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Remembering Fanny, the Matriarch of our family of artists

Today we celebrate the birthday of the matriarch of our Family of artists, Fanny Y. Cory.

Fanny was born October 18, 1887, in Waukegan, IL. She endured many hardships growing up, including the death of her mother and beloved sister, Agnes, from tuberculosis. By her late teens and early twenties she had become one of the leading illustrators in New York City, a profession dominated by men.

She married a Montana cowboy, Fred Cooney. Fred and Fanny raised their three children on their 400 acre ranch next to Lake Sewell (Canyon Ferry Lake), close to Helena, Montana.

To put her three children through college, Fanny took up cartooning. Her daily strip “Sunnysayings”, published by King Features Syndicate in newspapers throughout America for 35 years, was beloved by young and old alike. Besides Sunnysayings, she also illustrated, and sometimes wrote, “Little Miss Muffet” which was King Syndicate’s answer to “Little Orphan Annie.”

You can learn more about her life as an illustrator and cartoonist here.

Fanny had an incredible imagination. She was also a wonderful gardener. Those two things came together in the imaginary world of fairies. During her years in Montana she began a series of watercolor paintings of fairies which after her death was published as the “Fairy Alphabet.” She considered her Fairy Alphabet her greatest artistic achievement. Fanny painted twenty six watercolors of fairies and wrote rhymes for each letter of the alphabet. These watercolors are now stored for preservation in the archive of the Montana museum of history. They are compiled today in her popular “Fairy Alphabet.” Because of copyright, we can’t show the original illustrations. But this “Dancing Daffodil” painting was not used in the series. It shows the soft watercolor and brilliant imagination Fanny had.

In 1952, Fanny moved from her 400 acre ranch near Helena, Montana, to a small cottage on Camano Island perched on a cliff overlooking Saratoga passage and the Olympic mountains to the west. She called the beach below “Montana Beach.” Her cottage was just across the road and down a long driveway from “Sea Crest Farm”, the farm on Camano where my mother, Ann, grew up.

Fanny welcomed her beloved grandchildren into her home, including my mom, Ann. She formed the “Grunt and Groan Art Club” where each member was encouraged to paint a painting every week, and they often painted together at her cottage.

Fanny continued to paint fairies into her 80’s. Even though her eyesight was failing and hand was a little shaky, they are charming.

Fanny also painted a little watercolor every day, a scene from her window, looking out over the water.

And every day into her 80’s Fanny did pushups and sit ups and read a chapter from the Bible. At night she kissed the picture of her beloved sister Agnes that sat on her dresser.

Fanny passed away on July 28th, 1972, at her daughter Sayre’s home in Stanwood, WA. But her creative gifts, her imagination, and her zest for life live on in her family of artists and creatives.

This October, Sunnyshore Studio is celebrating the life and legacy of Fanny Y. Cory by releasing the second season of “Fairy Sightings”. This short videos were shot at the home of Betty Dorotik, just a few hundred feet south of the cottage where Fanny lived. Here’s one of those videos from Season Two:

If you’d like to learn more about Fanny’s story you can check out this documentary I made in 2017.

My son, Julian and I, spent a couple days of vacation in Montana. Visiting the sights and shooting footage. His middle name is “Cory” named after his famous great-great-grandmother Fanny Y. Cory.

Eric Locke’s big musical contribution to the We Are Family documentary

By Jason Dorsey

The We are Family documentary that tells the story of an inner city basketball team that won the Indiana basketball championship against all odds took a big step forward musically thanks to the generous contribution of my friend, Eric Locke. Here’s that story.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that our feature documentary, which is about 2.5 hours long having been cut down from over five hours, still has a lot of musical holes. Through the funds raised by the Kickstarter campaign, I had been able to pay a lot of gifted musicians for their original compositions.

But I was out of money and we we had musical holes to fill. So I reached out to some of my musician friends, including Eric. Months before, I had connected Eric to David to see if any of his music might be a fit. But I hadn’t heard back from David so I figured I would ask again. Eric sent David a link to his music on YouTube and David wrote back.

