Friday, March 21, 2014

Art that soars with feathers & swims with fins!

Evening view of the Blue Whole Gallery

    On 1st Friday, April 4, 2014 the Blue Whole Gallery will showcase two of its veteran wood sculptors, Joyce Volmut and Christian Speidel.    Both artists will exhibit their work in the Gallery's windows throughout the month of April.  Each reveals their skills in woodworking and their individual interest in showing those creatures that soar into the sky and those that occupy the oceans.   

 Joyce Volmut

Joyce Volmut
 After retiring as a nurse, Joyce began her life's hobby, a woodcarver of  birds and animals.  Such an interest started in childhood in Southeast Kansas where she viewed all sorts of migrating birds.  That interest sparked the need to learn as much about birds, their anatomy, feather layout, behavior and habitat. This educational background has served her well in capturing the essence of a bird in a realistic manner. Her work is exhibited in galleries & in competitions. 

God's miracle - Brown Pelican
Mudflat Minister Belted Kingfisher

   Joyce's refined woodworking skills allow her to convincingly show the simple beauty of a bird in a striking moment in time.  The general public can relate to and incorporate the natural habitat and regional characteristics that, like people, birds develop as well.  That is what makes bird watching exciting, and she hopes by showing through her carvings the essence of natures flying creatures, their expression, and their spirit.  In her own words, "to create a successful carving, the wood must become the bird".

"Breaking the Silence"
  Embrace the creativity and exceptional skills of wood carver Joyce Volmut by visiting the Blue Whole Gallery on April 4 and throughout the month .  You will be rewarded by viewing and sharing in her love of birds and animals and marvel at their diversity. 

Christian Speidel
 Christian Speidel
      Sharing the spotlight with Joyce Volmut at the Blue Whole Gallery is wood artist Christian Speidel who presents a special showing of his work entitled "Night of Nudibranchs".  These sea creatures are found throughout the world including the Pacific Northwest. Numbering over 3000 species, they are considered among the most colorful life forms on earth.  Their natural diversity in shape & spectacular array of colors have inspired Christian to create wood sculptures for our enjoyment.

3 Nudi's
"Blue Meanies"
    A native of rural Wisconsin, Christian has been working with wood for many years. He continues his quest in working with the distinctive elements of various timber species in order to express their three dimensional qualities in his art. Using an assortment of sculpting & finishing techniques he focuses his efforts in presenting an array of forms inspired by nature. In his currents show, he has selected  nudibranchs, a shell-less marine snail which exhibits bizarre, ornate, & sometimes otherworldly body forms and luminescent colorations.

    Expect a wonderful trip to see the sea floor inhabitants captured in wood sculptures by Christian Speidel. His exhibit challenges the notion of diversity in art with spectacular color, shapes and forms.   Expand your mind & enjoy the creativity of both Christian Speidel and Joyce Volmut, wood sculptors sharing their love of creatures that call the sea and sky their homes.   All of this awaits the viewing public beginning on April 4, 2014 and continuing throughout the month at the Blue Whole Gallery

Both artists welcome your Contact:

Joyce Volmut  Phone:  785 - 554-6379 or 
at joyce.volmut

Christian M. Speidel  Phone: 360 - 457-6401 or 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gallery's Guest Artist

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery

Blue Whole Gallery is pleased to present the Artwork of

Don Tiller

Don Tiller
     With the advent of Spring the Blue Whole Gallery will showcase throughout March the works of guest artist Don Tiller. Both of the Gallery's two main windows will display his art works under the general title "Sky Narratives".  An accomplished and internationally known artist whose focus  centers on the imprint left on the landscape by mankind and how fields, fences or urban sprawl change the natural view that once existed.  His painting style and distinctive techniques will be on show March 7 at the Blue Whole Gallery and throughout the month.  
    Besides this presentation, Don will give an art talk on tips and techniques of acrylic painting on March 18 at the Gallery as well as providing a two day workshop on April 25 & 26 at Nourish Restaurant in Sequim.

