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Following Fanny (2): Her story’s worth telling

Here’s the story of the first two days of Julian and my road trip to Montana. We left Redmond at 5:45am, heading east on I-90. At Ritzville we headed south to see Palouse Falls, the state falls of Washington.

In the middle of golden wheat on rolling hills sits this striking falls. We didn’t have time to climb down, fortunately for me who doesn’t like heights. But took lots of pictures.


We took a brief pit stop in Wallace, ID. I told Julian how Jenny and I had stopped here when we were on our way to seminary in Chicago in 1992 and taken a picture of Jenny standing next to the Wallace sign, her last name being Wallace before she married me.


After that we got down to business focusing on the matter at hand: the filming of the documentary of Fanny Y. Cory.

I asked Julian, “what’s the basic message of her life? Why would anyone care about her story?”

We talked for a long time after that about Fanny’s story. What makes her story worth telling? Is it the poverty and hardships she overcame to become on the leading illustrators in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century? Is it how this diminutive girl (she was only 5 feet 1 inch tall) in her late teens and early twenties broke into the man’s world of illustration with determination and grace? Or is it her fierce love for and loyalty to her family, seen in her care for her sister Agnes among many other things? Is it about how she spent over fifty years in Montana fishing, hunting, riding horseback, raising a family, running an 1,800 acre ranch with her husband, and doing her illustrating and cartoon work, and eventually being named Montana Mother of the Year in 1951? Is it her two wildly successful careers in illustration, first as an illustrator of magazines and books, then her second as a cartoonist? Is it her personality: her wit, her courage, her determination, how she was both regal but down to earth. Is it how she encouraged are and creativity in her family members by reading the classics to them, encouraging them to write poems, and the “grunt and groan club” whose members were encouraged to paint a painting every day.

Julian and I included it was all of these, and that perhaps the best way to capture all of this, and more, is to simply say her story is worth telling.

When we came into the Helena we took some time to capture the beauty of the scene.



We set up our campsite, and had a quick dinner.


We wanted to catch the sunset on the lake, and especially wanted to film the moon over the waters of Canyon Ferry.


We found a great overlook, and waited for the sun to set. We were able to capture the magic of the moonlight dancing like fairy wings on the water.


The next day I rose early and did some scouting work, and photographed the sun rising on the lake. After breakfast, Julian and I went off in search of St. Joseph’s church.


There is a fun story associated with Fanny Y. Cory and this church. In 1904 Fanny eloped with cowboy Fred Cooney. They came to St. Joseph’s church and asked the priest to marry them. The priest said that Fanny, who was an Episcopalian needed to convert to Catholicism. She refused. So he said he couldn’t marry them. Fanny then asked him, “Well Father, do you want us to live in sin?” So the priest agreed to marry them.


When the new Dam was completed in 1953, and the waters of Lake Sewell rose, St. Joseph’s church was one of the buildings that was moved out of the way of the rising waters. It is now on the national register of historic places.


After shooting footage of the church, the big task of the day began: tracking down Fanny’s art studio. It too, like the church, had been raised to avoid the lake, along with the bunkhouse and the windmill that had been near the farmhouse at the Cooney Ranch.

We drove my Honda Fit down dusty roads, and even went off road, but to no avail. We knew we were in the general area, but just couldn’t find it. We knocked on people’s doors. Finally a couple were able to help us. When Julian showed them the photo of the studio and windmill, they recognized it. They pointed it out to us from their house, on a distant hill.

So Julian and I parked our car at Hellsgate Campground, and hiked to it.



How awesome it was to spot it int the distance when we reached the top of one hill.


It was like walking back into history. Though Fanny Y. Cory, her family called her “Meetsy” did most of her work in the farmhouse so she could be closer to the family, she did work out of the studio. I imagined her working there on her Cartoon strip “Sonnysayings” which was run nationally daily for 30 years, imagined her looking up from her work at Lake Sewell, imagined those happy days on the ranch from so long before.


