Getting feedback on your photography is a must for growth, and when it is positive it can really lift your spirits. My fall Dutch still life was reviewed on YouTube yesterday by Tony & Chelsea Northrup, click the link below to view, my image starts at 32 minutes.
Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “Annual Children’s Christmas Tree Trimming”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 12, page 3, author
I loved writing this article. I am very involved with the museum and have attended as many of their events as I can, this event by far is my favorite. The image in the paper is not mine, but the image below is. The doll pictured below was made by 4 year old Boulder Creek resident Taylor Kievlan.
Sunday December 7th the San Lorenzo Valley Museum had their 13th annual Children’s Christmas Tree Trimming. This is the museum’s longest running event and as usual was a huge success. Over 40 families participated this year in getting ready for Christmas the old fashioned way by decorating cookies, making ornaments, and arranging greenery. This may be a children’s event but don’t think the parents weren’t involved as well; I saw just as many parents creating decorations as I did children.
There was a wide range of choices of activities and for a $5 donation you could do as many of them as you wanted. The skill levels involved also varied a great deal, but none of the activities were too hard for children, as the picture attached shows. The lovely lady you see there was made by Taylor Kievlan of Boulder Creek who is 4 years old. This activity starts off with two twigs tied together with a head already attached. You then choose from dried and fresh plant materials, tie it with raffia, which you also had a few colors to choose from, and with hot glue, assistance provided if needed, you create until you are happy with the final product. There are even 3 example dolls to help you along. This was the Kievlan family’s first time and her grandmother could not be more proud of Taylor’s creation. Taylor’s mother says she is going to display it year round, not just at Christmas. I saw several very well done versions of this activity by a wide range of ages. I heard others say how their kids look forward to opening the box that has the ornaments they have made from years past.
There were many more choices of activities. You could make a wreath or candy cane out of beads and pipe cleaners. If that isn’t for you, maybe making a Santa’s sled or a train out of candy is, this activity was a big hit with kids. If getting some candy hasn’t satisfied your sweet tooth you can decorate sugar or gingerbread cookies. If you wanted something more challenging you could make a corn husk doll and with a bit of pipe cleaner the doll quickly becomes an angel. For a hanging doll you could do the activity pictured. Finally for those of you who want to bring some greenery indoors you could make a hanging arrangement or a center piece out of fresh greenery, bells, and ribbon. There also was a decorated tree at the back of the museum near the original entrance to the Church. Next to that was hot cider and an arrangement of sweets for all to enjoy. There really was something for everyone.
It takes a lot of work to put on an event like this as well as sponsors. The sponsors this year were Joe’s Bar, W/A Insurance Services, and Redwood Resort. It was organized by executive director Lynda Phillips who was helped out by many volunteers. Friday night 10 AmeriCorps volunteers who put down paper to protect the floor, brought in the tables, chairs, and helped decorate for the event. The day of the event 14 volunteers, three of which were also from AmeriCorps, helped with setup, assisting everyone with the activities, and clean up. As always it was a well planned and executed event.
I have been to many activities at the museum this year and this one felt the most warm and inviting. It was like the whole community was coming together to decorate, socialize, and make this holiday time more than just about gifts, but about family and community. Now part of this could be because this was the first time you could really get outside after a week long rain storm and enjoy a bit of sunlight, I was very grateful this event was blessed with such nice weather. Our family will definitely be doing this again for many years to come, and I highly recommend it to everyone of any age.
Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “First Friday Art Walk”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 11, Art & Music page 15, author & photographer
This event was so fun to cover and since them I have very much enjoyed these monthly art gatherings. Jane Ann Clemens was the artist I covered, and I still can't believe she had never shown her artwork before. She has such amazing talent.
One of the featured artist in this months First Friday Felton Art Walk was Jane Ann Clemens. She has taught classes before but never shown her artwork publicly. Mediums she works in range from altered books, collage, color pencils, glass mosaic, photography, and water colors. What drew me to her artwork was her focus on the book arts and recycled materials, as well as poking fun at the naughty side of life. Her greeting cards are $4 each and her altered books are $15 each. The cards that caught my eye was a series she made from a 1957 Sears catalog. On the outside is a well dressed gent or lady and on the inside is a similar looking model in undergarments. In a similar fashion she has a book series called Quirky Plant People which includes the regular edition and the abridged edition suitable for children. The series sells for $25 or you can buy the books separately at $15 each. Sayings inside the book range from things like “little sprout” to “pickle in my pocket”, and they are all executed in a fun vintage way.