“…The thing is, his stuff is GREAT.  He’s got a positive vibe running through, and generally the right kind of high energy levels we would need for game footage, but also in some cases under the talking heads, to give those some energy.”

Here’s an example of one of Eric’s songs.

Eric graciously gave David and I permission to use his music for free, as a gift! This generous gift will allow us to fill musical holes, and it is another great example of how this has been a community project. I could not do it without friends like Eric who have stood with me.

Here’s a short interview I did with Eric.

Jason: Eric when did you first hear about the We are Family project?

Eric: Hmm…I probably first heard you talking about the project here and
there while getting to know you in the past couple of years before
getting a fuller appreciation of it when the Go Fund Me campaign went

Jason: Months ago you agreed to let us use your music for the film (thanks so much!). But then you didn’t hear back from us. What were you thinking in those “silent” months?

Eric: I enjoyed and appreciated the interest but didn’t dwell on it much after doing my part as advice from wiser people (and personal experience) has taught me that it’s best to approach opportunities often but lightly.

Jason: Tell me about yourself as a musician.

Eric: I got my first guitar at 14, was in a few bands here and there while
growing up. In the late 90’s when digital recording for the masses was opening up the Mrs, (Stephanie) let us get some recording gear and I was able to start learning how to record to try and get these melodies and ideas out of my head. While I work primarily in fits and starts I’m grateful to realize at least some of the ideas and concepts that get stuck in my mind. I feel fortunate to live in a time where technology can allow an individual to
do that.

Jason: What were early musical influences in your life? Inspirations?

Eric: The earliest were probably movie soundtracks. My dad would have music from soundtracks and artists of the day playing through the house while he was cooking or some such. My sister and I would go skating at the
local skating rink almost every weekend so we were exposed heavily to
pop music of the day there. Rock, soul, etc. When I got into electric guitar it was an unexpected trip into heavier music due to a friend I had. One moment I’m trying to learn a Michael Jackson song and the next my friend is tossing it across the room and “forcing” me to learn Heavy Metal. I don’t think I’d be into composing music now if it wasn’t for that but I was a little chapped at the time as I had a pretty low appreciation of Metal.

Jason: Did you have training as a musician or are you self-trained?

Eric: Self taught though the thought of taking time out for training is very
inviting nowadays.

Jason: Have you been a part of bands?

Eric: Yes I have and I’ve met some truly wonderful people as well as having
some good formative experiences. I don’t know that I’m a good “band”
member in that I don’t do well improvising and I really lean towards a
singular vision but everybody I’ve ever worked with has been good sports
in letting me participate and maybe one day I’ll hit a tipping point and
“get it”.

Jason: Talk to me about your compositions. What is your style? What are you trying to do with your sound?

Eric: I really enjoy a wall of ethereal sound. The Mrs, (who has a beautiful
voice) has been kind enough to work with me and I’m really content with
what has come from the collaboration so far. I’m enjoying her soft voice
over heavier ethereal music. We worked up a version of The Mighty Power of God, music by Phil Peterson, (Grammy Nominated) who is an old Chief Musician of Grace Church Seattle and I couldn’t be happier with the sound and style achieved there and other compositions since then performed by The Undone Orchestra. We’ve hit a stride that I’m really content with and I look forward to exploring more of that style in the future.

Jason: What was it like after the months of silence to hear back from
David Lichty that your music would be a perfect fit for the documentary?

Eric: It was a true highlight for myself. I felt like I got a small taste of
the glory that these young men, their families, coaches and community
had all worked for.

Jason: Any last thoughts?

Eric: I’m looking forward to seeing the entirety of the We Are Family story,
how my music folds in and a big “Thank You!” to all for letting me
participate. All the Best!

Acrylic University welcomes its first Access to Art Students!

Acrylic University’s welcomes three students to its first Access to Art program, November 1, 2019. Grants of $350 for each student were raised through Jed’s recent Radiant Landscape show, and from the generous gifts of a few supporters of this program.

