  light, the uniqueness of the land shapes and the horizon line that appears everywhere.”

Susan‘s studio is also home to her “White Woman Susu Sticks, specialty cards, “Cat Guru’s Meditation Guide for Children of all Ages” and the famous Cat Guru Meditation apron! 

The artist is now concentrating exclusively on the fulfillment of her personal goals of peace, love and laughter which naturally include artistic endeavors.   Susan’s studio is open year round, “by appointment or luck”! Come see her on the Sequim Arts Studio Tour!

Susan Gansert Shaw in her studio

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Janine Hegy - Stone Mason

Janine Hegy is a Stone Mason and Jeweler. Janine's unique work takes the form of garden benches, stone sculpture and jewelery. Her unique style would add a splash of energy to any landscape or garden. Janine describes herself and her work in a few sentences:
Sand Blasted Rose
"Vim & Vigor. I looked up these words and think they apply to me. Lively or energetic spirit, enthusiasm, vitality. physical or mental strength and energy or force. Combine vim and vigor and one has a great deal of momentum. When I look over my body of work in the last year it is astounding. It's such a fantastic feeling to work my crafts in this community - I hope that my work reflects those feelings.

"Three of the most splendid projects I have ever worked on,  patios, fire pits and waterfalls are all built by my hand in real stone. I love creating jewelry that is lovely to wear and then it's fun to see people in town with it on. 'Hey I recognize that pair of earrings!' So, put all this together and then add dabbling in some old projects such as an oil painting (that has taken many years to complete), and wallah! Quite the creative concoction and you can come and see it all at my studio and garden during the Studio Tour."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tour artist Pam Walker's Art Accepted into Prestigious Show

Sequim Arts Studio Tour Artist Pam Walker has had a piece, titled, "Ancient Doorway", chosen by the annual CVG Show for participation in it's annual juried competition. CVG is one of the largest and most prestigious art competitions in the Northwest. Over 325 artists from 79 Washington cities submitted 896 artworks for consideration. Of these only 127 pieces were selected for inclusion in the show. Alfredo Arreguin, an internationally known painter from Seattle is the juror for this year’s competition. Next, Arreguin will choose the recipients of $7,000 in prizes going to 11 artists in multiple categories. Additional prizes include a purchase award by the Kitsap County Arts Board, a $300 People’s Choice Award and a $1,000 Best of Kitsap Award sponsored by the Cultural Arts Foundation Northwest.
"Ancient Doorway"

Pam Walker is a versatile artist working both in pastel and photography. She has had pieces published in National Georgraphic and is also known for her pigment transfer photographs where the delicate surface of the photo pigment is transferred to various surfaces such as paper or copper.  "Ancient Doorway", is a photographic pigment transfer on Silver leaf covered acrylic, framed in a silver leaf frame. The photo is of a man passing through the "marble door" in the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul Turkey. . 

Pam's entrancing work can be viewed First Hand during this year's studio tour.  Here's a peek at the CVG show entry.