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22K Raised For New Roof!

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled that $22,000 was raised to replace the cedar shake roof on Dad and Mom’s home through the auction of Jack Dorsey original art! A composition roof with underlayment, plywood sheeting, and tear off will cost 13K. A metal roof with underlayment, plywood sheeting and tear off will cost 19K. With the 15K matching grant we hit our goal!

We could not have done this without the overwhelming support of Jack and Ann’s family, friends, patrons and collectors. We are so thankful for you! Here are some of the highlights of the “Jack Dorsey ‘Raise the Roof’ Silent Art Auction.

Rich C. got the ball rolling

One of Dad’s dear friends and golf buddies got the ball rolling. He purchased #110, “Foothills”, not for the “take home price” of $200 but for the remarkable sum of $2,500 because, as he put it, “I want to see you get that new roof, Jack!” Rich’s purchase got us off to a great start. We’re so thankful for his support.

Thomas Dodgson kicks the ball forward

In researching the installation of the original cedar shake roof in 1984, we noted that many of Jack’s nephews had helped out. One of them, Thomas, Tom or “T.S.” as he is known by the family, was away from home at the time and not able to help.

However, this time around Tom said that he wanted to help. And he did, in a big way. He bought two at “take home now” price and bid on TEN MORE. Tom was outbid on many of these ten, so he came back and bid on four more paintings. He ended up with quite a few paintings, and really helped get the ball rolling.

I love many of the paintings TS chose, but this one in particular, “White as Snow” is really special!

Arnold Palmer Painting Bid

Jack is a big golfer and the painting above with Arnold Palmer and colleagues at a big golf tournament is a prize and joy painting of Dad’s. He likes to tell how it took him 100+ hours to paint all the people! Deidre, a recent friend and collector of Dorsey artwork bid on that painting.

By June 15th, The opening Saturday we were 1/3 of the way to reaching our goal!

Big BBQ and Concert

On the second Saturday, June 22, Sunnyshore Studio held a big, free BBQ and Blue Grass Concert by The Day Brothers.

Special Thanks to the Day Brothers

It was great to have David, Daniel and John Day and two other band members in concert. Their Bluegrass music is fun and engaging. More importantly, as nephews of Jack Dorsey it was extra special to have them!

At the end of the night we did a quick sum of the painting purchases and bids and were able to celebrate that we were now over 15K. We had hit our goal and still had one week left!

Last Big Push

The last week was crazy. Lots of bids on paintings, and new paintings being bid on. Somehow Jenny Dorsey kept track of it all, and hosted the show with her usual poise and grace!

22K Raised!

And in the end, when all was tallied up, $22,000 had been raised. Again, thanks to all Dad’s family, friends, collectors and patrons. Without you this would not have happened. We weren’t able to keep up with all the painting sales and pictures. But here’s a few!

Great News: Matching Grant Pledged and more

The JACK DORSEY “RAISE THE ROOF” SILENT ART AUCTION fund raiser is off to a great start with a $15,000 matching grant pledge. A person will match whatever is raised through the silent art auction of Jack Dorsey’s paintings up to $15,000.

The money raised will go towards replacing Jack and Ann’s cedar shake roof with either a metal or composite roof. We estimate the cost of this roof replacement to be approximately $30,000 [we’re waiting on the bid itself]. This matching grants makes hitting our $30,000 target seem more feasible, especially when Jack Dorsey’s original artwork will be starting at such amazing prices!

GREAT PRICES on Jack Dorsey originals

Jack Dorsey’s original paintings typically sell for over $1,000. But one time only, for this silent auction, you have the chance to purchase his beautiful watercolors and original oils for much less. In fact, some of the paintings that will for sale during the silent auction start for as little as $50. In fact, many of the frames cost more than where the paintings are starting!

You will discover the full range of Jack Dorsey’s art legacy:

  • Stanwood/Camano/Northwest scenes
  • Cascade Mountains and eastern Washington scenes
  • Western themed paintings
  • Paintings of golf legends
  • Symbolic/Abstract religious
  • And more

The silent auction begins at our brick and mortar studio, Sunnyshore Studio (2803 S.E. Camano Drive) on Saturday, June 15, 10:00am-5:00pm. It will open online on Monday, June 17 online here https://sunnyshorestudio.com/portfolio/jack-dorsey-raise-the-roof-silent-art-auction/.

Sunnyshore Studio will also be open on Saturday, June 22 and Saturday, June 29 from 10am-5pm. All bidding ends on Saturday, June 29, 5:00pm PST.

Great Reception: BBQ and Bluegrass concert featuring the Day Brothers

To celebrate Jack Dorsey’s art legacy and to raise money to “raise the roof” Sunnyshore Studio is hosting a “first come, first served” BBQ dinner and bluegrass concert on Saturday, June 22, 5:00-7:00pm. We’re planning to have enough BBQ for the first 100 people, after that pickings might be slim.

We’re thrilled to have Jack’s nephews, the Day Brothers, putting on a free Bluegrass concert for Jack’s family, friends, collectors and supporters. The concert will begin at 6:00pm.

The Day Brothers, David from Portland, OR, Daniel from Vinita, OK, and John from Longbranch, WA love singing songs that are rooted in Bluegrass, Country, Southern Gospel and Americana genres.  Having grown up in the Stanwood/Camano Island/Mount Vernon regions, all 3 of the brothers have written songs that were formed by events in life – so you will find songs from our region in their repertoire.  “Stillaguamish River Waltz”, “Lover’s Lane”, “Gonna Come Sweeping Through” are examples of their lyrical mastery meeting engaging melodies that help make a concert by The Day Brothers a wonderful experience. 

