Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sirens in the Night

"Awesome Morning", 18 x 24, pastel on Mi-Tientes Touch paper.
It's been a while since I've blogged. I've never gone this long without a post. It all began on Saturday, November 17th. I woke up excited with anticipation. I had a busy eventful day ahead doing a demonstration for Yosemite Western Artists, a local art association, in the afternoon and then a reception at Stellar Gallery for a Sierra Art Trails exhibition called "Pathways". I had a painting in the show. The demonstration was going very well when I felt a soreness in my chest. I thought "Oh yuck", I'm coming down with bronchitis. I finished the demonstration, then went home to rest before going back into town for the art reception. The chest pain left me and I was feeling pretty good. The exhibit was wonderful. I entered a painting called "Into The Light". I was delighted to learn that it took a 4th place.
"Into The Light", 19 x 25
 I enjoyed myself at the reception. I had a delightful time enjoying the show and mingling with other artists. We left to have a bite to eat and then go home. It was pouring out and I didn't relish the drive home. It's so dark in our mountains at night. During the ride home I started to feel a tightness and heaviness in my chest. Could this be it? I had no idea what it felt like to have a heart attach but I remembered and artist friend who shared with me that when she got a heart attack it was like an elephant sitting on her chest. I didn't think it was quite an elephant, but it was a heaviness none the less. I told my husband not to turn off the highway to our house but to head straight in to the big city which is Fresno to emergency to check it out. He panicked and turned into an open gas station near where we where and pressed the emergency button on the On Star which was the best thing he could have done.  They came on the line right away. He screamed "My wife's having a heart attach". I wanted to say no, no it's not a heart attack, but I remained silent. They told me to chew 4 baby aspirin which I did glad I had been carrying a small bottle in my purse for some years. It was no time before the paramedics and ambulance arrived. they put me on a stretcher into the ambulance and off we went. The ambulance attendant had me chew 4 more baby aspirin and worked on me with putting in Iv, monitoring me and taking an EKG. Off and on the sirens blasted. We arrived at St Francis Medical Center in Fresno where a crew was standing by waiting for my arrival. A friend of mine who works there was among the crew. She was not supposed to be on duty that night but was called in earlier. I was so glad to see her. I started crying. She took an EKG and comforted me. I was so grateful. In no time I was on my up to the cardiac room where there was a staff
waiting for me. The cardiologist on call was to arrive shortly. They told me he was attending a wedding. I said, "I hoped he wasn't getting drunk" We all had a good laugh. He arrived shortly and explained I was going to have an angiogram and a stent inserted in the main artery. I want to tell you, I didn't feel a thing. The drugs put me on a high and made me feel wonderful. On the way to my hospital room I asked if they could give me more of this wonderful whatever they gave me and they laughed again.  Four days later I got to go home. I was grateful for and got wonderful care at the hospital. I was going home not knowing what to expect next. As each day passed, I felt stronger and stronger. I have since seen my cardiologist who was wonderful and I'm going to and educational class on Monday. One of the wonderful things I experienced after coming home was to walk into my studio and take a look around. When I gazed around and saw my works in progress sitting on the easels, I smiled. I didn't know how I would react to seeing my studio again.  Besides being grateful to be alive and back home, I was so grateful that I was looking as if with a new pair of eyes and believe me, they lit up. I had a rekindled desire to paint. I was home.  


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Memory Lingers On

"Tahoe Basin Twilight III", 10 x 24, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper
I older I get, the more I draw from my mind's memories. These old eyes have seen so much beauty in the outdoors especially since I took up backpacking at the age of 50 on through my late 60s. The photographs I took are but a mere suggestion of the beauty I saw. They are a triggering point from which I start the painting. As I paint, my memories, feelings and emotions set in. This is when I can see and feel the painting morphing into something creative as opposed to just copying the photo. Having just returned from a brief vacation in South Lake Tahoe, California, it was a lovely welcome home to see some of my paintings of the areas we revisited. I took over a hundred photos on this trip for reference for future paintings but to see the works I have already done was a special delight. Photos are still an important part of my painting but it's for what they trigger in my mind and heart that counts. For this I say "Thanks for the memories."
"Autumn Reflections", 9 x 12, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Back Home from Vacation- Sorting Through the Mail

