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THE BOOKS ARE HERE!

Last Thursday Jenny drove down to Salem, OR to be with her Dad as he went in for cataract surgery. The surgery was successful. Jenny was able to be a calm, encouraging presence for her parents.

She was also able to make a trip to Your Town Press where I Remember Running Through the Woods was printed.

1,000 books all boxed up waited on a cart to be taken home.

pick up day 6

With the help of her sister, who brought her van to help haul books, Jenny was able to get them all loaded up!

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Wow! That’s a lot of books.

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And while they’re not perfect, we’re super happy with how they came out and with the story they tell!

We’re planning a big Release Party on Saturday, March 9th, at the opening of the Vintage Watercolor show at Sunnyshore Studio. There are a number of book signing events in the works, and we’re hoping to roll out a more official “release” on this site.

But if you’re interested in getting the book in advance of these events, it is for sale on our Store on this site.

Store

I want to thank everyone who encourages and supports local artists and authors. It is a joy to tell these stories of a boy growing up on an island in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Finally, it was a special joy to give the first gift to my son, Jacob, who helped me so much on this project. The book is, after all, dedicated to him:

“To Jacob, who loves the woods like I do.”

Sincerely, Jason Dorsey

A Belated Thanks and Acknowledgement to Bethany Warner

A few weeks after I OK’d the proofs for I Remember Running Through the Woods, the second in my children’s book series, I realized that I had failed to thank in the “Acknowledgement” section a very important person. Now that we are picking up the books today (Jenny is in Salem, OR) from the printer, I feel a thanks and public acknowledgement is due.

A couple of years ago, when I was honing the story, I reached out on facebook for creative editing help and feedback. My friend, Bethany Warner, contacted me and said she was willing to help.

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I had the privilege of serving as Bethany’s pastor at Redeemer in Indianapolis, and the honor of doing the wedding service for her and Jeremiah.

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I thought to myself that this was a very wonderful thing for a couple of reasons: First, Bethany. is one of the widest read people I know. She recently shared her following “Reading Stats” for 2018:

85 books
20,493 pages
189.25 hours/audio

Cumulative: 1436 books (since 2002); 190,472 pages (since 2015… I didn’t start adding page counts till later!); 622.3 hours of audio (since 2015. Ditto on hours of listening.)

The second reason is that she is the Director of Development at the Indianapolis Library Foundation. In other words, she works at the library, she knows books and loves books!

The third reason is that I’ve worked with Bethany before on another editing project. I know she’s fun to work with, has high creative and verbal IQ, and I thought it would give us an opportunity to work together again. Actually, the fact of the matter is, I needed her help!

Bethany provided some real helpful editing feedback on the book, and she did it pro bono, gratis, for free!

So…Bethany, here is my belated thanks and acknowledgement.

Dear Bethany,

I’m REALLY, REALLY GRATEFUL for your generous help to me on I Remember Running Through the Woods. Your willingness to give your creative gifts freely and provide such great feedback was immensely helpful. If it ever goes to a second edition, I’ll make sure you are named in the acknowledgments.  I’m thankful for your friendship and presence in my life over the years.

Grace, Jason

Cover - I RTW

Dorsey shares plan for twelve book “I Remember” series

Jason Dorsey’s new children’s picture book, I Remember Running Through The Woods, is coming out in January. At Sunnyshore Studio’s “Christmas in Miniature Show” a poster displayed Jason’s projected books in this 12 book series.

We caught up to Jason this week. Here is our interview with the author/illustrator of the ambitious I Remember children’s book series.

Sunnyshore Studio: When did you first dream of the I Remember children’s picture book series?

Jason:  Our family moved to Indianapolis, IN in 2002. In 2003, I must have been missing my dad and the fishing waters of the Puget Sound, so I began to sketch a draft of what became I Remember Fishing with Dad. Being who I am, it was not long after those early sketches that I conceived of a twelve book series with each book starting with I Remember.

Sunnyshore Studio: I Remember Fishing with Dad wasn’t published until October of 2015. Why did it take so long from conception to publication?

