Saturday, August 1, 2015

Artistic Expressions derived from Nature

Evening View of Blue Whole Gallery

Innovation & Imagination

     During the month of August the Blue Whole Gallery will introduce two versatile artists who are inspired by nature as a driving force behind their artistic work.  Pam Walker, an innovative artist in pastel, photography, & mixed media whose work evokes the variety and serenity found in nature; and Steve Wry an imaginative artist using clay to shape creatures inspired by the sea, mountains and woods or that spirit which maybe hidden in them.  The Gallery is proud to feature their work and to share their inspiration with others on First Friday August 7th, 2015 from 5 to 8 pm. and throughout the month.

Innovations by Pam Walker

     Pam's work is indicative of her love of nature.  Using pastels and photography or combining the two, she explores the sensitive elements of color or shape making up the natural world.  She feels that capturing the beauty of natural vistas or the delicate patterns of creation she can share her view with others.  Below are examples of her efforts.

"Sun Set Photo"

Landscape Painting

"Where Does Your Garden Grow"

     Also, Pam is known for her pigment transfer photography where the delicate surface of the photo pigments are transferred to various surfaces such as paper or copper.  She uses both film and digital formats; as well as medium formats in order to find a connection with each subject being created.  Her skills can be seen in the selection "Midnight Light" which shows a rocky seashore view outside a framed window broken due to a recent storm. The brightly colored sky are a startling backdrop to the rocky shoreline. 

"Midnight Light"

     Pam is not afraid of innovations. She makes a considerable effort to go outside the "Box" and examine the world of mixed media. This can be see in the following two examples.  

"Mixed media 1"

"Mixed media 2"

     An extraordinary and varied selection of artwork awaits the viewer to challenge and delight the senses.  Take advantage and explore these innovations and views that Pam Walker would like to share with you.  Visit the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday August 7th from 5 to 8 pm. and meet the artist and her artwork.

The Imaginative World of Steve Wry

     Steve Wry is an artist known for an imaginative mind-set especially when it comes to creating clay creatures. Steve is stimulated by the natural world and the possibilities of what may be hidden within the woods, mountains and seas. Using his hands he forms and shapes each piece so that they take on their own personalities which often harbor elements of whimsy or a serious nature.  Below are examples of his creativity.

"Feed Me, Please"

"Zooey & Ladybug"

"Old Sol"

   Working with low fire clay, glazes and acrylics and using various techniques which include throwing, hand building, and coiling helps Steve to create an imaginative array of characters.  To complete their creation Steve uses Raku, soda firings, pits firings as well as gas and electrical firings or a combination of all three.  Here are some of the results.

"Irving, the red headed stepchild"

"Guarding the Pot of Gold"
    Human imagination is rarely as varied and diverse as it is with the ceramic work by Steve Wry.  The array of creatures with their own personalities brings out laughter as well as seriousness as they exhibit the wit of the artist who created them.  Visit the Blue Whole Gallery and enjoy this artwork that will be featured and meet Steve on First Friday August 7th from 5 to 8 pm. Also, view his efforts throughout the month.  

I'm praying that the Force will be with you Steve & Pam !
"Meditating Gnome" by Steve Wry

     Both Artists, Pam Walker and Steve Wry will be present at the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday August 7th from 5 to 8 pm. Come share and explore their innovative and imaginative efforts in making art approachable.   

Both Artists welcome your contact.

Pam Walker: at

Steve Wry: at

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Transformation into Art

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery
Found Objects & Wood into Art

     During the month of July the Blue Whole Gallery will feature three artist members whose work transforms everyday objects and the elements of natural wood into art that has meaning and beauty within itself. First and foremost they are "One for all and all for One" as they seek in their own individual way the creative and natural expression of their view of life.
     Who are they?  First:  Robert "Bud" Bowling a mixed media artist who strives to use natural and found objects to convey meaning and relate to people that everyday objects have a story to tell.  Second:  Carl Baker transforms wood into objects of artistic expression, revealing colors, intricate patterns & shapes. He captures the natural edge of burl, at the same time releasing the beauty & potential within the wood's hidden soul. Third:  Christian M. Speidel whose wood work focuses on animal caricatures and realistic birds in flight, or human torsos that show the inner beauty and instinctive allure of wood's natural grain, movement, and color.

Robert "Bud" Bowling
   In Robert's words " I strive to use natural and found objects in my work and enjoy the challenge of combining texture along with various mediums for embellishments.  From concept to construction I find satisfaction in being a part of creative transformation."  Along with this effort by Robert, he also tells a story within his assemblages that relate to the theme being viewed.  This can be seen in the following examples of his work:

"Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall" 

"No Strings Attached"


     Turning wood for Carl Baker is a means of artistic expression and a passion to reveal wood's colors and shapes capturing the natural edge of a burl or the intricate patterns found within the wood itself. But Carl goes a step further by turning wood into an artistic piece that is so evenly thin and delicate it can be admired for its nature and lightness even more. Carl pushes the envelope and excels in exploring the woods inner soul releasing its potential beauty.  It becomes a work to be enjoyed by touch and sight.  Carl has truly turned wood into works of art.  This can be seen in the following pieces.

