Meet The Artist
By Melissa Wynn
California is a state of stunning beauty, especially when you get a close up look through the lens of Josh McNair of CaliforniaThroughMyLens.com. We sat down for a short Q&A about where it all started. Join Us!
What inspired you to do photography?
For me I am a constant creative. For my entire life I have always been inspired to pursue different artistic adventures, be it playing music in high school, videography in college and now making the move into photography. I have a love for nature and the beauty that it provides on a daily basis so it is constantly inspiring me to better capture what I see so that hopefully others can experience it the same way I do.
You photography shows your love of the outdoors, have you always been an adventurer?
Honestly, I have really fallen in love with the outdoors in the last 5 years. A friend and I took up hiking around that time and when I got out in the forest, saw my first local waterfall and realized how much I missed by not heading out more often then I knew I could not afford to stay inside when there was so much to experience. Since then my hiking has shown me some of the most beautiful places in California, be that the summit of Mt Whitney (the tallest mountain in the lower 48), the cables of Half Dome or the sheer power and beauty of McArthur-Burner Falls. I am a constant adventurer as my wife can attest to. Every weekend I am looking for a new place to experience.
Did you go to school for photography?
Nope I never went to school for photography, I just got a camera, started to shoot with it and read all of the blogs and online information I could. I am constantly learning and just last week I was talking with another photographer I met online that helped me tweak a few more things. This is the unique thing about the time we live in, there are so many ways to interact and dialogue with people online.
As far as photography goes, currently I just do it for myself. I am toying with the idea of setting up an online store where I can at least sell my images, but in terms of what I do on my site it is just for my own enjoyment and to inspire others to go outdoors. If anyone wants to contact me for photos or permissions just email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love the Mountain Valley Living area and have hiked Lassen Peak and Bumpass Hell and spent time in McArthur-Burney Falls State Park, which is probably one of my favorite places in all of California. You can see all of my write ups and photographs of these places on my site californiathroughmylens.com as well.
Thank you for this opportunity and I would love to hear from your readers if they have ideas for me. Check out these great shots of McCloud Falls.
[/media-credit] Photo by Josh McNair
[/media-credit] Photo by Josh McNair
It was a sunny day in Chico, when I arrived at the home and workshop of Zeke Lunder and his wife Erika. In their workshop, I was amazed to see industrial sewing machines set up below spools of discarded fire hoses of all sizes.When Zeke met Erika in 2007, their co-owned business Zeeko Salvage was born. Since that time, they have been busy creating messenger bags, purses, tool bags, motorcycle bags, billfolds, backpacks, fanny packs, and much more. What is unusual about what they produce is that it is all made from material that others throw away. Some of these items include: discarded fire hoses, old tarps, industrial textiles, old outdoor furniture, garden tools, discarded caps, aprons, inner tubes, canvas and even a trampoline.
The use of these materials relates to a philosophy of life that this couple shares. To them, it is important to stop throwing away things that break or wear out, and instead, restore the items or make something new out of them. Zeke sees a real need for thrift in this new economy and one way is to reuse what we already have. By doing so, the local economy has yet another way to rebuild itself. They are open to taking used materials or fixing what needs to be fixed.
Zeeko Salvage sells its goods at the 360 Ecotique at 5th and Main, Chico, and at the Chico holiday craft fair known as the Bizarre Bazaar, held on December 15th at the Chico Women’s Club. They can also be reached on-line at Zeekosalvage.com.
Zeeko Salvage is a part of this family’s main business, Deer Creek Resources, which also creates maps of wildfires both locally and in several adjoining states. Zeke is the operations chief and Erika does the administrative tasks. Getting his start in geography and graphics at Chico State University, Zeke received a degree in Cartography and has worked with the Forest Service, mapping erosion on Forest Service roads before beginning to map wildfires in 2000. Their company provides manpower and trailers with computer systems and all other necessary equipment to go into the field and work with fire crews. You may have seen their maps during last summer’s Chip’s fire.
Chico has been a great place for Zeke and Erika for the last 20 years. While raising their two young boys, it is where they utilize their great creativity in their small business, connect with other crafters, and work together in community with like minded people. To contact Zeke and Erika, go to ZeekoSalvage.com.
By Eileen Majors
A dark, snowy night in the small town I come from usually beckons one to stay inside by the fire, primarily to keep the house warm. But coming from the same small town as I is singer/songwriter Mark Growden, and this snowy night would bring a private performance in his parents’ home nearby.
Having heard some of his music via CD, I couldn’t resist the trip out. Since leaving Westwood over a decade and a half ago Growden has been playing across the country, gathering fans from coast to coast. A jazz band in New Orleans backs up much of his original music, and as for Tuscon, he told me “a good old-fashioned string band backs me up”. The music recorded in New Orleans definitely takes on the jazz influence, and according to Growden this New Orleans group is one of his main inspirations these days.
He plays in theaters mostly but said he really enjoys the smaller venues, as would be the case tonight. The fire roared; the dog snored as friends began to gather. A group of junior high students filed in to see the show they had found posted on Facebook®. Desserts lined the table and all were welcome.
As guests gathered, Mark Growden tuned up with his new phone app and then began to play his first tune, on a pair of bicycle handlebars! The flute sounds were an intriguing and amusing introduction to an evening of really good music. Every song came with a story and the art of story telling is certainly part of the Growden charm.
Out came a shruti box and with it a story before what he called an Appalachian chording song. Growden enjoys playing the banjo, sax and accordion too, he told me as I noticed his Westwood band teacher seated in the front row. “I started with the sax.” He pointed to Mr. Hamilton. “He taught me everything”. He said he had been lucky enough to land a record deal a few years ago, which really began to cinch up his career, and it gave him the confidence of knowing he had someone behind him.
As excitement in the crowd rises, Mark grabs his accordion, the instrument that captured my attention, revealing Mark’s outstanding talent to me, a few years back. This would be a new song tonight, one he wrote about an aging woman who is ready to pass, inspired by his grandmother. Each song shows the strength and diversity of his voice, displaying a passion for music, and a wonderful talent as a songwriter. Each song really grabbed me as if I had heard it before and had been longing to hear it again.
Song after song, the young photographer next to me, along with the young and old who had ventured out through the snow, smiled and swayed; dancing in our seats to the unique variety of great music we heard that evening.
Growden has upcoming performances in San Francisco and Berkeley, and plays in Chico and his hometown region when he can. For his concert schedule, visit MarkGrowden.org.
