Melissa Bixby

Melissa Bixby

Beads, Batik featured at Port Townsend Gallery

Fiber and bead artist Pat Herkal and Batik artist Melissa Bixby are the Port Townsend Gallery featured artists for August.

The gallery, at 715 Water St., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and also by appointment.

Herkal creates to fill her life with joy, to discover how to mix colors and textures, to honor the environment and to keep her brain nimble, according to a press release.

Pat Herkal

Pat Herkal

Whimsy, color and the natural world inspire her work. She mixes fiber, thread, beads, trinkets, shells, stones and found objects both man made and natural, and she creates jewelry, sculptures, wall hangings, critters and dolls.

Most of her work is embellished with embroidery then beaded. The beads are hand sewn, stitching one bead at a time.

Bixby, born in Alaska, began her artistic career as an abstract sculptor and earned her Master of Fine Arts degree, according to the press release.

In recent years, she has rediscovered the ancient art of Batik. Having only utilized that process previously in high school, she adapted it with her unique taste for the abstract and love for the ocean.

Using brightly colored, minimalist forms, she shares the beauty and grace of the Pacific Northwest’s underwater world. Her images are brought to life with the use of wax and fabric dye on cotton cloth.

Influenced by vibrant tidal pools, as well as her time spent open-water swimming, she creates landscapes, nature scenes and sea creatures with the intention of sharing a glimpse into her adventures.

For more information about Port Townsend Gallery, phone 360-379-8110.

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