  Resonating in Don's paintings are memories of a life spent on his uncle's South Dakota ranch making hay and cultivating corn.  Capturing similar views today we can see in his art work clouds floating in pastel skies, trees lining the hillsides, fences and plowed fields dominating the landscapes.  These views play a vital part of his work today since his move from the Black Hills of South Dakota to Port Townsend, Washington, a thriving tourist mecca and art scene.


"Harvest Time"
"Peaceful Poplars"

              His passion to paint what he sees as familiar shapes and imprint patterns that humanity places on the surface of Nature's realm, reflecting his interest in linear lines and geometric shapes that are repeated. To reveal this element as well as the intensity of color Don Tiller's paintings incorporate layering and glazing in fluid acrylics.   This technique begins with a black canvas, sketched in with pastels and then the application of acrylic paint.  The results are images with intense color with bold patterns forming recognizable objects and shapes.

"Lavender Afternoon"
   As with Nature the time to renew life and shed winter's cloak of darkness is Springtime ushering new growth and a flowering of color under clear blue skies.  To celebrate Spring the Blue Whole Gallery invites you to witness this special showing of Don Tiller's works entitled "Sky Narratives". It is a world of renewed life and rich color with familiar shapes and forms. Share in this harvest & reflect on his vision by visiting the Gallery on 1st Friday, March 7th, from 5 - 8 pm and through out the month.

Can be contacted at or visit his web sight
 Schedule of Events:

        Don Tiller "Sky Narratives"  March 7-31, 2014
Artist Reception:  Friday, March 7, 5-8pm at The Blue Whole Gallery

       Tuesday March 18, 6 pm  Art Talk at The Blue Whole Gallery
Present by Don Tiller entitled "Glazed Over: Tips, Techniques, & Random Thoughts"

Don Tiller's 2-Day Workshop April 25-26, 2014
Contemporary Acrylic Landscapes Sponsored by The Blue Whole Gallery
at Nourish Restaurant in Sequim, Washington
To register go to the and Gallery-Events page or come to the Gallery and pick up information.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

One's Art is where your Heart is!

Evening view of the Blue Whole Gallery

     With the month of February comes a time to focus on feelings for those close to you that you cherish and love.  This view is also seen in the works of artists who put their heartfelt feelings into their work.  As with two veteran artist members of the Blue Whole Gallery, Carol Janda and David C. Willis. Both of these artists explore art in different mediums in order to express their inner most feelings from the heart.  Their works will be featured at the Gallery throughout the month of February beginning on Friday the 7th.

David C. Willis  

"Whole Lotta Love"

David C. Willis
   Artist, craftsman and furniture maker, David C. Willis  sees art as a part of his everyday life revealing his true loves. He chooses many different mediums to express and explore its many facets.   In painting, his techniques and applications run the gamut from oil, watercolor and gouache, to drawing in charcoal, graphite and colored pencil.  All of these elements allow him to create what his heart feels in life around him from realism to the abstract.  This varied approach  can be seen in his oil painting "Whole Lotta Love" that shows a large heart for the night sky above, the bright sun of day giving life to the earth and the forest which are placed on a quilt of multiple hearts.   



Pair of tennis shoes
   David's subject matter is as varied as his selection of mediums.  This can be see in the realistic rendering of a pair of used tennis shoes or in his portrait of a young man's face titled "Attitude". The latter captures a dramatic image of realism in order to reveal a state of mind.  The viewer is left with choices as to the young man's posture and suggestions shown by his puckered lips. 

"Sea of Love"
"Another Heart - Ever Changing Heart"
      It should be no surprise that when you venture into the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday the 7th of February and throughout the month you will experience a variety of subject matter in various mediums by a versatile artist David C. Willis.  His art work features all styles from realism to abstract, revealing the degrees found in a serious or fanciful heart and even heart breaking.  But within them all there is Love.
You can contact David at: (360) 504-2146

Carol Janda

Carol Janda
"Mosaic World"
  Sharing the spotlight as featured artist at the Blue Whole Gallery in February is the talented & also versatile member artist Carol Janda.  After many years as an artist, and teacher she has explored colors and textures in both clay and painting.  Both mediums continue to be a driving force and pleasure in her life and reveal her accumulated ideas and philosophy through art.  Carol's years of experience have allowed her to venture into diverse subject matter that continue to challenge her. This chance to explore the great variety that art offers allows her the openness to see and appreciate differences: her's  is a mosaic world of many pieces. 