Besides being a wonderful artist she is also a great teacher. In her classes she focuses on inspiring and teaching you to make your own original art, not just copy her class examples. Previous class topics have included animal guides and nourishing your positive energy. She has also created many personal shrines out of small mint tins and in the future may teach a class on how to make a personal shrine for a loved one that has passed.
She was the featured artist at Mountain Spirit, which has been participating in the event for eight months now. During the art walk they have live music by The Crooked Road Céilí Band, astrology readings by Laurie Twilight, light refreshments and of course that months featured artist.
Since February, Felton has been having a First Friday Art Walk every month from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Originally there were three stores participating but it has now grown to seven stores along Highway 9, four of which have a featured artist each month. It’s also aligned with First Friday Santa Cruz which was founded by Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts. I highly encourage you to attend next months First Friday Art Walk on December 5th and find an artist that inspires you. Remember Christmas is just around the corner. For information on featured artists visit https://www.facebook.com/FirstFridayFelton .
Felton Feed & Pet Supply (host to featured artists)
6221 Highway 9, Felton
TrendSetter Boutique (host to featured artists)
6223 Highway 9, Felton
Garimo’s Real Soap Studio (host to featured artists)
6225 Highway 9, Felton
6237 Highway 9, Unit A, Felton
Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “Artwork For Change”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 10, Art & Music page 14, author & photographer
Santa Cruz Open Studios is a wonderful annual event were you get to meet and see artists in action. The artists in the Santa Cruz Mountains don't always get the same amount of attention as those in Santa Cruz. So to change that I did two things, first did a blog post on Boulder Creek Insider listing all of the artists, making them easy to find in the sea of artists in this event, second I found an artist in our mountains that I thought had the strongest message this year. It was an honor to write about Marc Shargel, point out his countless hours of volunteerism, and his mission as an artists. The article below tells a little of his story.
Open Studios is a way for the public to get a glimpse into the diverse world of the artists that live among us, and this year is no exception. The San Lorenzo Valley has 22 artists participating this year in Open Studios Art Tour sponsored by the Santa Cruz Art League. For a full list of these artists visit www.BoulderCreekInsider.com.
For me one artist stood out from the rest, Marc Shargel. He shows us how artwork can make positive change in the world. He is a photographer and conservationist based in Felton. He has been here for 30 years, been diving for 36 years, and been a professional underwater photographer for 26 years. In that time he has seen progressive change in the oceans and volunteered countless hours to protect them. His focus has been the California coast which has had marine reserves since 1973. In 2000 he started his conservation endeavors helping to form two marine conservation organizations. From 2004 to 2006 he served on a state panel that was charged with creating a network for marine reserves along our entire coast. These marine reserves are like small refuges in the oceans were marine life can breed and grow old. Some marine life such as rockfish have to reach 40 to 50 years old before they are in their breeding prime, thus making these marine reserves very important for diverse and healthy ecosystems.
He did not stop there though, with the marine reserves now in place scientists needed to study them to see if they were effective. Not all of the marine reserves were implemented as advised, so he turned to art once again and started writing books to communicate to decision makers and the general public their importance. To date he has four books published, three in the Wonders of the Sea series, and his most recent Yesterday’s Ocean which is a history of marine life on California’s central coast. All of his books do a wonderful job of combining his underwater photography with historical images and easy to understand factual information to inform the reader and show them what is at stake.
Scientists now feel that the marine reserves from Mendocino county to Santa Barbara have been successful. In the rest of our coast however, (from Mendocino county to Oregon and Santa Barbara to Mexico) the marine reserves are spaced too far apart and are too small to be effective.
Marc is now expanding the focus of his art beyond politics to the public. He wants to communicate the amazing beauty of our coast to as many as he can. As the person who has seen the changes in our oceans for almost four decades he now wants to share that more intimately with the general public. He is having his first ever underwater photography class in February, to show people hands on what he has seen and learned. He also is continuing with his books, canvas prints, and postcards to get the word out there. To see his artwork, register for his upcoming class, purchase his books or other artwork please visit www.LivingSeaImages.com.
Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “Mountains Art Center – Mellow Yellow”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 8, Art & Music page 15, author & photographer
This was my second article about the Mountain Art Center regarding their current show. One of my images made it into the paper, but do to the restraints of printed media the rest did not. Luckily though blogs don't have this same restricts so I am able to include more images. To find out who did which artwork please read below.
Mellow Yellow at the Mountain Art Center is starting it’s second month on display and if you haven’t checked it out yet you really need to. The show opened on July 16th and it will be closing September 27th. It features 20 local artists and a wide range of mediums; including mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, wood, photography, as well as paintings in acrylic, oil, and watercolor.
