Brackenwood Gallery

A gallery on Whidbey Island, WA representing the very best in fine arts and crafts from the pacific northwest.

Kevin Horan: Photographer's eye

Kevin's series: CHATTEL will be on display in the gallery through the month of September. Some words from Kevin...

Lizzie No. 1, photograph, 13 x 17

If the photographer’s ungulate neighbors came to the studio and asked to have their portraits made, this is what would happen.

Stanwood No. 1, photograph, 13 x 17

Treated as portrait subjects, they seem to have personalities. Perhaps they do, and the photograph allows us to see them. Or perhaps the language of the photo cues us to generate the impression of a personage. One wonders if that interplay is any different here than it is in pictures of humans.

Sydney, photograph, 13 x 17

This is a work about portraiture: what it does and how it works. These pictures insist upon active engagement of our own feelings about the souls within other beings, human or otherwise, and how visible they are from the outside.

Opie, photograph, 13 x 17

Craig Kosak

We are blessed to have a cornucopia of amazing artists call Whidbey Island home. Count nationally recognized painter Craig Kosak in that number. At home in several galleries in the North and Southwest, Craig's work is frequently published in national periodicals (look for a new Article in Southwest Art Magazine in August!)

It's been about three years since he settled into his home and studio on five rural acres near Langley, and now Brackenwood is proud to give Craig's work a home here on the island as his "hometown" gallery.

Lord Tristan, oil, 46 x46

Lord Tristan, oil, 46 x46

While he has long been fond of animals that frequent the desert Southwest, he finds inspiration in the wildlife that frequents his home here on Whidbey.

You can see the colors of the island creep into his work; greys, blues and greens. Lord Tristan captures the moment a buck ran wild in his rhododendrons, tangling blossoms in his antlers. Grace and Mercury detail the encounter between a hummingbird and a red-tail hawk that lives on Craig's property.

Grace and Mercury, oil, 60 x40

Grace and Mercury, oil, 60 x40

In 2013, Craig was interviewed by the Museum of the Southwest in a fascinating podcast titled Myths and Legends. During the interview he covers his approach to painting, his interests and influences, and offers insight only an artist can.

Am I Overthinking it? Rene Flynn-Federspiel

Rene Flynn-Federspiel sends this note along about her recent work for our New Directions show:

Am I Overthinking it?

Paying Homage to Corot

Paying Homage to Corot

My preparation for the "New Directions" show began in 2014 with lots of looking at other artist's work.  I began with Francis Bacon then Lucian Freud, John Singer Sargent, Morandi, contemporary painters Alex Kanevsky, Kenny Harris, Israel Hershberg, Yael Scalia, then back to J.B. Camille Corot.  They have in common superior draftsmanship, a way of conveying emotion or causing an emotional reaction in me that I needed to inject into my own work.  As Cezanne said, "A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art."  I wanted to find my own visual language to grow my images in a new direction that was an honest progression or honest leap.  I wanted to get a certain feeling of both light and space along with a rawness in my way of handling the paint. Nothing "precious".  Using my photo references from 17 trips to Europe, I consulted the image I was creating on canvas to lead me into finding the most powerful way to say what I need to say.  I made up shapes, made up colors, left more areas unclear or understated to act in a supporting role.  I changed my palette and built my shadows with a new range of colors, placing one area of color next to another and letting their relationship create the image.  In the Italian light, colors do not brighten in sunlight but lighten and bleed out color; another useful realization.  I have added greens to my palette, working to see and block in shapes in my landscapes

From the Belevedere

From the Belevedere

Physically, I am now painting looser and painting from the shoulder or elbow instead of knuckles or wrist.  Also, I am now standing further back from my easel and using larger brushes or a palette knife, working wet into wet.  

Crenelated Portal

Crenelated Portal

I want my paintings to be beautiful but as Ingres said, "In all beauty there is strangeness," to which I say, celebrate that strangeness.  I find myself in full agreement with one final quote by contemporary painter and colorist, Ken Kewsey, who said, " a songwriter rhyming words that do not really rhyme, we invent color relationships to get at the surprising juxtapositions that are found in nature.  It is a way of staying excited, staying in love and to be honest, maybe one does not exist without the other, and a desire to communicate that, this is what it takes to make art".     