Square Dragon Fly Vase

"White Sea Gulls"

Flower Maidens
    The spectrum of differences in Carol's heartfelt art work is quite extensive.  Using clay as a medium of expression she focus on images such as dragon flies, figures, owls, frogs and even a praying Buddha. Using a stoneware Art Nouveau glaze or a Shino Glaze the subjects are graphically outlined and allowed to cover the surfaces of her hand built vessels, figures or tiles. Fired at stoneware low temperatures which help to stabilize the forms allowing her workmanship to remain intact and her creations to reveal her inventiveness.  Its an achievement of complete involvement in clay art.

"Hurricane Ridge Huckleberries"
"Winter Road"
     This exploration of the clay world does not stop Carol from also picturing the beautiful & heart touching views of the Olympic Peninsula.  She has ventured wide and far in capturing those views in watercolor.  Whether the scene is discovered at Hurricane Ridge or in her own flower garden she makes every effort to give them sensitivity and boldness that marks her style.  To appreciate her efforts and acknowledge her life's work one only need to visit the Blue Whole Gallery where Carol Janda will be one of two featured Artists on First Friday, February 7th and throughout the month.  It will be a visit you will remember and take to your heart. For more information about Carol visit:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Art exploration & techniques

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery

 Debbie Cain

Endless Opportunities with a Gourd

Debbie Cain
      Debbie Cain, member artist of the Blue Whole Gallery has explored various surfaces to express her art. But nine years ago she became captivated and excited with the possibilities of using natural dried gourds as a canvas to work on.  Such a medium offered her the challenge of combining carving and wood burning on a natural surface,  revealing a 3D image. That exploration opened a world of opportunities enhancing and incorporating various natural materials along with images she drew and painted on the surface of gourd.  

"King of the Wild"
"Swimming Sea Turtles"
     Debbie uses both carving & wood burning techniques to develop images or subjects on the surfaces of gourds.  Preparation of natural dried gourds is only the first step to be followed by hours of carving & surface smoothing along with painting subjects and images on the gourd itself.  To embellish her images she uses natural materials such as pine needles, shells, turquoise stones, feathers, antler along with in laced threads and fibers.

"Twined Gourd"
     For twenty years Debbie was a stained glass artist yet her gourd art has captured her heart because it offers the freedom of imagination without limits.  This freedom can be seen in the fine example to the right where Debbie weaves threads and fibers through out the gourd. It is a skill that must evaluate the thickness of walls and the strength of the gourd itself.

     Besides carving and embedding natural elements into her gourd art she has ventured into creating 3D carvings in several pieces.  Such endeavors have won her recognition in the Arizona Gourd Society competition that resulted in first place and two ribbons in the Yucca Valley Gourd Festival that lead to First Place for creativity and people's choice. 

"Falling Leaves"
      Debbie Cain's creations can be viewed by the public at the Blue Whole Gallery for as an active member of this cooperative Gallery she holds a unique status.  The only gourd artist whose art work is as different from other artists as can possibly be, the Gallery welcomes it wholeheartedly.  So give yourself an artistic adventure and view her works at the Gallery or contact her at her e-mail address

                                                       Joyce Volmut

Ornithology Revealed in Wood

Joyce Volmut
    After working in the public health nursing and non profit work in establishing health access in Kansas, Joyce Volmut began to concentrate her efforts on wood carving of animals.  Her abilities won her exhibitions in several art galleries in Topeka Kansas, SouthWind Gallery, and the Topeka Art Guild Gallery.   Now as a member of the Blue Whole Gallery her wood carvings can be seen on the Olympic Peninsula as well.  

