EXHIBIT DATES: October 26 – November 22, 2020
Meet the Artist: Wilson will be hosting the gallery Monday, November 2 and Saturday, November 14, 2020.
Sonoma County artist, Carolyn Wilson, presents Oh, The Places You’ll Go, mixed media and collage works that explore favorite travel locales.
Travel and exploration are favorite activities and a source of artistic inspiration for the artist. With travel now on hold, take a seat and join us for some armchair traveling as the artist revisits places with memories, sparking dreams of days when we are all free to roam the earth again. Explore numerous favorites including Yosemite, Carolyn’s homeland, England, France and African safari adventures.
A lover of textures, Carolyn Wilson specializes in creating collage that has a rich tactile surface, with partially hidden layers that create a sense of mystery and history. Her surfaces emerge using watermedia, such as watercolor and acrylic ink, on rice paper. She is happiest when surrounded by a mountain of hand colored papers, with glue and brush in hand.
“Communicating more than what is visible on the surface, my collages begin life in an abstract way, then grow into something more recognizable. Using ephemera, such as maps, printed words, letters and postage stamps collected on my travels, my art is literally embedded with my life story. You often need to step up and take a close look to discover these hidden surprises,” said Wilson.
Wilson has participated In Sonoma County Art Trails Open Studios since 2014. Paintings by the artist have been published in two books: “The Encyclopedia of Watercolor Techniques,” by Hazel Harrison (UK, 2018) and the “New Encyclopedia of Watercolor Techniques,” by Hazel Harrison (USA, 2010).
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features Drawn to Animals a collection of drawings by Laura Roney that capture her bond with our animal friends. Animals have always been a part of the artist’s life. “Having them around makes life complete and us happier,” noted Roney. Believing every animal has a personality, Roney looks to capture that unique quality in creating their portraits. These drawings are so captivating, they can’t help but lift our spirits.
EXHIBIT DATES: September 28 – October 25, 2020
Sonoma County artist, Marsha Connell, presents Connected by Water, plein air paintings in oil and watercolor, both large scale and intimate, depicting water encountered and observed in some of its many forms and settings. On a deeper level, this exhibit is charged by the artist’s passion for saving the environment, calling on the viewer to experience how water’s surface beauty and reflections, and shapeshifting inner rhythms, transfixes us; and then to follow it, to see how water, and water cycles, connect us all: human to human, whether across town, continent, or seas. What happens on our shores affects those near and far. “I believe art can open hearts to care about water, the source of life, and increase our focus on protecting and watersheds, wetlands, oceans, and open space preserves and parks” stated Connell. These paintings through their expressive bold brushstrokes and masterful cool toned palettes, invite the viewer to enter their world and find healing for water and for the self.
A longtime resident of Sonoma County, Connell’s art journey began as a child, drawing with her grandfather, Samuel Riss, farmer and watercolor artist, in upstate New York. Connell taught art at Santa Rosa Junior College for many years. She earned fine art degrees from Skidmore College and San Francisco State University. Her works have been exhibited regionally and internationally and are in private, corporate and healthcare collections.
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features Sense of Sonoma, a collection of small acrylic paintings by Beverly Bird that capture scenes depicting the beauty and character of our amazing corner of the planet. Through their colorful textural passages, these works take the viewer on an exciting tour from the coast to the forest to the vineyards.
EXHIBIT DATES – August 31 – September 27, 2020
Healdsburg artist Karen A. Miller presents Composed for Solace, a collection that highlights pastel paintings created during the current pandemic and centering on subject matter from (necessarily) close to home. Earlier in the year, she began exploring post-Kincaid Fire landscapes but in March, as we all had to do, she switched gears. Every crisis changes our focus. This artist’s reaction was to look for what gives us solace, becoming more introspective and reflective - appreciating anew our most familiar surroundings. While most of her prior work was local landscapes, this newer work expands to include more interiors and figures. Miller takes the viewer on “old” paths that take on new meaning in these pastel paintings. “I like finding new delights in common everyday surroundings and translating them to a visual format. I guess one might say, a silver lining to SIP,” commented Miller.
Karen Miller has shown her work in numerous juried shows, in many Sonoma County venues as well as online. She exhibited in the prestigious Pastel Society of the West Coast and earned Signature Member status after only three years of submitting work.
Reflections of Myself
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features Reflections of Myself by Ron Sumner, a collection of watercolor paintings that show the artist’s deep appreciation for nature, especially wildlife. Viewers are drawn to these paintings through the artist’s masterful use of the medium, spontaneous washes with just enough detail to give life to the subjects.
