Friday, June 27, 2014

Revealing Artistic Skill.

Evening View of the Blue Whole Gallery

Freedom of Expression

   Throughout the month of July, starting on First Friday, July 4th, 2014 the Blue Whole Gallery will celebrate this special holiday by featuring the art work of two member artists, Deborah Sterk and Margo Hankel.  Both artists use different art mediums revealing their skills and independent choices on subject matter and creative expression.  Their art work is an example of how an artist can exhibit the freedoms americans hold dear, the liberty to show their ideals of life as they see it through art.

Deborah Sterk

Deborah Sterk
"Holly Hocks"
   An artist of extraordinary independent skills and proficiency.  Deb, a contemporary artist of the Pacific Northwest, works in oil and acrylic. She began her painting journey in 2005.  A self taught artist who has enhanced her knowledge and skills by taking workshops with master artists, Robert Hoffman, Gay Faukenberry, Ken Auster, Scott Burdick, Scott Christiansen & Robert Burridge.  Early on, her art work focused on capturing a moment with a clear sense of color and strong brush work.  This approach can be seen in the following examples:  

"Wedding Vessel"

"Musician's Home"

"Cargo Ship"

"Thinking of Spring"

 "Tequila Tangerine"

 As one of the most accomplished impressionist painter, Deb now has taken a dramatic change in direction. This major breakthrough takes on an experimental style with a conceptual focus, new sets of colors & looser interpretive style.  This leap to a freer & open abstract dimension has allowed her to transform her art from predictable to unpredictable & thus giving her the freedom to explore new horizons & approaches.  Here are examples of that leap of faith:

"Abstract 1"

"Abstract 2"
   Share in this creative endeavor & new freedom of expression by Deborah Sterk by visiting on First Friday July 4, 2014, America's day of Independence, the Blue Whole Gallery from 5 to 8 pm. View her efforts & celebrate with us the rights & freedoms we hold dear!

Margo Hankel

Margo Hankel by her picture "The Prado Balboa Park, San Diego"
  Margo Hankel's art medium of choice is watercolor. It requires skill and practice to master its elements and Margo uses it to capture the beauty of life in places, persons and things that surround her.   Her subject matter varies from scenes that nature provides as well as the wildlife that shares and lives within those surroundings.  The following selections reveal her skill and focus. 


"Hole in the Wall"

"Who R U"

"Salt Creek"


"Olympic Mountains"
    Margo's stunning view of the Olympic Mountain Range dominating the communities of Port Angeles & Sequim is an example of her interest in nature. It is a view capturing the towering mountains covered in snow and a forest of evergreens in the foreground.  Such a focus can also be directed to a garden view with equal strength as seen in the two selections  below.

"Gail's Garden"

"Tapa's Koi Fish"

   These fine selections of art work by Margo Hankel will give the viewer a fresh and independent insight into what Nature offers everyday in a world that we sometimes take for granted.  Don't let this chance slip by!! Visit the Blue Whole Gallery of Sequim, Washington to take advantage and see the independent expression of art by Margo Hankel and Deborah Sterk as presented to visitors on First Friday, July 4th, 2014 from 5 to 8 pm. and throughout the month of July.

Both Artists welcome your contact.

Deborah Sterk: at
or Phone: 1-360-461-7625

Margo Hankel: at
or Phone: 1-360-425-5104


Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Great Time was had by All !

Evening view of The Blue Whole Gallery

A Celebration in the Making.

   On June 6th, 2014, the Blue Whole Gallery and its Artist Members celebrated its 17th year of operation in the community of Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.  An artist cooperative established in 1997 by 27 artists that has continued to this day.  With its present 30 members the Birthday Celebration took place with the public welcomed as guests to the

Blue Whole Gallery Happening!

Artist member Lynne Armstrong preparing to set the stage.
Artists Christian Speidel, Karin Anderson & Lynne Armstrong setting up the display window.

A Great Time was had by All !

Eckart Mildenstein & wife artist Ryoko Toyama with artist Nancy Lawrence.

Goodies on Display
Cupcakes for all to enjoy!

Wine, cheese, & punch being served up.

George Franchini, artist members Margo Hankel & Mary Franchini inviting you to the Blue Whole Gallery 18th Birthday Celebration next year in 2015!!!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Gallery on the scene for 17 years!!

Evening view of the Blue Whole Gallery

17th Birthday Celebration
on 1st Friday, June 6, 2014 from 5-8 pm. 

   What an amazing feat, for 17 years an art cooperative composed of artists has worked together to show their art to the public.  Over the years the Blue Whole Gallery has become such an enterprise, making itself one of the premier art gallery on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.  It is no small achievement , it took effort, time and commitment from each artist member to make it happen.
Artist members David Willis, Ryoko Toyama, Carl Baker bringing in pictures to the Gallery.

Committee members, L to R:  Mary Franchini, Margo Handel & Lynne Armstrong making decisions together.

   Those efforts are clear in the scenes pictured here. They show member artists working within the space offered by the Gallery.  A physical entity whose walls and layout require decorative skills of placement.  Such skills do not come easily and are the results of a conscious effort by artists groups working together in concert.  Their decisions involve elements of color, shape and subject matter.  The goal is to allow each artwork be presented in the best possible way with taste and consideration.  This allows the Gallery to impart to the visitor the quality and overall scope of the art shown.

Deciding how and where art work will be displayed.


Placement requires decisions. 
Member artist Terry Grasteit taking measurements.


        Whether the art work is placed on the wall, a pedestal or in a jewelry case, the objective is the same:  allow it to be viewed and admired on its own merits.

Member artist Christian Speidel assembling a burl table for display.
Making sure each work is secured.
Centering an art work on the wall.


Member artist Brian Buntain setting up the jewelry case.

Artist members Joyce Volmut & Liz Harper selecting items to be placed on the Gallery shelves.

Member artist Steve Wry setting up the Gallery display window.
  Likewise, the Gallery's windows become an open invitation to the public to view the art world.   They feature every month the work of artist members revealing their skills and the medium of art they have chosen. Whether it be wood carving, oil, watercolor, mix media or acrylic painting, assemblage, ceramics, fiber, jewelry, fused glass, photography or sculpture the Blue Whole Gallery is proud to show this wide spectrum of art.

       Members of the Blue Whole Gallery

Photo by artist member Larry Barnes
L to R Back:  Bud Bowling, Larry Barnes, Debbie Cain, Pam Walker, Mary Franchini, Carol Janda, Jan Tatom, Katherine Loveland, Debby Sterk, Carl Baker, Terry Grasteit, Greg Felando.  L to R Middle: David C. Willis, Joyce Vomut, Lizbeth Harper, Lynne Armstrong, Ed Crumley, Karen Rozbicki Stringer, Karin Anderson, Brian Buntain. L to R Front: Christian Speidel, Teri Anne Stratton, Barbara Boerigter, Ryoko Toyama, & Steve Wry. Not pictured: Iris Edey, Margo Hankel, Janine Hegy.

  The Gallery is the means by which the public can enter the world of art and enjoy the creativity of these artists.    Celebrate our 17 years of fine art by joining with the members at the Blue Whole Gallery Birthday Celebration starting on 1st Friday June 6th, 2014 from 5-8 pm. and through out the month at 129 W. Washington Street, in Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.  

All are Welcomed!!!

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