May 2021
Browsing the Virtual Spring Market
Artwork by Shobika Sekar
The Virtual Best of the Northwest Spring Market is still in full swing! It features over 90 talented artists in many different media and runs until May 10. Ending right after Mother's Day, it focuses on Mother's Day shopping, Springtime home beautification and garden art.
Free daily prize drawings - the more times you shop, the more times you are entered to win a beautiful piece of artwork from one of the show's artists!
 Visit for more information.
Don't miss browsing through the market! Watch the videos. Get to know the artists. Shop. Have fun! In the meantime, here are a few highlights to get you started.
Carole Grisham
See below in the Brushstrokes section for a more in-depth look at Carole and her splendid work.
Heidi Hamilton
Heidi's work is finely detailed and intricate birds, butterflies, bees, bunnies and more. We love the alphabet letters!
Phil Banko
Phil's work never disappoints! His photos of natural heart shapes are unexpected and lovely. You can find the love there!

Ian Phelps
Ian's work ranges from gorgeous and ethereal to brilliant and stark. We love it!
Tim Potter
Tim's vertical art pieces virtually glow with color! Separately or in sets, they are truly delightful!
Tai Vautier
Tai's jewelry is elegantly graceful and brilliantly lovely. It's impossible to choose a favorite!
Neil Berkowitz
It's hard to believe that Neil's work is photography. Digital techniques create vivid pieces that look like paintings. Gorgeous!
June Blout
June's jackets are splendid with color. The peacock design and the Klimt are truly elegant!
Greg Delaney
Greg's mind works wonders! His recycled objects and polymer clay wearable art and sculptures are fun and quirky.
Apple Cox
Apple's watercolors are fun, colorful and utterly delightful. We want them all!
Small Community Focus
Welcome back to Small Community Focus! For the past three months, we have featured some of the amazing artists and their art from Guemes Island. This month we invite you to meet the final two artists in our series on Guemes Island. Be sure, also, to visit the Guemes Island Art Initiative website to see them all. Click here.
Chris LeBoutillier's passion is his deep love of nature. For most of his life he has been photographing wildlife and glorying in his time outdoors behind his camera. Nature is what inspires him and what fills his days. "Being able to show a part of the world that many are unable to see is inspiring in itself," he says. "I hope, when people see my photos, it will help make a difference in protecting and appreciating nature and its wildlife."
Chris is virtually surrounded by the animals and woods of Guemes Island where he makes his home. "Sometimes," he says, "I get extremely lucky and the animals will practically pose for me. Other days, I could spend hours deep in the woods and see no wildlife. "You can't tell nature what to do," he says, "and that's what makes it special."
He says his practice hasn't changed much over time. The advent of new and better technology has given him the opportunity to improve his photos. At the same time, thanks to improving editing software and social media, he can share his photos with thousands of people. Sometimes he gets thought provoking comments about certain species of animals he has photographed. "This leads me into researching these
animals so that I can have a better understanding of them, and can help provide the correct information," he says. In this way, he feels, he can give people a better understanding of nature and its critical role. He truly is making the world a better place.
Nature photography is a hobby for Chris, he says. But one look at his photographs tell us that it is much more than that.
You can see more of Chris' work here.
Like most artists, Sue Roberts focuses her day around her studio. "I built a clay studio with plenty of work space and a separate building for my kiln," she says. Occasionally she likes to switch to another medium - she has worked with metal, wood and found objects - but she always goes back to clay. And her sculptures are delightful! Many of them are of ordinary people doing ordinary things, but they are somehow more than people. A young man taking a selfie with a tree is so full of joy that it makes you want to laugh. Same with the young woman reaching up to capture a wave.
Sue has always known that she wanted to be an artist. "When I graduated from college, I did a little teaching at an art school in Florida, but was mainly focused on being a full time, self-employed studio artist," she says. And now, she's living the dream. "It's been over 35 years of self-employment, and every decade I seem to re-invent what I do in order to be able to continue my art practice. Keeps me on my toes and I am rarely bored!"
It is this focus that has helped Sue through the Covid crisis. Before, she taught out of her studio, sold work in galleries and juried shows, but, of course, all that went away. "As someone who has been self-employed most of my career," she says, "I am used to the ups and downs of earning a livelihood. I try to keep my overhead low, which helps in times of financial and work slow-downs."
She has participated in a couple of virtual shows and, while they are not ideal, she likes the idea of pairing physical shows with virtual ones for those who can't visit in person.
Take a look at Sue's page at the Guemes Island Art Initiative website, here, and enjoy her wonderful, whimsical work.

