Friday, December 26, 2008


The gouache on paper pictured above (Entitled "Chard") is one of the pieces in my current exhibit at the Bistro 69 on Maiden Lane in San Francisco. I have about 4 originals there, plus about 8 framed giclee prints. It's a lovely little cafe--the food is great & the people there are friendly--it's just down the street from Union Square. So if you're downtown in that area--stop in--check out the show--have a bit to eat or something to drink (they have great desserts, too--by the way). It's the perfect place for a little Time Out. Enjoy!
PS--the show will be up through mid-Feb. Pieces can be purchased at any time & giclee prints (framed or unframed) can be ordered as well.

I am currently in the process of getting the studio back in order to work mode, so that I can get down to some serious painting. Things got a little out of hand here during the big push for my holiday shows. My next showing will be sometime in March. And I need to get started on my Big Project for 2009--which is to do a book on my work!!! I am very excited about the possibilities of this--and I have wanted to do it for a very long time. I have no idea how long this project will take, but I will be posting about it here on my blog as it moves forward. So STAY TUNED.

Monday, December 15, 2008


My last big show of the season was this past weekend--the KPFA Crafts & Music Fair. It was a gorgeous show--lots of wonderful work there, but like many recent events, was not very well attended. My new booth (above) looked great---I got some extra lights after seeing how it looked the previous weekend, and I had one finished table covering and the other I fudged. (Just couldn't do it all!)
My sales were disappointing, but I connected with some great people & had lots of compliments on my work. I'm glad my show season is winding down--I am exhausted and I have a couple of Farmer's Markets and a Red Umbrellas show before Christmas, but I don't know if the weather is going to co-operate. I am anxious to get back in the studio and work on my paintings, and not have any shows to go to until sometime in March. I feel like a bear and am ready to hibernate.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


The weather was gorgeous all three days--very warm. I had a great turnout of people---I would guess about 200-250 overall. Lots of enthusiasm for my work & especially some of the new pieces. I used some of my brand new Pro Panels (seen in the bottom picture) on a trial run & I am very pleased with how they look and happy that I finally bit the bullet and invested in them. I will be using my whole new booth setup for the first time this weekend at the Celebration of Craftswomen at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Can't wait to see it all set up! (And, of course I am still working on part of it--nothing like doing things at the last minute!)

My Open Studio pictures didn't turn out that well, but you get a little taste. The top one is the entryway--with my deer shrine: Ralph, the plush stag, my painting "Golden Hills", with the non-native deer, and my staghorn fern.

I sold one of my brand new paintings--a gouache on paper called "Forest Faery" which I pictured in a previous post. You can see it here. I actually finished it awhile ago, but it was wrapped up, waiting to be framed---finally finished that part a couple of days before Open Studios.

I was quite happy with this year's event........not my best Open Studio ever, but quite good overall. On to the next show!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


2008 is almost over & there's much to be grateful for! (Unfortunately, my photography is not one of them---this Pomegranate picture looks SO much better in person) Life seems to have been a whirlwind since I last posted. Lots of shows and work, the election, and preparing for my holiday shows. I am in the middle of getting set up for this year's Point Reyes Thanksgiving Open Studios. We are open 11 - 5 on Fri. Sat. & Sun. I have my new Pro Panels and will be setting it up a little differently. I will photograph the studio & post some pictures so that those of you who can't be here, can see what it looks like.
Then it's off to the Celebration of Craftswomen at Fort Mason the following weekend, and after that--the KPFA Crafts and Music Fair at The Concourse.
Oh, and by the way, my painting "Golden Hills" is being used on the "cover" of a wonderful online literary journal called "Ensemble Jourine: Hybrid Writing by Women". Click here to check it out.
So much to do & so little time...............but before I run off again, I just want to say a big
THANK YOU! to all my wonderful friends and supporters and collectors...........all of you have helped me in so many ways to keep working and making my art. My work is really APPRECIATED---and that means the world to me!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Image: "Pomegranates in West Marin" Acrylic on canvas 10" x 10" $295

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


"The Guardian" image came out of a guided meditation during a class with my teacher, Tamara Diaghilev, who I have mentioned in previous posts. The theme of the meditation was about connecting with your spirit guide, higher self--whatever you want to call it---that energy being that is you and yet bigger than you--a protector and a guide. During the meditation I "saw" clearly in my mind the image of the dark woman dressed in white. At the end of the session, I quickly sketched it in my journal. It wasn't til much later that I finally got around to painting it. And while I was working on it, the rest of the finished image developed--my self portrait, being "held" by her--and , in turn---aspects of my younger self being held by me. The two figures in the bubbles are myself at about 4 yrs. old and as a teenager in high school.