Jason: Mainly because I had no idea what I was doing. I had never written a children’s picture book before so I had a lot to learn about storytelling and illustration. I went to children’s book conferences, hired children’s book coaches, and submitted the manuscript again and again. In fact, by around 2013 I had given up. I still view it as a minor miracle that an old friend named Shelley Huston, who ran a small publishing company, reconnected with me and published the book. I tell this story in my post “A Tale of Many Rejections.” 

IRFD Cover

Sunnyshore Studio: What is your vision for this series? 

Jason: I want to tell stories that both delight and instruct. I want children and adults to enjoy the stories and the artwork that goes with each story. But they are more than just a collection of stories about a boy growing up on an island. Each story explores a universal theme, and, I hope, provides some insight to it. I Remember Fishing with Dad explores the significance of the father-son relationship. I Remember Running through the Woods, uses the ever-changing woods to talk about how to deal with change.

Sunnyshore Studio: Why do you start each book with “I Remember”?

Jason: Because I want to emphasize how very important the memories of childhood are and because I want to encourage the making of “sacred memories.” In our childhood time moves slow and the memories we make go deep into who we are, shaping us, and even, as the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky puts it in The Brothers Karamazov, the “instrument of our salvation one day.”

 “Let us never forget how happy we were here, when we were all together, united by such a good and kind feeling…My dear children, perhaps you will not understand what I’m going to say to you now, for I often speak very incomprehensibly, but, I’m sure, you will remember that there’s nothing higher, stronger, more wholesome and more useful in life than some good memory, especially when it goes back to the days of your childhood, to the days of your life at home. You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may be the instrument of our salvation one day.”

These lines have been an inspiration for this series from the beginning.

Sacred Memories

Sunnyshore Studio: These stories are about a boy growing up on an island. Camano Islanders will recognize the island as there own. Why did you choose to base the stories on Camano?

Road to the State Park

Jason: I believe place matters. Since most of my “sacred memories” took place on Camano, I’m basing the stories in my place (though I never mention the name of Camano). The story lines are built on memories that other northwesterners share: like salmon fishing, playing in the woods, bringing in the hay, picking wild blackberries. In fact, a few weeks ago at the “Christmas in Miniature” show, I had a long conversation with a couple who grew up blackberry picking like I did. It is amazing at how similar our experiences were. The same can be said of fishing, and so on. Yet, even though the story is based in the northwest, the themes are universal and, I hope, accessible to everyone.

Plus I like maps in stories. So this gives me a chance to put maps in each of my stories.

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I hope by celebrating a specific place, I can encourage people to value the places in their lives too!

Sunnyshore Studio: One of the special aspects of this series is that your dad partnered with you to illustrate the first two books. Why did you choose to do this?

Jason: For the first book, I Remember Fishing with Dad, I thought it would be cool to have my dad illustrate the book with me since it is about the father-son relationship and since he lived the story with me. Plus, I really wanted, and needed his help to make great illustrations. In 2006 we spent a week painting what would be the first round of illustrations for the book. We had to redo many of these in 2015. So it was quite a process.

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I tried to illustrate I Remember Running Through the Woods by myself. But I was running out of time, and I asked Dad to help again. He graciously agreed, and really helped to bring the book to life artistically. Here are a few examples of his great work.

Sunnyshore Studio:  These aren’t your normal children’s book illustrations that are more, how should I say it, child level art. These are more serious watercolors.

Jason: Part of my vision was to use high quality, serious watercolors for the illustrations. I hope to inspire a few youngsters to perhaps take up the paintbrush themselves.

Cover - I RTW

Sunnyshore Studio: I Remember Fishing with Dad was published by Just Dust Publishers. Why did you choose to have Sunnyshore Studio by the publisher for I Remember Running Through The Woods?

Jason: A couple of reasons. First, Just Dust Publishers closed there doors. Second, by publishing through Sunnyshore Studio we cut out the middle man and keep our costs down. Sunnyshore Studio has published a number of books over the past three years, and has “cracked the code” so to speak of the editing, graphic design and layout of publishing. So we decided to keep it in house.

Sunnyshore Studio: Since your first sketches (2003) to today (2018), you’ve only published two books. What makes you think you can publish 10 more? And which book is next?

