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20th Annual Studio Tour Guest Artist: Amanda Pearson

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to have the fabulous Amanda Pearson as one of our guest artist for the 20th Annual Camano Island Studio Tour.  Mark Your Calendars for the 20th Anniversary Camano Island Mother’s Day Studio Tour this May Amanda comes all the way from St. Paul, MN and we think you’ll love the colorful, playful and detailed artwork of this emerging artist.

Sunnyshore Studio: Tell us about yourself:

Amanda: I currently live in Richfield, MN (just south of Minneapolis). I grew up in Portland, OR and moved out to the Twin Cities for college. But now I’m married and bought a house, so I’ll be here for a while even though the Pacific Northwest will always be my home. My husband is fantastic and is always supportive of whatever schemes I get us into. We have two cats and they are rambunctious and endlessly entertaining, although they do not appreciate when I spend more time on my art projects than hanging out with them.

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Sunnyshore Studio: How did you get started in art?

Amanda: I was an “artistic” kid. My childhood was spent making various doodads. I remember making a VHS player and videotape out of paper, and a briefcase out of a box that I took to school instead of a backpack (I was super cool). When I was waiting for my parents to be done talking to people after church on Sunday mornings, I would take the weekly bulletins and make little furniture or miniature scenes out of them.

In 3rd and 4th grade, I made a name for myself in my elementary school for making the best dioramas. Then in junior high and high school, my art classes were the best parts of my days (I always took as many as I could). I look back on the projects that I did in those days, and even in my freshman year of high school I was gluing sand or sugar or baking soda to fulfill whatever the assignment was. My mom “fondly” remembers all of the urgent trips to Michaels or the art store to try to make it before they closed on Sunday because of a last-minute scramble to finish something before it was due on Monday. In college, I majored in art education and graduated with my Bachelors in Visual Arts Education K-12. While my actual occupation is currently not art-related, I’ve found ways in my adulthood to incorporate art – I’ve taught elementary kids in an after-school art program, and taken community education art classes to keep me in this back in the days when I didn’t have the space or time to dedicate to it that I do now.

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Sunnyshore Studio: What has been your journey as an artist?

Amanda: It took me a little while to figure out how to incorporate art into my life after graduating. I had my art education degree, but wasn’t convinced I wanted to work as a teacher in a school. I spent a couple of years working retail and in a coffee shop, and then I secured a corporate job in the mortgage industry. Cubicles are not conducive to creativity. I did make sure to work in times to still create – since I was working a lot of hours and didn’t have a dedicated art space in my rented rooms/apartments, I decided that I would take a community education introduction to painting class. I enrolled over and over again, not because I wanted to learn the color wheel REALLY well, but because I could sit in the back and just paint. That way, there were a few hours a week where I had to make something. Painting has never been my favorite thing, but doing this enabled me to keep art a part of my life even when I had so many excuses for it to fall by the wayside. Each session, the other people taking the class were mostly empty-nesters or others who had the same tale of enjoying art when they were younger but with jobs and families and all the obligations that come with those, hadn’t made anything in 20+ years and wanted to go back to that part of who they were. I didn’t want that to be my story, but I could see how easily that could happen. So I kept taking the classes. Eventually with my corporate job, I was able to work less than 60 hours a week and had more time to do what I wanted.

Over the last few years, I started to move away from the once-a-week painting sessions and focused on the gluing projects. The reason was very practical at first – I wanted to make stuff but didn’t have the space, so I focused on methods that were portable. That way, I could go and work in Starbucks instead of being stuck in my apartment. So that’s what I would do! I would put whatever project I had in a pillow case and bring my Elmer’s glue bottle and bag of string and make my way to the nearest coffee place. It was not the most efficient way of doing projects that were already incredibly time-consuming, but I was able to finish one or two a year this way. I didn’t show them much, but joined a local art center and participated in their semi-annual member shows (and won a blue ribbon on one of my pieces). Then, my husband and I bought a house. It was a nerve-racking experience. I had gone into it with space for an art studio on my “please please have” list, but after our 5th rejected offer and skyrocketing housing prices, I thought I would have to sacrifice this (and my must-have of a second bathroom). But! We found our house! With a room on the main floor that made a perfect art studio. With my pieces, time is the biggest factor. Being able to have a spot where I could go to every day, even if I had only a few minutes, has made it possible for me to be much more productive and pour myself into this piece of what I do.