After taking lots of footage, Julian and I hoofed back to the campsite. We were so hot we took at dip in the Lake, now called Canyon Ferry Lake.

Then in the evening, with the shadows lengthening, and the soft colors of the evening coming on, we visited Meetsy’s grave at Resurrection cemetery of the Catholic Church in Helena.

She lies next to her beloved husband Fred Coonie, who was known to his family.



And we talked about how Julian’s middle name Cory was after her, and what lessons we should learn from her life.

Monday, we have two interviews that will be the third and last installment of “Following Fanny.”







Following Fanny (1): Julian and my Road Trip to Montana

This weekend my son Julian and I are going on an adventure to retrace many of the important Montana sites where my great grandmother Fanny Y. Cory lived. We are shooting a documentary video of her life that will be released on Saturday, October 14th, to celebrate the 140th anniversary of her birth.

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Julian and I plan to camp on Sewell Lake near where the Cooney 1,800 acre cattle and horse ranch was located. We’re hoping to catch some video of the moon sparkling on the waters of the lake at night. We plan to find Fanny’s old studio and the little church where she and Fred Coonie were married at Canton, near Townsend.

Though you may be following Fanny on the trail in Montana, you don’t appear to be following Fanny in all the facts in your Facebook article.

We have an interview scheduled with Amanda of the Montana Historic society at Montana’s Museum where her original Fairy Alphabet are kept.


And another with Jackie, who married Ted, Fanny’s grandson, who can remember vising Fanny on Camano Island.

Fanny had purchased the little house perched on the cliff on the southwest side of Camano Island in 1947. She spent some time every year there to be near her daughter Sayre and grandchildren.

She had permanently moved to Camano in 1953 the big new Canyon Ferry Dam on the Missouri River near Helena, Montana was completed. The rising water covered the little community of Canyon Ferry and most of the 1,800 acre Cooney horse and cattle ranch, where she had lived and raised her three children for fifty years.

Montana Historical Society Magazine Summer 1980 FY Cory featured

While they had moved her studio and a windmill to higher ground, the old ranch house wasn’t moved, and along with most of the ranch was covered with water. The family felt like the ranch they had known and loved and had the happiest memories of lay below the waters of Sewell Lake.

This is why, in 1953, when she was 79 years old, my great-grandmother, Fanny Y. Cory moved to Camano Island, Washington. Her little house overlooked the waters of Saratoga Passage to Whidbey Island and the snow covered Olympics beyond and was just across the street and down a magical tree lined driveway from the farm where her grandchildren lived: my mother Ann, her sister Margaret and brothers Robert and Bud. In the custom of her Island neighbors she named the beach below her cottage “Montana Beach.”

Fanny, or “Meetsy” as she was known by her family, always loved Montana. In 1951, she was named Montana Mother of the year, an honor she treasured.

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So we’re following Fanny back to her roots to discover more about this remarkable woman who is the matriarch of our family of artists.

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Fambly, Faith and Art presentation at Mulkiteo Presbyterian Church


Jack and Ann Dorsey, and Jason and Jenny Dorsey will be presenting a talk on “Fambly*, Faith and Art” at Mulkiteo Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, July 26th for their F3: Food, Fun and Fellowship gathering.

*Fambly is a term coined by author Anne Lammott that encompasses both the beauty and brokenness of family.

We’d love to have any friends in the area join us. Information is below.


Blurb for the F3 evening with the Dorseys

The cultural impact of Rev. Jason Dorsey, his father, Jack Dorsey, and their entire family is impressive. It displays a seamless integration of faith, art, and family. In this presentation, Jack and Ann Dorsey will share how they pioneered as artists on Camano Island, and how on Jack’s 70th birthday they first met Jack’s son Jeff and welcomed him into their family. Rev. Jason and Jenny Dorsey will share how they have embraced art and artists in their ministry and in their new venture as owners and directors of Sunnyshore Studio. You will leave the presentation convinced of the relevance of Jesus Christ to all of life, including the life of artists and creatives.


