Works of husband, wife and son converge at Blue Heron


Vashon Allied Arts

Blue Heron Gallery’s October exhibit will feature the works of three Island artists from one family — Hartmut and Ilse Reimnitz and their son Gunter Reimnitz. The gallery opening, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, will offer live music by their other son, Erik Reimnitz, who plays in Trolls Cottage, a well-known local band.

The new works in the exhibit will include oil paintings by Hartmut, watercolors by Ilse and sculpture by Gunter.

When Blue Heron curator Janice Mall-man approached the family with the idea of a show, they enthusiastically accepted.

“We always talked about it as a family, so when Janice came to us, we were excited,” Ilse said.

Harmut and Ilse left their home in Hamburg, Germany, in 1963 to move to Kodiak, Alaska, where they spent the next 17 years.

While raising their family, Hartmut traded careers — from professional stage actor to commercial fisherman. In 1980, the family moved to Vashon.

After Harmut retired, he tried his hand at oil painting and discovered yet another career. His time at sea is reflected in his work.

“I enjoy paintings about fishing because it puts me back into that world that I miss,” he said.

His oils on wood panel are generally created from photographs and memory. Fishing boats, sunsets, harbors, birds and flowers from Ilse’s garden are frequent subjects for his work.

Painter/printmaker Ilse’s works are also inspired by a deep bond with nature.

She is a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society and a member of Women Painters of Washington, Seattle Print Arts, Quartermaster Press and Barnworks.

“What I like about watercolor is the effect of transparency, translucency and how light moves through water. I like the layers,” she said.

Ilse has been selected for national and regional juried exhibitions by the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Women Painters of Washington and Columbia Center Gallery in Seattle.

She has shown work at Blue Heron Gallery, Silverwood and Bellevue Art Museum. She teaches watercolor workshops from her Kingsbury Drive studio.

Gunter Reimnitz, who lives in Port Townsend, sculpts nature-inspired works from sheet metal.

Also an avid nature watcher, he loves the outdoors, thanks to his childhood in Kodiak and later, Vashon. He said art came naturally to him and that growing up in an artistic family, art was a priority.

A Vashon High School graduate, Gunter attended San Francisco Art Institute where he earned a degree in sculpture.

Gunter shows work in Heron’s Nest and Crow Valley Pottery on Orcas Island, among other Northwest galleries. He also sells work from his art studio. Most of his pieces are designed to go outside, although his wall hangings are often displayed indoors.

For the Blue Heron show, Gunter will exhibit a blue heron, a salmon piece, his signature painted steel crows and more.