Jason: Well, like I said, we’ve “cracked the code” by publishing the books in-house. This allows us a little more freedom and flexibility. Hopefully we can get on a roll and publish a book a year. That’s the dream at least. And I like “big dreams”, they inspire me. I’m not afraid to fail.

I’m not sure what book will be next. I’m currently writing I Remember Haying at the Farm. This book will explore the importance of hard work, of family members/families working together as a team, and or working on their relationships with each other. The work of keeping up a farm, specifically of the annual summer bringing in the hay ritual, is the context to explore this theme. I have great memories of haying with my cousins.

Sunnyshore Studio: When is I Remember Running Through the Woods going to be released?

Jason: You should know that, since you’re the publisher of the book! The printer tells me that it will be ready to be picked up by mid/late January. If people are interested they can pre-order their copy here:

Store

On-line sale (25% off) of original Illustrations of I Remember Running Through the Woods

Here’s your chance to purchase an original illustration from I Remember Running through the Woods painted by father-son duo, Jack and Jason Dorsey. From December 1st – December 8th these paintings are offered at a 25% sale with a signed copy of the book thrown in. Shipping and handling – if necessary – is not included in the price below. Also, with some of the paintings you have the choice between purchasing them framed or unframed.

What a better way to share the beauty of reading and art with your child, grandchild or someone you love.

If you are interested in one of these paintings please call or text Jason Dorsey: 317.209.6768

Loggers on Camano

Loggers felled the Old Growth

  • By Jason Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • Unframed $300
  • Framed $400

 

Logs in harbor

Ships with tall masts

  • By Jason Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • SOLD

 

Book 4

An Island in the Northwest

  • By Jason Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • PRIVATE COLLECTION

 

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An Old Logging Road Led Through the Woods

  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • Jason Dorsey
  • SOLD

 

Kids walking to farm in daytime

Sunlight danced through the trees

  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • Jason Dorsey and Jack Dorsey
  • SOLD

 

Kids running home at night

Stumps became scary monsters

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • SOLD

 

coming home

Warm lights of home

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • Jason Dorsey and Jack Dorsey
  • SOLD

 

exploring swamp

In the Spring he explored the swamp

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • $225 Unframed
  • $325 Framed

 

Huckleberry, blackberry patch picking

In the Summer they picked Huckleberries

  • By Jack and Jason Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • Jason Dorsey and Jack Dorsey
  • SOLD

 

Splitting Winter Wood - Final

In the Fall they split wood

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 16.5” by 30”
  • Jason Dorsey and Jack Dorsey
  • SOLD

 

Boy, Woods, Snow

In the Winter the woods still

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • $300 unframed
  • $400 framed

 

5. Military Gear

Military Gear

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • $225 Unframed

 

1. Dad's Bayonet

Dad’s Bayonet

  • By Jason and Jacqueline Dorsey
  • Pencil and Watercolor
  • 8.5” by 11”
  • $150 Unframed

 

2. Dad's Bayonet Sheath

Dad’s Bayonet Sheath

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 8.5” by 11”
  • $225 Unframed

 

Tom and Jason heading into woods for camp out - final

It was getting dark when they headed out to the woods

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • SOLD

 

The Campsight - Final

They ate the chili and pineapple

  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 15”
  • Jason Dorsey and Jack Dorsey
  • $225 Unframed
  • $325 Framed

 

Treetop View of Tent - Final

They went to bed

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 15”
  • SOLD

 

8. Eyes stared at them

Eyes stared at them

  • By Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 11.5” by 15”
  • Jack Dorsey
  • $225 Unframed
  • $400 Framed

 

9. It's your uncle's cows.jpg

It’s your Uncle’s Cows

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • $225 Unframed
  • $325 Framed

 

 

Over the Fence - Final

They Jumped Over the Fence

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 17”
  • SOLD

 

3. One Match Left

One Match Left

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Pencil and Watercolor
  • 7.5” by 11”
  • $75 Unframed

 

 

Fire - FINAL 

He struck the Match

  • Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 16”
  • $300 Unframed
  • $400 Framed

 

Big Bonfire - Final

The fire blazed high and hot

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 15”
  • $300 Unframed
  • $400 Framed

 

Morning at Farm - Final

Morning has finally Come, Book Cover Image

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 16.5” by 30.5”
  • SOLD

 