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I also needed to find my niche. Like I mentioned, painting is not a creative outlet that drives me. I also don’t have much patience for drawing. So what would I do? What would be my thing? What would be the way that I would express my ideas and views on the world? It came to me one night – at the time I didn’t realize it would be such a turning point, but it ended up changing everything. It was a Saturday night. I knew that I wanted my next project to be of Oneonta Falls in Oregon, but I didn’t want to paint it. Then it hit me – I wanted to glue embroidery floss instead. Well, I didn’t have that material at the time, and it was 10 o’clock on a Saturday night and I absolutely HAD to start and could not wait. So I went to Wal-Mart and bought some embroidery floss from their limited assortment and some little scissors, found some cardboard, and went to work. I was so proud of it, and I still am. Looking at it now, I can see a lot of flaws and things that I have learned with the medium since then, but I still am inspired by that moment and what came from it. It returned me to my instincts and tapped into what has driven me to “make” since I was a kid.

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Sunnyshore Studio: What about your future as an artist?

Amanda: Since I have now amassed a decent-sized portfolio, I am transitioning away from just making projects for myself to put on my walls for my own personal gallery. At this point, I am trying to find ways to share what I’ve made with others, through displaying art in public places that host artists, selling prints and smaller pieces at art shows, and participating in group shows at galleries such as this one. It is overwhelming at times and I am learning a lot. It is also scary – I am used to critiques from all of the art classes I have taken, but these pieces were made for personal reasons, and I’m putting them out there for strangers to have an opinion on. I have gotten a lot of very positive feedback and some good pointers as well, and I hope to keep learning and pushing myself to be better and share my work with others.

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Sunnyshore Studio: Why are you excited to participate in the 2018 – 20th annual! – Camano Island  Studio Tour at Sunnyshore Studio?

Amanda: The studio is an amazing place. Jason is my father’s cousin and my father grew up in the area, and this is a really special way to be connected even though I live so far away. It is an honor to have been asked to participate. There is something so special about an area coming together in a creative endeavor like an open art studio tour. The Dorsey’s and other artists who are showing at the studio are fantastic and their work is beautiful, so I am so excited for this opportunity to display along with them.

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Mark Your Calendars for the 20th Anniversary Camano Island Mother’s Day Studio Tour this May

Sunnyshore Studio is excited to participate in the 20th Anniversary Camano Island Studio Tour and welcome the thousands of people who will make the pilgrimage down to the south end of Camano to view the many studios and galleries here.

The Studio Tour opens on Mother’s Day weekend, Friday, May 11th and runs Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th (10am-5pm) with an Encore Weekend, Saturday, May 19th and Sunday, May 20th (10am-5pm). 

Sunnyshore Studio will represent five generations of artists of the Dorsey family:

Fanny Y. Cory

Matriarch of our family of artists

Jack Dorsey

Father of Jason, April (Nelson), and Jed

Ann Cory

Granddaughter of Fanny Y. Cory and wife of Jack Dorsey

Jason Dorsey

Son of Jack Dorsey and Ann Cory

April Dorsey

Daughter of Jack Dorsey and Ann Cory

 

Jed Dorsey

Son of Jack Dorsey and Ann Cory

Julian Dorsey

Son of Jason Dorsey

Jackie Dorsey

Daughter of Jason Dorsey

 

We are especially thrilled to welcome Jed Dorsey back to Washington State! He will have just arrived the week of the Mother’s Day show and we can’t wait to share his epic artwork with old and new collectors.

We will also be featuring three guests artist which we’ll be introducing you to over the next month.