"Koi and Lily Pond", 18 x 24, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.
Hubby Bruce and I have just returned from a brief (4 day) but sweet vacation in Lake Tahoe, California, one of my favorite places. Going through the mail, the Blick Studio Holiday catalogue caught my eye. thumbing through it I came to page 63 to find a painting of mine featured on the page. It was a nice welcome home piece of mail to receive. Once again I am honored that the Canson company and Dick Blick have chosen one of my paintings to represent them. I have used Canson Mi-Tientes paper ever since I started painting with pastels sometime in the mid nineties. This was well before so many different kinds of pastel papers came on the market. I still use it today because it is a strong paper that stands up well to my style of painting. I know this sounds like an endorsement and I guess it is in a way but no one paid me to do this and I am truly thank full that Canson continues to manufacture this paper. Here's a couple more paintings done on Mi-Tientes paper.
"Mardi Gras", 15 x 19, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes board.
"Yosemite Valley Morning Mist", 8 x 10, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper. 
Okay so I'm, back from vacation. The first few days are  usually a downer for me but not so much this time.... now.. ugh... on to doing laundry. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bare Walls Means Unfulfilled Dreams

Take a painting
"Into The Light", 19 x 25
Take another painting
"Moody Day", 9 x 11
and another
"Jerusalem Gardens", 21 x 25
Show them off
Empty walls makes for an empty room. Uninviting, unappealing. Art puts life into a room. Have you ever been in a home where the walls are bare because the owner explains "I just haven't found the right painting" or,  "the ones I have found are too expensive"  or "the colors don't match my furniture or walls "  so the walls continue to remain bare or they have an uninviting painting or two that was handed down from Grandma and it's there just to fill up some wall space. Well, my friends that is all bs. If a painting or other work of art speaks to you and you fall in love but pass it up  because of one or more of the above reasons, then I have some suggestions. If you're really passionate about a piece of art you come across, you've made a connection with it and you would love to own it, then think about the joy it would bring hanging in your home and that you will re experience that joy on a daily basis and that you will be able to discover more hidden beauty and see new things in it as time goes by ...... this, my friends, is priceless. What about it not going well with your furniture or carpet or wall color. Once it is hanging in your home, I promise you that will find a way to integrate it with the room. Sometimes all it takes is adding a throw pillow or another accessory to make it feel at home. I've often done this in my own home. You might say, "well, I already have so many paintings now that I have no room for more". To this I say take some down for a while, or change your arrangements or even put some in a closet for a time. Your room will get a face lift and you will get an up lift  and when you to back to the closet to rehang those paintings, well, then, it will have renewed beauty and meaning to you. So I hope you get the picture (no pun intended).
I would love to hear about your own thoughts and experiences on this subject.
Please come and see my home and studio filled with art during Sierra Art Trails weekend October 5th - 7th. No empty walls here.
Sierra Art Trials website;

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Open Studio and House for Sierra Art Trails

My Living Room
It's a wonderful sight to see the morning light filtering into my living room at this time of year. I'm working now to put the final touches on, while getting ready for Sierra Art Trails. I open my home and studio for this exciting event that takes place in the mountain communities of the Sierra foothills close to the south and west entrances of Yosemite National Park. For more information check out . Oh how I would love  to see any of my blog and facebook viewers out there come and visit me during this wonderful event!
Art Trails begins Friday for this artist (not all participating artists open on Friday) and goes through Sunday. It's a joyous event for me where I welcome back people from past years and get to meet new visitors coming from near and far. I've hung new works throughout my home and studio. Here is a closeup view of a few works hanging in my living room.
"Aspen Glow Lake Eleanor", 18 x 24
"Hula Valley", 12 x 24 (not shown in living room photo)
"Morning Celebration", 12 x 16 (not shown in living room photo)
I open my home as well as my studio to the public because I believe it's nice to see a painting in an actual home setting and to see how art work can enhance any room. By the way, I am artist #14 in the catalogue.
Stay tuned for more.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sierra Art Trails 5 Days to Go - More Paintings

"Lauren's Lillie's", 15 x 16
The inspiration for this painting came from one of the many lilly pond scenes that I photographed on my journeys through the years. I had fun painting the lilly clusters, changing shapes and trying different colors. I also added little whimsical things at will. I painted until I came to a point where the painting told me it was done.
"Meadow Dance", 11 x 14
I looked inward to draw out scenes from my memory of my backpacking days in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I played around on my canvas until something took hold and things began to present themselves to me. The more I painted the more it resembled a high country meadow with mountains in the distance. I gave myself permission to play around with the pastels and let each stroke tell me where the next one would go. It was like watching a story unfold on the canvas.
"The Pond #5", 8 x 10
This is the 5th in a series of small pond paintings inspired by Heron Lake very close to where I live. I liked the way the morning light hit this little inlet part of the lake.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Week To Go for Sierra Art Trails....More Paintings

"Heron Pond Enchantment III", 20 x 16
This painting is about a place of mystery. a place that is dark, alluring, cunning and inviting.  A place where I hope the viewer will be drawn in to explore further and to linger a while. 
"Blue Duckies", 8 x 10
This painting is about the beauty that goes on in a small section of the lake. One does not have to see the whole lake to capture the beauty within. Narrowing in to capture the exquisite morning light along with the interplay of stillness and movement in but a little section of the lake can be more fulfilling then seeing the big picture.
"Into The Shadows", 11 x 15
This is another painting about mystery and intrigue. My purpose was to create a seductive and moody piece that beckons the viewer to enter and to allow thoughts to unfold and reveal themselves..

