Brackenwood Gallery

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

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The Pace of Nature

Brackenwood Gallery is thrilled to welcome Jennifer Phillips as our featured artist for October! Although Jennifer has had small works in the gallery this is the first time we have had the opportunity to showcase her larger work. Help us welcome Jennifer to the gallery by coming to the Artist’s Reception Sat. Oct. 6 from 5-7. Phillips paints with oils on everything from large archival wood panels to tiny scrabble tiles.

Jennifer’s large paintings have created an atmosphere in the gallery of quiet and contemplative nature. Not an exact duplicate of nature but the sensation of being in the woods; what the eye catches as it scans the area. Very dreamlike, somewhat blurry imagery of branches and lovely landscapes draw you forward and into the natural world.

Jennifer’s color pallet captured the look and feel of fall. From a simple branch reaching out into space to more abstract landscape images, the gallery has come alive with autumnal beauty. Serene is the word that comes to mind for this show. Jennifer named the show, The Pace of Nature, an apropos name in that you want to slow down and appreciate this beautiful work.


Jennifer’s process is interesting as well. She typically uses oil with glazing techniques as her main medium. Using brushes she adds visual texture and ends with a thicker alla prima layer. In some cases she uses wax to finish a piece instead of varnish giving the work a very soft and ephemeral appearance.



Although the show is primarily about Jennifer’s larger work, we have several smaller pieces as well. From Jennifer’s scrabble tile jewelry, which are tiny works of art,

to her framed miniature landscapes painted on canvas the variety of work large and small is delightful!


Even though Jennifer’s first child was born this year she was willing and able to produce a fabulous body of work for this show. We are truly honored!


Of course you think of birds when you see the byline Flights of Fancy and sure enough you will find some amazing and beautiful images of birds in this show! However, as artists Janie Cribbs and Sara Saltee would have it, there is also a bit of whimsy and imagination. Janie is known for her birds and her use of gorgeous acrylic color and often includes gold granulation. These paintings have the most amazing backgrounds and patterns infused with vintage designs.

Sara Saltee is back with her delightful and thoughtful assemblage pieces. She collects the most amazing tiny treasures and painstakingly puts them together into assemblages that make you stop, stare and really look closely. Each time you peer into these tiny worlds you are rewarded with a new little seed of wisdom or a smile because you can't believe what she has done with a teeny tiny chicken!

Be sure to see this unique and lovely treat for the eyes and mind. Come to the opening on April 7 from 5-7 and meet the artists or stop by before April 30.

"SUN" Show in March

Living in the northwest, we all long for the return of the sun at this time of year. Brackenwood artists can offer you some sunny views and warm beauty in the show opening this Sat. March 3, 2012. If you love paintings we have some lovely offerings from some of our best painters.

Sunset #1, oil, Pete Jordan

You will enjoy seeing Joanie Govedare's new glowing pots in her characteristic incised and painted pottery. The photographic art from Kim Tinuviel and Rich Frishman will transport you to the beauty of the natural world when the sun shines!

Death Valley Dawn, Photography, Rich Frishman

Come enjoy some sunshine and join us for the Artists' Reception from 5-7 PM.


Have you ever pondered a question for a whole year? This year Sharon Shoemaker, Michel Tsouris and Robbie Cribbs delved into the question What is Art? and are ready to present their ideas in a new show at Brackenwood Gallery. The show opens Oct. 1 with an artists' reception from 5-7 pm. On exhibit will be original art, videos produced by each artist, books by each artist and the ever present question for all to answer and think about, What Is Art? This image by Sharon Shoemaker was produced in the camera but photographing driftwood, then turning the camera. Her amazing kaleidoscopic images are a delight to see.

We hope that viewers will think about this question and come up with their own answers. You might even want to share them with us! As the world gets smaller and smaller and we all have more varied experiences, the question takes on new significance. These artists wrestled with the question by meeting regularly to share ideas and worked hard at creating what they think is art throughout the year. In the end, they are asking you the viewers, what do you think is art?  Hope you can come and join in the conversation.

The exhibit continues through October. 31, 2011


What a beautiful show! "These artists are not afraid of color!" remarked one person as they stepped inside the gallery and began scanning the work of our featured artists Anne Belov and Cheryl Kamera. The textures, colors and patterns blend together to create an exhibit of art that is truly sensual. Anne Belov has been painting for 35 years. Her skill and expertise with various mediums really are on display in this show. This piece for instance called, "Crossing the Line" took many long hours just to draw out the patterns on the fabric, not to mention the hours of painstakingly painting the lines, making sure they show depth and then reflect off the vase. The roses are lush and the birds eye view of them on the background of swirling fabric that actually looks shiny, is spectacular!

Cheryl Kamera's textile art stands on it's own in this show. Her woolen shawls and incredible silks flow and glide around one's shoulders making you feel like a work of art yourself when you don one of her pieces. Cheryl, who is a chemist by trade, has fashioned these one of a kind art pieces starting from pure white silk or wool then dying them and over dying them sometimes many times to obtain the depth of color and design she has in mind.

