The weather was beautiful for us on Saturday! With enough time to prepare ahead of time (no rain to compete with), I was able to put up more artwork.
It was really lovely to get a chance to talk with people who had driven all the way upvalley to see me! This spot is a bit out-of-the-way, compared to other parts of the valley, but the cottage on the property actually is where I used to live, and whenever it was too hot or cold to work in my barn studio in Franz Valley, my kitchen served as my small works studio.
One of the other benefits of showing my work here is that I was able to explain (and point to) just where in the neighborhood quite a few of my landscape subjects are located.
Last year, someone I know, who handles the business end of things for her painter husband, thought I might like making some of my paintings into tiles, and recommended to me a place that did them. The tiles looked beautiful, and people liked them, so this year I had more made, and had little 2" square tiles made, too, for magnets. I like having the magnets on my refrigerator (well, I do enjoy being able to look at my paintings!), and now have more to choose from!
Given the cloudy skies we had both weekends, it was appropriate that I had paintings from my Skies series here, too. They're a little different from the landscapes, but all I had to do to find them was look up.
Some people may remember coming to my Open Studios just across Petrified Forest Road, at the Right Ranch. I lived up on the hill, at the top of the ridge, with beautiful, unobstructed views of the sky. One year we had marvelous skies, day after day, and I would perch at the top of the hill and point my camera skyward. This series was the result (and, yes, the clouds really were in those shapes).
As the rain threatened to return on Sunday, I consolidated my paintings undercover as much as possible. I rather like seeing them all together like this, though it's not a combination I would ordinarily assemble together. By the way, the top left painting is of Davenport Landing, just north of Santa Cruz – only the second seascape I've painted. One of these days I may work on more seascapes... I like challenging myself to try new things. It's one of the things that keeps me engaged creatively, and constantly learning.
My studio mate, Sequoia Buck, likes to create scarecrows – and this is one of them. She greeted people as they came to my little alleyway gallery.
On Sunday, finally, the rains came, just as it was nearly time for our Open Studio to close. I had moved many of my things inside and undercover already, and packed up everything else under the cover of my canopies and umbrellas.
My thanks to all who visited this year! I appreciate it, and very much enjoyed getting to chat, and share my work, with everyone.
Rain did not dampen our spirits on Saturday, although they did prevent me from getting my work up until afternoon, since I'm outside at Studio #48. Then, with more clouds threatening, I just put up a bit – just in case I had to move it all quickly.
Sunday was clear and lovely, and I was able to hang paintings! I have a lovely space to show my work in, at Sequoia Buck's studio (I used to live in the cottage there until I moved into Calistoga a few months ago, too).
One of the things I enjoy about Open Studios is that I am able to show work that I may not show in other places – whether it's my humorous mixed media collage paintings, my sketches and block prints, my abstract paintings, or (sometimes, though not this year) my figurative work. They are all part of my creative process, whether they usually get seen or not, and here I can share all of them.
Although you don't see them here, I have paintings from my Skies series and simple abstract paintings, and next week, with no rain threatening, I'll be able to bring more of everything.
An odd thing happened when I moved... the small paintings I'd been working on (mostly 8" x 10"s) throughout the year have decided to hide, and I haven't yet rediscovered where they've gone. I did find a couple of them, and I'll bring them next weekend. With luck, the other ones will emerge (sheepishly, perhaps)... I can only hope.
I've printed lots of new greeting cards and matted reproductions, and have more of the tiles I first had made for last year's Open Studio. And this weekend I will have a painting or two or three in process, up on the easel (I tend to chat with people a bit, so how much painting I am likely to get done is questionable).
Sequoia is giving demonstrations in handmade papermaking, too (you might even be able to try your hand at it yourself), and has her handmade paper-and-photo collage mixed media pieces on exhibit, along with beautiful, colorfully bound journals she makes from her paper.
You can find us there on Saturday and Sunday, September 28th and 29th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 5140 Sharp Road, just off Petrified Forest Road west of Calistoga. We're Studio #48 in the Napa Valley Open Studios catalog. Come and visit us!
What a wonderful weekend! The weather couldn't have been better, and the town of Yountville and Yountville Arts pulled out all the stops to create an event – Taste of Yountville – that drew thousands of people from all over. And many of those people stopped in to look at the artwork of Napa Valley Open Studios artists, in the special exhibition we have presented annually for three years now.
This is the only place where you can see so much work in one place by many of the artists of Napa Valley Open Studios. This year, Yountville Arts added special lighting to a second large room, giving us two exhibition spaces and extra room for each of us to present our work.