By Melissa Wynn
Many of us view the tipi as the traditional home of many Native American tribes, but I recently learned that this isn’t the case at all. As a matter of fact, the tipi wasn’t used as a permanent home until the natives were driven from their original home lands and forced to follow the buffalo herds in a new migratory lifestyle.
Buffalo hides were tanned and sewn together to make the cover, liner and floor. The poles were cut on site or fashioned into a stretcher like carrier along with the hides, and dragged along, either by members of the tribe or more often by their dogs.
Today, the modern tipi is made of canvas, but since the design was so effective, little else has changed. Randy Nelson of Westwood is our local tipi tailor and although his tipis are stitched together with a sewing machine the design is authentic to that of a chosen tribe. The example pictured is the design of the Cheyenne nation.
Being an avid outdoors man Randy originally planned to build one tipi that was big enough to go camping with our five adult children and their growing families. Before long, each of the children wanted one of their own and 2 Feathers Tipi was born.
Having a background in construction of decorative and industrial sheet metal fostered Mr. Nelson’s interest in the art of authentic tipi construction. Today he custom makes these abodes of yesteryear to order, in the design of the tribe of your choice, with your own custom floor pattern. This Cheyenne tipi floor showcases a beautiful landscape and buffalo silhouette.
” Tipis are the superior tent” says Randy. “Not only do they give adequate space, but the design allows for superior ventilation, which means cooler by day and warmer by night. The smoke flaps accommodate an indoor campfire for heating and the marine canvas fabric floor means cleaner indoor cooking. Besides, is a tipi at camp too cool or what?”
2 Feathers tipis are available for sale OR rent since many consumers would like a tipi for the day, weekend or summer but maybe not for life. Tipis are also a real eye catcher in photo ops, at parties, weddings and other special events. The uses are only limited by your own imagination.
Randy delivers, sets up and tears down all rented tipis and this service is included in the rental fee. Purchase of a custom tipi includes set up and tear down instruction. Pricing is based on size, detailing and packages are available with or without poles. For more information and price quotes contact the 2 Feathers Tipi by phone at 530-816-0635 or visit their website www.2featherstipi.com
Click the pic to view full size
Article by Eileen Majors
When you hear the musical talents of this band you are likely to kick up your heels and dance. My first acquaintance with their music was with a CD left in my car by my son. Original after original, these new songs I was hearing took me back to fond memories of my dad’s country music blaring from the record player in our living room. This music, however, was ignited by rockin’ rhythms and catchy choruses I’d never heard before.
Northern Traditionz band is made up of six inspiring musicians who basically grew up together. Kenny Williams, (songwriter, lead singer and rhythm guitar player) and Hippy (the bass player) sat down to tell me that they were raised on country music. Behind them stood the rest of the boys for the interview, cutting up and cutting each other up as only best of friends can do.
Fiddle player Tony Rios gained his experience playing classic violin. That was until one day when John Henry (Uncle John) suggested they bring him on as fiddle player. “Same instrument” they each explained, “you just play it differently.” Tony has developed a sound that adds greatly to the character of the songs that are making these boys famous throughout Northern California. Matt Chomistek is the drummer; Chris Anderson plays lead guitar and is a back up singer. Uncle John plays guitar and offers lead vocals for many of those good old country favorites they play.
Kenny writes their original songs, the boys told me, as they continued to explain how he also orchestrates musical parts for others in the band.
“He gets on the drums and shows me how he wants the fiddle part to sound.” Tony told me as they all laughed. Kenny broke in to humbly confirm that the song writing is a group effort. In Kenny’s deep dark eyes, one can see the makings of the original songs are, as he sings it, ”the makin’s of my heart” in their song, This Guitar, another rocking original they perform.
(Lyrics INSET on page):
When I was young, my dad told me, “Why don’t you pick up this guitar? Said “It might help you to keep what’s true, never forget who you are.” What he gave to me will always be the makin’s of my heart. I love everything that comes from this guitar. –Lyrics from‘ This Guitar’, by Northern Traditionz – Songwriter Kenny Williams
“We’re picking country-rock-raggae, cuz Baby, that’s who we are.” is exclaimed in the lyrics of their Drinkin’ Song. (I think it should be called the Dancin’ Song.) The group definitely gets crowds up and dancing. “Good things happen pretty much everywhere we play.” Kenny told me. There are more new songs in the works that they will soon begin playing for the crowds who come to hear their unique style of music.
The guys started out playing heavy metal and their metal band Esoteric still performs occasionally (without Uncle John). The ‘country-rock-reggae’ as they call it, has definitely taken the lead in their lives; they are booked solid for most of the year. “This whole country thing started with family”, Hippy told me. “Uncle John taught us to play some of Pops’ favorite country songs for his 50th birthday celebration. We had no idea how far it would go.”
Kenny added, ” Uncle John has an awesome voice and his ability to harmonize made us sound like a million bucks.” And that is exactly what fans hope for this band and their songs. I must agree I would not be surprised to watch them accept their first Country Music Award. They are getting around, have played at The Roxie in Hollywood; they have opened for some notable bands including The Fried Brothers at a Redding Convention Center performance. They have also been featured on ‘Nor Cal Noise’ a radio show on ZROK, a popular Northern California rock station. They love the mountains and their music tells it.
They sing about their “Hippie house, where we play our songs” in their Drinkin’ Song. They gutted the theater room of the home and made it into a jam studio. A pool and bar add to the fun of the “Hippie House” where their music comes alive. Between the years dating back to first grade, they have lived together, played together and worked together in their landscaping business, Chico Yard And Pool where I was told, “everybody works from time to time”.
They can be reached at 530-624-9827 or you can email them at NorthernTraditionz.email@example.com. Check out their music online at reverbnation.com/northerntraditionz.
