Fine Arts and Crafts from the Pacific Northwest

302 First Street - P.O. Box 458
Langley, WA 98260 - 360-221-2978

I woke up this morning thinking about Kevin Horan’s photographs of the sky taken from 30,000 feet above the earth. A woman mentioned yesterday, as she was looking at his pictures, that not that long ago these photos would not have been possible. Frankly Horan’s images are extraordinary even in today’s world.

Window Seat #4, Photograph, Kevin Horan

Window Seat #4, Photograph, Kevin Horan

First, the plane is moving… FAST! How does one capture an image that is not blurry? Second, where is the glare from the plane, the window, the overhead lights reflecting off the window? Nowhere. Obviously Kevin is a professional photographer and has the skill to account for these obstacles but still, these photos are rare beauties. And they inspire wonder.

The sky looks different with less atmosphere; colors are more intense. Horan captures the experience of weightlessness yet grounds us with the patchworked landscapes of the Midwest from a bird’s eye view. The undiscerning eye could overlook these window seat photos but those who love to travel, enjoy the sensation of flying through the clouds or appreciate the fine art of photography will want to take one of this stunning photographs home with them to enjoy for a lifetime.

Pont Alexandre III, Photograph, Lorraine Healy19webFIX

Pont Alexandre III, Photograph, Lorraine Healy19webFIX

 

Photography is a wonderful art form. Just the idea that you can capture what the eye is seeing at any instant in time with a camera is magical. Lorraine Healy’s photo of the giant water nymph on the Pont Alexandra in Paris is an enchanting example. This huge woman seems like she is turning around to tell you something! She’s so happy and excited. I love that Lorraine captured not only the beauty of the nymph but also the feeling the artist who sculpted her achieved. It’s not a snapshot, its intentionally one artist illuminating another artist’s work bringing it to life joyfully for the viewer.

 

 

Pinhole Study #4, Photograph,  Zoë  Osenbach

Pinhole Study #4, Photograph, Zoë Osenbach

What I love about Zoe Osenbach’s pinhole images is that they are NOT capturing an instant in time. The water in the Venetian canals has the feeling of movement, because it was moving during the 8 minutes it took to take the photo! The photos created by the light piercing through a tiny hole emblazing an image onto the paper hidden in the box, is a process as old as photography itself and the results are lovely. Sun streaked sky, shimmering water and the still strength of the ancient buildings in Venice make for incredible composition and captivating photographs.

 

 

Berber Tents, Photograph, Earl Olsen

Berber Tents, Photograph, Earl Olsen

 

 

Earl Olsen’s images of Morocco are stunning. His painterly eye captures the world he sees in such unique and artistic ways. My favorite is looking out an exquisitely carved and painted doorway to the desert with Berber tents in the distance. The contrast of the opulent and elegant interior with the simple yet stunning exterior combined with the angle the photo is shot creates the art that is photography. It is not chance, it is skill and a great eye!

 

 

 

Turquoise Door, Oil, Rene Flynn Federspiel

Turquoise Door, Oil, Rene Flynn Federspiel

If you haven’t had a chance to see Rene Flynn Federspiel’s elegant doorways of Italy, come on in. Rene’s ability to capture stone through the medium of oil paint is amazing. Rich texture contrasts with smooth surfaces illuminating the different kinds of stone in the architecture. Her use of bright colors accentuates the gradations of gray in the cornices and steps on the buildings. Seeing Italy through Rene’s eyes is refreshing because she captures the serenity of the places she visited and allows us to sit with her there.

 

This truly exceptional show is a shining example of the skills and expertise of these amazing artists. The exhibit continues through March 31. Come on this journey with us!

This time of year I always yearn to get away, often fantasizing about far off places, sun or just a change of scenery. If this is something you experience, pop into Brackenwood and at least take a trip with your eyes! Join us tonight, March 1 for JOURNEYS Artists’ Reception and Langley’s Art Walk from 5-7 PM !

Window Seat #6, Photograph, Kevin Horan

Window Seat #6, Photograph, Kevin Horan

 

Stepping through the door you might feel like you’ve been transported up into the clouds, anyway that’s the feeling Kevin Horan’s light and airy photographs make me feel. I love the deep blue of the sky, which is in stark contrast with the pure white of the clouds. The photographs are restful and serene. Kevin told me when he gets on an airplane he can’t stop looking out the window. The beauty totally captivates him and he finds himself snapping pictures of the scenes going by the oval window of the plane. Looking at each one I find myself wondering what part of the world he was flying over when he snapped the photo; the ocean, water, farmland but where? Kevin’s work has something to say, and each of us will have our own interpretation!

 

Pont Alexandre III, Photograph, Lorraine Healy19webFIX

Pont Alexandre III, Photograph, Lorraine Healy

Joining us for this show is photographer and poet Lorraine Healy. Lorraine hails from Buenos Aires but is now a Whidbey local. Healy has a wabi sabi philosophy about her art; she likes the little imperfections, or blemishes that crop up when she uses her plastic Holga cameras. These imperfections give the photograph character, which reminds the viewer of the human behind the lens. Healy  captures the look and feel of Paris, like the iconic nymph leaning over the Pont Alexandre III. She is looking back over her shoulder like she has something to say to you. It must have been a wet day because she looks shiny and wet too. The image is crisp in the middle but the outer edges fade to black all in a circle, something our iphone cameras just don’t do. This is the wabi sabi Lorraine is fond of coming through, I love it.

