Fur, Feathers & Fins – the Beat Goes On

Pre-FF&F Asian Pear Sangria

First Fridays – It’s when all the arts all over the Bay Area  seem to be on display.  The Pacific Art League, for instance had an opening reception for four exhibits in their make-shift facility on Forest (their longtime, historic home next door is undergoing a major retrofit overhaul). There was a solo exhibition of watercolor paintings by Zhao Nan Duan,  Fur, Feathers & Fins, a regional group exhibition juried by Michael Azgour,  a group exhibition of contemporary abstract work and The Beats – Back Where It All Began, poetry and music presented by Leah Lubin. A lot going on in a very small space!

Poetry reading presented by Leah Lubin at PAL - FF&F 2013

Poetry reading.

When I arrived with my family we had just missed the announcements and award ceremony. My painting, End of Spring, was hanging in the corner behind the large watercolor by Zhao Nan Duan which had been placed there to introduce him but remained for most of the evening. The poets and musicians were in full swing and my family left without getting to see my piece on exhibit. Sigh!

First Friday Opening Reception at PAL-Fur, Feathers & Fins & Poetry

Large turnout for First Friday reception!

The poetry and music was a big hit and there was a great turn out for it, something I may have been in the mood for if I was in a different frame of mind but I was really more interested in speaking with the other visual artists who were attending the reception.

FF&F at PAL Isaias Sandoval - Sad Rose - Oil

Congratulations to Isaias Sandoval, who I know from the Los Gatos Art Association. He was awarded first place for his oil painting Sad Rose. He had both fur and feathers! The juror loved his use of metaphor.

FF&F at PAL - Denise Howard - Golfer's Error - Graphite

Denise Howard took second place for her graphite drawing, Golfer’s Error. Here the juror appreciated her light consistent touch and the clear telling of a complete story. And I had asked my kids before the show if they thought I would have the only dead animal in the show! Denise tells me that she’d also drawn a sparrow, called Ascension, who had sadly hit her window.

FF&F at PAL - Maura Carta - Rabbit - Oil

Maura Carta was awarded third place for her oil painting Rabbit. Here the juror commented on the varied but cohesive brush strokes that beautifully evoked the softness of the plush toy and blanket.

FF&F at PAL Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila - two oil

My friend Mei-Ying Dell’Aquila was awarded honorable mention for Liberty Prometheus : Gift, the oil painting on the left. Her Liberty Prometheus : Punishment was also selected for the exhibition.  Mei-Ying’s works are rich with symbolism and allegory, my photo caught too much glare and doesn’t do them justice.

FF&F at PAL Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila - oil (detail)

Here’s a detail from Liberty Prometheus : Gift – her crow and pomegranate are two subjects I’m always drawn to and she’s rendered them so lushly!

FF&F at PAL - Jaya King - Black, White and Red All Over - Acrylic and Collage

I’m a big fan of my friend Jaya King’s work she has a playful and whimsical side as seen here in her painting, Black, White and Red All Over and a moving lyrical side which is evidenced in her work through Nieto Fine Art.

FF&F at PAlL - Ellen Litwiller -  Quagga - Oil

My daughter and I were quite taken with this oil painting by Ellen Litwiller entitled Quagga (Last One Died August 12, 1883). It’s faded sepia tones are like an old photograph, it has a loose ghostly quality so suitable for a tragically extinct animal, the repetition of vertical lines throughout bring to mind a cage and echo the pattern of it’s coat. The incorporation of text not only lends context but is a great graphic element that helps to anchor the piece.

FF&F at PAL - Matre Thompson - Discussion ( Dicus Pair) Acrylic

The soft patterns and richly subdued color palette of Marte Thompson’s acrylic painting, Discussion (Discus) were really lovely.

FF&F at PAL Marie Cameron- End of Spring - oil

End of Spring unveiled!