The term “Wabi’Sabi” is a native American saying for the perfection of imperfection, as well as the name of the art collective located in Chico CA. Emily, the founder of the collective, has been immersed in art from a young age, and has experience in a wide variety of mediums. Studying the art of batik in South East Asia, and bringing her knowledge back to the states, she has become quite successful. Over the last decade she has focused mostly on concrete coloring and art, and has recently embarked in an artistic partnership with Greg Stanley, building custom furniture out of reclaimed wood. Their goal is to build spaces that are comfortable for humans and the environment. Emily has recently purchased a building in April and is in the process of revamping it to suit the needs of the art community and the Wabi Sabi collective. The building is a reminder of the days when Chico was built with pride, and was originally constructed by Phillip Allgeier and his father. Originally a candy distribution warehouse, the building is now home to artists, and renamed The Habitat Lab. While still in the process of being refined, Emily envisions the building being a host to creative people and a place for them to explore all of their ideas, completely uninhibited by societal norms. In the future the habitat lab will consist of all sorts of people, ranging from architects and artists to the simply curious individual. Located at 199 East 13th street, right across from the homeless shelter, the Habitat Lab is breathing new life in to a previously depressed area of Chico. They are hosting open art nights once a month, in which the community can come and get creative in an adventurous environment, and hosting life-drawing classes twice a month as well. For more information you can find the Habitat Lab on Facebook, or contact Emily for more information at emilymcclintick.com. Come on out and touch in with your inner artist, bring a friend, or the family and make something new happen. There is no time like the present, to improve your self, and awaken your creativity.
by Jan Cox
When Susanville local, Allison Templeton graduated from Chico State University and returned to her hometown to work, she needed to find a studio for her art. She soon discovered the perfect place at 1015 Main Street. Not only did this building have a studio, it also had a front room for a gallery.
Templeton opened the Crow’s Nest Studio in November 2011. Here, she has room to display her own art along with showcasing the art of many local talented artists. Interested artists can call and set up a show or make a plan for consignment art.
After graduating from Lassen High School in 2003, Allison received her Associate degree from Lassen Community College and went on to receive a double major in Art Education which prepared her for teaching and Art Studio with an emphasis in sculpture and glass. Her double minor added Art History and Theater Arts to this well rounded degree.
The Crow’s Nest Studio has art for everyone. Much of it is geared toward youngsters who do not always have access to art training due to lack of funding in schools for these programs. She loves working with children and even substitutes at local schools where she will try to fit in some art whenever possible.
Each month a flyer listing the dates of workshops offered can be picked up at the studio. In April the children made “Unique Umbrellas”, “Rainsticks” and did “Rain Painting”.
Adults, too, may come and work on projects or attend specific workshops to learn more or experiment with various media. You may request workshops in any area of interest. Art 101 is a once a week class offering the basics of an art medium through four session by appointment. Specific dates are also set aside for B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Project) for an evening of creativity, conversation, and camaraderie from 5-7 pm.
Allison reminds the reader that “art has little to do with talent and lots to do with practice,” while the beauty of doing art work teaches us to “think outside the box, look at things in a different way.” She emphasizes that this is a place to work with no judgment or grading. It is a place to learn, explore and have fun. And if you are one of the people that is sure you can’t draw, she emphasizes that there are many other ways to express through the arts.
Her shelves are lined with art books, materials, paints, crayons, etc. and she welcomes donations of art supplies any time. She also has many art supplies for sale.
Please call for prices and availability. Space is available to rent for clubs such as 4-H, scout meetings, birthday parties, etc. Depending on the theme for birthday parties, she will present 2-3 crafts per party.
Presently, the studio is open Tuesday-Friday from 3pm-7pm and Saturday from 11am-4pm. Anyone can drop in to work on their art at these times. Watch for new summer hours, workshops yet to come and special 5 day summer camps for children, each with a different theme.
By Melissa Wynn
For many years now Lassen and Plumas counties have been without a music store. Each time one of the many musical members of my family needed guitar strings or drum sticks it meant a long trip out of our area, oh bother!
On December 1st of 2011, local luthier and inventor of the MiniFlex Microphone, Ken Donnell and his partner Jim McBean opened Donnell’s Music Land at 207 Main St. in Greenville, finally bringing music back to the mountains. It’s a great little shop and so much more than a place to buy, sell and trade instruments and accessories.
The day of my tour, I arrived to find the storefront full of customers watching local teen Christopher Gibson practice his skills on a beautiful red drum set in the corner. A few minutes later jazz lover Andrea West came in to sell her Alto Saxophone and joined Christopher in song to play it one last time. She was very happy when Ken Donnell invited her to come back and play it again at Donnell’s Music Land’s weekly jam night. These Wednesday night get togethers welcome all musicians from 6-7:30 pm.
It’s all about the music and a walk through the back of the shop showed me the true passion of Ken and his staff . In the first workshop area we found electronics tech Micheal assembling Miniflex Microphones and tapping his foot to the beat he was hearing in his headphones. Sold on a global scale for acoustic instruments Donnell’s Music Land is the only place to purchase yours from the inventor himself.
A man of many talents, Ken also has a large work area for his luthier work. This is the room where instruments are created, including a gorgeous fiddleback guitar of stunning walnut in progress. Repairs and restorations of musical instruments as well as fine wooden antiques are also on the list of services that keep the melodies flowing through our neighborhood.
Wanna join the jam sessions but can’t play a note? No worries, Donnell’s has you covered again. Several local musicians give lessons and Music Land has the information to get you started.
Donnell’s Music Land is open Wednesday-Friday 12-6pm and Saturday 12-4pm. The man himself, Ken Donnell will also open for you by appointment, just give him a call at the store at 530-284-1689 or after hours at 530-230-7842. He’s happy to open the door and bring music back to the mountains.
by Jan Cox
When you register for a watercolor class by Robbie Laird, you could end up in Costa Rica or Italy! This artist and world traveler loves to take groups to both of these countries where you, the artist, will be presented with a visual feast from which to paint.
Art has always been a part of Robbie Laird even as a little child. She names her father, who taught drafting, mechanical drawing and architecture, as the source of her artistic background, internalizing light directions and architecture from him. This becomes apparent in her personally designed home at Lake Almanor, CA.
Like many artists, she wanted to go to art school but was encouraged to get a job that paid. So she became a teacher. She began teaching 4th grade, but soon became the art teacher for 37 school districts in San Diego and San Bernadino counties. She helped write the curriculum for the Visual and Performing Arts in the 1970′s. When turning 40, Robbie took two years off to paint and was soon established in a gallery in Maui where you will still find her art.
Throughout her life she has been in tune with nature and the life cycles and rhythms of our planet. Robbie does not paint snapshot type pictures but rather ones that show the emotions of the scene before her. Her outstanding watercolors show this rhythm and flow in each picture.
With her MA in Art Education, Laird gives workshops here and abroad. She emphasizes that artists find the perfect fit for themselves. She sees three essentials as; digesting the fundamentals of design, getting in touch with individual interpretations of the scene, and learning techniques that help say what is important.
Robbie paints series of watercolors such as her Kelp or Flowing Flowers series and is now working on one inspired by Alaska as seen from the eye of an artist pilot.