Mark your calendars for the Studio tour. And make sure to stop by Studio #5 as you enjoy Camano’s colony of artists and natural beauty. You won’t want to miss this event!

 

 

Our Top Ten List of Thanks

It’s been almost a year since Sunnyshore Studio’s Grand Opening on December 2nd, 2016. Here’s our “Top Ten” list of thanks as we look back over this past year.

10. We are thankful for the five art shows we have been able to host over the past year, our sponsors who have made those shows possible, and the thousands who have stopped by to view them. 

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9. We are thankful for the opportunity to do creative work beyond just art. We’ve been able to publish three book and make one documentary! 

 

8. We are thankful that the Studio is becoming a place where we can encourage, mentor and train other artists. 

 

7. We are thankful for the Colony of Artists on Camano Island who support, encourage, and help each other in so many ways. 

 

6. We are thankful for the many friends who have stopped by to visit with us. We love sharing our Studio and Camano Island with you. 

 

5. We are thankful for this beautiful place that we call “home”, Camano Island.

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4. We are thankful that this decades old dream of building an art studio to showcase our family’s art legacy has come true. 

 

 

 

3. We are thankful to our friends, collectors and patrons who have supported our family of artists since 1969.

2. We are thankful for our family and the opportunity  to work together as a family to do art and to share beauty with the world.

 

1.  Finally, we are thankful to God our Creator and Sustainer and Redeemer whose beauty, love and grace inspires all we do.

Happy Thanksgiving From Sunnyshore

 

 

 

Building Community Through Art

One goal of Sunnyshore Studio is to share the beauty of Camano Island one person at a time. Another goal is to build community through art. Both of these goals were met on the Camano Island Studio tour.

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It was not merely that 1,238 people found their way to the little studio far away on the south end of Camano Island. Here are the following stories of how community was built.

First, community was built through the invite to come back not just next year but throughout the year for our 2017-2018 Artistic Season. I (Jason) spent most of my time welcoming guests at the front door. I had lots of fun introducing myself as Artistic Director of The Sunnyshore Studio, sharing about the upcoming shows: My brother Jed’s solo show There and Back Again in July, the celebration of my great-grandmother’s, F.Y. Cory’s cultural legacy with the release of a Documentary telling the story of her life and also the release of a biography in October, our second annual Dorsey family Christmas show in November and December, and our first Vintage Watercolorists of Washington in March.

Art Shows

Community was also built by welcoming many newcomers to Camano Island. We met many new friends who have purchased homes, built homes, moved to Camano Island over the last couple of years. Being Islanders since 1947 our family enjoys welcoming folks to “our island” and having a place to share hospitality and art!

 

Dad and Mom are especially gracious and warm in welcoming newcomers and old friends!

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There is, of course, the fun connecting with longtime old friends. It is so great to have a space that we regularly invite community to be built, or old communities to enjoy.

Like Mom’s friends from Stanwood High School’s class of 1964. They meet once a month at the Cookie Mill in Stanwood for lunch and catching up; and they attend together all the openings at Sunnyshore Studio!

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It’s super fun for me to see old classmates like Brad and Heidi Hansen who are great supporters of the cultural life of Camano.

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Another way community is built is that Sunnyshore Studio is a connecting points to many people who live on the East Side or Seattle. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people who have a summer home on Camano but live in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Woodinville, Bothel or Seattle. It’s also super fun to share the Studio with people from my congregation in Redmond. On Sunday Cindy joined me after church driving up to Camano, she stayed for the family dinner after the show was over.

 

Community will also be built at the many upcoming workshops and classes that are going to be offered. Many people are interested in taking classes/workshops from my dad. And there was lots of interests in Jed’s July and October workshops too. Classes and workshops are great ways of not only encouraging creativity but also nurturing community!

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There’s at least one more way that community was built over the last two weekends at Sunnyshore Studio. Each person that buys a painting has a connection back to the artist, to our family of artists, and a story to share. People who buy local art are not only supporting the local economy, but now have a tie to that artist.

 

Here is a story of one of those ties.

