Brushes with the Land features many interpretations of landscapes; part of four-gallery tour in Stanwood, Camano

Karen Dales Birch Tree Trail hangs behind Gayle Picken in the new location of Gallery by the Bay in downtown Stanwood. -
Karen Dales Birch Tree Trail hangs behind Gayle Picken in the new location of Gallery by the Bay in downtown Stanwood.
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STANWOOD Four established galleries of Stanwood and Camano Island have organized a special event Gallery Fest, a Holiday Art Tour which promises an enriching art adventure, with a grand opening Nov. 4, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 5.
These galleries each feature their own unique settings: from an historical home in old town to a remote destination at the southern reaches of Camano Island, to upstairs in the fancy new development at Terrys Corner, to the good ol fashioned downtown.
The four galleries are collaborating for this event, which celebrates the Northwests hottest art community the art community of Stanwood and Camano Island. Its true that the increasing population of the island has brought many new and talented artists, and that the island life of Camano is more readily available to mainland residents with no ferries and a very short bridge.
Each gallery has its own special show going on for the Gallery Fest.
Gallery by the Bay, which moved from the north end of Camano Island to downtown Stanwood this year, is showing Brushes with the Land, which opened with a big splash Oct. 6 and continues through the Gallery Fest tour until Nov. 12. A new show of 3-D works and pottery will be installed for the holiday shopping season.
Although its no longer technically by the bay, owner Gayle Picken is enjoying her new location in town.
Its a lot different here, she said drop-ins are much more common in the old commercial district that also includes Snow Goose Bookstore in a new location two doors to the east, and an assortment of eateries. The sad news, however, is that the Skandia Bakery closed last month.
People are still coming in, asking, what happened to the bakery? Picken said.
The landscape show includes an impressive piece of work by Arlington artist Marvin Lilley, which features a long assembly of small works framed separately and together, in an impressionistic series of trees and hills in a warm terracotta tint. A former Marysville artist, Dotti Burton, who now lives on Camano Island, entered Seeds of Growth, a lively composition of seeds and leaves intertwined with branches.
Its amazing the diversity of ideas that come into artists minds when they do landscapes, Picken said. I think this theme show will become a regular for us, like the Unclad show in spring.
The show includes work by many Camano Island artists who challenged themselves to meet the theme of the show. John Ebner broke out of his watercolor box to create a zingy pastel landscape and Joan Enslins rocks settle well in the landscape theme.
An Everett artist, Tom Jensen, who usually paints lively figures, tried to break out of his box, but ended up with a self-portrait with a landscape in the background, titled, The artist painting a landscape.
While many of the same names will be seen in each of the four galleries, there will also be new and different names.
We have works from all over the Pacific Northwest and one from Connecticut, Picken said.
An artist from Carnation, Vince Brown entered a beautiful painting that looks like a photograph of the Carnation Farm Bridge and Kathy Hastings, a ceramic artist from Snohomish who captured in a photograph one her ceramic bowls with a tree reflecting in the water and frost on the edges.
The History of the World will be opening its 17th annual small works show in time for the Gallery Fest. Honey, I Shrunk the Art, features small works by many artists from around Puget Sound. It was the co-owner of this gallery, Jack Gunter, who came up with the idea of the pop-up brochure that was mailed last week.
Jack is always coming up with some amazingly creative idea, Picken said. When he first suggest the popup brochure, we all said, no way we can afford that. But he made it happen.
At Stanwood House Gallery, it will be a unique opportunity to see the work of members of the Camano Arts Association in one location, in the show, Off the Wall. The association exists primarily to present the now famous Mothers Day Tour, which features more than 30 studios on the island and nearby in May each year.
We never get to see each others work because we are always tied down at our own studios during the tour, said Stanwood House co-owner Chaim Bezalel-Levy.
So we decided to feature all the membership in one place.
At Gallery in the Loft, the show, Doris Platis presents Local Color featuring mostly, but not all Camano Island artists. Everett artist Lance Carleton and Lakewood resident Marguerite Goff join the island residents as features at the Gallery in the Loft. Owners of the History of the World gallery, Karla Matske and Jack Gunter are both represented at Gallery in the Loft and will also be included in the Stanwood House show.
There is something about islands and water that seems to attract artists and art.

Northwest Watercolor Society
Camano Island artists Joan Enslin, Elizabeth Hamlin, Molly LeMaster and Ruth Westra and Marysville artist Dot Stanton, and crossover, Dotti Burton are accepted into the Northwest Watercolor Societys Waterworks 2006 which continues through Nov. 21 at the Kaewyn Gallery, 10101 Main St., in Bothell. Juror Jan Hart, of northern New Mexico, chose the best of the societys membership for this annual show with $3,000 in awards.

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