Finally, my oil painting, End of Spring was revealed near the end of the reception, just in time for a snap – compliments of my photographer friend, Ron Dell’Aquilla (who just won first place in the the Triton Museum of Art’s  2013 Statewide Photography Competition/ Exhibition where he was awarded his own solo show)!  I capped off my evening over impossibly viridian green Italian drinks, mint in name only, with my very first Californian friend, artist Ai Aroner, who used to work at the Pacific Art League in the days that I volunteered there back before the dot.com bust. Cin-cin!










Marin MOCA Reception with George Rivera

Marin MOCA SE 2013 Marie Cameron


I’m so glad I hauled myself up to Novato for the opening reception of the 2103 Summer National Juried Exhibition at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art where my painting Blue Corset is on exhibit for the next 6 weeks! The drive itself was much better than I’d expected –  I loved crossing the Richmond – San Rafael Bridge which lies low and intimate over the broad expanse of the sparkling San Francisco Bay and shoots you out into Marin’s rolling farmland of the Lucas Valley.  Not far off the highway is Hamilton Field, formerly known as the “Hollywood of Air Force Bases”. It now houses the museum in the Novato Arts Center in a 1932 Spanish Colonial stunner surrounded by magestic palms, tended gardens and other period buildings, one used as a bistro, another as a theater.

Marin MOCA SE 2013

Marin MOCA SE 2013 Portico view            Marin MOCA SNE 2013 door view            Marin MOCA Portico

I love the Spanish Colonial Porticos that flank the main entrance with all the lovely period details!

Marin MOCA SE 2013 Opening Reception


This is the gorgeous foyer of what used to be the headquarters for the Hamilton Air Force Base. I wish I got a better shot of the painting of an arial view of the base that you can just about make out above the door. I must have been distracted by the strawberries and brownies! OK, here’s a photo I cleaned up a bit, still blurry but charming none the less.

Hamilton Field Painting


Marin MOCA SNE 2013 Entrance to Gallery              Marin MOCA SNE 2013 Gallery             Marin MOCA SNE 2013 gallery view

This show was juried by George Rivera, a pillar in the arts community in the Bay Area. He just recently announced that he’ll be stepping down from his position as Executive Director and Senior Curator of the Triton Museum of Art where he’s been working for the last 28 years and focus on his own painting and plans to continue to teach. He’s taught and mentored so many artists in our community!

Marin MOCA SE 2013 Juror George Rivera

Juror George Rivera

I had resigned myself to the fact that juror’s don’t show up to these receptions of exhibitions they judge, after all, it is an immense amount of work to go through all the submissions and carefully judge each piece on its own merits. I’d probably be good and tired of looking at anything by the end of the process. Imagine how delighted I was when I discovered that George Rivera had come to deliver an inspiring address about his experience of jurying in general and of this show in particular!  He spoke how each piece is assigned a number, (5s 4s and 3s) based on proficiency, aspects like technique, composition, freshness, consistency. The 5s had all of this in addition to something more that moved him,  a point of view, much like great literature, a voice in which everything seamlessly supports what the artist was trying to convey. He said that having a lot of time to jury the work enabled him to enter each piece individually and learn its foreign language, like an opera in which he didn’t need to know each word to be moved to tears. How beautiful is that?! He said juried shows typically have a combination of 5s and 4s selected but in this national show there was so much quality work that they were all 5s and that all the artists had solo show experience and multiple awards or would in their future. He also encouraged artists whose work was not selected to email him for a personal critique -always the generous mentor!

Marin MOCA SNE 2013 Marie Cameron and Blue Corset with George Rivera

I was honored to have George Rivera speak with me personally about my painting. In fact, I was so excited, let’s see if I can even remember what he said!

Marin MOCA SNE 2013 Marie Cameron and George Rivera discuss Blue Corset


He spoke of how sometimes the background of a portrait fails to hold up its end of the painting, maybe it’s treated in a different hand, or distracts your attention or fails to contribute to the portrait in any meaningful way. He felt that in this case there was a nice interaction with the portrait, lending layers of context without competing for attention. He talked too of the intriguing contrast of the bold tattoo and the softly demure dress and pin, this combined with her challenging gaze and strength of character made for a dramatic work.

