Today is the last day that you can get the GREAT DEAL of a one year membership to Acrylic University (AU) at only $300 (it is usually around $450). Here are five reasons to sign up as a member of Acrylic University.
1. This is a practical way to carve out time in your life to nurture and grow as a creative person. Many times we neglect to cultivate the creativity that is embedded in us. When you spend money on something, you tend to want to get the most out of it.
2. Acrylic University is an online platform that provides access to high quality acrylic instruction in your home at any time you want and at a great price. A typical 4 day workshop costs $300+. You can access AU from anywhere, anytime you want.
3. When you join AU you get connected to a community of creative people from around the world. Your creativity will be inspired by as you and other artists and creative people share their work, encourage each other, and get helpful critique.
4. Painting is a great pastime that can bring real joy to your life. Winston Churchill wrote a little book “Painting as a Pastime.” As a member of parliament, and then Prime Minister, Churchill enjoyed painting even amidst the stress and business of his life. Painting can be a wonderful way to enjoy nature and learn to see in a new way.
5. As you head into the new year, why not take a new path, open yourself to new risks and rewards, begin a new adventure?
My pastoral colleague at Redeemer, Rev Hans Stout, has a pretty good side hustle going: producing and selling shepherd slings. At first glance, Han’s doesn’t seem like a weapon forger with his warm personality and smile, but the blood of the Vikings courses through his veins, and, the Biblical story of David and Goliath and the stones and sling is part of his story, and he has two sons. He’s making and shipping about a dozen slings a week!
Last Sunday he dropped off the shepherd slings for Jenny to sell at the Christmas on Camano show that opens tomorrow. They are only $10-$11, perfect stocking stuffers for the youngsters in your family.
He’s even got a tutorial on how to use a sling. Check it out. This is how we presbyterian pastors roll :).
You can pick up a Shepherd Sling at our Christmas show. If you can’t make that, then order one online from Rev. Hans Stout ancient weapon maker.
Here is the story of Jenny Dorsey’s miniature collection as told by Jason Dorsey. She will surely correct him at many points of historical record but he writes from the heart.
In 1980, when she was ten, Jenny Wallace’s family moved home from Peru where they had served as missionaries since 1971. Jenny struggled deeply with her identity: was she Peruvian (she dreamed in Spanish)? Was she American (she now lived in America)?
Jenny noticed that American children collected things so she started collecting things too. She collected stamps, stickers, dolls, and marbles. Then she discovered miniatures and fell in love. Miniatures were the perfect fit for her. She loves little things. She likes thinking about spaces and pretty things in those spaces and a dollhouse filled with furniture made her heart sing. Except their family didn’t have the money to buy a dollhouse.
But her dad, Ron, who loved his little girl, bought her one anyway!
Since I have known her, Jenny has treasured her dollhouse and its furniture. Almost every week when we lived in Seattle Jenny stopped by Dolly’s Dollhouse store on Phinney Ridge and shop for the perfect next miniature. When we moved to Indy, the closest miniature store was in Brown County. We visited Brown County each fall to see the glories of the leaves and to visit that store. Every summer when we took the long drive out to see family on the west coast, Jenny stopped at Dolly’s Dollhouse.
Even after all these years, the exterior and some of the interior rooms of Jenny’s dollhouse weren’t finished. Last fall I persuaded Jenny to showcase her miniature collection at our Christmas show. So she pulled out her dollhouse and worked at our apartment in Redmond on the exterior, painting the shell and windows.
Then she hauled the dollhouse up to our Studio on Camano and set it up room by room. Each piece of furniture collected over the decades, each telling a story, connected to a memory, and with a reason behind it!
The Front Door
The Dining Room
The Piano and Map Room
The Living Room
The Master Bedroom
The Sewing Room
The Other Rooms, Well
I don’t have pictures of the other rooms so you’re just going to have to come see her miniature house in person!
