Featured Artist

Roberta WydeRoberta Wyde

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, I have lived in the Seattle area since 1988. I have had three careers in my adult life: public health (a PhD specializing in Epidemiology), parenting (fraternal twin sons), and glassblowing (since 2010). Today, almost 8 years later, my main focus is on glassblowing. I love how much there is to learn and the challenge of trying something new. The possibilities are endless. Whether I’m teaching beginners or practicing a new skill, shape or color technique for myself, every aspect of the process excites me.

R. Wyde glass 1Creating each new piece involves a significant amount of time. Each project includes drawing and designing the piece, choosing the colors and patterns, creating the parts, setting up the parts and, finally, executing the full piece to the final stages which usually involves some level of grinding, polishing, sandblasting, or engraving. I often employ Venetian techniques such as cane, murrini, and incalmo when working on a project. Many of my pieces are functional vessels made to be used and enjoyed rather than simply viewed. More recently I’ve been experimenting with hot glass sculpture.

Whatever the functional purpose of my pieces, I think it’s important that people interact with a piece. It is best if they can see, feel, and hold my work so they can fully appreciate it. Because of this, I prefer not to be the one to choose a piece for a client or friend. I believe each piece should evoke a feeling or emotion without words and that the person it is truly meant for will find it.

R. Wyde glass 2I design my pieces by matching the right form with the ideal surface, color, or patterns. Even after careful planning, I often see new forms emerging from the ones I am currently creating. Exciting new possibilities also open up through experimentation and collaboration with others. Pilchuck Glass School and the Pratt Fine Arts Center have been instrumental in exposing me to new ideas and techniques. This has introduced me to the community of glass artists that I so respect, appreciate and am able to work with and learn from. I discovered glassblowing later than many, but now that I have, I will continue to learn about, design, teach, and create glass art for myself and others.

Denise Forsyth

I was born in Ellensburg, Washington, but lived most of my life on the west side of the mountains. We have lived on Mercer Island since 1988. I am married and have three grown children and a granddaughter. My working career was in finance, working for a bank for over 25 years.

Goldwork © D. ForsythI have always loved needlework and had a dream to someday study at the Royal School of Needlework. After retiring in 2007, we lived in England and my dream came true. I have completed the Certificate Courses and the Diploma Courses at the Royal School of Needlework. The courses are held in San Francisco during the spring and the fall. However, Hampton Court Palace is my favorite place to take classes when possible.

I enjoy all forms of needle art. My favorite is the one that I am currently working on. I also, enjoy knitting socks as a distraction. I love to share my knowledge and look forward to teaching more in the future.

© D. Forsyth Mag cover Silk shading, Freddy Fox, was published in the November, 2011 and Bayeux Waterwheel canvaswork May, 2013, issue of the American Needlepoint Guild magazine Needle Pointers. My silk shading Sweet Pea was featured on a brochure for the Royal School of Needlework in September, 2012. My Strawberries were published in the Inspirations Magazine (an Australian magazine) issue 96, they also won first prize in the pulled thread category. 

Tami Donnelly 

Tammy DonnellyI was born in California, the second of three daughters. I  began drawing at an early age, horses and wolves being my favorite subjects. I would use my model horses as references, staring at them from all angles as I tried to draw them. I took art classes in middle school from a teacher who loved my drawings and basically gave me free rein to draw what I chose to do. She was my biggest influence. I took industrial arts in high school, switching from fine arts to graphic arts. For many years I stopped creating art.  In 2003 I picked up a brush and my very first painting was on a plaque, for my daughter to give to her friend before a job required us to relocate to Washington. I began painting in 2007, joining the Mt. Si Artists Guild and showing my art at festivals and local businesses in North Bend. I specialize in animal/nature themed art, but recently started to branch out in painting classic cars and people.

In 2012, I formed Freebird Studios with my daughter Emily, together we started entering the Treasures in Miniature Shows. After a few years of success, we decided to join MIVAL. Both of us enjoy participating in their Holiday Show, Summer Celebration, The Lighthouse Gallery and Treasures in Miniature.



In addition to MIVAL, I belong to the Black Diamond Art Alliance and Auburn Valley Creative Arts Collision. I also do local festivals and art walks, as well as participate in the Washington State fair.

Jane McCormmach – Silversmith

J. McCormmach, Silversmith at MIVAL Gallery Mercer IslandWhen our daughters were in middle and high school we worked together, selecting and combining beads of different shapes, textures and colors to make necklaces, bracelets and earrings to wear ourselves and to give as gifts. That was the beginning.

After I retired, I had the time to take classes and expand my skills.  My first efforts were chain making, starting with purchased sterling rings.  When I learned to make my own rings, I was able to experiment with the visual effect on patterns of using different sized rings with either round or square wire.

J. McCormmach, Silversmith at MIVAL Gallery Mercer IslandIn the next classes I began the long process of learning to solder. I am fortunate that my husband not only enjoys the hunt for stones, but is also willing to cut and polish them.  Currently, I am fascinated by using pieces of stone which more clearly reflect their origins by retaining at least one surface that is neither cut nor polished. 

In recent classes I have begun lost wax casting.  Initially, I made wax forms which I then cast in the traditional way.  I am now more fascinated by casting things from nature.  I love knowing that the alder cones came from Pioneer Park, the azalea twigs and geranium leaves from friends’ gardens, and the wheat from a farm established by my grandfather.  Working with plant material started me looking at other design opportunities.  I am starting to incorporate elements from vintage jewelry

J. McCormmach, Silversmith at MIVAL Gallery Mercer IslandI continue to work and learn as a silversmith. It is clear to me that there will always be more to learn, both in terms of technical skills and design flexibility.  During my 30 years as an estate tax attorney, solutions came from rules and regulations set by others.  Creating jewelry involves decisions drawn from my own ideas.  This has been a new adventure and an absorbing escape.  

