Saturday, December 28, 2013

You're Invited: January 2014 First Friday Artwalk!

Happy New Year!

If you've had quite your fill of all those delicious servings of eggnog, cookies, and figgy pudding, it's probably time to take a stroll down Winslow Way for the January First Friday Gallery Walk.  To make it extra-enticing, our Annual January Sale will be in full swing!  Here's some info:

January 2 - 31

We’re ringing in the New Year with our Annual January Sale!
Gallery-wide 10% discount; Selected items, 20-50% off

Opening Reception: First Friday, January 3rd, 6-8pm

with music from
Peter Spencer and Friends

In 2014, we look forward to exciting shows featuring wood fired ceramics,
paintings, prints, textiles, and wood furniture & sculpture. 
Music in the Gallery will continue with Peter Spencer and Friends,
Ranger and the Re-Arrangers, the Julie Duke Band, and a guest appearance by
clarinetist Bill Smith (of the original Dave Brubeck Jazz Octet).  

Our Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!

(Images above:  Red and White Circles Scarf, Amy Nguyen; Necklace Cairo, Begona Rentero.)

Monday, December 2, 2013

You're Invited: 8th Annual Wearable Art Show

We cordially invite you to join us First Friday, December 6th, for the opening of our Annual Wearable Art Show.  Celebrating its 8th consecutive year, we will be exhibiting the latest creations of textile and jewelry artists from the United States and abroad, including men’s wear and a range of unique, one-of-a-kind ensembles for women.

8th Annual
Wearable Art Show

December 6 - 31, 2013

Opening Reception:

First Friday, December 6th, 6-8 pm

Featuring in Concert
Peter Spencer & Friends

 (Shown above:  Necklace Moher, Begona Rentero; Red Neoprene Brooch, NEO)

400 Winslow Way E., #120, Bainbridge Island, Washington 98110
For general info:
For online shopping:

Come on downtown to stroll First Friday's Artwalk and experience gorgeous artwork, music and Holiday Cheer!

Friday, November 29, 2013

December 2013 Gallery Picks Newsletter and Gift Picks

Don't look now, but...

The Holiday Season is here! 

Our first gift of the season for you, dear customers, is a Gallery Picks Newsletter with a little bit of extra oomph for your gift browsing convenience and pleasure.  Scroll down to view a list of 80-plus art pieces created by our talented regional, national and international artists, ranging in price from under $10.00 to over $5,000.00.  This selection includes fabulous wearables, gifts for men, and functional or decorative ceramics; also gorgeous locally-crafted wood furniture, boxes, boards, and bowls, sculpture, and amazing wall art in the form of paintings and intaglio prints to enhance your home.  In other words, something for everyone!

For a close-up view of any individual item, simply click on the link beneath each to visit our online shop for further information.


From left:


From left:

Cotton Tees:

From left:  


From left:


For Men

Fabulously Fun & Funky

Fine Wood Furniture



Wooden Boxes

Cutting Boards & Bowls

From left:

All by Dave Thompson:  Maple Cutting Board; Small Maple cutting Board;
Walnut Cutting Board [sold]; Walnut Cutting Board

Lower right:

Both by Dave Thompson:  Walnut Salad Servers; Walnut Salad Bowl

Paintings & Prints


We hope you've enjoyed viewing these amazing pieces by our amazing artists.  There's even more to see at the Gallery and on our online shop and, of course, watch this blog for updates on artists, shows, sales and events.  Our next event?  The upcoming 8th Annual Wearable Art Show, opening on December 6th. We'll be back in a few days with all the info on that.

But in the meantime, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for helping the Gallery have a wonderful 2013; we can't wait to see what 2014 will bring!  To all of you from all of us, Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 2013 Gallery Picks Newsletter

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and our focus in the Gallery this month is on Holiday Tables, with wonderful things to put on, over and around them.  Naturally, we have a few other amazing items to share with you that might not work very well to dress up a table, but they will certainly dress up an outfit!  And a wall!  So please scroll through and enjoy the view.  Oh, and don't forget to click on the links to visit each individual piece in our online shop, and for more information.

