Sunday, December 13, 2009

Of pooches and paintings

It's December 13th and normally I would be consumed by the bustle of holiday-ing and friends, family and shopping. This year has been very different. I started the year helping a dear friend who fell and broke her shoulder and I'm ending the year nursing my beloved 13 year old pooch.

Both experiences have been quite something, a rollercoaster of emotion, heart squeezing and heart breaking, frustrating and immensely rewarding. I'm grateful that my busy gallery season came sandwiched in between, that I have, and have had, time to spend cherishing friends both two and four legged.

Studio time has been intermittent but rich when I am finally at the easel. In some ways I feel like a new mother, never really a big block of time for work. It must be squeezed in between the needs of someone who counts on you for everything.

My dearest pooch deserves it. She is a, now retired, working dog who has given everything to bring great joy and happiness just by being. It's her turn to be on a big fluffy pillow, catered to and pampered. Dear sweet Athena ... long live the queen.

I am still working in the studio... here is a recent commission propped amongst my studio stock before being sent off into the world.

Athena finding a cozy spot amongst all the paintings.

One of my latest, first draft, for a new composition.

A warm and wonderful holiday season to you and yours.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I don't ever have to go far to find something that makes me want to paint. The images are not exceptional but the memory of the walk and the colors in the photographs push me toward the easel with plenty of ideas, cropping, stretching, combining two images, it is all fuel for the fire.

A good weekend in the studio is all I need. Well maybe a few tail wags and a walk too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Progress and blessings

Second coat of paint on the two new diptychs.

The two vertical panels look to me like they want to be more... 3 4 or 5 panels long, a good panorama ocean scape.

Warmest wishes and much gratitude this holiday. As the darkness lengthens and winter days grow short, there is so much to be thankful for, health, dear friends and family and a boss that gives me the weekend off. Blessings and good cheer.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good Stuff

Congratulations to dear gal pal Monica Wiesblott, Los Angeles Printmakers newest member! See her submission HERE. Well done.

A new (to me) cooking blog that I adore. 101 Cookbooks by blogger Heidi Swanson. A big thanks for the wonderful recipes. Life is savory and sweet.

I am back to work in the studio. New paintings are bubbling forth and printmaking is making some good background noise. Seems I will be focusing on the seashore once again, in duplicate, possibly triplicate.

Rough sketch in of lines and background on a long diptych... with bit of pooch on the side.

Second diptych with two vertical panels soon to be 3 or 4 and with the first coat of paint.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sullivan Goss Exhibitions

My fabulous Santa Barbara dealer, Sullivan Goss, has had some server woes and website snaffus this past week. They have three fantastic shows up right now, truly not to be missed. Here are the video links to peruse before heading over to see the real thing. It's a great way to spend the holiday weekend with the family... wandering through the galleries, lunch at the Arts & Letters Cafe and perhaps, maybe, take home a painting!

Video brochures:

100 Grand Exhibit

John Nava - Facing West

Lastly, with only a couple weeks left, Robert Townsend.

Go, see, do.... then report back.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Recession? Let's talk

Joanne Mattera posted this article on her blog recently "What recession?"

It's worth a look and a gasp. Perhaps it's heartening but maybe just out in left field.

I love Joanne's blog. She has a fabulous article every week "Marketing Mondays". Great information for artists at every level.

A few more wee prints to ponder on Etsy

Two framed, two just matted but all ready and willing to find new homes. Find them listed at my shop on Etsy HERE.

Desert Vista drypoint etching 2x2" matted and framed 8x10"

Homestead etching 2x2" matted and framed 8x10"

Central Park 3 color linocut 2x2" matted 8x10"

Central Park aquatint 2x2" matted 8x10"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

New Prints on Etsy

I just uploaded new prints from my archives to my Etsy shoppee. Aquatints, etchings and drypoints Oh My. All ready for the upcoming gift giving season. More to come!!

Wetlands aquatint 4x4" matted to 14x11"

Waterway drypoint 4x4" matted to 14x11"

Desert Vista drypoint 4x4" matted to 14x11"

Sea sugar lift etching 3.75x9.75" matted to 12.25x16.5"

Keys Sky framed reproduction image 5.75x6.5" finishes size 13x14"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sullivan Goss - new exhibition

A new show opened at Sullivan Goss last Thursday - 100 Grand. An exhibition of 100 paintings all priced at or under $1,000. A show of affordable gems to take away for that last minute holiday gift or to spruce up the house before guests arrive.

Susan Bush the gallery director has narrated a wonderful video on SGTV to show off some of the work that can be found adorning the gallery walls. Here are my four contributions to the new exhibit. Show runs through January 2010.

Island Pass 12x12" oil on birch panel

Late Island Spring 12x12" oil on birch panel

Wayward 12x12" oil on birch panel

Westerly 12x12" oil on birch panel

Sullivan Goss
7 & 11 East Anapamu St
Santa Barbara, CA
805 730 1460

Monday, October 26, 2009


Yes, it's true, only one more week left of the Sullivan Goss exhibition, AIR EARTH FIRE WATER. Saturday, October 31st is the last viewing day before I collect what remains of the show from the gallery.

Here are a couple shots of the installation a day before the reception in August.

It is also the last opportunity to see these two beauties before they disappear into private collections. Many others are already at home with new owners and the remaining collection will be finding new venues to be seen in the months ahead.

"Island Hop" 29.5x19.5"

"Arroyo Hondo" 36x48"

It is also the final week of the Santa Barbara Printmakers 16th Annual exhibition at the downtown public library. It's a beautiful show, to be reviewed in this Friday's Scene magazine. Library hours are Monday thru Thursday 10-8pm Fridays 10-5.