4. Off to College

Off to College

  • By Jack and Jason Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • Jason Dorsey and Jack Dorsey
  • $225 Unframed
  • $325 Framed

 

 

Clear Cut Final

The Woods were logged

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • $300 Unframed
  • $400 Framed

 

Jason Crying - Final 

He Cried because nothing stays the same forever

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • $225 Unframed
  • $325 Framed

 

Version 2

Woodshed

  • By Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 11.5” by 18”
  • Painted in 1970. Dad used this as a painting to show Mrs. Greathouse, the owner and director of the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA. She was impressed enough with that and a few other paintings to grant dad a one man art show at the Frye in 1972.
  • $700 Unframed
  • $850 Framed

 

6. The Woods were as magic as ever

The Woods were as Magic as Ever

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • SOLD

 

Stump - final - use this one

Stump and Sapling

  • By Jason and Jack Dorsey
  • Watercolor
  • 15” by 22”
  • $300 Unframed
  • $400 Framed

 

These original illustrations will be showcased at the “Christmas in Miniature” show at Sunnyshore Studio on Saturday, December 1st and 8th.

  • 10am-5pm
  • 2803 SE Camano Drive, Camano Island, WA

Pre-order “I Remember Running Through the Woods” children’s book

You can pre-order Jason Dorsey’s new children’s book I Remember Running Through the Woods here:

Store

Start your collection of all twelve of the I Remember series by adding to that order the first in the series, I Remember Fishing with Dad. 

IRFD Cover

All 29 of the original illustrations painted by Jason and Jack Dorsey will be on display at the Christmas in miniature show that opens at on Saturday, December 1st (10am-5pm) and for a second Saturday, December 8th (10am-5pm).

Christmas Poster 2018

24 Days Late the 2nd book in “I Remember” series sent to printer

Sunnyshore Studio’s Artistic Director, Jason Dorsey, and his dad, prominent Northwest watercolor artist, Jack Dorsey, have once again teamed up to tell a story of the adventures of a boy growing up on an Island. It is titled I Remember Running Through the Woods. 

“I hoped to send it to our printer in Salem, OR by October 1st. That would have allowed us to have the books in hand for the opening of our ‘Christmas in Miniature’ show on December 1st at the Studio,” Jason says.  “We’ll still showcase the illustrations at the Christmas in Miniature show and our guest will be able to check out a rough copy and purchase the book advance.  We worked hard, but just couldn’t make our deadline.

“In I Remember Running Through the Woods  I wanted to explore change through the lens of the woods that surrounded me, the ever changing woods of my childhood,” Jason says.

The story begins with a nod to the logging days on Camano Island.

“An old logging path led from my parents home to my uncle’s farm,” Jason remembers. There were old growth stumps along this path. During the daytime, it was an enchanting woodland but when my sister, brother, and I came home after dark it was terrifying.”

In preparation for the book, Jason spent time in the woods of his childhood. “The stumps are still there,” he says. “I took lots of pictures.”

“One stump in particular became the ‘model’ for the ‘scary stump’ in the story,” Jason pointed out. It is a stump across from his parents house, on the road that leads down to Sunnyshore Acres Beach.

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“The huckleberry tree on top of the stump reminds me of scary arms reaching out”, Jason says.

His dad, noted Northwest watercolor artist, partnered in the illustrations.

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“Dad worked his wonders again, just like he did with the illustrations of our first book I Remember Running Through the Woods. I had the ideas, and would begin the paintings. But he brought many, most of them to completion, Jason notes.

Jack even pulled out his old bayonet and sheet for one illustration.

bayonet vignette

While all ages will find the story enchanting, Jason thinks that boys especially will like it. “With the military gear, face-painting, and adventures in the woods, this book is tailor made for boys,” Jason says.

While Jason is expected to be positive about his new book, others agree about the value of the story.  Three recommendations grace the back cover of the book.

Jennifer Kelly

Jennifer Kelly, Jason’s high school English teacher, and for 10 years a columnist for the Stanwood-Camano news wrote this:

Jason Dorsey’s second story in the series about his childhood, I Remember Running through the Woods, is a literary and visionary charm of a book.  Parents and children alike will take delight in the monsters that moo and stumps with eyes, and think about life through the quiet, calm words and enchanting illustrations of a man who revels in the youthful adventures that made him the father he is today.  Let’s all go running through the woods again and again and again!