A Wonderful, Surprising Gift
Then a wonderful surprise gift happened. Laura Laun, who was an artist in last years Christmas show heard about Jenny’s love for miniatures. Laura had been trying to figure out what to do with her miniature collection and she donated it to Jenny!
Jenny had so much fun unpacking the boxes. It was like the most amazing Christmas gift ever!
Laura’s collection was stunning, well loved, and her gave Jenny enough miniatures to fill up the windows. Each became a miniature display.
Jenny’s dream is to someday start a miniature store at the Studio where she can display her miniature collection and sell miniatures to people who share her love for them. If you want to see Jenny’s miniature collection, are interested in growing your own, or have miniatures you’d like to donate to Jenny stop by our Christmas in miniature show. Or contact Jenny at: email@example.com.
We are glad to have Marni Stout in our Christmas on Camano show again this year. Marni is a talented card maker, and you’ll appreciate the handcrafted, personal touch that Marni puts into her cards.
We caught up to Marni and asked her some questions about her memories of Christmas.
Sunnyshore Studio: What do you love most about Christmas?
Marni: There are many things that I love about Christmas. I love it because my father loves it like no one else I’ve known. He associates it with his happiest memories from childhood. I love remembering the Christmases I had as a little girl, decorating the tree, the goodies and pies, and the music. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized how theologically deep our Christmas hymns are. I love the reminder that Christ has reconciled God and sinners and what joyous news it is to rehearse again and again. As I look back on Christ’s first coming I look forward to his second when his mercies will flow as far as the curse is found once and for all.
Sunnyshore Studio: What are some Christmas traditions your family had?
Marni: When we were little girls the Christmas season seemed to always start the day after Thanksgiving. We were finally allowed to cart down the huge stack of Christmas records that my parents kept in the upstairs hall closet. We reveled in the classics by Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby and Roger Whittaker. Hearing this music can easily make me misty-eyed for those happy times. And it absolutely could not be Christmas without my father’s, family-famous Mincemeat Cookies. Believe me, this is one of the best cookies you will ever put in your mouth. I make these for my boys now that I am the parent in the house. I hope I can give them beautiful, family-full Christmas memories like I have.
My Dad, Jack Dorsey, has painted a Christmas card that he and mom sent to family and friends since 2004. I persuaded Dad to unveil that year’s Christmas card at the grand opening of Sunnyshore Studio in December, 2016. But the history of Dad’s Christmas cards, their original inspiration and the paintings themselves, have not been recorded, until today!
Thanks to Mom who spent a few hours digging around on the computer and collected these images and dated them the best she could. We still have lots of missing pieces, which, I’m confident, we will continue to add to this history.
Dad has a few of the original Christmas paintings that’s he’s willing to sell. I’ll list those prices. Contact me (Jason, 317.209.6768 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to purchase one.
Enjoy this history of the Christmas Cards of Jack Dorsey
One of the inspirations behind Jack’s Christmas card is his dear friend, renown watercolor artist Thomas “Tom” William Jones. Tom painted four Christmas cards for Ronald and Nancy Reagan when he was president, 1985-1988. Being chosen to paint the nation’s Christmas card was quite an honor, and Dad was inspired to paint his own. Here is a link to Tom’s current retrospective exhibition, An American Winter at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA. There are 27 paintings on view through January 5th.
Other inspirations for the Christmas cards were that Dad and Mom value their family and friends and the annual Christmas card was a way for them to express their love. They also both value personal creativity (over the store bought cards) and are thrifty (so preferred saving money by making their own cards). Whatever the inspiration, I am so thankful that they began that tradition. it has brought beauty and joy into the world for many.
2004 Christmas Card
The first Christmas card we have record of is Dad’s painting of holly. I love how the red berries cascade across the dark green leaves.
2005 Christmas Card
Dad painted this Russian teapot on our mantel in our home in Indianapolis. He must have photographed or sketched it then painted it at his studio on Camano. The silver of the teapot in “Mantel Grace” sparkles against warm colors of the fireplace.