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Selected Paintings Showing at Sierra Art Trails

"Confetti", 8 x 10
Today I thought I would show some of my floral paintings on display at my open house for The Sierra Art Trails event Oct 5th - 7th at my home in Coarsegold, California. 
This painting "Confetti" is about light, shadows and colors in an intuitively created floral arrangement. When I started out all I knew was that it would be a floral and I wanted to use reds and other warm colors and create a sun flower.  For such a small painting, it took about 3 months sitting on the easel until I felt is was done. I would add a stroke here and a stroke there from time to time while working on other paintings. It was only when I was stumped on another wip and needed a break that this one caught my eye and if I felt the urge, I would divert my attention to this work. It's often good to have more then one painting in wip status.
"Mardi Gras", 15 x 19
This was my first of the three floral creations and it started shortly after Canson Mi-Tientes hired me to create a rendering that would be on the cover of two new pastel art pads they were coming out with. I decided that one of the renderings would be floral. I enjoyed doing it and this started a train of thought to create floral paintings by starting them out with the approach of  a rendering.
"Morning Celebration', 12 x 16
This is my latest version of an intuitive free flow floral. I liked the drama and dynamics that unfolded before me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

More Paintings for Sierra Art Trails

"Moody Heron Pond II, 10 x 14
This painting is about how color can change the mood of a painting. In this case, the original scene was a damp, cold and grey winter morning. Somewhere near the completion of the work I felt the need to add some warmth to it. I thought what do I have to lose. I could always wipe it away if it wasn't working. I started gingerly with a light layer of a rich warm color. I paused and stepped back from the painting as I frequently do, took another pause with my back to the painting, then turned around and took a second look. It didn't turn me off. In fact, I sort of liked it so I kept going. I continued to add color throughout and took more pauses and step backs. Each time I was more convined that I was on a good path. For this artist, it often pays to take chances.
Morning Light Play, 12 x 16
This painting is about spring light very early in the morning along a trail. I fell in love with the interplay of light, shadow and shapes. The scene set me on fire with an immediate and very strong instinct to paint it.
"Autumn Chic" 8 x 10
This painting is about an autumn scene along the shoreline of a local lake where I walk every day that I can. I  saw a beautiful pallet of unexpected colors that caught my undivided attention. When I painted it, I found myself painting by pure instinct way more abstractly then I expected to. I listened to that something within and ignored everything else that my brain and the photo was trying to tell me to do.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sierra Art Trails 2012, More Paintings

"Random Frieze with Dahlias", 10 x 26
Today's paintings are three high energetically charged  works that I will be showing at my home studio during Sierra Art Trails.
About this first one "Random Frieze with Dahlias", creative juices flowed on this purely intuitive free flowing work. It was a joy to enjoy the journey of this painting I think because my pallet was very stimulating to me. Here's another stimulating one.
"Elation", 8 x 10
I had a lot of exciting gutsy energy flowing when I painted this, maybe it was a full moon.
"Chamisa Essence", 18 x 24
This painting was a free flow with absolute direction to bring out the essence of a highly evocative area on a crisp summer morning in the Tahoe Basin land preserve.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sierra Art Trails Open Stuio - More paintings

"Mill Pond", 9 x 12.
My inspiration was about the shape of the surface and water reflection forming a wheel such as one would find in a mill pond wheel.
"Winter Showoff", 12 x 16.
It was a clear, crisp day on the floor of Yosemite Valley. Atmospheric conditions brought out a brilliance of color extraordinaire!
"Hula Valley", 12 x 24.
There is a beautiful agricultural area in Israel known as the Hula Valley. It is also a bird sanctuary. It was the gorgeous sky that day that inspired me to paint this scene.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sierra Art Trails,This Artist's Open Studio Continues