Currently, as a “pay it forward” gesture, she and her husband direct the week long Kanuga Watermedia Workshops in NC each spring. Here, Robbie and eleven other nationally known artists instruct 250 participants at a retreat center in the Blue Ridge Mountains. a scholarship may be available. Go to Robbie@kanugaww.com or call 530-259-2100 for information.
Locally, Robbie’s work may be viewed at Books and Beyond, Backroom Gallery and at Good Vibrations in Chester, CA. Her website is robbielairdartstudio.com. She has created a teaching video from Creative Catalyst Productions, Inc. at www.ccpvideos.com or 1-877-464-2228.
Robbie Laird Watercolors
Robbie Laird with her Flowing Flowers Series
by Jan Cox
The studio of Susan Kearns is a special place; a large room with her drawing board set up in front of the picture windows, drawers and cupboards for all her supplies, art on the walls, and two cozy chairs in which we sat and had tea while Susan talked about her life as an artist.
On her drawing board lay her newest watercolor project, which was consuming many hours of technical work on the part of this artist. This particular picture was of three cowboys relaxing on their horses while waiting for the next group of animals to come through the corral. Their faces are exquisitely done. The picture is multi-layered to create depth. When it is complete, it will be shown at the Backroom Gallery at Books and Beyond on Main Street in Chester. This is a must see.
Susan entered the art world after her training at Cal State, Fullerton in the midst of the realist era, but she now feels that such art is often flat and sterile. As a watercolor artist today, she wants to capture the energy of the scene she is painting. It is her intent to not only show the beauty of the scene, or the joy of the people in action, but to capture the vibration of the situation that seeing it in person gives us. Her goal is to draw viewers to the picture by creating a beautiful surface that captures and engages and then causes them to “fall into the picture”–becoming part of it.
An art teacher for 32 years in Southern California, she loved working with her students. Susan retired in 2002 and can now spend more time on special art projects. She paints three different series of artwork. The first is her people in action and activities that show spirit and soul, next, her Deer Creek and other local areas (such as Feather River along Highway 70), and finally her “strong ideas” series that say something special to the viewer.
You will find Kearn’s work at the Backroom Gallery in Books and Beyond, Main St. Chester. Susan is a member of both Feather River Fine Arts Guild and Plumas Arts.
Patrick Michael Karnahan Exhibition ~ Feather Community Arts Center – Portola, CA ~ August 20th - 7:00pm
The work of Patrick Michael Karnahan, an accomplished artist, songwriter and musician, will join local artists during a special Railroad Days art show and raffle at the Feather Community Arts Center in Portola, Saturday, August 20, during Portola Railroad Days. Proceeds from the show and raffle will benefit the art center and Portola Railroad Days events. Doors will open to the public at 10:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.
Karnahan’s impressive portfolio embodies his passion for life, and his interests in railroads, aircraft and firefighting. An 18-year career with the United States Forest Service provided inspiration and a unique avenue for Karnahan’s talent as an artist. After being commissioned by the USFS on several paintings, he embarked on a personal journey of highlighting the work of firefighters.“My mission is to take the skills I have developed in painting portraits, trains, and landscapes, and use them to showcase America’s Angels of the Forest.”
The past 20 years of Karnahan’s career have also included commissions of several fine art posters, covers for both magazines and books, and calendars—including the notable OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware) calendar. With the success of distributing nearly a million calendars throughout California in 2008, OSH has already commissioned Karnahan for their 2011 Train Calendar.
Karnahan exhibits include such venues as California State Railroad Museum Rail fair events, Penn State University as a part of America’s Railroad History, the
Smithsonian Museum Folklife Festival in Washington D.C., and the Kennedy Center. Karnahan’s work for the August show will focus on railroads of Eastern California & Nevada.
By Marsha Street
Glenna Lee comes from a long line of artists, writers and musicians. Her grandmother was a prolific painter, writer and actress. Her uncle and aunt, Bob Cole and Chris Stevenson, are professional Bluegrass musicians, who tour frequently and have appeared in many movies including “Back to the Future”. Her mother, a retired RN, enjoys working with charcoal drawings.
Glenna first encountered Mountain Valley Living many years ago when she and several members of her family moved from the San Joaquin Valley to the Susanville and Westwood areas. During this time, she attended Lassen College and gave birth to her only child, Justin. She and her son returned to Modesto, CA where she continued her education and received her BA in Fine Arts and a Master’s Degree in Expressionism in the multiple areas of art, literature and music. While obtaining her educational degrees and raising her son, she worked for California State University, Stanislaus, as an editor and art director for publications and a lecturer in the Communications Department.
Glenna has produced many collections of art based on a particular dramatic theme. “My main interest,” she says, ” is to capture movement through color, texture, brush strokes and line of vision.” In her animal portraits, she depicts movement through the curvio-linear treatment of mane, tail or body position. Her rural landscapes are accomplished by emphasizing angles, perspective and the wind-swept flow of nature.
Glenna now resides in Westwood, CA and is currently committed to the creation of her “Children and Nature” series (sprinkled with a little fantasy) which she hopes to complete within the year. She finds this particular location to be quite beautiful and inspiring. Aside from painting, her favorite activities are taking her dog for long nature walks and riding horses. She hopes to develop her new website soon and is also accepting consignments for animal portraits and other projects.
She can be reached by Cell phone: (530) 816-2295, Mail: PO Box 1526, Westwood, CA 96137 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Click twice on photos to enlarge)
by Jan Cox
If you have toured the B and B Backroom Gallery at Books and Beyond in Old Town, Main St., Chester, you will have viewed the beautiful art work of Mary Jane Bagshaw.
Bagshaw began painting with oils in the late ’80′s and with pastels in the early 90′s. She loves both mediums because both are “forgiving”, meaning they can be changed after the oils or pastels are applied to the paper, canvas or Masonite. Using a pallet knife, she finds oils a very satisfying medium, one in which she is able to get pure colors and which feels very direct, a lot like sculpting. Pastels give both an intensity of color and a softness inherent to the medium.
Through her love of the land, Mary Jane learned to appreciate and connect with the changing patterns of light and color. And from her time spent traveling and hiking in the Western US, her landscapes reflect the beauty of that world. She captures the images with photographs and then uses these as a basis for her art without being too exact.
Like many artists in the Lake Almanor Basin, Bagshaw retired here from other parts of California. Graduating from Fresno State with a degree in Fine Art and Education, she chose to pursue a career in teaching and taught at the primary level in Vallejo for 35 years. She began exhibiting in galleries in the Bay Area and frequently displayed in juried shows such as “The Mustard Festival” in Napa, and “Salute to the Arts” in Sonoma.
