I am delighted to have been interviewed this month by a great, local news source website/blog called, "Marin Mommies"(marinmommies.com). I discovered this site via Twitter, and found that it is a great place to advertise in Marin. Pamela Fox, owner, does a great job, letting parents know about places to go and things to do with your kids in Marin and the SF Bay Area. It's a great wealth of information. Pamela has a series of "Mompreneur" interviews, where she interviews local moms who are working in Marin. To read my "Mompreneur" interview, please click here.
*Click to view more Photos of my current show at the Bolinas Gallery.
Above: My parents made it out for the opening, all the way from Connecticut... they brought my "twinado" sons along, hence the wild and crazy photo of us trying to hold them in the shot! Me, pictured on the right... Thanks to watercolor artist, Julia Ross, for capturing the insanity of the moment. Please read the post, below for more information on the show, through November 30th, 2009.
This weekend, Sunday, October 25th is the Annual Harvest Celebration of Art on the Farm at the Pt. Reyes Vineyards. This is the show were everyone involved, well over 100 artists, show up and share their art. Many of the paintings are hung on hay bales! It is really fun and festive to see. I hope we get a lovely day with warm sun shining on the vineyards. I may even paint on Sunday if the weather permits. Hope you will come! For more information, see the website for Art on the Farm at www.artonthefarm.org
I am working on establishing a portion of my website dedicated to family portraits, ballet, and child portraits. I currently do not have much of this on my site, as I have primarily focused on the Marin Landscape, with occassional buildings or cycling figures thrown in. Portraits are very tedious work, and literally back breaking. I was lucky enough to be able to get to a pool to swim today, after a session of 5 hours straight at the canvas to finish the painting.
I hope the family truly enjoys this gift. I am so glad to have reconnected with some of my East Coast friends on Facebook, and how great to be able to do some work for them. I have had two commissions from old High School friends recently, and it is really nice. Friends helping friends. Hope to do more of these paintings in the future. I enjoy getting back to the days when I painted from models for hours. I need to dig out some of my portrait work from College days. That would be fun to share.
My show "Cycling through Landscapes" is still up in Mill Valley for the next 2 weeks, so be sure to get by if you visit the Depot Cafe. This is also the weekend of the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, and I hope to get some foot traffic at my own show through this time. I was very fortunate to be chosen for the Mill Valley Arts Commission's poster advertisement for the "First Tuesday Artwalk" in September. They included me on the front of the gallery guide for the month of September as well. This was a great honor for me(see photos, above). The "Art on the Farm" group has several Fall shows coming up, and I will be at the Pt. Reyes Vineyard show in October.
Now is the time to give me a shout if you are interested in a commissioned portrait to be ready for the Holidays! I have limited calendar space for one more family portrait, or a few individual portraits before the end of the year. I am currently working this month on a family portrait commission. The end result is to be a surprise Birthday gift for one of the family members, so I can not post the work in progress here, but it is coming along. I am looking to do more commissioned portraits, pets, and have a couple of ballerina paintings in the cue. These types of works help when the economy is slower and there have been less immediate sales of other my other paintings. This is across the board for artists in my community; there has been a definite slow down in spending on art, which is really tough for artists who rely soley on their art for income. We need more grants and arts funding, and yet there are less of those opportunities at this time too.
The Depot Bookstore & Cafe
Solo Show of Cycling Paintings
87 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, CA
Opening Reception; September 1, 6pm to 7pm
I hope you will all come out for the reception, Tuesday night, 6-7pm, at the Mill Valley Depot Cafe and Bookstore. We plan to head for dinner afterwards to celebrate a friend's Birthday, so it will be fun. Please stop by! Wine and cheese provided by the Depot.