When I was standing at the front door welcoming guests a young woman came up to me. She introduced herself, shared that she had begun attending Western Baptist College (now Corban University) in 1991, the year I graduated from there, and had purchased two of my paintings during a show I had there to help raise money for my girlfriend, Jenny’s tuition. She bought one of the paintings for her grandfather who was dying, and who in fact died later that year. The painting was of the famous kite festival at Lincoln City, OR with the Sea Gypsy Motel in the background. Her grandfather had loved that beach and taken his family there every year. She shared with me that she had gotten her first kite there.

And so even though her grandfather wasn’t able to visit the beach he loved, she was able to bring the beach to him.

She has recently moved to the Warm Beach Area. When she saw my name on the list of Studios for the Mother’s Day Studio Tour she had to come and introduce herself and share her story:  tie of community through art.

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Finally, community is built through Jenny Dorsey, a master community builder. Not only is she organized, the administrator of the community, and not only does she have a fabulous eye for creating and collaging space…

 

she is an amazing weaver of community.

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Mother’s Day Weekend Report…with Encore Weekend still ahead

Here is report from Sunnyshore Studio for the Studio Tour over Mother’s Day Weekend (Friday-Sunday). It was a great weekend, and we have the Encore Weekend next Saturday and Sunday to look forward to.

We had 208 visitors on Friday, 318 on Saturday and 323 on Sunday. Last year we had as many guests on the Encore Weekend as on Saturday and Sunday of Mother’s Day Weekend so we expect to shatter our total of over 900 guests last year.

Sales were best on Friday, and steady on Saturday and Sunday. We grossed over $9,258.

Book sales have been brisk. We sold 33 of F.Y. Cory’s Fairy Alphabet, 56 Beaches of Camano coffee table books, 14 of the I Remember Fishing with Dad children’s picture books, and even three pre-sales of the biography Jack Dorsey: Sketch of an Artist.

Jack Dorsey has the highest sale, with his beautiful watercolor, Palouse Warmth, selling for $1,600.

Jed Dorsey has sold four original paintings.

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I (Jason) sold the cover for his Fishing with Dad book titled “Fishing Hole” for $800, as well as some unframed originals and quite a few posters of map showing the Beaches of Camano.

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Ann Cory leads the way in number of sales with over 148 sales. She’s sold a number of her originals and prints and a whole lot of F.Y. Cory Fairy prints.

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And the next generation has even gotten into the act. Julian Dorsey has sold 3 sets of cards, Rachelle Nelson one card, and Parker, Jenny’s cousin Sharilyn son has sold 4 pens (he’s raising money for a missions trip he’s going on). Jackie has sold one painting.

 

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We love seeing old friends and make new friends.

Mom’s friends from Stanwood High School’s class of 1964 stopped by to support and encourage her.

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Classmates of mine, Heidi Berg Hansen and Brad Hansen visited. It was fun to catch up with Brad on his own writing projects.

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William Thomas Jones was there on Sunday to visit with guests. It has been such a joy and honor to show his work.

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There were lots of others, but I was to busy sharing Sunnyshore Studio’s 2017-2018 Artistic Season and inviting folks to come back for our many upcoming parties to take pictures of them all.

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The grounds looked beautiful.

Parking worked well. At times the back parking lot was full!

The only hiccup was a rain shower on Sunday afternoon. The gutter was stopped up and overflowing at the entrance to the Studio so I had to run up to Dad and Mom’s place, fetch a ladder, and clean out the gutters, getting soaked and cutting my hand up in the process.

In sum, it was a great weekend. It’s fun to be able to share and showcase our family’s art, and even better to do it with the family you love.

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

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Jack Gunter and John Ringen: Camano Island Master Artists

Camano Island is recognized as a major cultural center for the Visual Arts in the Pacific Northwest. One of the reasons for that is the sheer number of artists who call Camano Home. There are more than 1,000 artists in the Stanwood/Camano area, with a population of 20,000 that means about 5% are artists. In a ranking by the National Endowment for the Arts the highest per capital number of artists was found in New York State with 1% of the residents being artists. Compare that to the Stanwood/Camano area with a whooping 5%. The Stanwood/Camano area is home to a “colony of artists.”