"PIECES OF LIFE" is absolutely that!

This month we are excited and honored to introduce three local younger artists to the gallery! This gallery has always been a place where local artists have been supported and embraced. Many of our artists have shown here for years and now a new generation of artists is starting to call Brackenwood their gallery. Pullets #1, Oil, Laura Hudson

I have to admit, Laura Hudson is not totally new to the gallery because she showed her work here 5 years ago. Laura went off to graduate school in Maryland to get her MFA. This summer Laura returned, got married, and  is now a permanent resident of Whidbey Island. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent her again! Being an island girl of course her new body of work was inspired by her mother Georgia Gerber’s chickens! These larger than life chicks are bright, full of texture and just plain fun to look at! Laura’s style is loose, her color palette is soft and warm and she captures the character of these animals. People who raise chickens will notice the movements and antics of these pullets look very familiar! Brackenwood welcomes Laura’s work with open arms.

Calm, Oil, Carrie Whitney

A full disclosure… I must say it is a special pleasure to welcome my daughter-in-law Carrie Whitney as a new artist at Brackenwood! Before I ever owned a gallery I knew Carrie was an accomplished artist because she presented our family with a wonderful painting of our son when they got married which hangs front and center in our living room. Carrie’s paintings reflect what she feels passionate about, the human figure. As a young mother, she weaves children into her work in a way that is timeless, something we all can relate to. With a few perfectly placed strokes of paint she renders a figure that is instantly recognizable. Her landscapes are equally accessible and filled with color. It’s a joy to see her work in this gallery on many levels!

Out the Window, Oil, Tobias Hall

I have been hearing about another up and coming artist Tobias Hall for a long time. Although not a permanent resident, Tobias has lived here off and on for a few years. He recently brought his work to the gallery and it was immediately obvious Hall is a very talented painter. Tobias has studied with master painter Anthony Ryder in Santa Fe and this summer taught drawing and painting along side artists Tim Stotz and Michelle Tully at Studio Escalier in France. From his time at a chateau in Poitou, Tobias captured the essence of the place in several small works. We have hung them in salon style and as a group they recall little moments, objects and vistas of France. Makes me want to go back there!

Four Ways of Looking at the Sky, Mixed Media, Laura Schmidt

Finally, Brackenwood is unique in that we are home to an amazing array of textile artists and they are also part of this show. Check out Liz Axford’s fabulous silk Compare/Contrast elegant and colorful banners! Laura Schmidt’s wall pieces are very contemporary designs that look like paintings till you look closely and realize they are painted, printed and sewn textiles! Natalie Olsen’s fish is delightful and of course Cheryl Kamera, Carys Ann Hamer, Bergen Rose and Peggy Juve have new one-of-a-kind chic wraps, scarves, hats and garments to tantalize your inner fashionista!!

Silk Jacket, Designed and Printed by Peggy Juve

So come help Brackenwood celebrate these artists and feast your eyes, after all it's November and it’s the month for feasts!





If you are an animal lover or someone who supports local foods, you will enjoy the exhibit this month at Brackenwood Gallery! FARM & TABLE is a lively exhibit featuring some of the distinctive farm animals that abound on this island as well as the abundant food our farms and sea provide.  Got Goats anyone? ... Whattle, Photograph, Kevin Horan


Kevin Horan’s goat portraits are something to behold! Each of these animals has such presence and personality. But as Kevin explains, “…a good portrait is a collaboration between photographer and subject. But how do you collaborate with a goat? A goat you’ve just met?” I don’t know how he did this but the photographs are truly amazing!        Georgia Gerber brought in her Nubian Goat bronze sculpture to top off the goat offerings! My grand daughter loved it and it looks perfect paired with Kevin's Nubian Goat!

Nubian Goat, Bronze, Georgia Gerber


As a shepherd who serves her flock daily, Claudia Pettis knows sheep, which is her subject matter. She also knows painting. Trained as a classical painter, Claudia uses fine ground pigments, Belgium linen and complex glazes to achieve the textural earthy paintings of her flock.