This painting is for sale
Title: “Mantel Grace”
Size 9″ by 12 1/4″
Christmas Card Concept
We don’t (yet) know what painting was used for the Christmas card in 2006. However, we do have a “concept” painting. Dad painting this plate with “Baby Jesus” but didn’t end up using it. I don’t know why.
This painting is SOLD!
Title: “Baby Jesus”
Size 6 3/4″ by 10″
2007 Christmas Card
We have a two year gap in our records. Then this delightful painting of a nutcracker standing guard. I recognize the window shade at Dad and Mom’s house, and mom’s lovely decor of holly and poinsettia. Some of my favorite paintings of Dad’s are still life paintings where he merges objects with nature.
This painting is SOLD!
Size 10.5″ by 12.5″
2008 Christmas Card
The 2008 Christmas Card is an example of Dad’s gift at still lifes that merge nature and objects. Dad loves old things, antiques, and many times they make their way into a painting, like this scale.
2009 Christmas Card
This oil painting is titled “Tommy Loops Place”. Dad has a knack of remembering names. I’m not sure who Tommy Loop was, but I’m sure Dad does and could tell some stories. I’m sure later today he’ll be straightening me out on old Tommy Loop. But anyway, here is his place. The yellow house stands bright against the muted autumn trees. I love the sparkle of snow on the ground and roofs.
2010 Christmas Card
This loose watercolor resembles a more traditional Christmas card in the subject of the nativity. I really, really like its freshness. The star watches over the stable birthplace of baby Jesus, the holy Son of God, light of the world.
2011 Christmas Card
Dad paints in oil and egg tempera and guache but he paints best in watercolor. This Christmas stocking with greens is a great example of his expressionistic realism. Dark and light values make the painting pop. And the complementary red and green sing.
2012 Christmas Card
Dad painted one of Mom’s Christmas angel on a metal plate and vase. Mom loves to decorate her home with beautiful little things. Christmas time is especially sweet with her angels and nativities that preach in their own way that “the light of the world is Jesus.”
This painting is for sale
Title: “Christmas Angel”
Medium: Watercolor on illustration board
Size 9″ by 10 1/4″
2013 Christmas Card
“Christmas back home” was painted as a gift for a friend who was dying. Dad wanted to evoke for his friend his home, his “place”. I’m sure it meant a lot to his friend.
2014 Christmas Card
Dad’s 2014 Christmas Card, “O Holy Night”, captures the feeling of winter. Long shadows are cast by the moon on the freshly fallen snow. The church glows in the light (is it moonlight, or a streetlamp) and snow laden trees on both sides are the arch the worshipper enters to pay homage to the King of kings.
2015 Christmas Card
I’m pretty sure this Christmas card gave me the idea of making the unveiling of Dad’s Christmas card a thing at Sunnyshore Studio’s grand opening in 2016. This card is perfect. Sweet and simple, with an adorable angel on top the stable. The fir leaves and Holly in the snow are exquisite.
This painting is for sale
Size: 11 1/2″ by 15″
2016 Christmas Card
This was the Christmas card we “unveiled” at our 2016 Studio grand opening. It is an oil painting titled “Home for Christmas” and was purchased by a collector.
2017 Christmas Card
This year Dad painted Cedarhome, a nearby community. I really loved the deep reds against the lights of the snow and distant trees, and the wreath on the mailbox welcomes you home at Christmastime.
This painting is for sale
Title: “White Christmas”
Size: 11 1/2″ by 15 1/4″
2018 Christmas Card
Last year’s painting, “Home Tweet Home” was absolutely delightful and snatched up by a collector for a mere $1,500.
2019 Christmas Card Unveiling
Dad’s 2019 Christmas card will be unveiled at 10:00am on Saturday, December 7th. Here is the unveiling of the 2018 card. We hope you will join us.
We are thrilled to have Camano artist Judy Sullivan in Sunnyshore Studio’s upcoming Christmas on Camano art show. You will absolutely love her paintings of nature and wildlife!
Here’s a short bio.