Tree Trio, solar etching

Coming up in November at Sullivan Goss, "100 Grand", thirty artists, 100 paintings under $1,000. This show opens in November during First Thursday events, November 5th from 5-8pm. I hear that most of the artists will be in attendance for the event. It's not to be missed.

"Mountain Pasture", 12x12"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Art Week

There is a plethora of exhibitions this week, the first week/weekend of October. Several of which I will be included. Three shows will be included in Santa Barbara Downtown Organization First Thursday events from 5-8pm, October 1st.

Sycamore 48x36" oil on birch panel ©2009

AIR I EARTH I FIRE I WATER at Sullivan Goss downtown will be have an open reception. This is the last month my show will be hanging in the gallery.

Tidal Zone 1 8x8" blind embossing ©2009

The Santa Barbara Arts Fund presents "Reflections and Projections: Arts Fund Individual Artist Award Winners 1988-2008" at the Channing Peake Gallery, in the County Building at the corner of Anapamu Street and Anacapa Street in Santa Barbara.

Kelp 2 8x4" solar etching ©2009

The Santa Barbara Printmakers is holding their 16th Annual Open Juried exhibition being held at the Faulkner Gallery in the Public Library on Anampu Street. This has always been a wonderful show in Santa Barbara. The printmakers group has a 100 members using all forms of the medium. It makes for a visual feast. Reception and awards start at 5pm on Thursday.

Low Tide 7x5" multi plate collograph ©2009

Lastly, the annual Small Images exhibition, a local favorite, opens Friday, October 2nd from 5-7pm at Santa Barbara City College's Atkinson Gallery. This show is a long time tradition in Santa Barbara and the few spaces in the gallery are highly sought after by the local artists. I have had the great good fortune to be accepted on many occasions and find it to be one of the most exciting shows in town.

Hope to see everyone around the galleries this weekend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Updates and post No. 200

It's hard to believe that it's already Fall and September will come to a close in a week. Where did the month go?! My exhibition at Sullivan Goss, AIR I EARTH I FIRE I WATER will be up for one more month, closing on November the 1st.

The over-achiever that I am, I delivered far more work than there was space on the walls so the gallery is slowly replenishing and rotating the paintings as they sell. I was told by a friend that many new things were to be found at the gallery this week.

This month has been an amalgam of projects. I spent a week at a classic Japanese woodworking workshop, Moku Hanga, learning a new form of printmaking. (I WILL be posting images, I promise!) Of course coming home from that meant clearing a space in my studio and ordering all the proper tools to be able to make these prints in my studio. At the same time, many group shows were looming. I frenetically went through all my drawers and pulled out prints and started matting and framing for the upcoming onslaught of Fall obligations. It was 3 or 4 days just cutting mats and another putting the frames together. I do think at last I'm ready.

Many of these matted gems are now adorning the lists of my Etsy shop and there are many more stacked and waiting to be added. The black and white prints will follow and perhaps something larger than the 2x2" image!

Here's a preview:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Newspress Review

Art after, and during, the fires : Longtime local artist Nicole Strasburg returns to the main gallery of Sullivan Goss with impressive new paintings

August 21, 2009 11:06 AM

When: through Nov. 1
Where: Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, 7 E. Anapamu St.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily
Information: 730-1460,

Given that Nicole Strasburg has, for many years, been one of the more intriguing landscape artists with an eye on - and roots in - Santa Barbara, it makes poetic sense that she would be among the first and strongest artists to make a direct response to life in the "year round fire season." After three fires in the Santa Barbara area in a year, and yet another recent blaze, the La Brea Fire, the ever-present threat and reality of fire in these parts is more pressing than ever before.

In some of her new paintings, Strasburg takes an unflinching but also carefully visualized look at the phenomenon and ambience of fire zones and fire consciousness.

Fire, and the danger and regenerative results thereof, becomes a part of the landscape, in other words, and a part of the collective mentality of life in Santa Barbara.

Beyond the unique presence of art about flames, though, for her third exhibition in the main gallery of Sullivan Goss, Strasburg goes literally elemental. This show, called "Air Earth Fire Water," delivers precisely what the title promises, but through the aesthetic filter of the artist's discerning eye and distinctive, dry stylistic voice.

Whereas her earlier shows in Sullivan Goss' high-ceilinged gallery found her painting to scale, stretching her scale to epic proportions, the new work scales back to dimensions akin to her earlier work. Apart from the large-ish paintings of kelp, depicted with the artist's skill for semi-abstractionist visual interpretation, the paintings are more manageable in scale.

She has also ventured more deeply into an exploration of the power of multiples. In addition to the singular eloquence of paintings such as "Island Hop," with its brittle luster, Strasburg also calls on the contrast and sequential aspect of the diptych. Wavy amber grasses undulate across panels in "Island Hike," waves and mottled colors create a sudsy panache over three panels in the triptych "Surf," and the crisp, barren lucidity of "Badwater, Death Valley" generates a strange beauty amidst the bleakness of unruly clouds and minimalist horizontal land below.

In a sense, the highlight and possibly the leitmotif of this exhibition is a series of 24 small square panels, assembled into a fragmented checkerboard depiction of the elements.

Swaths of sky, coastline, vegetation and, yes, flames in motion, are conjoined and also disconnected in this format, setting up echoes and rhythms of line and texture. The parts make up the whole, even in their discontinuity.

With this latest batch of paintings, Strasburg continues her impressive project of chronicling the natural life and times of Santa Barbara's environs, fire included. Meanwhile, she also makes inquiries into interior landscapes and new ways of seeing and being.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Prints on Etsy

Now that the show has opened at Sullivan Goss I am finally getting back to all the paperwork on my desk, the lists piling next to the keyboard. Updating my shop is one of the tasks needing attention. Two new prints of the pooches have been added one each of Athena and Skye in their quiet sleep positions.

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