This original painting is acrylic on canvas and is in my private collection (where it is going to stay!) It's one of those important ones.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


The original of this painting was gouache on paper---I had it for a long time and I didn't think I would ever sell it, but it did sell (to another artist) and unfortunately, I don't have a record of where it went. (I'm not sure how I lost track of it, but if you own it, please email me & let me know)

It was one that documented a glimpse into the metaphysical world, and as often happens, it occurred around a very stressful time for me. The image is a rendition of a "vision" that was seen and reported to a close friend of mine as she was having a reading done of her own situation by a man who was a friend of hers & happened to be a dowser. I was seen as residing on her 12th Petal--a reference to how relationships with other people could be examined. I was in the "darkness" (because of the stress and grief I was experiencing at the time), but was slowly coming into the light. My friend's description of her session with the dowser, and what he said was so compelling to me that it immediately created a visual image in my mind--which is what became this painting.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I am sorry that I don't have a better image of this piece--it is another one that I sold long ago. I haven't seen this painting in years, and its owner told me that it has been damaged. The central image was inspired by Joseph Campbell's book, "The Masks of God: Vol. I Primitive Mythology". There was a section where he talked about early Bear Cults, and told of a tribe of Caucasian peoples who lived in the mountains of Japan, called the Ainu--who revered bears. Campbell related that the men of the village would capture a bear cub and bring it back to the community, where the women would breast feed the cub and the whole village would treat the animal as a god for a about a year. At the end of the prescribed period, there would be a big celebration during which the bear would be sacrificed.
This story was so compelling to me (and of course Joseph Campbell was a fabulous storyteller)--that I had to depict this image--one of many that came to me as I read the book.
The small image in the upper section of the painting is a blue horse in a pink and yellow canyon--an image that literally appeared to me as I walked my dog around the City College campus late one night. Initially, I wasn't sure where this blue horse image came from---until I remembered the story I had written and illustrated in the first grade entitled "The Blue Horse That Cried". It was a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer kind of story--nobody liked the Blue Horse because he was different. In the story, he performs some heroic act, and then is celebrated by his peers. So the arrival of this image was like a link to my past, and was initiated, (I believe), by the work I was doing in Tamara Diaghilev's class at that time, where we were doing guided meditations and clearing out our chakras. I have mentioned Tamara in a previous blog post--much of what I have been able to accomplish with my artwork is a direct result of her teachings, guidance and inspiration. Thank you Tamara!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008


I just finished this gouache on paper. It's 16 x 20 & also has gold leaf at the corners. It turned out a little different than I thought it might, but I am quite happy with the results. I have a very busy show schedule at the moment, and don't have much time for writing. Pictures are usually more interesting anyway. Right?

"In the Forest" gouache on paper

Monday, August 4, 2008


Well, not really. I started this painting a couple of weeks ago when we were in the middle of a heat wave. Snow sounded like a good idea. I am working on another version of a tree embracing a woman--but no snow in the other version.
Image: "Red Birds" Acrylic on canvas

Monday, July 28, 2008


Here is my piece for this year's Box Show event at Gallery Route One, here in Point Reyes. GRO (as it is affectionately called) is a part co-op, part non-profit gallery that has been in existence for 25 years. I was a member there for about 5 years, beginning when I lived in San Francisco. In fact, becoming a member of GRO is what got me to move out here and was probably the best thing that happened from it! The gallery started doing The Box Show 10 years ago as a fundraiser and it has been a big success and is probably their most attended show of the year. Over 100 artists participate each year. Boxes are given out about 6 weeks before the show and must be included in the final piece. It's really fun to see what people come up with! (All kinds of crazy stuff!) The exhibition is a silent auction and runs for 7 weeks---silent auction bids start at $25. for any piece. On the closing day--the auction goes live and the gallery is packed with people. You can call the gallery to place a bid on someone's piece. All the proceeds go to Gallery Route One. If you want to call and bid on my piece "Black Mountain Mystery" the phone number for the gallery is 415-663-1347.

