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Susan Norman

   Wildlife is my favorite subject, and I believe that animals are individuals with their own characters and emotions. I often use whimsy and humor to help make my subjects more approachable, as my goal is to uplift viewers and inspire them to not just admire the beauty of my subjects but to empathize with them.
   My painting style shows Naive and Folk Art influences. Backgrounds tend to be impressionistic and the lighting indirect, in order to focus on deliberately stylized subjects. This helps provide a “dreamlike” aura and allows me to anthropomorphize an animal to better portray its spirit.
   Oil painting is my primary medium, and I am proud to use a safe and environmentally friendly solvent-free process. Pigments are mixed with pure oils and beeswax, walnut and poppy oil are used for glazing, and natural soap for cleanup. I do not use traditional solvents such as turpentine, petroleum-based compounds, or toxic chemical additives in my work.


Lynn Lever

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   Lynn Lever's watercolor paintings capture a special timeless sense of reality, and often evoke emotions that seem to take you to a peaceful moment in year's past. As early as 8 years old, Ms.Lever fondly recalls painting with her Grandmother Etta who had a basement studio. Every visit resulted in some type of painting session, and the sights, smells, and creativity from these sessions created a lifelong love and appreciation for art. "There was a very special creative energy that flowed through my Grandma, and now it flows through me." In 1978, after many college level art classes, Ms.Lever began to focus her artistic attentions on watercolors. She particularly enjoys the flow of the paints and the mingling of the tones as the light of the paper shows through the thin layers of color. Now after 20 years, she has risen to the challenges of working with watercolors and spends a lot of time planning ahead before starting a new project. After all, mistakes cannot be "painted over."
   Ms. Lever is known for building a quiet and subtle drama in each piece through her details and attention to light and shadow. She explores the flow and balance of color and delicate tones to give life to inanimate objects, perhaps enhanced by her many years of boating activities living by the sea surrounded by natures own palette.
   The beauty of the Pacific Northwest continues to inspire Ms. Lever, having lived in Kingston, Washington for over 11 years. She is a member of the Poulsbo Artist League and The Northwest Watercolor Society. In 1999 she won a "Peoples Choice Award" at The Kitsap Arts and Crafts Festival, and in 2005 became a signature member ofThe Northwest Watercolor Society.

 

Ashlee Reese

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            Reese was born in Washington in 1989. She spent her youth growing up in Hawai’i, which helped her develop a unique passion for nature, culture, and art from a young age. She moved back to her birth state nearly 10 years ago to pursue her education and soak in the Northwestern atmosphere. A Master’s student in Psychology, Ashlee fills her work with rich metaphors and witty observations.
            Ashlee’s primary medium is split between her love for black & white images and highly saturated colored works. To achieve these pieces, she blends graphite and charcoal to create smoky depictions of real life subjects. In her colored works, she mixes layers of watercolor, ink, and colored pencils to create stunning displays of realism.
            She has shown at both Art in the Woods and the Bainbridge Island Studio tour, and graduated with Honors this year with her major in Professional Counseling. Currently, she is proud to reside at the Verksted Gallery among the rich talents of other artists.

Artist Statement
            “My goal through art is to highlight the beauty of wildlife, philosophy, and the human psyche. By combining these elements, my desire is to offer both thought provoking and humorous pieces to my admirers. Life is never stagnant and I like to follow suit. In such, I am not committed to one, singular medium. Instead, I like to focus on which medium best serves the subject individually.”