Now don’t be deceived by the show’s name, these pieces of art are anything but Mellow or boring. The backroom of the gallery, with it’s deep yellow accent wall and vibrant pieces of art, is dynamic and exciting. By contrast, the front main room of the gallery has a much more calm and relaxing feel to it with neutral white walls and softer almost pastel like colors in the artwork. This room may feel calm and relaxing, but the art it displays is quite thought provoking.
Many of the pieces have layers of meaning and discovery. A great example of this is a painting by Tina Masciocchi called Tree of Life. The background colors are calm and soothing with blue on the top and yellow on the bottom. The main element is a tree which gives an overall pattern of crossing branches to the piece. It is painted as three separate panels which when hung looks like kimono, which expands on the meaning of the piece and starts you thinking. Then a closer look reveals that the tree is growing out of what looks like an anchovies can. This gives you a mixed sense of Japanese culture and caned foods, making you ask WHY? This isn’t the only piece in the show like that, and many of these artists are known for their unusual pairs of elements, as well as layers of meaning.
There is a sitting bench in the main room with a binder about the artists. This allows you to sit down, do a bit of reading, and absorb the artwork further. Your mind will really get a workout at this show and will be thinking about it for quite some time afterwards.
Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “Mountains Art Center – Art Camp”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 8, Art & Music page 15, author & photographer
In addition to my book review article I had two articles in the art section of the paper. The Mountain Art Center is an amazing local resource for all artist, and in particular young budding artists.
This week Mountains Art Center wrapped up their final session of Art Camp. This was the eighth year they have done an art camp and this year it was split up into 4 sessions, each session being 1 week long. For children ages six to twelve art camp was Monday through Friday with one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon. Tweens and teens had their own class in the late afternoons. This allowed for each age group to get the attention they needed, while allowing for maximum learning. Each week of classes had space for 14 children and most classes were full.
Each session had a theme and was executed by eight teachers, giving the kids a diverse palette of inspiration and instruction styles. They worked with many different materials such as beads, clay, metal, and paints. For the younger children the first session started off with the theme Wild Woods, session two was Machine Madness, three was Sun Time Fun Time, and the final session was Animal Friends. The themes for the teens was Clay for Teens, Robotics I & II, Manipulating Metal, and ending with Throwing on the Potter’s Wheel.
The results have been excellent and the goal of encouraging artistic expression and growth has been achieved. The children came away with a feeling of excitement and inquisitiveness about the artistic possibilities. The center is doing a wonderful job of teaching and inspiring the next generation of artist. Next summer, consider this summer camp program for your budding artist and see how the art center can help them grow and flourish!
Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “China through local eyes”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 3, Issue 7, Art & Music page 15, author & photographer
At first I was hesitant to write this article. I am not one to toot my own horn, I would much rather be in the background. I was quickly convinced to do so since at the same time I had a gallery show going of my China work. The best way to get the word out there to new viewers is through the news.
Also on my return home from China I was quickly reminded of how beautiful and amazing the place I live in is as well. As you will read in the article I am planning on writing travel guides for Zhangjiajie, China as well as our local state park of Big Basin. Since this article was published I have made some good strides towards my travel guide for Big Basin and I am hoping to have something to show the public by the end of this year.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Rachel Wooster. I am a photographer, writer, college student, Godmother, proud Boulder Creek resident, and now a traveler. Earlier this year I took my first trip outside of North America, and traveled to central China. This trip was a lifetime in the making, growing up our family had foreign exchange students from China and I have always been interested in eastern cultures and religions.
I traveled with my photography professor Kate Jordahl, Oliver Klink, the owner of Incredible Travel Photography, and nine other experienced world travelers. We spent eight wonderful days exploring the Zhangjiajie area of Hunan, China, including Tianmen Mountain and Zhangjiajie National Park. Zhangjiajie is China’s first national park established in 1982 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. A photograph and small article about our trip was featured in the local paper.
The landscape of this region is absolutely breathtaking and these mountains were the backdrop for the movie Avatar. The area is filled with sandstone pillars which go straight up for thousands of feet. On Tianmen Mountain the path you walk on is made of concrete and rebar and was constructed onto the side of the mountain. You don’t actually walk on the mountain itself, but around the mountain, with nothing below you for thousands of feet. All of this was made by hand and all of the materials were also carried by hand. It is not a hike for the faint of heart! I tried to keep my mind focused on what I was photographing not on what wasn’t beneath me. The highlight of Tianmen Mountain is the gateway, which is a natural opening in the mountain.