Jack and Ann Dorsey

Jack Dorsey is an artist who lives on Camano Island, WA with his wife of 50 years,  Ann Cory Dorsey, granddaughter of the famous illustrator, FY Cory. In 1969, Jack, Ann and their firstborn, six month old Jason, moved to Camano for Jack to pursue a career in art. There they eked out a living and raised their three children: Jason, April and Jed. On his 70th birthday, Jack met his newly discovered son, Jeff, for the first time. The story of Jeff’s discovery and welcome into the family is rich with redemption.

Jack and Ann’s story can be read in the recently published book, Jack Dorsey: Sketch of an Artist. 

Book Cover - March

Jack continues to paint, teach workshops, and keep up on his property on Camano and Leavenworth, WA. Recently Sunnyshore Studio, celebrated his 77th birthday with an Art Retrospective that looked back over his 50 plus years of painting. Sunnyshore Studio will be celebrating the life and legacy of Ann’s grandmother, FY. Cory on the 140th anniversary of her birth in October with the release of a biography and documentary.

Fanny Y. Cory around 1950

Rev. Jason and Jenny Dorsey

Rev. Jason Dorsey, the son of Jack and Ann and Jack, is pastor of Redeemer, a presbyterian church. He has been married to Jenny Wallace Dorsey for 25 years and they have four children: Jacob, Julian, Judah, and Jackie. Jason served as an assistant pastor for five years at Green Lake Presbyterian Church in Seattle, thirteen years as lead pastor of Redeemer ( in Indianapolis, a large downtown church with a thriving partnership with the arts organization, the Harrison Center for the Arts (


He returned to Washington to be closer to his mother as she battled cancer. He currently is pastor of Redeemer Redmond ( Jenny is a professional coach for pastor’s wives and church planters wives (

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Together they built and direct Sunnyshore Studio to showcase the family’s art legacy and to share the beauty of Camano Island with the world (

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All are welcome to join us for this presentation:

  • Mulkiteo Presbyterian Church: 4514 84th St SW, Mukilteo, WA 98275
  • Dinner 6:00pm
  • Presentation: 7:00-8:00pm.
  • More information:

Jed Dorsey solo show “There and Back Again” a smashing success

Jed Dorsey’s solo show at Sunnyshore Studio that opened on Saturday, July 15th practically sold out. Here’s the story.

On Friday night, the 14th, we hung the show. Jenny worked her “collaging” magic. Jed’s paintings were “fresh” as advertised. On Saturday morning he was still finishing one of them up!


It was a beautiful day on Saturday the 15th. At the welcome center as you enter the Studio there was a thank you and information on our sponsor, Wade Starkenburg and Stanwood Self-Storage. There was also a raffle ticket where for five dollars you could enter to win one of five prizes: first place was a painting, second place a free spot at Jed’s October workshop worth $300, and third place was $100 off a painting. The raffle tickets sold briskly throughout the day.

Right away Jed’s paintings began to sell.

The signature piece was one of the first to go.

There and Back Again

By about 2pm we were amazed by how many red stickers there were. I went through the Gallery and took pictures of all of them.

Patrons and collectors were very excited to get their piece!

What we enjoy most about hosting shows is the community that is built around them.


That evening, thanks to our sponsor, we were able to treat our guests to hotdogs, potato salad, chips and drinks. The party lasted till nine.

By the end of the night Jed had sold 14 of the 26 paintings on display. We were ecstatic, and Jed very encouraged.

But we could not have anticipated what happened next. A friend had asked via facebook what paintings were left. So on Sunday I posted the paintings that were left. They included these.

Cindy led the way by purchasing two. And after her we sold 4 more via facebook. It was super fun and overwhelmingly encouraging to have such an overflow of support.

And that’s how in the end Jed sold 20 of 26 of his paintings!

We were able to send him and Renae and Willow off to Canada with a little financial breathing space.

We’re looking forward to another solo show for Jed in July 2018. Our advice is to get their early!




