Skip to content

20th Annual Studio Tour Guest Artist: Melanie Serroels

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to have our neighbor and the Vice President of the Camano Arts Association, Melanie Serroels, 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   Melanie does so much to make the arts hum on Camano, and we’re thrilled to be able to showcase her sparkling watercolors.

Cropped Photo Beach #1

Sunnyshore Studio: Tell us about yourself.

Melanie: I’ve always lived in the Pacific Northwest.   I grew up in Portland, moved to Redmond WA in 1988 and became a full time resident on Camano in 2010. I spend most of my time volunteering for Camano Arts Association. Currently I’m serving as the Vice President, Acting Secretary, Volunteer Hours Recorder, and Website Committee member. I have a home studio. My husband and I are retired.  We enjoy traveling the USA seeing friends and visiting our national parks.

Sunnyshore Studio: How did you get started in art?

Melanie: Art has always been a part of my life. My parents were creative and I received good general art instruction throughout my elementary and high school education. I started taking watercolor instruction from a professional artist in1973. My style, technique, and palette is still influenced by my first art instructor, Charles Mulvey.  I have also taken watercolor workshops from Robert Landry, Thomas William Jones, and Jack Dorsey.  I enjoyed learning to use acrylics from Dianna Shyne, and Jed Dorsey.

Country club resize

What has been your journey as an artist?

Melanie: I think the turning point in my painting career was moving to Camano Island and waking up everyday to the beauty and changing atmosphere outside my window.  When we first moved here I was possessed with painting whatever my eyes landed on.  I painted almost every day.  Today, I’m busy with lots of other activities, but I enjoy using that artist’s eye to observe and plan paintings of many beautiful scenes on Camano Island.

I don’t really feel it’s been a journey as much as it’s been a life’s practice to do creative things.  I have many interests, but being creative and creating art has always been my go to for personal satisfaction.  Sometimes it’s not doing, but sharing what I do, and helping others realize that they can do it too. 

Triangle Cove Resize

Sunnyshore Studio: What about your future as an artist?

Melanie: I was juried onto the Camano Island Studio Tour in 2009, and participated in the tour for four years.  I’ve also sold my paintings through our local galleries.  I regularly donate my paintings to fundraising auctions for local charities.  I’ve also been active in art mentoring programs, working with young artists at local schools.

Sunnyshore Studio: Why are you excited to participate in the 20th Annual 2018 Studio Tour at Sunnyshore Studio? 

Melanie: Over the past six years, painting has taken a back seat to life.  I am grateful for Jason and Jenny’s encouragement to get back into painting and exhibiting my work here at Sunnyshore Studios.  New works are starting to dance in my head and painting feels scary and good! 

20th Annual Studio Tour Guest Artist: Judy Sullivan

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to have the gifted Judy Sullivan 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 We think you’ll love the paintings of this Camano Island artist.

Sunnyshore Studio: Tell us about yourself? 

Judy: I’ve been living on Camano Island, for about five years now, in the Country Club neighborhood.  Prior to living in Washington State, there was Kansas, Texas, even Pennsylvania.  Along the way, I’ve been active in Art clubs and Artist Associations, including the Kansas Watercolor Society, Wichita Women’s Artists, and the Camano Arts Association.  I’ve shown my work in several galleries throughout the years, including the Top of the Line Gallery in Fort Worth, Buffalo Trails Gallery in Jackson Hole, and of course the Seagrass Gallery on Camano Island. 

cows_in_a_field

Sunnyshore Studio: How did you get started in art? Describe how you got started, what were influences and encouragements, turning points.

Judy: There has never been a time in my life without Art.  My earliest memories are of drawing horses and other animals.  

Sunnyshore Studio: What has been your journey as an artist? Tell us something about your journey as an artist. What have been some of the significant milestones, turning points, achievements.

