Marrowstone Island
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Marrowstone Island Brief 10, Galleries

Artist: Marjorie Illman

Marjorie Illman will be the feature artist at the Bruskin Gallery in Port Townsend for the month of March. On Marrowstone, Marjorie has the Little Island Gallery, where she markets her works in acrylic, watercolor, sumi-e, scratchboard, colored pencil, pen and ink, pastels, and combinations of these. Her gallery was started five years ago after her neighbor, Kay Savold, gave her the suggestion. Since there was a space in the Illman's former trailer port they build a little gallery.

Marjorie's interest in art evolved with drawing lessons at the age of nine. Her career began after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Fine Arts. A short course in commercial art at Edison Vocational School landed her a job in the advertising department of Shoenfield's Department store in Seattle doing layouts, and art work. A notable accomplishment was her completion of over 100 scientific drawings for a book on Puget Sound fishes her father, Professor Trevor Kincaid, intended publishing. These drawings were later given to the Burke Museum.

After her marriage to John Illman in 1943, they moved to California where her experience secured a job doing advertising art for a chain of furniture stores based in Oakland. At this time, she illustrated a children's book for a Seattle author. While busy raising their three children, Marjorie sought other art fields, studying mosaics. pottery, photography, copper enameling, and silk screening. Eventually, she returned to painting and was often the single featured artist in several shows in the San Francisco Bay area.

Marjorie and John Illman settled on Marrowstone in 1977. Retirement is never in the realm of an artist, and Marjorie soon helped organize the Marrowstone Art Guild which is active today. Her creative hands have also produced jewelry, quilts, quilted garments, various embroidered items, note cards, calendars and calligraphy. her art has been used in posters, signs, logos, brochures, program covers, year book covers, etc. for the Nordland Garden Club, Marrowstone Emergency Medical Services, Marrowstone Island Community Association and the Friends of Fort Flagler.

The Bruskin Gallery, located above the Imprint Bookstore, will have an openhouse for Marjorie Illman on March 4 from 5-8 PM. For information call 385-4561.

Gaia's Garden

GAIA'S GARDEN on Strawberry Lane opened for business in November, 1999, and is operated by Gaye Veenhuizen. Jerry and Gaye moved from Enumclaw to Marrowstone Island in 1995 after buying the property from Barbara Wilson.

In 1985, Barbara bought a small cabin from Randy Cherrier, then moved it from Eaglemount to Marrowstone. When Gaye saw the cabin, she thought it a perfect setting for a gift shop. She envisions selling locally handcrafted items, herbs and plants in the spring and summer, and seasonal items during the rest of the year. Presently Gaye sells her own hand-poured scented candles, beeswax candles by Rosita of Hadlock, interior decorations, sun catchers, and a large selection of Gaye's own brand of shampoos, and body lotions. She also carries an assortment od aromatherapy and massage oils.

Local artists and crafters are invited to bring in their products on consignment, and a few collectible items are accepted. For more information, contact Gaye at

Artist:Branan Ward

AN ARTIST who has lived Walter Mitty's dreams of adventure is Branan Ward. The needle of his life's compass has always pointed to art and the sea. In 1946-47 he attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, but by then he was already an experienced sailor taking small parties of people on fishing boats in the Chesapeake Bay after having passed his safety and navigational tests at the age of 18. During World War II he served as an electrician aboard Navy submarines. After the war he skippered a tugboat in the Bering Strait from Nome to Kotzebue. In 1949-50 he lived in Thule, Northwest Greenland, for 15 months working for the weather bureau, and even endured one winter at Point Barrow.

During all of his bounding about Branan decided he needed to focus on getting a higher education and in 1951, he enrolled at Los Angeles City College as a year round student. In 1955 he acquired his masters degree from California State University at Los Angeles. With credentials in hand, Branan trekked to Alaska and eventually to the Artic where he made adventure-documentary films of Eskimo life which were televised. In 1965 he repeated a 2000 mile trip down the Mackenzie River in a canoe which took ten weeks. He started in Edmonton, Canada, crossed Great Slave Lake, rounded Lake Athabaska, and finished at Inuvik in the Beaufort Sea of the Artic Ocean. The same trip was first accomplished in 1947. In 1979 he joined a party of ten people who charted a Twin Otter to fly to the North Pole. In doing so, Branan joined the ranks of only 70 people to have reached the North Pole (albeit, not b y dog sled). A member of the party was a philatelist who stamped envelopes as certification that the ten were present at the top of the world.

In the interstices of his adventures he painted. Branan researched details of tall sailing ships of the 19th century and painted them to exact detail. He has had showings in the Biltmore in Los Angeles, the Jones Gallery of La Jolla, the Saddleback of Santa Ana, and the Village Gallery of Lahaina, Maui. One of his ship paintings was hung in the Western White House. During his adventures to Alaska and the Artic, Branan painted the faces of the Eskimo. Portraits of people, animals, and ships are his forte. He has recently expanded to doing murals.Branan

Before his retirement, Branan accumulated thirty years of teaching experience at several high schools, and a period at Mt. Saint Mary's College in his major of anthropology and geography. He is a member of the Royal Geographical Society of London, the Explorers' Club of New York, and the Adventures' Club of Los Angeles. Today he is sharing his accrued knowledge and experience with 5th graders in the Chimacum Choice Program every Friday for four weeks. The phenomena of Sun Dogs, the reason ivory won't fossilize, the people of the Artic, and the ice around the North Pole are all described by Branan, backed by maps not commonly seen in classrooms. Branan welcomes guests to his studio/greenhouse. For information on his experiences, or to have a portrait painted by Branan Ward call: 385-4748.

Artist: Suzan Tipton

SUZAN TIPTON zigzagged across the United States before settling on Marrowstone Island with her husband, Bob. Their son, Austin, was born soon after their move in September 1988. Their daughter, Hannah, arrived in 1992. Suzan herself was born and raised on an island; Oahu, Hawaii, but left to attend the University of Kansas in 1974. There she met her husband, Bob.

After graduating from U of K, a severe recession in the mid-west forced the couple to move to southern California where Suzan established herself as a graphic designer, and Bob found a teaching job. At Maranatha! Music Suzan designed record album covers. Then a move to Bright and Company had her designing corporate images, and doing diverse advertising for companies such as Toshiba, Fluorocarbon, and Beckman Technologies. The company she liked best to design for was Disneyland doing their special event campaigns.

The Tiptons began a wide search for places with a rural quality since they had planned having a family. They happened upon Marrowstone when visiting a friend in the area.

Suzan works for Storm Productions in Port Townsend as a designer/illustrator for silkscreen and embroidery machines. Where does she get her inspirations? Suzan answers"...the beautiful Northwest landscapes and weather feed my designee/illustrator's soul."

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