"Black Mountain Mystery" Mixed Media piece. Wood, papier mache, moss, feathers. beads, plastic deer, coyote skull, ceocropia moth, hummingbird, acrylic paint

Top Image: Exterior shot
Bottom Image: Interior shot

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I went to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at SF MOMA today. It was wonderful! I have seen Frida's work in 3 or 4 exhibits over the years--plus what I saw when I visited Mexico a long time ago. But this show has more of her paintings than I have ever seen together in one show before. Well worth the visit. And seeing her work in person is SO different than seeing reproductions. They are so exquisitely painted--once you see them, you don't even want to buy a book because the repros pale so in comparison to the originals. Some of the pieces I really love are: "My Nurse and I", "Luther Burbank", "Two Nudes in a Forest", and "Portrait of Dona Rosita Morillo". One painting that I never liked too much in reproduction, but loved in person was "The Love Embrace of the Universe..." Her famous husband, Diego Rivera, always said that Frida was the better painter and he was right!

I was influenced by Frida's work when I discovered her in the late 70's. I remember going to a film showing at the Roxy Theater in SF in the early 80's to see a documentary film about Frida and Diego. I dressed up like Frida, which I did periodically in those days. There were about 5 "Fridas" at the opening. It was festive and fun.

Frida lived during an extremely fertile creative time in Mexico. She liked to present herself as sort of a "self made" artist, but the truth was that she was very well educated and aware of the art world. She was a high achiever as a young student & had planned to study medicine befor her accident intervened. Some of the images in her later paintings reflect this interest.

In addition to the changes that were taking place in the culture of Mexico itself, there was a big influx of artists and intellectuals who came to Mexico seeking asylum from war torn Europe during the late 30's and early 40's. Two other women artists who came to Mexico and made it home (& whose work I love) are Remedios Varo and Eleanor Carrington. They were best friends and both incredible artists. (Carrington is still living, I believe) If you don't know about them, check them out. You will be amazed.

Image: "Autoretrato Como Frida Kahlo" Acrylic on canvas with mixed media Original is in a private collection

Monday, June 30, 2008


This is a painting you won't see on my website (or anywhere else for that matter) Again, it is an older piece, dated 1991, and the creation of the image was influenced by a combination of personal circumstance and visionary imagery. The background is Northwestern Pennsylvania, where I grew up. It is a self-portrait of sorts, and was inspired by several things, including a painting by Frida Kahlo. The overall feeling of the piece is (to me) "triumph over adversity". The little harlequin image doing a handstand seems to be my inner playful being. I am not sure about the fox......but he has appeared in another painting more recently. Beading circles the border, which is filled with morning glories. This painting remains in my personal collection.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


This is not a great photo of this painting (too bad!) but it also was an older piece, and I no longer have it. The inspiration for this image was the pose of the figure with the ram. Again, I saw it in a magazine---I believe it was a picture of a child holding a goat--and there was something about it that grabbed me. The ram is my zodiac sign (Aries) and the mountains in the background look like parts of California to me. The other parts of the image--the stream running through, the lily, and the white dove in the sky were all intuitive choices. The border pattern echoes the water theme and the eggs in the corners were also an intuitive selection. The idea for the woman's clothing appeared to me during a meditative visualization. The title for the painting came to me as well. A long time after I had finished this piece, I was surprised to read that the rhubrum lily I had included, as well as the egg images, both referred to rebirth.

This painting is 40" x 40" and acrylic on canvas with beading on her clothing and around the border.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The Fish Goddess is one of the early paintings from this body of work that I began in the late 1980's. It was a pivotal piece for me, and because of its importance to me (which I'm not sure I could verbalize even now), I have not sold this original painting, even though many people have expressed interest in it. I was just beginning to allow myself to be aware and to get psychically hooked into the stream of images that wanted to come through. (Sounds wierd, I know, but that's the way it feels. Seems like it really has nothing or very little to do with me as an individual---I just hold the paintbrush & try to get out of the way)
The original inspiration was a photograph that I saw in a National Geographic magazine & it was that HAT---I wanted to paint that hat! But also it was the combination of this woman in the hat, who was holding a fish on a plate.....but the photograph was actually a crowd scene during a religious festival. So I pulled her out of the crowd, changed her around, made her into a goddess (with a changing iridescent halo) and set her down in San Francisco, with the Bay behind her & the fog coming in. Beading was added around the border and iridescent beads scattered across her dress. She has an aura of mystery and all-knowing, and still is a favorite to people who visit my studio.
Image: "Fish Goddess" acrylic on canvas with mixed media