Judy: My High School Art teacher was a great influence, helping me choose art as a career.  I went on to get a degree in Art from the University of Arkansas and was thrilled to be accepted into the Top of the Line Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas within a year of graduating.  

seagull

Sunnyshore Studio: What about your future as an artist? Where do you hope to go with your art? Where would you like to be in five years?

Judy: I hope to someday have my home studio on the Camano Arts Association Home Studio Tour.

squirrel_in_the_firs

Sunnyshore Studio: Why are you excited to participate in the 20th Annual 2018 Studio Tour at Sunnyshore Studio? 

Judy: I was fortunate to have my work shown on previous tours at the Seagrass Gallery in Terry’s Corner.  But, since their closing, I have been “Gallery-less in Seattle”.    I can’t even begin to describe how thrilling it was to be invited as a guest artist at Sunnyshore Studio.  The Mother’s Day Studio Tour is one of the best Art events in the world, and it’s a true honor to be showing and sharing my art here.

waterlilies

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.

I See Skies W

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.

Discover W

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.

Coffee Shop W

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.

Vessel W

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.

Landmark of a Beginning W

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.

Reflect Retreat W

Meanderings between an old and new Studio

Most kids are not privileged to have an art studio next to their house. I was one who did.

In 1969, when I was just a few months old, my dad and mom moved to Camano Island to ten acres with a weathered white house and some old fox sheds for my dad to make a go of it as an artist.

image4-2

Dad converted one of the old fox sheds into a studio and called it “Sunnyshore Studio”, named after the “Sunnyshore Acres” section of Camano of which our property was a part.

image5-3

It was in that studio that I watched dad paint, and at age 16 painted a full sheet watercolor myself and realized that I had talent as an artist.

For many years I dreamed of building a studio on a plot of ground my parents had given to Jenny and I, which was also a part of “Sunnyshore Acres”, just a couple of hundred feet  south of my parent’s home.

That dream came true, when our family  moved back to Washington State after 13 years of my serving as a pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN. By God’s grace, we were able to build the new Sunnyshore Studio to showcase our family of artists and to share the beauty of Camano with the world.

This Monday, on my Sabbath day, I pilgrimaged up to my new Studio.

image4-3

I spent the day working outside. It was a beautiful day, and I find yard work at the Studio one of the most relaxing things of all.

image7-2

I puttered around, planting new Shasta daisies in Jenny’s Daisy flower bed, a Clematis vine along the fence, and three Hydrangea bushes that mom had given me.

I worked on a biography of my mentor, Otto Sather, and did some reading and note taking for my upcoming sermon series on 2 Corinthians.

But I also found myself wandering back to my childhood home and meandering outside, enjoying the flowers that grow so abundantly there tended and cared for as they are by mom.

image9

image3-2

And circling around the old studio where I had spent so many hours of my youth.

 

image1-4

I also hiked down into the woods and took some photographs that will serve as subject matter for my next children’s book: I Remember Running Through the Woods. And the woods were lovely, dark and deep.

Then I made my way back to the new Sunnyshore Studio and painted a watercolor of a Beach Treasure washed to shore on the south end of Camano.

I can’t help in these meanderings to think of what an honor and privilege it has been for me to have access to art studio’s over my lifetime: places of creativity and culture making, places of making and doing and rest and renewal.

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!

 

 

Jack Dorsey: Vintage Watercolorist of Washington

“I’ve made so many friends through art.” Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey was born March 12th, in 1940 in Seattle, WA. He grew up in the Redmond area and attended the Lake Washington School District. When he was sixteen his family moved to the small community of Plain, WA near Leavenworth. There Jack finished high school. He attended Wenatchee Valley College for two years, then transferred to Seattle Pacific College, where he graduated with a BA degree in Art Education. He taught art for a couple of years in the Highline School District. In 1966, Jack married his beloved “Annie”. In 1969, Jack, Ann and baby Jason moved to Camano Island where he launched out as a full time professional artist. “I’ve been a Washingtonian all my life,” he says.

