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The colors of the Olympic Peninsula SUMMER 2013 Supplement to the Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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Contents 13

Out & About 6 | Backpacking to Lena Lake 30 | Celebrating Sequim’s Centennial

Arts & Entertainment 35 | Art on the Peninsula The Living End 37 | Visual arts are everywhere

Pour & Taste 33 | Savory Salmon Cakes

Now & Then 38 | Sequim & Port Townsend in history


In Focus

Art on the Olympic Peninsula 8|

Studio by the Creek Agnew artist finds freedom in abstract art

10 | Weaving art and life The work of Inge Norgaard


13 | Art every which way Cynthia Thomas creates pieces in nearly every visual media

23 Vol. 9, Number 2 • Living on the Peninsula is a quarterly publication.

16 | Worthington Worthy The art of Quilcene’s history 21 | Intuitive Quilting Pat Oden’s unique quilts

147 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382 © 2013 Sequim Gazette

23 | Art on the Arm Wearable wood wows customers nationwide

Debi Lahmeyer, General Manager

26 | Beyond seeing The art & artistry of Susan Martin Spar

On our cover:


The colors of the Olympic Peninsula

LIVINGONTHEPENINSULA.COM | SUMMER 2013 Supplement to the Sequim Gazette and Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

4 LOP Summer 2013

This collage consists of the following: Top row: a tapestry by Inge Norgaard Middle row: Susan Martin Spar painting, tapestry by Inge Norgaard, abstract quilt by Pat Oden Bottom row: Miniature bowl by Martha Collins, fancy patchwork quilt made by Grace Worthington in 1889

Editorial: Patricia Morrison Coate, Editor Production: Denise Westmoreland, Art Director Cathy Clark, Assitant Art Director Mary Field, Graphic Designer Jay Cline, Staff Photographer Marcus Oden, Production Coordinator Advertising Sales (360) 683-3311 Kim Hughes, Harmony Liebert, Marcus Oden, Holly Erickson, Advertising Coordinator 226 Adams St. Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Fred Obee: © 2013 Port Townsend Leader

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ena Lake is a hidden jewel on the peninsula. In an idyllic basin near The Brothers Wilderness, Lena Lake provides a secluded but accessible site to break out and test gear, and that’s exactly what my friends Douglas Scott, Mark Berneking and I decided to do one May weekend. Our goal was to hike in and explore the area around the lake for a two- or three-day trip in the near future. But the best trips never go exactly to plan, and this was no exception. Douglas and I met at the trailhead after pushing the start time back from noon to two, and then from two to three, and then from three to four. By 5 p.m., we were on the trail and arrived at Lena Lake’s “Lunch Rock” by seven, and Mark met us at eight in the evening. We selected an almost idyllic campsite a quarter mile from Lunch Rock and set up camp right on the waterfront. Procuring firewood from the fallen trees surrounding the lake was simple, and before too long we had a lively fire to cook my pre-made rice and soup. I woke the next morning groggy and bleary-eyed, but all the same raring to go. An enormous tree had fallen into the lake, giving the three of us the perfect vantage to plan our ascent up what we dubbed “Mount Enormous,” an immense summit that rose 4,000 feet over the lake bed. In case the height wasn’t intimidating enough, the north face of the rock rose in sheer cliffs, making a direct ascent from the base of the lake impossible. With no developed trails, we may very well have been the first people on the mountain in years if not decades.

Mount Rainier looms in the distance from the summit of the mountain. Mark Berneking use a fallen tree to ford the Lena Lake creek.

The view was spectacular and well worth the trek.

Backpacking to Lena Lake Diving into nature is the best way to learn about it Story and photos by Ross Coyle

6 LOP Summer 2013

Our route would require us to ford a river, navigate through treacherous wind-fallen trees and risk life and limb on an exposed mountain goat path. We started hiking north to Lena Creek along a path that led us to The Brothers Wilderness, but instead of crossing the creek, we followed it north, moving swiftly over logs and around trees, keeping our eyes open for a suitable crossing point. Crossing too early would force us into thickets and brambles, but crossing too late could run us up against an impassable cliff face. The log we used to cross the creek must have been eight or 10 feet thick at its base and crossing it made me acutely aware of my insignificance to the area that surrounded me. One of the most amazing features of off-trail hiking are moments such as these, where the trees haven’t been cut back, the boulders haven’t been shoved away from the path and the traveler is able to fully appreciate the natural world. Crossing the log led us to the next hurdle of the journey; a deadfall zone of trees felled by the wind. Easily one of the most hazardous obstacles of the day, the trees were slick, filled with jagged sticks, obstructing branches and often suspended high above the ground. It was only through careful navigating, secure foot placements and luck that we came through unharmed. After climbing another small hill that seemed steeper than it actually was, we took a rest on a smooth, housesized granite boulder to snack on trail mix, gummy bears and crackers. We needed the break, because the next leg of the

climb proved to be the most mentally and physically taxing. After hacking our way through a deer path and rhododendron garden, we had a brief respite in an open sub-alpine fir band on the mountainside. I took the opportunity to guide us north to an open ridge line so we could get a view of our surroundings as well as plan our next movements up the hill. The view was spectacular and was well worth the trek, but left us scratching our heads as to our next move. Sheer basalt and shales loomed above us, with only a faintly visible goat or deer path available to show us the route up. We slowly, steadily began the climb. The higher we rose, the quicker my heart beat as we realized that a single slip on the gravelly path could be disastrous, even fatal. It took everything I had to remain cool when a rock gave out under my foot. Through focus, caution and determination we made it to the top of the cliffs and realized that the hardest section was over. Two hours later, afer several more scrambles, we found ourselves at the summit of Mount Enormous, with a gorgeous view overlooking the lake and surrounding mountains, and stretching across

the Hood Canal to glimpse Mount Rainier. The elation of looking down across the stunning, snowy valleys and peaks is unequaled. But our sense of satisfaction didn’t come just from the view or the elevation. It was because we had made our own way in the wilderness. Through our own agility, cunning, endurance and resourcefulness, we had summited a mountain that had no trail or visible path and created our own outdoor experience instead of walking the same path as hundreds of people who had come before us. It’s a feeling of true isolation from the developed world that provides the greatest feelings of accomplishment. Sitting on on the exposed rock, completely isolated from trails and human activity feels cathartic. Hiking doesn’t feel like being railroaded along a trail to a vista and becomes more of a chance to explore and examine nature on its own terms. And it shouldn’t be a single track that is walked until the hiker sees a vista and leaves. Hiking should be an experience filled with choices of routes, challenges in terrain and maybe a hint of danger. The outdoors isn’t a static thing to be observed passively, but an experience to partake in and learn from.

Berneking stands at the summit of the mountain. Inset: Wild rhododendrons were some of many wild plants and animals we saw on the climb.

“The view was spectacular and well worth the trek.”


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Summer 2013 LOP 7

Studio BY TH E

Creek Agnew artist finds freedom in abstract art Story and photos by Ashley Miller

For years, Dee Green played by all the rules.

She clocked in to her management position job on time. She followed regulations to the tee and marked completed tasks off with an appropriate check. By working hard, she was able to fulfill the ultimate American dream and retire at the age of 55. Upon retirement, Green finally was able to pursue a lifelong passion for art. She found her niche in portrait and landscape painting. Just like her career, Green’s paintings were by the book, so perfect they could pass for photographs. Then one day, everything changed. “My portraits were thisthis-this,” Green described emphatically, chopping one straight, rigid hand repeatedly into the other flattened palm. “Until one day I sat down and found how much less structured it was to do an abstract piece. I felt so free.” Experimenting with newfound liberty, Green explored the art of capturing images and conveying drama through the world of abstract impressionist painting. It

Dee Green spends a day in the studio. turned out she was unable to express her true self through art until she experienced abstract art. Using bright colors and very little control, even Green is surprised by the developing piece. “I started having more fun and just being looser,” she said. “All of a sudden, the face didn’t have to look so much like a face anymore.” Turning back wasn’t an option after that. She was hooked. Now, Green spends hours upon hours in her home-based Studio by the Creek losing all track of time. 100 percent immersed in art. Doing studies and planning art no longer appeal to Green. She lets her fingers and paintbrush come to life with emotion, movement and lots of color. The studio, adjacent to Green’s home, is a place of happiness, optimism and creativity. Several Through trial and error, Dee Green learned that orchids thrive in pots with air holes. So, she started creating these custom orchid pots.

inspirational quotes line the walls at Studio by the Creek. “I smile because I have,” one plaque reads. Newspaper-lined tables show flecks of paint from Green’s most recent projects. Fluorescent lights shine softly yet brightly. A pastel green lattice mural surrounds a large window looking out onto a manicured lawn and decorative pond. It’s a safe haven in a world that can be so cruel at times. “You listen to so many terrible things on the TV, in life and from your past,” Green said. “But when I stand in front of a painting my problems drift away and I’m happy.” Green is no stranger to hardship, either. In fact, she’s a cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy. If there’s one thing conquering cancer taught her, it’s the importance of relationships, Green said. The power of friendship is exponential. This is exactly why she meets with 10 fellow artists and friends every Tuesday to talk, work and indulge in delicious baked goods made by her husband, Ray. “His lemon cheesecake is to die for,” Green 1 Family Dining Restaurant in America


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8 LOP Summer 2013

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Above: Shelves of unfinished ceramics line the wall at Studio by the Creek. Check out Dee Green’s finished pottery products at the Sequim Open Aire Market on Saturdays. At left: Switching from portraits and landscapes to abstract paintings granted Agnew artist Dee Green a new level of artistic freedom.