We have lived on Mercer Island since 1979, raising 2 daughters, one now in Seattle and the other here on the island.  Three years ago we moved from the home where we raised our family to a condo on the north end.  Letting go of the connections with that home and the greater space was hard, but the right choice for our lives as they are now.  My husband loves the sun of an Arizona winter and we travel elsewhere as much as we can.

Margaret Li

I was born in England in the County of Wiltshire, near Stonehenge. People from Wiltshire are known as Moonrakers, implying they are country bumpkins. You can find the story and poem, in dialect, on the web at “Wiltshire Moonrakers”.

I trained as a nurse in London at Guys Hospital and as a midwife at Simpson’s in Edinburg. In addition, I took care of premature babies at the Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Egyptian Glass and Sterling © Margaret Li

Wanting to travel, I and a friend applied to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Here, I was sequentially a ward nurse, worked on a research project and taught nurses obstetrics.

I married a doctor trained at Hopkins and following his training and national service, we lived in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Portland. Finally, we settled on Mercer Island with our four children. After much travel, happily, three of them have returned to live on the island. We also have six grandchildren on the Island.

Sterling Buckle with cut out and overlay © Margaret Li

Sterling Buckle with cut out and overlay © Margaret Li

About 20 years ago I took classes at BCC in many subjects, including, making jewelry and photography, including an AA in Bio-photography. Twenty years later, my family are sufficiently adorned with my creations and I thought I would see if someone other than family would like my work. I enjoy all the different methods of making jewelry and like to incorporate interesting items or stones, that I find, into my pieces.

Rings of Sterling and Turquoise, Sterling and Rose Quartz and Sterling and Garnet © Margaret Li

At the 2016 MIVAL Holiday Show at the Community Center, I received an “Honorable Mention” Certificate.

Jim Carlson

Jim Carlson

I grew up just east of the San Francisco Bay during the 1950’s when the skies were still relatively dark. My first experience with photography was with my father trying to photograph Sputnik. Although this was a failure, it led to a lifelong interest in astronomy and a pursuit of photographing the night sky.

During the early 60’s I was exposed to oil painting and took private lessons. Soon college and then a career in engineering interfered and photography and painting were put on hold. Throughout the years I have had a constant need to be creative and my outlet for this was my engineering work. I am now retired and am using the opportunity to revisit my creative roots, photography and art. 

Blue Vase © Jim Carlson

Blue Vase © Jim Carlson

Bicycle at Black Rock © Jim Carlson

Bicycle at Black Rock © Jim Carlson

Although I still enjoy painting, I find the process of transfer printing digital photos onto various media and adding a hand painted component most expressive. This new process and special materials to support it were developed by Bonnie Lhotka and Karin Schminke of Digital Atelier. I like using this technique to produce pieces that are somewhere in between literal and impressionist.

Georgetown Oiler © Jim Carlson

Georgetown Oiler © Jim Carlson

For me the creative process starts with adventure in my life. These adventures provide a venue for my eye to see something new and different and the opportunity to photograph it. My choice of images is quite varied and is inspired simply by the way I see the world. My eye is drawn to scenes where the beauty of the natural world exists alongside our manmade landscape. I try to create pieces that evoke an emotional response in me. My hope is that they will trigger a response in others as well.

Gasworks Afternoon © Jim Carlson

Gasworks Afternoon © Jim Carlson

Sharon Jamieson 

Sharon Jamison, artistI began my art work as a young child drawing all the time. Unbeknownst to me my mother saved all of these drawings and gave them to me long after I was married and had my own children. She also saved my first sculpture of a horse head I made in my 6th grade art class. It sits on the top shelf in my studio to this day along with those drawings.

Over the years I dabbled in any art form that took my fancy; art classes in painting, fabric art in many forms, and finally pottery. I knew then that I had found the art form that
would take over from all the rest.

Sharon Jamieson

Great Eggspectations © Sharon Jamieson

I have always loved working with my hands. Pottery, sculpting and gardening are among my favorite endeavors. It seems only natural that once my work evolved from pottery to sculpture, it would again grow from indoor sculpture to garden art as well.

I took pottery classes from a number of different places throughout the area, as well as hand building from Ben Sams at Seward Park Clay Studio for many years. I also learned from him to make realistic faces, especially the eyes, as I refined my baby animal banks that I had always created for my nieces and nephews.

Sharon Jamieson

White Clay Pit Fired Bowl with Sculpted Fruit © Sharon Jamieson

I then took classes and workshops in sculpture at Seward as well as Kirkland Arts Center and College of the Desert in Palm Desert.

All of my clay work is hand-made, unique, and original. I never make anything from a mold. My sculptures are stained and minimally glazed. Sometimes I mix my own stains which I apply after firing to give a lovely patina to the existing color of the clay.

Sharon Jamieson

Terracotta Pit Fired Oval Vase © Sharon Jamieson

When we bought Towhead Island, a small private island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State in 1989, I began firing my pottery and simple sculptured forms there using the ancient technique of pit-firing. Before firing, each piece of art is hand burnished several times with both a polished stone and a small spoon, giving it the smooth, satiny and tactile finish. The unique colors of my pit-fired art are created as the color of the clay, minerals and organic materials placed around the art react to the smoke and flames in the pit.

