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I had the opportunity (and fun!) of painting a variety of platters/dishware for the upcoming “Art of the Table” auction (see previous post) to benefit the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. More than 20 artists were invited to contribute hand-painted pieces and the results were wonderful to see. Thank you to Margaret Stine and BIMA for hosting a lovely reception at the museum last night for the grand unveiling and display of the finished work, all fired and glazed. Here are a few shots of my work.

What a joy! Recently I was asked by the wonderful Margaret Stine, business partner and wife of artist and author Richard Stine, to participate in a terrific cause: a benefit for the newly opened Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

The event: “Art of the Table II,” a special waterfront dinner party and auction for 100 (by invitation only), coming up in September at a private home on Bainbridge Island.

The artist’s challenge? Painting on porcelain/pottery blanks–platters, bowls, plates etc. at Bainbridge Island’s Heart and Soul.

(The fun has been sitting side by side, working away with fellow Bainbridge Island artists and everyone one else who loves to paint–Heart and Soul is a hub of creativity and fun for all ages with birthday parties and summer camps.)

Little tables that dot the sunlit space and small bottles of paints and scraping tools and brushes with fine tips line each spot, ready to go.

Painting on ceramics is new to me. The colors in the wee bottles are a mere shadow of what they’ll be when fired in the kiln. So Peek-A-Boo pastel pink, so lovely and soft at first glance, might turn into something more vibrant and much more pink!

I’ve painted two platters with many layers of blues and turquoises, adding in the pinks I love with a dash of vibrant orange. I’m also painting a big platter with a very soft blue background and deeper hued blue botanicals.  And, last but not least, a pink dinner plate to be added to the collection of 10 unique dinner plates–each one painted by a different Island artist. (Oh, I almost forgot about the “Bunny Bowl” with its multi-colored flowers and teensy little white 3D bunnies lining the rim!)

Anway, stay tuned–once the pieces are glazed and fired in the kiln, all the colors will roar to life! I’ll post the pics

It’s been really fun  to be part of the group of artists painting on ceramics to benefit our lovely Island Museum: Richard Stine, Max Grover, Karen Sprague, Michael Pontieri and more.

It’s our anniversary! So we recently took a special little road trip to one of our favorite spots in Washington: Langley by the Sea, a sweet little town on the water where I show my work at Museo Gallery. (New work, opening August 3!). On our way, we stopped for a bit to explore the historic, and also seaside, town of Port Townsend, filled with grand old Victorian homes and intriguing brick inns, along with shops and restaurants lining the main street.

This trip, we ventured off the usual downtown destinations (William James Bookstore!) and discovered some new hidden gems. I am absolutely in love with the wonderful restaurant Sweet Laurette. Major swoon. Nested along a vintage-y Port Townsend quiet street, we sat outside in the little courtyard, surrounded by all sorts of  blooms and birds too,  bathing in a nearby bath.  Absolutely charming! Lunch was beyond amazing: moules frites (mussels and fries)–I’ve never tasted better.

Down the hill, we luckily (!) found a tiny, magical shop filled floor to ceiling with old fabulous books in every nook and cranny. “Insatiables: old, rare & curious books, always buying.” It was hard to know where to look first. We could’ve spent hours here–days even. But here’s what called out to me–two small books with cream and soft blue covers with pattern-so beautiful in a shy soft way. And inside, colorful romantic illustrations along with an inscription in a very old fashioned cursive style. (Copyright 1893, Poems by Whittier, Vol I and II).

Beautiful books from 1893.

Beautiful books from 1893.

We then headed to one of the most serene and pretty places–The Inn at Langley, surrounded by beautiful gardens, the sea, Georgia Gerber bronze sculptures (2 penguins hugging!) and a wood boardwalk with chairs and tables to just sit and do nothing but gaze out at the blue sea.

The Inn at Langley

The Inn at Langley

Pink ChampagneI was thrilled to see my painting Springtime in the Afternoon in the Inn’s lobby!

"Springtime in the Afternoon" in the Inn's lobby.

“Springtime in the Afternoon” in the Inn’s lobby.

Now, I’m back in the studio, inspired!

Happy Summer!