Access to Art is a two year program that provides quality art instruction, art supplies and a nurturing art community to youth ages 13-22 who apply, and are accepted, into the program. Each youth who applies is required to have an advocate who will be there to support and encourage them.

You can learn more about the program here.

Director of Acrylic University, Jed Dorsey, is passionate about this program. Learn the story behind Jed’s passion here.

We are so excited to have Cajun-Rain, Kristen, and Marley on the Access to Art journey.

Here’s an interview with one of our students from this summer sharing what this program would mean to her.

If you are interested in giving a grant, or partial grant, to provide access to an artistically gifted, low-income youth, please contact Jason Dorsey:

The “Friendship Sign”

I call our new sign the “friendship sign.” Here’s why.

From left to right: Jed Dorsey, Jacob Swearingen, Jason Dorsey, Jenny Wallace Dorsey

In 2015, I sketched out a basic design idea for a roadside sign for Sunnyshore Studio. I asked my dear friend from Stanwood High School, Jacob Swearingen, to see if he would work his magic to create it. He said Yes.

This is my original idea.

Jacob’s concept has become the Sunnyshore Studio brand.

I tell the story of that first sign here.

I finished that post with these words. “I drove home with the sign, but with so much more than a sign. For the sign is a symbol of friendship over the years, of love and loyalty and past memories and the hopes of many new memories and many decades more of friendship.”

Jacob’s sign was to large for us to put along the road. It fits perfectly at the entrance of the studio.

So I still needed an outdoor sign that would go along the road. I looked into a few options. A plastic sign just wasn’t cutting it for the kind of substantial sign I wanted, and it wasn’t personal enough. I couldn’t afford a metal sign at the time. Then one day, my friend Wade Starkenberg posted on facebook a metal sign he had made. It was beautiful. I immediately reached out to him to see if he would make one for Sunnyshore Studio.

Wade and I grew up in the same circles. We went to school in Stanwood and church at Camano Chapel. I spent July 2014 at my parent’s home on Camano Island putting the concepts of Identity Mapping into book form and also spent time with old friends, including Wade who I had reconnected with on facebook. I spent the afternoon at his home on Big Lake, met his wife, Jennifer and two sons. His mom, Yvonne, joined us for a delicious Salmon dinner. Decades had passed since we had last seen each other. But it seemed like just a few days. It was great to catch up.

Wade had been supportive of our Sunnyshore Studio project and graciously agreed to be a sponsor of Jed’s 2017 show “There and Back Again. So I was hopeful that he might make the sign. He said, “Yes.” When I asked him what it would cost me, he said “Nothing!”

Wade cut a few signs to get it just right. He had to program the design and lettering into a computer that operates the machine that cuts the metal. I liked the look of the steel sign and so Wade cut me an extra. I can take it with me on trips. I love that the Sunnyshore Studio brand is now portable. Different backdrops give it a different feel. Here are some examples.

Jackie and I spent a morning this summer filming the sunrise coming up behind the sign. My son Jacob used that footage to create an animated brand. Currently sonic branding is being made for the animation to Todd Masten, a neighbor I met I met at my coffee shop in Redmond, River Trail.

So you can understand why I was excited on Wednesday of this week to pick up the finished outdoor sign from Wade.

I spent a couple hours on Wednesday creating a base for the sign from driftwood I had collected from Randy and Melanie Serroel’s home at Port Susan Terrace, just north of Sunnyshore.

I needed a curved piece of driftwood to hang the sign on. So I called Melanie and she said “come on down.” Melanie and I walked the beach and spotted a perfect piece of driftwood.

Dad helped me start assembling the sign. I had a Camano Art Association meeting though and had to leave. He said that he would finish the sign up. He spent yesterday assembling the sign. Mom took photographs.

The new outdoor sign is up, just in time for Jed’s “Radiant Landscape” show that opens on Saturday. I love it!

