CAMANO ISLAND — Jed Dorsey is making a name for himself as a painter.
He comes from a family of artists. He is the son of Jack Dorsey and Ann Cory, and the brother of Jason Dorsey and April Nelson. Jack and Jason are watercolorists, Ann and Jed work in acrylics, April has no preferred medium.
Each of them have shown their work at Camano Island’s Sunnyshore Studio. Most recently, a father-daughter show at the gallery featured original watercolors by Jason and Jackie Dorsey. It was the first time Jackie’s art was on exhibition. She is 18.
“The family of artists is growing,” Jed said. “I’ve got three nieces who do art and my daughter is really artistic, too.” His daughter, Willow, is 8.
See the work of the 44-year-old fourth generation artist at Cole Gallery in Edmonds now and at Sunnyshore Studio on Camano later. “Refresh,” is showing through Sept. 14 at Cole Gallery and “Hope Unlimited” is showing at Sunnyshore Oct. 24, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.
With bold brushstrokes and a fresh perspective, Jed Dorsey’s new paintings remind us of the beauty that’s all around us. They’re meant to restore and refresh us during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He doesn’t paint a photograph — he doesn’t make it exact — but he gets the essence of the barn or the Skagit Valley and you go ‘Oh, he captured it,’” said Jason Dorsey, who owns Sunnyshore Studio on Camano Drive. “He has an eye for design, a sense of composition, he paints light well and his colors are vibrant and bold.”
Denise Cole, who owns the Edmonds gallery, has been showing Jed’s paintings since 2019. She said she is lucky to have found him.
“I love his perspective,” Cole said. “He has profound brushwork, whether it’s impressionistic or expressionism. He really has a beautiful simplicity to the way he paints.”
Jack said his brother’s paintings are featured annually in Sunnyshore’s fall show. This is the fourth.
“We’re very proud of him,” he said. “He’s carrying on the family tradition of art.”
Jed is the owner of Jed Dorsey Fine Art Studio at the Camano Commons on Sunrise Boulevard. He paints there and at his Camano Island home.
He also is the founder of Acrylic University, which teaches artists of all abilities how to paint with acrylics through video-recorded lessons. Enrollment, for which membership is $29 per month, opens Aug. 20.
Dorsey said he’s developing an AU painting course for children 6 to 18, which he said will launch soon. The Epic Art Adventure lessons are story-based and feature the exploits of a character named Turnip Ted. His daughter plays Ted’s helper in the videos.
Each Friday, Jed also paints while live-streaming for his fans on a show called Friday Night Live. He then gives the painting away. Just text your name to the phone number provided to enter the drawing. As long as you’re still watching by the time he finishes, you have a chance to win. Check it out at www.acrylicuniversity.com/live.
While Jed originally painted with watercolors, around 2001 he was inspired by the work of Mike Svob and Robert Genn to give acrylic a try.
“They drew me right in,” he said of paintings in an exhibit he saw at a gallery in Whistler, B.C. “Oh my goodness, they were so beautiful. I just fell in love.”
He has studied with Mike Svob and the late Robert Genn — the two Canadian painters who wowed him — as well as Ovannes Berberian and John Michael Carter. His work also is influenced by Michael O’Toole and Kim English.
Fun fact: Most of the artists he’s learned from work in oil, even though he paints in acrylic. He didn’t mind their different medium, he just wanted to be taught by the best. Which is why he eventually launched Acrylic University.
By 2016, Dorsey had sold enough paintings to justify a career as a full-time artist.
He said that right now his paintings reflect a changing season — and he doesn’t mean summer to fall. Now that our lives are filled with uncertainty and fear because of COVID-19, Dorsey is searching for hope, joy and beauty. He said he doesn’t have to travel far from home to find it.
Some of his paintings in these exhibits, for example, feature scenes from recent trips to La Conner and Leavenworth.
Both gallery owners said Jed Dorsey’s paintings tend to sell out at his art shows — a rare feat for artists.
Of course, it helps that they’re reasonably priced.
“His prices are ridiculously low,” Cole said, adding that they’re sometimes listed at a third of the cost of fellow artists. “He’s hungry to paint and sell — and I love that.”
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org; @sarabruestle.
If you go
Jed Dorsey’s exhibition “Refresh” is showing through Sept. 14 at the Cole Gallery, 107 Fifth Ave. S., Edmonds. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 425-697-2787 or go to www.colegallery.net for more information.
His follow-up exhibit “Unlimited Hope” will show Oct. 24, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 at Sunnyshore Studio, 2803 SE Camano Drive, Camano Island. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Call 317-209-6768 or go to www.sunnyshorestudio.com for more information.