Mary Jane and her husband Allyn (who photographs many of her scenes) moved to the Lake Almanor area in 2000. She is a member of Feather River Fine Arts Association, now affiliated with Plumas Arts. Her work may be seen in the Backroom Gallery Co-op in Chester and Art Around the Lake in July, and she is also exhibiting this month with Sylvia Smith at the Quincy Arts Council Building on Main Street, Quincy. You can contact her by calling (530) 259-5950.
By Melissa Wynn
With unforeseen limits we faced in our edition, we feel readers missed the opportunity to fully appreciate the talents of our March “Meet the Artist” Russ Flint of Indian Valley. Please enjoy these works and visit his website russflint.com.
Greenville residents are constantly charmed by his signs at the grocery store. The easel board, also built by Flint, displays weekly specials in front of the store. Locals and passers-by will find a ndw sign each week with the new week’s specials.
Russ enjoys encouraging kids in the arts and offers $10 lessons for children 12 and under. Flint spent several years as a childrens book illustrator. “My Very First Bible” is one of his favorites.
By Melissa Wynn
Since he was a little boy, Russ Flint of scenic Indian Valley has been passionate about art. At a very young age his grandmother gifted him the book, “How To Draw The Human Form,” and he hasn’t set the pencil down since. Not only does Mr. Flint continue to sketch, he excels in the mediums of chalk, charcoal and oil paint. After studying at the Art Center College of Design in Southern California, this talented artist illustrated several children’s books, including “My Very First Bible” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” published by Ideal Publishing.
During his younger years Russ even traveled about with a portable studio he built from an old utility trailer in true starving artist fashion. In the late 1980s Russ, his lovely wife Cheryl and their children Bethany, Andy, Rodman and Dorinda came to Indian Valley where Russ now puts paint to canvas and gives drawing and painting lessons in their warm and welcoming home. Russ offers $10 lessons for children 12 and under on Thursdays 2:00-3:30 pm and $40 lessons for adults on Mondays from 1:00-4:00 pm, giving anyone with a spark of desire the opportunity and guidance to try their hand at his craft.
Mr. Flint’s in-home studio is full of stunning works in oil paint that capture the movement and energy of his subjects in a way that makes you want to join in the dance depicted therein. I could almost feel the breeze coming through the window in the background of his fabulous painting “Sisters in the Morning.” I first met Russ at Ken Tucker’s Evergreen Market in Greenville, CA, where his amazing works in chalk are appreciated by local shoppers and passersby every day. The easel board, also built by Russ Flint, in front of the store, displays the weekly specials and each Tuesday he creates a new work of art for all of us to enjoy, and many Tuesday shoppers stop to watch him work his magic. Several other display boards throughout the store add fun and cheer with their vibrant colors and animated characters – I just love the buffalo. They are my favorite part of shopping at this hometown market.
Several of Russ Flint’s amazing drawings and paintings can be seen on the artist’s website: russflint.com. Russ Flint’s works can be purchased in Quincy at The Main Street Artist Gallery at 436 Main St. and in Sacramento at the Helen Jones Gallery at 2615 El Paseo Lane, as well as from Russ Flint himself. Anyone interested in lessons or purchases can reach Mr. Flint at 530-284-7557 or via email to Russ@RussFlint.com.
by Jan Cox
EXCERPT: As a cancer survivor, she knows personally the power of the arts in healing.
Although she has been excited about art as long as she can remember, Marilee Ford began water color painting in earnest in 1999, taking her first class in order to postpone her loan repayment from her master’s program. She comes from a family of creative artists, musicians and crafts people and is excited that her own daughter is also using her talents in the arts.
Ford first got hooked by watercolor because of the element of surprise. She says, “Watercolor is, in some ways, one of the hardest mediums to paint with. It takes planning ahead and having a good idea where you want to end up. Unlike oil, you can’t layer over your mistakes.” She loves getting lost in the process of mixing the water and pigments and allowing them to flow; a magical feeling–especially when the picture turns out beautifully.
Other mediums enjoyed by Marilee include liquid acrylics, oils — along with collage with paper and pastels. She is drawn to the natural world for her subjects and likes to incorporate living creatures into her painting for added variety. But she remarks that some of her most successful paintings have come from just letting the colors mix and flow on paper.
Marilee Ford is another artist who divides her time between the city and the mountains. Residing part of the time in the Quincy area, she has exhibited in the Plumas Arts Gallery and has had her art in their calendar. She exclaims that she and her husband Rob Hendrickson live for their time in the mountains — a place away from the ambient noise of the city. Here she does most of her painting. In Petaluma, she exhibits in various venues and has a permanent exhibition in the Petaluma Valley Hospital, working with them to design donor tiles for a healing garden to raise money for a digital mammogram machine.
Ford works 32 hours weekly as a nurse-educator in Kaiser, Santa Rosa and also teaches classes on the art process for personal and cultural healing. As a cancer survivor, she knows personally the power of the arts in healing. During her graduate schooling at JFK University in the Transformative Arts program, she was encouraged to claim her Artist Self. Here, Marilee used her assignments to create the space for healing energies to emerge that were needed to promote her own healing and to bless the work of her surgeon. She says from experience, “Art Heals!”
You can find her art most easily on her web site at www.marileeford.com.
by Jan Cox
When asked by the author to describe her life, Susan Mueller responded, “God, family, friends and photography…that is my life in a nutshell. Fifteen years ago she began what is now called Dyer Mountain Photography, which became a co-owned business with her husband Merrill.
Susan loves the challenge of all types of photography, but especially “people pictures,” specializing in family shots, newborns, high school senior photos, school pictures, proms, reunions, graduation and particularly wedding photography. And she notes that she will travel for weddings.
However, in art shows throughout this area you will find her other love– scenic and wildlife shots. She has a passion for the unusual and wildlife photography feeds that passion. She tells of two cinnamon teal fighting over a particular female who were just too busy to notice her only 6 feet away; or a huge, 450 lb cinnamon black bear that walked toward her staring into her eyes; and the time she came in contact with a 4-5 ft. badger which she mistook at first for a bear. She also has a photograph of the extremely rare Blue Phase Ross Goose from the Chico area.
Mueller was born in southern California, but moved to Westwood when she was only 6 years old. Presently living at Lake Almanor, she says she never left this area because she loves it; the small, hometown feeling, her church and the family members that still reside here. She has a daughter, Michelle, a son, Mike and one granddaughter, Alyssa, along with 4 step-children and 8 grandchildren on her husband’s side of the family.