Sharon Jamison Sculpture in clay

The Other Woman © Sharon Jamison

Designing three dimensional art gives me the satisfaction of seeing my creation from all sides, and the chance to experience both the visual and tactile sensations. I strive to give viewers the feeling of wanting to touch my art as well as see it. And, I hope that makes them smile.

Claudia Zimmerman


The Atom of Eve – © C. Zimmerman

Artist Claudia Zimmerman, has painted on both coasts, returning to Mercer Island ten years ago and returning to MIVAL 3 months ago. She shares a studio with 4 other artists in the Tashiro Kaplan Art Complex in Pioneer Square and also shows at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach and the RiverSea Gallery in Astoria Oregon. She has taught art in the public sector since the early 90’s and now teaches privately.


You are the Dream, Alice – © C. Zimmerman



As a painter, she endeavors to create compositions that comprise both representational and visionary ideals. Allegory and metaphor are her passion.


Lesson Learned – © C. Zimmerman


Dante’s Greyhound – © C. Zimmerman

Omar Chapa – Fine Art Photographer

Omar Chapa, photographer

Omar Chapa

Photographic Locales 

My photography is a way for me to record and expand upon time, memory, the roots of myself and the locales and places where I’ve lived and traveled.

I’ve photographed in the colonial cities of Mexico including San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Oaxaca, as well as Mérida and the Yucatán. My travels to Spain and Italy, New York, Paris, and London, and my living and work experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle have also provided exceptional opportunities for artistic expression in photography.


© Omar Chapa, Paris Walker, Painted Lady

Themes and Influences 

I believe one’s art progresses and grows over time.  I recognize ongoing themes in my images:  the experimental use of color or composition, photo collages, and the movement from micro to macro subjects.  My work also explores beauty in the human figure, landscapes, the ocean, the change of seasons, and couture fashion.  I value my membership in MIVAL and the friendships, influences, and art venues it provides me.

Seeking change and different activities inspires my artistic side. I enjoy the world-class classical and popular concerts available in the City. At times my art is rekindled with the intimacy of live chamber music or the benefits of a good play, a musical, or a movie.  The different tone and pace our lives take with cooking, or gardening, and sustaining moments spent with a  life partner, are also key to my artistic expression. This companionship, combined with a loving dog, the nearness of friends, and the mutual interests we share form lasting influences on me. I enjoy Spanish and my wife, Joanne, enjoys French.  We both have taught at Bellevue College and other campuses. Languages and the cultural rewards they provide certainly help us form friendships and bonds in different parts of the world. This also feeds my photographic expression.


© Omar Chapa, Oaxaca Mexico Cathedral and Trees


© Omar Chapa, Eiffel Tower Base, Street Scenes

A Seattle Emphasis

While working in downtown Seattle in the field of human resources, I often enjoyed strolling and browsing at different times of day, photographing shop windows and street scenes, and taking advantage of the changing light of early morning or dusk as it settled on the city. Night time also provided opportunities. Overall, I was able to capture an array of interesting photographs in the City, some from the higher floors of Seattle’s tallest buildings, including the Columbia Tower and the Municipal Tower.


© Omar Chapa, Couture White Dress, Columbia Tower detail

Exhibited Work and Related Interests

I have exhibited at faculty art shows at Bellevue College, A. B.’s Gallery in Pioneer Square, The Richmond Art Museum in California, the Mercer Island Arts Council, and various business and art venues in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I have been a featured artist in the Downtown Source, a former Seattle publication and the Mercer Island Reporter.   I like writing and my occasional articles have been published in the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and other publications.

Yanick Moravia – Painter 

Yanick Morovia 1

Yanick Moravia is a Haitian-American autodidact. She became an artist as a child; she loved to paint and draw and the family knew that a favorite present would be some art supplies and encouraged her to cultivate her talent. She spent many hours looking at art books at home and early influences were Haitian naïve paintings found at the market, artist Jean-Claude Castera, Picasso and Japanese prints. She developed a vivid visual imagination from the stories she read at 6 years old from her parent’s library, books for grown-ups, such as The Memoires of Charles de Gaulle, The 2ieme Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, L’Invitee, Climats by Andre Maurois and The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan and such. As she was too young to have had much exposure to the world, what she visualized reading was a construct of her imagination.

Yanick Morovia 2As she went to college to study psychology, at the admonition of her parents so that she may have a day job as an artist and not starve, she took great interest in psychological perception. She discovered that we do not have a clue about our environment as the sensory processes were developed in evolution along pure lines of survival. She started to pay closer attention to her own imagery and drawing her inspiration for her art from the inner eye. The work became a presentation of her perception rather than a representation of the world. She felt that common humanity lied in those grounds, the outlines emanating from objects of contemplation. Why not accept that a priori subjective perception as who we are? The creation process consists in the validation of subjective responses on the canvas. Then she saw the human figure as ancestral icon in a shrine of sea and sky, shipwrecked on the beach by evolution and heading for heaven.

Georgia QuickPainterGeorgia Quick 3

I have been painting since the early 90’s. I paint to play, to express my dreams. When I paint, I feel totally out of this world. It is for me a creative active meditation. Over the years, it has been encouraging to have others enjoy my work which has been featured in many group shows. My work has evolved to the current color play that is inspired by nature.