Marin MOCA SNJE 2013 Final Room


Marin MOCA SNE 2013 Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila Knowledge from History - Honorable Mention


My friend Mei-Ying Dell’Aquila was awarded an honorable mention for her oil painting Knowledge from History.  Can you pick out all the historical figures on her chessboard? Way to go Mei-Ying!

Photographer Ron Dell'Aquila with painter Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila and artist Kristin Lindseth-Rivera


Here she is with husband photographer Ron Dell’Aquila and artist Kristen Lindseth-Rivera.

Marin MOCA SNE 2013 Lynette Cook explaining her technique in her painting, Connecting The Dots In My Life


Lynette Cook explaining her precise painting techniques in her work, Connecting The Dots In My Life.

Marin MOCA SNE 2013 Full House

Marin MOCA SNE 2013 George Rivera - Opening Remarks              Marin MOCA SNE 2013 Viewing Cathy Lockes' Mnemosye              Marin MOCA SE 2013 Sondra Schwetman's Pain Train

Marin MOCA SNE 2013 sculpture Pain Train with 1st place Allegro Into The Light by Jeanne Lamosse and 2nd place Reconnoitering Site #1 by Tom Gehrig











In this middle room you can see Sondra Schwetman’s sculpture Pain Train reigning over the floor and catch a glimpse of first place winner Glenn Carter’s Transparence on the back wall and Tom Gehrig’s Reconnoitering Site #1 to the right which was awarded second place.

Marin MOCA SNJE 2013 middle room


Marin MOCA SNJE 2013 Artist Kate Marsh and friends.


Artist Kate Marsh with her friends in front of her oil painting Berryessa, CA #1.

George Rivera talks with Kate Marsh about her oil painting Berryessa, CA #1


George Rivera talking with Kate Marsh about her oil painting Berryessa, CA #1.


I wanted to include some of the fantastic work from the exhibition that I was quite taken with, click on the image for links to the artist’s work:

Marin MOCA SE 2013 Rachel Williams Forgotten Saint (detail)

Rachel Williams
Forgotten Saint
Oil on cnavas

Marin MOCA SE 2013 Holly Blake Generator - Honorable Mention

Holly Blake
Oil on board
Honorable Mention

Marin MOCA SE 2013The Artist Hines Every Once In A While I Dream Of You

The Artist Hines
Every Once In A While I Dream Of You
Oil on canvas

Marin MOCA SE 2013 Jizelle Albright 21st Century Image #1 Signal / Noise

Jizell Albright
21st Century Image #1 – Signal / Noise
Collage on board

Marin MOCA SNJE 2013 Angela Young - Sight

Angela Young
Lithograph on German Etch Paper

Marin MOCA SE 2013 Mei-Ying and Ron Dell'Aquila

Thanks to Mei-Ying and Ron Dell’Aquila for sharing in the transport of the works and for the great photos (and company) What would the arts be without a community?!


Breath of Spring Reception

We had a lovely opening reception for Breath of Spring at the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto Last night! Beautiful art, loads of people, wine, hor d’oeuvres and lovely music by member artist Geri McGilvray. I was even awarded honorable mention by juror George Rivera for my painting Cherry Blossom Spray, and this in a national competition for which 35 pieces were selected from 135 entries!

Breath of Spring Muses of a Garden mixed media by Dean Moniz Sacremento, CA

Muses of a Garden, a mixed media painting by Dean Moniz of Sacramento, CA  was awarded honorable mention . To visit his Facebook site click on the image. I love the happiness of this floral abstraction!

Breath of Spring Marie Squared

Textile, film & ice cream artist Marie Hetherington and me in front of my painting. Click on image for her website.

Breath of Spring Reception Pacific Art League of Palo Alto

The new temporary digs clean up nice for a reception!

Breath of Spring Reception at the Pacific Art League

Nice turn out for the Breath of Spring reception at the Pacific Art League!

Season of Renewal Lynette Cook, Daly City, CA Acrylic

Lynette Cook from Daly City won second place for her acrylic work Season of Renewal. Click on the image for her website.