They are passionate about their music, and you will enjoy the repartee and musical intensity that the brothers bring to each concert. Their 2019 summer concert tour of the Pacific NW will feature 3 different guest musicians to augment the  guitar, mandolin and upright bass provided by the brothers.  Reed Stutz is an accomplished musician attending Berklee College of music, and he will be playing guitar and mandolin.  An amazing Banjo player Seth Wiggins from Portland, Oregon will be traveling with the Day Brothers in the first half of the tour.  The second half of the tour will feature Josey Toney, an amazing fiddler who is also a student at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.  For dates and locations of the 2019 summer tour, or to purchase CDs , go to www.TheDayBrothers.com

Great Cause: Replacing Jack and Ann Dorsey’s Cedar Shake Roof

Money raised through the silent art auction goes to a great cause: replacing Jack and Ann Dorsey’s cedar shake roof. This roof was installed in 1984 by Jack Dorsey with the help of his kids and their cousins (and a few friends).

Discover the story of the cedar shake roof here. https://sunnyshorestudio.com/2019/05/22/help-us-help-jack-dorsey-raise-the-roof-through-a-silent-art-auction/

Help us help Jack Dorsey “Raise the Roof” through a Silent Art Auction

Sunnyshore Studio has an audacious goal: to help Jack Dorsey raise $30,000* through a silent art auction of Jack’s original watercolors, oils and acrylics. This money will go towards replacing the old hand cut shake roof installed by Jack and his family and extended family back in 1984. [*This is an estimate of cost to replace cedar shake roof with composite of metal roof. We are waiting to get bids back from Jim Spane of Spane Building to determine financial goal]

Here’s the story…

Jack and Ann Dorsey, and their son, Jason,moved to Camano in the fall of 1969 and into their current home in the spring of 1970. The house had no water, plumbing or electricity at that time.

Jack began to work full time as a professional artist, as well as to start fixing up the old home. He got an old cast iron furnace from Bob Crow that he used in the basement for heat, and bought a Monarch wood stove for the kitchen for $25.

In the early 1970’s Jack asked Dan Garrison at his real estate office (now Windermere near the Country Club) if he could cut wood for his stoves from his logged off land south of Camano Hill road, now Michael Way, and Dan agreed.

When cutting wood, Jack discovered old growth cedar stumps all over and he concentrated on cutting 24 inch bolts of cedar (blackened by fir). He hauled load after load home and made a huge pile of cedar bolts knowing they would make cedar shakes in the future. He often brought Jason along with him for this work.

In this photo you can see the bolts that were used to make the cedar shakes. Jed Dorsey is hard at work picking up some of the kindling to start a fire.

In the 1970’s and early 80’s, Jack and Ann shingle roofed house had lots of leaks. In 1984 Jack had an addition built on the house.

That is when he started splitting shakes with a tool called a “froe.” It had a wooden handle at right angles to a steel blade used to cut through cedar bolts. He would use a draw knife to smooth the shakes into a taper, but generally every time he cut a shake, he would turn the bolt which gave a natural taper to the shake.

Jason, and his siblings April and Jed, helped a lot with the making, shaping and installing of the shakes to the new addition and original home in 1984.

There’s some fun photos that Mom found. Like when Jason is nursing a hand bloody with blisters from the hard work.

Jason nursing his bloody hands

And this one of Jason and Jed collapsed on the ground, resting in the sun, after the hard work the roof.

Jason and Jed laying on the grass with their dog Nick

What is TRULY REMARKABLE about the photographs we’re found is how many other members of our extended family as well as friends helped out on this project. It is rather quite remarkable how many folks Jack Dorsey was able to rope into the project!

Jack’s nephew Bruce Dodgson helped out!

Bruce Dodgson

Here’s a photo with T.S. and Bruce Dodgson helping out!

T.S. and Bruce Dodgson

Doug Dodgson got in on the project too! Here he is helping Jason carry a sky light.

Even the younger cousins got involved. Here’s some photographs with nephews/cousins Derek and Ethan Dodgson.

Of course, Jack Dorsey was the mind behind the project and the master roofer that moved it all along.

He has always been a hard, hard worker. His kids and nephews learned from his example.

So it felt familiar when in July of 2018, Jed and Jason and his sons Jacob and Julian worked on the roof. Cleaning the fir needles off and replacing old shingles worn thin in the weather. Jack even got back up on the roof a bit. But his boys told him to stay on the ground and provide support. After all, he was 78 years of age at the time!

In working on the roof they discovered that many of the shingles were showing their age and that the old cedar shingle roof that had protected the home for 34 years would probably need to replaced in the next couple of years.

Raise the Roof Silent Art Auction

The Jack Dorsey “Raise the Roof” Silent Art Auction is taking place over three Saturdays in June: June 15, 22, and 29, from 10am-5pm. It will be held at Sunnyshore Studio: 2803 S.E. Camano Drive, Camano Island, WA.

Jack will have many of his watercolors, oils and acrylics at very affordable prices. Here is a great chance to get a Jack Dorsey original at a great price and help Jack “raise the roof” one more time!

Reception and Concert

On Saturday, June 22nd at 5:00pm Sunnyshore Studio will host a BIG BBQ, first come first served. We’ll have food for 100 people. At 6:00pm we are excited to host a Bluegrass concert by the Day Brothers.

Online Bidding

If you can’t attend the silent auction in person, you can bid online through the link provided below. The rules of the silent auction are listed here.

Meet Vintage Watercolorist Jerry Stitt: Artist of Emotion

BEGINNINGS

Jerry Stitt’s paintings captivate. They hover on the watercolor paper, even dance. In their presence you know that you are in the presence of a master. They touch you at a deep, emotional level.

Jerry Stitt was born to be an artist, but it took many years before he took the plunge. He grew up in Seattle on Queen Anne Hill. There was seven children in the family. Jerry had three brothers and three sisters. He was right in the middle. “We had a great life,” he says. As a youngster Jerry saw pictures in his head, and like a lot of children, he had to paint them; but we was really serious about painting, even from a young age.

The family lived a block away from the grade school. Jerry went to Queen Anne High School. He had to walk a mile and a half every day, and he was always late getting there. “That’s alright,” he remembers, “I enjoyed the walk all the way to the school because I’d see all these buildings and all kinds of stuff that I would want to paint and draw.”

