Blooming Deadwood at Iwasawa Oriental Art

I am very honored to be exhibiting Blooming Deadwood at Kumiko Iwasawa Vadas’ gorgeous gallery, Iwasawa Oriental Art in downtown Los Gatos where Every objet d’art is carefully selected for not only it’s craftsmanship but how it artfully reflects the season and relates to its neighbor! Thanks to Lorraine Lawson, David and Kumiko for your help with the install!






Happy artist and gallerist.

You can take the girl out of the valley, but you can’t take the valley out of the girl! I grew up in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia with it’s orchards flanked by basalt mountains and now I find myself in the Santa Clara Valley, formerly known as Valley of Hearts Delight, famous for its orchards and now more commonly referred to as Silicon Valley. I adore how my painting, Blooming Deadwood, has been paired with Ken Matsumoto’s stunning Floating Usu, carved out of basalt!

I love the relationship pieces have with each other at Iwasawa Oriental Art, especially this Meiji period vase and bird with Blooming Deadwood as a backdrop, can you feel spring coming? I am told their will be cherry blossoms in a few weeks!

Galaxy by Hiroko Ohno, pigment and acrylic on paper mounted on wood panel.

Giclée of Tokyo Waterfall by Hiroko Ohno.

Also, Iwasawa Oriental Art will be conducting their first calligraphy class of 2018 with Kihachiro Nishiura January, 11th e-mail or contact them at (408) 395-2339 to reserve a spot.

Iwasawa Oriental Art

Have you been to Iwasawa Oriental Art yet? It’s a lovely gallery of fine Japanese art, furniture and design serving a very discerning clientele and celebrating their 35th anniversary this year! It’s located at 75 University Avenue in Los Gatos, California.

Kumikio Iwasawa Vadas
, the gracious owner, exhibits work that reflects the changing seasons and is currently showing Water in Life an exhibit that runs until February 28th, 2018. How perfectly this parallels the current Waterlines exhibition at NUMU (where my pieces Stilla Maris and California Water Rites are currently showing) for which she is one of several generous sponsors! She is standing in front of a beautiful work of calligraphy by Kihachiro Nishiura – Sound of Water – Sumi Ink of Canvas. This skilled artist teaches calligraphy lessons at the gallery!

On display in front of the calligraphy are these amazing stone vessels by Ken Matsumoto, the one at the bottom is called Spillway Wash from 2015.

Ken Matsumoto  – Grant Lake RipRap – Unidentified Stone – 2016

A painting from Masamichi Kotaki’s series, Neither a Point or a Line, work that echoes the gestural sweeps of calligraphy in Sumi Ink, mineral pigment and gold on hemp paper from 2006.

This beautiful Urushi or lacquerware green tea container is part of several vignettes of Toriawase in the gallery, the poetic art of arrangement, which is highly evolved throughout Japanese culture and maybe nowhere more so than in the Japanese tea ceremony in which the host can covey more than can be expressed in words with artful, thoughtful arrangements. The Chrysanthemum of autumn, depicted in gold is a symbol of longevity and follows the idea of Shitsurae, the practice of arranging decor to reflect the season or occasion. This piece is an example of Utsushi, where craftsmen look to employ and improve upon traditional imagery and methods, not to copy but to participate in an artistic dialogue that spans centuries.

Not only did I want to share this wonderful gallery with you but also share the exciting news that Kumiko Iwasawa Vadas has invited me to exhibit my triptych, Blooming Deadwood, here in the spring!  We discussed it with a few friends over some lovely plum wine, cheese and crackers after my artist talk at Fade where the painting in currently on exhibit at Vargas Gallery. I am so honored to think of my work adding to the conversation of art and nature that envelops you when you enter this very special space!

Waterlines Artist Talk at NUMU Tomorrow

Please join me for a conversation with curator Marianne McGrath at NUMU tomorrow, Saturday, November 4th. We will be talking about the genesis of my pieces Stilla Maris (drop of the sea) and California Water Rites, currently on exhibit with Waterlines. We will explore my artistic process, my relationship with water and notions of what might be considered sacred. Come and ask me stuff! Share your experience of water and what it means to you!

Here are some panoramic view of the exhibit which includes  (painting, photography, assemblage, installation, video, drawing prints and sound pieces)  by Judith Belzer, Barbara Boissevain, Marie Cameron, Matthew Chase-Daniel, Christel Dillbohner, Linda Gass, Nancy Genn, Liz Hickok, Theodora Varnay Jones, Pantea Karimi, Cheryl E. Leonard, Danae Mattes, Marsha McDonald, Klea McKenna, Ryan M. Reynolds and Linda Simmel, curated by Marianne McGrath.

