Arts and Entertainment

Meet & mingle during First Friday at the Blue Whole Gallery

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The Blue Whole Gallery is the place to visit this August.

From portraits of big cats in Kenya by fine art photographer Ron Carlson to sculptural and utilitarian stoneware clay by multimedia artist Carol Janda, the quaint gallery on Washington Street showcases a wide variety of beautiful works this month.

A "meet the artists" reception is set for 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, during Sequim's First Friday Art Walk. The exhibit will continue through the end of the month

Traveling with Ron Carlson

For Sequim resident Ron Carlson, photography is a third profession. He spent 30 years working in engineering and management before switching gears and working another 15 years as an attorney. Then he retired, but not for long.

As technology advanced and digital cameras became readily available, Carlson found a brand new passion.

Carlson traveled quite a bit during his "working" years, one of the benefits of being married to a travel agent. The couple has visited Europe at least 10 times and has traveled to Australia, Africa, Asia, China, Canada, Greenland and Iceland as well. While overseas, Carlson caught the "travel bug," he said.

Whenever and wherever he travels, Carlson carries his Canon 60-D and freezes the images that catch his eye.

He's not a photojournalist by any means, Carlson insisted, but rather a fine arts photographer who isn't afraid to use Photoshop to make images more dynamic.

On display at the Blue Whole Gallery is a collection of Carlson's prints, including several from multiple safaris to Kenya featuring lions, giraffes, rhinos, elephants and cheetahs.

Though he thoroughly enjoys his travels around the world, Carlson credits the Northwest as a beautiful place to live and explore.

"No matter how many places I've gone, the best eagle pictures are here," he said.

Carlson lives in Dungeness and when he looks out the window, he sees the Dungeness Lighthouse, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Cascade mountaintops in the distance.

Coming up next, Carlson plans to vacation for four days in Venice, Italy, before setting out to sea on a 12-day cruise along the coast of Greece.

Capturing new photographs isn't the hard part, Carlson admitted, it's everything that follows.

"My biggest problem is finding the time on the computer to work on the images I already have," he said. "I have lots of really amazing unseen material."


Mastering the arts with Carol Janda

Carol Janda is a woman of many talents. Inspired by natural beauty, she uses clay, watercolors, glass and other media to express her deep appreciation of the world around her.

"It all comes from the same place inside me whether it's clay or paint," Janda said. "I like variety."

Janda's show at the gallery will feature a combination of sculptural and utilitarian stoneware clay, watercolors and oil monotypes. A number of her newest clay pieces are coated with her own original art nouveau glaze.

Creating oil monotypes is a "special kind of process," according to Janda. She paints a Plexiglas plate with oil-based inks and paints, adding effects with found objects, stencils and organic materials. Then she transfers the image to paper.

The result is an abstract design with some very realistic characteristics, Janda said.

Janda is a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society. Her works with examples from all media are shown in three Sequim and Port Angeles galleries. She started exploring her artistic senses as a child growing up in Maryland and remembers crushing pieces of brick on the sidewalk to make "paint" for the backs of leaves.

Inspired by the innocence and curiosity of her early years, some of Janda's recent clay work includes press-molded dragonflies, pine cones, sea life, leaf-edge bowls and rose-edge vases.

"Come and see some new work, both realistic and abstract, by Carol Janda and enjoy the evening at the Blue Whole," she said. "The night will not be wasted!"



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