Jerry remembers everything he’s seen since he was about six years old.  He doesn’t need to look at anything to draw or paint it because he holds it in his memory. He recalls not just the images themselves but the emotions of those images too, say for example, a building in the snow or a road in the heat of summer. He remembers his dog named Prince who loved to go walking with Jerry: “He was a collie, a beautiful collie dog, and he would go everywhere with me.”  

After high school Jerry worked a number of jobs, while going to art school when he could. “I did everything,” Jerry says. He was a stage hand for the Seattle Opera House for five years. He enjoyed that because he not only met a lot of celebrities from all over the world, but saw how the stage was created for a particular scene, like the cabin in Fiddler on the Roof. Without knowing it, he was picking up art and design skills. He drove a taxi cab for four years; two years during the day and two years during the night. “Believe me, there’s a difference,” Jerry notes.

He worked for the Parks Department of the City of Seattle for nine years, stationed at the Woodland Park Zoo. There he became a journeyman plumber after three and a half years of training. He spent a year and a half in the carpenter shop, learning how to build stuff. But his favorite was working in the paint shop for about four years. That’s what he loved.  He painted all the life boats for the summer season, and did a lot of lettering. “That was a lot of fun work for me,” he states. He also painted many Park and City of Seattle buildings. One building stands out.

Jerry was sent to paint the Elephant House at the Zoo. He put the five-gallon buckets of paint and all his gear in his truck and drove to the Elephant House. He came to the field where the elephant was, and the great big tall building that he was to paint. And there in the field was the elephant, and a hippopotamus too. The hippo was a good distance away and looking at him. “He was facing me, and he’s a big animal.” Jerry recalls. Jerry felt comfortable with the distance between them, so he grabbed his paint buckets, set them down over the fence, and climbed over the fence. He started to carry the buckets over to the building when “the hippo came running full bore at me, and in between me and him was this pond. He leaped in the pond and he was so big and fat that he bounced out of the water. And he was coming out of the water and I grabbed those paint buckets just in time and got them over the fence, and I leaped over the fence just as he got there,” Jerry tells.

Jerry thought to himself, “what an aggressive animal.” The Hippo moved back to where he had started, so Jerry went back over the fence. He eyeballed the hippo and thought to himself, “Well, I have to paint this building” so he bravely set out. He says, “I put the paint buckets over the fence and here he comes again, barreling right at me.” This went on a couple of times. Finally, Jerry told one of the zoo keepers about the hippo attacking him and asked what he should do. Eventually they figured out that when the zoo keepers feed the hippos they use the same paint cans from the paint shop, filling them with lettuce and other food that the hippo ate. When Jerry had put his paint cans over the fence, the hippo thought it was dinner. That was just one adventure of many that Jerry had working at the zoo for those nine years.

Jerry married Sharon Hyde, whose had a son named Rick who would become a gifted artist himself. Jerry and Sharon had three kids of their own: Ronnie, Rhonda and Christian. They were together for about ten years. Jerry’s second marriage was to Deanne Lemley, who is an outstanding artist herself.

PATH INTO ART

Jerry was inspired to take the plunge into art by a painter on television, who moved his brush effortlessly across the page. He was twenty-seven. During these years of raising a family and working for the City, Jerry took art classes at night, because he worked during the day, and had a family. He loved going to classes at Cornish Art School and another college on Capital Hill. He studied under a great art teacher whose name was Fred Marshall. Fred was an illustrator for the Seattle Times newspaper for twenty five years. “He helped me a lot because he could that I was ahead of the other people in the class,” Jerry remembers. Jerry took a shine to watercolor right away. “Yeah, those were the good ole days,” he says.  

Eventually Jerry decided art was what he wanted to do with his life. “It always came down to my art, that was what I wanted to do,” Jerry says. He knew he had to make a living at it. So he started teaching watercolor painting classes. He’d work his day job, then get a studio in the evening where he’d teach his classes; then it was back to work at the city job he had during the day.

Thankfully, art allowed for him to integrate work with his family. He was able to bring his oldest son along with him to art classes. They’d travel to art classes in different cities and out in the country. Jerry remembers that the country folk would sometimes trade him vegetables and other stuff they had made for tuition for his classes. They had a good time together, and his son learned a lot too. ”I taught him how to draw. He became a great painter,” Jerry says.

Jerry taught for the University of Washington for five years, and for the University of Puget Sound too. The University of Washington would send him on assignments to bring “culture to the outside world” as they put it. They sent him to all kinds of different places around Washington State, as well as Alaska and down to California. “I went everywhere, for a week at a time,” he says.  

Jerry loved teaching. He did his my homework and knew what he was talking about, and how to put art lessons is simple, memorable phrases like this one: “art is like golf, the winner is the one with the fewest strokes.” He had an acute memory, had years of architecture and design under his belt, and had the magic of being able to pull off a sparkling, even stunning watercolor with a class of students looking on. He always did a demonstration painting in his watercolor classes. They inspired the students, and Jerry would get inspired in the moment too.

INFLUENCES

Jerry has studied with such masters as Fred Marshall (AWS), Rex Brandt, Robert E. Wood (AWS), Christopher Schink and John Ringen. Regarding John he says,“I learned so much from John. He was a great painter. And he had a great sense of humor. He was fun to be around.”

Perhaps Jerry was most impacted by the Russian artist, Sergei Bongart. “He was a genius painter, the best,” Jerry says. Sergei told his students the story of how he got out of Russia. He and a friend wanted so badly to get to the United States that they walked from their hometown in Russia 2,000 miles to the German border. He and his friend walked day and night 2,000 miles to get to the German border. They walked day and night, and had to remain hidden as best they could. They found farms to stay on and would dig potatoes for food. Finally Sergei came to the Russian-German border. At the gate stood a border guard. And down the road towards him came rumbling a Soviet Truck with some soldiers in it. Sergei knew they would apprehend him. But so determined to leave Russia and go to the United States he was that he risked his life. “I’d rather die than go back to Russia”, he thought. So he walked through the gate. He waited to get shot. His pace hastened as he went through; he kept waiting for the guard to cock the pistol and shoot him in the back. He walked faster and faster. Still he didn’t hear the clicking of the magazine. Sergei got into Germany, and somehow got on a freighter that brought him to the United States. He made his way from New York to Memphis, Tennessee.