Breath of Spring Mei-Ying talking about 1st place Tribulation

Mei-Ying Dell’Aquila shared what was behind her painting Tribulation which had won first place. Click on image for her website.

Breath of Spring Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila and Tritons's Carmen Pascual

Mei-Ying Dell’Aquila and Tritons’s Carmen Pascual talk about Tribulation.

Breath of Spring Roses, Alstromenia & Ferns by Anna Chupa, Allentown, PA Acid Dye on Habatoi silk H.M.

Detail from Roses, Alstromenia & Ferns, acid dye on habatoi silk which also won honorable mention for Anna Chupa of Allentown, PA.  Just mesmerizing! Click on the photo for her website.

Painter Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila tries on jeweler Lenore Cymes's Necklace

Painter Mei-Ying Dell’Aquila tries on jeweler Lenore Cymes’s Necklace.  I have one of pieces myself! Click on image for website

Breath of Spring artists Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila, Marie Cameron and Ron Dell'Aquil

Me with the married duo of aritsts Mei-Ying and Ron Dell’Aquila. Hey Ron, I never did get a shot of you in front of your beautiful photograph. Click on the photo for his website.

Breath of Spring Chorus of Tulips, colored pencil by Denise Howard, Santa Clara, CA

Denise Howard of Santa Clara, CA was also awarded honorable mention for her colored pencil Chorus of Tulips. Click on image for her website.


Breath of Spring musician & member artist Geri McGilvray

Musician & member artist Geri McGilvray entertained us with her lovely voice! Click on image for her website.


For more photos of the evening check out Ron Dell’Aquila’s photo stream.




LGAA Fall Show 2012

It’s great to take part in the community art scene!  Sunday was one of those unbearably beautiful fall days of bright blue skies and amber-red leaves and I made it to the opening reception of the Los Gatos Art Association Fall 2012 Juried Show at the Addison- Penzak Jewish Community Center with platter full of torrone in hand. Juror John Agg, executive director of the Art Museum of Los Gatos welcomed the rowdy crowd with pronouncements on the fine quality of the art before the awards were announced – my award was that both Imprint and Last Stand had been included in the exhibition in the largest category of oil. I got to meet lots of new faces and see some really outstanding work!

John Agg- juror LGAA JCC 2012

Juror John Agg addressing the crowd before the presentation of awards.

Marie Cameron with Last Stand LGAA JCC 2012

Me with my painting Last Stand at the LGAA Fall 2012 Juried Members Show

Rebecca White - Grey Boat, Moss Landing and Marie Cameron LGAA JCC 2012

With Rebecca Lillis White and her painting Grey Boat, Moss Landing (below)

Marie Cameron with Imprint LGAA JCC 2012

With Imprint (it’s so hard to shoot oils!).

Karen White North Coast Cloudshower LGAA JCC 2012

Karen White with her painting North Coast Cloudshower.

Karen White - Uptown Market LGAA JCC 2012

Karen White’s painting Uptown Market.  See more at  karenwhiteart.com.

Ron Dell'Aquila with Shop Girl 1 LGAA JCC 2012

Photographer Ron Dell’Aquila with Shop Girl 1 http://rondellaquila.com

Ron Dell'Aquila Shop Girl 2 LGAA JCC 2012

Ron Dell’Aquila’s photograph Shop Girl 2.   Check out his website, rondellaquila.com

Mei-Ying Dell'Aquila - Strength Through Tribulation LGAA JCC 2012

Mei-Ying Dell’Aquila with her painting Strength Through Tribulation  –  meiyingdellaquila.com.

Thalia Stratton -  Montgomery and Washington LGAA JCC 2012

Thalia Stratton’s painting Montgomery and Washington  – thaliastratton.com

Nancy Cheadle - Antique Pitcher & Cherries LGAA JCC 2012

Nancy Cheadle with her paintings Antique Pitcher and Cherries – nancy-cheadle.artistwebsites.com

Grace Tang - Skyline LGAA JCC 2012

Grace Tang with her painting Skyline.