Greenbank artists get set for art show, June 27-29


Forty years is a long time.

In 40 years any number of things can happen to distract or change the course of a group.

Yet, that is how long the Greenbank Artists have been getting together faithfully to paint.

The group was started by the late Florence Mead in 1968. Mead began the group as a way for artists to have a place to paint together and support each other in their work.

The group has been successful ever since.

Art lovers will be able to browse and buy the work of the legendary group at the Greenbank Artists Art Show and Sale, June 27 through June 29 at Greenbank Farm.

The annual show is a good way for these artists to not only show what they’ve been doing all year, but also to show their thanks to the firemen and women who allow them to use the station free of charge. Proceeds from the sale will go to the support of the Race Road firefighters.

Currently there are about 25 artists from all over the island who meet at the Race Road Fire Station in Coupeville from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday.

“It’s casual,” painter Rainy Lindell said.

“We have no formal rules or bylaws or anything like that. It’s just a chance for artists to sit and paint with each other and discuss art.”

They do actually set aside some time for critiquing, but the discussions of the work are meant to be helpful, never hurtful.

The artists in the group are not restricted to painters, though it is strictly a 2D art group. Some of the artists work in pastel, collage, weaving and on glass.

“We give each other ideas,” artist Marie Thornton said.

Lindell, who has been painting with the group for more than a decade, said that many people whom she tells about the Greenbank Artists are surprised to hear how productive they are.

“One guy said, ‘You mean you actually paint?’”

Everybody laughed and Thornton agreed.

“The best thing about this group is that we paint all the time.”

Indeed, these artists are so prolific that the show will display upwards of 200 paintings, less than what is actually available from the artists’ cache for lack of space.

Demonstrations will take place during the course of the show and sale in watercolor, pastel portraits, oils and acrylics.

“I may also demonstrate how to stretch a canvas,” Thornton added.

The show will also feature miniature paintings of 5-by-7 inches or smaller and scenes of Whidbey Island.

The artists are happy to show their work at Greenbank Farm since it gives patrons other options while they’re there like walking the trails, visiting the two art galleries, eating at Whidbey Pies Café or just picnicking by the duck pond.

“It’s a good place to be,” Lindell said.

The Greenbank Artists Art Show and Sale takes place from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, June 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 28 and

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 29. Admission is free.

Patricia Duff can be reached at 221-5300 or