Several artists exhibiting with Waterlines will speaking about their work in conjunction with NUMU’s Winter Celebration which will run from 12- 4 pm. Check out this link for all the activities (including decorating sugar skulls)!  This is free for all NUMU members, $10 general admission, $6 for seniors, students and military and free for everyone 18 and under.

NUMU is at 106 E. Main Street in Los Gatos, California.

Abstracts From Life at NUMU

So nice to meet many of the exhibiting artists in Abstracts From Life: Bay Area Figurative Past and Present at the Members Reception held at NUMU last night in Los Gatos, California. It’s a beautiful exhibit curated by Marianne McGrath with exceptional work by Michael Azgour, Joan Brown, Suhas Bhujbal, Linda Christensen, Richard Diebenkorn, Dennis Hare, Mitchell Johnson, Brigitte McReynolds, Nathan Oliveira, Joan Savo, Jennifer Pochinski, William Rushton, Terry St. John and James Weeks. The show continues on until September 10, 2017. The following are a few photos from the evening and a small sampling of the work which glowed dramatically off of the dark walls (so hard to shoot)! All the more reason to come in and see it for yourself! For additional information on the artists, click on their names for links to websites and bios.

Suhas Bhujbal - Flower Market – oil on canvas

Mitchell Johnson

Brigitte McReynolds

Jennifer Pochinski - The Wonderful Race, –  Penelope, Livingroom

(detail from The Wonderful Race)

Linda Christensen - Tableau – oil on canvas

Linda Christensen -The Writer – oil on canvas

William Rushton - Street Play – oil on canvas


Michael Azgour - Canal Street – oil on canvas

Joan Savo - Untitled (figure)  - oil on canvas

Richard Diebenkorn  – Untitled – charcoal on paper

Richard Diebenkorn - Untitled – charcoal on paper

Nathan Oliveira - Untitled Figure.  Crown Point Press Nude 14 – watercolor on paper

James Weeks – Promenade Under the Trees – oil on canvas


La Estancia

I had the chance to paint with the Los Gatos Art Association’s Plein Air Group a few weeks ago at La Estancia in Los Gatos. I’m afraid I don’t get out with them more than once or twice a year but I always love it when I do manage to break away from the studio. They are such a great group of talented artists who generously share tips and ideas. It’s so invigorating being out “in the field” trying to throw it all down before the light changes or soup’s on!

Vincent Liu

Liz Fennell

Wheelbarrow full of arts supplies!

Veronica Gross

My painting in progress – the tree was in silhouette when I began.

My  11X14″ oil – trying to keep it colorful, wild and loose!

Nancy Takaichi’s palm painting.

Lisha Wang

Kathy Carlquist

Al Shamble

Rebecca White’s oil.

Gathering after lunch for the critique.

So many paintings in only few hours!

Sam Pearson’s pastel.

Will Maller leading the critique and discussion.

Will Maller’s palm.

Jennifer Lashbrook Demo at JCO’s

The Art Docents of Los Gatos were treated to a demo by Dallas artist, Jennifer Lashbrook and her “Swatch Paintings” at JCO’s Place on Friday. Lashbrook creates collages using paint swatches that she gets by the forklift load and through an extensive process of sorting by value and hue builds a palette for her pixelated images, squares of color fixed with rubber cement and clear acrylic onto gridded panels. This series at JCO’s were all famous, recognizable images from art history and part of the fun is the process of recognition, but she also does landscapes and portraits which can be seen on her website .

Owner of Jco’s, Julie Jenkins greeting the Docents.

Jennifer Lashbrook walked us through her exacting  process.

Girl with a Pearl Earring  (Vermeer)  - 36 x 36 – paint swatch (paper)

Paint swatch sample names can be playful, and witty and very literal, the pearl earring is actually “pearl”.

Frida with begonias - 48 x 35 – paint swatch (paper)

Quickly scanning a Frieda, I find “Adobe Straw”.

Marilyn (Andy Warhol)  - 36 x 36 – paint swatch (paper) detail, I wonder what her swatches say?

