'Watercolor & Wanderings', by Connery, on exhibit at the theatre

San Juan Island artist, author, illustrator Sam Connery
San Juan Island artist, author, illustrator Sam Connery's exhibit, 'Watercolor Wanderings', opens in the lobby of San Juan Community Theatre Tuesday, July 23. Connery will donate the full purchase price of any painting to the theatre.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Artist, author, illustrator, instructor — San Juan Island’s Sam Connery has worn many hats during a distinguished career in a variety of professional pursuits.

Add benefactor to the list.

A variety of art work by Connery, who collaboration with Jeanie Burns and Jan Jameson led to the publication in 1999 of a hometown favorite, “You Know You’re an Islander When…”, will be on display in the lobby of San Juan Community Theatre through Aug. 26, as part of an exhibit entitled “Watercolor Wanderings”. Connery will donate the full-purchase price of any of the exhibited art works, which went on display July 23, to the theatre.

From humble beginnings in Prince Rupert, B.C. (Sam’s father was a storekeeper at a salmon cannery on the Skeena River in the 1920s), Connery, 84, went on to forge a notable career as a writer, editor with Sunset Magazine, and as an illustrator of several children’s book during a two-year hiatus from his work at Sunset.

Along with wife Emily, Connery came from California to San Juan Island in 1988, in search of peace and quiet, and then began teaching art classes at the Skagit Valley College Friday Harbor campus three years later. Connery describes his approach to painting as “casual realism”, in which he often drives to various island locales, sketch pad in tow, looking for inspiration in its many beaches, headlands, meadows, hills, meandering lanes and weather-beaten barns.

Connery is also the author of several children’s books, including, “Bear & Fox Ride a Raging River” and “Wild, Weird & Whacky Creatures”, which can be found locally at Griffin Bay Bookstore.


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