 Georgia Quick 1After retiring from my 46 year career in Physical Therapy this year, I have turned my energies to my painting full time. Inspired by nature and by this period of transition, the spiral images in my newest work direct the viewer inward and outward. Marking the cycles of time and an unbroken inter- connectedness, the spiral shape is one of the oldest recurring images in nature and in ancient drawings. The spiral is the perfect image for this time of life.

Georgia Quick 2


My teacher and mentor, Peggy Zehring, is a disciple of Wassily Kandinsky and the Bauhaus Painters. Valuing Truth over Beauty, she has continually challenged me to paint my Truth. My process often begins with an idea that leads to a mark on the canvas and proceeds on from there. Color, form and line appear as the painting takes on a life of its own. At times, I employ collage and the use of unfamiliar tools to make marks on the canvas or paper. I try to work in a series of three to five images in order to develop the images and to discipline myself to not go down every rabbit hole that appears in my creative path!

Carol WhitakerPainterC.Whitaker

In my abstract art, I challenge myself to answer artistic questions in the moment without the pressure of a planned result. The abstract forms and flowing paint free me to step beyond the specificity and structure of craft and the frozen-in-time nature of photography (both long time passions of mine) and discover a kind of movement and experimentation that is different than in my other work.

Ken & Bruno, painting by C.Whitaker

Ken Bruno 1 © C.Whitaker

Each painting is a unique journey — an exploration of artistic principles and an opportunity to discover new techniques and change approaches as I create. I begin with a visual inspiration — an item, image, or pattern, often something I photographed. I examine and reconsider the subject, framing and reframing it until there is a relationship and balance that I like. I commit paint to canvas without limiting myself to the parameters of the inspirational idea or image, but letting the process suggest new line and shape. From there, it is a dance, adding color, shape, pattern and texture, building new line, repeating until the piece says stop.

Painting, Cups, by C.Whitaker

Cups © C.Whitaker

In the end, each finished piece embodies its many steps, but also stands alone – process and result equally and interdependent, but also separate and independently valid.

Carol is a new artist, a former attorney and an ardent teacher and mentor.

Abstract painting, Black, by C.Whitaker

Black © C.Whitaker

Abbie Birmingham – Printmaker

Abbie Birmingham Print

Although I became a printmaker later in life, a background in architecture and urban planning provided the basis for much of my current work.  A random class at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle set me on the path to becoming a printmaker, and Pratt is still my “home” studio. I love combining a variety of printmaking techniques in my work, and the pieces can include etching, screen printmonoprintcollograph and shellac plates as well as collage.  I’m inspired by organic forms from nature and from the built environment, and the impact of the passage of time on each

We moved to Mercer Island in 1991 and raised our two kids here. Most of my career has been spent as a real estate and construction lawyer, but printmaking has provided a much needed creative outlet and gives me great joy.

Abbie Birmingham PrintI feel so fortunate to have tapped into this rich creative flow, and I tell people being in the studio is my “happy place”.  The possibilities are endless and the only constraint is not enough time.

Abbie Birmingham Print

Lesley West – Encaustic Artist

Lesley West

I am inspired by the organically occurring colors and textures found, but usually overlooked, in everyday objects – weathered wood doors, rusted steel drums, peeling paint on a building, moss covered sea walls.

The unique nature of the encaustic medium allows me to recreate and share my interpretation of these elements as rich, textured three dimensional art.

Lesley West Encaustic Lesley West Encaustic Lesley West encaustic art

Liana Bennett – Fine Artist, Teacher

Liana Bennett oil painting Born in 1948 in North Wales, my family moved to Canada, then on to LA in 1954. As a kid I drew all the time and not much else. Clayton Williams was an amazing art teacher that I was privileged to be mentored by him throughout my high school years. I won a scholarship to Art Center School while still in high school and to Chouinard (now CalArts) after school. I started working as an artist at the age of 19 in various studios doing “whatever” to earn a living. Started teaching at 27 and still teaching today. Moved to Seattle in 1983 and opened Arts Umbrella Art Center in 1984. I wanted a place that young artists could be with their peers and practice their art. I would have loved a place like Arts Umbrella when I was kid! We also have classes and workshops for adults. The students’ journey through art brings me incredible joy.

Liana Bennett oil paintingI paint in acrylics, oils and mixed media. The figure challenges me to this day, and it will always be the subject that I am pulled to. I need to feel a connection to whatever I paint, places I’ve been, people I know. Abstracts and abstraction is another area I love to explore.

Liana Bennett oil paintingBeen in galleries, won some awards, juried some shows and been in some books, but mostly just trudged along trying to reach that next elusive level of competence in my art. The WHOLE art world amazes me, all of it, Sargent to Rothko. Better than cake!





Glenn Showalter – Photographer Glenn_S_AlbemarleFarm


My life in art really began when I developed a roll of 127 film in 7th grade.  The Kodak home developing kit loaned to me by a friend began a career, going on to be a high school camera club member and school photographer the last two years. I did my first professional work in my senior year and received a Commendation from the Eastman Kodak Co. for a national competition. That helped me get accepted to the best college of photographic arts and science in the world at the time, Rochester Institute of Technology. At RIT I majored in Applied Photography (professional).

Beginning a professional careerI had a freelance part time business in Rochester, NY for four years, shot weddings some Saturdays, and was a photojournalist for Gannett Rochester Newspapers In addition, I was lucky to get a summer photographer position at the largest advertising photography studio in Philadelphia, PA my sophomore year. 