I call it a friendship sign because it was birthed and forged and built in friendship. The friendships stretch all the way back to high school classmates Jacob and Wade, to neighbors Melanie and Randy, to my kids Jackie and Jacob and new friend Todd, to Dad and Mom. It’s not just about past friendships though. I know that the sign will direct many people to our Studio where new friendships will be built.

That’s why I call it our “friendship sign.”

Fairy Sightings: Season Two launches

The highly anticipated Season Two of Fairy Sightings is here. Fairy Sightings honors the life and legacy of Fairy Master, Fanny Y Cory, matriarch of the Dorsey family of artists. Fanny painted and wrote a delightful fairy alphabet that still charms children, their parents and grandparents today.

A painting of a Fairy by Fanny in her 80’s

Fanny taught her granddaughter, Ann Cory Dorsey, to spot fairies in flowers. In this episode, Jason Dorsey, who is on a quest to spot fairies, visits, with his mother Ann, the garden of another Fairy Master, Betty Dorotik. Enjoy their walk through Betty’s garden and learn the lore of the fairies. You may even spot one, or two!

Fairy Sightings – Episode Two: The quest to spot a fairy at the garden of
Fairy Master Betty Dorotik

Season Two

If you missed any of Season One Fairy Sighting episodes you can catch up on them here. Microwave some popcorn, scoop a bowl of ice-cream, settle in for binge watching, and let the magic begin.

Fairy Sightings – Fairy Houses
Fairy Sightings – Introducing Fairy Mystery Boxes
Fairy Sightings – Fanny Y Cory’s Fairy Alphabet
Fairy Sightings – First Fairy Sighting
Fairy Sightings – Fairy Master Ann Cory, My Mom, won’t tell
Fairy Sightings – Fairy Friendly Environment
Fairy Sightings – Jason Discover’s a Fairy Circle
Fairy Sightings – Jason sees fairies dancing at night
Fairy Sightings – Willow’s Discovery
Fairy Sightings – The Treasure in the Fairy Chest

Cindy and Steve Sundberg – Patrons of Art

With my brother Jed Dorsey’s upcoming show “Radiant Landscapes” opening next Saturday, October 5th, and the Camano Art Association’s first annual group show and launch of our new Patron’s Program the first weekend of November, I’m thinking these days about the importance of friends, collectors and patrons of art.

Steve and Cindy

I interviewed Cindy Sundberg to get her perspective on being an art patron. Cindy’s mom Vicki was a classmate with my mom (Stanwood High School class of 1964) and Cindy was a SHS classmate of my sister April. Cindy and her husband Steve have bought paintings of Jed and my mom at Sunnyshore. They are the first to sign up as part of CAA’s Patron’s Program.

Jason: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

Cindy: Steve and I were born and raised in the Stanwood/Camano community and both graduated from Stanwood High School. Our families have been a part of the S/C area for several generations. We moved to the Tri Cities in 1998 when Steve accepted a management position at the (then) newly-built Twin City Foods processing facility in Pasco. I had the good fortune of landing a position at Sigma Financial Group in Kennewick and have enjoyed 21 years with the company.  While I continue to work, Steve retired last year and stays busier than ever at home with a seemingly-endless “honey do” list and now our six-month old Saint Bernard, Knut. We still refer to Stanwood/Camano as “home” and return often to see family and friends.

Jason: What started you buying art, especially the art of local artists?

Cindy: Steve and I began buying more meaningful art, not necessarily local art, when we started traveling a little.  I think our first real painting was purchased in San José del Cabo shortly after we were married. Rather than haul home a bunch of trinkets to mark the trip, Steve suggested we buy one piece of art for our house that we could enjoy for years to come and remember our travels. (I think I still hauled home trinkets, but Steve was right!)  On a local level, our eyes were opened to all the amazing artists in the Stanwood/Camano area when we came home one weekend and stopped in at “Art By the Bay” up at the fairgrounds. Walking around looking at all the incredible artwork created locally sort of “clicked” for us and reinforced our desire to decorate our home with artwork that has meaning.

A wall of art in the Sundberg home

Jason: What is meaningful in having a connection to the artists/and/or the places they paint?

