Spring Unveiling delights in Cannon Beach

“New Cat, New Day” by Deborah DeWit at White Bird Gallery.

Two weeks ago Cannon Beach held its 15th annual Spring Unveiling Arts Festival.

I made it down for the last day. Though I’d been coming to Cannon Beach weekly for Monday evening choir practice, it had been awhile since I’d strolled around town in the daylight. I’d also never been down to Spring Unveiling during the day, opting in the past to check out the Saturday night all-gallery receptions.

Sunday turned out to be a good pick: Galleries offered brunch receptions and live demos, and the weather cooperated to create a relaxing, enjoyable art-filled day.

At DragonFire Gallery, my friend and I munched on tasty appetizers by chef Jonathan Hoffman, who owns Chef’s Table. On stage, James “Bucky” Pottschmidt and Jim Steele played handmade Chickiboom cigar box guitars. Pottschmidt and Steele demonstrated the different sounds of the three- and four-stringed instruments, which can be played through an amp or acoustically. We heard light and airy ukulele notes as well as the deep whine of the blues.

Next to a vibrant metal photo print of Tad Hetu’s “Sunrise over Bryce Canyon” was a sign inviting viewers to experience a food version of the piece of art; The Lazy Susan was offering a “Canyon View Omelette” with ham, broccoli and smoked gouda cheese, served with fruit or potatoes and a toasted English muffin. The sign was a good visual reminder about another aspect to Spring Unveiling: Art From the Chef’s Table, where local chefs create a special dish based on a piece of art at one of the galleries.

At 2 p.m., I joined a crowded room upstairs at Sandpiper Square to watch a master at work. Jeffrey Hull was giving a watercolor demonstration. He had started a sunset scene Friday and continued Sunday in front of an interested and eager audience. Dark wet sand and reflective tide pools lay below a low horizon line. Above, orange and magenta clouds faded up into a dusky gray-blue evening sky.

The wide painting was set on a low table, the better for the audience to see. Hull was gracious in explaining his thought process and techniques.

At White Bird Gallery, I admired atmospheric oil paintings by Deborah DeWit. Whether set in the morning or evening, paintings offered an inviting glimpse into country living. A cat padded softly outside a cottage in a misty early morning scene. Books, cozy armchairs, and kitchen tables beckoned with rustic charm.

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