Julie Jenkins atop a ladder catching the Docents on their phones… Up close these pixelated collages dissolve into a grid of colored squares, the analytical brain clicks in, categorizing the material and reading the chips. The more distance you can create between yourself and the piece, the more the image resolves before your eyes.  Your spatial, arty brain clicks in and starts seeing the big picture, “connecting the dots” and filling in the blanks. The same effect can be achieved by squinting or looking through your smart phone. Super fun!

Quinn Peck – Artist Talk


Tuesday, the Art Docents of Los Gatos were treated to an Artist Talk with Quinn Peck!

Julie Jenkins (owner of JCO’s and fellow board director for the Art Docents of Los Gatos) opened up her ArtHaus for the first time to introduce us to the dreamy and ethereal photo based work of Oakland based artist, Quinn Peck.

Elizabeth Greer, co-chair of the Continuing Education committee welcoming us to the talk, introducing us to Quinn Peck and recounting how his Liminality Series had stood out at Anne & Mark’s Art Party this past fall, on EVERYONE’s top favorites list.

Julie Jenkins describing her reaction to Quinn Peck’s work when she first saw it at Anne & Mark’s Art Party last fall, how the pieces would move as you rounded the corner, lifted on the breeze of the motion of the viewer’s passing and draw you back in, how moving they are and how happy she is to represent his work now here in Los Gatos.

JCO’s gallery director, Bridget McMahon welcoming Quinn Peck.

Liminality: Self-reflection from the space in-between, is a series of archival inject prints on layers of silk. The top layer is a transparent silk organza and the base a heavy Fuji silk, the layers are hung loosely from a bar allowing for space and between the layers. As you move past the piece, viewing it from different angles the images shift slightly, almost like a stereograph or a hologram. The effect is like a dream or a shifting memory, something unstable, unfixed. In fact, Peck was inspired by Civil War era spirit photography which used double exposures to “capture spirits”. Liminality itself refers to thresholds.….(from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete …(thank you wikipedia).

These deeply introspective pieces invite viewers to identify with the subject who is either facing a void or a gate, a passage, a path or a plunge. All of this is emotionally engaging with rich with and powerful metaphors, but what is even more profound is that these pieces were all self portraits from before Peck began his transition from female to male! I am so deeply touched by how many levels this work is operating on, all in it’s quiet and sublimely beautiful way!

Jumping Off Place


Broken Steps


A native of Cambria, Quinn Peck holds an undergraduate degree in Visual Art (emphasis in photography) from University of California, Santa Cruz, a Masters in Photography from the Academy of Art University, and a MA in Counseling Psychology, Expressive Arts Therapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is currently  working on his certification in Permaculture Design at Merritt College.

To see all of the work Quinn Peck has at JCO’s check out all the gorgeous images on their website. I love them all but Edge is coming home with me!

Holiday Party – Gallery 24

Gallery lighting is for paintings – not people & cameras only work when the batteries are charged!

That aside, here are the few photos I have from Gallery 24′s Holiday Party last night which was great (before my battery went dead)! I got to meet so many lovely people including some of the artists who have recently become members! Also two go my hummingbirds had flown off the tree to new homes before I even got to the party!

I love belonging to gallery with such engaged artists and sponsors, (Los Gatos Morning Rotary Charitable Foundation) and such a supportive community!

Me with my birds….

Holiday Tree  trimmed with small treasures.

Micheal Rogan’s floral.

Shannon Amidon with her encaustic painting of a silhouetted tree and hawk ….

That’s better …Occhiolism.

And then my battery went dead and I could actually talk to people!




Holiday Tree Trimmed with Paintings

The Holiday Party is tonight!

It is the tradition at Gallery 24 (formerly Los Gatos Museum Gallery) to trim the tree with little paintings, small treasures all $100 each, this year I have two of my 4×4″ hummingbird paintings at the tipity top – can you spot the white hummingbird? It’s a bit like seeing it out in the wild!




I know that David Stonesifer will have some of his very popular Vintage Santa paintings on the tree as well!

I’m still trying to decide whether to wear my hummingbird dress or something more sparkly?  Throw something fun on and come down for  a drink and a bite, some art and lots and lots of fabulous company!  Party runs from 6-8:30 tonight, 24 N Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Los Gatos, California!

Holiday Party at Gallery 24!


Our Holiday Party at Gallery 24 is tomorrow night from 6-8:30 pm!

Everyone is welcome to stop by for a cup of good cheer and festive nibbles! We have a tree covered with tiny paintings and you can see the work of the following artists, many who will be present!