Jack always had a desire to draw. He grew up drawing things around their house. Jack’s interest in art was perked on visits to his Aunt Marion and Uncle Norm’s home in Seattle. Displayed on their walls were paintings by Grady Spurgeon. “His art was phenomenal,” Jack recalls. “He did oils. He did watercolors. They were so colorful, so vibrant. It was awe inspiring. It was my first museum exhibit.” When Jack was fourteen, the elderly Grady, Spurgeon invited Jack to stay with him for a couple of weeks to study under him as an apprentice. Jack was too shy and declined. He regrets that to this day.

Jack took art classes at Lake Washington High School from Mr. Greer, who was a good teacher. When he was eighteen he met Walter Graham, who was a well-known commercial artist from Wenatchee. At one time Walter Graham had owned the 4th largest commercial art studio in Chicago. “He flew his own airplane,” Jack remembers. Jack met him at the old Columbia Hotel in Wenatchee where Walter was working on a mural of wild horses galloping over a waterfall that was going to be placed in the Rocky Reach Dam. Walter took an interest in the young artist. “We went out sketching together; painting together; we ate together. We had great times together. He was a great inspiration,” Jack says.

Besides all these encouragements Jack’s “undying desire to paint” propelled him forward as an artist.

Jack started selling his paintings in the early 1960’s. He had success at both the Burien Art Festival and Bellevue Art Festival. And then a big break came. Ann’s father and mother gifted Jack and Ann with a little white house on ten acres on the south end of Camano Island. Jack could now devote himself to painting full time, while carving out a rustic life for their growing family. Over the next ten years Jack had many successes, most notably two solo shows at the prestigious Frye Art Museum in Seattle (in 1972 and 1979), and a solo show at the Franell Gallery in Tokyo, Japan (1979) where Jack sold all 32 of the watercolors he showed. This gift of a house “gave me a wonderful opportunity to paint full time,” Jack states.

Jack worked hard selling his art from 1969-1979. He displayed his paintings in a chain of Turkey House restaurants from Bellingham to Olympia. Al and Ethel O’Brien were friends and owners of the original Turkey House Restaurant in Arlington. With their business partner Jack McGovern they went on to build seven new restaurants. Jack’s watercolors graced the lobbies of each of these restaurants and he sold his paintings on a regular basis. In fact, that is where Francis Blakemore saw his work and facilitated his show at her gallery in Tokyo, Japan.

Nevertheless, it was hard to pay the bills for Jack and Ann’s growing family. So in 1979 Jack hired on at the Boeing company. “For 15 years I didn’t paint at all, or hardly at all,” Jack says. He retired from the Boeing Company in 1995. Jack’s art career was revived in 1999 when he began to participate in the Camano Island Mother’s Day Studio tour. Jack continues to paint and his artworks fill the homes of friends, patrons and collectors all over Washington State and beyond.

Recently Jack’s son Jason built a new Gallery/Studio just south of the family home called “Sunnyshore Studio”, in tribute Jack’s original art studio on Camano. Sunnyshore Studio recently celebrated Jack’s 77th birthday with an Art Retrospective and a book that tells his story, Jack Dorsey: Sketch of an Artist.

Jack Dorsey Book Cover - March

Artist Friendships

Jack met Mike Burns while they were both taking art classes at Seattle Pacific College. During those early years they were both trying to sell their paintings, and starting out at the lowest rung as artists. Jack reflects on their growing friendship over the years, “Before we were out of school we double dated. After college I would meet him at different art association meetings and we’d talk.” Mike was a highly talented artist who was making a name for himself. Unfortunately, Mike passed away in 1991 when he was only 47.

Mike’s memorial service provided a connection with another artist friend. Mike Burns had been a good friend of Tom Jones. Jack had seen Mike and Tom together at the Puget Sound Group of Painters meetings. Jack tells how it was at Mike’s memorial service that he reconnected to Tom Jones. “After Mike passed, Tom and I started corresponding. I sent him a Christmas card. He was out on the ocean at that time. Eventually we got together. Our friendship grew out of a mutual friendship with Mike.”