Cindy: There’s something comforting and joyful about knowing the story behind a particular painting or having a connection to the artist.  Paintings purchased while traveling are fun reminders of adventures, while pieces created by Stanwood/Camano artists can bring comfort and beautiful reminders of where we both grew up. Southeastern Washington is not devoid of art either and we’ve found some neat things here as well.  We don’t get that sort of “back story” or emotional attachment from ready-to-go art from box stores.

Steve and Cindy purchased an Ann Dorsey original at the May 2016 Studio Tour while Sunnyshore Studio was still being finished!

Jason: Why did you sign up for the CAA Patron’s Program?

Cindy: The Dorsey family and their mission to give back to the local art community is inspiring.  The Patron’s Program is a great way for non-artists to show support for the wonderful things happening on the Island and around Stanwood. And with several levels of support to choose from, the Patron’s Program is affordable for any art admirer.

Jason: What would you share with other “emerging patron’s” about the value of collecting art and supporting CAA’s colony of artists?

Cindy: Don’t hesitate to get started. If you’re unsure how to begin, start with simply catching an art tour or following social media to familiarize yourself with artists and their styles. The studio tours in May and “Art By the Bay” are incredible opportunities to see what’s happening in the area. The CAA talent is unbelievable and it costs nothing to appreciate it.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions, talk to the artists, and just look around. It’s an ongoing learning experience. At some point, you’ll find “the one” and be ready to make that first purchase and you won’t regret it (you will regret the painting you didn’t buy when you return for it and it’s sold!).  

It’s a lot of fun to have someone ask about a painting in our home and we can give them a quick story about the artist or the location. For example, we have a really lovely painting in our dining room by Ann Cory.  How cool is it that I (Cindy) can say that Ann Cory Dodgson/Dorsey went to school with my Mom, I went to grade school with her daughter April, and the family has an incredible studio where we grew up?  Or that the couple John Ebner pieces in our living room are from this amazing guy who has a spectacular studio/gardens on Camano and you can see his studio and more each May when the island comes alive for the art tour?   It’s a real source of pride and a positive identity for the S/C community. Who wouldn’t want to support it?

Interested in joining the Camano Arts Association (CAA) Patron’s Program. Contact Jason Dorsey (317.209.6768). Join us for the launch of the Patron’s Program on Friday, November 1st. Ticket required.

Want to purchase local art? Shop at Jed Dorsey’s “Radiant Landscape” show at Sunnyshore Studio’s bricks and mortar or online gallery (October 5th-12). And at the Camano Art Association’s Premier Collection Show featuring 40+ local artists November 1-2 at the Camano Center.


Introducing AU’s ACCESS TO ART Students

Acrylic University is thrilled to introduce the first students in our Access to Art program. These three young women applied and have been accepted into the two-year Access to Art program.

The goal of the Access to Art program is to provide artistically gifted students with access to (1) high quality art instruction, (2) art supplies and (3) a supportive art community. All youth ages 13-22 are welcome to apply. We hope to provide access to many low-income youth over the years to come. We are thrilled to welcome the following young women:


My name is Cajun-Rain. I’m fifteen years old. I live in Warm Springs, Oregon.

My interest in art began when my sister introduced me to art a year ago. One of the hard things I struggle with in creating is making something unique. This art program will help me create and explore my art and grow as an artist.

Anna Ronning

Hi! My name is Kristen Ronning. I am 15 years old and I live in Stanwood, Washington.

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in art. As soon as I could express myself, it was concentrated through creating art. My interest grew through my parents’ encouragement and simple practice. I’ve been focused mainly on sketching female faces, as that’s what has come easiest to me, but I’m eager to expand the ways that I create. It is hard for me to work with mediums other than a pencil and paper, but that’s what I’m hoping to figure out! The struggle I face is my own perfectionism and self-doubt, a relatively busy schedule (for a 15-year-old), and a lack of knowledge and education on painting, an art form I’ve wanted to, but never quite grasped. “Access to Art” would greatly help me by introducing me to new ways I can be imaginative and creative and teaching me the techniques I can use, so I can grow and be confident in my art!