Shannon Amidon
Debbie Baker
Andy Ballantyne
Marie Cameron
Noreen Christopher
Gary Coleman
Nancy DeWeese
Vernon Dittenbir
Chris Dok
Marilyn Dorsa
Joan Drennan
Danielle Dufayet
Lance Glasser
Georgesse Gomez
Scot Grabowski
Veronica Gross
Mary Ann Henderson
Ellen Howard
Yao-pi Hsu
Phyllis Ann Jenkins
Ellen Kieffer
Katy Kindig
Carolyn Larsen
Lorraine Lawson
Belinda Lima
Vincent Liu
Ed Lucey
Will Maller
Betty Turrentine McGuire
Maralyn Miller
Susan Miller
Linda Mitchell
Sandi Okita
Donna Orme
Sam Pearson
Judith Peterson
Leslie Rock
Michael Rogan
Julia Munger Seelos
Pat Sherwood
Linda Smythe
Lucas Stamos
David Stonesifer
Pat Suggs
Jeanne Tillman
Janet Trenchard
Karen Van Galder
Julia Watson
Alice Weil
Colleen Wilcox
Tonya Zenin

We’re at 24 N Santa Cruz Avenue in downtown Los Gatos, California.

(artwork by Janet Trenchard)

Magnolia Tea II Alighting at Gallery 24

I just listed Magnolia Tea II on the website and will be bringing it into Gallery 25 with a flock of other Birds and Teacups. In this painting, I tried to bring home some of the magic of spotting a white hummingbird in the wild to capture it in a domestic still life with this unusual, unpainted Limoges demitasse set and Magnolia Grandiflora bloom which represents nobility and perseverance in the Victorian language of flowers.

Your Presence Soothes Me

I love how these paintings come together, often the teacup is the inspirational launching point, but this time I had spotted a Townsend’s Warbler in my neighbor’s camellias and while photographing it (such a shy bird) I began to imagine what flower might suit its sweet masked face… and knew right away that it had to be the black and yellow striped petunia which I picked up in one of my local nurseries, and finding a matching teacup turned to be a cinch on ebay – a Royal Standard bone china classic from England! When I discovered the Victorian meaning of the petunia was “your presence soothes me”, I thought of the mourning jewelry I’ve been quietly obsessed with as of late and included a braided hair locket in my vignette. Of course, it wasn’t complete until I had a backdrop worked out and my yellow cotton dress with black and white feather embroidery seemed perfect. I’ve framed the painting in a sculptural, undulating black frame with a rich patina. I liked this combination so much, I went on to paint a matching Petunia Tea II with a gold locket.

Both of these paintings were just listed on my website and I will be taking them into Gallery 24 in Los Gatos, California this Friday along with a flock which includes a Steller’s Jay, a White Anna’s Hummingbird and a House Finch, which I’ll be posting, post haste!

Along St. Joseph’s Trail

I clearly don’t know all the correct names of these creatures and blooms I came across on my hike along St Joseph’s Trail – but I’d like to! If you know the real names please chime in!

Bay Area Checkerspot

Skipper on a yellow Devil’s Paintbrush

Bermuda Buttercups / Soursop

Seep Monkey Flower / Common Monkey Flower / Mimulus guttatus

Sticky Monkey Flower / Orange Bush Monkey Flower / Mimulus aurantiacus

Scotch Broom


Yellow Flower

California India Pink




California Poppy, ?. White Lupine

Flowering Shrub


White Flowers

White Morning Glory

White Iris

Wild clematis gone to seed

White Lupine

Fairy Lantern / Globe Lily/ Calochortus alba








Smallflower Lupine / Lupinus polycarpus  (micranthus)

Blackheaded Grosbeak


Purple Finches


Gordon Smedt – Fresh Paint


Great reception last night for Gordon Smedt‘s Fresh Paint exhibition at JCO’s Place! His new work was all done simultaneously, each piece sharing something in approach, handling an vibrancy!  Smedt’s work, always painted so beautifully, is engaging and fun but often with a an underlying layer that says something about us and our culture.













Plein Air in Los Gatos

Another fabulous Monday with the Los Gatos Art Association’s Plein Air Painters! This time we were painting on the home turf of artist David Stonesifer with it’s extensive gardens and gorgeous historic architecture.