 

 

Berber Tents, Photograph, Earl Olsen

Berber Tents, Photograph, Earl Olsen

 

 

Moving onto the Sahara Desert with images of Berber Tents, beautiful tiled doorways, sand dunes and a local beckoning the tourist into his store.  The warmth of the desert is so apparent in Earl Olsen’s photographs. Earl’s ability to see what others may miss makes his work something special. He often finds some ordinary thing like a wire just sticking out of a building, but then he stops long enough to realize the wire is spelling something… then snap its captured and we get to share in the surprise.

 

 

 

Merguza Shawl, Textile, Carys Ann Hamer

Merguza Shawl, Textile, Carys Ann Hamer

 

Silky yellows, ochre, mauve, gold and peach come to life in the shimmering shawls and scarves Carys Ann Hamer has on exhibit for this show. Carys Ann journeyed to Morocco a few years ago and took classes on native dying techniques. Using osage, cochineal, madder Hamer creates multicolored Murzuga shawls that are stunning. They are simply scrumptious to feel and are definitely eye candy for the soul.

 

Pinhole Study #4, Photograph,  Zoë  Osenbach

Pinhole Study #4, Photograph, Zoë Osenbach

 

Another Mediterranean country well represented is Italy. Zoë Osenbach’s journey to Venice is so lovingly captured through her Pinhole camera study. Zoë’s patient, she must wait 7-8 minutes for the magic to work in her little box camera. Pinhole cameras do not have a lens instead there is a small hole in one side of a lightproof box. Zoë manually moves the shutter so that light enters through the hole landing on photographic paper. No dark room here, no chemicals, just the light on the paper. The paper Zoë used has a great deal of texture, which adds to the overall look and feel of these photographs.

 

Ladies, Oil, Rene Flynn Federspiel

Ladies, Oil, Rene Flynn Federspiel

 

Finally Rene Flynn Federspiel’s oil paintings have captured her emotional memories of the places she has traveled in Italy. A poignant moment seeing a man sitting outside watching the street, or ladies truckin’ down the street going somewhere in a hurry. Rene has a great sense of humor and it comes through her paintings. One of the experiences Rene tries to capture is stillness. I really feel the stillness in her beautiful stone doorways and the table just waiting for someone to sit down and enjoy a meal. That’s the beauty of art, we all get to interpret what it is the artist was trying to say.

 

I hope you can come in and take your own journey. The weather is fine, the ambiance is quiet but welcoming and the art is simply superb!

 

Join us at Brackenwood Gallery tonight Feb. 1, 2014 from 5-7 PM for the Artists’ Reception for… Eroticism, Intimacy and the Space Between, a very classy show! The artists at Brackenwood really stepped up to the plate for this month’s exhibit. The theme is broad enough to evoke a variety of responses all of which are tasteful and beautifully executed.

Casey's Gold Diptych (1), Oil, Danielle Hendrix

Casey’s Gold Diptych (1), Oil, Danielle Hendrix

 

Danielle Hendrix, a younger painter who grew up here on Whidbey, has three powerful pieces in the show. A diptych of two lovers, their heads and hands on one side, their feet and legs on another is definitely a focal point as people enter the gallery. Its already eliciting some interesting questions!

 

Jason Waskey, who usually paints still lifes, painted some

Invitation, Oil, Jason Waskey

Invitation, Oil, Jason Waskey

lovely nudes or nearly nudes that feel reminiscent of Degas, Manet or Renoir. They are contemporary in nature yet his style reminds me of 19th Century French Salon paintings.

 

Jeff Day’s mixed media painting is a little gem, very classical yet with a decidedly Asian influence. Jeff is a multidimensional artist; he paints and sculpts. His sculpture of a sensuous female Bather is a strong balanced form that is also on display.

Sharon Spencer’s sculptures of several female forms beckon the viewer to touch them and follow their sensuous curves. While Georgia Gerber known for her animal forms has demonstrated she is also very adept at sculpting the human body!

Sleeping Girl, Prisma Pencil, Carrie Whitney

Sleeping Girl, Prisma Pencil, Carrie Whitney

 

A returning artist Sharon Shoemaker brings some graceful and quietly elegant photographs that push the concept of traditional photography with a creative eye and alternative techniques! There are also some quiet intimate pieces by a new artist to the gallery, Carrie Whitney. She has captured the essence of those heartfelt moments we all have watching a child sleep or snuggling with your baby. Fara Wexler’s mixed media nude Dreamer is another exquisite piece.