“He was one of my all-time great painter teachers,” is the way Jerry concludes the story. Those who know Jerry’s art affirm that he has some of the genius painter in himself, just like Sergei Bongart his mentor.  

JOYS AND STRUGGLES AS AN ARTIST

Jerry take art and painting very seriously. He just stayed with it, and he learned from everybody he could. Art can be a solitary vocation, but in it Jerry found camaraderie. He joined the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters, who had a reputation for high quality art above all else. They were great guys and gifted artists that he had looked up to. Jerry looked forward to all those meetings and soon became President of the group. “I was among all those other big guns,” he says.

Jerry had significant success in his art career. He became a signature member of the prestigious American Watercolor Society (AWS), based in New York, in a notable way. To become a member an artist has to enter only one painting in their once-a-year national show, and you have to get accepted into that AWS three years in a ten-year span. “Well I entered it three years, and got in every year,” Jerry says with well-deserved pride. Jerry became a signature member of AWS, and as a result can sign AWS after his name. “That was quite an honor,” he says.

Jerry is also a signature member of the National Watercolor Society (NWS) as well as many of the other big watercolor societies like the San Diego Watercolor Society, the Missouri Watercolor Society and the Northwest Watercolor Society, which he served in the past as president.

But art wasn’t all the easy street for Jerry. One of the things struggles that he faced was in dealing with galleries. “I went in with my eyes wide open, [assuming] that they’re all reputable, and honorable. Most of them were, but not all. They would sell your paintings, and the rent would be due the next day, and they would say, ‘we’ll catch up to you,’. I ended up paying the rent for their gallery to stay open and didn’t get paid,” Jerry recalls. As other artists have learned, galleries tend to take a pretty good commission, usually at least 33% of sales.

Still Jerry was very fortunate. People liked his paintings and he made a very good living. He was able to make a full-time living through his art. He got a studio with artist Bill Rees in Redmond. They shared that studio for eleven years. Jerry taught classes at his studio, and he and Bill painted there every day. While they painted they talked about the old times. Sometimes they would see would have friends from the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters stop by.

My dad, Jack Dorsey, who was a member of the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters, tells the story of how he stopped by their studio in Redmond around 1979. Dad had worked as a full-time artist for the past ten years (1969-1979). He told them that he had just taken a job at Boeing. He remembers Bill Rees saying, “too bad.”  

ON WATERCOLOR

The reason Jerry paints is that it’s an emotional thing. His watercolors are infused with emotion. “It’s just something you know how to do, it’s very easy, at least for me it was and is.” Jerry knows this is not the case for all students of watercolor. He remembers that he would get a lot of students in his classes and they would think that art is about getting every little detail right, and there wasn’t any emotional content in their work. Jerry would tell them to put their heart into it, to paint with feeling. “If you’re painting a trail or a road, and it’s horizontal, paint what it’s doing. Paint horizontally, with big brushstrokes. If it’s a building, paint vertically. If it’s a figure, give it a gesture. When you’re painting feel what you are painting. Get involved with it,” He says. Jerry knows that not everybody has that intuitive nature about them. They think painting is recreating a photograph. For Jerry, this is the wrong approach, “A painter, you’re emotionally involved with the painting. You feel everything you’re doing.”

Jerry has painted in all mediums. He started out in watercolor with Fred Marshall, and watercolor stuck. What was hard about mastering watercolor for Jerry is that you only have one shot at it. If you did a watercolor, and you had something in it that was wrong, and you tried to fix it, it would look like you fixed it. You have to “paint the thing like you own it”, Jerry says. “You have to get really involved with the painting. That’s the way I paint. I get so involved. I can feel everything I’m doing, whether it’s a dirt road or a shingle on a roof, or a gesture of a figure, whatever something is doing, that’s exactly the way I feel about it. Whatever I’m painting, I paint what it’s doing. And it paints itself. It just paints itself, if you paint what things are doing.”

LEGACY

Jerry has an impressive resume. His web page tells: “He was a United States Navy combat artist, has paintings in the Pentagon, in the private collections of King Gustav of Sweden and the King of Saudi Arabia. His work is in the collections of Alaska Airlines, J P Morgan Chase Bank, Boeing Company, and Foss Tug Company.”

Jerry doesn’t need to stand on his resume. His work speaks for itself. I have found Jerry Stitt originals and prints in many homes of artists and art lovers throughout the northwest. And when I do I always stop in awe and wonder, even enchantment, wondering how he did it. I have learned that for Jerry it is much more than a matter of technical skill, it is a matter of the heart! He paints with and through his emotions.You don’t have to be art critic to know, or maybe it would be better to say “to feel”, that in the presence of Jerry Stitt’s paintings, you have encountered 

VINTAGE WATERCOLORISTS OF WASHINGTON SHOW

You can see Jerry’s paintings, and the paintings of five other vintage watercolor artists, at Sunnyshore Studio’s upcoming Vintage Watercolorists of Washington Show.

  • Opens Saturday, March 9, 2019m 10am-5pm
  • Meet the Artist Reception, Saturday, March 9, 3-5pm
  • Also Saturdays, March 16, 23 and 30, 10am-5pm
  • Sunnyshore Studio wants to thank the Jack Dorsey family for sponsoring the show, and the Northwest Watercolor Society for partnering with us in celebrating the life and legacy of vintage watercolorists of WA.

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!

pick up day 7

Wow! That’s a lot of books.

pick up day 5

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

Sunnyshore Studio announces our 2019 Artistic Season

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to announce our 2019 Artistic Season. We hope that you are able to visit us for one – or all! – of these shows as we “share beauty with the world.”