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bragged. “All I have to do is send out an e-mail and it’s a full house.” For the group, the weekly meetings are a lifeline. It’s a circle of friendship and support where anybody can talk about anything and know it won’t leave the room. “We’re not only artists but we’re really good friends,” Green emphasized. The treats are just an added perk. In addition to painting, Green makes functional pottery. She specializes in orchid pots, big mugs especially for men and smaller mugs for women, berry bowls, salad bowls, tea cups with clay spoons and built-in holders, two-person pie plates and children’s soup spoons. Her pottery can be seen and purchased at the Sequim Open Aire Market on Saturdays. Though she doesn’t sell her paintings at the market, Green’s work can be viewed and purchased at the Northwind Art Center



Dee Green’s ceramic pottery pieces are meant to be used daily and are completely food, dishwasher and microwave safe. gallery in Port Townsend and the LARC Gallery in Sequim. A Jill of so many trades, Green has trouble narrowing down which medium is her “favorite.” Acrylics. Pastels. Ceramics. Mixed media. Watercolors. “It depends on whatever my mood is,” she declared with a playful grin on her face and a paintbrush in her hand. Regardless, it’s guaranteed to be bright and colorful. And probably red. “I always start out by saying, ‘I’m not going to put any red on it. I’m not going to put any red on it,’ but it always goes red!” she chuckled. Dozens of Green’s own paintings hang boldly and confidently from the walls of her studio. Some are matted and framed, while others are deliberately unfinished wraparound canvases. Eyeing the paintings, Green’s face reflects pride and approval. She knows exactly who she is as an artist. And she can’t wait to share it with the world. For more information about Dee Green and her artwork, go online to

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Visit our website for dates & times. Summer 2013 LOP 9


rt a & life Story and photos by Viviann Kuehl

An image of a bird nest stands out against a blue sky. Bright tumbling water falls down a dark cliff. A bright sunset highlights placid waters. Naked women populate a beach. Inge Norgaard has woven the threads of her life into beautiful works of art in these tapestries. “I love weaving,” she said. “The actual doing of it is very grounding. It’s like being in a little temple or ashram and I need that.” Norgaard’s works reflect her vision, wherever that takes her. In addition to contemporary tapestries, she’s done paintings and prints, drawings and threedimensional pieces in clay and marble. “If I get a vision or an idea, it’s important that I carry it out in the medium it demands,” she explained. “I’ve always done other things in parallel with weaving. If it doesn’t need to be woven, I don’t weave it.”

Roots Norgaard, 60, always has been interested in beauty and stories, but it took her a while to find her place as an artist. Growing up on a large lake in Denmark, she soaked in the beauty all around her. She learned to be practical working on her father’s trout farm, pitching in along with her sister and mother as needed. “My dad was independent and loved it, and it was an absolutely gorgeous setting,” 10 LOP Summer 2013

she recalled, Inge Norgaard’s tapestry, “Energy” captures the cascading water of “but I hated Marymere Falls. the outdoor work. Standing time and then I knew what I wanted to do,” said in the pond Norgaard. sorting fish was back-breaking and I always tried to She schooled for nine months with Inge Bjorn, get away to work in the kitchen. What I wanted was Denmark’s most respected tapestry weaver, to be an artist.” learning spinning, dyeing and traditional weaving She knew it would be very hard to earn a living techniques. as an artist, so she opted for a marketable specialty. For the next year, Norgaard apprenticed with As a young woman, she went away to art school, Annette Holdensen, an experimental weaver and learning ceramics, drawing, painting, art history. a powerful figure in textiles, working with threeShe emerged three years and nine months later as a dimensional imagery. graphic designer. “I would sit and work or go on She soon found herself doing adventures with Annette,” recalled lots of silkscreen and photo work, Norgaard. “You never know what putting large images of Coke on will happen with Annette. She was trucks. so connected and active and I got “It’s harder to do when the involved with so many people.” panels were divided, like in rolling An arts community is very doors,” she commented. stimulating for creativity, said The work involved toxic Norgaard. chemicals in the lead paint and the “There’s nothing like the input petroleum-based cleaners. and critiques you get from other “Silk screening was very toxic artists. In Denmark, artists go visit, back then,” recalled Norgaard, they hang out, they stop by and Inge Norgaard’s blue nest tapestry who experienced migraines and was used for promotional look at what you’re doing. They other side effects. “So I knew that it materials for the American might comment, and there will be wouldn’t do for a career.” Tapestry Alliance. something in a sentence, and it will Still, she worked at it four years be right on, so I know what to do,” before a friend took her to an art show that changed she said. “I really like that, especially for weaving, her life. which requires long hours of isolation at a loom.” “I saw contemporary tapestries for the first

A single tapestry Norgaard can take months started to show and the parts of it her work, and, for not currently being a couple years in worked on are rolled a row, got into the up on the loom, out prestigious annual of sight, so it’s not juried international possible to take into Spring Exhibition account the whole opened by the queen image as one works. of Denmark in Norgaard uses an Copenhagen. image behind the “It’s extremely Three panels of the Hem of the Sky tapestries created by Inge Norgaard for the meditation room in the Stockton hospital. hard to get in and I Photo courtesy of Inge Norgaard loom to keep her work on track. Still, thought if I can get in “It was hard to earn money,” said Norgaard. she worries about the impacts and the contrasts, there, I’m really a professional,” said Norgaard. “I don’t think I ever supported myself as an artist. putting careful attention on color and texture. Her first major tapestries were images of Norse There are way more artists than there’s demand for “I think about that purple dot,” she explains, mythology, large pieces that now hang in public art. My art’s a two-person job.” pointing to a tiny spot in the tapestry, adding, “You places in Denmark and in private collections. The couple left the boat and flew to Florida to have to be ludicrous to do this.” Her interest was sparked by a statue she visit family and look for a home. Norgaard’s nest tapestries come from her deep happened upon in a small town, of a cow suckling “I was pregnant and then suddenly you have to impressions of bird nests, taking in details of a male. She realized that, like most of her be responsible,” said Norgaard. their colors and shapes long before starting the contemporaries, she didn’t know much about her They considered San Francisco, where Charles tapestries. mythological heritage and began to learn about the had lived before, but realized they would have to In daylight, she noticed a broad array of colors many stories and figures beyond the commonplace work jobs every day to afford it, and chose Port in the nest materials and these show against Odin and Thor. Townsend. the sky-blue background of her work in Nest #2, “It became my main focus for many years,” she “Everywhere you go in Port Townsend it’s prominently displayed on American Tapestry said. “The mythology really tells us who we are as beautiful. Visually, it’s such a gorgeous place, with Alliance promotional material and featured in an a people, even more than the Christian religion, interesting people, but we can get comfortable impressive book, “Textiles, the Art of Mankind” by which is passed to us. Mythology emerged from the amongst ourselves, and there is so much going on Mary Schoeser (Thames & Hudson, 2012). people and it mirrors who we are.” out in the world. Hopefully, I give back.” “It’s nice when we get recognized in our world of She wove tapestries of Yggdrasil, the Norse Norgaard continued her art as they moved expertise,” said Norgaard. “You can be in shows, but tree of life; Heimdal’s nine mothers, spirits of the uptown into a small house near the courthouse and books last longer. It’s really exciting, super exciting sea; Gefion, goddess of riches and fertility, and then to their current home near the high school, to be in this one.” her four bull oxen; Baldur’s dream and his pyre; where they built her studio. She wove a three-part tapestry for the meditation beautiful Freya, goddess of love; the mythic events room in a Stockton, Calif., hospital serving patients of Fimbulvinter and Ragnarok, the last battle of the Works in cancer and neonatal care. gods, signaling the world’s end and its rebirth. Norgaard’s current focus has been on nature. A water lily tapestry she’d done inspired the A visit to Marymere Falls by Lake Crescent Life journey commission, but Norgaard suggested an image resulted in a large tapestry now heading to a show more in keeping with the local environment: a During this time, Norgaard met an intriguing in Tacoma. It is one of 24 in a show of 16 artists from peaceful horizon of deep blue islands in serene American, Charles Haniford. With his dreams and a around the world, traveling for two years. water reflecting a bright sunset, set with reeds to 50-foot wooden boat, he became her husband. “I was fascinated by the water tumbling and hold viewers at the beginning and the end of life. Soon the couple went on their own adventure, moving,” said Norgaard. “It’s the opposite of A technical challenge in weaving is to combine sailing to Germany, France, Portugal, the Canaries, tapestry, so still and locked. I thought it’s an vertical and horizontal elements, said Norgaard. the West Indies. During those seven years, Norgaard impossibility to put that in a tapestry.” “I was laying awake in the middle of the night, spun and worked on a folding loom aboard the She gazed at the liquidity of the falling water for thinking, ‘Why did I talk myself into reeds and Karin. She did watercolors and water studies to sell hours and figured out how to do the impossible. water?’” ashore. Weaving takes time and is a big commitment. Her solution was to weave the reeds horizontally and hatch in the sunset around them and the Fiber artist Inge islands. Norgaard checks the The environment of Vietnam inspired the placement of her tapestry works now on her loom. On a tour, tapestries in a work Norgaard saw an interesting U-shape on a watery inspired by the sight of horizon. It turned out to be large nets suspended to Vietnamese fishing nets dry and the lines intrigued her. hanging out to dry. “I’m excited when I get an image like that,” said Norgaard. “It’s a gift.” She divided the image into small abstract tapestry components, which can stand alone. Last spring Norgaard attended The Artist Spring Exhibition in Copenhagen, 36 years after her first showing, now with videos and balls of fabric. “It’s much different now, but still relevant and very exciting,” she said. “It’s a very good reminder that we have to keep evolving. We can do things we never could back then. It takes a lot of courage to break these boundaries. It takes years to change, and then you have to believe in yourself, and when you do it’s wonderful.”