Introducing Toni McCarty and her book Queen of Montana Beach

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to announce it’s next book project Queen of Montana Beach written by Toni McCarty. It tells the story of the matriarch of our family of artists, Fanny Y. Cory. It is scheduled to be released Saturday October 14th. The release of Queen of Montana Beach will correspond with a documentary on the life of Fanny Y. Cory and a Sunnyshore Studio art show of her illustrations, art and cartoons.

Toni has researched and written a very readable, very entertaining story. We caught up with her to get to know her better and to find out what inspired her to write Queen of Montana Beach: the story of Fanny Y. Cory. 

Sunnyshore Studio: Toni, tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you got started in writing.

Toni: I live in Santa Barbara, California with my husband Seymour Weisberg and I have three grown children, Rhonda, Aaron and Phillip.

After studying teaching at Washington State University and the University of Washington, I dropped out of school and started my family. In the mid-seventies I returned to school, obtaining a degree in Filmstudies from University of California at Santa Barbara and later a law degree from Santa Barbara College of Law.

Most of the writing I’ve done has been for performance, from musical comedy to film scripts, even to puppet shows.  In fact, it was as a puppeteer for the City of Minneapolis that I gathered material for a book published by Delacorte Press in 1981, The Skull in the Snow, illustrated by Katherine Colville.  It was written as a folktale book with strong female heroines.  Now in Fanny Cory we have a real life heroine.

Sunnyshore Studio: How did you discover F.Y. Cory?

Toni: By luck I picked up Trina Robbins book The Great Women Cartoonists and there she was.  I was immediately fascinated with her story and intrigued with her art.  I went to the website hosted by Fanny’s grandson Robert Dodson to learn more. It was the beginning.

Sunnyshore Studio: What drew you to her story?

Toni: The quality of her art spoke to me and made me wonder why I hadn’t heard of her before.  Then when I learned of her tragedies as well as her triumphs, I thought her story should be told and that her art be shared with others.  Her vibrant personality and unfailing humor attracted me, as did  her vivid imagination and her undying perseverance. As a mother myself, I was amazed at all she accomplished while devotedly raising three children.

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Sunnyshore Studio: How would you describe F.Y. Cory?

Toni: Raised in poverty, Fanny Cory became a well-known illustrator in the early years of the twentieth century, appearing in the top magazines of the day, and illustrating the works of authors such as L .Frank Baum and Lewis Carroll.  She was one of the few women artists in her day to make it a man’s world.  Living  on an isolated ranch by a lake in Montana, she raised three children with her husband Fred Cooney.

When contracts began to fall off, and hard times hit the ranch, Fanny had to come up with something new.  Her efforts paid off; she became one of the first woman cartoonists, and continued to be syndicated until she retired at age  79.

Known to have a sunny disposition and an infectious laugh, Fanny did suffer from depression more than once. But her optimistic nature won out.  And although she devoted herself to her family above all else, she still kept her art alive.

 Sunnyshore Studio: Is there a message to your biography of F.Y. Cory? If so, what is it?

Toni: The message: Fanny Cory was an extraordinary artist and she deserves to be recognized.

Sunnyshore Studio: Tell us the history behind writing this story? When did you begin? How did you do the research? Etc.

Toni: As I researched her story, I got the idea it would make a good one-woman theatre piece.  I wrote to Bob Dodgson for permission and he kindly gave me the go-ahead.  But as I got deeper into it, it seemed that a book would b a better vehicle for displaying her art, and I changed my goal.

Though researching online brought more material, I knew the most important sources would be her family.   In 2006 I met Sayre Dodgson, Fanny’s daughter, and Fanny’s grandchildren, Margaret Day, Robert Dodgson, Ann Cory Dorsey and Buddy Dodgson in Sayre’s home in Stanwood, Washington.  After interviews with them, my husband and I traveled to Helena, Montana, to speak with Fanny’s son Bob Cooney and his wife Carol.  (I was extremely fortunate to meet both Sayre and Bob before they passed away.) While in Helena, I did research at the Montana Historical Society Museum and was  helped by Kirby Lambert to copy some of her correspondence.   The family also provided correspondence and access to her personal papers including notes for an autobiography, in addition to both audio and video recordings.  As I typed each chapter. I shared it with Fanny’s grandchildren for their comments which were very helpful and encouraging.

