Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Artists of Vashon Island

One of the ferries to Vashon Island.

Last month Vinod and I took a weekend trip to Vashon Island (twenty minutes from Seattle by ferry) to experience the bi-annual Vashon Island Art Studio Tours. Creative people are well represented among the island's population of 11,000. In addition to stores and galleries that carry artwork by Vashon Island artists, the island also has its own art association, movie theater and community theater.

A view of Puget Sound from Point Robinson.

Point Robinson Lighthouse

We stayed in a little cottage that sits on peaceful garden grounds at a B&B called The Artist's Studio Loft. The property is nestled between art studios, homes, and farmlands dotted with unoccupied vegetable stands that operate on the honor system.

On the afternoon we arrived we watched birds waddle after a horse, hoping to find the bugs she stirred up as she grazed in the pasture next door. In the evenings we listened to the pleasant chirping of frogs.

Our weekend cottage.

We made it to just over half of the twenty art studios on the list. We would have liked to see them all, but for us two days wasn't enough. We spent too much time chatting with the artists and admiring their work (and their beautiful homes and gardens). We were impressed by the talent and craftsmanship possessed by every artist we visited during our tour. The thought of buying a piece from each one was very tempting, but unfortunately, being artists ourselves, we couldn't afford to. 

How would you like a view like this from your yard?

Or this?
One of Gunter Reimnitz's ravens guards Gordon R. Barnett's balcony.

We visited the following artists and studios:
Empty Nest Studio
Brian Benno Blown Glass
Liz Lewis Pottery
Brian Fisher Studio
Penny Grist and Larry Muir
Reimnitz Studio
Mary Hosick Pottery
Pam Ingalls
Kristen Reitz-Green
GRB Bells

I encourage you to check out their websites and the Vashon Island Art Studio Tour website to learn more about these artists as well as those we did not have the opportunity to meet this time around.

One of Gordon R. Barnett's beautiful bell designs, the Crocus Bell.

Gordon R. Barnett's work space.

We were envious of many artists' beautiful work spaces. I hope to someday have a special studio to work in rather than a disorganized bedroom awkwardly retrofitted for the purpose, crammed with flat files and tabourets. We would have liked to take more pictures, but it was hard to avoid the feeling that we were intruding in the artists' intimate studio spaces.

It was one of the more relaxing and inspirational little vacations in recent memory. We have to go baaaaaack (for the winter tour)!

Edited to fix the link to Pam Ingalls's website, which was previously not working.

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