Hey Buds, Oil, Sandy Byers



Her love of animals comes through Sandy Byers’ paintings. The way Sandy depicts her subjects lets you know she has a personal relationship with these critters. Horses deep in conversations, or cow buddies running to the fence to greet her convey the joy she feels when she comes in contact with animals.



Welsummer Rooster, Oil, Barbara Barry



“Holy Cow” by Barbara Barry is a fun and vibrant painting! I live across from Fossek’s farm here in Langley and I can tell you she captured the essence of cow curiosity I see in the cows across the street from me! I am also totally enamored with her Fiber Goat and Perky Rooster paintings as well.



Small, Medium, Large, Oil, Cary Jurriaans

Juxtaposed to the animals is the other part of the equation, the food we harvest and enjoy from our island. Cary Jurriaans, who is known for her elegant still life paintings, shows table offerings of Shigoku oysters, lovely eggs from the Burr Oak farm and bread made from wheat grown on local farms. Her paintings make your mouth water and your heart know the value of eating local.

Also, I would like to welcome Susan Burgers to the gallery. She brought in 3 ephemeral graphite drawings into the gallery. They are already getting acclaim and many positive comments so we are thrilled to have her work grace the gallery walls. Be sure to check her work out when you come in.

Come see this show, it is a winner! Commune with our artists’ during the Artists’ reception from 5-7 PM on Sat. Oct. 4, 2014. Or stop by sometime between no and Oct. 27 to enjoy the show!







Grasses, Monoprint, Francy Blumhagen Brackenwood Gallery is proud to present our Annual Print Show featuring Francy Blumhagen, Buffy Cribbs, Diane Divelbess, Bridget Fischer, Bruce Morrow and Briony Morrow Cribbs. We feel very fortunate to have such a talented group of print artists in this gallery. Monoprints, Monotypes, Collographs and more!

Francy Blumhagen creates Monoprints, One-of-a-Kind prints that are very unique. Francy uses actual plant material to print with and then utilizes color and technique to produce these delicate and lovely pastel prints. Blades of wheat grass, dandylions, snowberry and ferns are the base plants she uses to create these very unusual works of art. Sometimes you see the actual imprint of the plant, other times it is the ghost of the plant.


Karmakat, Print, Buffy Cribbs

Utilizing and enjoying her fabulous new studio, Flicker Feather Press, Buffy Cribb’s produced a variety of prints types for this show. Reaching back into the past, Buffy’s produced some very detailed brown tonal aquatints of old time images from Ireland. On the other hand her Karmacat and Green Man intaglio/monoprints are completely filled with color. Buffy also has two collagraph prints that are simple yet elegant. One is a landscape called “Ox Island” that literally has three lines separating the green fields, gray road and the blue mountains and is oh so effective.


Formal Thought VI-b, Lino Print, Diane Divelbess



Diane Divelbess always comes up with something completely different. Diane has produced a series of lino reduction prints on rice paper with geometric shapes, lines and textures in gray, black and white. She also has a lovely surprise print: the outline of a woman in deep blue on black. You almost don’t know she’s there till you get at just the right angle and voila! she pops out.


DaiTakohachi, Monotype, Bridget Fischer

Bridget Fischer’s work continues to amaze. Bridget’s prints are filled with color and texture and are very painterly. She’s created two stunning waterfall pieces cascading down in blues and white. Another print reminds me of a Georgia O’Keefe painting of buildings in the desert. All Monotypes (one-of-a-kind) Bridget’s work is bold and beautiful!


 Knucklehead, Print, Bruce Morrow


Bruce Morrow’s vibrant wood block print entitled “Loggerheads” has two buffalo head to head under a red and white stripped sky. Bruce’s sense of humor comes through in his art. These images remind me of Americana posters from the past you might see on Antique Road Show! Bruce stays with a western theme with a silk screen of a buffalo on a hill and an etched aquatint print of a horse racing across the plain. These are fabulous images!