Guemes Island Art - "Enriching and connecting our island community"

Small Community Focus will zoom in on the art and artists of Langley beginning in the June issue of Spectrum.
New NWAA Board Member
Northwest Art Alliance sends a heartfelt welcome to the newest board member, Heather Langeland!
As a current board member of the Washington State Association of Justice Board, Heather brings extensive organizational experience with her. Her logistical skills at organizing teams and breaking down large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks will be more than valuable to NWAA.
"I hope to gain a better understanding of the projects undertaken by NWAA," she tells us, "and to help expand the reach of the organization. With the diversity of artists associating with NWAA, the opportunity it presents to additional artists with their own unique voices and points of views should be explored."
When not attending to the needs of NWAA, Heather works as a civil litigation attorney exclusively working on behalf of injured parties. She also enjoys camping, attending concerts (when it's again possible) and spending time at the beach.
The members of Northwest Art Alliance send Heather their sincere gratitude and welcome!
Coming Events
Be sure to take a look at our new Cultural Connections exhibit- Indigenous Artists from the Salish Sea on the Northwest Art Alliance website!
There will be more coming in next month's Spectrum with pictures and interviews of some of the artists representing Coast Salish, Alaskan Native and First Nations artists living and thriving in the Salish Sea area.
Here's a preview of some of the wonderful art you will see in the Cultural Connections exhibit. This one is from
Dylan Sanidad, a Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian artist.
More News
Patron Membership is Now Available!

Northwest Art Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting artists with those who value art and fine craft. We now offer several levels of membership welcoming patron involvement and allowing NWAA to continue its many years of connecting art to the community. This is especially important during these times. You can be part of this mission!
Click here to see the different levels of NWAA memberships. Pick up an apron or tote bag with artwork by Best of the Northwest artist, Brett Varney with a higher membership level. Several membership benefits are available. You can easily buy an apron or tote for yourself or as a gift by clicking here. Thank you for your support!
Donation Drive
Northwest Art Alliance's mission and goals are to expand general and targeted outreach to all communities and artists to better serve artists' needs and help sustain support for this vocation. NWAA connects artists to the broader community through the operation of shows. Artists would not have this critical exposure without this connection. 
Northwest Art Alliance normally produces 3 to 4 art shows/events each year with a total of 996 artists represented just in the last 3 years (unduplicated count). The Spring "Best of the Northwest" show and Art in the Park @Waterland as well as the Fall "Best of the Northwest" were canceled because of COVID-19. The impacts are numerous, but we are focusing on helping artists to survive. NWAA needs community support and donations to continue its mission. Please consider a tax deductible donation to this non-profit organization and click here. Thank you for continued support of the Best of the Northwest shows!

And don't forget! You can donate to Northwest Art Alliance as you shop! Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. It is the same Amazon you know with the same products, same prices, same service.

Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at

NWAA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Carole Grisham has magic in her fingers. She must have. The beauty of her beadwork is astounding.
For more than ten years Carole has been creating gorgeous wearable art using a 16th century Japanese braiding technique called kumihimo. The results are necklaces and bracelets that are breathtaking in their intricacy and design. She calls them "small treasures" and they truly are that.
"My mother, Alyce Hiyama, inspired me," she tells us. "She was a talented tailor and costume designer and taught me the techniques of fine, detailed hand and bead work." Color also seems to inspire Carole, too, though she doesn't say so. A browse through her website (here) will convince you that she knows a thing or two about it.
We asked Carole what was the most amusing/thought provoking response she had received from a viewer. "A small boy walked up to my booth at a show," she says. "and said 'I can make those.' He was talking about a necklace I made using beaded loops folded so they hooked together. His mother was embarrassed but he insisted that he had. When he explained it further, he was right. He had made a similar necklace using rubber bands that had been hooked in the same way I had hooked the beaded loops." A small lesson in humility, for sure.
Covid has impacted Carole's business like everyone else's. Normally she travels the country doing eight or nine shows a year. "Since the pandemic this has completely stopped," she says. "I have done only one show in early 2020, nearly 16 months ago." She has had to change her practice somewhat as a result. Previously, she usually made one-of-a-kind pieces. "Since I have had to join virtual retail sites and virtual shows, I have started to create multiple copies of a single design to meet the requirements of the site," she says. "It's a very different way to do business than most artists are set up to do."
Someday, Carole says, she would like to try more sculptural beadwork. "While traveling in Africa," she says, "I saw large statues and chairs covered in beading that I've always wanted to explore." Carole's work is so spectacular that it's hard to imagine it on a larger scale and it's certainly something to look forward to!

