DUNGENESS — For more than 30 years, artist Carrie Rodlend, 66, has gleaned inspiration from the sights and sounds of the Olympic Peninsula.
So it seems like a natural fit that she’d host her annual open studio exhibit in Dungeness on Saturday, just prior to Earth Day.
Her Earth Day Open Studio will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 562 Holgerson Road and will feature seascapes and landscapes from the Dungeness Spit to Jamestown Beach to scenes from the West End.
“Conceivably, these are the best paintings I’ve done,” she said. “It surprised me. I think they’re well done. It’s just lucky. Art is lucky.”
Rodlend, a native of England, said she’s a “nature nut” and enjoys mushroom hunting and hiking.
Because her show last year centered on ravens, Rodlend said she’s been fixated on water and waves drawing from inspired moments she captured with her camera or from her memory.
“Really, most of my work is related to the Earth with all my landscapes, seascapes, ravens, clouds and local scenes,” Rodlend said.
Some of her paintings may look familiar to local visitors of Lake Crescent, Voice of America Park and many other local landmarks.
“I’ve done water forever,” she said. “I’ve studied it for 30 years inside and outside. It’s just what I love.”
Saturday’s show also marks her 10th year of opening her studio to the public.
In that span, Rodlend said her work has improved significantly.
“It’s become more cohesive over the years,” she said. “Now, there’s a common theme that runs through all of them.”
But becoming a stronger artist is not something she just wants for herself, but for her students, she said.
“I have to [improve] as a teacher,” Rodlend said.
Throughout the years, she’s become less focused on the end result for students, too.
“I want to let kids see the potential in their work,” Rodlend said. “It’s all about choice. There’s a misconception that you have to be good at art to do it.”
Rodlend has been a fixture in local schools since 1982 when she started her “Carrie Art” program for students in Sequim and eventually many more schools to promote and teach art for thousands of Peninsula children.
She continues to do the program Wednesdays at Helen Haller Elementary with funding support from the school’s PTO. Each class in kindergarten through fifth grade sees her three times a school year working in different mediums, learning perspectives and understanding many other elements of art.
However, Rodlend recently made the decision to stop “Carrie Art” and focus on private lessons from her studio.
“It’s been wonderful,” she said of teaching in schools. “For a while, I was almost doing it every day, going from Poulsbo to Port Angeles to homeschool programs and then private lessons at night.”
Rodlend will continue to create art with her students in her studio, working with them on the step-by-step process. As tradition for her shows, she sells discounted pieces she’s worked side-by-side with a student on covering master artists like Vincent Van Gogh or Claude Monet.
For the Earth Day show, Rodlend offers new 6-inch-by-6-inch works of fruit, other paintings from previous shows, greeting cards, prints and more.
She’ll offer light refreshments and a fire pit to relax near, too.
For more information, call 360-681-0104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Parking is available near the studio.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at email@example.com.