Saturday, December 27, 2008

Looking back at 2008

What a year 2008 has been, full of landmark anniversaries and new additions, special events and celebrations despite the economic turmoils of the times. Most notably, Chemers Gallery has kicked off our 30th Anniversary celebrations over the summer with our email partners. Exclusive to our email partners are events and special deals on artworks. One memorable event was a screening of "GREASE," the number one movie from 30 years ago, complete with pizza, beer, hot popcorn and candy. We can't wait to plan the next one! All of this is leading up to the big anniversary bash, set for spring 2009.

Cedar Way, North Laguna
Mary Aslin

We have welcomed so many new artists and artisans to Chemers Gallery, it's hard to keep track! Longtime client Pete Roberts now shows his beautiful watercolors with Chemers, and has introduced us to the work of Joseph Stoddard, another fabulous watercolorist. Early in 2008, award winning pastel artist Mary Aslin joined our artist family. A particular honor was to be chosen by Jacqueline Kamin to represent her traditional still lives after the closure of her own gallery, J Kamin Fine Art. Through our show for the Tustin Art League we discovered John Sawyer's beautiful California landscapes. From the east coast we have Scott Amrhein's dramatic glassware, and from San Francisco, Maria Mayr's playful still lives and landscapes. We have more jewelry now than ever, with great chunky necklaces by Jackie Jones, kinetic rings by Ithil Metal Works, delicate earrings and necklaces by Betty's Beads, and semi-precious stone concoctions by Amy Kekst.

Bush Lupine Study, Santa Barbary Country
Dave Chapple

We've also welcomed newer work from longtime favorites. Carol Jessen has sent us a beautifully rendered figure bathed in morning light, called "Mekong Light," along with her moody cityscapes. Leslie Lowinger sent us some wonderfully playful new "Walking Stick" etchings. If you look closely, you might see a witch on her broomstick in a few of the squares! Bonnie Holmes has been delighting us with her calm, soothing sea and riverscapes in a wonderful sherbert of colors. Jim Wodark has also kept busy throughout the year, producing gorgeous California landscapes in his characteristic style. Dave Chapple has recently introduced a new series of "Field Studies" in response to the economy. All are small works that are losely painted, affordable at under $1000. We've also continued to update our jewelry with Ayala Bar's new lines throughout the year.

Spray of Pink
Jacqueline Kamin

Chemers Gallery has hosted several special exhibitions thoughout 2008, from April's "Scenes of Tustin" exhibition in association with TACFA, to the Santa Ana College Invitational Show of Faculty and Student Work, from an intimate "Meet the Artists" evening with Bonnie Holmes and Mary Aslin, to an introduction of Jacqueline Kamin's elegant still lives and her daughter Stacy Kamin's vibrant figurative works. And of course, who could forget our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing?

Now more than ever there is a need to support the arts, because the arts provide so much enrichment in our lives. The effects of the economy have been felt everywhere, including major art museums, some of whom are postponing special exhibitions until better times.

A sample of our economy line of frames

There is also a need to support your local small businesses during these difficult economic times. Chemers Gallery is more than happy to listen to your budget needs and work with you to make sure you and your wallet are happy. We have many items that are under $100, ranging from Soap Rocks to jewelry, ceramics and glassware to small artworks. For those larger items, we offer layaway options with no interest. For your framing needs, we have several economy lines of frames, so your frames will look like a million bucks without costing a million bucks.

Any requests or suggestions for events? Drop us a line or give us a call. We are always looking for innovative ideas!

Thank you to our loyal clients, wonderful artists and artisans, and all who have helped to make 2008 a momentous year!

Have a safe and healthy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Top Picks for the Holiday Season for $100 and Under!!

It's the holiday season again, and you know what that means! Why not avoid the malls this year and support your local artisans and businesses? Many are surprised to discover that Chemers Gallery carries so many gift items in addition to fine art and custom framing. Many more are surprised to discover that you can find special art objects for very reasonable prices. Here are my top gift picks for that special someone, and believe it or not, each and every one of them are under $100:

Ceramic Art
Local artists Karen Thayer, Richard Barrier and Connie Major have such an intriguing sense of texture and form. These little beauties range in size, color and price. You may have seen Richard and Connie at our recent Santa Ana College Ceramic show. We have more work by each of these talented artists in a similar range of prices - we think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Original Paper Mache by Mary Zarbano
Mary has had a long and wonderful career in the arts. Her richly colored, dream-like paintings are gorgeous and sometimes mystical. If you or someone you know is a fan of her work, this small figurine, called Seated Bird Lady, would make the perfect gift.

Accessorize, Accessorize
With the colder weather coming, why not snuggle into a softly woven scarf by Georg Palmer? Or add a punch of Euro-style with scarves from Italy? The holidays are the perfect time to show off your inner art lover with deliciously supple leather goods from ICON, which come in a wide range of styles and images. We're happy to place special orders as well!