“As artists we look for companionship and likemindedness,” Jack says.

Northern Moss

struggles and joys of art

Jack tells how in 1979 before he went to work for the Boeing company he told Bill Reese and Jerry Stitt, who shared a studio in Redmond, that he had hired on at the Boeing company. “I’ll never forget Bill’s words,” Jack said. “He said, ‘Too bad.’” Up to that point Jack had been getting a reputation as a good artist. Bill knew right away that it was going to be hard for Jack to continue with his art while working at Boeing.

Jack believes that the hardest thing for an artist is to be an artist and nothing else. And to make enough money to live.

When asked about what were the joys of being an artist Jack said: “The highest joy that I can possibly even begin to try to explain is the joy of having someone genuinely love your work to where they purchase it. I’m not talking about the purchase part. I’m talking about the gratification that comes from of somebody admiring your skills and talents.

Not only does their enjoyment of Jack’s art thrill his heart, as a people person Jack thrives on making friends of his collectors and patrons. When people buy your art they basically become you’re friend; you have a connection. “I’ve made so many friends through art sales, and even with people who don’t buy,” Jack points out.

Magestic Madrona

on watercolor
“I love the magic and the mystical and elusive challenge watercolor brings. Watercolor can be handled so many ways, It can go “loosy goosy” or loose and tight, there are so many combinations,” Jack says.

For Jack, the challenge is to find the spark, the quality that sets your work of art apart from anyone else. He’s studied art and understands art subjects. Sometimes he chooses a subject based on the unique way he wants to approach it. “I pride myself in being able to say, ‘I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like this.’ A lot of art is the same old same old.’” Jack wants his art to be common to experience but uncommon to expression. For Jack finding one’s unique quality is a combination of many things: “It’s the technique. It’s the style. It’s the vantage point. It’s the perspective and so forth. It takes a lot of things to make a real fine piece of art,” he states.

Mystery Sailboat

lessons
For Jack a critical lesson that artists should learn is to really be themselves. They should not try to be another artist. “Yourself comes out in your innermost being,” Jack says. Jack tires of the same ole same ole; where people get a glitch. “They ride the theme to death.” Jack believes that finding your own artistic style takes hard work, a lot of hard work. It takes determination. It takes vision and purpose.

Jack knows firsthand that an artist might have to put being a full-time artist on hold so that he or she can make real money from a “real job” Art isn’t always an easy way to make a living. An artist may have to do their art as an avocation until they are able to do it as their vocation.

Left Hanging

Camano Island’s colony of artists
When Jack moved up to Camano Island in 1969 he was one of the few artists on the island. Watercolorist Wes Broten was on the Island. Slowly a trickle of artists began to move to Camano, including prominent artists and art entrepreneurs like Karla Matzke, Jack Gunter and Jack Archibald. Jack remembers how people got confused him with Jack Gunter and Jack Archibald a lot. Jack Gunter and Karla Matzke were behind the launch of the Camano Island Studio tour in 1998 and which was instrumental in reviving Jack Dorsey’s artistic career. Now Camano is called home to a host of artists. Jack says, “yeah, we have quite a colony of artists here. I guess I’m one of the older ones.”

legacy
Jack’s legacy can be traced back to Leavenworth, the “Bavarian Village.” When Jack was a young emerging artist there were a few developers who wanted to turn Leavenworth into a Bavarian town. They invited Jack to talk art in a meeting in downtown Leavenworth before it was remodeled and they gave him a leading role as a promoter in the “Art in the Park” program. Jack is mentioned in Miracle Town, a book about the story of Leavenworth. “I was just a small player” Jack says.

Jack has been involved as a member of arts organizations in the Northwest. He was a member of the Puget Sound Group of Artists, and is life member of the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) which he served as president of in 1979-80. In terms of legacy, Jack is pleased to share the story of his solo shows at the Frye Art Museum in 1972 and 1979 and his one solo show of my watercolors at the Franell Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.

