Sunday, August 30, 2009

Good old memories at the NVOS Opening...

At the Napa Valley Open Studios opening last night, at Mumm Napa's Fine Art Gallery, I discovered that my painting was hung next to that of Earl Thollander ( His painting, Winter Grapevine, is a wonderful example of his work.

For any who might not know, Earl Thollander was a master of drawing and watercolor. He compiled his drawings and sketches of rural California into wonderful (and very popular) books, long in print, beginning with Back Roads of California, and then Barns of California. His work influenced me and many others, and he was much beloved by those who knew him. Unfortunately, he died in 2001. His family is opening his studio to the public this year - my only regret is that I won't be able to go then. But Open Studios artist and master of pen and ink Nick Cann (, Peg Cann, and I will visit after Open Studios is over - something I am very much looking forward to.

I never met Earl Thollander, but I first heard about him from my grandmother. His parents and my grandparents were friends - all Swedes from Cloverdale. After my grandparents moved to Santa Rosa, when Earl would drive his parents down to Santa Rosa, he would bring them over to visit. I always heard about these visits; this was how my grandmother introduced me to his artwork. She and my grandfather gave me an autographed copy of Bug Haiku, which he illustrated. His wonderful, free, expressive use of line enchanted and influenced me. I have always had the utmost respect for his work, and was sorry I never met him.

So to see my painting hanging by his at the opening on Friday touched me more than I can say. I could feel my grandparents looking down at me and smiling....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Open Studios Reception Friday at Mumm's

This year's opening reception for Napa Valley Open Studios will be held Friday, August 28th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Mumm Napa Fine Art Gallery. Tickets are $15, which go to support the good works of Arts Council Napa Valley. Mumm's is at 8445 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, California.

I saw the work artists were dropping off yesterday for the show - it will be a good show! We are lucky to have James Orlando curating it again this year. I have heard that honorary co-chairs Eleanor Coppola and Kathryn Hall have been working hard to make this year even better for everyone.

You can view the website at The Arts Council's website is at (and there's that photo of me, too!).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Countdown to Napa Valley Open Studios!

Napa Valley Open Studios is just around the corner, and Open Studios artists like me are busy preparing for it. The catalogs just came out (they are gorgeous). You can also see who the participating artists are, and where to find them, at

alt="[Banner] Arts Council Napa Valley Open Studios" >

(That's me on the left, and Nancy Shapiro to my right.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Napa Valley Art Festival

If you love plein air painting (landscape painting done on location), check out the website for this year's Napa Valley Art Festival at

Although this year's festival has ended, the website features links to all the artists who participated. You can follow them to see the work of Calistoga artist Paul Youngman (; Camille Przewodek (, from Petaluma; Jeanette LeGrue (, who lives in Tomales and shows at Lee Youngman Galleries (; and Timothy Horn ( from Fairfax, among a large roster of wonderful artists.

While you're there, please don't miss the website of Beverly Wilson (, a California colorist (and perhaps the only one on the list who is not a plein air painter) whose work continually takes my breath away. Beverly, who lives near Napa, is preparing for Napa Valley Open Studios ( during the last two weekends of September. It's a wonderful time to visit her and see her paintings and studio in person.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Umm, now where are those classes?

The Calistoga Art Center is moving! To my students, who will be receiving flyers any day now with the new location and directions - hang on to those directions. They will come in handy later.

The very latest word is that remodeling will keep us in the old location a little longer - in the white building on Lincoln Avenue (formerly shared with the Visitors' Center), next to the railroad cars, and across the street from CalMart and Dr. Wilkinson's.

New classes begin next week

Good news! Napa Valley College is continuing to offer its free community education classes, which include the adult art classes at the Calistoga Art Center. And they begin next week!

I will be teaching two sections of Acrylic Painting Workshop - one on Wednesday afternoons (starting August 19th, 2009th) from 1:00 to 4:00, and one on Fridays (starting August 21st) from 1:00 to 4:00.

The college catalog mistakenly listed the Friday course as a Mixed Media Painting class (which it was during the summer). Ooops! I will be glad to work with anyone who wants to take the class as a Mixed Media class, though.

I hope that if you know anyone who is interested in the classes, you will pass this information along to them....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Impressionist Paintings Coming to San Francisco!

San Francisco will be one of the beneficiaries of an upcoming renovation of Paris's Musee d'Orsay. The museum, which holds perhaps the world's most extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Painters (correct me if I'm wrong!), is sending over 200 paintings from their collection on tour during the renovation - in two separate shows, both of which will come to San Francisco's M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.

"Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces From the Musee d'Orsay" opens next spring, on May 22, 2010, and runs through September 6, 2010.

"Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces From the Musee d'Orsay" opens soon after, on September 25, 2010, and runs through January 18, 2011.

Yes, Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night, pictured above, will be part of the exhibition.

To read the San Francisco Chronicle article about it online, go to:

To find out more about the Musee d'Orsay, its collections, and more (to get a little preview of some of what we'll be seeing next year), go to:

This is truly a show to plan ahead for - I know I will!