Catherine Mix, Patricia Starr and Dianne Johnston are award-winning
The three women are business professionals, mothers, wives and friends.
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15-16, the trio is inviting the community to mingle, see their latest works and enjoy light refreshments with a glass of wine during ARTfusion in the Farmhouse Gallery at The Cutting Garden.
ARTfusion - thought up by Mix as a way for the three friends to join forces and do what they love - is expected to become a semiannual event, taking place in the spring and fall.
"Playing in the sandbox alone is not as much fun as playing with others," Mix said. "Without even realizing it, I was looking for others to join me and when I met these two women, I knew the end result would be amazing."
Mix has hosted two other "one-woman" shows inside the farmhouse.
Similar in multiple ways, Mix, Starr and Johnston are dedicated artists with a tendency to make lists, tell jokes and strive to put those around them at ease. But, according to Johnston, it's their differences that make the show unique.
Mix, a Sequim resident since 1998, paints in pastel and watercolor. Her paintings are known for capturing the alluring color and light of the Northwest and Southwest landscapes. Her work can be seen in numerous private and public collections.
When she's not painting, Mix can be found at The Cutting Garden tending to the gardens, planning weddings and special events, and traveling - taking pictures to recreate at a later point in time.
Starr, a recent Sequim transplant, specializes in watercolor paintings of landscapes, flowers, people and pets. She started painting as a young girl and pursued the passion in college. Admirers of Starr's work say that her paintings embody depth and boldness - a characteristic not always extracted from the watercolor medium.
Working part time as a mental health counselor, Starr stays busy but always finds time to paint.
Having lived in Sequim for only a matter of months, Starr said she is delighted to have made such wonderful friends in so little time.
Johnston, who moved to Sequim in 2000, is a raku potter.
Raku, typically irregular in shape, is a Japanese pottery technique involving post-firing reduction in a low-oxygen atmosphere. After a pot is fired, it's glazed with combinations that include metallic substances. Then it's fired a second time, heated to about 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, removed rapidly from the kiln with metal tongs and placed in a closed metal container, usually a trash can.
"Raku magic" takes place in the closed container - the fire reduces the oxygen, the glazes react and unglazed surfaces turn black from smoke. After a short time, the burning stops and the still-hot piece can be carefully removed from the container.
The finished product is decorative, not functional. The pottery isn't safe for food and won't hold water.
Johnston fires her pottery in a home studio nestled among large cedar trees and the beauty of her personal gardens.
The least experienced artist of the group, Johnston discovered her passion for art by accident 10 years ago. To make up for lost time, she quit her teaching job, retired early and has been pursuing pottery ever since.
"I feel like the luckiest person in the whole world to do that," Johnston said.
During the two-day show, the threesome personally will greet guests and answer questions while visiting with old friends and meeting new faces.
"People can come and have a good time looking at art," Starr encouraged. "We want to show (the community) what we've created together and share that inspiration with others."
Merging passion and artistry
ARTfusion, an inaugural exhibit, will feature the latest works of Sequim artists Catherine Mix, Patricia Starr and Dianne Johnston from noon-4 p.m. at the Farmhouse Gallery at The Cutting Garden, 303 Dahlia Llama Lane. For more information, go online www.ARTfusionSequim.com or call 460-6314.
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