Marley Raunig

My name is Marley Raunig. I’m thirteen years old and I live in Seattle, WA.

I started painting with acrylic paints last summer. The hardest part about painting is I have a lot of ideas and not enough time to paint. This program will help me to learn more about painting techniques.

10% of the sales from Jed Dorsey’s upcoming Radiant Landscapes show is going to fund these students.

You can support the Access to Art students by purchasing a painting on our online gallery, or by a monetary gift. If you would like to help support an Access to Art Student please contact Jason Dorsey:

Five Reasons to Buy Original Art From Living Artists

Here are ten reasons that you should buy original art from living artists.

1. A painting is a thing of beauty forever

You should buy a painting because it strikes you with beauty, evokes a deep longing, moves your heart to ache or smile, reminds you of a place, tells you a truth, etc. In other words, you should buy art that hits your heart like beauty can. In purchasing art, beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. What matters is that it has to be beautiful to you. Buying a painting is very different than eating a meal. You have to eat to live. But you don’t have to buy art, ever, to live. You can live your whole life without buying one artwork. It is always a free choice to buy an artwork. And usually because of the price of art, and because money doesn’t grow on trees, we have to think twice about buying it. That is actually good. Because just thinking about buying art forces you to ask the question of values. What do you value? What will you spend your money on? And why? Many people, like myself, have come to the conclusion that beauty matters. And that making the investment in bringing a beautiful painting into our home is a good investment. Not because we expect the painting to go up in value, although that is a good thing when it does, but because we value bringing beauty in our home.

2. A painting connects you to a place

The older I get the more I see how much place matters to people. The places where we grew up, the places where we live (or have lived) awaken and evoke powerful love and longing. Artists, for the most part, tend to be rooted in a place and their art tied to those places. T.C. Steele is known for his Indiana Landscapes, Heaton Cooper with his beautiful watercolors of the Lake District in England, Andrew Wyeth’s paintings come were inspired by two places, the Brandywine Valley around Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and the area near his home in Cushing, Maine. Many of us can’t live in the places we love, but we can buy art that evoke the feel, moods, smells, and glories of those places.

3. Artworks can become friends and travel with you through life.

There is very little in this world that you can take with you when you move to a new place. You can’t take your old house. You can’t bring your friends. Moving involves saying goodbye to your house and friends. But books and art can go with you. I experienced this when we moved from Indianapolis, IN to Redmond, WA. We said goodbye to a beautiful, 3,000+ square foot home in a historic district and moved into a small apartment. We said goodbye to friends that we had walked with, some for thirteen years. But we brought my books and our paintings with us. Many of the paintings we had bought while in Indy where the church I pastored shared space with art studios and galleries. Some had been given to us by artist friends as gifts. Each painting represented a person, a story, a place that mattered. I wrote about that here. The painting above is one of my friends. It was painted by Jan Zoya, and it reminds me of the water and sky at night and evokes deep emotions.

You should invest in collecting art, just like you invest in friendship. And maybe the tie between friendship and art is even stronger: many of us will purchase art from people with whom we are friends, or our purchase of artwork will bring us into a closer relationship with the artist.

4. Buying art supports artists. Period.

It is extremely hard to make a living as an artist. There is a reason for the “starving artist” term. My dad made it as a professional artist for ten years. Then to provide for our family he took a job at Boeing. I tell that story here: When you purchase art, you not only encourage the artist by valuing their creative work, but in a very practical way you support their livelihood and their family. There has always been a symbiotic relationship between artists and their friends, collectors and patrons. Artists create beauty and tell truth and even take their stand against the purely pragmatic and functional realities of life saying by their existence and work – creativity matters! Beauty matters! Art matters! Stories matter! Place matters! By purchasing their artwork, friends, collectors and patrons stand with them, support them, and create communities where artists and creativity can thrive, which is good for all of us. We need each other to thrive.

