Annual Art Bash

ART BASH! 2019, a perennial feature of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, will be held in Mount Vernon’s Carnation Building, just a few steps away from downtown Mount Vernon and the Tulip Festival Street Fair. Our show features a selection of three-dimensional works in addition to two-dimensional artwork. 

Our 2019 show was a resounding success, and we look forward to an even better one next year. 

Our artists this year included the following people. 

Ron King ~ Stratomorphic Renderings

My art is the unknown just beyond the familiar. I begin with a photograph and then go deep into the image itself to free the restless phantasmagorias within the still life. Through Stratomorphic Rendering, a digital media technique that involves painstakingly working through multiple artistically enhanced layers of each image, I coax out the heart of each piece to deliver a visual experience that offers more than reality.

Andy Friedlander – Painting, Flower Photography

I have spent the past 50 years creating art. My career was in the theatre as an actor, director, writer and teacher. I have played with several bands on the east and west coasts – for the past twenty years it’s been bluegrass with the Prozac Mtn. Boys. In 1966 I took my first painting class from Mitsuo Kakutani, a Japanese painter and landscape designer. He taught me three things that became foundational in my artistic life, regardless of medium. First, creating art is a process of making choices – the most important of which, perhaps, is when to stop. Secondly, all art is ultimately collaborative – the nature of the collaboration differing in each art form. And third, you must become adept at manipulating the elements of your medium in order to create art that is engaging. Inspiration must rest on a foundation of technique.

My most recent work explores the shape and feeling of memory. At 72, my memory has become unreliable and I have taken the opportunity to explore what memories look and feel like on canvas. This process has helped me to come to terms with one of the most challenging aspects of aging.

Birgit LaFace – Acrylics

Ever since I was a child I have enjoyed drawing and painting. When I retired to beautiful Anacortes, WA I signed up for various art classes like tole painting, watercolor, pastel, Chinese brush painting and finally acrylics. I have taken classes for some time from Dianna Shyne, a great teacher and artist. She teaches how to paint in the style of the Impressionists, which I have always loved. My goal is to paint like they did showing how the light makes everything come alive. I love getting together with my artists friends and just paint. It’s what makes me happy.

Dee Doyle – Acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, encaustics

My daily art journey begins with “What if?” Seeking, risking, and making art, and sharing joys, challenges, successes and lessons learned, I paint with acrylics, watercolors, wax and mixed media.

Each time I pick up a brush I am learning something new … about the medium, color, design, and composition. My intention is to explore ideas and techniques and push myself beyond my comfort zone. When something in my paintings works, I want to share my excitement and successes with students and patrons. When something in my paintings isn’t working, it’s back to the drawing board, but I share those challenges with students as well.

To those who ask what my favorite medium is, I tell them whichever one I am working with at the moment! I attend local life-drawing sessions as often as possible, and enjoy figurative painting. As well, I paint that which pleases me in my environment. Am not sure I have a “style,” but I am influenced by Impressionists and Expressionists who are a bit edgy. It’s all about creating the illusion and not filling in too many lines!

Robert DeFreest – Film photography

My goal is to create images on film which capture the tranquility & haunting beauty of the night. These images are  quiet meditations on forlorn locales & the effect weather has in creating mood pieces. Nocturnal railroad  environments, especially, are a well spring of mood & atmosphere. These locations abound with a mournful beauty &  a peaceful solitude few people explore. It is this sense of aloneness (not to be confused with “loneliness”) which I  strive to visually convey ​without the use of Photoshop or any other post process effects,​ ​rather, relying on natural  effects (fog, rain, snow & the light of the moon) in order to create arresting images​.

Ron Radtke – Woodworking

My passion is blending contemporary and natural shapes.
An interaction between me and a piece of a living tree, letting me sculpt visual and tactical art.

Working with the wood, many times the shape comes once I have started carving, turning and finishing the piece.

Caroline Garland – Oil, acrylic, pastel

I am a “colorist”, always experimenting with hues and combinations, not necessarily realistic, but eye catching or emotionally rousing. I usually paint landscapes but also wildlife and birds. I feel these works should show something of the surrounding landscape and the personalities of the creatures.

Mechel Bell – Mixed media

Acrylic painter, mix medium enthusiast and art teacher. Her passion for nature shows through all of her art pieces. And, having been raised working in a ceramic studio, she has discovered a love for teaching art also.

Sarah Dalton – Acrylic and mixed medium

I am inspired by how layers and time builds each of us. Both my photography and paintings are layered pieces. I like to repurpose discarded materials, am attracted to textures and exploring transitions in time. And I want each piece to be unique. I use multiple images, collage materials, and substrates to tell my story about the subject. I use pieces of wood I find on the beach, the inside of aluminum cans, cracked surfaces, metal leaf, or a painting. My paintings are multiple layers using mixed media. 

Phoebe Smith – Pastels

I regularly respond in paint to what I notice, appreciate and desire to remember and share with others. The art is in the interpreting of what I see – in the laying down of shape, value and color in a way that speaks to the viewer visually, not aurally. Art done in isolation may be therapeutic, but art done over time, in community, and while “drawing “ from old and new masters is a deep, enriching experience that brings artistic growth and pleasure to the artist. I hope my artwork brings pleasure to you, the viewer, as well.