MARCH: VINTAGE WATERCOLORISTS OF WASHINGTON

Our season begins in March with the second of five Jack Dorsey Invitational: Vintage Watercolorists of Washington shows. We’re thrilled to partner again with the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), one of the premier watercolor society’s in the US.

We’ll showcase the art and celebrate the lives and artistic legacies of five of Washington’s top watercolorists: Jerry Stitt, Seiko Konya, Nancy Fulton, Cooper Hart and Sandy Langford. Jack Dorsey will also have five of his paintings on display. And we are excited to have on display a watercolor by Elizabeth Warhanik, one of the founding members of Women Painters of Washington.

You won’t want to miss the meet the artist reception, 3-5pm, on March 9th. We expect it to be packed with watercolor lovers, artists and friends of the art as it was last year!

Check out the poster below for information on the show featuring one of Cooper Hart’s marine paintings.

Vintage Poster 2019 - Cooper

And here’s a video preview of the artists with some fun bloopers of Jack Dorsey and the making of the video.

MAY: CAMANO ISLAND STUDIO TOUR

Sunnyshore Studio will be participating in the popular “Studio Tour” hosted by the Camano Arts Association. The tour takes place over five days in May:

  • Friday, May 10, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday, May 11, 10am-5pm
  • Sunday, May 12, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday, May 18, 10am-5pm
  • Sunday, May 19, 10am-5pm

We will feature artwork by our family of artists: Fanny Y. Cory, Jack Dorsey, Ann Cory, Jason Dorsey, April Nelson, and Jed Dorsey, as well as guest artists who we’ll reveal at a later time.

Studio Tour Ad - 2019

The Studio Stour is a fun way to see beautiful Camano Island and experience the vibrant colony of artists there. Enjoy this virtual tour of some of our artists.

JACK DORSEY SILENT ART AUCTION

Jack Dorsey - Color

Jack Dorsey, the patriarch of our family of artists, is a well known northwest artist whose artworks are collected and prized. Jack has painted for close to sixty years and has an impressive body of art that ranges watercolor landscapes to still life and western oils. Here’s your chance to see a broad collection of Jack’s works, get your hands on a Jack Dorsey original, and maybe even a great deal on it too.

The silent auction will work this way. There will be a minimum bid for each painting. If you want to take the painting today there will be a price for that too. At the end of the show we will see what painting is going to a new home.

The show will take place over three Saturdays in June:

  • Saturday, June 15, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday, June 22, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday, June 29, 10am-5pm

OCTOBER: JED DORSEY SOLO SHOW

Jed Dorsey (1)

A highlight of our artistic season each year is Jed Dorsey’s solo show. Jed usually sells his shows out, and typically there are people waiting at the door to get in before the show opens!

Jed’s show will run on two Saturdays in October:

  • October 5th, 10am-5pm
  • October 12th, 10am-5pm

This year we’ll plan to host the show online as we did last October so Jed’s friends and fans across the US and world (remarkably, but it is true) can purchase his beautiful acrylic paintings.

If you want to learn more about Jed, or are interested in taking an online course in acrylics through his Acrylic University check out his web site:

www.jeddorseyart.com

DECEMBER CHRISTMAS SHOW

Each year we do a themed Christmas show. Last year’s show was “Christmas in Miniature”. We haven’t settled on a theme for our 2019 Christmas show. Maybe we’ll stick with the Christmas in miniature theme. Maybe we’ll branch out with something new.

But for sure we’ll have a wonderful time sharing new original art, and affordable prints, books we’ve published, and lots of delicious food and drinks. We’ll also have fun inviting guests artists who help us make this an especially festive show packed with friends!

Our family looks forward to welcoming you in to our creative studio-gallery as we share the beauty of Camano with the world!

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  • December 7th, 10am-5pm
  • December 14th, 10am-5pm

ART LIVES ON CAMANO!

Meet Vintage Watercolorist Nancy Fulton: For the Love of Art

Nancy Fulton was born in Ballard. Her dad was born in Ballard, too, and the Hoefers are well integrated there to this day. Nancy was living in Ballard with her husband David and two children when she took her first serious step in becoming a watercolor artist. But her love affair with art began many years before that.

As a child, Nancy always wanted to color, draw, and was attracted to any kind of art. She loved her art classes at school. Her first success with art was in kindergarten class. In those days, students were given real clay to mold with. She made a dog. It was taken down to Frederick and Nelson and put on display with some kind of ribbon. Though she was young at the time, Nancy remembers that her mother didn’t take her to where it was showcased. Laughing she recalls, “I was really curious to see why they had taken my clay piece. It was used as a door stop. It was pretty heavy. And it broke.”

Nancy traces her artistic bent to her mother’s side of the family. Nancy’s aunt – her mother’s sister – is the mother of well-known Washington watercolorist Glen Oberg. Like Nancy, art was something Glen, who is nine years older, just always did. There was some artistic talent on Nancy’s dad’s side too. If you asked him draw a cow, he could do that. He worked at the post office when she was young, then got a job as a real estate agent until his brother bought a fuel business. He asked Nancy’s dad to sell accounts; so they became business partners. It’s been a family business ever since. Nancy’s husband, brother, sister and kids have all worked there.

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JOURNEY INTO ART

Nancy wanted to go to the University of Washington. Knowing she was artistic, her folks sent here there. She declared as an art major, took art classes, and loved it. But after that first year her parents told her that was all they could afford. She remembers her mother saying, “You’re just going to get married anyway.” Nancy said, “OK”. “That was just the way it was,” She reflects.