Her advice to other photographers is to “just get out there and shoot!” Susan does so, mostly with her Nikon cameras; her newest being the D7000, 16.2 megapixels. They also use both a Sony High Def 5.1 Dolby sound video camera and a Nikon 18/200 lens for weddings. She also enjoys using her Adobe CS5 for “people pictures” which allows her to provide several variations of the original prints such as black and white, lighting and cropping changes, and sepia prints.
Mueller has published 3 hardcover books, one of which can be found in Dr. Ware’s office in Chester. Her work can be seen at Blue Goose Gallery in Chester, Vagabond Inn at Carmel, CA, Lake Haven Resort, Main Street Fireside, and Prudential Real Estate Office in Chester or you may call her at the studio at (530) 259-5814 for a private showing. Her work can also be viewed on their website at www.dyermountainphotography.com
Bald eagle–Susan Mueller
Susan Mueller with her Wildlife Book
by Jan Cox
Because the Lake Almanor Basin is such a beautiful area, we are often privileged to have artists make this area their first or second home. Karin Urquhart is just such an artist. She has lived in both the LA area and the Bay Area of California before settling in with her family into a home in Fairfax, CA – a home she continues to live in to this day. She describes that home as their “little house in the woods on nearly an acre with a creek running through the back of the property and snuggled against a hill filled with decidious trees and evergreens.”
Then, in 1990 she and her husband, Don, purchased land on the Lake Almanor Peninsula and built a house large enough to accomodate visits from their seven children and spouses, 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandson. They now spend at least half of the year, including part of the winter in this area.
Karin tells us that this is where she does most of her painting bcause of the light and the room to step back and assess her work. And if you have seen her work at the B & B Backroom Gallery or other shows in the area, you will understand. She says she loves to paint large oil landscapes or large watercolors of the charming old buildings of Plumas County. Her favorite mediums at this time are oils and watercolors, although she is teaching herself acrylic painting as well.
Not only does she paint, but she teaches art to her grandchildren and their friends. She always starts by teaching the color wheel “from which all else springs.” This special grandmother also says, “My emphasis with children is to celebrate their different styles and techniques in order that no one feels his or her contemporary is ‘better’ than they. I want them to have fun while they learn.”
Karin Urquhart is not only an accomplished artist who exhibits throughout this area and also in Marin County, CA, but she is also an accomplished businesswoman. Her career as the Executive Director of a large environmental organization in Marin County filled her days during a 15-year hiatus from her art and brought her many awards and much recognition for her excellence. Then, when she retired in 1995, it was time to take up the paintbrush again. Rather than losing her creative abilities during this break, she was happy to find that as she matured, so had they.
Urquhart’s paintings may be found in art galleries throughout Plumas County and in Marin County and also in private collections here and abroad. Also look for her series of notecards from her original oils of Hawaii, Colorado, California and Alaska.
An Artistic Duo–Greg and Debbie Norton
by Jan Cox
For the last two years, Greg and Debbie Norton have been volunteering for the State Parks system and have lived in their R.V. on the west arm of the Feather River and at the mouth of Deer Creek. Living in the same natural area that the Wintuns and Maidu inhabited has led them to explore the natural materials these groups used in their lives; an exciting, creative and rewarding experience for the Nortons.
Debbie, a native of Chester, CA, says this area “owns her heart.” And so she uses local natural materials for her art. Jeffery pine needles form the basis of her exquisite pine needle baskets, enhanced with deer antlers shed where the deer come to drink, and lodge pole cones found while overlooking beautiful Mt. Lassen. Here is one woman who lives her bliss! Her pine needle, antler, gourds, and jewelry baskets are available throughout northern California at B & B Booksellers in Chester, Plumas Arts Gallery in Quincy, Lassen Volcanic National Park Kohn Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, and Lake Oroville State Park Visitor Center, Orville. You may reach her at email@example.com.
Greg Norton has been photographing since high school. When he began, he worked with film and in the dark room. Finding the chemical process of toning black and white prints damaging because of the build-up of noble metals in the body, he took up digital photography. For Greg, working in a “digital dark room” on his computer has been safer and ideal for his life as a full-time RVer.
Effects such as split tone, tonal shifts and exotic coloration–all part of the earliest days of photography can today be emulated on Photoshop without having to breathe the chemicals.
To Norton, some images are perfect straight from the camera, but certain images have been worked on for more than twenty hours to get them just right and make them “look like they came straight from the camera.” He tells us, “I’ve been told ‘a painting is the event; a photograph is a document of the event.’ Some of my images might be just what my camera saw; some images might be what my mind saw, striving to make them the event. At the end of the process, I hope my images will hold your interest.”
Greg also exhibits at B & B Booksellers’ Backroom Gallery Co-op. He can be reached at 530-596-3367 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Greg Norton with his Photographs
Debbie Norton with Pine Needle Basket
Barbara Ricau MacArthur
by Jan Cox
This month we’d like to introduce Barbara Ricau MacArthur, artist, musician, and born leader; a very talented and giving woman.
After college, Barbara went on to attend John McCrady’s School of Art in the French Quarter of New Orleans. She then painted and exhibited in New York city while working as a flight attendant for TWA, using subject matter from her travels.
Moving to Sacramento when she married gave MacArthur an opportunity to enter juried shows and win awards for her art. She then moved to Lake Almanor and says, “I have been thrilled at the beauty of this area and have enjoyed painting the surrounding scenery and wildlife as well as doing portraits on commission of children, pets and homes.” Her most recent work includes acrylic paintings on panel and canvas of the mountain scenes in Lassen National Park and Plumas County.
In her art, Barbara is captivated by the contrast of light, dark and color and how they form a composition, including the part not seen with the eye. Her strongest desire is to capture her emotional impressions of the scene.
MacArthur’s work can be seen at B & B Booksellers Backroom Gallery, the July Art Tour at Lake Almanor, the FRFAA booth on Second Fridays in Chester, on her website at www.ricauarts.com and by appointment. Call (530) 259-3381.
The musician in Barbara has a great deal of fun singing in the various groups that perform as part of the Chester Community Chorus. She has sung for six years and is the alto section leader–the go-to person for help with chorus matters. She also serves on the chorus board.
MacArthur’s leadership ability is put to good use as Backroom Co-op Gallery chairperson and the president of Feather River Fine Arts Association which meets monthly to plan and carry out the Almanor Art Tour, a FRFAA web-site, Second Friday exhibits at B & B Booksellers, and local scholarships for graduating seniors.
