New arts center begins fall classes in October

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Artist and entrepreneur Catherine Mix has high hopes for her newest venture: a Sequim art school.


Mix has owned The Cutting Garden, a venue for social events, for several years off Woodcock Road.

Now she also plans to provide classes and workshops in painting techniques for serious amateurs at The Cutting Garden Arts Center from October-April. She has a been a professional artist since 1998 and has been teaching for four years.


“I taught some classes at Peninsula College last fall and winter and found a group of students who wanted help in developing an art center,” Mix said. “It would be a regional place with good quality art instruction for adults with with very spare prices and high quality teachers. The classes will have 12 students maximum for individual instruction.”


All the classes and workshops will be at 303 Dahlia Llama Lane in the yellow farmhouse. Between October and April, Mix will teach five four-week classes and lead five two-day workshops. The first class, “Introduction to Watercolor,” begins Oct. 22 and already is one-third full.


Mix has brought on board two professional artists, Irene Loghry and Pat Starr, as well as Martha Rudersdorf, Sequim High School’s art teacher for the past two decades.


Loghry’s first class begins Oct. 7 and is entitled “Painting with Pastel,” a five-week course. Starr will offer “Painting Pet Portraits in Watercolor” in January and Rudersdorf will teach an experimental class called “Exploring and Playing with Art Concepts,” also beginning Oct. 7 and going for five weeks.


“Martha’s class is a good introduction to trying a lot of different things, being fearless and having a good time,” Mix said.


To register for any of the classes or workshops, go to and click on the artists’ names to see their offerings.


“I’m excited to teach how to paint watercolors ... because I really struggled,” Mix said. “I finally had an ‘aha’ moment that there was a process — a beginning, middle and end. I show this process at and it’s been a wonderful aid for my students. Watercolor is not difficult but you have to follow certain steps.”


Mix said because she will focus on teaching the process of rendering a watercolor, each student will paint the same subject, but she will challenge them to select their own outside of class.


“It’s not the time to play. It’s the time to learn and there’s effort in learning,” she said, recalling her own years as a student artist. “I learn best with the reasons of what, why and how I’m doing a particular process. So many people in town have some talent and they’ve always wanted to try watercolors. This is that place, a place to consistently learn good methods to processes.”


Pastel over watercolor will be a two-day workshop Mix will present in January and she explained how the combination adds a whole different dimension in toning and texture to a piece. She also plans to teach a plein air class.


And what will students come away with by taking any of the center’s classes or workshops?


“They’ll be excited about knowing what to do; that their painting is getting better and better all the time. I want them to feel empowered so that if a piece didn’t turn out as they wanted it, they can go back and figure out what went wrong and learn from trying again.”


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