Made Right on Whidbey: Look no farther than Coupeville
By REBECCA OLSON
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
December 15, 2011 · Updated 8:02 AM
Give the gift of a slice of Whidbey Island with locally made art found at the “Made Right on Whidbey Art Show,” to be held at the Coupeville Recreation Hall Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17 and 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
With a wide variety of fine arts, from jewelry to sculpture to photography, Whidbey Island comes to life in the works of 11 Central Whidbey artists.
“It’s essentially a Christmas season art show with the intention of introducing a couple of artists whose work is not widely known and for artists to roll out new things,” said artist Denis Hill.
This is meant to be a more sophisticated, not-your-average-art-show featuring experienced artists with work in galleries around the country as well as some artists people haven’t seen before.
“There’s a range of art that is suitable for gifts but is also suitable for collectors and home decor,” Hill said, adding that there’s “a nice mix of media. We have glass, photography, watercolor, metal art, a couple of fiber artists, we have jewelry.”
A special piece of Whidbey Island can be found in artist Linnane Armstrong’s lino block prints. From a black and white rendition of Ebey’s Landing to a colorful triptych of trees reminiscent of Japanese wood block prints, Armstrong will show her nature-inspired work at the show.
Her newest piece, “Christmas in Coupeville,” is sure to delight with its depiction of colorful lights on the Oak Harbor Yacht Club boats parading across Penn Cove the night of the Greening of Coupeville celebration.
To make each work of art, Armstrong carves a mirror image of the scene into a block, a process that takes countless hours of sketching at the scene and carving away the parts of the scene that Armstrong doesn’t want to print onto paper.
She prints everything at her studio so each work is considered an original and each piece is a little different from the last.
“That’s kind of part of the charm of handmade prints,” Armstrong said, adding that it brings viewers that much closer to the artist.
Armstrong will show her monotone prints as well as hand-colored prints. She prints many of her images on white paper then on black paper to show the contrast and give the idea of the scene at night and during the day.
Armstrong grew up in Coupeville and started learning block printing when she was 12. She graduated from Coupeville High School in 2000 then earned her bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Portland, a time when she expanded her interests to work on book binding and illumination. Afterward, she moved back to Whidbey Island and returned to nature scenes.
“It is really what inspires me -- the natural beauty of this place,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong will also bring a handmade book to the show and demonstrate her lino block printing process. Her mother, Mary Ellen O’Connor, a silk painter and silversmith, is also featured in the show.
Rather than section the artists into booths, the show will have a “community feeling where one flows into the next,” Armstrong said.
“It’ll be a nice place to go, out of the cold, if you’re walking around Coupeville,” Armstrong said.
This is the first annual “Made Right on Whidbey” show but some of the artists involved participated in a show the same weekend for the past three or four years, Hill said. Hill will offer his photography at the show.
“It’s an opportunity for artists to show something different or new,” Hill said. He’ll reveal new scenes and new presentations of old work.
“I have a couple of new things up my sleeve that I’ll roll out at this. Even people familiar with my work will see new works and new formats,” Hill said.
Katrina Hude will have her small-scale sculpture and blown glass at the show.
“It’s kind of a community building thing that various artists get together and put the holidays in perspective with locally made art,” Hude said.
“Some of these other people are really fresh faces and it’ll be a great opportunity to see what other creative people on Whidbey Island are doing,” Hill said.
Shoppers can take part in the Red Ticket promotion coming up Sunday, Dec. 18. Every $20 purchase made in Coupeville is good for one ticket for a drawing at the Island County Museum Dec. 18. The winner will receive $1,000.
For information about the show, visit www.MadeRightOnWhidbey.com.
Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Rebecca Olson at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5052.