Through her many talents, Barbara has played a major role in the creation of an environment conducive to the arts in the Lake Almanor Basin and we applaud her for her time, talent, and willingness to step in wherever needed. Thank you, Barbara.
Barbara Ricau MacArthur
August in Cascades
August in Cascades
by Jan Cox
Moving to the Susanville area in 1990 has had its advantages for artist Norma DeBaker. Here she has expanded her love of art by attending classes in ceramics, glass design, pottery and sculpture. She is quickly becoming locally recognized for her multi-cultured hand sculptures, masks and ceramic figurines, silver-wrapped dichroic glass jewelry and fused glass art.
Norma began drawing Disney characters as a young child of 7, and went on to win art competitions. Encouraged by her mother in her love of art, she studied commercial, medical, and fine arts in Texas. Moving to California, she received her first career opportunity in the arts by working for GE as an illustrator in their Nuclear Energy Division.
She and her husband and son moved to Alaska during the building of the pipeline where she continued a full time job illustrating for the U.S. Department of the Interior in public affairs. Norma also expanded her career by becoming a freelance artist, creating murals, brochures, displays and other technical art and by teaching classes to children and adults while illustrating children’s books on the native culture.
DeBaker and her husband have built a home in the Elysian Valley of Janesville where she continues to create the art she loves. Past accomplishments include the Westwood Agriculture Display, Lassen Capitol Display, Sacramento State Fair Display, Bilingual Brochures for the Department of Health and Human Services, and window designs for local businesses. Currently you will find her work at Artisan Coffee in Janesville and Studio I Salon and Juwanna Tan in Susanville. She also exhibits from 4-8 pm at the Janesville Farmer’s Market, located in the parking lot of Artisan Coffee, each Tuesday through September. If you missed her this summer, watch for local holiday art shows, call her for private showings at 530-253-3681 or set up a show in your home featuring Norma DeBaker’s art.
Dichroic Glass Bracelet
Dichroic Glass Pendants
Betty Bishop at B & B Backroom Co-op Gallery
by Jan Cox
Betty Bishop is well known in the Lake Almanor area for her many and varied photographs of the area. From the Olsen barn in Chester, to local musicians, old buildings, doors and door knobs, hands at work, dogs, or her own beautiful flower garden, she loves to photograph it all.
She always has her cameras with her as she walks or drives through the Lake Almanor area. You never know when the right picture will present itself, Bishop tells me. Living in Chester across the street from the Olsen barn, she has many opportunities to capture it on film during various weather conditions or lighting.
Betty began photographing in 2000 when she bought her first Nikon N80 and now owns two. One always has black and white film and the other color. Using black and white film has allowed her to become much more aware of light, shadow, and composition in her photographs and in turn makes her a better color photographer.
She suggests that when purchasing a photograph, it should elicit some kind of emotional reaction in the viewer. The same goes for the photographer, taking a picture. She reminds us that the camera doesn’t see what a person sees. So it is necessary when taking a shot that one move around the subject to find the best angle, the best lighting, the best background.
Photography is a creative outlet for Bishop that lasts beyond the moment. To improve on her passion for photography, Betty spends time looking at photographs on the computer or in art shows. She belongs to Plumas Arts and Feather River Fine Arts Association; organizations that make art possible in the community and help expand the world of art opportunities.
You can find her photographs at B & B Backroom Co-op Gallery, Good Vibrations, and Blue Goose Gallery or in her own office at Builder’s Supply in Chester. In August you may catch her at the Lake Almanor Art Show on the Collin’s Pine lawn. In September and October, she will be exhibiting at the Plumas County Museum in Quincy.
by Jan Cox
Jacquie Cordova has served as a mentor to the arts in the Almanor Basin for a long time. She is not only constantly creating with many types of media, she spends a great deal of her time teaching art to young and old alike.
Moving to Westwood from Berkeley 32 years ago, and knowing she loved anything having to do with a paintbrush, she decided to make her living first by being a house painter. She then taught herself to be a sign painter and next went on to be a part time teacher for Lassen College. Cordova recalls painting several murals in Lassen County in both Susanville and Westwood. The beautiful mural of Walker Lake gracing the side of Young’s Market in Westwood was painted together with Gayle Saltzaver, another resident of Westwood.
Always learning herself, she began teaching at Westwood High School after the retirement of artist/teacher Pat Kurtz. She later expanded to the elementary school and set up a program for all children in the district knowing the importance of the arts in student lives. She was a part of the California Arts Project for many years and although she retired from high school teaching in 2009, Jacquie continues to volunteer in classrooms until money is once again available for a district art teacher. She also continues to teach daytime and evening classes throughout the year.
In the upstairs at the Cordova home, you will find an intimate gallery next to her studio that shows off her work. From here she sells her beautiful raku pots, framed and unframed pictures both oils and watercolors, cards of her work and more. Her newest project is a Peace Bowl series of Raku pots. Jacquie remarks that to her, peace is so important and that we don’t often actively create peace in our lives so this is her way to take action and to promote peace.
When asked about her experience of doing art, Jacquie says, “When I’m creating, I feel the most connected to others and myself, God, and the earth. It is such a healing thing that I don’t talk about very much.” Cordova’s other love is to travel from which she gets much of her inspiration for her work.
You may call to make an appointment to see her gallery at (530) 256-2217 or enjoy her work at Blue Goose Gallery or B & B Booksellers in Chester, CA. She also exhibits her art at the Monticola Club in November or Art in the Garden both in Susanville, and at Art Around the Lake and, the Lake Almanor Art Show, on Collins Pine Lawn, in August in Chester. Or look for her at www.frfaa.com on line.
Jacquie Cordova beside two of her pictures
Jacquie Cordova beside her watercolors
Roxanne Valladao at Plumas Arts Gallery
by Jan Cox
It was a real pleasure to visit with Roxanne Valladao, Executive Director of Plumas Arts at the gallery in Quincy, CA. Having worked for Plumas Arts for 25 of its 30 year existence, she has definitely been a prime mover in the establishment of the arts in Plumas County. Valladao considers Plumas Arts to be her main creative work. This association supports arts in all areas of the county, often in partnership with other groups such as schools, tourism, and community functions. She sees this organization as fueling the energy needed to redefine Plumas County through arts, culture and community.
An artist herself, she has been a photographer since the mid 70’s, working with black and white darkroom techniques. She continues to teach these techniques at Feather River College and will be offering a fall class. Roxanne claims she couldn’t draw and so took up photography using infrared and manipulation of the photos creating an archival art form. Her joy is using her artist’s eye to photograph people in a way that shows the true depths of the person.