Summer 2013 LOP 11

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12 LOP Summer 2013

Art every which way

“Spring Morning,” a stunning equine sculpture, looks as though she is galloping away. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Thomas

Sequim artist Cynthia Thomas creates art pieces in nearly every visual media By Mary Powell

Sequim artist Cynthia Thomas holds a painting called a mandala. Thomas has a studio in Sequim and shows her artwork in a number of galleries both on the Olympic Peninsula and worldwide. Photo courtesy of John Dach


eb. 22, 2013, is a day Cynthia Thomas is not likely to forget. It was the day she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. “I wasn’t surprised by the diagnosis,” said the Sequim artist. “I found the lump, I knew.” She underwent a mastectomy, and fortunately, the surgeons were able to remove the tumor. The cancer, however, was but a bump in the road for this gifted artist. She describes herself a “closet Buddhist,” saying “Just because you have the “C” word doesn’t mean she has a total acceptance of “what is.” you are done,” she said. “It’s not for me to be mopey “My hope is to impress upon the viewer of my work and sad.” the need to walk gently on this Earth, as all Earth’s But this isn’t a story just about breast cancer creatures are made up of the same elements and or even about surviving breast cancer. It is more energies, thus we are all connected,” she said of her the story of this extraordinary artist and how her philosophy toward her artistic endeavors. philosophies define her life and her work in a number When it comes to defining art or the of artistic mediums. artist, Thomas relies on the word First, she is right when she claims not be the passion. mopey and sad type. On the contrary, Thomas “Art is the “The word art is the stumbling is vibrant, insightful, easy-going, and at age only way to run block,” she said, when someone 65, most comfortable in her claims no drawing talent. own skin. away without “Everyone has a creative outlet. leaving home.” Where your passion leads you, what you do with that passion is — Twyla Tharp, your art.” choreographer Thomas is certainly not short on passion. It’s been the driving force behind her artistic creations, her lifestyle and philosophies. Whether a drawing, a sculpture, a piece of jewelry or a pottery creation, Thomas has been there, done that — and continues to do so. And if that isn’t enough, she is an art therapist and family marriage therapist. Having just returned from a three-week road trip that included touring parks of southern Utah, Thomas is settled comfortably in her somewhat cluttered, small art studio attached to the home she shares with her husband, John Dach. She blames her absence for the disarray, but it is obvious this is where she finds refuge, where her artistic skills turn metal into

Summer 2013 LOP 13

“The Heart of Souece”

“Insight Creativity”

“The Power Beneath”

“Serenity Creation”

“Finding Joy”

said. “It was a terrifying leap, but I didn’t The mandala paintings are colorful jewelry, bronze into a sculpture, paper and want to be trapped into one role.” and meaningful. “Each circle invites pencil into a painting. Her first bronze was of an eagle she introspection and sometimes wonder, She is happy to be home, where spring is named Freedom. She has since forged a inviting contemplation of the colors and in full swing in Sequim, and for the former number of bronze pieces, including an flow,” Thomas explained. She has hundreds California couple used to warmer weather, of the paintings, each with its they are thankful the sun has been own definition and each named as shining. she sees them. Some names are In 2005, Thomas and Dach moved whimsical, such as the one called from the Palo Alto/San Francisco Bay “Floating Scones,” a maroon and area to Sequim, mostly for the cooler yellow circle with scone-shaped weather. Although they enjoy the clouds floating by. Look closely at Olympic Peninsula, they admit that each mandala painting and the at times it is a bit too cool. name does indeed fit the work. “We didn’t realize that the One reason Thomas took to the advertised 300 days of sunshine easel, she said, is because she felt meant if the sun came out for only color starved while working in metal. 10 minutes it counted as one of those Having a passion for color, she is days,” she laughed. in her element creating the bright After reorganizing from the move, mandala paintings. Thomas began buzzing around her Presently, though, Thomas studio, creating her art once again, is working on a piece of art that or as she called it, playing around “Transition: Raven Woman” Photo courtesy of Cynthia Thomas addresses that “C” word, her with pastels, mixed media and the diagnosis, the surgery and the mandalas. More about that later. millions of other women who have had or are struggling with breast cancer. equine series, mermaids, and a stunning Early start Thomas is considering the idea of painting piece called “Transitions: Raven Woman,” Raised in Palo Alto, Calif., Thomas began a woman holding a breast with a collage a raven covering a sitting woman with its her illustrious and varied career as an artist of the cards and well wishes she received wing. at about age 7 when her mother enrolled her while in the hospital and during her “The sculptures are my vision to connect in an art class. She would ride her bike to recovery surrounding the woman. our humanness with nature through class when no one was available to take her. “This is not about me, but about positive metamorphic imagery,” Thomas explained. Her parents — her father was a renowned energy,” she said. “It’s about all women.” Unfortunately, she said, economics got radiologist — divorced when she was 13. Her Introspection, wonder, positive energy, a in the way of making bronze sculpture, the art, she said, kept her grounded. oneness with nature — all ingredients that price of materials nearly tripling from when Although she had an innate gift for make for a true artist, all qualities Cynthia she began. artistry, Thomas honed that talent by Thomas shows in her many facets of art. earning degrees in fine arts, metal arts, jewelry design, and for the other side of her The mandala work life, a master’s degree in psychology and Shortly after the move to the peninsula, counseling. Thomas began creating paintings modeled To view Cynthia Thomas’s After college, Thomas worked in the after the mandala. Mandala has its origin in work, visit www.cynthia jewelry industry as a goldsmith, master the Sanskrit word for circle. or model maker and in design research and “The mandala work is a journey into the, development. In 1992, she began creating heart of our soul,” is how Thomas describes or contact her at bronze sculpture. After taking a class in this body of artistic creativity. “Creating a bronze casting, she and Dach went home personal mandala has balancing effect on and built a foundry. Eventually, Dach ran a the soul and brings inner harmony.” full-service foundry for six artists, including In fact, Thomas said when she is working Right: Part of the equine Thomas. on a mandala painting it is a form of series of bronze sculptures “I went from jewelry to big bronzes,” she meditation for her.

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14 LOP Summer 2013

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Worthington worthy

Quilcene Historical Museum chairman Mari Phillips poses in period costume in the front hall of the Worthington House prior to a fundraising dinner.

Story and photos by Viviann Kuehl

The art of living is elusive, but ongoing.