But perhaps Jack’s greatest legacy is the many friendships he has made along the way in his art journey. Friends like Mike Burns and Tom Jones; the many collectors and patrons who have purchased his art and who have become his friends. For Jack the ultimate end of art may not be merely in the art itself, but in the community the art creates.

Wind Blown

Sunnyshore Studio invites you to celebrate the art and legacy of Jack Dorsey as well as four other vintage Washington Watercolorists.

Saturday, March 10th, 17th & 24th, 10am-5pm

Reception: Saturday, March 10th, 3-5pm

SUNNYSHORE STUDIO

2803 S.E. Camano Drive

Camano Island, WA 98082

 

 

Vintage Poster-01

Jed, Renae and Willow Dorsey’s homecoming to Washington State

Jed Dorsey, son of well known local artist Jack Dorsey and patriarch of the Dorsey family of artists, his wife Renae and daughter Willow are moving back to Washington State. Jed is a highly gifted artist and this is a coup for art lovers and the art scene in the Northwest. We were finally able to catch up to Jed for an interview on their homecoming.

Sunnyshore Studio: Tell me about the big news of you guys moving back to Washington?

Jed: Well, the big news is that on April 30, Renae, Willow and I will be leaving Indianapolis and heading to Washington state to make our home there. Our plan is to live on Camano Island initially until we figure out where we might land more permanently. 

Sunnyshore Studio: How has Indy been a great place for you to launch as a full time artist?

Jed: Indianapolis has really been a wonderful place for us to live in general, and for me as an artist, it has been great also. It is a city that feels like a town. There are enough people to have all the great things you’d expect from a city, but it just feels more personal than a big city. For me, it has meant that the art community here has been super supportive. I’ve loved having a studio at the Harrison Center and hope to find another community of artists that are as great as the friends I’ve made here. 

IMG_3588

 

Sunnyshore Studio: What will be hard for you to leave in Indy?

Jed: We are super connected here. We made a list of the things we are hoping to find in a community in WA, and the reality of it is that we already have it all here: good friends, close to schools, great studio, great church, diversity of people, etc. The only thing we are missing here is family. And that is a big thing, so that is why we are moving. But the thought of leaving Indianapolis has been really sad because we love so many people here.

image (2)

 

Sunnyshore Studio:  What are you excited about in your move back to the Pacific Northwest?

Jed: We are excited about living close to family. Willow loves the idea of being close to cousins. We look forward to regular meals together, working on projects, doing art… you know, just doing life with family, which is something we haven’t had too often because we’ve lived most of our married life separated by some distance. And we still have some distance to travel to see Renae’s parents and sister in Edmonton, but we will be way closer than when in Indy.

 And the other thing we’re all excited about is the physical beauty of the Northwest!

 

high-tide-18x24_orig

 

Sunnyshore Studio: Tell me about your thoughts on joining up with your family of artists in Washington?

Jed: It will be fun. I think we will be able to encourage each other in a lot of ways. I look forward to painting with everyone again. My life is different now that I’m a full-time artist, and I look forward to how that will allow me to do things with my family.

Sunnyshore Studio: What do you see as the next steps of your career as a professional artist?

Jed: Really, I just want to get settled in Washington and see what is happening there in the art scene and try to get plugged in. I hope to get involved with some plein air painting groups eventually. I think there are so many things for me to learn at this next stage. I have very little idea about what is happening there in the art scene, and I don’t know much about the communities of the Northwest. So for me, I’m thrilled to be able to come back home and be like a little kid again, exploring and discovering the area. I know it will be fun. 

Sunnyshore Studio releases inspiring documentary

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to announce the release of Fanny, the Artist who made America smile.

This full-length documentary tells the story of Fanny Y. Cory who rose from a life of poverty and struggle to become one of the leading American illustrators, cartoonists and artists in the 20th century. Fanny’s life was an incredible testimony to what can be done when you refuse to accept your limitations. She had the rare gift of bringing humor out of misfortune and joy out of the shadows.