In this digital age, she too has taken up this newer form of photography and calls herself a “point and shoot photographer with dark room experience and a good eye.” Last year she and Keith Linford presented a show she considered much fun, creating predominantly altered digital images. To Roxanne, photography has never been done to make a living. Instead she enjoys it as a creative process and does it all, from taking the photograph, cutting the mats, to framing the picture.
Valladao rejoices in the fact that “the arts are finally validated for their quality of life enhancement.” She continues, “The arts build better human souls and lots of good things come from that. That’s why so many work so hard for so little because it is soul building. The arts bring people together and people are engaged for the right reasons.”
Stop in to visit the Plumas Arts Gallery and Roxanne Valladao in Quincy at 372 Main St. The Plumas Arts Gallery is open Wed. – Fri. from 11am to 5 pm. Or go on-line to www.plumasarts.org for more information. Also check out their yearly arts calendar with both writings and black and white pictures from local artists along with important community dates to remember.
Plumas Arts Gallery Wall
Deb Groesser–Artist, Teacher and Blue Goose Gallery Owner
by Jan Cox
In the small mountain town of Chester, CA you will find a stunning gallery called the Blue Goose Fine Art Gallery. The atmosphere of the gallery is peaceful, friendly and rich with beauty. Just stepping through the doors brings a sense of joy and excitement and will soon dissipate any stress you may have been feeling.
The gallery holds a wealth of wonderful artwork from area artists and those far away. You will find originals from Adele Earnshaw, Joe Garcia, Arleta Pech, Janene Grende and many others. From a recent winter trip, she returned with an array of beautiful jewelry, wooden inlaid boxes, glass art bowls, cards, and much more. The gallery also offers professional custom framing, with over 35 years experience. A perfect place to purchase that special gift.
As an artist, watercolor is the favorite medium of Deb Groesser (pronounced Grazier), and glowing light, landscapes and wildlife are the inspiration that ignites her passion to create art. Deb says this about her chosen medium. “There is a spontaneity and freshness with watercolor that you just can’t get with any other medium….You paint and splash water and color, you imagine and play, you contemplate and study, you experiment and try new techniques…and then you see what kind of wonderful surprises you have when you’re done!” You will find examples of her beautiful work throughout the gallery.
She loves teaching and sharing her love of watercolor. Through a positive teaching style, she is able to inspire her students to gain a new awareness of their world, a deeper appreciation of art and best of all a realization of their own abilities. Check at the gallery for class times and dates.
She also loves playing golf and that accounts for those great new Rock Putters you will find in the gallery that just might really improve your game! Come in and try them out!
Blue Goose Fine Art Gallery at 607 Main, is open from 10am til 5pm Monday through Saturday. Summer hours will include Sundays. Call 530-258-2600.
Deb Groesser with Spring flowers painting
Blue Goose Fine Art Gallery
The Blue Goose Gallery
Artwork at the Gallery
Walls of Art at Gallery
by Jan Cox
Throughout this mountain valley area there are many outstanding artists and photographers. This month I had the privilege of visiting with Pam Trebes, Photographer, in her studio at 3215 Hill Crest Drive at the Hamilton Branch, Lake Almanor.
This year, Pam is celebrating 10 years as a photographer. Starting with a 1.3 megapixel camera in 1999, she has come a long way! Trebes is active in all parts of the photographic process. She is a freelance photographer for events and scenics, does photo restoration, image capture, and graphic design.
Not only does her studio contain a gallery of her own framed photos, but she also has a large print center where she can make giclee’ prints from artists originals on whatever paper is desired. This center will print up to 24″ X 100′. She is also able to print amazing signs on indoor/outdoor self adhesive vinyl! Pam can scan 35 mm slides or negatives, convert VCR tapes to DVD movies, scan hard copy images, download most disks, and photograph objects on a new green screen in her studio.
One of the more exciting projects she has going at the present is the creation and publishing of a beautiful photographic book encompassing Lassen, Plumas and Tehema Counties.
This prolific photographer may be found not only at her studio, but also at Art Around the Lake, Plumas Sierra County Fair, Almanor Art Show, Second Fridays in Chester, and is now proudly showing at The Blue Goose Fine Art Gallery at 607 Main in Chester. Watch for Pam Trebes 2010 Open Studio’s, check her out at www.PamTrebesPhotography.com or call 530-596-4166 for more information.
Pam Trebes with Photo Book
Meet Gerri Allen
By Jan Cox
If you were to see me around town, you would most likely notice a bracelet on my wrist that you might recognize as a “Gerri Bracelet”. And you would be right. Under the signature name of Caterpillar, Gerri Allen, fiber artist, creates beauty with beads, thread, glass and buttons. Caterpillar Jewelry is her own invention, conceptualized in 1989 and perfected in 1995. Her method of construction is described as “steel hooked on linen thread.” For her creations, Gerri primarily uses imported glass beads and some gemstones. And she is constantly adding new creations; her most recent being beautiful imported glass pendants hanging from her own matching beaded necklaces.
In addition to Caterpillar Jewelry, in 1999, Gerri invented Caterpillar Luminaires. These lampshade covers are creations of imported glass and gemstone beadwork designed on hand-worked, steel hooked lace thread. These original, one-of-a-kind beaded creations come in two styles. The first covers the entire lampshade, while the second forms a decorative ring on the lower half of the shade, and can be easily removed and even worn as a beautiful necklace! Her luminaires are created in sizes to fit a seven watt nightlight, a mini lamp or a table lamp.
Creating is a passion for Gerri who notes that the inner artist expresses herself daily with fiber and beads while the thing that inspires her is the opportunity for color combinations. Many who wear Caterpillar jewelry do so as a result of her use of color and also for the way the jewelry feels being worn. It is this writer’s opinion that love and healing are also firmly woven into each piece of her art.
Born in California and raised in Oregon, Gerri Allen attended Meckelberg School of Design in Portland, Oregon. She was a fiber artist (someone who works with fiber based threads such as linen) in design stitchery in her early years.
A long time resident of Westwood, Gerri creates from her home and displays her creations in Picture Perfect, Susanville; Walker Inn, Westwood; Northwoods Gallery, Chester; Main Street Antiques, Greenville; and Plumas Arts Gallery, Quincy. She is also a regular at the Almanor Art Show in August on the Collins Pine Lawn in Chester and Art Around the Lake in Chester in July. To place an order, you may call Gerri Allen at (530) 256-2188.