Monkey, Hand Tinted Etching, Briony Morrow Cribbs

Briony Morrow Cribbs joined in from Vermont with her astounding etchings! Briony’s animals always have a touch of mystery to them especially when she combines body parts. Etchings are done by scratching thousands of tiny lines, points, dots, squiggles onto a copper plate that is covered with a waxy resist. Then the plate is put into an acid bath that “bites” the design into the surface of the plate. Briony hand tints each of her exquisite etchings. Even if you are not a fan of lizards, Briony’s lizard called” Anolis begs you to reach out and touch it!


Come and see this show! As a client visiting from Berlin remarked, “You really would not see any better art in Berlin, Paris or New York than what is in this gallery!” So True!



Beauty in Brackenwood

As the work comes in for the August show, I am reminded how honored I am to be a part of an art community with such incredibly talented artists! Brackenwood continues the art legacy, which spans 31 years of fabulous Whidbey artists. Sky, Oil,  Pete Jordan


Painters Pete Jordan and Ginny O’Neill have out done themselves for this show! If you are looking for a painting that captures the essence of Whidbey or the Northwest, Brackenwood is the place to look. From majestic scenes of Double Bluff to the rocky crags of the rugged Cascades this group of paintings tug at the very heart of what we all love about living in the Northwest. I can genuinely say their paintings are exceptional!



Satisfied, Watercolor, Ginny O'Neill

As I prepare to hang these beautiful paintings, I can’t help having the desire to go take a walk on Double Bluff, or go up to the mountains for a hike, or reach out and pet the amazing doggies that Ginny has painted. This work reminds me that we live in an amazing place and it’s a special talent being able to evoke that place so clearly on canvas.

Family, Bronze, Jeff Day


Our other featured artist is sculptor Jeff Day. For those of you not familiar with Day’s work suffice it to say he is one of the Northwest’s art icons. Jeff’s career as an artist spans 60 years! As a young man, mentors such as Bill Cumming, the youngest member of the Northwest School, had a lasting effect on Day’s work. As a painter, Cummings captured the common man, slices of life, in minimal detail. Jeff’s iconic hats are a nod to his friend Cumming. These sculptures are forms that embody movement, capturing life in urban settings, men and women going about their business. Day catches their movement whether stepping off the curb or a man and his walking stick hoofing it on the cobbles of Istanbul, or a family enjoying an intimate moment together in Nanjing. Jeff’s experiences living in Turkey and China for the last 10 years, gave him a world perspective, his multiethnic figures remind us that no matter where you live, people are people just living their lives.

Fiber Art, Pastel, Sandy Byers


Finally, I wanted to let people know Brackenwood is welcoming a new artist to the gallery, Sandy Byers. Primarily a pastel artist, Byers has received numerous awards in juried shows and major pastel publications. Sandy has a passion for animals, which comes out in the heartfelt and expressive portraits she paints. Many of Byers' landscape and seascape paintings include scenes from her local area on Whidbey Island and the Northwest. Although we currently are showing Sandy's pastel paintings, she's also an accomplished oil painter.


Hope you can make it to the Artists' Reception for this show on Sat. Aug. 2 from 5-7 PM. Its a beauty!

Brackenwood Has Some Fabulous New Artists!

Brackenwood has the distinct pleasure of welcoming three new very accomplished artists to our gallery! Jewelry Designers Sandrajean Wainwright and Tessa Fleming and Textile artist Peggy Juve! Both Sandrajean and Peggy have had their own retail shops in Langley, Sandrajean’s shop was called The Wayward Son and Peggy Juve’s shop was called Eddies. These two amazing artists have elected to foregoe retail and focus on what they love, designing and producing their own work! Tessa Fleming was one of Sandrajean’s featured jewelers for 20 years. Elephant Pendant, Sandrajean Wainwright

Sandrajean Wainwright is really an institution in the jewelry world and in Langley. Inspired by the stones she finds on her journeys in various places in the world and her passion for the antique Sandrajean designs distinctive one of a kind treasurers. Wainwright's jewelry is revered by her clients and many have asked about her since she retired from retail. Clients can now find Sandrajean's jewelry here at Brackenwood and she continues to enjoy working with clients to create custom jewelry as well! Clients can make an appointment with her to meet in the gallery for consultations. Brackenwood Gallery is truly honored to have Sandrajean’s work in our gallery and we look forward to having her clients of many years visit us to see her newest creations! Many of Sandrajean's precious stone pieces, such as the one here, have been carved or engraved by world renown carver Hans-Ulrich Pauly.