Jennifer McGill ~ Oil

I am drawn to beauty, composition, light and color. My focus as an artist is to capture the world around me through painting. I scout locations, sketch, take pictures and plan for success. I meditate on what I call “the next”, which is visualization of desired results before painting. The complex interplay of elements: warm, cool, texture, smoothness, edge and shape are all employed to help tell a story. The success of my painting is defined by an intersection of how closely elements, subject matter and my vision align. My artistic purpose is to capture a story of beauty and culture of our time.


Therese Cruz ~ Oil, acrylic, collage

i draw and paint objects from thrift shops to be able to pose them in a shadow box with a single-source lighting. That way i am able to capture the image as if it were a three-dimensional object. i like to give my subject(s) a story, but story is up to the viewer to create. i like to paint figures and portraits, but doing that from photographs is inadequate, and painting from life is demanding. To compromise, i choose dolls, figurines and stuffed animal. i also paint small landscapes because we are in beautiful surrounding, but i compose my work inside the studio.


Sheila Saxon – Fiber Wearable

I create my one-of-a-kind “Felted Fantasies” fiber art by hand, using 100% merino wool or 100% baby alpaca. The felted purses, hats, and fingerless gloves are knitted and felted and then needle felted. Needle felt art provides the artist the ability to add detail and depth to create a “life-like image.

Beth Franklin – Acrylic on canvas

As an artist, I strive to capture meaningful moments found in nature and share them with others this inspires me to create paintings which are very detailed in a style that seems to move. I strive to express an individual personality in each piece to portray the variety I see in nature. I am inspired by the diverse and wondrous range of life, depth, and color that can be found hidden under rocks in our environment.

My desire to illuminate the diversity and sustainability of life within our oceans, tidelands, wetlands, and forests through art gives me the determination to keep moving forward.  Striving to continuously gain knowledge and create new experiences, my goal is to share the dream and inspire creativity

Sue Bloomfield – acrylic on canvas

The beauty of the natural world energizes me and brings me joy. I paint mostly stylized landscapes with occasional forays into painting animals and abstracts. I hope that my vibrant reflection and interpretation of the natural world, with its energy, serenity, and joy, enriches the lives of my viewers as it does my own.

My guide in what and how I paint is primarily design, light, and color. Design is always the first consideration, the amount of light and shadows adding depth is next, and the impact and intensity of color give each work the finishing touch of life. I learn the most from the drafts that don’t work, causing me to study, think, observe, and correct. The eureka moment and the excitement of working with new vision keeps me coming back.

Carol Anderson – Mixed Medium, Fiber Art, Wire Art, Photography, Watercolor 

I have been acquiring skills for a lifetime: sewing, knitting and crocheting from my grandmother, drawing skills and aesthetics from her fashion illustrator mom, knitting Fair Isle style sweaters from her American Field Services hosts in the Faroe Islands as a teenager, jewelry making with Navajo Indians in Winslow, Arizona, and photographic skills practiced over a lifetime of world travel. Currently I create a variety of wearable fabric art, do photography, make jewelry and dabble in watercolor.

Rebecca Parker – Acrylic

I paint to have a break from reality. My paintings sooth my mind’s process of always figuring out reality and putting things in realistic order. When I paint my brain relaxes, exhales and breathes in deeply. My mind wanders and picks up little friends as it goes. These friends, a lot of the time, dictate what I should paint or what I should add to paintings. I try to ignore these bossy little voices but I’ve found it’s easier reaching a compromise or just letting them tell me what to do. They have yet to disappointment, no matter how crazy their ideas are. I found if I rope them in, they let me have my way temporarily. However, they continue to boss me around in the next painting thus eventually getting their way.

I find painting is the life preserver of my crazy mixed up life. It lets me be sane………. or at least appear sane? I don’t know. I know it feels good so I’ll continue to take the adventure.

Robyn Kruse – Acrylic on paper or wood panel, mixed media 

I am a Mount Vernon=based artist who was raised in the Midwest, lived on both coasts, and has traveled the world. Recently retired from a successful business career, I can now focus on my art, which is heavily influenced by my travels, especially a 4 year residency in Japan.

In addition to drawing and painting, I have worked with mosaics, weaving, silk screening, toy making and writing. I love rich colors and textures and they strongly inform my mixed media and paintings. I see my work as representational, but now and then with abstractions that shift perspectives, giving the viewer the chance to see an everyday subject in a new light.

Donna Nevitt-Radtke – Oil

Skagit Valley Artist Donna Nevitt-Radtke has been an artist for as long as she can remember. She has taken every opportunity to add to her knowledge of value, color and design. Donna studied with numerous well known artists and teachers, taking from each one what she needed in her quest. She says that “the inspiring Northwest landscape gets filtered through my artists’ eye blurring the lines between representation and abstraction. I find it exciting to watch each painting unfold on my canvas”.

Her primary medium is oil using an impasto, impressionistic, abstractish style. “I love it for its’ luscious buttery texture, but occasionally I go to my Pastels because nothing else gives the immediate satisfaction of pure fabulous color.  I like to give the viewer a different way to see the world around us especially our Skagit Valley.”

Jacqueline DeGavia – Watercolor and oils

Jacqueline DeGavia’s tranquil watercolors and oil landscapes reflect her childhood in the Canadian North woods. A working artist for most of her adult life, she finds special joy in the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.

She holds a Master’s degree in Adult Education and taught for many years with special-needs students. To encourage other to “Echo Their Magic,” she wrote a booklet called Creating Simply: Create a Painting in Three Easy Steps.