Presented by Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA)
“Enriching and Connecting our Island Community”


Acrylic Painter


"It is not what you look at that matters but what you see." -Henry David Thoreau


Having grown up here, Northwest images, especially of water,  are what excite me.  Most of my work is in acrylic but I occasionally use oil and most often watercolors when I’m traveling.  


My paintings are a bit primitive because I want to leave something to the imagination.  I like to give viewers a feeling of place, not a reproduction of reality.  I think a lot about the structure of a painting. The subjects in the painting are obviously important but you can’t have a balanced and interesting composition without considering the negative spaces you create around these primary shapes. I like very high or very low horizons and shadows or clouds that create diagonals that help to divide the wide open areas and lead the viewer through the painting.


Getting started on a painting is often difficult but it is a natural high once I have a plan.  I often start using Procreate, a digital painting program because I can very quickly try out compositions and colors without getting paints out.   When I do get started, I like the process of painting; experimenting with ways paint can be thick or thin, or hard or soft edged or layered on the canvas.  I mostly use acrylics and I seem to do better with larger formats, 2’ x 3’ and up.  I don’t generally sell my paintings but I occasionally do a commission.  The ones I love, I can’t let go.  The ones I’m not as excited about, I’d rather not have out there.


My husband Randy and I are part-time Guemes residents with a long-time history. My sister Kathy Whitman and I bought our small (now red), cabin on Cook’s Cove in 1973. I love the creative culture that thrives on Guemes and I feel fortunate to be a small part of it.


Month/Year with link to article

All Artwork 

© Chris Shuman