The Foto Forum End-of-Year party at SFMOMA's Koret Visitor Education Center this year honored renowned photographer Pirkle Jones with a private screening of the soon to be released documentary of his work created by SF filmmaker Jane Reed. It was a lovely event and some problems with the projection system didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the standing room only crowd. A lovely food & wine reception was enjoyed by the attendees. A question and answer session followed the screening, with Pirkle and Jane sharing their thoughts about the collaboration of this beautiful film. Jane said she still had some sections to add to the film and was looking forward to a formal release at the end of 2008.
The film was beautifully put together and moves seamlessly from one theme to another, aided by an excellent choice of musical background. This is no mean feat, because Pirkle's ouevre ranges from commercial projects, such as the construction of an oil refinery, to the documentation of the Black Panther Party's emergence during the late 1960's and the celebration of the artistic community that flourished on the houseboats of "Gate 5" in Sausalito.
I was extremely pleased to be part of this celebration for Pirkle, who is a friend and inspiration to me.

Image: photograph of Dorothea Lange by Pirkle Jones, from "Berryessa Valley-The Last Year"

Thursday, June 19, 2008


People are always asking me about my work: "Are they stories?". Well............... they are NOT illustrations for classic stories or myths, which is what most people are referring to (I think) when they are asking that question. However, there are stories connected to the images, and how they came about or how they appeared to me, so I am going to start telling those stories in a series of posts, which will be quite a large project and may turn into something else before it's through. Who knows? At any rate, it's something that I feel like doing at this point & I hope it will be enjoyable for those of you who frequent my blog.

I am going to start by telling MY STORY---of my art life & how I ended up painting these visions. Being one of those kids who got into trouble for drawing on the walls (among other things!) with any scrap of paper in the house was fair game, whether it had another purpose or not. (In trouble again) Having been considered one of "the artists" in my small high school class made for a difficult time when I got to art school, because of the extremely critical atmosphere. Fashion design was the initial goal, but after becoming disillusioned with the reality of that world I dropped out of art school. Next I started doing batik for fun, which developed into soft sculpture, then weaving and textile design (back to art school!). When textiles became frustrating, I turned to ceramics, sculpture and performance art. My senior show at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia was an installation of mixed media and papier mache animals along with pre recorded audio and a live performance of music and sound by my friend Duke.

I migrated to the Bay area in the early eighties and was doing fun papier mache animals and furniture. But completing a piece took so long---one chair in particular took a year to create!---and I wanted to be able to create more of my ideas. I thought-"What is it that I love to do the best?" It was painting the pieces. So it was back to painting again & I realized I had been making a big circle around a painting block that had begun in that initial year of art school.

Once involved in painting again, ideas came up which appeared in my mind as visual images, or parts of images. I wanted to be able to tap into that as a personal resource, and not just hope that the flow of ideas would continue to come. My chiropractor Lana showed me a flyer about Tamara Diaghilev, who was a psychic healer offering classes in personal transformation at that time in SF.

The introduction to Tamara created a relationship and a learning experience that has continued to this day and has allowed me to tap into a very deep well of imagery that is archetypal and cellular and that people respond to in surprising ways. It is quite the exciting journey!

So that's my story & I'm stickin' to it .
The painting shown above, titled "Llama Mama" is acrylic on canvas with beading and mirror work. It is in the collection of Tamara Diaghilev and is a portrait of myself which celebrated my move to West Marin around 1993.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I got an email a few days ago from writer Julia Doughty, telling me that my painting "Golden Hills" (shown above) will be used as the cover art for the October issue of ENSEMBLE JOURINE, a wonderful online magazine featuring "Hybrid Writing by Women". The work presented there is exceptional, and I am honored to be included in their publication. New issues appear in March, May, July and October. Check it out!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


This was Western Weekend in Point Reyes, and today was the parade. The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm and just a little bit of wind, unlike the gales we have had recently. So it was quite nice. The Western Weekend parade is about the rowdiest thing that happens here & it's a lot of fun. There were some good exhibits and lots of horses. These are a few shots of some of my favorites.