*** Advance warning:  We already have a very special December Newsletter in the works, which will do double duty as our usual Gallery Picks and a mini-Holiday Gift Guide, so be sure to check your inbox over Thanksgiving weekend for a relaxing-by-the-fireplace glimpse of items to give or, if you prefer, to receive!

Now, without further ado, on to Many Beautiful Things.

Walnut Farm Table
This is so gorgeous!  A splendid farm-style table using stunning
walnut boards that show off deep, dark walnut alongside its own
light-colored sapwood for a most appealing visual contrast.
And the price might just surprise you...

Chairs sold separately; please contact the Gallery for further

Large Footed Bowl.  Robin Hominiuk
A little something to put on top of any table, and perhaps to put a little
something in, this glorious wood-fired bowl will hold an abundance of
fruits, nuts, bread, muffins, foliage - whatever you love to present to guests
and family during the holidays.

But its not-so-secret little secret:  the interior of the bowl shows off
its own fascinating embellishments, so it is perfectly happy to
sit empty and alone, basking in its own beauty.
(It isn't at all vain, however; merely self-confident!)
Yes, WOW!
This table slab is beyond beautiful.
Crafted from walnut grown in Chico, California and dried slowly in the
gallery over many years, this fabulous piece is expertly bookmatched,
finished, and ready for custom legs.
Whoooooo wouldn't love this?

(That was a little joke....)

(If you didn't get it, take a closer look at the table.)
(If you're still puzzled, contact us at

Desert Sunset.  Mark Bowles
We are delighted to introduce Mark Bowles, a most talented artist
whose dynamic, colorful landscapes are quick to grab the eye.

A little about the artist:

Mark Bowles was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has painted
all his life.  His passion for interpreting what he sees brought him to study
at the California College of Arts and Crafts and then at the Institudio Allende
in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  His work is shown extensively
throughout the West, with two US Embassy Exhibitions in Kathmandu, 2010
and Mexico City, 2009.  His work is represented in numerous private
collections and publicly in the Denver Art Museum, Tucson Museum
of Art, and Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California.

Comments from Scott Shields, Ph.D., Chief Curator, Crocker Art Museum:

Bowles' paintings are subjective, reductively simple, and filled with blazing
light and color - a harmonious balance between the landscape he knows well
and his passion for abstraction and the physical act of painting ... [His] landscapes
are individual statements that have emerged with individuality from a rich tradition
of California landscape painting... Whereas many practicing Northern California
landscape painters find richness with riparian settings or city-scapes, Bowles
primarily features the broad plains of the Central Valley as his favored
subject matter.  Often, distinctive landmarks are visible in a setting that
is on the verge of abstraction.

Some words from Mark:

Whether I am working with a still life, the human figure, or landscape,
I am always fascinated by texture, form and color which I use in expressing
how I feel about what I am seeing.  I do not limit myself in what I paint or how
I might interpret what I see.  This freedom allows my work to move from
representational to minimalist to abstraction.  My work is ever changing,
ever challenging and always a passionate delight.  It is always my
intention to address the canvas directly, honestly and boldly.  My heart is
always pushing my work to find new language in expressing what I see
and how I feel about it.  The result therefore is not just an intellectual
exercise for me, it is being involved in the "Now" ... ... ... always open
for change and challenge ... ... ... always evolving.

We will have two of Mark's stunning landscapes in the Gallery shortly; in the meantime,
you can enjoy them here.

Moth Lamp.  Berwyn Benoit
Yes, we know, we're featuring a lot of wood products
this month, but what can we do?  There is so very much
to choose from at the moment!
For example, this spectacular lamp by our newest wood artist is
blowing our minds right now.  The base is crafted from oak burl;
the shade is custom-made linen.  The result is absolutely stunning!
Both the wood, bathed in soft light, and the comforting texture
of the linen shade just glow.

Felted Wool Jacket.  Maggy Pavlou
Lightweight, soft, warm, colorful, and some of the planet's
best buttons (where does she find them??) - these are Maggy's
trademarks.  This jacket is one of several new offerings
that are scheduled to arrive in the Gallery any day now.  We're
expecting both jackets and vests, and having carried Maggy's
remarkable work for many years we know that each
and every piece will be wonderful.  We'll be putting the
entire collection up in the web shop as soon as we can, but
in the meantime you can view this piece and several of her past
works right here.