One of my favorite pieces is this magnificent silk and felted wool piece. Cheryl described how she made this piece: she started with dying the silk and dying cut velvet, then laying fleece over and under the silk and velvet in patterns. Next she rolls the piece gently up on a large plastic pipe and begins the arduous task of rolling and rolling for hours with hot water and sudsy soap to achieve this unique felted design. It is truly gorgeous!

Hope you can come to this show, it is stunning! We are so lucky to have the caliber of artists here on Whidbey that show at Brackenwood Gallery. It's an honor to represent them and show their exquisite work!


As we hung the show for sculptor Sharon Spencer and photographer Skip Smith we started to realize that the work from these two artists goes together in such a gestalt way. The work really compliments each other in a way that has actually created an atmosphere in the gallery, a kind of 'Quiet Elegance'. Someone came in and said "I feel like I need to whisper because this work is so quiet and lovely." But quiet doesn't mean boring, no,  quiet means it makes you want to go slow and look closely because there are so many surprises and interesting twists and turns.


For instance, this amazing piece of Sharon's. At first as you move close you think it is another one of Sharon's paper creations, but then you realize it is bronze! You find yourself moving even closer to look over the top into the opening and voila! a gorgeous golden egg is revealed. This piece entitled, "The Offering" is a bronze burn out and was indeed originally made out of a paper substance with woven sticks and a fabric wrap. But now, it is bronze.





Skip Smith's work is also filled with wonder. For instance, you wonder what in the world he took a picture of to get the image that appears on the paper. You would swear it was a painting, not a photograph. Skip is an expert at Lith photography, a process of development that takes great care and precision, which his work aptly demonstrates.

Hope you can make it to the Artists' Reception on Aug. 6 from 5-7, but if not come have a quiet and elegant stroll between now and Aug. 29th.






Brackenwood is thrilled to host a new exhibit by Pete Jordan for the month of July. Pete is iconic on Whidbey because he is so talented at capturing the beautiful views and special light that illuminates the water and landscape all over the island.

People wait all year for the next Pete Jordan show. Now is your chance to purchase a Pete Jordan for your collection! The artist's reception is July 2, from 5-7 PM. Come on in and take a peek at some of the most astounding paintings of Whidbey Island you will see anywhere!



If you haven't had a chance to catch "Imagine Summer" with Sue Taves and Susan Ogilvie this is the last weekend to see their work.

This has been an incredibly beautiful show with gorgeous paintings and sculptures. Susan Ogilvie is a very accomplished Oil Pastel artist and she teaches her medium across the country.

Sue's ingenuity has produced spectacular sculptures perfect for the garden, patio or deck with the added bonus of interaction.

So come on in and take peak at great art at Brackenwood Gallery!

Coming in July... PETE JORDAN.

"IMAGINE SUMMER!" opens on June 4, 2011

"Imagine Summer!" opens this Sat. June 4th with an Artists' Reception from 5-7 pm. Please come welcome Susan Ogilvie, a superb pastel artist and Sue Taves, a talented stone sculptor.

Susan's pastel paintings capture lovely scenes from the Skagit valley, Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula.  As we hung the show we kept remarking that if felt like we had been to those places.

This painting is called "Valley Morning" could be the stunning beauty of  farmland in central Whidbey or the Skagit Valley. As a pastel instructor across the nation, Susan's talent in her medium is well known. Her work is exceptional and we have already received "Oohs and Ahaas" galore! Susan will join us from Port Ludlow for the opening night of the "Imagine Summer!"

For this show, Sue Taves was inspired by the idea of wind and the force it has on the landscape. She wanted to create sculptures with parts that can be manipulated by the human hand. Carving out of a variety of stone, Sue created several different sculptures that you can play with and move into all kinds of formations. The sculptures look great in the garden where they become unique interactive garden art.

This piece, carved in black basalt, is called "Windscape" and would be fun to place on a patio or deck outside because when it rains it turns all black. Then as the sun comes out or the wind blows it dries again the patterns reemerge. Like the wind, it is constantly changing!

These two artists' work are a delight to have in the gallery. Come on in and take a peek! The show continues thru June 27, 2011.

Elizabeth Ford Ortiz, Textile Artist, featured for February at Brackenwood!

Brackenwood is proud to feature Elizabeth Ford Ortiz as our artist for February. The Artist's Reception is February 5th from 5-7PM. Hope you can join us! 

21Elizabeth is a textile artist who is well known in the quilting community here on Whidbey. Her work is extraordinary and completely original art. As anyone who quilts knows, one usually uses a pattern to create a quilt. Not Elizabeth. She has a very organic, "free hand" style of quilting that lets the colors determine the design of the quilt. Elizabeth Ortiz has been greatly influenced by indigenous art of Central & South America as well as Africa.

The f

abric used in these quilts is also unique. Elizabeth personally hand dyes the fabric used to create the quilt. As you can see in the example above there is a tremendous variation of color within each piece of fabric.

Elizabeth starts with plain muslin colored cotton. But once hand dyed, the cotton is transformed with tiny nuances of color into a lush, suede-like fabric that begs to be touched. The color combinations and original designs are breathtaking geometric “paintings”.

Elizabeth’s precise craftsmanship adds to the beauty and longevity of these truly remarkable contemporary pieces of art. 



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


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