I grew up in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. I loved nothing better than roaming through the woods looking for signs of the animals living there. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, I married my best friend and moved around the country with him. We eventually found our way to the Seattle area and have lived on Camano Island since 2013. I never take for granted the sights and sounds of the Pacific Northwest. I love the smell of the sea and the calls of eagles and seagulls. I try to depict these experiences in my paintings of wildlife and nature.
Sunnyshore Studio loves to encourage young, emerging artists. Kourtnie Baird is such an artist. It is especially exciting to us to have her in our upcoming Christmas on Camano art show because she’s a talented artist, but also because her dad, Harry, is a lifelong friend of Jason Dorsey, Artistic Director at Sunnyshore Studio.
Meet emerging artist Kourtnie Baird.
Sunnyshore Studio: tell us about yourself and your art.
Kourntie: “I’ve loved art since I was young. I think it was because of the way it brought colors to emotions or made my imagination soar. I delved in it as a preteen then after becoming a mother in my early 20’s I found myself again through my artwork. I like to say that it puts flame to my lit candle that most of us tend to allow to dim over the years. Losing passion and then finding it again in the small things in life. I have always wanted to tell stories through my art or convey my own feelings into meaning through art. I strive to do so today. I find inspiration through my sons, music, my emotions, even the way the sun shines through the leaves or the way the wind sounds as I drive home from work with my window down. I hope through my art I can make others feel the same inspiration that I do every day, even with the little things.”
Sunnyshore Studio: What do you like most about Christmas and the winter holiday?
Kourtnie: Oh, I would have to say that my absolute favorite thing is the lights of the holidays. The colors meshing together. The decorations of the christmas tree and the way the ornaments and lights are placed. It might be silly but christmas is just so stunning to me.
Sunnyshore: What were traditions your family had over Christmas/winter holidays?
Kourtnie: I have many that I remember but as I age they change. I remember leaving out cookies at my grandma Cheryl’s house. And sleeping in the living room to catch Santa, but never did. I remember going to leavenworth with my dad and now it’s a yearly thing with my sons and my fiance’s daughters. I think viewing Leavenworth in all its glory is a special kind of memory to have and I hope to continue it throughout the years.
We are thrilled to have Amy Martin in our Christmas show again this year (for information, see below). Besides being a terrific artist, Amy is also a veteran and a bad@!! Black Hawk aviator.
In a quiet town in the snow belt, a bit south of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania, I grew up playing baseball, building forts in the woods, playing Atari, and riding my bike to the community pool. When I was fourteen, I bought a Terry Gambit road bike and spent the summer riding miles into the countryside where I hid my bike between corn rows and hiked through fields with a backpack filled with paints and an easel. I spent my days painting landscapes, then strapped the wet oil painting to my backpack to ride home for dinner. I read Dear Theo that summer, Vincent Van Gogh’s letters to his brother. The descriptions of his paintings filled most every page and influenced my vision of the natural world and the ways I painted it. I began to focus on using color to depict how I felt about the world around me rather than just what I saw.
My love of reading, writing, and painting has always been fused. I graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Creative Writing and a minor in Painting in 1995. My oil and acrylic paintings are of the natural world and are often created plein air as they were when I was younger. I sometimes take my old canvases and paint over them while leaving pieces of the original work in view. A lake might become a cup of tea resting on a picnic blanket; a red clay desert floor flipped might become a new sky.
After college, I worked as a house painter for a construction company in Eugene, OR–– putting my skills with paint and brush to work to pay the rent after moving cross-country. I worked alongside and learned painting techniques from their head painter who was also an accomplished artist painter. I found a housemate from an ad in the Eugene library who was a student painter at the University and we covered our living room in brown butcher paper to protect the carpet and spent our evenings easel-to-easel painting together. We have been lifelong friends made through art.
I also worked as a cook in Montana, Utah, and in remote sport-fishing camps in Alaska to experience new adventures, to write, and to find new landscapes to paint. It was in Alaska, flying low in bush planes over iridescent landscapes that I often sketched out the world for later paintings. I kept copious journals filled with writings and sketches of fish and water.