She got a job at a bank, and worked for Virginia Mason for a while. And she did get married, to a young man named David Fulton. During those years she wanted to get involved with some kind of art. But it took a call from a friend to push her over the edge to act on her intuition. She was caring for their two young children when the phone rang. It was her friend Gretchen. She said, “You’re in your bathrobe, right?” And Nancy said, “Uh, Yeah.” Gretchen said, “It’s two o’clock. You need to get out. You draw or something don’t you?” Nancy answered, “Yeah.” Gretchen continued, “Take an art class, then.” So Nancy went to Shoreline Community College and got a degree in Visual Communications Technology. She started a little company titled Artwerks that focused on doing labels and business cards.

Nancy approached the Pacific Northwest Ballet about designing and producing a coloring book for the Nutcracker.  They liked the art and suggested she sell it to San Francisco Ballet too, which she did.  She also contacted the Seattle Opera to do a coloring book about The Ring. This was also successful.  Nancy did all the art and “paste up” and these books were all printed at Johnson Printing by her cousin Glen Oberg who was the manager at that time.

Besides running her small business, Nancy started exploring watercolor classes taught by Jerry Stitt, Diane Lemle, and Carl Christophersen.

the old apple tree SOLD

The old apple tree

In 1983 the Fulton’s moved to Normandy Park to be closer to David’s work. It turned out that Carl Christophersen was moving to south Seattle too, so Nancy was able to continue to take classes from him. That year she got a watercolor painting into the Northwest Watercolor Society show at the Frye Art Museum. This was the very first time Nancy had ever put anything in a show. It was juried in and hung at the Frye! That was very encouraging to her.

In their new home, Nancy set up her studio in their kitchen which had good lighting. She used the island for an easel. She would start painting. Hours later Dave would come home from work and she would still be painting. “I hadn’t gone to the grocery store yet. I didn’t know what we were having for dinner. So that was a problem,” Nancy remembered. She had to find a separate space where she could paint. She took over one of the bedrooms. After 9 years of peddling commercial art, Nancy went to work part time at her husband, David’s, place of work. She was able to do that, be a mom, and continue to have success painting. As successful came in art, she was able to rent a small studio space close to where her husband worked. She painted there for nineteen years and taught classes there too. Recently the building was sold and was going to be repurposed so she had to move out.

A few years back David built her a little house-like studio out in back of their home. He’s in the heating business, so he made the floors radient heated. Nancy can go out there in the middle of the night and paint in her pajamas now. Dave retired just a couple of month’s ago; and Nancy moved out of my studio she was renting. She’s “retired” from teaching now.  Painting will be her avocation and watercolor continues to be one of her long loves.

ARTISTIC INFLUENCES

It was in Carl Christophersen’s watercolor class where Nancy’s breakthrough to watercolor happened. She had taken other watercolor classes before but struggled learning the medium. “When Karl took over he had the right formula for me and I took off. He did a little painting with some daisies. And It clicked. I got it, right away,” she remembers.  As a teacher, Nancy knows how hard it is to help people get important elements of painting, like negative – positive space. She knows how it can be a struggle to master a medium like watercolor, that sometimes it takes the right teacher, or the right demonstration, for a breakthrough. This can be especially difficult with watercolor because you can’t erase, you have to get it right. Carl’s demonstration was her breakthrough moment. Nancy did a painting in his class that she liked very much. He encouraged her to put it in the Northwest Watercolor Society’s “Northwest Open” show they were having at the Frye. And, as mentioned above, it got in!

Another mentor has been her cousin, Glen Oberg. Nancy says that Glen is not only one of the best painters she knows, but is an extraordinary human being. “He’s always humble. He’s easy going. He’s one of those people who has a great sense of humor. He’s always been supportive of me coming along…No one can paint watercolors better than he can,” She states. Nancy attends the class he teaches every Wednesday at a senior center. “I love it,” she says. 

Glen Oberg

Another influence is her good friend and terrific watercolor artist, Marty Rogers. She met Marty at one of the classes that she took from Diane Lemle in LaConner. They began to paint together, and that helped Nancy a lot. The would often paint plein air. Marty was really good at finding places to paint, and asking people permission to paint their home or on their farm. After they set up, Nancy would dig in: “I would paint until they dragged me out of the place.” People would stop and talk with them as they painted. “It was fun,” Nancy remembers. She says that it is helpful to paint with someone. “It’s kind of dangerous to go out by yourself. You know. You could fall and break your leg. When Marty and I would go out to paint, we’d go out for fun. But we would always come back with something we kind of liked.”

Marty and Nancy joined Art League North. This gave them a venue to show their work once a year in the art barn at the Tulip Festival. At that show “We’d practically give our stuff away,” Nancy comments. But “It was nice to be appreciated.”

[Note: They welcomed other people into their painting friendship. In 1993 I was a twenty-three year old and a fledgling watercolor artist. They invited me to join them for their weekly paint out, and I remember often joining Marty and Nancy and a few others at the Calico Cupboard for tea and scones and conversation before we set out to paint plein air. Those are happy memories for me. Author, Jason Dorsey]

STRUGGLES AND JOYS OF WATERCOLOR

For Nancy, one of the struggles is just painting something the way she wants it to be done. Not every painting is going to be a masterpiece. You start a painting out, and “then it goes south on you. And it’s disheartening,” she says. “I wanted to have a discipline that when that happens, I get out another piece of paper and start over. I don’t want to let it get in my way.” Nancy is glad she persevered through the disappointments. When she recently moved out to her new studio, she went through stacks of things from photographs to sketch pads. She couldn’t believe she had painted that many paintings; and she was struck by all the paintings that she has sold through the years. “The time has gone by real fast. But I’m still not painting the exact painting that I wanted to. I want to do the great, great painting. But a lot of them are pretty good.” Looking at her body of work she was able to say, “You know, these aren’t that bad.”

Another joy has been to share her love for art with her son and daughter. They are both artistic, though neither has chosen art as a career. Still, she was able to integrate them into her life as an artist. When she did the coloring book for the Nutcracker, they wanted to have it set up at the Olympic Hotel. So Nancy and her daughter set up the show. It was her project too.  Both of the kids enjoyed painting and drawing alongside of her. “It was really great,” Nancy says, though “My husband would sometimes be annoyed because I wouldn’t be doing things he wanted me to do.”