The studio has been a whirlwind lately! I’ve ignored summer’s tempting call to run outside and garden and beachcomb and bicycle because, quite honestly, the colors and canvases in the studio have been the main focus. Pinks and blues, reds and cream–irresistible to me. I am so happy to be holding brush in hand and working as I have for these past months for my show opening August 3 at Museo Gallery on Whidbey Island.

Whidbey Island, for those who don’t know about it, is northwest of Seattle, two ferries away from the island where I live.

I’ve loved Whidbey Island all my life, it always feels like home. My grandparents lived in this beautiful spot and one of the most vivid and happiest memories of  childhood are the little snippets in my mind from visiting them: the long drive on the shaded  graveled path under the towering firs and cedars (my brother and I would always struggle to be the first one out of the car–“I win!”), the sweet scent of blackberries, blueberries and raspberries basking in the sun, the huge rose garden my grandfather loved so much (he was actually a “tester” gardener for Jackson and Perkins’ new roses!), the garter snakes I used to catch (and release) in the woods, and of course, Churchill’s old candy store where we’d go for Pixie Sticks and plastic bottles filled with syrup, yum!

I tasted my first salmon at my grandparents’ home (he loved to cook!) in the woods on Whidbey Island. I remember being so delighted and surprised it was pink! (My favorite color!)

So, it’s always such a wonderful homecoming to come back to Whidbey and show my work in Langley at Museo. This will be my third show at this beautiful gallery (thank you owner and gallerist Sandra Jarvis) and one of many group shows that I’ve had the honor to be included in since 2009.

For this new collection of work, I’ve been very inspired by the dear memory of the old (and new) big perfumed roses my PawPaw nutured in such abundance in the sunny back fields behind their home. I’m also remembering my love of Paris with her embrace of the colors that I love the most (back to pink, blue, cream, red) and for the first time, I’ve added gold leaf to some of my paintings on plaster as a nod to the wondrous old French mansions, cathedrals and castles that are adorned floor to ceiling (and ceilings too!) with this bright ray of golden gleaming happy sunshine.

Birds and butterflies wing their way through my canvases and (new!) 36 x 48″  wooden panels.

In my new series of  five 40×16 canvases, the influence of 17th and 18th century chinoiserie abounds–deep greens, purples and oranges. Think age-old Japanese block prints, little lacquer boxes, kimonos. (Decades ago, my father brought my mother a beautiful deep green silk embroidered kimono long jacket from his many trips abroad and it never ceases to inspire my work.) Ukiyo-e “the art of floating” –enjoying the beauty of the present moment/Hiroshige art inspires with pattern and color.

I continue to be excited by the generous and very kind artists whose work I know and admire. We recently hopped a ferry from our island to Seattle to enjoy the gorgeous encaustic work by Seattle artist Joyce Gehl. Her botanical work and colors are breathtaking. I also love the geometric colors and vibrant patterns on plaster of Bainbridge Island artist Gregg Robinson.

Will Pope’s whimsical and narrative paintings of animals and more on color-infused plaster are just fantastic.

So even while I just adore Klimt, Chagall, Matisse, Bonnard, and the most amazing Paule Marrot (she loved pink!), it’s always nice to see the new paths and directions of artists painting in the here and now.

So, here’s a little sneak peek of the new collection I call “Narratives”: tales of color, love, relationships, of old, generations, history, PawPaw’s rose garden, Paris, chinoiserie.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

It’s a real honor to have my painting “Kaleena” included in Lilla Rogers’ new online marketing/licensing course. Thank you Lilla!

Kaleena, 36 x 24 inches

Kaleena, 36 x 24 inches

It was a thrill to be selected by Luxe Magazine, interiors +design (Pacific Northwest Edition) for their “Style Maker” section in the new Spring 2013 issue. I really want to give a huge TY to the Luxe team who were wonderful to work with: Jesse Bratter, Features Editor; Yelena Moroz, Writer; Olivia Lambert, Art Director; Amos Morgan, Photographer. The photo shoot was at Roby King Galleries and as always, Wes King and Andrea Roby King did everything to make the day.

PNW15-STYLE MAKERS-FRAGA-page-001

Exciting news! Two of my paintings “Remembering I and II” are on “The Office”–one of my favorite shows. Here’s the screen shot with Ed Helms “Andy” and Roseanne Barr. The originals are available through Kaller Fine Arts. And a BIG thank you to Grand Image, Seattle for the placement!

Office 1 Office 2

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