Nowhere in Quilcene is it more apparent than in the Worthington House. Quilcene’s biggest and fanciest home since it was finished in 1892, it started with three stories and 15 rooms, including a ballroom on the third floor. The ground floor’s parlor, living room, dining room, kitchen and pantry have 12-foot ceilings. The ceilings in the bedrooms on the second floor are 10 feet tall. In addition to the main stairs in the front hallway, there were servant stairs in the back, from the kitchen to the second floor. Being a showplace, the arts of its construction were celebrated in the local newspaper, the Quilcene Queen, which was interested in the details. The newspaper named the painter and the plasterers, the chimney maker and the cabinetmaker, praising their work. The crafting of the doors and woodwork on the ground floor, in curly maple cut on the property, was detailed, from the milling of the wood to the finish work. Built in a time when indoor plumbing was gaining popularity, the house had a bathroom, which was noted in the article. Well water was pumped by a large windmill and a cooper made the water tank, it was reported. Toilets weren’t mentioned. The house, at 101 E. Columbia St., was built by Millard Fillmore Hamilton, a developer from Indiana, who, with a partner, started buying land along the Big and Little Quilcene rivers in 1883 and platted the townsite of Quilcene in 1889, with high hopes of getting in on the ground floor

16 LOP Summer 2013

of the expected boom to come with a national

railway connection. In 1891, tracks were laid to Quilcene from Port Townsend. As it turned out, that’s as far as they went. Just a year after the house was finished, Hamilton lost his house and lands to creditors when a depression swept the country. He and his family moved to Port Townsend, where he became the sheriff. The house was rented out sporadically by the next owner and then was advertised for sale at “hard time” prices. In 1907, William Worthington bought the house, now in need of repair, along with 35 acres. He had a thriving Quilcene business and a large family, and the house was a good fit. Mr. Worthington set up an office in the front room. His wife, Grace, and the family of seven, soon to be eight, settled in, with a household worker to help manage things. There was a lot to manage, with the house and the two girls and six boys, and all the household cooking, cleaning, gardening and livestock chores typical of the era. Mrs. Worthington turned her attention to fine art in the form of embroidery, some examples of which are displayed in the Quilcene Historical Museum. With all the children and business

connections, the house became a hub of activity and a focus of the small town’s social life. The first Worthington improvement was a furnace. Before its installation a few years after they moved in, the only heating sources were the living room fireplace and kitchen cook stove. In 1910, the Worthingtons proved to be on the cutting edge when they installed a septic tank. In 1913, they bought a Model T touring car. It came with two hours of driving instruction, attended by both Mr. Worthington and Harold, the most mechanically inclined of the boys. A second bathroom was added upstairs in 1927. The children were off to colleges by then, the boys to the University of Washington and the girls to Wellesley. It was a point of pride for the family, and the town, that all of the Worthington children had college educations. The flat, leaky, mansard roof was replaced in 1932, turning the ballroom into an attic. The chimney, sloped to fit the mansard roof’s contour, remained in place. Harold, who had become a structural engineer, designed the new space. He also replaced the house’s original cedar blocks with a new foundation. An earthquake about a decade The Worthington House retains the original pocket doors separating the parlor from the living room, complete with ornate hardware.

Above, left: In a Worthington House bedroom, standard household eyelet lacework lies on a beautifully hand-loomed coverlet made in 1876 and brought to Quilcene from New York as a family memento. Above, right: Vintage boxes line the third floor attic in the Worthington house. At left: Quilcene Historical Museum secretary Larry McKeehan takes a tea service out of an original china cupboard in the 1892 Worthington House.

later knocked the house off the foundation, but it was put right by another son, Robert, a forester, with the help of huge timbers the length of the house. In 1935, Mrs. Worthington died in the parlor, where she was bedridden with pernicious anemia. Mr. Worthington died the following year.

The Worthington children jointly inherited the house; those who had moved away made visits home after the deaths of their parents. When daughter Grace married in 1937, she was the last child to move out, and then caretakers were hired. With her husband and son, daughter Mariette spent summers there. Son Robert and his wife moved in with their

young daughter in 1944 and their son was born in 1945. They bought the house in 1946 from Robert’s siblings and continued to live much as the original Worthington family had, tending to the house and making improvements, working the garden and caring for their livestock. Around this time, a neighborhood irrigation district was put in place. Robert built a new garage, dismantled the milking parlor and the workhouse near the house, replacing them with a cement patio in 1954. Their children grown, Robert and his wife divorced in 1966. In 1974, he married again and the couple

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Summer 2013 LOP 17

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enjoyed a lively life of travel and arts. In the winter of 1978-1979 some old cherry and walnut trees were taken out by storms and bulldozer and the irrigation ditches were revised. In 1981 the septic system was updated, although it was noted that the old one was still serviceable. Robert died in 1995, and his widow, Eilleen, continued to live in the home until her death last year. Recognizing the prominent place both the family and the house have in the history of Quilcene, she made a special purchase arrangement with the Quilcene Historical Museum before her death. The house has become the centerpiece of Worthington Park, an effort to preserve the house and its history, while providing a community resource. The museum was given three Worthington House, 101 E. Columbia years to raise the $300,000 St., Quilcene, is in Worthington Park, purchase price for the house adjacent to the Quilcene Historical and the 10 acres it sits on. Museum. New life is apparent in the bustle of clean up and The museum is open from 1-5 p.m., fundraising by volunteers Friday-Monday, at 151 E. Columbia St. working to complete the Contact 360-765-4848 to arrange agreement by the end of June, tours or ask questions. with dinners and teas in the home and other events. Information is online at In the interior, the house and maintains a great deal of its original integrity. The Donations may be sent to the moldings, woodwork, pocket Quilcene Historical Museum, PO Box doors and the circulation of 574, Quilcene, WA 98376. the house are not altered.

Water damage caused the plaster to separate from the lathe in a second floor alcove in the Worthington house. Repairs are slated after the Quilcene Historical Museum’s purchase of the property. work. You have a community that has “They’ve put a vision and a plan together that represents solid stewardship clearly demonstrated they have the capacity, the long-term vision and the and opens it up to the community as will. well,” said Chris Moore, field director “Often you only get one shot to save of the Washington Trust for Historic a place,” said Moore. “You never get a Preservation. “The house is connected to the place both physically and symbolically chance to get it back. If it’s not there, you can only read about it and reading about a and their plan keeps that intact. We are place certainly is not the same as seeing certainly thrilled to see that one of their it. You’re certainly going to be able to top priorities is to treat the house in a experience history there.” historically sensitive manner.” The museum welcomes donations and Moore added, “They’ve really hit on visitors. some of the best aspects of preservation

Quilcene Historical Museum chairman Mari Phillips and secretary Larry McKeehan examine the details on a fancy 1889 patchwork quilt made by Mrs. Grace Worthington.

Summer 2013 LOP 19

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A close-up of a quilt showing the varied stitching designs.

One of Pat Oden’s colorful triangle wall hangings

Story and photos by Elizabeth Kelly Inspired by artists Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Klee and Vincent Van Gogh, fiber artist Pat Oden is not your average quilt maker. “I work intuitively,” Oden said, pointing to some of her dramatic wall hangings. “To me, it’s play,” she said, adding that she loves “puzzling out” her designs. Born in a small Texas town near Austin, Oden said she watched her grandmother and aunts working on quilts, “but it wasn’t until I was a grandmother myself that I took up quilting.” She spent her working years as a pre-school and elementary teacher, and after a move to Pennsylvania, found that she wasn’t able to find a teaching job. “I went into a bookstore and picked up a book on quilting,” she said. Having worked with needle and thread all her life, Oden started with embroidery as a child and made children’s clothes as a young mother, then did needlepoint art for 20 years. “I was always attracted to the geometric designs in needlepoint,” she added. The book she bought moved her to take a class on quilting. The early signs of her later abstract work was evident in the first quilt she made. Even though it was a traditional quilt that followed a specific pattern, Oden put her own signature on it by including one block different from the others. “I don’t know what it was, but something made me veer off from the traditional and create one block of

Intuitive quilting varied shapes.” She followed conventional quilt patterns for a few years, then read one day about a quilter in Ohio who was doing her own abstract designs. “I took seven workshops on art design to learn how to use color and shapes,” Oden said, and she now creates her own graphic designs using bright and bold fabrics. “How do you make a shape stand out without taking away from it?” she mused. She spends a lot of time thinking and preparing for a project before she begins, often using her scissors as a creative tool for her asymmetrical lines. “When I cut the fabric, I don’t use a straight-edge, but make shapes as I cut,” she said. The solid-colored cotton fabrics she works with are all hand-dyed, except for black. “I buy bolts of white PFD (prepared-for-dying) cotton fabric and create my own colors. Sometimes, I get some accidental colors that are perfect for what I want,” she smiled. Much of the time her quilting is done by intricate, tiny hand-stitching and adds to the innovative art by seemingly random patterns. She also quilts innovatively on the machine. With her husband, Jerry, Oden moved to their home in Sequim in 2004. Her studio is in a loft space bathed in light from the floor-to-ceiling windows of their home. “I like to say we threw a dart on a map and it landed on Sequim,” Oden joked, which is near the truth. They wanted to be closer to their children who all live in the West. “Sequim is an ideal place,” she said. A longtime dream of Oden’s was fulfilled in 2011 when her piece “9 Patch/26 Triangles” was juried into Quilt National 2011. The piece was on exhibit in Athens, Ohio, from May to September 2012 and continues on tour throughout the U.S. until late 2013. Her piece has a page in the book, “Quilt National 2011: The Best of Contemporary Quilts,” published by Lark Books, and is pictured on her website “This is the World Series of contemporary quilt competitions in America,” Oden said, “and we got to see my piece with my grandchildren as part of the exhibit in Oceanside,

Calif.” She smiled as she added, “I guess the judges really liked it.” Locally, Oden has exhibited her work at the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley (MAC) in Sequim and at Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend. “At first, they weren’t sure whether my work was art or craft,” she said. “People have to be able to make a big switch from traditional quilting (to abstract).” She also was asked to design a piece for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sequim to denote healing and the inspirational hanging can be seen on the side wall near the front of the sanctuary. Oden currently has several ideas she is toying with. Besides the art piece she is working on, inspired by a Paul Klee painting, a 5-foot by 7-foot quilt using hexagon shapes also is in the making. She has an idea for a quilt that appears to be threedimensional in its perspective, as well. Another goal she has is to create a large abstract map that would give a general impression of actual geographical shapes. “It’s still in the theoretical stage,” Oden said. “I don’t know yet what it will be. I just love puzzling it out,” she reiterated. “Mainly, I just want to continue doing what I am doing and get better at it,” she concluded.