"Western Screech Owl"


Tufted Titmouse
Grey Wolf
     Although Joyce has concentrated on bird carving primarily she also carves animals.  Using basswood and other found woods she tries to capture the essence of a bird in a realistic manner.  She pays particular attention to facial expression, feather layout and the general demeanor of the bird or image being carved. This is highlighted by her interest in ornithology, the anatomy, behavior and simple beauty of the bird as it performs its daily functions.

Red Shafted Northern Flicker
          Joyce interest in carving birds and animals centers on creating a striking moment in time that the general public can relate to and incorporating a natural habitat into the finished piece.  Her abilities in carving wood makes each piece visually real, her rendering feathers seem soft to the touch and the detail exhibited is remarkable.  This is particularly seen in her Red Shafted Northern Flicker where a realistic pose is captured and its facial expression, feather layout and setting is exhibited realistically, almost convincing the viewer to ask the question is it alive!

Sandering - oil on Basswood/Maple
   Joyce Volmut has  taught bird carving at the Baker Woodcarving Seminar at Baker University in Baldwin Kansas and at the Soldier Creek Studio in Topeka, Kansas.  Fortunately, she now resides on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State and continues to carve her creations in Sequim exhibiting them at the Blue Whole Gallery as an active member.   Joyce can be reached through her e-mail address:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Blue Whole Gallery Art Talk

Guest Speaker

The Blue Whole Gallery welcomes all to its first art talk in the 
New Year of 2014.  Our speaker, Steven Leuthold, an art historian, educator, and practicing artists and muscian will present an art talk titled "Zen, Sumi-e and the Northwest School".

When:  Sunday January 5th, at 1:00 pm.

WhereBlue Whole Gallery
at 120 west Washington Street, Sequim

Contributors to the Event:
Colors of Sequim
Rainshadow Coffee House
Wind Rose Cellars

Brief Review of Upcoming Art Talk

Steven Leuthold, is a professor of Art History at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.  His research and teaching interests include global issues in art history, the history of modern design and comparative aesthetics.  Dr. Leuthold is the author of "Cross-cultural Issues in Art".  He has contributed to numerous books and journals and is a practicing artist and musician.

Six Persimmons by MuChi
Zen, Sumi-e:  the fundamental design and the lesson from Zen arts is to never use more when less will do.  The ancient art of Japanese brush painting called Sumi-e (ink painting) was brought to Japan from China that embodies Zen tenets.  This is, simplicity with the use of black ink on rice paper or silk with a single "color" using different shades and tints.  It is an approach that seeks to focus on the core or essence of an object or subject to be pictured.

Northwest School:  a art movement based in Skagit County, Washington and the Seattle area reaching its peak in the 1930's and 1940's.  Early artists of this regional style were Guy Anderson, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves and Mark Tobey.  Their approach combined natural elements of the Puget Sound, Washington with traditional Asian Aesthetics to create a regional style of painting and sculpture.  The media was most commonly used by painters in this group were tempera, oil and gouache on canvas, paper and wood.  Lighting and choice of earthy tonal ranges in color are some of the qualities found.

 All the Artist Members of the Blue Whole Gallery wish  our Gallery Friends & Fan Club Members a Joyious and Prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Transformation in Art

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery

Karen Rozbicki Stringer

The Camera is the Photographer's Brush

Karen looking through the viewfinder
(Photo by Charles Carson)
      During the month of January, in the New Year of 2014, the Blue Whole Gallery proudly presents the work of member artist Karen Rozbicki Stringer, a fine art photographer whose exhibit will feature selections from her "Vestiges" project.  This project, given a Merit Award in Black & White Magazine, focuses on exploring the themes of time, impermanence, and transformation.  Karen uses the camera to allow her to explore and connect with the environment from different perspectives, physical, emotional and spiritual over extended time periods.  