One reason I enjoy the weekend is that it brings new people to see our work, people who may not have heard of Napa Valley Open Studios before, or met any of the artists who live here in the Napa Valley. We have a chance to meet and talk with them, sharing what we do and love, and, in my case, sharing what I love about this place that makes is special to me.
With the extra space, I was able not only to hang more paintings than before, but to put them together with more of a gallery-setting eye, hanging them with work of a similar palette, or with work that was similarly framed.
This year several of us also gave demonstrations. Although it is challenging to engage in conversation and make any real progress on a painting at the same time, I gave it the old college try. I set up my plein air easel and a table with all my materials, and went to work on a painting whenever I had an opportunity.
It was a wonderful weekend, altogether. I sold four paintings, as well as some small matted reproductions, met some delightful new people, and got to visit and talk about art and the Napa Valley with all the visitors, friends, acquaintances, and family (including my cousins, newly arrived from Sweden!) who were able to stop by. My thanks to all of them (especially the people who loved my paintings enough to take them home)! And my thanks to Napa Valley Open Studios and Yountville Arts for all they do to share our artwork with the community of both locals and visitors!
Time is flying by – and the Napa Valley Open Studios show at Taste of Yountville is only a few weeks away. I have so much work to finish! I have somewhere between half a dozen and ten pieces in process. To mis-paraphrase Samuel Johnson*, deadlines do concentrate the mind wonderfully....
Ridgetop Vineyard is painted of a view just down the road from my home, where vineyards line either side of the road down to Calistoga.
* As Samuel Johnson actually said, "Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." Preparing for a show is quite a different sort of hanging altogether!
Couldn't make it to my open studio this year? Here's a pretty thorough photo gallery of what you missed....
Gail Gum took most of these photos during our second weekend of Open Studios, during a quiet moment (we didn't have many of those!). My work lined the sidewalk and the driveway leading to the backyard, where my studio-mates Carolynne and Davina presented their work. That's me on the left, and painter Ann Renard on the right, who helped me during the weekend.
Here's a closeup of the paintings lining the sidewalk to the left.
I think I probably had more work assembled here, in one place, for this Open Studios than I have shown anywhere all together....
And the wall of paintings lining the driveway on the left. Although I generally paint from my own photographs, two of these were painted en plein air (on location) – the second from the left on the top, which is the view from my studio; and the one on the far top right of Mt. St. Helena at sunset. That one was painted in rapidly changing light, on two successive evenings, and then turned in as part of the Calistoga Art Center's first PaintOut last year.
The wall of paintings continued up the driveway to a small table with my greeting cards. I had to put everything up and then take it down each day (except for the grids and canopies) – it was a lot of work! I couldn't have managed without Lee's help the first weekend, and Ann's the second.
My cards represent the full gamut of my work, for the most part – from my landscapes of rural northern California; to some more of the still life drawings with acrylic wash; to relief-print-and-stencil flowers and butterflies; to drawings with color I did of my nieces when they were young of a tea (well, Kool-aid) party we had.
More paintings lined the driveway on the right side, too – beginning with a couple of vineyard scenes and "Breakfast al Fresco #2."
The painting on the far upper left is the third painting I brought for open studios this year that I painted en plein air. I have fond memories of painting it side-by-side with my buddy Susan Poor, who has been my friend since elementary school, on her family's ranch east of Hopland.
For the first time, I had ceramic tiles made of some of my paintings. I thought they turned out beautifully. I had to order more for the second weekend, and nearly sold out.
These were some of my mixed media pieces - in front mostly paintings from my "Quotations" series. These are very layered – and a lot of thought goes into finding and putting together all the elements, incorporating texts and images.
Several years ago I began a series of collage paintings with cows, and have recently taken them in a slightly different direction (incorporating the original punny titles into the paintings themselves). Working on these is fun for me – they let me exercise my zany, punny imagination – and are a nice creative switch from the landscape work. It's good to push yourself in new directions – it keeps your work and your creative process fresh. And I really do need to paint the red edge of "A Bird on the Cow," don't I?
Some of my paintings lent themselves nicely to a green-and-purple grouping. The two paintings of lavender gardens are of the view at Matanzas Creek Winery in Bennett Valley, in Santa Rosa. The upper left vineyard is my neighbor's (Diamond Mountain AVA).
Perhaps because people associate my work with strong color, they are sometimes surprised to see work more specifically involving drawing. But I was first and foremost a drawer, from the time I was tiny. I love working in graphite.
These still life drawings, the large ones with acrylic paints used in a watercolor wash method, really represent going back to my drawing roots. They are part of a series that evolved from my teaching; I was demonstrating how to use acrylics in a watercolor manner, and showing and telling my students that simple still life paintings are a good way to focus and simplify your work. I thought, heck – I should put up or shut up. When the Arts Council asked me to put up a show at the Napa Senior Center, I decided it would be a good opportunity for me to show work very different from what most people expect from me. I call the whole series "Simple Pleasures."