Fiber artist Pat Oden

Summer 2013 LOP 21

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High up off Lost Mountain Road southwest of Sequim, nearly every day, all day, Martha Collins labors in her woodworking shop creating jewelry, bowls and tablewares that are sought after from Baltimore to San Francisco and Chicago in between. Like the laminated stacks of wood from which her intricate bracelets emerge, Collins has much depth to reveal. “All the patterns are in her head and in a way, she’s a mathematical genius,” said Pam Erickson, a friend and fan for the past two decades. Now at the level of master woodworker with some 40 years of experience, Collins is invited annually to such prestigious juried exhibitions as the American Craft Council Show (Baltimore), Contemporary Crafts Market (San Francisco), Chicago One of a Kind Show and Ann Arbor Art Fair, among others. Her works also are for sale at the Northwest Woodworkers Gallery (Seattle) and the Denver Art Museum. She’s also on the faculty of the Port Townsend School of Woodworking and is offering a “Woodworking for Women” course July 8-12. “I have always had a good eye and design sense, although I have not taken ‘art’ courses,” Collins, now 65, said. “I am an artist woodworker that pursues the joy of lamination and turning and I believe the process has trained me and my eye. It has been a wonderful partnership! Who’d ever thought I’d go through life and become a bracelet and bowl maker?” Certainly not Collins - until after graduate school in Michigan she hooked up with friends who had a cabinet shop. “It resonated deep with me, that at the end of the day there was something made that did not exist before,” she said. “After a short internship as a carpenter’s apprentice, I was able to be trained by the state of Michigan as a cabinetmaker. Title IX had just gone through and I was the first woman in this program. It was wonderful!” Collins spent the next 2½ years from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. absorbing everything she could about woodworking and was hired by a furniture building company as a management trainee. In 1978, she opened her own shop in Kalamazoo, crafting cabinets and custom furniture, while apprenticing in a shop where wood jewelry was made. She learned about the varieties and properties of exotic woods and how to dye maple veneer.

Asking and answering, ‘What if … ?

This is Martha Collins; signature piece — the helical mosaic brilliant chevron bracelet. This one has 12 different species of wood in it with 700 pieces and with claro walnut edges. Photo courtesy of Martha Collins

“My passion is to create personal, unique, three-dimensional works of art with exotic hardwoods and brightly colored veneers that are hand-dyed. It is the combination of the natural and the dyed that sets my work apart and makes each piece unique.” — Martha Collins

This period also was the wellspring of Collins’ “what if” bursts of creativity — what if she took an array of veneers, turned them this way and that, stacked and laminated them into a block? What if she staggered or fanned them out and then turned that laminated block on a lathe to form a bracelet? The possibilities were endless — and serendipitous. Collins, her teacher and another apprentice realized they had created their own “grain” — discovering how to make a bracelet pattern described as the “helical mosaic chevron.” Translated, — although mere words do it no justice — it means a spiraling pattern made up of tiny pieces forming interlacing vees or chevrons. “Thus it began,” Collins recalled, “this incredible journey exploring this wonderful process of laminating different species of wood and dyed veneers and turning it (the block) on a lathe. I love having the blocks in my hand, figuring how to offset them, what’s going to happen to the piece.” During a stint at the University of Oregon, Collins had fallen in love with the Northwest and in 1983, moved six miles southwest of Sequim, overlooking the Martha Collins crafts some 80 bracelets annually in three basic patterns, but each one is a singular piece of artwork.

Summer 2013 LOP 23

Above: A laminated block spins on a lathe to reveal the outside of a helical mosaic chevron bracelet. At right: A bottle stopper and the laminated block used to create it sit on a 2-foot section of Bolivian rosewood, the starting point for the spice mill in the foreground. Texas Valley, to a home and shop she designed and built. While continuing to build custom cabinetry and furniture, she began experimenting more with all manner of “what ifs,” producing and selling a line of bracelets offered in galleries along the West Coast.

Making magic At 1,000 square feet, Collins’ shop, airy with high ceilings and south-facing picture windows, easily could accommodate a small cottage. Yet, she says, “Even if I think I have enough space, I never do.” It may look cluttered, but be assured it’s organized — with every few questions, Collins zeros in on samples of works in progress and an array of finished pieces, bringing them back to a mammoth work table to illustrate what she’s explaining — including bracelets, bowls, earrings, bottle stoppers, spice mills and salt and pepper shakers. “The work itself inspires me — I do it for the beauty of it,” Collins said. “I love the process — I still get totally enamored by it.” She fans a hand of different species of wood, all milled to 3.5 inches by 0.25 inch by 16 inches. “My favorite wood is whatever wood I’ve got. Zircote is a favorite because it’s black and brown with a jasper-type grain. I work with hardwoods because I like the way they turn better.” Her suppliers are Edensaw Woods in Port Townsend and Gilmer Wood Company in Portland, Ore. For a helical mosaic bracelet, Collins will select 12 species of wood — she has on hand more than two dozen from all over the world — plus 11 different colors of veneer she’s hand-dyed. Once stacked in a pleasing order, the block will be 3.5 inches thick. “Beginning with a variety of sustainable woods, both domestic and exotic, I am looking for grain, color and texture — the grain of white oak, the orange color of chatke viga and the texture of zebra wood … there are so many beautiful woods in the world,” Collins said. “I play with it (the stack) until I get them (the pieces) the way I like them. Sometimes I sit with them a couple of days before laminating. Everything comes from the block.” When she’s truly satisfied with the block’s composition, she glues it, layer upon layer, with jewelers epoxy, creating the laminate, which then is sliced perpendicular on the bandsaw 21-30 times, yielding varying thicknesses of veneer — “0.022 of an inch when the bandsaw gods smile,” Collins quipped. These square slivers are reassembled, rotated and re-laminated, reincarnating on the lathe in an incredibly intricate design — An “Ooom” bracelet is secured on the 1,200 individual pieces, some as thin as a fingernail and others machinist lathe, being turned round. the size of a pinhead — as a helical mosaic bracelet. It will be shaped on a wood lathe and “I don’t sketch a pattern out at all. I just build. Turning then returned to the machinist lathe a block from the outside used to be a surprise — but not to be parted off, sanded and finished. anymore,” Collins chuckled. “There will still be block remaining and it will now be sliced 1/16th of an inch thick; 11 slices will produce the linear mosaic weaver bracelets,” Collins said, explaining that pattern “is made of layers of laminate material that’s repeated and folded back upon itself to create a wooden fabric. The bold mosaic bracelet is of a simpler design and strikingly dramatic because of the size of the mosaic pieces. Whatever movement there is makes the pattern.” Collins described her “Weaver 9” design as a “straight stack” or “Indian blanket” weave, consisting of 12 different species of wood, hand-dyed maple veneer, with ebony edges. While at a juried show, the bracelet caught photographer Mark Frey’s eye and it ended up being the back cover of the December 2012 American Woodturner magazine, a surprise and thrill for Collins. Enlarged

24 LOP Summer 2013

At right: This bowl is very small and has 10 different species of wood in its ebony base and rim. The shape follows the lamination design creating a bowl that is reminiscent of the Anasazi. Photo courtesy of Martha Collins

Collins also is enjoying learning how to make threaded boxes on her lathe — this one is in claro maple.


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Above: This is a corner from the lamination of a chevron bracelet. They are built solid and then turned round on a lathe. to a width of 6.5 inches, the intricacy of Collins’ bracelet artistry is even more apparent, with grain striations visible in all but the darkest of the 400 individual pieces. “Bracelets get turned from the outside and when the outside looks like I want it, then it gets sanded and turned off the lathe, which determines the size of the bracelet,” Collins said, noting they range from as narrow as 2¼ inches to as wide as 2¾ inches. “You’d be a top drawer,” she said, observing the interviewer’s slender wrists and plucking one from a graduated cabinet. A one-minute modeling proves her right.