"School's Out"

 The camera becomes a brush in her hands rendering subtle imagery, lightness of colors or the darkness of shadows thus revealing or suggesting a story that evoke an emotional or intellectual reaction.  Such nuances can be seen in the photo "School's Out" which pictures wispy clouds above an abandoned one room school house. A stately tree stands nearby and two unattended school desks wait in the field, left behind. Karen's exploration of stories implies a sad beauty inherent in abandoned and decaying structures that evokes a feeling of time past.  Again this can be seen in her photo entitled "Entryways".  One is looking through a doorway, and seeing another open door with light in the distance & below a closed door. How many ghostly figures of the past entered and left through these entryways?

"Will you Join the Dance"

   The photo "Will you Join the Dance" was taken from the roadway: pictures of trees near a ramshackle home.  With the inner eye of a photographer Karen's sees a composition showing trees dancing in front of an abandoned home. Others may drive by and see only dead trees and a rundown building and continue driving.  The photograph tells a story, captures it and shows the subtle muted tones of color, gray to dark skyline above both building and trees in a field of cut straw. A moment of time showing total abandonment and asking "Will you Join the Dance"?
"Whispered Memories"
      Can you play me a tune? Probably in the past but not now. These piano keys, have seen better days and maybe the sounds they made gave people a chance to dance and hear a melody long forgotten. The keys are worn and broken and no one is there to play them again. Time has transformed them & nothing lasts forever. Karen's eye has focused on the "Whispered Memories" and shows us a closeup view of what remains.

     A room left with "Artifacts" from the past that leave the viewer questioning What happened?  Paint peeling from the walls, a coat and hat hanging lifelessly on a closed door, a large tractor tire leaning against the entrance to an adjourning room containing an empty bed frame.  Many questions unanswered except perhaps by one's imagination. 

      Karen Stringer gives the viewer pause to reflect on the "Vestiges" of the past captured by her camera and skill as a photographer.  Such interest seriously started when she began formal studies in photography in 2002 at the Smithsonian Institute, at the Washington School of Photography, and workshops led by teachers in the field that explored advancements in darkroom techniques and digital technology.  Her work shows those skills and talent admirably but also that she has the ability to see much more.  Share in Karen Rozbicki Stringer's work by visiting the Blue Whole Gallery on the 1st Friday, January 3rd  and throughout the month. This exhibit will open doors of imagination and allow you to view moments captured from past times that are fleetingly disappearing.  You can also reach her via:

 Chisels, Hammer, solder joints, tools of the trade
Janine Hegy

Stonemason's tools
     Sharing the spotlight with photographer Karen Rozbicki Stringer at the Blue Whole Gallery on 1st Friday, January 3rd, 2014 will be artist member Janine Hegy.  Her art skills are two fold, a stone mason and a jeweler.  Both art mediums require the ability to transform natural stones or metal into shapes and forms. Janine's background in metal includes design and production work in Bali, Mexico and Thailand, starting in 1989.  As for stone work, she started in 1994 under the head of Swansons/Seattle and by 2003 joined the Stone Foundation, Drystone Conservancy and StoneFest. 

Deep Relief Face
Granite Butterflies
          In Janine's  hands, the use of chisel cuts and hammer blows to the surfaces of slate or limestone are thus  transformed.  As can be seen in her sculpture work of a deep relief face or the delicately carved forms of butterflies and flowered reliefs on stone stelae are produced.   This changes the appearance of flat surfaces and raises images that can be seen and touched.  The results gives testimony to Janine's skills and abilities in transforming a cold flat surface into a formed object to be seen, touched or to reveal carved inscriptions on slate and limestone.

"Forest Floor"
"Burst" etched silver
   Janine also deals with metals such as silver where etching and solder joints are used to shape & form strands of chains to encase semi-precious stones or to frame an etched pictorial view of leaves found on the forest floor.  But there are also the delicate elements of a necklace that links pearls and crystal beads together so they can be worn, admired and treasured by both the viewer and wearer.  

Pearl and crystal necklace

    Such is the scope and the world of artist Janine Hegy.  It is a place where, slate, granite, limestone, semi-precious stones, silver, pearls, coral are transformed and their appearances become in her hands changed. Give yourself an inspiring experience to view and admire her work at the Blue Whole Gallery on 1st Friday, January 3rd, and through out the month in the New Year of 2014.