Glenn_S_SolarEclipseWhen I graduated RITaccepted an offer from the University of Virginia as photographer.  From their I went to an entry position at Ithaca College, NY and after one semester received a call from the director of photography at the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications to join the faculty at Syracuse University. During that time I saw a notice on the bulletin board to come teach at Montana State University (‘where’s Montana, Canada?’).  I had fallen in love with the Rocky Mountains during an air charter cargo flight with my new commercial pilots license put to use. There in the back country we had a special Whitefish art center forum, “Is Photography Art?”


I have had twenty some one-man and group shows across the country over the decades. My favorite photographer is an RIT alum (57) Jerry Uelsmann who does work I love that I can’t do, though we both completed the two multi-image projects in our freshman year curriculum. Jerry took off with this and I took off in an airplane. We’re both “still in the dark” loving the lab darkroom and film.

Artists and photographers, ask me about my favorite form of photography. While I have specialties in aerial and photojournalism, my favorite is teaching photography.  Teaching is the most important profession on Earth and I aspire to be the best photography teacher in the World.  The possibility that I could go back to teaching at Syracuse University, Montana State University, Ithaca College, or for years as a substitute teacher K-8 in Virginia public schools gives me a burning desire in my chest at night. At MSU they were calling me one of the best in America when I was about 28, though never wanted to rehire. Can you imagine, I was a “Big 10” university professor at age 25, lucky young man?  Now with gray hair, I still do occasional freelance assignments and visiting faculty courses.



Pat Howie – Painter

Every day, art opens a world of beauty to me.  Roaming through a museum or gallery, looking at the lake from my living room, or sitting at the easel with a paintbrush in my hand, the affirmation that I am doing what I love fills my senses.   During the three years when nine of my family and extended family members (as well as my three cats) died, and I was unable to concentrate long enough to read or write, I turned to painting.  At the University of Washington’s Certificate Program and Ilona Rittler’s School of Fine Arts, through the encouragement of Barbara Fugate and my dear friend Alden Mason, and the friendships from MIVAL, I painted my way out of the darkness I carried inside of me. Pat Howie Painting 2014 Painting by Pat Howie

During that time, I worked to capture the beauty of life on canvas, first through portraits, then through landscapes.  I looked for “life” in everyone and in everywhere that I went, and I used bright colors to express the joy of the continual existence I witnessed around me. Now, a new body of work called “WANDERLUST” chronicles my recent road trips, hikes and flights.  It can be seen at the MIVAL Gallery through Sunday, June 29.

Pat Howie Painting 2014Pat Howie Painting 2014

Artwork © Pat Howie

June Lindsey – Ceramic Artist

Photo June Lindsey

All my life I have busied myself as an artist, therefore I have never been bored and am usually happy. In high school my spending money was earned doing pen and ink drawings for a stationary company and murals and signs for the shops in my small town, Watertown, Wisconsin. At the U. of Wisconsin, Madison, I majored in Fine Arts then finished my degree at U.C. Berkeley in 1958. After starting out in the two dimensional world of painting and printmaking and six years as a graphic artist in the print industry, I found my true home in the 3-D muddy world of clay. In 1966 I took my first classes from Jane Wherrete and Maxine Gorton , Mercer Island potters. Since 1978 I have been affiliated with Seward Park Clay Studio as a student, occasional teacher, resident artist, board member and its president. I have been a member of MIVAL since the 1970’s and recently a member of the MIVAL Gallery. Since the 1980’s, I have been a member of the Washington Potters Association and have exhibited regionally including many juried and invitational shows.

Sculpture 1 June Lindsey

Troll Contemplating the Inconvenience of a Tail © June Lindsey

Although I began throwing functional pottery on the wheel, I now exclusively hand build. I am intrigued with the asymmetry and the infinite variety of shapes that coil, slab, carving and pounding can produce. Most of my work is high fired to cone ten in a gas kiln. Occasionally I do raku, saggar, pit firing and low fire oxidation for special effects. My art has gone through many phases over the 48 years including female forms, birds, rocks, carved eggs, fruit and gourds and large vessels. What has remained constant is an emphasis on earth related forms and voluptuous round shapes with minimal color to allow the texture and form to be the interest.

Sculpture 2 June Lindsey

Dream Ruins © June Lindsey

Currently, most of my work is inspired by the artifacts, pottery techniques and vessel shapes of the Native American cultures of the Four Corners. My fascination with the ruins and petroglyphs of the Anasazi led to research and classes with Pueblo potters. In my pieces, I attempt to evoke a feeling of cliffs, rocks and deserts of the Southwest while incorporating designs based on ancient drawings. My intention is not to duplicate the art but to be influenced by it and add my aesthetic to that history.

Doris Kleemann-FischerKF_Doris Knight Seattle Photo

I was born and raised in Germany, studied science in Germany and Switzerland and in 1997 moved to Seattle to work as a postdoc at the University of Washington. A few years later I left the world of scientific research and followed a new creative calling, photography. I studied Photography at the UCLA, the Learning Tree University and with CA nature photographer Tom Gamache. My images are the reflection of me “Smelling the Roses”! They are my attempts to capture the inherent beauty of a moment in time. KF_Doris Beach BasketsKF_Doris Blackened Sun PhotoMy photographic objects of interest represent mostly the two northwest landscapes, which have influenced my life the most, the plains of Northwest Germany, Ostfriesland, and the Pacific Northwest, my newfound love and home. These days I find myself more often using photos only as my canvases, my starting point for something new. They are my inspiration for my creativity. I present most of my photo graphics on metal (aluminum), which has an exceptional archival value, beautiful reflective light properties and in combination with the translucent dyes used for the metal printing, enhance my images and their subtleties. All my photo art images are printed as very small limited editions (2–10). At the present time my work can be found at the MIVAL Gallery on Mercer Island, Studio 103 at Pioneer Square in Seattle,MI Physical Therapy, JuJubeet in Bellevue, and online at my webpage www.fisheye-art-of-light.com.   “Let’s smell the roses every day!”