Now, despite mentioning that we're showing off way too much wood....

Walnut Cutting Board.  Dave Thompson
Hold onto your heart!
This cutting board is one of several currently available, and they are probably
the most beautiful hardwood cutting boards we've ever presented in the Gallery.
(The design is an exclusive to The Island Gallery, by the way.)
These pieces have so much going for them we thought we'd create a little list of
their considerable virtues, hopefully without stating too much of the obvious.
Here's what you can expect from one of these lovelies:

A work of art that is fully functional.
Rich walnut, some with irregular edges and some straight-edged.
Simple yet beautiful construction.
 Sturdy feet with non-slip padding for ease of use and table-top protection.
Use for cutting, chopping, or as a singularly brilliant presentation piece. 
A selection of sizes.
An amazing price so it makes a perfect gift.
(But get one for yourself first!)

(And yes, that's Robin's lovely large bowl sitting beside it
in the above photograph.  They look quite contented together, don't they?)

(And by the way, is there such a thing as way too much wood??)
(Shame on us.)

Flame Dance Neckpiece.  Christine L. Sundt
This piece is so new to us that we don't even have it in the
Gallery yet!  But we're expecting it any day now, so if you're into
getting glam for the holidays (or whenever, of course), take a
peek at this colorful - dare we say jolly - neckpiece from the studios of
the inimitable, multi-talented Christine.

(There are matching earrings on the way, too, as well as several
other new pieces, which we will post online somewhere in here.)

Shibori Dyed Scarf.  Amy Nguyen
A splash of color to drape around your neck, hang on your wall,
or run across a table, this magnificent shibori-dyed linen scarf is
quilted and stitched in the artist's usual intricate fashion.  To say that this
piece is a fine example of the phenomenon known as "paying
attention to detail" is an understatement!

So many lovely things, so little time!  We're off to put together our aforementioned special Holiday Shopping Picks.  Please stay tuned; we'll have it ready for you in no time.  We're also ramping up our Annual Wearable Art Show, with more info coming soon.

In the meantime, we send our best wishes to you all for a happy and joyful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You're Invited: Holiday Tables!

November's First Friday Artwalk here on Bainbridge Island is coming right up!  Here's what's on tap at The Island Gallery:

Holiday Tables

November 1 - 30, 2013

Opening Reception, First Friday, November 1, 6-8 pm

Featuring Music from Bainbridge Island’s

Peter Spencer and Friends

For your holiday entertaining: wood dining tables, and everything
that goes on and above – dishes, glassware, table linens, wood trays,
bowls, centerpieces, and exquisite lighting –
from The Island Gallery’s talented artists:
Robert Benson III (lighting), David (textiles), Wendy Dunder (lighting)
Aaron Filson (ceramics), Ted Jolda (glassware), Donald Smith (wood tables)
& Dave Thompson (wood bowls).
Introducing Mark Strayer (ceramics).


Also Featuring a Special Presentation:

The Gitana Collection
Fine Silver

Sterling Silver & Black Onyx Bib Necklace
Location:  400 Winslow Way E., #120, Bainbridge Island, Washington

Come downtown and see us for refreshments, beautiful treats, and music!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 2013 Gallery Picks Newsletter

Welcome to our October Gallery Picks Newsletter!  We're featuring, once again, some of our current favorite art pieces, though it is always a difficult task to look around the Gallery and, with new items coming in every week, decide which ones to showcase - we love everything!  Still, we must force ourselves to choose, so here we go.  Don't forget to click on the links for each item to visit the online shop for a closer look and further details.


Walnut Benches
Our No-Fail Recipe for Great Seating:

First:  Locate several pieces of gorgeous walnut from Chico, California.
Second:  Smooth and apply an impeccable finish.
Third:  Hand-craft and attach unusual and artistic aluminum legs.
Result:  Two fabulous benches.