Input before output... I am home this week with my kids. Visits to Grandparents are over, Camps have ended, and all the big trips of summer are behind us... but yesterday, I took the boys on a "Staycation" one night camping trip right in our very own Mt. Tamalpais State Park. One of my favorite places to camp locally is Steep Ravine Environmental Campsites, right on the coast, just down from Stinson Beach. The boys and I did it! We arrived at 3pm, set up a tent by ourselves, hiked all our gear into the campsite, and then went out to the coast to explore for the day. It was wonderful, and as the sun was setting, we watched nearby campers on their bikes, riding down into the campsite. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few photos for reference for my next paintings. View photos from our trip on Flickr.
Frederick", by Leo Lionni. My mom used to read this to me as a child. Frederick was a mouse who didn't help the others gather food much for winter. Instead, he sat staring into the sunset, and looking at the leaves and colors of nature. In the winter, after all the food was gone, and the mice were sitting in their home, bored with nothing to do until Spring, Frederick began telling tales of life, the colors of nature... He was a poet, and he made all the others happy by bringing the colors of life into the darkest times. I think of Frederick when I am out gathering my images for painting. I hope that my images bring happiness and joy to those who end up with them.
It was fun to see my paintings in "The Bicycle Works" yesterday, and hear some of the comments by the visitors. This photo shows a few of my paintings up high, with some great black and white paintings by John Hersey. I stopped by at about 5pm and there was a healthy crowd, both indoors and out back, enjoying food donated by Sol Food of San Rafael, and discussing the possibilities of this neighborhood cycling hub. The favorite thought was coffee... all the neighbors want coffee with their bikes. If you'd like to visit the new shop, or see my paintings through August, you can find it here:
• View Session 2
• View the start of this painting, in the workshop, with Christin Coy
This painting is the 9th in a series of paintings, "Cycling Through Landscapes", that will be available for purchase in September, at the Mill Valley Depot Cafe & Bookstore. A percentage of the sales from paintings sold in September will go to The Bicycle Works, a new, co-op style, community bike shop, opening this Sunday, in San Anselmo, California. To read about this new shop, check out today's article in the Marin IJ. Some of the paintings from my new series will be on loan to the shop for the next few weeks.
We hung part of the series up this evening at The Bicycle Works. Click photo to enlarge... Pictured in the photo, above-left, is Spokey Godfrey, Director. Come out tomorrow for the shop's Grand Opening Celebration, with food by Sol Food of San Rafael, and film "The Triplets of Belleville", provided by Tom Boss of "Film Night in the Park". The paintings give the shop a little color, in contrast to the black and white of the bikes on the stands.
My painting from last year's, Mill Valley Paint Out, with bikes in the bike rack... next to a Breezer commute bike, by local cycling legend, Joe Breeze. Breezer Bikes plans to give a portion of sales from it's bikes at "The Bicycle Works" back to support the new shop and it's mission.
Day 1; "Burley Parade on Shaver Grade", near Phoenix Lake. 24" x 30". I have been wanting to paint Burley bike trailers into my paintings for a while now, but have had the hardest time coming up with a concept for this. We have pulled our twins in Burley trailers since they were under a year old. They are pretty much beyond Burley's now, at age 7, but we have a very fond appreciation for the great rides we were able to take, with the boys keeping quiet in the trailer, or falling asleep for much of the bike ride. We even pulled them with a tandem mt. bike with string lights all lit up at night. I hope someone will enjoy this painting with memories of transporting their kids as I have. It's a gamble to paint something new and different, but if you don't take the chance, you never grow... right?
Marin County, California."2 ft. x 4 ft.", o/c.
The Depot Bookstore & Cafe
Solo Show of Cycling Paintings
87 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, CA
Opening Reception; September 1, 6pm to 7pm
Painting at the exact same state as above, but inside, with halogen lighting. Colors look much warmer with lights on the painting.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
"Paint Off in Mill Valley draws enthusastic crowd"
Work in progress... Produce stand owned by Gospel Flat Farm, as you enter the town of Bolinas, CA. Details of Bike and close up of stand, image 1 and 2 above... image 3 is the full sized canvas, 18" x 24".
