The Good Stuff

Farmland and beyond

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What must the highway patrol have thought, finding Alfred Currier working on a sketch pad atop the Swinomish Channel highway bridge? Only when a fortunate construction project shut the traffic lane was the persistent and highly respected artist able to complete his sketches for another masterpiece. 

Once in his studio, Currier prepped a canvas with gesso and transparent, colored washes, drew his design and painted “My Rainier.” The mountain appears as a distant bump in a vast panorama under a glowing sunset, as if to say the shadowed Skagit fields and the curving watercourse are part of his experience of the mountain. As in all of Currier’s oils, the subtle, complementary colors of the underpainting lend brilliance to a thick impasto surface. 

For the next six weeks you can see “My Rainier,” several other canvases by Currier and works by Kathleen Faulkner, Bob Williams, Alan Moe, and Peregrine O’Gormley at Burton Jewelers, on Commercial Avenue in Anacortes.

The farmlands theme continues along the thoroughfare, as I discovered during a recent Friday night Art Walk stroll. The Good Stuff Arts boasts Dianna Shyne’s acrylic “The Show is Starting,” a vivid portrait of a daffodil field, a precursor to the main event—tulips. Shyne’s work pays homage to the rich colors and luxurious textures of the 20th century Russian Impressionists. Two of her pieces, “Rowing Out from Shore” and “Climbers,” reveal her ability to capture emotion in the subtle movement of a man in a boat or two children climbing a fence.

The Good Stuff’s featured artist is Carla Seaton, who favors happy cartoon dogs, mustachioed cats and willowy trees with bubbles. She believes in “laughing, positive vibes and all around happy thoughts.” Her goal “in this crazy world, is to make you smile!”

Here also are a fired clay mural, “Apple Truck,” by Michael Laboon, Robert Gigliotti’s strikingly athletic sculpture, “Cirque,” and several evocative sculptures of female nudes by Maria Wickwire, as well as landscapes by Cynthia Richardson. My favorite of Richardson’s is “January Field,” which works as an abstract, as the land is molded by snowfall and winter light.

The Good Stuff show includes delicate fused glass sculptures by Annette Tamm. As a young person, her practical side dictated a career as a chemist, but in the 1980s the lure of colored glass drew her to making lamps on the kitchen counter. By 1993, she was in Anacortes working as a full-time artist. She likes to create with “warm glass” to retain the three-dimensionality and rough texture of the original materials.

In her unique approach to glass sculpture, Tamm combines wood elements and many layers of powdered glass, fused together and slumped over a mold. Her “Falling Gently” freezes forever the instant of swirling oak leaves twisting in the wind. In another approach, Tamm paints individual elements on thin layers of glass and fuses them all together into a three-dimensional scene.

It’s also worth dropping by the Scott Milo Gallery, where acrylics by Jennifer Bowman are being featured through January. In addition to viewing the Anacortes-based artist’s colorful florals, landscapes and trees, still-life photos by Randy Dana, photos on canvas by Lewis Jones, and encaustic paintings by Marilee Holm can—and should—be perused.

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Lifestyle Talks

1:00pm|Ferndale Library

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Poetry Writing Group

5:30pm|Village Books

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

European Travelogue

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

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Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Books and Bites

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Post-Holiday Detox

2:00pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Art Auction Gala

5:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Anacortes Women's March

6:00pm|Depot Arts Center

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Sierra Club Winter Member Party

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery


7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Opera Scenes

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Tropical Heat Wave Dance


Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Five for Fighting

8:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

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Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship


7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

VFW Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Smoking Crow Opening

9:00am|Smoking Crow

Mason Bee Management

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Nordic Ski Ambassadors

10:00am|SnoPark at Salmon Ridge

Plant Society Field Trip

10:00am|Birch Bay State Park

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am|Howard Miller Steelhead Park

March on Bellingham

10:00am|Bellingham City Hall

Winter Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Of marching and mending


Travel to Cuzco and Machu PIcchu

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Mysticism in Art

2:00pm|Skagit County Historical Museum

Mona Openings

2:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Cedar Weaving Workshop

2:00pm|Lynden Library

Teddy Bear Biographies

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Exploring Port

2:00pm|Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Learn to Grow a Vegetable Garden

2:00pm|Sumas Library

The Fight Against Human Trafficking

3:00pm|Everson Library

Kindgom Quest

4:00pm|Village Books

Music and Memories

5:00pm|Swinomish Casino & Lodge

Robert Burns Supper

5:30pm|Littlefield Celtic Center

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Ensemble Electra

7:30pm|Jansen Art Center

The Good Lovelies

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

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