Exhibit Dates: July 26 – August 30, 2020
Healdsburg artist, Linda Barretta, presents Suspended Memories, a collection of recent oil paintings that capture the landscape’s ever-changing light. Seizing in paint the unique lighting on location is her most important tool – creating a memory that the carries through in her studio work. “I love to weave the vibrant colors and textures to create an artistic experience that takes the viewer to that special time and place,” said Barretta. Whether painted at the edge of a field or later tapping her memory, her masterful sense of color takes your breath away with its magical vibrancy. Key works showing the artist’s color mastery are featured in the exhibit: “Wolf Moon,” a nocturn of the Russian River and “Magic Hour,” a lavender field melting into dusk.
A Sonoma County artist, Barretta lives and works in Healdsburg. Known for her vibrant use of color, she developed her impressionist style and skills through numerous hours of plein air painting and studying with master artists. Her works are exhibited throughout the country.
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features Flights of Fancy by Willow LaLand-Yeilding, a collection of works on paper that explores the range of emotion and depth achieved in the simplicity of line, shadow and composition. In these works, the blank paper as negative space is as important as the positive design elements themselves. “I enjoy the freedom that comes with the medium and exploring the honesty of form and contrast,” said the artist.
Exhibit Dates: June 29th— July 26th, 2020
Santa Rosa artist, Victoria A. Kochergin, presents Showcasing Nature’s Beauty, a collection of colored pencil botanicals, detailing the beauty found year-round. Kochergin is inspired as each season showcases Nature’s beauty: from spring’s emergence of dormant bulbs, summer’s array of fruits, autumn’s orange, yellow and burgundy leaves, to winter’s white flowers. “It is this seasonal beauty I strive to capture in detail and bring to the viewer’s attention,” said the artist. These pieces are revelatory in their amazing translucent coloring and detail. Achieved through hours and weeks of work layering colors, each piece is a unique pearl drawn from Nature. “I believe every botanical in Nature deserves its spotlight, “ noted Kochergin. These works truly inspire awe with the complexity and magnificence in Nature.
Kochergin’s artwork has been exhibited in Alcatraz, local and international shows, Art Trails and Art at the Source. She received a BA in Fine Arts and English from UC Berkeley. Working in various mediums during her career, she now concentrates on colored pencil. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Northern Society of Botanical Artists and teaches classes in the medium. A portion of Kochergin’s sales from this exhibit will be donated to SNAP Cats, a local cat rescue.
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features Between Chaos and Calm, a collection of small abstract paintings by Cynthia Sumner. Her work is emotionally derivative and process driven. “Frequently, I tap into state of mind or some emotional content I want to explore first. Then I apply paint or mixed media in layers adding texture and random mark-making, before scraping back and repeating the process, until interesting elements spark my imagination, “stated the artist. From this creative energy emerge beautiful works that are a perfect trifecta of texture, color and composition. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Sumner was an art educator in the Bay Area and New Orleans.
Exhibit Dates: March 1st — March 28th, 2020
Reception: Saturday, March 7, 2020 from 6 – 8 pm: Meet the artists and celebrate this show. Refreshments will be served.
Local artist, Donna Schaffer, presents Wine Country Winter, a collection of paintings that express the special beauty that Sonoma wine country takes on in its winter phase. Painted in oil, these works depict the swaths of fog that grace the region’s valleys like misty veils. As the sky takes on a leading role during the winter season, color pops up in the form of stunning red-orange sunsets and sunrises. Responding to a sense of mystery, the viewer is seduced by the quiet peacefulness of the foggy scenes. “I’ve lived in Sonoma County twenty-five years and our “neighborhood” is gorgeous all year round and I want to share that beauty,” said Schaffer.
Art has been a main thread throughout Schaffer’s life. It wove through her advertising and photojournalism experience and culminated when she landed in Sonoma wine country. “How could I not be a painter,” noted Schaffer, as she contemplated the area’s jaw-dropping natural beauty. Schaffer has been a member of the Upstairs Art Gallery for seventeen years and exhibited throughout the region, including five years as an Art Trails artist.
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features Short Stories by Phyllis Rapp, a collection of small mixed media paintings depicting a range of subjects, from garden flowers to exotic animals and fish. Rapp’s magic brush brings excitement to each piece by the creative mix of amazing acrylic pours, color washes and intricate patterns.