Work in Progress... (Will detail 4 bikes in scene when complete).
Session one on this painting, for the Mill Valley Depot show, September, 2009. This is a great farmstand in Bolinas, run by Gospel Flat Farm. They bike all the produce from farm to stand. The back seat is holding a galvanized bucket of flowers... stay tuned. I wanted to show the variety of uses of bikes in Marin for this Fall show; not just recreational road cycling and mt. biking. Click image to enlarge.
This is the second day on this painting for the Mill Valley Depot show, September 1st. I've had a postcard from MALT painter, Dana Hooper, sitting on my dresser since the May show. She paints with a palette knife which produces thick swatches of paint and a more painterly feel. For some reason, I was inspired to paint this cyclist with a knife today. More details to come, but I think I like the contrast of the foreground texture with the smoothness of the background. I used to paint more like this in college.
O/C 30" x 30", gallery wrap canvas, unframed.
Available at Mill Valley Depot show, September 1, 2009.
View painting in progress, in a previous post here.
DETAIL of above painting.
I grew up down the road from this active boat yard, with access to Long Island Sound. I was able to spent part of my recent vacation time painting this commission. I forced myself to leave out details in the trees and water, and I like how that part of the painting turned out. It is very easy to over work a studio painting and add too many details. In this case, concentrating the details in the building, and leaving them out of background forces the viewers focus to the building, as one might paint a portrait of a face, with a misty or abstract background. Prints of this image are available. Please email me if you are interested.
My June news is that I will be taking a summer workshop with Marin Landscape Painter, Christin Coy, beginning in July. I look forward to getting out of the house with my paints for 5 weeks, and hopefully, I will be able to use the time to work on my landscape paintings with bikes in them, for the Mill Valley Depot show in September. Please save the date for a September 1st, 6pm reception at the Mill Valley Depot.
I visited Mill Valley yesterday to measure the walls at the Depot Cafe & Bookstore, and plan out my show. I am looking forward to filling the space with Marin cycling related scenes. It should be a lot of fun for me, and hopefully too, for the great cycling enthusiasts in the Bay Area.
My knee is still throbbing from surgery last Friday. Being in physical pain is something I am really not good at. I've survived years of emotional pain, but the real, OUCH kind of pain that feels like someone is sitting on the back of your knee with a truck tire... no, this ain't for me. Wrestling would not be my sport of choice. However, here I sit after having read a book for 4 hours that actually took my pain away with out medication. "Either You're in or You're in the Way", by Logan and Noah Miller. This book is phenomenal. I laughed out loud, cried, and laughed out loud again and just could not put the book down(Ok, confession... minus the 10 minutes it took me to eat a yogurt).
This book means a lot to me as a Marin resident, a mother of twin boys, and as a painter, who loves West Marin. I lived in the hills of Fairfax for seven years in a rat infested rental home owned by Forest Knolls women who rode motorcycles. When we told them the house had rats, they said, "Welcome to West Marin". And over the next years, I witnessed baby deer born under our deck, wild turkeys landing in flocks on our roof around sunset, and rainbows you only had seen in movies, crossing over the three mountains we could see from our house. There is something about the land here that is so special, you just don't want to leave. It perhaps has to soak into you a bit, and you have to be tough enough to live with "great habitat", as the watershed district once told me... West Marin is a true gem, and until I read the Miller Brother's book, I didn't realize fully that this has become my home.
Their book is not about Marin, but about the creation of their film about their lives and their father, who lived in Samuel P. Taylor park for 15 years, as a homeless roofer. He was an alcoholic and loved by everyone he met, but he didn't get the help he needed and ended up dying in 2006 in prison. The most amazing thing is how these boys, Logan and Noah Miller, were able to love him for who he was, and promise to make this film for him, and do it in one year. The power of a "deadline" is very amazing and real for artists. Perhaps for everyone in life, but I have found that if I don't have a deadline, I just won't get the work done. I want to commend these boys for their will and love of their Dad, and Northern California.