I appreciate that Napa Valley Open Studios allows us to share studio space with other artists, if our own studios are inaccessible for some reason – and that Carolynne Gamble invited both me and Napa artist Davina Rubin to join her at Studio #8 in St. Helena. After working so hard all year to prepare for it (as a member of the steering committee for Open Studios, it's been a year-round job), it's hard to believe that it's over!
My thanks to all the friends, supporters, and interested folks who visited us this year!
It's hard to believe I have less than three weeks until Napa Valley Open Studios! This year I'll be in St. Helena again – this time at the studio of Carolynne Gamble, a painter of wonderful mixed media mandalas and fellow San Francisco State alum (though we weren't there at the same time). Davina Rubin, an abstract painter whose work is glazed in luscious layers, will also be part of the fun.
We're Studio # 8 – and we'll be open from 10 am to 5 pm on the last two weekends of September – September 22 & 23 and 29 & 30. You can find us in St. Helena, not far off Highway 29, at 1807 Crinella Drive. You can find out more at our studio website at www.GambleIngallsRubin.weebly.com, as well as see some of Carolynne's and Davina's work.
We'll be giving demonstrations of acrylic and mixed media painting with collage throughout the day, incorporating contributed hopes and dreams into a painting – and encouraging our visitors to participate!
Lots of plans afoot... it will be a wonderful day! If you'd like to learn more about Napa Valley Open Studios, you can go directly to our press room website at www.NapaValleyOpenStudios.info for general information; blog posts on individual artists; an article about our catalog cover featured artist, Mark Mattioli; videos; and catalog and map downloads. You can browse images from each of the 74 artists in this year's Open Studios at www.NapaValleyOpenStudios.org to see who else you may want to visit!
It was hard to believe we could have had even more visitors on the second Sunday of Open Studios, especially given rain that ended ten minutes before we were to open, but soon after 11:00 over a dozen people had already traipsed down Ed's driveway to join us. Several kindly offered to help Ann and me hang the paintings I couldn't put up until the rain ended! (Special thanks to Bob and Susan for their help!)
By afternoon, the clouds had parted, and we had a lovely day. My thanks to everyone who came to visit – and my special thanks to those who took some of my artwork home with them! I'm looking forward to next year.
If you'd like to see a few more photos of Open Studios, please take a look at my Line, Color, Paint, Joy blog, at my Napa Valley Open Studios 2011 - II post.
What a wonderful weekend! Thank you to everyone who came by to see what I've been up to, art-wise. Ed Breed and his wife Sandi, whose guest I am for Open Studios, are such congenial hosts! Ed brought his trailer over to my studio last week and helped me pack and cart, and then set up my display equipment outside the entrance to his glass studio.
Calistoga painter Ann Renard is helping me during each weekend, too, which has been a huge help. We've had a lot of visitors, and I'd be completely overwhelmed if she wasn't there with me, welcoming our visitors.
I decided I'd get out some of my soft block prints for Napa Valley Open Studios this year. This last year, I was printing on special papers, with a variety of patterns and colors, using different colored inks that I mixed as I printed. These were more dragonflies – although from a different block than the print in my previous post. I trimmed off the background off this block, and use it as a stamp rather than printing traditionally.
Most of these prints also use two printings of different colored inks, with a third solid color of either iridescent or metallic color between them for the dragonfly's wings and body.
I've chosen the twenty-two best prints from this series to bring to Open Studios. Each is completely different from the others – such as the three above. You can see another four different prints at my Line, Color, Paint, Joy blog, too - just click here.
It's countdown time already… with Napa Valley Open Studios only a little more than four weeks away.
This year, I'll be at the studio of Ed Breed, glass artist extraordinaire and this year's catalog cover artist. You can find us at Studio #9, 1734 Scott Street in St. Helena, on the last two weekends of September, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ed will also be giving demonstrations of glass creation during the weekend, too - it's a great opportunity to see a master glassblower at work!
You can find more about Napa Valley Open Studios at our website, www.NapaValleyOpenStudios.org, and our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/NapaValleyOpenStudios (I'm one of the folks working behind the scenes to put that together for you).
I'm honored that my catalog painting was chosen for the NVOS website slide show - in fact, it's the first painting you see. I'll have it, and much more, at Ed's studio in St. Helena. I hope you can join us!
Karen Lynn Ingalls
I am an artist in Napa and Sonoma Counties, in California. I paint colorist landscapes of rural California, teach art classes and lessons, and live in Calistoga, California. I also teach private, group, and corporate art workshops in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and other parts of Northern California.