I just finished this painting, so I thought I'd try giving you a look at it as I see it on the worktable. It's a full sheet (Arches 140 lb. cold press) done using gouache and watercolor. In the border I also used gold leaf and ribbon. I don't stretch my paper--I like to have it free to move around easily. I also like the rippled aspect acquired during the painting process. It will be flattened somewhat before it gets framed. And it hasn't been officially photographed yet. Nor has it been titled yet. It was inspired by the Olema marsh.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008


It's been one of those days of doing a little of this and that--I fixed my director's chair which I use at shows--the footrest broke last weekend while I was at the Oakland Farmer's market. I had to go to the bank & redeposit a check that didn't clear. And I went and voted--not much action at the polls. I cleaned up the studio a little---I just bought and put together a new bookcase, so I could clear out some more boxes and try to get organized here! So I got rid of the packing stuff. I worked on 2 paintings and I worked in my "garden" (pictured above) which is actually a porch overlooking the gas pumps of the gas station where my studio is located. So I have things in pots and some plants in hanging pots & amazingly enough, they are all really doing well. (Guess they like the gas fumes!) I had bought a couple of new plants, so I put those in the larger pots, and did some trimming and watering & a little reorganizing out there as well. I have a hose hanger I want to put up--decided where it is to go (but didn't get that part done). All in all, a fairly satisfying day as far as accomplishments go.

Weather today in Point Reyes: Socked in drippy fog this morning, but not too cold. The sun came out about 11 AM and it was quite nice until the wind came up. Now(5:30 PM) it is very windy, there is still a bit of sun, but the fog is looming on the horizon.
Images: Top--Looking down the porch "garden"-my front door is on the left.
Middle-Bench with variegated geraniums & primroses
Bottom-Pot with Arctic Summer plant (I love that name!) surrounded by Petunias

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Our PROS group pulled off another of our semi annual events. Again, it seemed to be mostly a successful venture for those involved. I had a steady stream of visitors all weekend, but not quite the crowds we get for the Thanksgiving event. And I think if I had done a mailout instead of just an email invite, I may have gotten more attendance. (Always something new to learn!) My sales were not great the first two days, but sales on Monday made up for it. I had a wonderful response to my work, and again, many comments on the extremely high quality of work in our group. It was really good to clean up the studio & see all the work up on the walls, since it's usually wrapped, stacked & ready to go to a show. So now I am trying to put the studio back into "work mode" & get back to the business of painting.

Today I did a teleseminar with Alyson Stanfield about how to make and sell e-books. It was very informative & part of the information will be provided to us in an e-book. I had never thought about doing something like that before, but in her class description, she said that we all have knowledge that we could share with others (and maybe get paid for) by creating e-books. So I was intrigued. I can't wait to actually get the e-book & see how it all works. Alyson has also recently come out with a book called "I'd Rather Be In The Studio" that is a must-have for all artists working at selling and promoting their work. I interviewed her on this blog as part of her blog tour earlier this year. (Posted on April 3) Check it out.

Image: "Buddha and Monkey" acrylic on canvas 12" x 12" $295.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


This weekend is our Springtime edition of Point Reyes Open Studios. It will be Sat Sun & Mon from 11 to 5. As usual, we have a great lineup of artists. There are 22 artists participating this time, in all kinds of mediums--and the quality of the work is exceptional. This is a really fun event to attend because the artists' work is so good and our community is so beautiful and inviting. The entire group is spread in such a small area that it makes it easy to get around to everyone's studio. We also have a great website where you can download and print out a map, and also see examples of artists' work. Go to

As usual, I am way behind in my preparations, so I need to get busy. I am posting a couple of new paintings as a little preview. Enjoy!
Top "Pileated" Acrylic on canvas 12" x 9"
Bottom "Woodpecker Wannabe" 10" x 10"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Wow! Where has this month gone? I have been completely overwhelmed, and yet--I have been still getting some painting done. (Yay!)

So what have I been doing? If you have been reading this blog a bit, you already know about the controversial plans of the National Park Service to exterminate the non native deer that have resided here for almost a century. Anthony DeNicola, of White Buffalo, Inc. is the park's hit man for these beautiful defenseless creatures. The reality of their mission and methods is inhumane and so unbelieveably horrible, that it's difficult to even contemplate the National Park Service (Protecting our wildlife????!!) being a party to it. Want the details? Google Anthony DeNicola and White Buffalo, Inc. & you will find plenty to read--both the sanitized self-publicity about what an inteligent accomplished "nature lover" he is, and the testimonials from citizens all over the US, who are trying to stop the slaughter of wildlife that is literally happening in their backyards.

Enough. The photos above show our "Wailing Wall" that was created for the deer. We have the first version with the banner (erected in the dead of night by myself & Kathy R.), which was subsequently censored. And we have the second version, with the deer images above. We have had many positive comments and thanks from community members for DOING SOMETING and SPEAKING OUT.