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Beauty in bowls Not only are Collins’ pieces a feast for the eyes, they also are one for the fingers, with a satiny smoothness on every surface, achieved, she said, “by usually taking everything to a 400 grit.” Sandpaper “grit” is a reference to the number of abrasive particles per square inch of sandpaper — the higher the number, the finer the paper and final finish. “Most of my emphasis now is on bowls — I’ve really developed bowls in the last year,” Collins said, but admitted she’s not sure what to call them — small treasure, ceremonial or mantra bowls have been suggested. “When someone has had a bad day, I want them to pick this up and get lost in it,” she said, cupping a diminutive but detailed example in her palm. The bowls are 2 to 3.5 inches in diameter and may have up to 1,200 pieces of wood. Each bowl is uniquely sculpted into several different patterns. Infinitely more beautiful than a worry stone, the bowl feels cool and silky between finger and thumb. She gets a laugh in telling customers the bowls are where “you can put all your loose diamonds — not rubies — only diamonds because otherwise you couldn’t see the art.” Often at shows, Collins will bring several blocks and finished pieces to see if customers can detect which raw block yielded which piece of art — and stumps them frequently — akin to cracking open a geode. “Customers usually are amazed at the intricacy of it and the different species and colors of the wood. They like the way it feels, because there’s a warmth to wood, and how light refracts off of the bowls and the bracelets,” Collins said. “Wood — it’s a wonderful medium and I love it.” For more information and examples of all of her work, see This lovely bowl is 3 inches in diameter and 1½ inches high. There are 1,200 pieces of wood in it from 12 different species. The design is Zig Zag, with an ebony base and rim. Photo courtesy of Martha Collins



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Susan Spar works on an oil sketch during one of the weekly life-drawing sessions in her studio.

THE ART AND ARTISTRY OF Beyond SUSAN MARTIN SPAR Seeing Story and photos by Kelly McKillip

The masters beckon We have China and Russia to thank for keeping the techniques of the great painting masters alive during the 20th century, states classically trained fine artist Susan Martin Spar. Individuals in those eastern countries who devote their lives to art are governed by exacting standards, which, with the exception of Italian schools and a very few American teaching studios, nearly disappeared in the western world. Spar goes on to explain that these artists become so accomplished that they are considered national treasures in their homelands. She is pleased to see that the U.S. art world has taken notice as indicated by the steady increase in master-apprentice type atelier art schools that teach students the fundamentals of classical art. In 2012, Spar graduated from an intensive and rigorous three-year program at Georgetown Atelier in Seattle where she mastered techniques that she had admired since childhood. Spar had the good fortune to grow up in Yonkers, N.Y., with a family who understood the

26 LOP Summer 2013

importance of exposing children to culture. As a young child visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Spar was intrigued by the way 17th century Dutch Masters created drama by carving light out of darkness (chiaroscuro). She was not initially enchanted with impressionism, except for the use of color. The first painting that really knocked her socks off was the surreal work: “Crucifixion” by Salvador Dali. She knew then that she wanted to be an artist.

The school of life Although sympathetic to her desire to study art, Spar’s parents had suffered through The Great Depression and had no intention of letting their daughter grow up to be a starving artist. She found herself enrolled in the more practical, albeit less appealing, Fashion Institute of Technology learning to design fabric and wallpaper. Spar spent the next 20 years in graphic arts followed by a decade working as a psychotherapist to patients with AIDS and later working with foster children. Combining art and therapy, she helped her clients learn how to

live in the world. Eventually, burned out from the emotional stress of the job and caring for her terminally ill mother, she returned to her early passion and began taking fine art classes from a variety of teachers. She also found an open studio with models where she could practice figure drawing. The intensive, yet relaxing process absorbed her completely, offering momentary respites from thinking about illness. Spar realized then that to achieve the mastery she sought she would need a specific kind of training. The Watts Atelier of the Arts in Encinitas, Calif., set her on the right path. For a long time, Spar had considered herself to be a landscape artist. That changed when she read an inspiring article about still life painting. She set up some objects in a pleasing composition with a single directed light. Much to her surprise, she loved the work, and unlike painting landscapes outside (in plein air), she could paint whenever she wished. The artist also discovered a talent for creating trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) pieces which won awards, and she was getting requests to paint portraits. In 2004, Susan Spar and her husband, Jerry,

moved to the Olympic Peninsula. Always eager for more practice in figure drawing, she began attending George Zien’s open studio. Meeting likeminded souls, she became active in local galleries and with Sequim Arts, winning many awards locally, including several first-place prizes and Best in Show twice for both an oil painting and a pastel still life at the Clallam County Fair. Spar describes herself now as a painter of romantic realism. Her goal is to go beyond seeing by conveying the emotion she feels toward the subject onto the canvas or paper so that the viewer feels the connection. Still life paintings are meditation, landscapes are the glorification of nature and portraits reveal, usually through the eyes, the beauty and humanity of the model, whom she says: “I always fall in love with.” Occasionally the work comes on winged feet, as if the canvas paints itself. At other times, creating art is like giving birth. But the most important factor, Spar says, is constant and unwavering work every day for many hours. It can be a very lonely occupation, which is one of the reasons she looks forward to her teaching days.

Sharing the wealth In addition to creating art, Spar loves to share her knowledge. Soon after settling in a new house, she began teaching classes and workshops there, expanding and adding on a studio as demand increased. Her current space cozily accommodates nine artists and easels. She has kept a constant teaching schedule, even during the three years she was at Georgetown. While working alone during her personal studio days, she often will ponder how to explain a technique in a clear manner. All of her atelier students, no matter how accomplished in art, begin their studies drawing a pear in graphite. Learning how to block in (draw) the shape accurately is the first step followed by gentle rendering and turning the form using darks and lights. Subsequent projects include drawing from a cast, a still life and a work in charcoal. All of the projects have the primary goal of training the student to see subtle nuances in tone. One half of the five-hour class is spent on life drawing from a model. Spar recently purchased a fully articulated life-size model skeleton, “George,” as a tool to help her students understand the underlying structure

in the human form. However, the teacher insists that learning to portray a subject realistically is only a beginning step in becoming an accomplished artist. Students who wish to go on to oil painting begin with value studies, starting with only six and then nine shades from black to white. It is critical to be able to distinguish values before attempting to understand color. Achieving these fundamental skills gives students a foundation that will serve them in finding their own voice in any medium or style they choose to pursue. Spar also teaches a less structured painting and pastel Equally adept class on Fridays and offers a in graphite, oil professional open studio weekly and pastel, Spar to anyone wishing to practice life creates masterful drawing from a model. She shares works while techniques on her teaching blog: juggling a busy www.musensbysusan.blogspot. teaching schedule com. and open studio. As much as the artist loves Here she is working on the her studio, the beautiful Olympic under painting for Peninsula beckons often, and a still life in oil. weather permitting, she will pack up her easel and paints and search out a lovely scene to capture. Painting in plein air gives her landscapes a freshness that cannot be achieved by working with photographs. Her approach is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. She finds the larger shapes first, next, a point of interest, and then moves on to discover the range of temperature and value. It’s important not to get caught up in the details, such as painting every leaf, in the early stages. The exact color is not critical as long as the relationships between value, color and temperature are constant. Painting fast is necessary because the light changes from minute to minute. She strives to complete 90 percent of the work on site, adding the finishing touches later. Many of Spar’s students, including me, consider her weekly classes to be one of the highlights Spar advises her student, Cheryl Frankfurth, on the fine points of blocking in and rendering a still life drawing of a skull. Above: “Cherry Pitcher” Oil on linen by Susan Martin Spar

To learn more about Susan Martin Spar’s art and classes: Visit online at Follow her blogs at and Contact her at 360-477-1024 or PAFAC summer plein air workshops and Paint the Peninsula event information may be found at For information about the Sequim Arts Studio Tour, visit and for fur ther reading about classical (representational) art, visit

Summer 2013 LOP 27

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“A Sultry Afternoon” — Oil on linen by Susan Martin Spar of their week. Longtime student and friend Evelyn Wolf says at 77 years she is still inspired to learn something about art at every class. Candace Cade came to Spar with a B.A. in painting but never had been taught the fundamentals. When she discovered that Spar taught everything from the ground up, beginning with a year of mastering drawing, it was a dream come true. Another student says: “Susan’s class provides an opportunity for immersion and discipline in a safe and quiet environment. We are encouraged to challenge ourselves and make mistakes, and Susan is there to guide and help us along the way.”

A summer of art Spar is very pleased that the Port Angeles Fine Art Center (PAFAC) has asked her to teach four- and six-week classes of plein air painting this summer in Webster’s Woods. She will be demonstrating with oils and acrylic paint but all mediums are welcome. The ideal student already will have at least a basic knowledge of painting. Additionally, there will be a plein air event from Sept. 4-8. Artists from all over the country are invited to participate in the three-day “Paint the Peninsula” juried competition. Wellknown artist Ned Mueller will be the juror and possibly teach a workshop. Additionally, artists may rent a space to show and sell their other work. Spar also will be participating again this year in the popular Sequim Arts Studio Tour which coincides with the Sequim Lavender Weekend from July 19 to 21. Her work will be on display at her studio and she will be giving demos with a live model. Spar currently is working on a series of allegorical paintings. So far she has finished “Red Riding Hood” and “Sleeping Beauty.” Both works sold quickly right off the easel. Plein air (outdoor) painting gives Susan Spar’s landscape work a freshness that cannot be achieved in working with photographs inside the studio.