Once she got started with watercolor, she knew she was never going to quit. But she wanted it to be something that David wanted for her. She contributed to the family income through her classes, which also helped with the ongoing purchase of art materials and costs of entering shows: “the more I sold the better I felt, and the more I painted,” she says. And in the end, David was a strong support of Nancy’s love for and pursuit of watercolor.

ART SHOWS, GALLERIES AND ORGANIZATIONS 

Nancy has signature status in the Northwest Watercolor Society.  A couple of paintings even got into the very prestigious National Watercolor Society show. She has been a member of Women Painters of Washington for twenty years and exhibits in their gallery downtown in the Columbia Tower. She also exhibits twice a year at the River Gallery in La Conner.  Once a year she sells her paintings at an art show in Normandy Park with Artists United. 

ON WATERCOLOR 

Nancy’s students always feel like watercolor is indelible; like if you make a mistake it’s all over. But Nancy points out that it’s so malleable. “So many people don’t understand this. Yes, it’s nice to have that fresh wash. But you can keep going on, if you make a mistake. And that is one thing I would say. ‘Keep going. Don’t tear it up. Keep going. Keep working on it. When you get done with it, you may have something you didn’t think you were going to love, but you kept going on.”

She shares a story of how she learned this lesson for herself a long time ago. She had wanted to paint glass and I had this crystal thing. “Cut crystal is hard to paint. I think it is probably hard to paint in anything because it reflects all kinds of light. And I kept making mistakes. And I kept working on it. And it kept getting darker and darker. But I kept working and working. Finally I got it done. And it was ok. It was done. I actually managed to do this thing I didn’t think I could do. I was ready to tear it up several times. And I thought, ‘No just keep going. See how far you can go with this.’ So that’s the kind of thing I try to get through to my students. Don’t give up. Work on it some more. You learn something from it if nothing else. You can do it again. Just keep going.”

Nancy has a lifetime of watercolor painting behind her. From the countertop, to the bedroom, to the rented studio, to the studio behind their home, Nancy has painted a lot of paintings. But still there are times of insecurity and special moments of inspiration. Like when she set out to paint portraits of two of her grandsons, her son’s children. She really wanted to get them right. Nancy reflects that at the time she thought, “Aw, this is terrible. They won’t come out right.” She doesn’t do a lot of portraits, and she notes that it’s too hard to paint someone you love.  You have to put all your heart and soul into it. Plus, “They are both so cute,” she says. And they both turned out! Nancy’s eyes teared up: “That was probably the biggest deal, that was the biggest deal for me. That I could do a painting of those two kids and be happy with it.”

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LEGACY

Nancy hasn’t thought a lot about her legacy, except for maybe the legacy of art that she’ll leave to her kids. They have paintings of hers now. And they may have paintings of hers that they have an eye on. Still she is sensitive to not  foist something on them that they don’t want. She knows that asking them, “Do you want this?” puts them in an awkward position because then they’ll feel like they’ll hurt her feelings if they don’t, if they say, no.  “I don’t want to do that to them,” She says. She wonders if her granddaughter, who is really into art, might be part of her legacy. But she really doesn’t know what her legacy is.

That’s ok. The hundreds of people who have Nancy Fulton paintings in hanging in their home are perhaps the ones who can testify best to her legacy. Many of those people Nancy will never meet. But her friends tell her how they love her paintings. She recalls that there was one nice lady who bought one of her paintings. She had a bandana on and was going through chemo. She told Nancy, “I’m going to sit and look at that while I’m having this chemo thing.” That meant a lot to Nancy. A couple of Nancy’s paintings hang in my parent’s home, and one in my sister’s home. I know that they are treasured, and bring beauty and joy into those places.

Nancy knows what she gets from the paintings she likes. Sometimes she sees a painting that she’s done and says, “I love that.” And some of those paintings are hard to sell. “I don’t want to sell them. I don’t think I’m every going to do a painting as good as that.” Maybe not. But maybe Nancy’s legacy is loving watercolor, and sharing her love with people through her paintings. 

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EPILOGUE

My wife, Jenny, and I visited Nancy’s home in Normandy Park, Seattle to take some photographs and video footage of her Studio for the short video documentary on her life and art. I had written the article above based solely on my interview of Nancy, and what I knew of her from when we painted plein air in 1993. From the interview I was convinced that Nancy’s story was about the love of art, hence the title of this article “For the love of art.” Visiting her home solidified that first impression. Nancy led us on a tour of the art in her home.

What became crystal clear is that in Nancy’s home, her loves – for her family, of painting, and of great artworks by great artists – are all woven together.

THE ART OF HER TEACHERS

Her home is filled with paintings by her teachers. Like this watercolor by Carl Christopherson., Diane Lemle, and Glen Oberg.

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These beautiful florals, the first and oil, the second a watercolor, by Diane Lemle.

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Of course, Nancy has also collected a number of beautiful paintings by her cousin Glen Oberg. Here are just a few of that collection.

NATIONALLY KNOWN ARTISTS WHOSE WORK NANCY LOVES 

Artworks of well known national artists are also displayed. Nancy lovers their artwork and her home is filled with incredible works of art by well known artists.

Like this painting by Del Gish.

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And this one by Judi Betts.

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PAINTINGS BY HER FRIENDS

Nancy values the paintings of her dearest friends too. One of those friends, Marty Rogers, is an incredible artists as this painting showcases.

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NANCY’S OWN PAINTINGS

Nancy’s own paintings – the ones that she specially loves – have an honored place alongside these other paintings. Like this one that Nancy feels is her greatest painting yet. They certainly do hold their own next to the works of these masters.

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There are also paintings of her grandchildren that have a special place on the walls. You can see Nancy’s love for her little ones in these paintings.

Here in her home, her sanctuary, we see Nancy’s loves – her love for her family, her love of her friends, her own love of painting, and her love for good art –  integrated, kept and cherished,  a sacred gallery of her loves.