That is all I'm going to say about that--the next post is going to be about PAINTING.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I am thrilled to participate in Alyson Stanfield's blog tour to promote her new book, "I'd Rather Be In The Studio! The Artist's No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion". Alyson invited me to ask her a question and she is also giving away a free copy of her book! And all you artists out there are going to want one, if you don't already have it, because it is chock full of great information and ideas. I came across Alyson's website last summer and immediately signed up to receive her free weekly newsletter. She got me started blogging! And then I signed up for a class on "Promoting Your Art" in the fall, which was conducted on a blog, with interaction from fellow students. It was a new experience for me--Fun and informative, with so much knowledge shared that I am still processing a lot of it. And the new book is excellent! So here is our "question and answer" exchange:

C--I took your Promote Your Art class. I KNOW this stuff, but I STILL have trouble asking people for their contact info, even when they're interested in my work. I get nervous, I forget what I'm doing--ACK!!! Later, I could kick myself! I gave them MY info & didn't get theirs. It reminds me of my completely inappropriate--but real to me--fear of talking to people as a kid when I was expected to sell Girl Scout cookies door to door.

A--Christine, this is common. Don’t kick yourself, but learn from your oversight and do something differently. As you know, in the book I reveal that it’s much more important to get business cards than to pass yours out. It’s because having someone else’s business card gives you control of that information. If you just give out brochures, flyers, and business cards, you never know what happens to them. But if you’re in the driver’s seat, you can use that information to build and maintain relationships. This is why you’re kicking yourself, but let’s move on to a more fruitful discussion.

Let me ask you this: Do you just forget to ask for their info? Or do you not know what to say? Or do you feel you’re intruding? Where are you coming from at the moment?

C--I think it's because I get nervous when I'm "on" with potential clients. I forget to ask. I don't consciously feel like I'm intruding, but I was thinking about this the other day, and how my parents used to say that I shouldn't be afraid to speak out, etc. But when I think about how they acted themselves in the world, I think that I picked up a different message from their behavior.

A--Maybe you can think about this as your self-promotion muscle. It just needs to be exercised. You need to get it into shape. What you’re talking about just takes practice. It takes a while to develop a habit of promoting yourself. It won’t help to beat yourself up over missed opportunities. It’s more effective to look back at each situation and evaluate what you could have done differently. When was there a good opportunity to get their business cards? What could you have said? What exact words would have been effective and comfortable for you to use?

I wonder if it would help if you had a clear reason to get their information. What if you could say, “Do you have a card? I’d love to send you a copy of this article I wrote.” Or “small matted print” or “set of greeting cards” or whatever you have that is of interest and value to people. That might make it easier to remember and easier to ask.

C--Thanks, Alyson, for letting me "pick your brain" a little and help you get your book out!

Please link here for the free book giveaway instructions:

Interested in winning a free copy of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion? Visit this site, read the instructions, and enter. Your odds are good as she’s giving away a free copy on most of the blog tour stops. You can increase your odds by visiting the other blog tour stops and entering on those sites as well.

Friday, March 21, 2008


On Thursday, I took my friend Pirkle Jones to Bolinas, to visit Mary Nisbet at
California Orchids. Pirkle and Mary are long time friends, and Pirkle is an avid orchid collector. So we dropped off some plants that were done blooming--Mary offers a great boarding service for your orchids. She takes care of them and brings them to you when they are ready to bloom. We got to explore some of the greenhouses, and see the preparations for their big Spring Sale, which is being held this Saturday from 9 to 4.

Being at California Orchids was like being in the middle of one of Henri Rousseau's jungle scenes (one of my very favorite painters!) Incredible blooms and colors erupting from fantasy-like foliage. One of the most interesting things was the big tree trunks, which were cork trees, that Mary has used as a "planting bed"---upon which she has cultivated various kinds of orchids and other plants.

Seeing the incredible diversity of flowers, fragrance, types of leaves and growth was quite inspiring. Just the thing I needed for some foliage ideas for a painting I'm currently working on. It was a great trip and I want to go back again--I didn't get to see all the greenhouses (I think there are about 5) To top it off, the drive over to Bolinas from Mill Valley was just exquisite---a sunny clear day--we spotted lots of egrets and ducks and the water sparkled like jewels in the sunlight. It was a very good day indeed.
Images of the greenhouses at California Orchids in Bolinas. Bottom picture: L to R--Tim and Mary, owners of California Orchids, and Pirkle Jones