Her captivating story is especially inspiring for women, young to old.

The documentary weaves old recordings of herself and her son Bob, her lovely illustrations, cartoons and artwork, and current video of her four grandchildren to provide a historic snapshot of the life and times of a leading American illustrator whose path takes her from Waukegan, IL to New York City, to Canyon Ferry, Montana and finally Camano Island, Washington.

Enjoy discovering Fanny: The Artist who made America Smile.

 

If you’re interested in reading more about Fanny Y. Cory you can publish the newly released biography by Toni McCarty here.

Purchase Queen of Montana Beach: the story of artist Fanny Y. Cory

 

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. 

Sunnyshore Opening Poster w. sponsors 1

IMG_3974

 

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.

IMG_3967

 

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

 

 

 

Thanks for Fanny Cory by David A. Day

Margaret Day, the granddaughter of F.Y. Cory and her husband Kenneth embarked on an incredible life adventure with their family starting in the late 50’s. Their relationship was forged in the fire of God’s love by the joining of 2 very different people who committed to one another to live life and raise a family in harmony with His plan.

V510031 RESIZED

Our family consisted of 5 children, 2 girls (Debbie and Beth) bookending the 3 brothers (David, Daniel and John).

V510249 RESIZED

Reflecting back on our experiences growing up, it now seems that just about everything in our lives did not conform to the societal norms. We wore hand-sewn clothes, rode in used cars that had been bought from someone Dad knew (never a new car), ate home-made foods (rarely went out to eat), drove 30 miles to church, and were encouraged to think and dream expansively.

V510113 RESIZED

Our parents wanted to do the best job they could in raising our family, and committed to sending all 5 of us to a Christian school in Mt. Vernon through 8th grade even though it was a big sacrifice. Mom and Dad did not want our brains to turn to mush – so no TV was allowed in our house for many years. Without the numbing influence of TV and secular radio, mom and dad intended for us to be creative and self-sufficient. I don’t remember any idea being squashed, or dream not having being attempted – we built tree forts, tanned a goat hide in the basement on the pool table (unsuccessfully…), made a wind tunnel and chickens were raised in the bathroom for science projects, Mom sewed a Daniel Boone outfit for Daniel out of a deer hide. By the way, this is just scratching the surface.

I didn’t realize how much Fanny Cory influenced my mom until sitting down with her earlier this year to ask her about her memories of her grandma and what she was like. Mom’s eyes lit up as she told me about the summers she and her siblings spent at the Canyon Ferry Ranch in Montana with their grandma and grandpa, and then the times spent at ”Meetsy’s” (Fanny’s nickname) Montana Beach cabin on Camano Island later in life.

I had made the commitment to my cousin Jason that I would write a tribute song to honor my great-grandma Meetsy to be sung by The Day Brothers at the celebration in honor of her 140th birthday. This song became “Thanks for Fanny Cory”

Music has played such an integral part of life in the Day family that it is impossible to even picture our life without music. Dad was an incredible singer, and had an infectious enthusiasm that drew people to sing along with him – whether leading congregational worship at church, playing his guitar or gathering around the piano to sing with the family. Mom loved music, and encouraged our musical adventures, but she was disappointed in her own musical contribution. We all took piano lessons until we could play a hymn of our own choosing, and most of us played musical instruments in school. All 5 of us can sing, and we can harmonize intuitively which is how our Dad sang – he could pick out various parts, and could sing with any of us, mixing in a harmony part that fit in to fill out the harmonious sound when singing with him. One of our special traditions in the Day family is to sing this grace acapella to the tune of the Doxology: Be present at our table, Lord. Be here and everywhere adored. These mercies bless and grant that we may strengthened for Thy service be. Amen.