Zhangjiajie National Park is almost twelve thousand acres and has over 30 million visitors yearly. We were there during their off season and the park was still filled with thousands of people everyday. Each day consisted of waking up around 6am or earlier, walking five to seven miles a day of stairs, taking around one thousand photographs a day, and hopefully going to bed around 10pm. It was an exhausting trip, and completely filled with inspiring cultural and visual experiences. Even on my last day on top of the mountain I still could not believe sitting there, that it was thousands of feet straight down. There just aren’t any mountains like this in North America.
Initially when I returned to the States I wanted to write a travel guide, with maps, photographs, and basic information about the area. The travel guides I purchased for China before I went there only had four pages on Hunan China and they didn’t even mention anything about the Zhangjiajie area. The internet isn’t much better, there are some pictures and maybe a paragraph or two. Most people who travel to this area either have to have a private guide as we did or do group tours because there is no good guide for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean speakers, which are the three main groups of tourists.
I have found that this same problem exists for Big Basin and many other state parks in the Santa Cruz mountains. I haven’t been able to find a good travel guide in print or e-text. The closest I have come is BigBasin.org and it has excellent reference information, but almost no pictures. So I am now embarking on writing travel guides for local locations as well as foreign. The trip has really taught me how little public knowledge there is out there about many parks and I am hoping in the coming years to change that. I currently have my Tianmen Mountain portfolio done, and am hoping to have a Big Basin portfolio done by the end of the year. Then the process of writing will begin.
Two of my images are currently on display in the Krause Center for Innovation gallery in Los Altos. It is a group show which ends September 26th with a closing reception. This experience has been amazing, but most of all it reminds me of how lucky I am to be living in a redwood forest in such a progressive and inclusive community.
Newspaper, Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, “New Gallery in Boulder Creek – Sgt. Penguin’s”, Boulder Creek CA, Volume 2, Issue 12, Art & Music page 14, author & photographer of 2 of the images
I am sorry to report that this gallery is no longer, it is very much missed by all of us.
Text of Article
How did Sgt. Penguin’s come to be, you ask? Well, it is a very interesting string of events. Laurie Hennig was walking by the day the tenant of 12599 Highway 9 was moving out. They made an offer to the landlord that day, snatching up what is a wonderful location before it was ever put on the market.
So that explains how they got the location, but where did the name come from? Well they already had a large group of artists together (most of them family) and Lynn Markley was the leader of the group. One day as she was driving she heard Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the radio and it just came to her, Sgt. Penguin’s Lively Arts Designs. Lynn has been collecting penguins forever and the whole idea just started rolling like a large snow ball down a hill. They wanted a gallery name that would capture the whimsical feeling of their art and they found the perfect one.
They wanted, and have created, a gallery that is funky, whimsical, and so Boulder Creek. This art gallery is not stuffy at all, it is fun and fresh. There are ceramics throughout that look like animals but are actually functional pieces of art by the Hennig’s. Watercolor paintings by Arline Anderson sit behind the front door. Acrylic paintings by Stephanie Allison are in every room that give us a glimpse into her dreams. Tile work is in the back room by Sam Markley who does custom orders. Stain glass work by Christine Moorhead is in the windows and a few lampshades in the store. The free flowing sculptures made out of found natural materials are made by Donna Stewman. Sprinkled throughout the store and complementing the art are collectibles and vintage items found by Lynn Markley also known as the Sgt. Penguin. The combination of art and vintage items gives the gallery a very lived-in and inviting feel. There are two chairs in the front for you to sit and lounge while you enjoy the art.
So what is in the future for the Sgt. Penguin’s? Lots, they chose this location because of it’s ample parking. Their vision is for this gallery to become a destination spot, kind of like Mountain Feed in Ben Lomond. They want to have a sculpture garden outside by summer time, possibly live music a few times a month, and maybe wine tasting in the future.
Dan & Laurie Hennig – One of the oldest ceramic studios in Santa Cruz, 40 years young in Boulder Creek.
Iver & Jennifer Hennig – Iver is the head of the Santa Cruz High ceramics department. He and his wife Jennifer have been creating together and living in Boulder Creek since 1995.
Arlene Anderson – Lived from 1920 – 2009, she was a Salinas girl who painted what she knew. The gallery is selling framed and unframed prints of her water colors.
Stephanie Allison – Is based in Clovis, California and is currently teaching ceramics and painting to middle and high school students. In her free time she paints.
Sam Markley – Is based in Salinas, California and takes custom orders for tile work.
Christine Charter Moorhead – Combines stain glass with natural items to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Lives and works in Boulder Creek.
Donna Stewman – Is based in Ben Lomond, has been a house designer for years, and is now enjoying a new found love of making art out of found natural items.