KF_Doris Bremerton Photo



Lucia Neagu

Soft Glow painting by Lucia Neagu In my youth I earned a graduate degree in Applied Art, however, with children to raise and a job to hold, I found no time for artistic pursuits. I hoped that later in life I would be able to find the time to express myself as an artist. That time came in 2006 when I moved from Romania to the United States, where my kids lived.  Here I started a new phase of my life – a late painting journey. As a beginner I was overwhelmed and scared about the whole process. I spent a lot of time in the library reading books about art, materials and process. Soon I acquired a new visual vocabulary and I tried to implement what I had learned into my work. I started with watercolor and discovered by chance the pleasure of painting on Yupo – a type of synthetic paper.  Two years later I moved to acrylics. A visit to Puget Sound’s Jones Island enabled me to discover unusual beautiful rocks that triggered a series of paintings. Later I found a good source of inspiration in stumps and bark, observed while hiking in the forests. Painting them, I proved to myself that nature is the best teacher. Later, a fascination with “abstract” energy got a hold of me.

Lightsaber Play painting by Lucia Neagu

Frozen Flow painting by Lucia Neagu

From the very beginning I was attracted to abstract art. I dreamed about painting in an painterly style, but it came much easier to have a stylized, decorative, design style, somehow colder and rigid, determined from within by my architecture/decorative studies. While working I learned that I am mostly attracted to expressing myself spontaneously, to develop my ideas directly on canvas, without prior sketches. The more bold and uninhibited I start, the more gates I unlock for imagination to flourish and bring out details. The result, most of the time, is abstracted with an organic touch. I am still fascinated by the way the creative process works; the way it extracts information from my intellectual, aesthetic and spiritual background, and expresses itself through intuition – like coming from nowhere.

Figment painting by Lucia Neagu

Now, eight years later I am still chasing the state where my native openness and lyrical predisposition will freely translate into a spontaneous expression of flowing masses of colors and energetic, restless brush strokes. I want my art to be abstract, ambiguous, spontaneous, and full of energy and flooded with colors. I am working on it, wanting to please my lonely spirit on this journey without a destination. http://www.lucia.neagu.com

Raleigh Nowers

In my past life, I was an Operating Room nurse and very left brained! When I retired from Nursing for the first time in 1993 I took several art classes to awaken my right brain. I started with watercolor and over the years I have taken classes from Chuck Webster; Cathe Gill; Michelle Cooper; Carol Strecher Jones; Susie Short and Anne Breckon. My Sumi-e classes were with Hiroko Seki, Lois Yoshida and Y. Zhu. While developing my ‘artistic inner self’ I find I look at my world in a different way. I am now more aware of color, texture and the atmospheric environment of the Pacific Northwest. I like to paint landscapes, flowers and animals and play around with different techniques and media. I have a Muse but she is very undisciplined and seems to take too many breaks from our art studio. I’m hoping we’ll become more disciplined in 2014.

Morning Glories Painting

I joined MIVAL in 2005 and sold my first painting at the 2007 Summer Celebration Show. What I have found belonging to MIVAL is that there are so many opportunities and events in which an artist can submit their art. This group is supportive, helpful and encouraging. I am one of the original artists who joined the MIVAL Gallery in 2010 and have had many successes selling my cards and paintings there. It is wonderful that we have MIVAL to support and encourage us. But you know what? MIVAL is us!

  Irises Crow 2 Raleigh Nowers Painting

Wanda Hughes

David Sinclair

David Sinclair and his family moved to Mercer Island, in 1997. Previously, his drawings and paintings have been shown in various venues, both corporate and private, in Canada. For the years prior to moving to the U.S. he was represented in Toronto, Ontario at the Mecene Gallery. David draws and paints directly from his subjects, each invoking its unique expression. The expression a subject invokes may be whimsical, dramatic, personal, nostalgic, abstracted, funny or metaphorical. David draws and paints without any intervening medium; hence the title of this display: Immediacy. He hopes his work reaches his audience simply in terms of being there.

© David Sinclair Painting


© David Sinclair Painting

My Space dot calm

© David Sinclair Painting

Fugitive Light

© David Sinclair Painting

Entry to a Dream


Daniel Craig

I enjoyed studying art in all the years I’d been in school and have ‘dabbled’ in many mediums. But I settled on photography as my main interest, basically a hobbyist.There was no such thing as computer graphics back then. With the advent of digital arts, I returned to school and eventually weaned myself from the darkroom.While I greatly appreciate the unaltered straight image, a photograph can be used as a template or as part of a larger work.  Graphic programs are useful to impart mood, correct lens distortions and …. well… you are only limited by your imagination. I have only recently resumed showing for the first time since my college days. I have done some illustration , restoration work and have ‘livened up’ a few dull powerpoint presentations. Belonging to MIVAL has awoken artistic instincts. Perhaps I’ll set the camera down, step away from the desk top and dust the brushes and pencils once again.    — Daniel Craig

Photography by Daniel Craig Photograph-by-Daniel-Craig Mt. Rainier Photograph by Daniel Craig

Sandi Parsons

S. Parsons Bubbles Acrylic Painting

Bubbles © Sandi Parsons

My first art moment:  My mother gently pushing my reluctant 2-year-old hands into finger paint.  From trepidation to joy I have loved making art ever since.  I work from my home studio and my inspiration to paint, photograph and draw comes from the sky, nature, architecture and the keen observations of my children.   Being a part of MIVAL has been a wonderful experience!