"Nesting Bowls"

"Eagles Nest"

"Shore Line Head Trip"

   Christian M. Speidel, a native of Wisconsin, works with indigenous woods and exotic timber species bringing out the special characteristics that wood, as nature's living canvas, can only show.  
  Christian's woodworking skills create three-dimensional works of art using lathe turnings and sculpting techniques to bring out the inner beauty that each piece conceals within itself.  His work includes fine wood vessels, bowls and sculptured pieces that are turned on the lathe or hand carved.  Such skills help him to explore and express the natural warmth and grain of wood in a unique manner.  The scope of his art work includes animal caricatures to human torsos revealing the inner beauty and internal elements that wood grains reflect in both color & movement.  Below are examples of his work. 

"Leap 1"

"Our Lady of the Wood"

"Art of the Hunt"

     The work of these three artists can be viewed and enjoyed on July 3, 2015 from 5 to 8 pm. and throughout the month at the Blue Whole Gallery where their creative efforts will be on display in the Gallery's windows.  Take advantage of this array of diversity and see how everyday objects and natural wood are transformed into works of extraordinary beauty of shape, form and construction.

     All three artists, Robert "Bud" Bowling, Carl Baker and Christian M. Speidel will be present along with their art work at the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday, July 3, 2015 from 5 to 8 p.m.

They welcome your contact:

Robert "Bud" Bowling: Phone: 360-808-1645 

Carl Baker: at
or cell phone: (360)-731-9279

Christian M. Speidel: at CSPEIDEL@COX.NET
or Phone: (360)-457-6401

Wishing you all a very  
Happy 4th of July 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

All Are Welcomed !

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery
Celebrate Our 18th Year!!

     On June 14, 1997, the Blue Whole Gallery, an artists' co-op with twenty-six members, opened its doors to the general public.  What started as "an experiment in excellence, a fine art gallery of professional artists pursuing creative originality" has continued to the present day.  Now with over thirty artist members the Gallery offers works of art in oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, assemblage, photography, ceramics, fused glass, jewelry, clay, metal & wood sculpture and turning.  It's with pride that the members of the Gallery celebrate their 18th year and invite everyone to view a new and exciting show that highlights quality and original art starting on First Friday, June 5, from 5 to 8pm and throughout the month.  

Join us!

Member artists of the Blue Whole Gallery
Back Row standing:  Brian Buntain, Larry Barnes, Mary Franchini, Lynne Armstrong, Debbie Sterk, Karen Rozbicki Stringer, Robert "Bud" Bowling, Carol Janda, Debbie Cain, Jan Tatom, Christian Speidel, Carl Baker, Pam Walker, Katherine Loveland. Middle row:  Margo Hankel, Lizbeth Harper, Joyce DeCastro Volmut, Steve Wry, Nancy Lawrence, Barbara Boerigter, Greg Felando.  Front row:  Janine Hegy, Karin Anderson, Ryoko Toyama, Katie Carlson, Terry Grasteit. Not present:  Bridget Baker & Sandra G. Kasper.  Photograph taken by Larry Barnes.

George Franchini with artist members Margo Hankel (President) and Mary Franchini inviting you all to the Blue Whole Gallery's 18th Birthday Celebration at 129 West Washington Street, Sequim on First Friday June 5th from 5 to 8pm!

 Friday June 5th a Day of Celebration at the 
Blue Whole Gallery!!

President elect Margo Hankel serving at the Gallery  

Crowds of people enjoying the Gallery's 18th year!

Former President Brian Buntain serving cake.
Artist member Pam Walker serving wine?

Friends enjoying each other and the Gallery

Artist members Joyce DeCastro Volmut and Nancy Lawrence enjoying the evening festivities and inviting you all next year to the Gallery's 19th year in 2016!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Recognition well deserved !

Blue Whole Gallery's
Artist Members
 Recognized for their Artistic Skills

     The Sequim Arts 39th Annual Juried show hosted by the Museum Arts Center at 175 W. Cedar St. in Sequim, Washington is taking place from May 1 to May 30 Wednesday thru Saturday from 10am to 4pm..  This 2015 juried show's goal is to promote the visual arts in our community and be apart of the City of Sequim's Irrigation Festival.  

     Blue Whole Gallery artist members, Debbie Sterk, Ryoko Toyama and Karen Rozbicki Stringer participated in this local event.  Debbie Sterk's oil painting below titled "Ready to Load" won the Merit Award.  The main objective of the painting is to catch the fading light on the Seattle Pier at the end of a work day.  Debbie has definitely achieved this and won recognition for her painting skills.