More important than the numbers in this colony of artists is the presence of Master Artists, those artists who are brilliant at their work.

Last Monday, Dad and I spent time with two of these Master Artists – Jack Gunter and John Ringen

Jack Gunter

Dad and I ran into Jack after a lunch at the Tyee Store on the south end of Camano (did you know they are serving delicious sandwiches there?). Jack is an unique mix of gifted artist, writer, filmmaker, and cultural innovator.

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It was fun to get a tour of his super cool Gallery/Studio which is a cultural must-do-thing on Camano.

What struck me most was just how absolutely gifted – brilliant would not be hyperbolic – Jack is and how wonderful his work is. His birds in trees laden with snow were beautiful.

Jack is known for his symbolic egg tempera pieces. There were lots of those artworks to enjoy.

Jack shared with us the story of how some of his art had been detained in Siberia and his recent rescue of those artworks after 20 plus years of their “captivity” in Russia. You can read more about that here; there’s also a film that’s being released that tells that story.

https://www.jackgunterart.com/video/siberian-rescue

Best of all was watching Dad and Jack Gunter shoot the breeze, tease each other, and share in the collegiality of artists who deeply respect each other’s work.

Jack Gunter says this on the back cover of Dad’s biography Jack Dorsey: Sketch of an Artist.

When I moved to Camano Island in the 1980s, I was told the only artist out here was a fellow named Jack Dorsey. I sought him out, but Jack said he didn’t paint anymore because he was working full time at Boeing. Baseball, particularly the Mariners, became our bond. When we ran into each other at the Elger Bay Grocery we talked sports. All the while I pushed, told him he was a legend and should get back to art. It worked. These days I take some credit for Jack’s re-emergence as a painter.

John Ringen

After talking with Jack Gunter, Dad and I decided to stop by John Ringen’s home. John Ringen is a past president of the Northwest Watercolor Society and Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters and a Master Watercolor Artist.  I have gotten to know John’s wife Vicky through serving on the Camano Arts Association board with her. John welcomed us and gave us a tour of their beautiful home and his art studio.

All I can say is “wow, it is amazing!”

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Perched on the cliffs at the south end of Camano, their home has a breathtaking view.

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But it was the artwork – most of it John’s – that fills the walls upstairs and downstairs that I gazed at most. I took pictures of each painting. They don’t do justice to the sheer magnitude and beauty of the work. Here are a few artworks from upstairs.

Downstairs the walls were also covered with amazing art. John’s drawing desk that looks east onto the water.

Then we the building with Gallery (downstairs) and Studio (upstairs) where John works his magic.

The downstairs Gallery was full of John’s art. He’s getting ready for the upcoming Camano Island Mother’s Day Studio Tour.

Here’s a few videos I shot of the John’s upstairs working studio. What an amazing place!

Over the years I had seen John’s work in different galleries and exhibitions in the Northwest. But to see not just a few works but his artistic legacy filling his home, gallery and studio was impressive.

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It was fun for me to watch Dad and John interact. I’m thankful for the collegiality and friendship shared among Camano’s artists.

John has these kind words to say on the back cover of Dad’s biography:

Jack Dorsey, I’m impressed with all parts of your life–you’re a fine family man and a very accomplished artist. 

Seeing the Galleries/Studios of Jack Gunter and John Ringen reminded me of just how amazing the art culture is on Camano Island.

You can see Jack Gunter’s and John Ringen’s Galleries/Studios with your own eyes on the Camano Island Studio Tour.

  • Mother’s Day Weekend: May 12th, 13th 14th
  • Encore Weekend: May 20th & 21st
  • 10:00am – 5:00pm

You can read more about Camano Island’s Studio tour here:

https://sunnyshorestudio.com/portfolio/19th-annual-camano-studio-tour/

and here: http://camanostudiotour.com/

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