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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Diverse Multidimentional Artists

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery

Multidimensional Art

     With the coming of April the Blue Whole Gallery presents two of its members whose work and approach to art extends into many directions.  This  versatility helps artists Janine Hegy and Carol Janda present their view of the natural world.  Janine works in stone metal wood and loves these natural elements as she sculptures them into new shapes and forms.  Carol Janda is inspired by clay and the medium of watercolor to help her capture elements in nature she truly is fond of and appreciates. Both of these artists share similiar interest but take different paths to express their artistic point of view.  Share in the exploration of these two artists by visiting the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday, April 3 from 5 to 8 pm and throughout the month. 

Janine Hegy Flying High over the Olympic Peninsula


Old Growth Cedar and Stone Curved Bench
   A jeweler, carver, builder, Janine Hegy loves to work with natural elements allowing her hands to become tools to transform these materials into objects of use and beauty. Seeing the natural curved lines in split Cedar, Madrone or Yew wood helps Janine to visualize their artistic potential as seen in this bench.  Using stone either as supports or embedded accents helps focus on the natural shapes found in the wood's unique grain.
Turquoise stone embedded into a Hall Table 5ft. long 30" tall.

   Expanding her artistic skills Janine also ventures into the world of sandblasting with images cut into stone showing natural elements such as shells, leaves or animals. Note: Artwork provided by client for custom bath tiles.
Project in the Making
Leaves and Shells carved into stone

Black Seahorse Sandblasted Stone Tile

"Dreams of Flying"

  As a multidimensional artist, Janine expands her abilities by following different approaches, using her skills to draw out creative ideas from her mind. This can be seen in her efforts to take an event she has experienced, then sandblasting and painting it on a stone plaque. This is the case with her flight over the Olympic Peninsula in a biplane.  Whether indoors or out the poetry of natural elements have a magnetism.  This grows and expands when placed in context, as seen here in this extraordinary staircase!

Stone Stairway

"Burst" (etched silver pendant)

 Taking such a multidimentional approach to art allows Janine to even go further to multi-media. Making jewelry from various stones and metals which she combines to enhance those elements.  It is a great exploration by Janine Hegy which involves multi tasking and creativity. Visit the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday April 3 from 5 to 8 pm where this and many items will be presented for the public to enjoy and appreciate. 

Carol Janda

Carol Janda working in her studio

    Carol Janda is a versatile artist working in both watercolor and pottery in addition to teaching such skills to others. Her clay sculptures and utilitarian stoneware encompass press-molded dragonflies, pine cones, sea life and leaf & rose-edge bowls and vases.  Her variety of shapes and forms allow her to explore her sense of artistic views that centers on capturing the elements in nature that surround her.  The following examples reveal her skills and diversity in approach.

Square Dragonfly and Pine Cone Vases

     Carol loves to sculpture figures in clay that reveal personalities, flowing shapes and interaction with the natural world.  Again this demonstrates her ability to strike out and challenge the medium of clay to show different approaches one can achieve.  Its her involvement with creation at every stage that allows her to exhibit her skills and interests to others in the art world.

"Ready for the Rain"

"Sun Hat Ladies Vase"

"Two Bird Ladies"
     As a painter Carol's repertoire is further expanded by using watercolors and even oil monotypes which again challenges her skills to examine other aspects of the art.  These creative forces bring out her ideas and gives her the diversity she enjoys exploring.  Oil monotypes is a perfect example where Carol has learned to employ a process of painting on a Plexiglas plate with oil-based inks then adding found objects, stencils or organic material while transferring the image to paper.  Exploration of multi-directions brings out her diversity and creativity as Carol's work shows.

"Rock Creek"

"View Thru the Trees"
     Carol Janda is challenged by different mediums of art and how they offer the artist diverse directions and approaches.  Her art work yet has a singular perspective that comes from viewing the beauty that Nature offers and how it can be interpreted and portrayed.   Share Carol's involvement into the Arts by visiting the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday April 3 from 5 to 8 pm where she and her work will be presented. 

The Artists welcome your contact including interviews.

Janine Hegy
Home phone:  1-360-477-5885

Carol Janda

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Nature as Teacher

Evening view of the Blue Whole Gallery

"Shadows & Reflections"

    The Blue Whole Gallery looks forward to showcasing its guest artist, Barbara De Pirro, for the month of March with an exhibit of her artwork entitled "Shadows & Reflections".   A painter, sculptor, installation artist as well as an educator, Barbara looks upon Nature as a open door that invites the artist to combine various elements of color, surface texture and mediums.  With her expertise in acrylics, she stretches and expands the use of different elements so that what is created can be seen anew in an artistic format.  Take part in this exploration and view the artwork of  Barbara De Pirro as seen here and at the Blue Whole Gallery on March 6th, 2015 from 5 to 8 pm. and throughout the month.    