Alaska is where I also gained an affinity for flying. I won a scholarship from Women in Aviation and Cessna and earned my Private Pilot Fixed Wing Rating in 2000. After three years paying the bills as an anti-piracy specialist for Microsoft, I made a snap decision to join the Army to become a helicopter pilot. But the recruiters said they didn’t want to waste their time on me. The flight program was tough to get into and I was too old (almost 29), too small (5’2”), and too “female.” Obviously—that left me no choice but to drop everything and force my way in. I went over their heads, did my own paperwork and was accepted into the Army’s Warrant Officer Flight Program in 2002 and graduated from flight school the next year as a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot. I flew air assault and V.I.P. missions in South Korea and served as a medevac pilot in Fairbanks, AK where we flew rescue missions to save civilians. During my two years in Korea, I often painted both the Seoul cityscape as well as their patchwork farm fields and flowers. In Alaska, I loved to fly low and gaze at the vibrant mixture of colors of the world and never grew tired of the tangled rivers that unfolded below me. My aerial paintings are a result of those hours spent looking down and out.
I met my partner Steve while flying together in Korea and we had our daughter Margo in 2008 after which I served out my remaining year stationed at Ft. Lewis in WA. Then, I took employment with Boeing in Supplier Management on the KC-46 Tanker Program and later, the 777X. In June 2016, I left Boeing to use my GI Bill and earn an MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College (Port Townsend, WA, 2019). I now work as a painter and freelance writer from my home office and studio on Camano Island. I spent the last few years writing (and rewriting) a flight memoir. If you’d like to get on the waitlist for my book (and also see more of my art)—follow the link to my website:
My experiences flying, living, and working outdoors have been great influences on my both my writing and painting. I seek to bring those perspectives to my art.
Meet Laurie Laun, one of the local artists in Sunnyshore Studio’s upcoming Christmas on Camano show that opens Saturday, December 7.
Laurie has practiced art throughout her life, including early study at the Chicago Art Institute. While raising her family and earning several college degrees including an MBA, she served for many years as an executive at high tech companies. In her travels to over 30 countries Laurie has become informed by many artistic cultures: she mastered batik in Java, aboriginal dot painting in Australia, mulberry paper-making in Fiji, wood engraving and block printing in Singapore and haiku poetry in Japan. She lives on beautiful Camano Island, where she paints with a focus on exuberant color and graphic form.
Last Christmas Laurie donated her miniature collection to Jenny. Laurie was downsizing. She knew Jenny loved miniatures and was still collecting. You will see her beautiful miniatures on the windows at the Studio during the Christmas show. Thanks Laurie!
We caught up to Laurie and asked her a few questions:
Sunnyshore Studio: What is a favorite Christmas tradition?
Laurie: A favorite annual Christmas tradition in our family back in the day, starting in 1973, was for the ladies and the kids to drive around the byways of Camano Island to our favorite spots to pick wild rose hips. Then we came back to Mom’s house and sat in front of the fire with a hot cup of eggnog. With needle and thread, we beaded the lovely red hips on long garlands to hang up in the kitchen to dry for tea.
Sunnyshore Studio: What is Christmas to you?
Laurie: Christmas to me, is about gathering…
Gather: to bring together into one group; to harvest; to collect one’s energies and ……. for all to say, Happy birthday to Jesus.
Sunnyshore Studio’s Christmas show opens on Saturday, December 7, 10am-5pm, and runs through Saturday, December 14, 10am-5pm. Learn more here.
The We are Family documentary that tells the story of an inner city basketball team that won the Indiana basketball championship against all odds took a big step forward musically thanks to the generous contribution of my friend, Eric Locke. Here’s that story.
A couple of weeks ago I realized that our feature documentary, which is about 2.5 hours long having been cut down from over five hours, still has a lot of musical holes. Through the funds raised by the Kickstarter campaign, I had been able to pay a lot of gifted musicians for their original compositions.