S. Parsons Floating Forest Painting

Floating Forest © Sandi Parsons

S. Parsons Canal Oil Painting

Canal © Sandi Parsons

Gamze Seckin

Dongen 1 Watercolor

Dongen 1

Gamze was born in February 1969 and is from Izmir, Turkey. She moved to US in 1996 as a Fulbright scholar for her doctorate study in computer engineering and has been working in the telecommunications industry since 2000. She currently lives on Mercer Island, Washington with her husband and two boys Onur and Kaya.
On the Streets 1 Watercolor

On the Streets 1

Gamze has always appreciated the solemnity of art and literature, but her active journey in art started around 1998 with her increased fondness of Mediterranean impressionists. She paints simple human figures and landscapes in watercolor. Her first exhibit “Collage 2009” was a joint event with other artists from Washington. Gamze is a member of Mercer Island Mival Gallery since May 2009.

“I paint simple human figures and landscapes with watercolor. I paint to express feelings that do not come easy with words, to capture the beauty of simplicity and to have a break from my busy daily life.”

You can visit Gamze’s website and leave a comment at http://gamze.blogspot.com or email her at gamzeseckin@gmail.com

Little Village 2 Watercolor

Little Village 2 Watercolor
© Gamze Seckin

Pia Messina


Born in Turin, Italy, Pia moved to the United States in 1969 with her husband and two sons. She’s lived in Bellevue, WA since 1989. While living in the New York City area for several years, she attended the National Academy of Design and the Art Student’s League. Studying from talented instructors, she was introduced to watercolor, collage, sumo-e, pastels and acrylics.

Pia 3

Pia says, “New York City is a place where one who is exposed to visual art can hardly keep his imagination and tastes unchanged for long. Slowly, I changed inside and surprised myself painting things that were not as they appeared, but my impression of them. After many years of painting live models, I decided to challenge myself with abstract painting. It is not easy to keep images from popping up.

Pia 1

 Don’t ask me why I keep on painting… I just enjoy myself.” As Christopher Schink said, “Persistence and determination are what counts”.

Surya Gaertner

© Surya Gaertner Demime Hall

I was born and raised in Germany and came to live in the United States in 1987. When I was ten years old, I painted from memory, a journal in 24 small colorful pictures of us children on a two weeks long school field trip. I remember posing in front of a mirror to get the right image of a girl picking blueberries in the forest. Not much has changed since then. I love painting and drawing the world around me, the people, their houses, gardens, fields, and towns. For my figurative work, I often rely on posing models, unless I work completely from memory. To paint a landscape in plein air alters my state of being. I get overwhelmed by the constantly changing light and colors in the scenery around me. © Surya Gaertner Whidbey Island Bluff

Besides painting in oils, pastel or watercolor, drawing in various media, etching and printmaking, I also do 3-dimensional work. I braid vinyl straps and wire into sculptures, which can be placed in the house or garden. With my life size, almost abstract sculptures, I want to surprise the viewers, to confront and inspire them to form their own individual   association with the image in front of them. © Surya Gaertner The Proud One The interplay of changing reflections on the partially shiny material, the light penetration through gaps and the openings and breezes moving free flowing straps allow my sculptures to take on their on lively expressions. Only recently I recognize increasingly my North European background in my art work.

Barrie Riday

Riday Owl Riday Sleeping Bear National Lake Shore Park 2

Barrie Riday is 95 years young and has been married to her husband Jack for 74 years. They still live in the same home they purchased on Mercer Island 55 years ago. She graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin as a Biologist. She soon married and raised 2 sons and a daughter.
Barrie first became a member of MIVAL in the early seventies. For many years she made leaded glass ornaments and sold them at the Nordstrom’s Gift shop in Seattle. She paints in Watercolor and pastels. Both of her parents were commercial artists and she was informally trained by them and started painting and drawing at an early age.   She grew up in Michigan and has spent nearly every summer of her life at her summer home in Michigan next to the Sleeping Bear National Lake Shore Park. Many of her paintings are of the sand dunes and beaches near her summer home where her heart is.
Riday Sleeping Bear Nat. Lake shore park 3

Nancy Abel

While my art roots were planted in the media of paint and clay, I find digital photography gives me new methods to approach making art. I love to combine multiple images and I find endless inspiration in elements of nature and the urban landscape. © N. Abel- Orchid © N. Abel- Lily Antherium _3x2_300dpi

Although a single photograph often satisfies me as a final image, I find combining layers of photographs and textures is a lot of fun and often better conveys the emotion of the captured moment. Similar to multiple exposures or applying paint glazes to canvas, for me, combining images, texture, and color is like mixing a bit of abstraction with reality. In either case, whether the final image is a straight photograph or a composite, my goal is to create an organic image which reflects the original subject with both visual depth and spirit.