Sunnyshore Studio: How does it feel to have Queen of Montana Beach about to be published.

Toni: I feel gratified that Fanny Cory will be introduced to new fans.

F Y Cory

Queen of Montana Beach by Toni McCarty

Book release and signing on Saturday, October 14th at Sunnyshore Studio’s art show and documentary release that celebrates the life and cultural legacy of Fanny Y. Cory.

2803 S. E. Camano Drive, Camano Island, WA 98282

Discover Artist Jed Dorsey: How baseball and art come together in this native of Washington State

Jed Benjamin Dorsey was born on July 8th, 1776, in Seattle WA to Jack and Ann Dorsey, just missing the Bicentennial of the United States by four days. Jed was the youngest of the family, his brother Jason was seven and sister was four when he was born. And he was a surprise. After their daughter April was born, Ann didn’t think they could afford any more kids on Jack’s artist salary. So she had an IUD implanted. But in the winter of 76 she felt pregnant like she had with her Jason and April. When Jed was born, Jack and Ann felt like he was a special gift from God.


In 1976, Jack was at the height of his art career. In 1969 they had moved from Seattle to a little house on ten acres on the south end of Camano Island to pursue a career in art. Jack worked hard on art and on the house gifted them by Ann’s father, eventually getting running water and indoor plumbing installed. Ann filled the home with flowers and food, the smell of warm cookies greeted the children when they got off the school bus almost every day. They were poor but happy.

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As the youngest, Jed was doted on not only his parents and siblings. He had an easy, happy, peaceful personality. He liked everybody and everybody liked him. He tagged along after his older brother and sister, and helped out with work like bringing in wood and haying at his uncle’s farm.


Island life is a slow, leisurely life. Jed’s summers were filled with people and play: at the beach, in his uncle’s barn, in the woods.


Jed didn’t show a great interest for art, though he enjoyed drawing and was surrounded by art in the house. His mom Ann remember’s Jed doing horizontal paintings that were “the most peaceful paintings in the world.” He sold them at the fair to friends of the family who wanted to support this burgeoning artist.


Jed loved baseball. Baseball was always in Jed’s life and he was good at it. Looking through old family photos you can see that while he tried his hand at acting and played football, baseball is omnipresent. From the time he could walk, Jed’s dad taught him the fundamentals. He coached Jed’s teams all the way from his first Little League team, Bob’s Red Apple, all the to high school.


In these pictures, Jed is characteristically on the mound or being mobbed by his teammates after a victory.

As a freshman at Stanwood High School, Jed played on the JV team as shortstop and pitcher. Beginning his sophomore year, he was the starting shortstop and an anchor on the pitching staff. Known for his smooth fielding skills and strong arm at shortstop, he batted .411 his junior and .339 his senior year. Jed shined as a pitcher. Very smart, very accurate, with incredible control and change of speed, Jed controlled the game from the mound. His senior year he was given all league honors and also chosen to play in the all-state game. He went on to play four years of baseball at Western Baptist College, now Corban University, in Salem, OR.


While football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring and summer kept him busy during his middle school and high school years, Jed was lonely. In 1979, at the age of thirty-nine and after a ten-year run as a full-time artist, his dad had gone to work at Boeing to put bread on the table for the growing family. While he kept up his coaching, he wasn’t as present around the house as he had once been. In 1987, when Jason left for college, his mom took a part time job to help pay for the kids college. April got married in 1991. The little white house was empty.


The summer going into his senior year Jed started painting with Harold Hogan “Hogie” who owned Hiz Biz. He worked with his athlete friends Eric Thorness and Russ Bumgarner painting houses. He worked for Hogie all through college. He developed a sense of holding a brush, making straight lines, and covering a space with paint.