As a painter, I often see and feel things in the landscape, but can't describe them the way I'd like to in words... so I paint. The Miller Brother's can describe scenes with words, that I could probably paint... For example, "We drove along the river, passing rolling vineyards glowing shades of pink in the dusk as the redwood hills turned to shadows against the dying light behind them." I live to paint moments like these. Here's another one of my favorites from their book: "Later in the afternoon, the sun warmed the redwoods above the Monte Rio Bridge and we jumped off the concrete slab and swam in the cool waters below."
For the past 4 years, I have made the drive out to Nicasio to our favorite pumpkin patch, to let my twin boys pick out pumpkins, run through the hay maze, and jump and slide in the big jumpees at Nicasio Valley Farms. I would go more than once per season, just to let the boys jump off steam and I would relax and take photos of the rolling hills, and gorgeous produce. Inevitably, I would end up chatting with the lovely woman who worked at the farm, and she would tell me about her twin boys, the writers. When you have twins, you always chat with others who have twins. It's a club, for sure. You can't understand what it's like unless you've joined, and it is always nice to meet another twin mom to chat with. So each year, Lynnette would tell me about her boys, the writers, who were trying to make a film. I'd never met them, or knew about them more than this.
It is so wonderful to be able to congratulate this mom and these twins today. My week of pain in my knee post surgery has been bearable because I've had this story to enjoy and celebrate Marin. I am so proud of these guys, and I want to tell everyone to go read this book! It is a miracle. It is that first great effort by any artist, that puts them on the map. A dedication to a deadline, and getting it done, despite all odds. I hope that some day, my twin boys will be able to do something as extraordinary as the Miller Brothers, and I can be as proud as my favorite twin mom out in Nicasio. If my leg is feeling great on Saturday, you may see me out in Pt. Reyes with my crutches, waiting to get my book signed for my twins to have some day.
If you go: Meet the Miller Brothers, this Saturday, May 30th, in Pt. Reyes Station. Book Launch and Benefit for MALT with the Miller Brothers at Toby's Feed Barn. 6:30-9pm. Clips from the film will be shown. Oysters, hot dogs, Lagunitas Brewing Company Beer, and Straus Family Creamery ice cream will be for sale, with part of the proceeds going to help preserve more family farms in West Marin. Ticket price for adults includes one beer (I.D. required), price for under 21 includes one non-alcoholic drink. Purchase tickets online or at Point Reyes Books.
"Lizzie's Greenhouse Starts", 14" x 18", oil on canvas.
I drove out to Nicasio today to paint with the "Art on the Farm" group at Lizzie Daniels stunning property, "Cow Track Ranch". It's just past downtown Nicasio and the Nicasio school, and also just past Nicasio Valley Farms, where I have seen Logan and Noah's mom smiling and telling me about her twin sons, the writers, every Fall at the pumpkin patch, where my own twin boys have spent endless hours in the jump house and hay maze. Congratulations, twin mom. You must be so proud! : )
Today was a sunny, 64 degree day, with light winds, and perfect weather for outdoor painting. Lizzie boasts of her Marin County Fair "Best of Show" Merlot Red Lettuce(photos below), and it was a sight to behold, growing all over the property, surrounding the barns, amongst the roses, and in the new greenhouse. Liz offered a tour of the greenhouse, where she grows all varieties of organic vegetable and herb seedlings that are sold to businesses such as Local Flora, and provided to several school gardens in West and Central Marin County. Liz has also provided Osteria Stellina in downtown Pt. Reyes Station with assistance, lettuces, and produce.
"Cow Track Ranch" Organic, Merlot Lettuce, is a dark, burgundy color.
For more on today's visit, please visit the "Art on the Farm" Blog.