More work on my website www.nancyabel.com and Instagram

© N. Abel- Ti-Leaves Koi 1 Golden_3x3_300dpi

Ken Claflin



Black and white photography was my passion for over 2 decades. The black and white dance photographs are from around 1986. My camera: the Canon AE-1 with Kodak Tri-X (black & white film) and I were inseparable. Whether I was hiking, sailing, or traveling, I took thousands of black and white photos. I love to travel and take street photography. With the technology of modern digital cameras, I am able to shoot street photography at night without a tripod. I love to capture how people live, work,  and play at night. These Paris Café scenes at night are examples. When I was pursuing my photography degree, I fell in love with color night photography. My urban landscapes are about capturing the city at night creating an image with accumulated time – not something one can actually experience … but something more. My earliest memories are from my apartment in Seattle on 6th and Yesler watching the shimmering water from the sunset on Elliott Bay and the lights starting to glow after dark. Twilight has always been a magical time of day for me.
Cafe Latin Quarter

Cafe Latin Quarter

My urban night photography series is about capturing the urban environment at night, creating images with accumulated time, not something one can actually experience in an instant, but something more. I find a special beauty in this alteration provided by night and night lighting. The unexpected rich color of night light transforms the city in which we work, play and live. Photography captures a moment in time but long exposures capture a sense of duration. People become ghosted or disappear as they pass through the frame. Elongated exposures can soften nature. Harsh waves, driven by the wind, are transformed to a soft velvet glow but the stillness that which does not move remains sharp and crisp. Man and nature co-mingling with the city lights create a ghostly amusement park.
Le-Verde Photo

La Verde

Bellevue Pond Photo

Bellevue Pond

I find a special beauty in the blending of city lights where we work, live, commute and play. The night has the ability to transform a place bringing life to the mundane with excitement, making it mysterious or romantic, or making it a dark and lonely place. My latest series is making High Dynamic Range (HDR) Panoramas. It takes at least 6 exposures to create one photo. First I create multiple HDR photographs in Photoshop and stitch them together to create the panoramas.

Zeynep Alev

Zeynep was born in 1969, in Istanbul, Turkey. She studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University and finished her master’s degree in architecture at University of Arizona. After practicing for a couple of years in Atlanta and Seattle, she found herself busy with kids at home. Since then she satisfies her itch for creation and design by working on small scale projects and painting at her home office.
Zeynep Alev 1         Since her childhood she has immensely enjoyed drawing and painting. Art always became a way to express herself, a way to anchor memories and a way to enjoy life. She is inspired by her kids, her dreams. Her background in architecture perseveres in her compositions. She likes to focus on where and how things exist in space and light. She likes to experiment with different mediums besides pencil, acrylic, watercolor, oil, and soft pastel. Her recent interest is in printmaking. Zeynep Alev 4

Marcela Kofranek © Marcel Kofranek

I always loved painting. I had to take some drawing and painting classes when I was in college and I really enjoyed those classes. I received award for my watercolor painting and another award in design while in school. After I finished the mandatory classes I did not continue to draw or paint, because I never had neither the courage nor the time. I started to paint seriously many years later, in 2004. When I discovered how therapeutic it is to draw and paint, I painted more and more. I love to play with colors, shapes and composition. I love to be creative. Painting is a delight to me. ~Marcela Kofranek

Special Edition: John Sager

Although John Sager is not a MIVAL member, his wife, Joan Sager, was a MIVAL member and past president (1986). We are featuring John’s new memoir about the two of them as “Featured Artist” in tribute to her. John Sager has committed to donating whatever royalties the book produces to the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center and the Alzheimer’s Association; they deal with the two scourges that took Joan’s life last summer. Featured Artist John Sagar


Lilian Broekhoven

My work is developed by my fascination forLilian lines. You’ll find this in my choice of techniques that emphasizes lines, linocuts and collagraphs. I like to play with basic shapes, colors, patterns and textures and discover the hidden lines that intersect them. Lately, I have been using my prints to create collages. With this technique I love to use layers; open up prints by cuttings or using transparent papers.



Once a month I am meeting with a Seattle Print Arts Salon Group where we share ideas, critique each other’s work, go on fieldtrips, and even put a show together. Being a part of MIVAL and the MIVAL Gallery in particular, inspires me as well.

Bean Soup

Bean Soup








Mary McKelvey

© Mary McKelvey- Humming BirdFrom my earliest memories, I have always loved to sketch and paint. My mediums have been, from my first endeavors with crayons, to acrylics, oils, charcoals, pastels and now watercolors.

My major in college was English, although I took art classes whenever my schedule permitted. Working my way through school did not allow too much free time for painting. After marrying and raising my family, I found that I finally had the time to take classes I wanted. So in the mid 90’s I enrolled in several drawing, perspective and design classes at Bellevue Community College. Then over the last five or six years I have been more specifically drawn to watercolors. I first heard that they were “one of the hardest mediums”. Naturally, I wanted to give it a try. Actually, I find that watercolors are not so difficult once you learn a few tricks, or “techniques”, as the instructors are quick to point out.
© Mary McKelvey-CatI joined MIVAL and then Northwest Watercolor Society. Through these two dynamic organizations, I found a bounty of terrific art instructors. So, I jumped into watercolors and quickly found out that I was mostly drawn to painting flowers. With the encouragement and challenges from my new community of artist friends, I joined the MIVAL Gallery. The expectation of having to create new art each month, was the “pressure” I needed to get the artistic juices flowing. I am now moving past just flowers and hope to include many more landscapes, animals and people in my art. I currently show my paintings regularly at the MIVAL Gallery, The Mercer Island Community Center as well as the many venues that are available throughout Mercer Island. Additionally, I have recently joined my sister in her new Artists Cove Gallery in Aransas Pass, TX.
I have actually now sold a few paintings, many cards and bookmarks and even received an “Honorable Mention” in one of the shows I entered. This has all been a very exciting and therapeutic experience as I find my artistic life evolving.