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Celebrating Sequim Centennial festivities hit stride in the Good Old Summertime By Reneé Mizar, Communications Coordinator, Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley As the yearlong Sequim Centennial celebration reaches its halfway point this summer, a brimming lineup of nostalgia-tinged, family friendly events ensures the 100-year-old city will hit its stride in July as a site of some good old-fashioned – and mostly free – fun. The celebration’s much-anticipated marquee events take place over the Independence Day holiday and span nearly 100 years in theme, with a turn-ofthe-century-style community picnic, 1970s-inspired street dance and golf scramble. The daylong Old-Fashioned Town Picnic on the Fourth of July kicks off at 10:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies at the Water Reuse Demonstration Park near Carrie Blake Park on North Blake Avenue in Sequim. Local radio station KSQM 91.5 FM will broadcast live from the free event, which by design includes activities, music and food that harken back to bygone eras when community picnics were commonplace. “It’s a great place to come with your family and just spend the day. This is what people used

to do on the Fourth of July,” event coordinator and Sequim Centennial Committee member Patsy Mattingley said. “There will be stuff going on out there all day. If you come late or leave early, you’ll miss something.” The slate of activities includes relay races, tug of war, pick-up sports games, hula hoops and horseshoes, as well as the more leisurely amusements of hayrides, cakewalks, antique cars and tractors, a vintage hat contest, petting zoo, and the culmination The retro rock ‘n’ roll band Magic Bus will rock downtown Sequim for “The Street Dance of the Century” on Friday, July 5, as part of the of the Sequim Centennial Beard Sequim Centennial celebration. Photo courtesy of The Wright Image and Mustache Challenge. Community picnics, such as this local yeomen’s gathering on July 4, For those who opt not about our history,” event volunteer and Sequim 1910, were once a staple way of celebrating any number of occasions. to bring their own picnic, food available Centennial Committee member Ruth Helsley said. Photo courtesy of Ruth Tift Collection, Museum & Arts Center in the for purchase will include barbecue, Picnic attendees also have the opportunity to Sequim-Dungeness Valley watermelon, hot dogs, corn on the cob, be immortalized in Sequim history by posing for a pie, cotton candy and other confections, community photograph, as will those who join in and Rotary Club of Sequim boxed lunches. the street dance downtown the following evening. Numerous locally based musicians will be performing throughout the park A groovy kind of First Friday during the day and several music groups The Centennial festivities continue on Friday, also will take the James Center for the July 5, with “The Street Dance of the Century” Performing Arts stage, including the on a closed-down Sequim Avenue in downtown Dixieland jazz band Dukes of Dabob, Sequim from 6-10 p.m. Retro rock ’n’ roll band men’s quartet No Batteries Required, Magic Bus and special guest The Guy Johnson clarinet quintet The Marmalades, and Old Band highlight the free musical party, which will Time Fiddlers. The 60-piece Sequim City include food for purchase and a beer and wine Band will close the festivities at 3 p.m. garden. with its annual Independence Day concert “There’s going to be so much happening in the of patriotic songs that, Mattingley noted, downtown that night,” said Sequim City Clerk will include a special tribute to Korean Karen Kuznek-Reese, who heads the Sequim War veterans. Centennial Committee. “This is a chance for kids “I hope those who attend take of all ages to participate in our Centennial and away community spirit and a sense of dance in the streets to some really fun bands.” belonging to a community that cares The street dance is held in conjunction with

30 LOP Summer 2013



Products, services and ideas from across the Peninsula. To advertise in Clallam County, call Debi Lahmeyer at 360-683-3311. In Jefferson County, call Sara Radka at 360-385-2900.

Cort Armstrong and Blue Rooster will play at 7 Cedars Casino.

Submitted photo

the First Friday Art Walk Sequim, which runs 5-8 p.m. and includes numerous venues largely in the downtown core. Befitting the impending Sequim lavender revelry, purple is the art walk’s color theme for July. “During the art walk, we encourage folks to stroll down memory lane, dressing up with bold colors and patterns, disco threads, smiley faces, ‘Star Wars’ gear and groovy ’60s flashback tie-dyes,” First Friday Art Walk Sequim founder and Sequim Centennial Committee member Renne Brock-Richmond said. After a night of dancing in the streets, the weekend events continue on the links for the Sequim Centennial Scramble at The Cedars at Dungeness. The twoperson golf scramble with shotgun start begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 6, at the course, 1965 Woodcock Road. The $80 per person entry fee includes lunch and tournament prizes.

More music & lavender in July Beyond the Independence Day holiday, additional Centennial events promise to keep the tunes – and summertime tourists – rolling through Sequim. The Kingston Trio helps kick off Lavender Week with a concert at the James Center for the Performing Arts from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, July 13, that includes show opener and longtime The Brothers Four member Mark Pearson. For complete event and ticket information, visit kingstontriosequim. “Kingston Trio tickets were selling fast in the first few days they went on sale,” Kuznek-Reese said. “The concert should be quite a regional draw.” Another regionally based band with a sizable following, Cort Armstrong and Blue Rooster, will take the stage Saturday, July 20, at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn for the Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley’s first-ever Barn Dance fundraiser. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the MAC Exhibit Center, 175 W. Cedar St. in Sequim. Visit or call 360-683-8110 for details. “We couldn’t ask for a better time than Sequim’s Centennial year to celebrate community spirit and local history with a rip-roaring barn dance,” MAC

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The Kingston Trio helps kick off Lavender Week with a concert on Saturday, July 13. Submitted photo Executive Director DJ Bassett said. “This is how people of all ages came together to have a good time back when area barns numbered in the hundreds and that’s exactly what we’re going to do while also raising Above: A slew of old-time amusements like tug of war, as demonstrated in this 1969 Sequim some funds for the MAC.” Irrigation Festival match, will be part of the Old Fashioned Town Picnic on July 4 at the Water Reuse No summer on the North Olympic Peninsula would be complete Demonstration Park in Sequim. Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Collection without the annual three-day celebration of all things lavender now known as Sequim Lavender Weekend, which falls July 19-21. of Port Angeles will be on hand at these events for people to paint tiles, which Encompassing both the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire, based out of cost $10 each and will be incorporated into a public art display following the Carrie Blake Park, and the Sequim Lavender Festival in downtown, the festivities Centennial year. offer a double dose of family friendly activities that include lavender farm tours, The Sequim Centennial celebration, which commemorates the 100 years since live music and free street fairs. See the city’s incorporation in 1913, concludes on Nov. 2, 2013, with a grand finale and for details. celebration at 7 Cedars Casino. For more Centennial information, including an Those who attend Sequim Lavender Weekend, the Old-Fashioned Town Picnic online events calendar and event contact details, visit the City of Sequim website or Centennial street dance also will have the unique opportunity to leave their at mark on local history by painting a commemorative tile. Aglazing Art Studio

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Savory salmon cakes Recipe by Fred Obee of the Port Townsend Leader

1 egg 1 large onion 4 stalks celery 3 cloves fresh garlic 12 sprigs fresh dill 2 large dollops Spectrum organic mayonnaise

1 half-pound fresh salmon fillet 1 large dollop Annie’s organic yellow mustard (honey mustard is good, too) ½ cup Edward & Sons lightly salted organic bread crumbs ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Place the fresh, filleted salmon in a lightly oiled baking dish and bake at 375 degrees. It will be done in 20 minutes to half an hour. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan. Add chopped onion and saute. Add finely chopped stalks of celery. Turn down the heat and cook until you like how crunchy the celery is. Some people like pretty crunchy. Others prefer the celery soft. When the mix looks good to you, add a few cloves of finely chopped fresh garlic and swish it around for a few minutes until the kitchen smells really good, then remove from heat and empty into a large bowl. Depending on how fast or slow you are at chopping, your baking salmon probably is pretty close to being done by now.

Check it out. If it flakes easily, is a consistent color and looks dry, remove from the oven and add, minus the skin and bones, to your onions and celery. Use a fork to break the salmon into tiny pieces that will mix easily. Add mayonnaise, mustard, Parmigiano-Reggiano, bread crumbs and egg. Mix it all up. The final result should be moist but not too wet, a consistency that holds together well when pressed into cakes. If it feels too wet, add more bread crumbs. Press into cakes dredged in bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and add cakes when hot. Cook on medium heat until cakes are crusty and brown. I highly recommend making a big batch. Frying up a few cakes from the already prepared mixture is a super quick, easy and delicious dinner on day two. A lot of salmon cake recipes call for canned salmon, but I prefer a fresh fillet. And make sure you use wild, not farmed, salmon. Here on the peninsula, we have fresh, wild fish in abundance. There’s absolutely no reason to eat anything else. I like these served with baked asparagus that is dredged in olive oil before it goes in the oven. Add a nice local wine and it’s a meal fit for just about anybody. Here’s a map of local wineries: Find one close to you or look for their products in local stores.