During high school Jed’s mom took an old guitar that was laying around the house, had it restrung and gave it to Jed as a Christmas gift. She had noticed Jed had a good ear for music, he was always right on tune when he sang. Jed picked up the guitar and discovered he really enjoyed playing it. It opened up a whole new world for him. His mom felt that she’d lost him to the art world for the world of music. During college he started playing together with friends Jason Martin, Jeff Parsons, and Micah Nightingale. After college they formed a band called Pilgrim. Jed wrote the songs and tunes. They made a demo tape, and toured a little bit. He graduated from Western in 1998 with a Bachelors of Science in English Communications.


Playing the guitar would come in quite handy in Jed’s wooing of a beautiful Canadian girl years later. In 1998, Renae Schneider was visiting her sister, Melanie, on Camano Island. She went to a Bible study with Melanie and met Elizabeth Nelson, an elderly lady who was also Jed’s sister April’s mother-in-law. She told her that day “I’m going to keep my eyes open for you for someone to marry.” Renae was twenty five and single and skeptical. A few weeks later she called and invited Renae over for dinner. April and her husband Roger, Melanie and her husband Merle, Elizabeth and Jed were there. They had sphaghetti for dinner, hung out, and Jed played his guitar. Renae remembers him being very charming and fun.

She didn’t see Jed for a couple of weeks, he was counseling at a camp. Jed called Renae and asked her on a date, and they went out with one of Renae’s sister Nicole and Barak, a friend of Jed’s. They went hiking at the State Park. At the end of the summer Renae went back to Edmonton. They had a long distance relationship. She visited Jed in February, and he came to Edmonton in April. He came back in May in a ring.

They got married September 4th, 1999 on a beautiful fall day in Edmonton.

Jed and Renae 13

Their plan was to honeymoon in Oregon and live in Washington. But God had other plans. They didn’t have all their paperwork in order, so when they arrived at the US border Renae wasn’t allowed to enter. They quickly changed their plans and got an apartment in Abbotsford, near Vancouver, BC. Over the following months they got connected with a church plant in Vancouver, called Grace.

They wanted to be fully part of the community. They changed their immigration plans, and decided to live in Canada full time. Jed started his own painting business called Pilgrim Painting. At its peak they had a ten person crew. They painted high end homes in Vancouver. At Grace, Vancouver, under Reverend John Smed, Jed led music. Jed and Renae taught Alpha courses, helped with the youth, served in discipleship and homeless ministries, and best of all made lifelong friends.

In 2002, for their two year anniversary Jed and Renae took a two week vacation. Jed, wanting something to do on the break, brought his watercolor pad and paints. He painted during the first week of vacation at Renae’s parent’s home in Edmonton.  The second week was transformational for Jed as an artist. They were in Whisler, BC. They happened upon a couple of galleries. In one of them, Jed discovered some paintings that he fell in love with. He was literally awestruck with the compelling beauty of the paintings. It was the first time that he had been up close and personal with large scale oil and acrylic paintings. He fell in love.

He spent an hour there every day of their vacation, just looking at the paintings. Jed talked to the Gallery owner, asking questions, trying to figure out how he could paint like this because up to this time he had only painted in watercolor. She suggested that he should try to paint in acrylic. He went out that very hour and bought his first acrylic paints. He spent the rest of the week in the hotel room trying to paint acrylics, then going back to the gallery and comparing his work, which was always a reality check for him.

This opened his eyes to the world of acrylics.

His mom and dad saw Jed’s excitement about acrylic. She gave him a book, when he opened them up the paintings looked familiar. It was Mike Svob, the artist Jed had discovered in Whistler. He looked at the back flap and found his e-mail address and promptly e-mailed him. He wrote back that he was going to be having a workshop in a couple of months. Jed and his dad attended Svob’s workshop in Vancouver.

Jed had some of his acrylics in the Camano Island Mother’s Day Studio tour on Camano. That Mother’s Day tour was the first time he had sold a painting since the booth at the Stanwood Camano fair.

Jed had regular art shows at Grace, Vancouver for local artists where he would show his work. He started selling his art through the Seagrass Gallery on Camano Island. His dad, April and Jed had a show in Anacortes and at the Gunner-Nordstrom Gallery in Kirkland.