But I was out of money and we we had musical holes to fill. So I reached out to some of my musician friends, including Eric. Months before, I had connected Eric to David to see if any of his music might be a fit. But I hadn’t heard back from David so I figured I would ask again. Eric sent David a link to his music on YouTube and David wrote back.
“…The thing is, his stuff is GREAT. He’s got a positive vibe running through, and generally the right kind of high energy levels we would need for game footage, but also in some cases under the talking heads, to give those some energy.”
Here’s an example of one of Eric’s songs.
Eric graciously gave David and I permission to use his music for free, as a gift! This generous gift will allow us to fill musical holes, and it is another great example of how this has been a community project. I could not do it without friends like Eric who have stood with me.
Here’s a short interview I did with Eric.
Jason: Eric when did you first hear about the We are Family project?
Eric: Hmm…I probably first heard you talking about the project here and there while getting to know you in the past couple of years before getting a fuller appreciation of it when the Go Fund Me campaign went live.
Jason:Months ago you agreed to let us use your music for the film (thanks so much!). But then you didn’t hear back from us. What were you thinking in those “silent” months?
Eric: I enjoyed and appreciated the interest but didn’t dwell on it much after doing my part as advice from wiser people (and personal experience) has taught me that it’s best to approach opportunities often but lightly.
Jason: Tell me about yourself as a musician.
Eric: I got my first guitar at 14, was in a few bands here and there while growing up. In the late 90’s when digital recording for the masses was opening up the Mrs, (Stephanie) let us get some recording gear and I was able to start learning how to record to try and get these melodies and ideas out of my head. While I work primarily in fits and starts I’m grateful to realize at least some of the ideas and concepts that get stuck in my mind. I feel fortunate to live in a time where technology can allow an individual to do that.
Jason: What were early musical influences in your life? Inspirations?
Eric: The earliest were probably movie soundtracks. My dad would have music from soundtracks and artists of the day playing through the house while he was cooking or some such. My sister and I would go skating at the local skating rink almost every weekend so we were exposed heavily to pop music of the day there. Rock, soul, etc. When I got into electric guitar it was an unexpected trip into heavier music due to a friend I had. One moment I’m trying to learn a Michael Jackson song and the next my friend is tossing it across the room and “forcing” me to learn Heavy Metal. I don’t think I’d be into composing music now if it wasn’t for that but I was a little chapped at the time as I had a pretty low appreciation of Metal.
Jason: Did you have training as a musician or are you self-trained?
Eric: Self taught though the thought of taking time out for training is very inviting nowadays.
Jason: Have you been a part of bands?
Eric: Yes I have and I’ve met some truly wonderful people as well as having some good formative experiences. I don’t know that I’m a good “band” member in that I don’t do well improvising and I really lean towards a singular vision but everybody I’ve ever worked with has been good sports in letting me participate and maybe one day I’ll hit a tipping point and “get it”.
Jason: Talk to me about your compositions. What is your style? What are you trying to do with your sound?
Eric: I really enjoy a wall of ethereal sound. The Mrs, (who has a beautiful voice) has been kind enough to work with me and I’m really content with what has come from the collaboration so far. I’m enjoying her soft voice over heavier ethereal music. We worked up a version of The Mighty Power of God, music by Phil Peterson, (Grammy Nominated) who is an old Chief Musician of Grace Church Seattle and I couldn’t be happier with the sound and style achieved there and other compositions since then performed by The Undone Orchestra. We’ve hit a stride that I’m really content with and I look forward to exploring more of that style in the future.
Jason: What was it like after the months of silence to hear back from David Lichty that your music would be a perfect fit for the documentary?
Eric: It was a true highlight for myself. I felt like I got a small taste of the glory that these young men, their families, coaches and community had all worked for.
Jason: Any last thoughts?
Eric: I’m looking forward to seeing the entirety of the We Are Family story, how my music folds in and a big “Thank You!” to all for letting me participate. All the Best!