Steven Garber

Steven Garber, author of Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, and professor of marketplace theology at Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., said this:

I love the world that is beyond our doors, the meadows and forests, the fields and pastures—in Wendell Berry’s poetic metaphor, “timbered choirs” each one. Through our senses we come to know in ways that deepen us. In Jason Dorsey’s artful remembering of his boyhood on Camano Island, we too are alive amidst the trees and the seasons, the fires at night and the noises in the tent, our own hopes and fears still near. I Remember Running Through the Woods is a window into a long love, of a boy who once was and is now the man he must be, giving us the grace of looking over his shoulder and through his heart into the wonders of his world. 

Mary Nease

Mary Nease, a homeschooling mother of five she has spent the last 15 years reading thousands of books to her children, who spends much of her time combing libraries and bookstores for good children’s books, had this to say:

Through his delightful watercolor illustrations and accompanying descriptive prose, author and illustrator Jason Dorsey invites the reader into his precious childhood memories. Although Running Through the Woods takes place on Camano Island in the lush Pacific Northwest, the reader is quickly transported in his own mind to the sacred places of his own life’s story. Jason has crafted an endearing and humorous, as well as poignant and exquisite, piece of art, able to captivate and delight the youngest reader while striking a deep chord in the souls of all ages.

Cover - I Remember Running Through the Woods

The cover and contents have been sent into Your Town Press in Salem, OR. “We anticipate having the books a few days before Christmas, Jason says.

You will be able to order your copy of the book December 1st. 

Jason Dorsey is working on second Children’s Picture Book in the “I Remember” series

Jason Dorsey is working on the second book in the I Remember series. This series tells stories of a boy growing up on an island (Camano), to explore sacred memories in the formation of children. Fyodor Dostoyevsky says this about sacred memories in his novel The Brothers Karamazov:

“… there’s nothing higher, stronger, more wholesome and more useful in life than some good memory, especially when it goes back to the days of your childhood, to the days of your life at home. You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since, is perhaps the best education of all.”

Jason Dorsey published I Remember Fishing with Dad in December 2015. It was well received and sold briskly.

IRFD Cover

Jason is close to completing the second book in this projected 12 book series. I Remember Running Through the Woods shows that the places we remember are part of who we are today. Jason reflects, “The woods which surrounded me in childhood are a part of me.” In this book, like the first, Jason is working with his father to do the illustrations.

“It’s been fun to go back to the woods of my childhood,” says Jason. “I’ve been trouncing through them to get photographs including photographs of a “scary stump” just like the ones I remember when I was young.

Jason and his Dad, renown Northwest artist Jack Dorsey, are collaborating on the illustrations just as they did in the first book.

“Our painting styles are similar,” Jason says. “I typically get the painting started and then bring it to Dad to finish. I’m able to get a good, fresh watercolor started; and Dad, with his eye for strong values and details is able to finish it.”

“I’m super thankful I have this opportunity to share in the painting of these illustrations with my Dad,” Jason says. “He’s super supportive. I don’t know if I could do this without him.”

I Remember Running Through The Woods is based on my own experiences in the woods that surrounded our little white home on Camano,” Jason says, “including a camping adveture with my friend Tom H. We skipped our High School Tolo to spend the night in the woods. Tom had all of this great Marine Corp gear and I guess we were more into that than girls. It turned out to be a super cold night and we had lots of adventures that night that I share in the book.”

Jason Dorsey and Tom Hamilton 1984

Jason also has enjoyed tying the story all the way back to the early days on Camano Island when loggers felled massive Fir and Cedar trees. I’m enjoying sharing this beautiful place (Camano) through these stories,” Jason reflects.

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He projects that I Remember Running Through The Woods will be (barely) back from the printers just in time to make it under the tree for Christmas 2018.

If you’d like to view the original illustrations they will be displayed at Sunnyshore Studio’s Christmas in Miniature art show that runs Saturdays, December 1st and 8th, 10:00am – 5:00pm.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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.

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