These beautiful pieces are a collaboration, with the wood expertly finished
by one of our artists in Seattle.  The aluminum legs were then
created by a Bainbridge Island metalsmith.
They're available singly (see #1 and #2) or as a set.  

Warmth.  Jen Till
Vibrant with color and appropriately titled Warmth, Jen reminds us of something
we will need in the upcoming chilly months!  It's all very well to wrap up in
woolens, but being able to gaze at a blazing log, or a cheery painting like this,
can be equally therapeutic.

As with Jen's other works featured in the Gallery, it is oil on canvas.

Amber Earrings. The Gitana Collection
From the Gitana Collection of fine jewelry we are delighted to showcase
these beautiful earrings of gemmy amber set in sterling silver.  The clarity in these
stones is quite impressive, with their passing dark amber swirls and clouds.
A lovely gift, one imagines, for a special friend!

Saggar-Fired Medium Vase.  Fred Loase
Rich color highlights this lovely vase from Bainbridge Island artist Fred Loase.
Fred is a fairly new artist to the Gallery but, we must say, one of our most
enthusiastic!  He works in wood fire, raku, pit fire, and saggar fire, such as the
glowing example here.

But what the heck is saggar firing?  So glad you asked!
Here's what we know about it:

A saggar is a lidded ceramic container.
It can be used in the firing of pottery for several purposes: to enclose or
protect clayware during a firing from open flame, smoke, gases and kiln debris;
and to create decorative markings on the ceramic pieces.

To accomplish the desired effects, pots are placed into saggars filled
with combustible materials such as sawdust, straw, pine needles,
and/or wood shavings, as well as less combustible organic materials:
salts, copper carbonate, copper sulfate, bismuth (think Pepto-Bismol),
metals like copper or steel wire, and weird but non-toxic materials such as
seaweed, crushed vitamin tablets, banana peels, and dog or cat food!
Once the firing begins and these materials ignite or fume, the saggars
provide a controlled atmosphere which concentrates the effect of the
various materials on the surfaces of the pots.  This can produce dramatic
markings, with colors ranging from distinctive black and white to
flashes of golds, greens and reds, depending on the materials used.

This firing process has been around for thousands of years and,
interestingly, "saggar" is a contraction of the word “safeguard”.

Visit more of Fred's wonderful work here (we'll be putting up new pieces shortly).

Necklace Nuku Hiva, Saffron.  Begona Rentero
Another of Begona Rentero's extraordinary pieces of jewelry.
In this piece and several of her new ones she has used an onionskin paper
that is very crisp (like autumn leaves) and extraordinarily lightweight.
The earrings for this design are definitely something to behold and
will be included online shortly (or ask us for a photo).
(They're glorious in Raspberry, by the way.)

What can we say about this amazing artist that hasn't already been said?

Well, how about a quick mention of the great honor recently given her:
Begona was selected to participate as one of the fifty best emerging
and acclaimed jewelry artists in the world by the Museum of Art and Design
in New York City.  Her work was included in the LOOT 2013: Mad About Jewelry
show and sale, which ran October 1-5 this month.

...Wait, did we mention that before, too...?

Oh, that's right... right here.

Walnut Salad Bowl.  Dave Thompson
How do we love these salad bowls?  Let us count the ways:

They're beautiful.
They're functional.
They're gorgeously and artfully made.
Their finish is food safe.
They come with their own salad servers.
Everyone loves them.
Dave's prices are amazing.
They're beautiful.
And they make GREAT gifts.
(Though we highly suspect some of you keep them for yourselves... naughty!)
(But we understand...)

All of that adds up to perfection in a bowl, shall we say!

More of Dave's magnificent bowls can be seen here; and there
are more on the way, so keep an eye out for them in the web shop.

(P.S.: They're really beautiful...)

Love Sails Tee-Shirt.  Mary Jaeger
Fashioned from the softest cotton one can imagine, with sparkling Love Sails motif, these
pretty Tees come from one of our newest textile artists, Mary Jaeger. They come in all sizes
and several different colors; we have primarily black on hand at the moment, in
differing motifs, and some long-sleeved varieties; also some VERY special shibori-dyed
Tees, in long and short sleeves.  Great for layering.