"Ready to Load"

     Another Blue Whole Gallery member, Pam Walker, has been nominated for an award from the 2015 8th Annual International Color Awards.  There were 7,358 entries received from 79 countries and her work received a high percentage of votes overall,  putting her in the top 10%.  A well deserved recognition for her as an artist.  Below is one of two of her entries:

"Midnight Light"

      Also, Janine Hegy, a Blue Whole Gallery member, was awarded a contract from the City of Sequim to incorporate pavers for the new City Hall Building. Janine is a Stone Mason as well as a Jeweler and landscaper. Her task involved sandblasting dedications, names or expressions into each paver. Her work required exact centering, cutting and transferring to the surface and then placement. The results are seen below and will give the new Sequim City Hall an artistic and personal dimension to this public building.

Sandblasted pavers for new Sequim City Hall

   Local and national sponsored events help support the arts so that artists can show their work and be recognized. Such exposure provides the general public access to artwork that can be viewed and appreciated. These situations and events help create cultural richness and value within our society.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Capturing Nature

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery

Enjoying the Gifts of Springtime

     Spring has arrived in all its glory to share with us colors, sounds, and warm temperatures.  To showcase these natural gifts the Blue Whole Gallery is especially proud to have two member artists whose artwork focuses on those elements that Nature brings to us in Spring.  Artist Joyce DeCastro Volmut specializes in wood carvings that render images of birds, animals and driftwood in sculptures of exacting detail and imagery.  While watercolor artist Margo Hankel uses her paint to create images of natural beauty found in everyday scenes and places as well as those animals inhabiting them.  What a wonderful way to enjoy Nature's gifts, seeing artwork that focuses on beauty in form and color by visiting the Blue Whole Gallery on Friday the First Day of May.

Joyce DeCastro Volmut

Joyce working in her studio
      Woodcarving since 2003, Joyce's goal is to focus and capture the essence found in an animal's features or posture identifying their character and personality.  Her art of carving wood images whether it be a bird, fish, or animal has exacting detail resulting in startling realism.  The following examples show that dedication.

"Cheeky Bird"  Stellars Jay with carved peanut

"Little Night Bird" -  Northern Saw Whet Owl

"With an eye toward Cephus" - Trumpeter Swan


"Winter Berry" - Tufted Titmouse
   It is through the art form of woodcarving that Joyce also seeks to convey the importance of the animal in nature and the unique place it has in maintaining our ecosystem.  By protecting such habitats other life forms will endure and survive. 
   Along with animal life Joyce also sees the beauty in natural driftwood that reveals imagery and beauty within.  Some selected pieces that have found there way into her hands can be seen below.

"Over the Rainbow"

"Naturally Eccentric"

"Past Flight"

"Inside Passage"

"The Saw Filer" - Saw Whet Owl
     Yet Joyce's first love will always be woodcarving birds and animals that inhabit the natural world around us.  They give us so much, sounds that permeate the early morning, quick and effortless flight and the splashes of color of their feathers.  What a dull world it would be without them.  
   So give flight to your dreams and share in Joyce DeCastro Volmut's woodcarving skills that capture the detail and beauty of the natural world of birds, animals and unique sculptured driftwood. Visit the Blue Whole Gallery and meet Joyce along with her creations on the First Day of May, Friday from 5 to 8 pm. and throughout the month.  

Margo Hankel

Margo by her painting "The Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego"
     Margo Hankel, who has survived difficult times appreciates the value of life and how finite time can be.  Realizing how important it is to do what you love.  For Margo that goal is painting.  As an artist she has attended life drawing classes and developed her skills by taking lessons in watercolors by George Zien whose abilities with the medium she admires.  The results can be clearly seen in the following works:

"Little Fishes"


"Anderson Lake"


      Margo's subject matter focuses on the beauty that life offers, in persons, places and Nature.  Using watercolors helps her to expand her paintings showing visual pleasure and values taken for granted in everyday scenes.  Her scope of interest is apparent in the selections below.

"A Family Farm"

"Woodworker - John Hankel"

"Hole in the Wall"

"California Live Oak"

"Swans 'a Swimming"
       The selections shown here of the art work of Margo Hankel give the viewer a fresh and independent insight into everyday scenes in a world that we tend to take for granted.  Life and time are not always there for us so don't let this chance disappear.  Visit the Blue Whole Gallery and take advantage by seeing for yourself the watercolor work that Margo will present on May Day, Friday the 1st at the Gallery.

     Both artists, Joyce DeCastro Volmut and Margo Hankel will be present along with their artwork at the Blue Whole Gallery on May 1st, Friday from 5 to 8 pm. in Sequim at 129 W. Washington Street.

They welcome your contact: 

Joyce DeCastro Volmut:  at
or Phone: 1-785-554-6379

Margo Hankel: at
or Phone: 1-360-452-5104