Here on the Olympic Peninsula we are blessed with lots of great seafood – salmon, crab, shellfish, halibut. It’s all around us in profusion. One great way to make fresh fish or crab go further is to mix with breadcrumbs and seasoning and fry them until they are golden brown and crunchy. It’s a no fail way to go. You don’t have to measure carefully, you can pretty much use whatever you have in the fridge and there are endless variations you can try. At our house, we love salmon cakes. This recipe is how we fix them, but feel free to experiment. I suggest certain brands here, but you can use the ones you like, just remember that fresh, high quality ingredients make for tastier meals. Make a bunch at once. This mixture seems to get even better after a day in the fridge. Makes 8 servings PER SERVING: 127 CAL. 9.7 G PROTEIN 6.2 G FAT (1.1 G SAT.) 8.0 G CARB (1.1 G FIBER) 224.5 MG SODIUM 43.8 MG CHOLESTEROL

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ART on the peninsula ART WALKS ■ Sequim Art Walk 5-8 p.m. first Friday ■ Port Townsend Art Walk 5:30-8 p.m. first Saturday ■ Port Angeles Art Walk 5-8 p.m. second Saturday

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PORT ANGELES GALLERIES ■ Port Angeles Fine Arts Center & Webster’s Woods 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. 360-457-3532 ■ Landings Art Gallery 115 Railroad Ave. 360-452-2604 ■ Harbor Art 122 E. Railroad Ave. 415-990-0457 ■ Studio Bob 118-1/2 E. Front St. 415-990-0457 ■ The Long Gallery/Jack Gunter Gallery 115 Railroad Ave. (upstairs)

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SEQUIM GALLERIES ■ Blue Whole Gallery 129 W. Washington St. 360-681-6033 ■ LARC Gallery 166 E. Bell St. 360-460-9874 ■ Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley 175 W. Cedar St. 360-683-8110

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As an artist myself, and the current president of Sequim Arts, a visual arts organization of about 132 members, I have seen and participated in many events and changes in the art community of the North Olympic Peninsula since I arrived here in 1998. Sometimes, I cannot believe how much it has grown. I came here like so many others, lured by the visual beauty of the surroundings, the mild weather, the small-town feel and clean air. As a newcomer to the area with a background in art, imagine how delighted I was to discover the wide scope of interest and support for art in whatever form throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. I remember being surprised and delighted to see more than 50 people at the first Sequim Arts meeting I attended. That was 15 years ago, and to this day, I am still meeting more and more artists who have moved to this area. The North Olympic Peninsula is home to artists in an ever-growing variety of disciplines, from painters working in oil, watercolor and acrylics, to wood carvers, metal artists, print makers, potters, jewelers, sculptors, fiber artists — and the list goes on. Many of these disciplines have formed their own focus groups which meet to work, exchange ideas and offer mutual support on a regular basis. Clallam and Jefferson counties also are home to larger, umbrella groups such as Sequim Arts and Northwind Arts Alliance, that meet monthly to provide information, support and community

By Linda Stadtmiller and Noel Leone education; sponsor art events and studio tours; and offer camaraderie for artists and art supporters alike. Another benefit to living on the peninsula is the small-town atmosphere. The communities of Sequim, Port Angeles and Port Townsend offer so many different ways to get involved. Artists, from beginners to pros, can find their comfort zone, be it as a member, volunteer or visitor in a large organization or getting together with a small, informal group of like-minded people. Art friends are easy to make here and often go out for an inspirational day of plein air painting, photography or the like, to one of the peninsula’s scenic spots, such as Salt Creek, Lake Crescent or LaPush. In addition, some groups meet to use specialized equipment and tools or work in shared studio space. We are very fortunate to have access to so many gifted artists in the area who

generously share their expertise and talent by giving classes, workshops and demonstrations throughout the year. The aura created by the visual “eye-candy” of snowcapped mountains, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the farms with their wonderful barns and animals seems to breed creativity. I have friends who, prior to moving here, had never touched a brush to canvas or expressed themselves artistically in other ways. Now, they are making artwork they love and selling the art they create! There is a long tradition of respect for the environment and self-expression in these parts. As an art history major, I have fallen in love with the Jamestown S’Klallam and Makah tribal art on the peninsula. I believe that we, as contemporary artists, feel our spirit of creativity awakened by the same energy Native American tribal artists have responded to for thousands of years. It is quiet here and because it is so peaceful, we can hear the voices of the water, the trees, the animals and sea creatures. If we listen, even the rocks and the clouds are speaking. Places to visit to see traditional Native American artwork are at the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay, the Northwest Native Expressions Art Gallery and nearby totem pole carving shed at the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center in Blyn. I love frequenting the local galleries to see what my fellow artists are doing. I visit not only to find inspiration, but to buy one-of-a kind gifts for special people, including a few pieces for myself that “talked to me” and I that have to own. Local

weekends and most weekdays. All studio tours and visits offer you the chance to get up close and personal with the artists and ask questions. In the studios you can appreciate the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into the process of creating. This is a very different art experience than seeing finished pieces on gallery walls. You can visit an organization like Sequim Arts that has 10 demonstrations and



Pam Dick chats with visitors at the Sequim Arts Juried Show about her artwork. Photo by Noel Leone. programs a year, which also are free and open to the public. This is yet another way to interact with local artists. For information on these programs, go to Although galleries are traditional sites for the display and sale of artwork, they are not the only venues on the peninsula. Many of our businesses, coffee shops, restaurants and even our public libraries display artwork from local artists, which

The visual arts are everywhere. galleries prices for high quality, one-of-a-kind artworks are quite reasonable, which means you can own a wonderful, original piece of art for the price of a print in the big city. If you like to watch artists at work, there are two must-do studio tours here on the North Olympic Peninsula. The 2013 Sequim Arts Studio Tour is held in conjunction with the Sequim Lavender Weekend from July 19 to 21. At least 18 studios will be open with 32 artists demonstrating how and where they work. Information for this tour is available at Last year’s Port Townsend Studio Tour showcased 37 artists with studios open to the public. This year’s tour will be held Aug. 24-25. More information is available at Both tours are free. Another location where you can watch eight artists at work in their storefront studio environment is the Landing Mall in Port Angeles. It is open to the public

is often for sale. I am so excited to be a part of this growing art community. Even though living here has personally given me inspiration and a chance to grow as an artist and art lover, my greatest satisfaction is encouraging others to bloom as artists and seeing how proud they are when they enter their first show. Creativity is in the air on the North Olympic Peninsula. Take a deep breath, and jump in and be creative.

Summer 2013 LOP 37



Then: Former railroad crossing on South Fifth Avenue, looking east. Harriet Fish Collection, Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim- Dungeness Valley

The Grain Train


emnants of the railroad line that once cut a distinctive swath across Sequim began to vanish with the end of local rail service in 1986. While the trains are gone, Sequim’s only skyscraper – the old Clallam Co-operative granary – that once towered above the tracks has stood tall since its construction in the mid-1940s. With a reported storage capacity of up to 640 tons of grain and seeds, the grain elevator remained in operation until the late 1970s. The structure was remodeled and has been home to the Mexican restaurant El Cazador since the early 1980s and also now serves the area as a multi-purpose communications tower.

Now: No traces of the tracks remain. Photo by Reneé Mizar, Museum & Arts Center in the SequimDungeness Valley

Welcome to a mill town P

Historic photo courtesy of the Jefferson County Historical Society Today’s photo by Fred Obee

38 LOP Summer 2013

ort Townsend always has encouraged visitors and since the late 1950s it has maintained a large welcome sign outside of town. Originally established with the help of paper mill owner Crown Zellerbach, the sign ushered visitors in to “picturesque” Port Townsend. The proud Crown Zellerbach logo finial and the vertical lettering on the posts lets you know who paid for the sign, and that Port Townsend is, first and foremost, a mill town. Even the products the mill turns out, grocery bags, for example, are detailed on the post on the right. Fast forward more than 50 years and you see the changing focus. A Victorian, script logo replaces the block letters of old and Port Townsend moves from “picturesque” to being “Washington’s Victorian Seaport and Art Community,” a firm nod toward encouraging tourism and historical preservation. Although Crown Zellerbach is long gone, the mill remains under the ownership of the Port Townsend Paper Company. The sign still acknowledges the mill’s contributions by displaying Port Townsend Paper company’s logo.


Port Angeles • Sequim Port Townsend • Discovery Bay Kingston • Edmonds • Greyhound Amtrak • Downtown Seattle Sea Tac Airport • Seattle Hospitals Olympic Bus Lines is an independent agent of Greyhound. You can now purchase your Greyhound tickets locally at your only nationwide reservation location on the Olympic Peninsula. • Free WiFi on board • Providing complimentary home-made chocolate chip cookies from “Cockadoodle Doughnuts” in Port Angeles.

Port Angeles/Sequim

(360) 417-0700

Late night or early morning flight? Ask us about special hotel rates!

Outside the area toll free

(800) 457-4492

Summer 2013 LOP 39

Graysmarsh Farm

You Pick or We Pick Berries and Lavender


JUNE-SEPTEMBER FRESH LAVENDER, BUDS, OIL & PLANTS 6187 Woodcock Road, Sequim • 360-683-5563 •

Living on the Peninsula  

Summer 2013

Living on the Peninsula  

Summer 2013