Sculpturettes, Bronze, Tessa Fleming


If you visited the Wayward Son in the past, you will remember Tessa Fleming’s jewelry. As I’ve gotten to know Tessa its clear she absolutely loves creating. Fleming names her pieces, and they each hold a special place in her heart. Tessa also makes what she calls “Sculptureettes”! They are adorable creations with names like: Buddha Bunny or Coquette. Her trademark is whimsy - you can’t help but smile and enjoy the fun her jewelry and sculptures inspire!

Peggy Juve, Studio Designs

Peggy Juve has worn many artistic hats in her life: painter of art glass, oil painter, clothing designer and business owner. Most recently Peggy has been designing one-of-a-kind wearables as a digital textile artist. Her technique is fascinating and incorporates many of her talents. Peggy produces her newest creations using “Ana,” her garment printer. In a recent interview by Okan Arts Blogger Patricia Belyea Peggy explained, “Digital-to-garment printers are typically used for applying graphics to t-shirts. I stretch my machine’s capabilities, applying my designs to up-cycled clothing and luxury fabrics.” Peggy prints on cotton, silk, wool and angora. Juve repurposes cotton, wool, rayon, cashmere and wool sweaters embellishing them with artwork, appliqués, buttons and other lovely touches. Peggy currently is showing a variety of her scarves, hats and garments in the gallery.



Silent Watcher Face, Lloyd Whannell  

Today Brackenwood Gallery has been transformed into a beautiful sculpture garden complete with light-hearted paintings adorning the walls!   Lloyd Whannell’s “Silent Watcher” greets you as you stroll through the door.

"Embrace", Bronze, Sharon Spencer


Looking in the windows Sharon Spencer’s lovely “Embrace” awaits you. I asked Sharon the other day what inspired her to create such a moving piece, she handed me a poem…

“The snow falls in the far field where

Travelers spend the night.

I ask you, crane, to warm my child

In your wings.” Japanese Anonymous

Bobcat, Clay, Georgia Gerber



We have new work from Georgia Gerber in the other window, a bobcat with perky ears and an amusing new “Turtle with Rabbit” who is leaping over him. We always wondered how that Hare

won the race…


Sue Taves’ beautiful black granite wave series is majestic nestled among the flowers.

Wave Column, Black Granite, Sue Taves

Sue carved a fantastic piece of limestone to look like garden vines with a sensuous green and white limestone bird-bath atop. It’s just waiting for the birds!

Lunar Fragment, Steel, Dan Freeman


I can picture Dan Freeman’s rusty steel sculptures peeking out among a flock of spiky crocosmia or contrasting with some fluffy green foliage in a garden. Dan’s addition of an occasional rock adds a bit of whimsy to his work!



Bronze Vase, Jim Patereau


Check out Jim Patereau's vases, adorned with flowers from Vases Wild! His work is so great and fits in everywhere. Often Jim's work has an Asian influence and work extremely well for Ikibana arrangements.

Arabesque, Travertine, Ivan Nieagus



Ivan’s Travertine “Arabesque” with undulating pink, black and white veins, conjures up the look and feel of a garden in the Mediterranean. The fan shape, so smooth, adds to the stone’s nature.



Among all these fabulous sculptures, prominent on the walls, are

Red Planes, Oil, Jason Waskey

Jason Waskey’s brilliant paintings. A client came in this morning and commented, “You know what I love? Jason Waskey’s paintings! He’s like a contemporary Vermeer!” I have to agree. Jason’s work is fun, new and expertly painted. His themes of repetition and pattern weave in and out of the sculptures creating such a lovely ambiance in the gallery.


We feel very honored to represent these talented artists who are mostly from Whidbey Island (Jason’s a Seattleite but we are pretty confident that at someday he will be a Whidbeyite as well). Come in and enjoy the show, it is one of the best this year!



Brackenwood Gallery   |   302 First Street   |   Langley, WA   |   98260   |   360-221-2978   |


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