5. Art is an investment in your kids

Really. I mean this. Our kids had the advantage of growing up in a home with artwork on the walls. For thirteen years they roamed the church I pastored in Indianapolis that shares space with a cultural organization that ran four galleries, 35+ artist studios, and monthly art openings in the facility: My kids have watched, and helped, Jenny and I run Sunnyshore Studio which was built to showcase our family of artists. In a word, they have grown up around art and artists. That is a good thing. They have access to art. They know artists. They have learned to value it. Art, books, music, film can be important parts of the development of your children, just like sports and doing their chores are. Here’s one example of how.

My dad, Jack Dorsey, was drawn into being an artist by spending hours looking at the artwork of Grady Spurgeon. I tell this story in Jack Dorsey: Sketch of an Artist.

“Jack’s Uncle Norm and Aunt Marion were an important influence in his development as an artist. They lived above Northgate in Seattle, and Jack’s family visited their home often. Grady Spurgeon, who worked as an illustrator for a printing company and who was also a fine artist, was a family friend and many of his beautiful oil and watercolor paintings hung in their home… Jack still remembers ‘a striking painting of a rapids in the Cascades, another one of birches with reflections, and one of a night scene looking out over water with reflections.’”

Those paintings were engraved in my dad’s memory, they stirred in him a love for beauty and maybe even a desire to be an artist himself.

Why keep your walls bare? Why not invest in beauty for yourself, and your children after you?

Jed Dorsey’s Story…in his own words

Jed Dorsey is a capturer of light on canvas. His passionate use of color explodes onto canvas in a way that  draws the viewer into the landscape.”

I represent the fourth generation of artists on my mom’s side of the family. My dad is also a professional artist. I always had the opportunity to practice art as a child. I sold paintings as early as 11 years of age when my family had their “Dorsey Gallery” at the local fair. I remember a few kind parents of my friends buying my paintings for $10 which quickly turned into cotton candy and a few rides. As I grew older other interests such as music and sports called for my time and I didn’t paint much for several years. 

That changed after I married my beautiful Canadian wife, Renae. On a trip to Whistler, B.C. in 2001, we stumbled on some galleries that were showing some vibrant oil & acrylic paintings. My family had always done watercolors so this was something different and very appealing to me. That very week on our vacation, I bought my first acrylic paints and spent countless hours painting in this new medium. I loved it. Thus began the journey.​

I painted for many years as a secondary pursuit but in 2016 took the plunge into full-time art while living in Indianapolis. My studio was located at the Harrison Center for the Arts, an incredible arts organization. What an amazing opportunity for me as an emerging artist to be part of such a vibrant and creative community. I now make my home on Camano Island where I grew up. There is nothing quite like the stunning views of the Pacific Northwest. I will never tire of the the view when driving over the bridge onto Camano Island. It is a scene I have painted over and over. 

I like how light changes objects, from garbage cans, to buildings, to plants and trees, creating shadows and diverse colors. One of my favorite subject matters to paint is filtered sunlight shining through trees onto a road, river, sidewalk, or path. It is an invitation to the viewer. I paint landscapes and cityscapes because I have lived in both rural and urban spaces. I see beauty in both. Whether I am painting on location or painting from a photograph, I create the scene in a way that I find aesthetically pleasing. I don’t want to just duplicate a photograph. 

​I am thankful to have had the opportunity to study under some great artists like Mike Svob, Ovannes Berberian, John Michael Carter, and the late Robert Genn. There are others that have influenced my work, like Michael O’Toole and Kim English. I have learned so much from all these artists. My parents continue to be a huge inspiration and encouragement to me. Renae walks on this path of artistic endeavor with me daily and is a constant source of friendship and support. Our daughter, Willow, also helps by naming paintings and is an enthusiastic supporter of my work.



October 2018 – “Home” – Sunnyshore Studio, Camano Island, WA

October 2017 – “Inheriting Indianapolis” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

August 2017 – Frankfort Library, Frankfort, IN

July 2017 – “There and Back Again” – Sunnyshore Studio, Camano Island, WA

October 2016 – “West Coast Memories” – Grace Vancouver, Vancouver, B.C.