You can view Nancy’s beautiful artwork at the upcoming Jack Dorsey Invitational: Vintage Watercolorists of Washington at Sunnyshore Studio (2803 S.E. Camano Drive)

Saturdays, March 9, 16, 23 and 30, 10am-5pm

Meet the artist reception, Saturday, March 9th, 3:00-5:00pm

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Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to be partnering with the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), one of the premier watercolor societies in the US, in celebrating the life and legacy of vintage watercolorists of Washington.

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2019 Vintage Watercolorist’s Posters

In honor of the patriarch of our family of artists, Jack Dorsey, Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to to showcase the artwork and share the stories of five of Washington’s VINTAGE watercolor artists.

This is the second of five Vintage art shows to celebrate artists who have contributed to the legacy of watercolor painting in Washington State.

We can’t wait to share their stories and their breathtaking watercolors with you! The show opens on Saturday, March 9th, 10am-5pm, with a meet the artist reception from 3-5pm. It and runs on three consecutive Saturdays: March 16th, 23rd, and 30th, 10-5pm.

Enjoy a little taste of their art through the personalized posters that we made for the show.

Cooper 2019

Sandy 2019

Seiko 2019

Nancy 2019

Jerry 2019

Since this is the Jack Dorsey Invitational, we are also thrilled to showcase some of Jack’s paintings as well. Here is his poster.

Again in 2019 we are partnering with the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), one of the premier watercolor societies in the US, on the vintage show. We are super thankful for their support. You can learn more about NWWS here: https://www.nwws.org

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Our Year in Review: A hearty thanks to our friends, patrons and backers in 2018!

As we look back at 2018, our family has so very much to be thankful for. We are especially grateful for the many friends, patrons and backers who have visited our Camano “bricks and mortar” studio, who have purchased art on-line, and who have backed our creative projects.

Thank you so much! You have helped us carry out our mission to share beauty with the world.

Here are some highlights from 2018.

March: Vintage Watercolorists of Washington show

We hosted the first of five Jack Dorsey Invitational: Vintage Watercolorists of Washington art show to celebrate the life and legacy of some of Washington’s top watercolor artists.

Vintage flier front

The Vintage show was a great success. A number of newspaper articles were written about it, the artwork was spectacular and a large crowd attended the opening. We are especially thankful for the NWWS partnering with us on the show.

April: Jed, Renae & Willow move back to Washington

Certainly a highlight for the Dorsey clan was to have Jed, Renae and Willow move back from their much loved home in Indianapolis to the northwest. Jed is a gifted artist. He, Renae and Willow make a terrific team and their presence is a joy to all of us.

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May: Mother’s Day Studio Tour

We participated in the popular Camano Island Mother’s Day Studio tour over Mother’s Day weekend and the following “encore” weekend. This is always a fun time to see old friends and make news one, and sell a lot of art, books, cards, and posters. We enjoyed very much the guest artists that joined us for the show. And we are so thankful for the many friends and supporters who “shop local” and support the artist colony on Camano.

 

July: Enjoying and Sharing Camano

A highlight each year is July on Camano with its long, warm days. Sunnyshore Studio’s artistic director take a month vacation from his work as a Presbyterian pastor in Redmond, WA. These are wonderful days of playing with friends, enjoying Camano’s beaches, enjoying long stretches of time for creativity, and working on projects around the studio. One highlight from this summer was a BIG WORK PARTY we organized at Jack and Ann Dorsey’s home!

 

August: Work begins on Jack Dorsey’s Tiny House

We began Jackie’s Tiny House this summer. The project is coming together nicely. We expect it to be all ready for the 2019 Mother’s Day Studio Tour. Jenny Dorsey was the mastermind of this project. She had lots of help from Jacob, Jackie, Jason and Grandpa Jack!

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October: Jed Dorsey’s “Home” Show

Jed’s art show in October was a smashing success. Titled “Home”, it explored the places of the heart, and how art can capture that longing for and sense of home we have. We’re super thankful for Jed’s friend Russ Baumgarner and his painting company Rubumco for sponsoring the show. We held our first “on line” opening, and sold many paintings over the web. We’re excited about the potential of being able to share beauty with people who are not able to visit our “bricks and mortar” gallery. And we’re thankful for all of Jed’s fans, friends and patrons who support his work by buying his art.

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November: I Remember Running Through the Woods

In November we turned in the manuscript of Jason Dorsey’s I Remember Running Through the Woods to the printer. We are super excited to be publishing the second book in this ten book series. The book will be released in January, 2019.

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November: Successful Kickstarter Campaign for “We are Family” documentary

In November we launched a 30 day Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising 25K to complete a documentary about an inner city basketball team from Indianapolis who against all odds won the state championship. The movie is titled We are Family. Just hours before the closing of the social funding campaign we reached our goal of 25K! We’re so thankful for the 110+ backers who believed enough in us and this project to give so generously. We expect to show the movie for the first time in March 2019.

 

December: Christmas in Miniature Show

We culminated the year with our annual Christmas show.

Christmas Poster 2018

This year’s show had the theme of “miniatures” and it featured small paintings, the unveiling of Jack Dorsey’s annual Christmas card, the soft opening of Jackie’s tiny house, and wonderful miniature displays set up by Jenny. It was super fun to have a number of guest artists showcased this year!

We had a terrific lineup of local artists. It was great to be able to share their wonderful art!

And again, we are thankful for the many friends and patrons who stopped by, who purchased art and cards, etc.

 

Conclusion

In 2018, Sunnyshore Studio had a strong year. This included showcasing original art, publishing books and working on a documentary. We are passionate about our calling to share beauty with the world through these different mediums. And we are passionate about building community through art. We are so thankful for the many friends, collectors, patrons and backers who have stood with us this year!

JENNY  AND I AND OUR ENTIRE FAMILY ARE THANKFUL FOR YOU ALL!

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.

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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:

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