Barbara De Pirro working on an installation of her work.

    Using her expertise in acrylics, Barbara expands her range by incorporating reclaimed materials of plastic, paper and thread by cutting, shaping, sticking and weaving these elements together creating shapes and forms different from their original existence and use.  Her art work aims to make people think and reflect on their relationship with the environment and their attitude towards reclaimed materials.   







    Much of Barbara De Pirro's art is composed of recyclables that she transforms into organic forms. These transformations expands her palette and incorporates multiple mediums and techniques.  She also explores the printed image revealing textures and patterns by transferring images without a press, using water based medium, acrylic paints & slow drying methods. The results are seen here.

       What a refreshing world of art Barbara De Pirro offers the viewer.  It is an adventure into diversity that allows an artist varied techniques using textile, fiber, paper, found objects and acrylic paint expanding the realm of creativity.  Share in this exploration of "Shadows & Reflections" in art revealing the artist's message.  Visit the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday March 6 from 5 to 8 pm. where Barbara De Pirro & her artwork will be presented.

The Artist welcomes your contact including interviews.

Barbara De Pirro

Art Talk 
open to the public 
by Barbara De Pirro 
will take place on Wednesday, March 25, at 6:30 pm. 
at the Blue Whole Gallery 129 W. Washington St., Sequim

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Recogniton of artistic skills.

A Must See Art Show

   The 2015 Annual Washington State Juried Art Competition and Show runs from January 28 - February 28 at the Collective Visions Gallery (CVG) in Downtown Bremerton at 331 Pacific Ave.  The Show features 130 pieces of art work selected from nearly 800 submitted works by 270 artists from 70 Washington cities.  This is one of the largest and most prestigious art competition in the Pacific Northwest.  Greg Robinson, executive director and curator of the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, juried this year's competition.  Among those artists accepted into this 2015 CVG Show are two members of the Blue Whole Gallery

Karen Rozbicki Stringer

"Nothing Endures But Change"

Ryoko Toyama

"Harvest Time"

     Congratulations are in order to both artists for having their art work selected to this prestigious show.  Additional praise goes to Karen Rozbicki Stringer since her photograph entitled "Nothing Endures But Change" was awarded second place in photography from the many that were considered.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Passion & Feelings in Art

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery

Love Affair with Art

    The Blue Whole Gallery will feature two of its member artists that reflect a love affair with art itself.  Sandra G. Kasper and Mary Franchini have consistently throughout their artistic lives made an effort to express qualities that inspire emotion, imagery and feelings.  With the use of color, composition and creativity both artists express elements of life into their work along with passion and sensitivity. Enjoy their approaches to art and talk with the artists themselves at the Blue Whole Gallery on First Friday, February 6th,  from 5 to 8 pm.  

Sandra G. Kasper
   Sandra is a multi-media artist working primarily in experimental water medium acrylics, pastels and encaustic.  A new resident to the Sequim, Washington area she brings with her an artistic talent that ranges from impressionism to pure abstract with a strong sense of color, composition and movement.
   As an artist, Sandra enters the process of creation by exploring her feelings, thoughts and ideas.  She allows her work to reveal its own energy & intensity as seen in two of the series of four below entitled "Dancing with Nature".



"Where the Mountains Meet the Sea"

    Central  to Sandra's  focus is innovation and risk taking so that each work of art expresses its own individuality and gives insights into the subject being shown.  This extension is challenging because it involves immersing herself into varying styles as well as experimenting with various materials.  It becomes for Sandra an exploration and a love affair with art itself.

"Hidden Deer Tapestry"
     Take an excursion and explore the world that Sandra G. Kasper has created and view her artwork at the Blue Whole Gallery starting on February 6 from 5 to 8 pm & throughout the month.

Mary Franchini

    Mary Franchini is an adventuress mixed media artist using acrylics, gouache & water based paints. Not stopping there, Mary adds paper, fabric and found objects which she combines into images that can be somewhat realistic, impressionistic and even abstract.  All of these materials give her the freedom to express her views and find how each work takes its place.

"Inside Life"

     A veteran artist and teacher, Mary uses water soluble paint because it gives her the freedom to work on wet surfaces and see different effects that can become part of a collage or another layer of paint.  Texture and different colors then pour through and appear on the surfaces of her work.  Such exploration has taken her to depicting figures in a whimsical free style without being totally realistic as seen in following selections.

"Sequim Party Girl"


"I will tell you"

     Freedom of expression allows Mary Franchini to combine her love of art with the chance to experiment and express herself.  Her artwork becomes an exploration of how each work has its beginning and end.  Join Mary in this quest and view her efforts on First Friday, February 6, 2015 from 8 to 5 p.m. and throughout the month at the Blue Whole Gallery.

Both artists welcome your contact:

Sandra G. Kasper
Home phone:  360-683-4664

Mary Franchini
Home phone:  360-681-0895