Exhibit Dates: – January 27 – February 23, 2020
Reception: Saturday, February 15 2020, 2 to 5 pm: Meet the artists and celebrate this beautiful show. Refreshments will be served.Upstairs Art Gallery artists Susan Greer, Willow LaLand, Gail Morgan, Phyllis Rapp, Donna Schaffer, Cynthia Sumner, Ron Sumner, and Carolyn Wilson pool their artistic talents to present “Embracing Beauty,” an exhibit expressing multi-faceted interpretations of beauty. The viewer is taken to a garden of delights as each artist presents his or her take on the theme – the potpourri of colors, flowers, subjects is an uplifting harbinger of spring. Carolyn Wilson’s offering, “Judy’s Sunflower” is lively and cheerful. “I think sunflowers are beauty personified; they capture the sunny energy and warmth of summer days, a reminder of bright times ahead,” said Wilson. Gail Morgan strikes a bright note with “Jazz,” an abstract monoprint interpreting the beauty of the music. Filled with roses, Phyllis Rapp’s painting was inspired by a Toni Morrison quote: “At some point in life, the world’s beauty becomes enough.” This exhibit brings the world’s beauty – Sonoma style – into clear focus.
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features Ebb and Flow by Marsha Connell. Rendered in oil, pastel and watercolors, this collection is imbued with the movement and flow inspiring the artist as she works direct from life. “it’s all about the dynamic of being in the moment and a selective process that gives plein air works that special fluid quality,” remarked Connell. Drawing on her background as a dancer, her paintings have a spontaneous quality that invites the viewer to join the dance and complete the vision.
Laura Roney presents The Golden Hour, a collection of oil paintings that depict the landscape when the light is fleeting. These works transport the viewer to that unique and magical time of day when the sun is near the horizon. “How the changing light transforms the landscape is mesmerizing and truly inspires my work, “ said Roney. Primarily showing scenes of Sonoma County and wine country, these paintings are so compelling, they create their own golden glow.
A wine-country artist, Roney has been in love with art her entire life. She started studying at an early age and kept it up whatever avenue she was pursuing. After a successful career in microbiology and pharmaceutical research, a family move to Northern California enabled Roney to focus on her art. She recently received her MFA from the Academy of Art University.
Exhibit Dates: December 30, 2019 – January 25, 2020
Reception: Saturday, January 18, 2020, 2 pm to 5 pm: please join artists Laura Roney and John Sumner to celebrate the show; refreshments will be served.
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features Speaking Cat and Dog by guest artist John Sumner. Sumner uses creative textures and vibrant colors to capture the character and antics of our four-legged friends. Living with many cats, painting them became second nature to the artist. Always fun, Sumner’s work runs the gamut of realistic to interpretive.
FEBRUARY EXHIBIT: CLOSE TO THE HEART
EXHIBIT DATES: February 1 – February 28, 2021
Sonoma County artists, Linda Baretta, Beverly Bird, Sally Cataldo, Marsha Connell, Karen Miller, Tosya Shore, Michelle Hoting, Jo Tobin-Charleston, Carolyn Wilson present “Close to the Heart,” a new perspective on this Valentine season – things that are uniquely special to each individual artist. Shore’s “Walk this Way” is a watercolor showing a tender moment in an older couple’s day – a scene that would touch anyone’s heart. Miller’s contribution is “Cat in a Quandary,” a pastel painting of her quirky cat in her favorite room where all her best creativity lives. Barretta brings us “Schoolhouse Beach,” an oil painting of a favorite local scene along the Sonoma Coast, painted with blooms beneath her feet. Her piece glows with sundrenched color and the vibrant beauty of the red wildflowers. Wilson’s choice, “Yosemite Valley Winter,” is a mixed media piece that takes us to this magical place in the peace and tranquility of a snowy winter scene. Bird’s “Seeing Reds” is an acrylic painting that highlights traditional tokens of love – flowers and sweets – in delicious shades of red. After the past crazy, dark year, the warm feelings expressed through this exhibit open the door to a beautiful spring and hope for better times. “Because each artist’s choice is special, they resonate with the viewer,” noted Wilson.
New Artist: The Gallery is pleased to announce a new member artist, Sally Cataldo. A water media artist, her expressive abstract paintings are a reflection of observations of her environment. Working in acrylic, watercolor, gouache, her paintings are forceful designs of sophisticated color combinations, dynamic shapes and unique use of line. Whether purely abstract or a subjective interpretation, they catch the viewer’s eye and don’t let go. Internationally renowned, Cataldo is a published, award winning artist who has exhibited widely and participated in Sonoma County Art Trails for a number of years. Sallycataldoart.com
The Small Works Showcase on the stairway features a members’ show along the same theme, ”Close to the Heart.” The exhibit highlights a variety of takes on this theme in watercolor, acrylic and oil. In addition to the artists named above, Willow Laland, Donna Schaffer, Gail Morgan, Ron Sumner, Victoria Kochergin, and Laura Roney are showing their work in this exhibit.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.