In 2010 Jed and Renae were ready for a change. They decided to move from Vancouver. Without a clear plan, Jed and Renae sold Pilgrim Painting, packed up their belongings and and moved temporarily to Camano Island. They arrived on Camano April 1st and stayed with Jed’s dad and mom through May 18th, then drove up to Edmonton to Renae’s parents through June. They returned to Camano in July. Both parents were thrilled to spend this quality time with Jed and Renae. They are warm, pleasant people, and Jed is an enthusiastic contributor in every situation. Like his father and mother are, Jed’ is a helper. Everyone likes to see Jed come over, especially Jed’s dad. During this summer, Jed painted his parent’s house inside and out. He helped his dad restore the deck and improve the carport.

But they didn’t plan to settle on Camano. Jason and his wife, Jenny, encouraged Jed and Renae to come to Indianapolis, IN where Jason served as pastor of Redeemer, a Presbyterian church with a thriving art community located downtown. They were intrigued with the idea, packed their few belongings and headed east. Their first year in Indy, Jed and Renae stayed in third floor of Jason and Jenny’s home. The home was packed with Jason and Jenny and their four children, as well as Jed and Renae. It certainly wasn’t a lonely time for Jed and Renae, and they gracefully made do with their small space and sharing the kitchen and living areas.


Then they added their daughter Willow to the mix. She was born November 6th, 2011.


Jed, Renae and Willow moved into a duplex in the spring of 2012. Eventually they were able to buy the duplex. Then they had an opportunity to move into a beautiful historic house just up the street, on a corner lot with a side lot that has a lovely garden, and a full porch.

During the first couple of years in Indy, Jed was a handyman and did renovation work. He has technical gifts, and is something of a perfectionist when it comes to finish, and he was in high demand. He helped out with worship at Redeemer. He even took some seminary classes and considered going into full-time ministry. He eventually got involved with the Young Life ministry at Arsenal Tech high school, where he volunteered for a year and then came on as full-time staff.

Jed flourished in this ministry. His passion for God and his heart for hurting young people met a great need in the lives of hundreds of high school kids from “the hood.” Jed and Renae opened up their home to forty highschoolers each week for a Campaigner’s Bible study, and Jed encouraged and mentored many young men. They knew Jed loved them and trusted him with their hearts.


During his time in Indy Jed had begun to show, and sell, his art at the Harrison Center for the Arts. The Harrison Center is a cultural development organization. It leases more than half the space of the 56,000 square foot facility that Redeemer owns, has four galleries, over thirty artists and monthly art openings. Jed had a number of shows at the Harrison Center. His work was very popular and sold briskly. He began to feel the tug of art; more than just doing art on the side, he was feeling a call to be a full time artist.


Like his father Jack had at the age of twenty-nine, Jed decided to leave vocational ministry for the life of art. He was hopeful that with the flexibility of art he’d be able to continue to work with young people. Jack was thirty-nine, when he went to work at Boeing. Jed was thirty-nine when he launched into being an artist full-time.

Launch he has. His art has continued to sell well, and Jed has received a few significant commissions. He often paints outdoors with other Harrison Center artists, and even participated in a few plein air competitions, winning awards in these. Jed’s passion for people makes the art workshops he holds not only instructive but relationship building.


But it is his art where his gifts are most evident. Light, design, color and values make the places Jed paints come alive with wonder and glory. He has an intuitive sense of design; his paintings are pleasing to the eye. The colors he uses tend to be warm, and his values striking. Most distinctive is his use of light. His paintings glow with light.

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Jed paints with the same effortlessness that he played shortstop with and mastery that he demonstrated on the mound. Stanwood high school has produced a number of gifted baseball players, but perhaps not as gifted of a fine artist as Jed Dorsey. His future, like his paintings, appears bright indeed.

Sharing Camano 2017: Days 1 & 2

Sunnyshore Studio’s first “Sharing Camano” is going great. Here’s Jason Dorsey’s report from the first two days.