August 2016 – “”Roads, Rivers & Paths (and Other Places I Love)” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

September 2015 – “The Sun Also Rises” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

October 2014 – “A City to Live” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

December 2013 – “Urban Landscapes” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

November 2012 – “Casting Shadows – the Unity of Light” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

March 2010 – “There and Back Again” – Vancouver, B.C.

Group Shows

January 2019 – Dorsey Family Show – Covenant Shores – Mercer Island, WA

November – December 2017 – Christmas Show – Sunnyshore Studio, Camano Island, WA

July – October 2017 – Annual Hoosier Salon Show, Indianapolis, IN

June 2017 – Indiana Heritage Arts, Nashville, IN

May 2017 – Encore Sotheby’s International Realty – Indianapolis, IN

April 2017 – “Blossoming” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

December 2016 – “Beaches of Camano” – Sunnyshore Studio, Camano Island, WA

October 2016 – “Soldiers and Sailors Monument Show” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

July 2016 – Porch Party Group Exhibit – City Gallery, Indianapolis, IN

May 2015 – “Urban and Rural Landscapes” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

October 2014 – “Homecoming” – Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, IN

September 2006 – Family Show – Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, WA

August 2005 – Family Show – Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery, Bellevue, WA

October 2003 – Group Show – Federation of Canadian Artists, Vancouver, B.C.

May 2002 – 2018 – Camano Island Studio Tour, Camano Island, WA

October 2001 – 2004 – “Arts in the City, Arts in the Sanctuary” – Grace Vancouver, Vancouver, B.C.

Other Exhibits

December 2016 – January 2017 – Featured Artist – Patachou Downtown, Indianapolis, IN

April 2015 – Featured Artist – Patachou Broad Ripple, Indianapolis, IN

2006 – 2016 – Seagrass Gallery – Camano Island, WA

2002 – 2006 – Gallery in the Loft – Camano Island, WA


Sept 2018 – 1st Place – First Brush of Fall, Michigan City, IN

Sept 2018 – Best of Show – Carmel on Canvas, Carmel, IN

April 2018 – 3rd Place – First Brush of Spring, New Harmony, IN

September 2017 – 2nd Place – Carmel on Canvas, Carmel, IN

September 2017 – Purchase Prize – Carmel on Canvas, Carmel, IN

September 2017 – 1st Place – First Brush of Fall, Converse, IN

August 2017 – Purchase Prize – Kekionga Paint Out, Ft. Wayne, IN

August 2016 – 1st Place – Zionsville Paint Out, Zionsville, IN

September 2016 – 3rd Place Quick Draw – Carmel on Canvas, Carmel, IN

September 2016 – Honorable Mention – Carmel on Canvas, Carmel, IN

Jed Dorsey’s show “Radiant Landscapes” opens at Sunnyshore Studio on Saturday, October 5, 10am-5pm. Visit our Gallery @ 2803 SE Camano Drive, Camano Island, WA, or shop online here:

Bad Day of Fishing but we made video invitation to Jed Dorsey’s upcoming Radiant Landscapes show

On Tuesday my brother Jed Dorsey took me and my son Julian fishing. At least that was the plan. The idea was to put Jed’s boat in at Maple Grove, cut through Deception Pass, and make our way down to Fort Casey where there is good salmon fishing from the shore.

However, when we got to the west side of Whidbey, we (Jed) hadn’t calculated how long it would take to get to Fort Casey. So we decided to try our hand fishing in the waters just west of Deception Pass. Jed dropped me off on shore where I fished. He and Julian fished from the boat. But unfortunately, Jed had forgotten to bring the weights for the downriggers. They rigged up some weights and tried…Then picked me up and we tried some more, but nothing.

Moral of the story. Jed shouldn’t be a fishing guide. He is, however, a terrific artist. And we were industrious and made the most of it, shooting some video for his upcoming solo show at Sunnyshore Studio. Enjoy this short video invitation to Jed’s upcoming show: Radiant Landscapes.

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