 

At Brackenwood, there is the show up front and the show in the rest of the gallery. We try to feature as many of our excellent artists as possible each month. Every so often we add new artists and this month I would like to mention one, Earl Lasher. Earl is a watercolor artist who paints the subject matter he loves: water adventures in sailing and boating as well as the scenery found in N.W. waters or in his travels. He has painted all his life, loves art and feels so strongly about supporting budding artists that he donates the proceeds of his sales to several arts organizations who support art for children. We are proud to offer Earl a spot in our gallery and look forward to showing his work throughout the year.

As you can tell, there is so much to see and enjoy at Brackenwood! The show up front is a street stopper! Literally people are stopped in front of the gallery to peek in! Hope you can come in and visit us this month. The Langley Art Walk is tonight, Sat. Feb. 1, as well as our Artists’ Reception from 5-7PM.

 

Tonight Saturday Jan. 18, 2014, is a special opening and I hope you are able to come! The Retrospective showing of artist Sarah Wallace’s art paired with the art she produced during her journey through Alzheimer’s is astonishing.

Ivan & Sarah

Ivan & Sarah

Ivan Neaigus, Sarah’s husband and caregiver, helped her to continue creating art over several years as she transitioned through the disease. The work itself has an eerie beauty and gives the viewer a great deal to think about especially when juxtaposed with her original artwork. But more important is Ivan’s  message that helping patients experience things they love as they transition through this devastating disease can bring joy and comfort.

Ivan and concert violinist Talia Marcus will discuss their new collaboration that offers art, music and movement experiences to Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers. Having a chance to sit with Sarah and share her love for art helped Ivan and Sarah communicate when she was no longer able to connect in other ways. It gave them a focus and brought her out as she worked on something she loved. I think this joy comes through her work.

Marcus_pic

Ivan’s talk and slideshow of Sarah’s complete “In Transition” work starts at 6:00 PM this evening and will be accompanied by violinist Talia Marcus. The Artist Talk will include information about their joint venture to bring Art to Alzheimer’s patience In Transition. Proceeds from any sales of the Transition prints will go to the Time Together program at the Bayview Senior Center. This show continues through Jan. 27.

OTHER GALLERY NEWS!

2. Two Scissors and a Red Marker  oil  2013  14X18Ah a new year, new paint and a few new names added to the already outstanding mostly Whidbey Artists Brackenwood represents. We have a wide range of offerings this month: several new Pete Jordan paintings, a new Georgia Gerber sculpture, new Jewelers Tessa Fleming and Ellen Hochberg and a new concentrated effort to include more contemporary work. DSC_0076Tessa has shown her jewelry and small sculpturettes at Sandy Wainwright’s “Wayward Son” gallery in Langley for many years. Along with Tessa’s work comes an amazing jewelry case crafted by David Gignac! Sandy Wainwright is retiring which is good for Sandy but bittersweet for Langley. She has been in business in Langley for about  27 years! Brackenwood is truly fortunate to have Tessa Fleming and the Gignac’s jewelry case join us! Soon, Sandy Wainwright will have jewelry at Brackenwood as well! We will be thrilled to add Sandy’s sophisticated and unique jewelry line to our gallery.

Wishing you all a prosperous and joyful new year! Come on in and see how fresh we look!

 

 

Langley Inside and Out!

December 3rd, 2013

“Langley Inside and Out” opens Dec. 7, 2013 at Brackenwood Gallery. The Artist’s Reception is from 5-7 PM. We are thrilled to have this show added to an already wonderful collection of “Small Pleasures”. Ray’s paintings capture the essence of Langley. Cozy restaurants with chatting patrons, funky houses or hand made items in a local shop, no matter what the subject Phyllis seems to tell Langley’s story well.

Morning Gathering, Oil, Phyllis Ray

Morning Gathering, Oil, Phyllis Ray

Ray’s color pallet is cheery and bold and the statement that emanates through her paintings is that Langley is a place where people gather, connect and enjoy life. In a nutshell, the paintings are uplifting! Who knows, you might even recognize yourself in one of them!

Ray’s work is also artistically strong. Her sense of composition, use of light and shadow create balanced paintings that draw the viewer into the piece. Phyllis combines realism with a loose painting style giving the work a nice complexity. Many people feel that great art touches the mind, heart and soul of the viewer and I feel like Ray’s love affair with Langley is felt through her work.

We also have Phyllis Ray’s 2014 calendars for sale. Pick one up and you can take a little bit of the show home with you to enjoy all year round.

 

Bronze Frog on Rock, Peregrine O'Gormley

Bronze Frog on Rock, Peregrine O’Gormley

“Small Pleasures” continues as well with new work from Briony Morrow-Cribbs, Liz Axford a new textile artist, LaChaussee glass ornaments, Georgia Gerber sculptures, Pete Jordan paintings, tiny bronze Frogs by Peregrine O’Gormley and many other works from the esteemed artists we represent. We also have several new jewelry offerings from our various jewelers.

Brackenwood Gallery is looking forward to seeing you this holiday season as you look for that special gift for loved ones or a new wrap to accent a dress for an outing. So pop in for a cup of Christmas cheer and enjoy the art! Wishing you all Happy Holidays!

Brackenwood Gallery is located in Langley Washington and features a variety of painters, sculptors, graphic artists, glass workers and other local artisans.

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