Mary also creates other stunning shawls, scarves, shirts, neckwraps and capes,
in some of the loveliest textiles we've seen.

Gold Delphic Sybil.  Curt Labitzke
Last but not least, an example of Curt Labitzke's amazing artistry
in this intaglio print inspired by ancient Greek, Etruscan and Roman art.

For a discussion of Professor Labitzke's fascinating work, scroll back
one blog post, or click here.

That's it for October.  Stay tuned as we ramp up for holiday shopping in November, beginning with the exhibit opening on First Friday, November 1st:  Holiday Tables.

More about that very soon!

In the meantime, if you'd like to sign up to have notices of this and other events, sales and shows, send your e-mail address to and we'll deliver notices right to your inbox!

Oh, and on October 31st, please, please watch out for those little (and not so little) goblins and ghouls...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Intaglio Prints: Curt Labitzke

The Island Gallery has been pleased to represent printmaker Curt Labitzke for the last several years.  We are showing a new group of his prints here in the Gallery and at our Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Annex (271 Madison Avenue S., Suite 102, Bainbridge Island).  He is also currently participating in a printmaking exhibition with our good neighbor down the street, Roby King Gallery (176 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island).  If you're in the area, we encourage you to visit all three locations for in-person viewing.  On top of that Curt will be featured in our upcoming October Gallery Picks Newsletter, and so it is high time to introduce him here.

A Woman, After Picasso.  Curt Labitzke

Curt Labitzke was born in New York in 1958; his father was an illustrator and his mother was a quilt-maker. He received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame in 1984 with a concentration in Painting, Printmaking and Drawing.

Upon completion of his degree he joined the Studio Art faculty at the University of WashingtonSeattle. Curt is currently the Chair of the Printmaking and Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Programs and regularly teaches in the School of Art’s study abroad program in Rome and FlorenceItaly.  He encourages students to cross-pollinate their intellectual interests with creative energy to form a studio practice based in rigor and research. Through seminars and critiques, he engages students in lively, thought-provoking discussions about contemporary art, issues in printmaking, and the art world as a whole. Curt actively supports the sharing of concepts and applications between printmaking and tangent disciplines. He has taught at the University since 1984.

Curt's work is influenced by his extensive travels and reflects a passion for the sensuous quality of Etruscan art, the beauty of the Renaissance, the poetic storytelling of the Greeks and the brut directness of the German Expressionists.  The iconic figures appearing in his intaglio prints, inspired by those times and their people as found in ancient architecture, tombs, temples, and masks, peer from their ambiguous space seeking empathy as they passionately engage the viewer, conjuring up images of worship and celebration. They are constructed of heavily layered and incised archival paper, acrylic paint and a variety of powder pigments vigorously worked to create an active and engaging surface, reminiscent of an ancient fresco or a weathered stone carving.

Blue Delphic Sybil.  Curt Labitzke

A little about intaglio techniques:

Intaglio is one of the four major classes of printmaking techniques, distinguished from the other three methods (relief printing, stenciling, and lithography) by the fact that the ink forming the design is printed only from recessed areas of the plate. The design is cut, scratched, or etched into the printing surface or plate (copper, zinc, aluminum, magnesium, plastics, or even coated paper). The printing ink is rubbed into the incisions or grooves, and the surface is wiped clean. Unlike surface printing, intaglio printing requires considerable pressure.

Virtually all intaglio plates are printed by similar means, using a roller press. A viscous ink is forced into the incisions of the intaglio plate with a roller, and the excess ink is wiped away.  The inked plate is laid face up, a sheet of wet printing paper is laid over it, and a blanket (to ensure even pressure) is draped over them both. Then the upper roller of the press is turned and the bed is drawn through; a pressure of several tons transmitted through the blanket presses the wet paper into the ink-filled crevices of the plate, thus producing the printed image.

Intaglio processes are probably the most versatile of the printmaking methods, as various techniques can produce a wide range of effects.

Intaglio artists over the centuries include Albrecht Dürer, Goya, Picasso, and Rembrandt.

And now, of course, Curt Labitzke (above, at work on a print at the University of Washington).