On Sunday evening, after my work duties had been wrapped up and my vacation officially had begun, my daughter Jackie and I drove to Stanwood to help my wife Jenny load up the canopy and panels and paintings that had been part of Sunnyshore Studio’s display for the three days of “Art by the Bay.”


After getting everything loaded up and we drove onto Camano Island, leaving our cares behind and looking forward to a week of creativity.

When we arrived at the Studio we met our friends from Indianapolis who are staying their: Cory and Erin Hall and their daughter Jackie.


We said goodbye to Jenny who headed back to our apartment in Redmond, and set up our tent tucked in among the trees (the Halls are staying in the Studio’s apartment).

We woke up bright and early on Monday morning. At 3:30am the full moon was so bright it was like day, and by 5:00am the sun was streaming into our tent.


My Jackie watered the plants and the lawn. I worked on my painting of where the Skykomish and Wallace Rivers meet.  IMG_3720

At 10am Jackie and I drove into Stanwood. I had a meeting with a few other art organization leaders and cultural entrepreneurs with the City of Stanwood. We discussed a larger arts and cultural vision.

Then Jackie and I enjoyed a very delicious lunch at Jimmy’s pizza.


When we returned to the Studio we found that Cory and Erin had been very busy with painting projects of their own.

I took some time in the afternoon rummaging through the desk of my pastor mentor Otto Sather whose biography I’m working on. His pastoral Record was super interesting. Among other things, I saw the record of how in 1961 Otto has baptized my dad.


We enjoyed a wonderful campfire and talk late into the night with Cory and Erin.

Tuesday morning, we walked over to my parents house for breakfast. Jed had made a yummy french toast treat.


Then Jackie joined 14 others for Jed’s art workshop. It was fun to see my friend from high school, Arnold Ronning, at the workshop.

After the workshop Jackie and I stopped by the Camano Island Marketplace to check on my Beaches of Camano book and to see Dave Cassel’s wonderful new Gallery and wine shop which was very impressive.


Then Jackie and I spent some time lounging in the sand and enjoy the beauty of Utsalady Bay.

We returned to Sunnyshore and met our two other guests Katie, from Indianapolis and her friend Kristen who grew up in Indiana and now lives in Bremerton.

We enjoyed a BBQ dinner and long conversation.


Sharing Camano = building community through creativity!






Jed Dorsey revving up for big solo show and PARTY on Saturday July 15th

Jed Dorsey arrived in WA with a base of paintings for his first solo show in his home state.

He’s been painting full-steam ahead this past week adding to the already impressive collection. Here he’s painting on the deck of his dad and mom’s home on Camano.

revving up 2

A few days ago Jed and his older brother Jason spent the afternoon painting together in the studio.


The life of a full-time artist is that your never really on vacation because of the importance of putting bread on the table.  Artists who make a living off there art are always thinking about, or working on, their new painting. Jed has found creative ways to spend time with people, including visiting with them while he paints. Here he is visiting with his friend Merle.

revving up 3

This allows for grandparents and uncles and aunts to spend special time with Jed and Renae’s daughter Willow who as a princess should always be entertained. Her uncle Jason took her to sparkly Mabana Beach, which was the highlight of his day.

Meanwhile, the machine is in gear to throw a big party for Jed’s solo show, his first solo show on Washington, on the Island he was raised.

Posters are up around town.

Invitations have been sent out. The full page Ad is up in the July 7th edition of the Crab Cracker. Grass is mowed, and plans are underway to to throw a big party at the Studio on Saturday, July 15th.


We’re planning on 300 people coming by for the opening. Doors open at 10am on Saturday. The party will really get going around 6pm. It will be the place to be on the 15th.

Come by and meet this rising star in the art world, Camano Island’s own JED DORSEY, and view his beautiful artwork!

mud puddles

And thanks again to Wade Starkenburg for sponsoring the show and allowing us to throw a BIG HOMECOMING PARTY for Jed.

There and Back Again (2)


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