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Roof Top- photo Marie Cameron 2016


LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Cast Rooster on the Wall - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer : Arzie - Cast Rabbit in the Succulents - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Artichoke Fluff - photo Marie Cameron 2016            LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Fountain - photo Marie Cameron 2016             LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Wheel Barrow - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - David Stonesifer Painting- photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Al Shamble - photo Marie Cameron 2016             LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer :Azrie - Nancy Takaichi - Marie Cameron 2016             LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Hershel Abelman- photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Rick Guidice - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie  Micheal Baggett and Bonnie Joy Sedlak - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Wall - photo Marie Cameron 2016             LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Floral Niche - photo Marie Cameron 2016             LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Urn - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer :Azrie - In the Garden- Marie Cameron 2016

I have been to several of David’s wonderful open studios in years past, so I was a little familiar with the grounds, enough to know that I wanted to make a bee-line for the bee boxes in the orchard!

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Bee Boxes- Marie Cameron 2016


This is the view I settled on as I liked the way the overlapping trees in the foreground led the eye into the focal area of the bee boxes on a beautiful diagonal.

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Bee Box Orchard View- photo Marie Cameron 2016


After I set up my easel (still getting the hang of it – I feel like a cross between a brain surgeon and an acrobat) I sketched in my composition over what should have been a colored ground.

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Keeping Bees in the Orchard (WIP)1 - Marie Cameron 2016


For me, I’m not keen on blocking in values as I’m afraid it will muddy the color. This time I chose a 16 x 20 inch canvas, hoping that the larger scale would keep my painting more free and gestural. I concentrated on anchoring the scene with the darkest shadows in purples and blues and dark greens. Working dark to light is usually the best way to go with oils! I also wanted to nail some of the subtle color that was being reflected into the usually cool shadows of the bee boxes by the intensity of the yellow flowers and green grass in that morning light before it changed.

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Keeping Bees in the Orchard (WIP)2 - Marie Cameron 2016


It was a good start and I still consider this to be an underpainting that I would finish up later I had to break for lunch and a crit….

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Keeping Bees in the Orchard - oil on canvas 16 x12 inches - Marie Cameron 2016


Must say, I  looked a  lot like a mushroom in my sun hat, which I would have lost if there was any kind of breeze!

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Marie Cameron, with hat - photo Nancy Takaichi 2016


OK, that’s better…

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer - Arzie - Marie Cameron - photo Nancy Takaichi 2016


David Stonesifer and Larry Arzie generously hosted for a delicious lunch inside…

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Lunch - Marie Cameron 2016


…and outside on the terrace…

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Lunch - photo Marie Cameron 2016


….with the bunnies and clementines.

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Lunch Bunny - Marie Cameron 2016


My bowl of fabulous homemade Spanish Stew with Chorizo from Lèon and Chicken Meatballs from Adelle’s was even garnished with a drifting quince petal.

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Spanish Stew with drifting Quince Petal - Marie Cameron 2016


After lunch Will Maller ran a crit  so we could all learn from each other’s work.

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Deep in Thought  - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer - Arzie - Will Maller- photo Marie Cameron 2016


LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Sam Pearson - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Will Maller crit  for Annette Haines- photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - David Stonesifer - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Will Maller crit  for Hershel - photo Marie Cameron 2016             LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Will Maller crit  for Nancy Takaichi- photo Marie Cameron 2016             LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Will Maller crit  for Rick Guidice - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer : Arzie - Hellen Yang, Rebecca White, Carole Rafferty, Kathy Kleinsteiber - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Rebecca White (painting) after Jeff Owen (sculpture) - photo Marie Cameron 2016                  LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer - Arzie - Lisha Wang - photo Marie Cameron 2016                 LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer -Arzie - Will Maller crit  for Kathy Carlquist - photo Marie Cameron 2016

LGAA - Plein Air Painters - Stonesifer - Arzie - Will Maller -crit - photo Marie Cameron 2016Really great critique…. I even got a little applause from Will for my painting – though maybe it was really for the bravery of coming out and working so ambitiously large for my second time out with the group (being a studio painter)!  I’m still kind of befuddled as the painting doesn’t feel finished to me.  Will said it should physically hurt when you’re pushing at the edges of your comfort zone and growing as a painter. I guess I’m growing then because I promised him I wouldn’t touch it (yes it’s hurting) and I would do a second, separate painting of the same subject if I had to work out the vision in my head! The challenge will be to find a balance of the freshness and spontaneity of this painting with the finesse and polish in my mind’s eye…. apparently a good place to start will be with a colored ground.

How fortunate I feel to be working with this great group of artists, in these spectacular locations with all this great advice and company!