"Autumn Dazzle", 9 x 12
For Today's selection I am featuring 3 more paintings I am showing at my open studio. Autumn Dazzle is about my reaction to the exceptional fall colors that I saw last year on the shoreline of Heron Lake. Autumn unabashedly burst forth with incredible brilliance. I hope the same thing occurs this year.
"Moody Afternoon at Heron Pond", 11 x 14
This painting is about my seeing the fog rolling in and invading what was a sunny afternoon at the lake. The ambiance changed from clear, crisp and sunny to moody and ethereal right before my eyes. I was mesmerized.
"Wild Preserve Tahoe Basin", 11 x 15
I love the area where the area where the grasses and shrubbery grow at the edge of a pond. In this case, it was a natural lilly pond on preserve land around Lake Tahoe. The Chamisa were in gorgeous bloom adding to the excitement of the scene.
Stay tuned for the next installment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Anita Stoll's Open House During Sierra Art Trails

"Into The Light", 19 x 25
I'm repeating some selected paintings done over the past couple of years while I'm busy getting ready for Sierra Art Trails artist's studio open house Oct 5th, 6th and 7th. I will be showing a few of the paintings every couple of days or so up until the event. Please come and visit me. I welcome you with open arms. I would love to meet you. I will be showing around 50 selected works. Please stop by if you can.

"Moody Day", 9 x 11
This painting started as one of a local river but turned into a scene from my past when I was an avid backpacker. I relived the journey as I painted and I might add, I had a wonderful time both living and painting it.
"Jerusalem Gardens", 21 x 25
It was the golden hours just before twlight in Jerusaleum when I was strolling through a beautiful park that I knew I would paint this. The  light, the colors, everything had a lovely aura to it.
Stay tuned for more.....

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Impressions

"Lupine Blast", 9 x 11, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.
It's good to be back painting even for short periods. I am slowly finishing up paintings I started during my last class. Here's the first one. It's about my first impression when I came upon a scene while hiking at Hensley Lake in Raymond some fifteen or so miles from where I live. I love this area. The hiking is easy and the views are gorgeous.
First impressions are an important part of a painting. My first impression when I came upon this scene was the beautiful, massave and pervasive color of the lupines on the hillside.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Playing Around

"Morning Celebration", 12 x 16, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper.

Rather then doing a specific dedicated painting, one that takes planning and focus, I have been taking an easy does it approach this summer. Creating on impulse you might say. Simply enjoying the feeling of a free for all with my pastels. If something happens while I'm doing this, something that catches hold and leads me down a specific path toward a complete painting, all the better. Many go into the burn folder but some new works are born out of this. Anyway does it matter? I'm enjoying the pure pleasure of creating.  I'm at my own summer art camp right in my own back yard.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Artist's Moods

"Moody Day", 9 x 11, pastel on Colorfix suade paper.

There are times when I get into an artist's funk. Days when I'm super critical of my work and and myself. Do you ever have these days? I'll share a secret with you sometimes these "down days" go on for a while. I was having such a day when I assembled a group of new works with newly purchased frames. It was then when I saw some of  my accomplishments of the last nine months placed in a frame, many for  the first time that I began to feel uplifted, even hopefull, maybe they weren't so bad after all. I felt a bit of recognition of my creative abilities creeping into my heart and soul. It was the nourishment I needed to restore my sense of self worth. Have you ever stopped short on a frustrating work and held a frame or mat over it? Something wonderful can happen. When I do that, I can often get a different perspective on it. I can be validated or I can see where the problem lies.  A frame or mat helps to tell me if a wip is a dw. If it is a dw then yippee, if not, then it's back to the drawing board.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Pastel painting collage of my work featured on  Soft Pastel News.

Thank you Mario Vulakic creater of Pastel News for featuring me on your website today.  This is a wonderful site to go to full of exquisite soft pastel paintings and information about pastel artists past and present. It's loaded with information such as pastel painting videos and history. Did you know that Edvard Munch created four versions of "The Scream". One of the versions is done was done in pastel? I could go on and on about how I get carried away when I visit the site. Better yet, you go there to see what discoveries you find.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Solo Show

Welcome To My Show

"Light Play"
There's something about the thrill of doing a solo show of your art. It's been a while since I've done one so when Timberline Art Gallery in Oakhurst decided to change one of its rooms into a solo show gallery I jumped at the chance.  Here are some of my works in the show.

"Sun Washed", 18 x 24
"Elation", 8 x 10

"Morning Light Play", 12 x 16
"Morning Light Play II, 12 x 16
"Autumn Chic at Heron Lake", 8 x 10

"Seductive Waters", 11 x 14

"Chamisa on High", 16 x 20

The show runs through July 7th. If you're going to Yosemite National Park via the southern entrance, then please drop in and have a look.