We sang 4-part harmony to hymns in church or for special occasions as a family, but the 3 Day Brothers didn’t sing together until much later in life. I was 4 years older than Daniel, and while growing up didn’t work very hard to do things with the “little kids” (Daniel, John and Beth) and moved out of the house the day I turned 18, and was married to Karen by the age of 19! Daniel and John were only 1 ½ years apart and did many things together, and Daniel and John started singing and writing songs in high school and college. Our journey singing together as the Day Brothers started a decade ago when the 3 of us sang “Day by Day” at the church in Bellevue that John pastored. One of his parishioners heard us sing, and suggested that our strong vocal presence and harmony would lend itself to singing bluegrass.

At that time, I didn’t know what bluegrass was, and didn’t particularly think anything of that suggestion – but Daniel and John took that ball and ran with it. John started a bluegrass gospel jam in the basement with the help of his parishioner Mike who made that first suggestion. Daniel would drive down from Stanwood to go to that jam once per month and it was a howling success. Our dad had suffered a severe stroke that had silenced his voice – he would have loved this bluegrass adventure, but never got to participate with us in this endeavor. My melancholy perspective from watching my dad suffer and the death of my father-in-law changed my perspective on music. Prior to this, I was a strong advocate of contemporary music in the church, and was a worship leader with great enthusiasm for the role of music and worship in the church. But I found that as time went on, for the first time in my life, the response of my heart responding to music and worship had stopped. I would just sit in church – and be silent! That had never happened before. Dan and John invited me to drive up to Bellevue to their bluegrass gospel jam, and let me come bringing an electronic autoharp that I had bought to play something (at that time, I didn’t play any acoustic stringed instrument). I will never forget the experience of sitting at that jam, and as we sang songs like “Pass Me Not” or “In the Garden” tears would well up in my eyes, and my heart would leap once again as I thought about this amazing God who sent his Son to die for a lost world! My heart wasn’t dead after all it just needed a different perspective! For me, my journey to bluegrass was really a journey back to God.

The Day Brothers really jelled as we sang to comfort our brother John’s heart as he went through a very difficult season in his personal life. We found that as we sang together, time stopped, and we were transported to a very special realm where God was able to comfort and console. We now look for opportunities to share songs with others that move our hearts, and our hope is that by sharing these songs, it will touch the souls of our listeners. While John has been writing songs for years, Daniel was the next to add his voice in creating songs, and I have now dipped my toe with great trepidation into that adventure more recently. We love giving voice to experiences that have impacted our lives – our songs can be tender and heart-felt, tongue-in-cheek or even ironic.

Our great-grandma’s creative energy has flown through us in other ways. Daniel and I are now building instruments – this part of the journey started when Daniel moved to Oklahoma and found a luthier who taught a class on guitar building. I was able to find a similar program in Portland, and each of us now have built 6 or 7 instruments. It’s almost like we want to give new life and purpose to the wood from the trees, and we are especially interested in the quality and character of the instrument’s tone, while featuring the beauty of the wood.

One of the things that struck me while reflecting on Meetsy was that as she observed the world, she was able to see nuances of expression that she could somehow convey through her drawings. As I look at her painting “The end of a perfect day”, in my mind I can actually picture many times our family returned from some exhausting adventure or quest, and feel that tired satisfaction of having provided an experience for my family that they will never forget. That picture is the one that I was imagining while writing the chorus for “Thanks for Fanny Cory”. The first verse was taken from my conversation from my mother as she would share about how fun-loving and engaging that Meetsy was. She must have had an incredible imagination – and just maybe a part of her is influencing me since I am enjoying creating instruments that are unique and unlike any other instrument. She saw animals that existed, and imagined others that she saw with her mind’s eye – and brought us into that whimsical world. This is what I was alluding to in the 2nd verse of the song. My hope is that this song will speak to your heart, and like my great grandmother Fanny Cory, you will see the best in people, and that your curiosity about life will drive you on an unending, incredible quest for adventure.

Sunnyshore Opening Poster

1 2 5
%d bloggers like this: