Denis Benjamin came late to watercolor painting. He was inspired by a class given by Sasha Viazmensky, the talented botanical artist from St. Petersburg, Russia. He has also received instruction at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle. Denis focuses on botanical and mycological (mushrooms) subjects, as both are areas in which he has been interested in for many years. He loves the translucency and subtlety that watercolors bring to these paintings. His preference is to paint from living subjects, a challenge as both flowers and mushrooms change so rapidly once in the studio.
A lifetime interest in art has led Virginia to experiment with several mediums including pastel, ink and pencil. Her favorites are still watercolor and oil painting. She enjoys the physical depth and ability to move oil paint around and feels the textural possibilities as well as the strong colors seem to help to interpret certain subjects very well. Light, mood, and color speak to Virginia frequently as she travels and is occupied in the various matters of her life. She feels painting can be meditative or exciting and mimics the experience of life itself.
Lyn has been writing all her life. In school, many teachers would tell her “If you don’t become a writer someday, I’ll be very disappointed.” Writing was always the way Lyn made sense of the world. It was and is her preferred way of communicating with others—a way to organize the jumbled thoughts in her mind and communicate those thoughts coherently. (Speaking was always much more difficult.) Working in counseling for many years, Lyn developed an appreciation for the stories of everyday life and people—the experiences that are at once unique to the individual yet common to us all. Through the years, she was a freelance writer. She is an award-winning writer and has been published in The Dallas Morning News, The Spokesman Review, The Cascades Mountain Echo, the Northern Kittitas County Tribune (where she was the editor for two years)—as well as numerous specialty publications and magazines. To encourage other writers and receive inspiration herself, Lyn facilitates a writer’s group at the Carpenter House Art Gallery and Museum called The Write Stuff, which meets on the last Friday of every month.
Bonnie works in watercolor, oils, photography and pastels in a realistic modality. Often, Bonnie mixes nature with common ordinary objects and scenes. She uses strong colors in the work and at times is whimsical in her subject matter. Bonnie took watercolor classes in North Bend and with Graham Flatt at the Carpenter House Museum and Gallery. She has shown at the Last Resort, Roslyn City Hall, and the Sterling Savings and Wells Fargo Banks. She shows regularly at the Carpenter House Museum and Gallery.
Betty considers her style between realism and impressionism. She paints a variety of subjects in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Betty says she enjoys being lost in the process of creativity. She has studied with many artists and has attended various workshops. Betty has displayed in the First Friday Art Walk in Ellensburg, the Cle Elum Family Clinic, and Bassett’s Station in Sierra City, California.
Charlene enjoys photographing nature and all outdoor scenes and then transferring these shots into fun frames and cards. Retiring from over 30 years of administrative office work, she takes great pleasure in organizing the behind-the-scenes functions for the High Country Artists, such as the Art Walks in Roslyn for 2006 and 2007, and creating the HCA brochures and calendars. She has recently been seen on the local TV channel 40 guiding the host, Art Colts, through the Carpenter House Museum & Art Gallery. Her photography has been displayed at Lefties in Roslyn, Edward Jones in Ellensburg, and Mama Vallone’s in Cle Elum.
Photo Gallery: Gerald Kauzlarich Oil Paintings
Gerald enjoys using his oils to create surrealistic art. A self taught artist from Roslyn, he states “it is what you don’t see in the picture that is important.” Don Brontsema, one of his art coaches, encouraged Gerald to paint what was inside; his thoughts, emotions, and dreams. Gerald is a gifted poet as well as oil painter. He often writes a poem that goes along with the visual work to make a much larger statement. His works have been displayed at Lefties in Roslyn, the Cle Elum Family Medical Center, and Edward Jones office in Ellensburg, and his multi-media painting “A Bad Day” was accepted into the 51st Annual Central Washington Artists Exhibition at the Larson Gallery.
A Northwest artist, Sherry Pepke was raised in West Seattle and attended Burnley School of Art. She has sketched and painted all her life. She raised her family in Bellevue and graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in Art Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Later she received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. Sherry has taught 24 years, nine of which were in Nicaragua. She now makes her home in Cle Elum, Washington.
The paintings of Jim Schleis have won him recognition for his realistic reproductions and attention to detail of photographs he has taken of his subject matter. He likes to include a lot of texture in his paintings whenever possible. Although his first painting was a watercolor painted in 1957 while studying under Walter Colton in Wisconsin, he now exclusively paints with acrylic media. Unless he’s doing a commission, Jim only paints subjects he has personally seen and photographs, most often landscapes or tourist subjects while traveling. His subjects are in the United States, England, Germany and Holland. After his family was grown and gone, he again took up painting and enrolled at Arts Umbrella art school in Bothell, Washington and has studied under Liana Bennett ever since. He has participated in many workshops along the way. Jim has shown his work at the Bothell Arts Fair and at the Carpenter House Gallery in Cle Elum and at various other venues in Kittitas, King and Snohomish counties. (The painting above left is the Cle Elum river from the I-90 bridge.)
Ginger’s paintings are about how shapes, textures, values and composition join with imagination to speak of the many flavors of life. Her creativity goes in many directions. An ardent member of HCA’s Fresh Air Friday’s outdoor painting group, she paints the natural world as she sees it. Her enjoyment of people leads her to portraits. A wealth of life experiences can inspire a painting, whether memories, poetry or something seen. “These paintings just seem to paint themselves.” All facets of creativity call to her. She is always exploring new ways of doing, new ways of seeing, and new ways of thinking. Ginger is a member of `The Write Stuff’, HCA’s writers group, and teaches beginning art for all ages.
Click here to see Photo Gallery of Karen Watland’s Paintings
To express the feeling of the moment, Karen Watland will paint with most any medium. Using not only her acquired knowledge and experimentation with the chosen medium, but also the internal source within her that flows out onto the canvas. She claims this is her fascination with art, to explore the inner workings of the imagination which can be eternal.
Kathy’s realistic style of painting allows her complete control of her subject matter, whether she’s painting with oils or pastels. She uses rich and vibrant color to capture the light and moment of each subject–be it bird, barn or landscape. Kathy has studied with Jeannie Johnson of Ellensburg and also has attended workshops offered by Robert Krogle, Ned Mueller, Diane McClary and Cheryl Cosmer, to name a few. Three of Kathy’s barn paintings have been shown in juried shows at the Clymer Gallery in Ellensburg. She shows at the Carpenter House Gallery and numerous venues around Kittitas County.