You can see more of Carole's work at the Virtual Best of the Northwest Spring Market here.
These three lovely vases are the work of glass artist, Darleen Nixon. You can see more of her work at the Virtual Best of the Northwest Spring Market and here.
Of Interest
There's a new Glass Guild in town: The Pacific NW Glass Guild has just launched its new website. The Guild has formed around the core of the former Oregon Glass Guild and is adding members from throughout the region. Click here for more information.

You can
  • Subscribe to the free nearly monthly newsletter
  • Attend the monthly meetings on a wide variety of topics via Zoom. Everyone is welcome.
  • Look through the Members' Gallery to find that artist you meant to buy from last year.
  • Learn about glass on the glass arts page and through the education videos
  • Research custom work, classes or equipment for sale using the "Classified" form.

Glass Artists: If you join the guild ($45/ year), you can submit your glass events to the public calendar so we can see what's happening in glass throughout the region. Plus you can have fun at a member-only "Play Day" via Zoom and take advantage of the many more member benefits.
Notes from the Board

Northwest Art Alliance is always looking for those who are dedicated to our shows and passionate about the value of art in our communities to support us with their time and energy.
If you have ever considered serving on our Board and if you have the time to offer and would like to help us grow and support artists and art enthusiasts even better next year, please contact us at [email protected] for more information on how you can help and to complete an application. You may also visit the new webpage here.
Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, Flatiron Books, 2020
Hint: This is not really stuff you should know, in fact, some of it is stuff you may not want to know. Mostly, though, it's stuff it's a little cool to know.
This is a hilariously funny book based on the popular podcast. Stuff You Should Know has chapters about Income Tax, Pet Rocks, Aging, Demolition Derbies and all manner of people and things. Lots of pop-culture references add to the feeling that, after reading it, you really are in-the-know.
There is a chapter about trillionaires (There aren't any. Yet.) and The Jersey Devil (New Jersey: the only state with an official state demon). Jack Kevorkian makes an appearance too.
It truly is a funny little book (except they dis the Seattle Mariners!), and a short but highly entertaining read. What does any of it have to do with art, you ask? Well, there is also a chapter about Valerie Solanas, the artist who wrote her infamous SCUM Manifesto and shot Any Warhol.
Brett Varney Apron
 Brett Varney Apron
or Tote Bag
Apron: $37.50
15"x15" Tote: $27.50

Support NWAA during the Covid-19 crisis. 
Buy a Brett Varney apron or tote bag!
Add some spice to next summer's BBQ or show off your cooking skills in this cotton/poly blend, 3 pocket, black apron. The adjustable apron has a full color image of "Splendor Woodlands". Or, look smart and stylish at the market with a 15"x15" tote bag with the same design. Both by legacy Best of the Northwest show artist, Brett Varney. Brett has generously donated the images for a limited run to help support the NWAA. You can do the same and buy an apron or tote for yourself and as gifts. All proceeds go toward helping fund the NWAA programs and events. Washable. 

Shipping is free.

Click here

See more of Brett's work here
Community Partners
A BIG thank you to our sponsors! Please visit our new webpage here for more information.
Seattle Parks and Recreation will work with all citizens to be good stewards of our environment, and to provide safe and welcoming opportunities to play, learn, contemplate, and build community.
The Preston Kuppe Guild is a long time supporter of NWAA and a part of the Seattle Children's Hospital Guild Association, which is the largest volunteer association of any hospital in the nation. The guild's annual fundraiser is Art a la Carte featuring artwork generously donated by NWAA artists. Together, we have raised just under $1,500,000 in support of uncompensated care since 2007.
Editor's End Notes
We hope you are enjoying Spectrum and we welcome your feedback.

NWAA Artists:
Help us to promote your events, exhibitions, classes and interviews. Please send your materials to [email protected] by the last business day of the month, for inclusion in the next issue of Spectrum.
Contact NWAA
The NWAA Team

Marissa Motto, Event Director [email protected]
Delores Peck, Spectrum Editor
Board Members:
Kathy Whitman, President
Pamelagrace Beatty, Vice-President
Laura Colman, Treasurer
Cheryl Brown, Secretary
Barbara DeCaro
Suzanne Simmons
Crystalyn Kae Brennan
Heather Langeland

NWAA Office
(360) 579-4903
The Northwest Art Alliance is dedicated to connecting the power of art, fine craft and community.
Northwest Art Alliance  
PO Box 665, Clinton WA 98236 
Phone: (360) 579-4903  [email protected] 
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