Original Artwork by Andie Haynes
This monotype in wine by Andie Haynes would be such a special little gift for any art connoisseur. Andie's pieces are simply one-of-a-kind. She hand stitches over each printed image with threads and knots, creating new depths and dimensions. She has created complementary monotypes in a variety of colors, and they are just crying out for a lovely little frame!

Funky Glassware
Give the gift of a conversation starter with these fun glass tumblers by Kent Kahlen and Paul Counts! Each tumbler is hand blown, no two alike. Not only fun, but functional as well, mix and match for a truly unique table setting.

Bonnie Holmes Skincare
Why not treat someone to luxurious, spa-quality skincare? With a range of facial cleansers, moisturizers and balms, Bonnie Holmes has created a natural line of skin products that utilize the purest plant-derived ingredients. My favorite is the Satin Body and Bath Oil; use just a little after a shower, and your skin will be smooth and silky all day.

Photo Frames
Who doesn't have a slew of photographs floating around just waiting for the perfect frame? We have a range of photo frames in different sizes and styles to suit any occasion or need. Any of these beautiful frames would complete a table-top display or make a wonderful hostess gift.

Glass Hearts by Robert Held
Beautifully crafted hand-blown glass hearts by Canadian artist Robert Held would make the perfect stocking-stuffer! Easy to personalize by choosing the recipient's favorite color, these glass hearts are sure to be a big hit year-round.

Children's Books signed by the Illustrator
Signed children's books are precious gifts for all ages. Come in for recommendations, suggestions, or just a good old-fashioned read! Books are available from this year's Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing, as well as selected books from previous years. We also have unsigned books available for 30% off!

Jewels, Jewels, and More Jewels!
We have jewelry, loads of jewelry! Beautiful necklaces, earrings and bracelets, all to jazz up your holiday outfits or your every day clothes. Check out Ayala Bar's earrings - teeny tiny wearable mosaics - or Anne Koplik's vintage-inspired accessories. While you're at it, dig through our dish of funky Tokyo Bay and Sonja Paz watches. Telling time has never been so stylish!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Award-Winning Illustrators at Chemers Gallery: See the OC Register Article Here!

Elisa Kleven, Melissa Sweet, Holly Meade, Zachary Pullen, and Beth Krommes

THANK YOU Elysse James, for your great article about the award-winning participants in our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustration Show & Signing for the Tustin News!

Check it out on the OC Register website!

Who is who?
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Don't forget, we still have signed books available from this year's show! The original art will be on display through December 20th, so hurry in before this wonderful event is over for another year!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What a Wonderful Show!

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing - the artists, the volunteers, our guests! We had a great turnout of kids, adults, art enthusiasts and the young at heart. This year's event benefited the Orange County Ronald McDonald House, an amazing children's charity that provides a home away from home for the families of sick children while they're receiving treatments.

Elisa Kleven, Holly Meade, Ronald McDonald, Melissa Sweet, Zachary Pullen, and Beth Krommes in our lecture tent.

Our five featured illustrators came from far and wide to attend this great event, some from as far away as Main. They gave fascinating talks about their profession, and signed so many books we thought their arms would go numb!

If you weren't able to make it to the opening on December 6th, don't despair! The show continues through December 20th, and we still have many signed books for sale.

Ronald and Zachary Pullen

Magic with the kids

The kids (and some adults!) as a captive audience!

Our fabulous volunteers!

Holly Meade, showing us that "That's What Friends Are For."

Beth Krommes enjoys time with our young guests

Elisa Kleven, Melissa Sweet, Holly Meade, Zachary Pullen, and Beth Krommes

Monday, December 1, 2008

Karen Raab Featured in a Podcast on "Just One More Book!!"

Chemers Gallery doesn't get to toot our own horn very often, so we give a very special thanks to Mark Blevis, of "Just One More Book!!", for tooting it for us! Mark conducted a fantastic interview with Karen about our Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing, and it's featured today on their website! You can get the scoop on how it all started at Chemers Gallery with Rita and Daniel San Souci seventeen years ago. You might be surprised at just how much work goes into this amazing yearly event, and when people start anticipating this show. You can click the banner below to listen to the interview:

"Just One More Book!!" reviews favorite children's books, authors, illustrators, publishers and others in the children's book industry. It is a jewel of a site for parents, educators, enthusiasts and professionals in the industry of children's literature.

Meanwhile, Chemers Gallery is diligently putting the final touches on our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing, taking place this Saturday, December 6th, 2008 from 1:00-5:00pm.

Come for the Art & Books and Stay All Day
Lectures & Demonstrations by the Illustrators & Authors

2:00 Canceled Linda Zielinski: We will miss her, but welcome her again next year
2:25 Zachary Pullen: "Kids as an Audience"
2:50 Beth Krommes: "The Story Behind 'The House in the Night'"
3:15 Melissa Sweet: "Picture This: The Making of a Picture Book"
3:40 Elisa Kleven: "Creating Magical Miniature Worlds in Children's Books"

Ronald McDonald will also be in attendence on Saturday from 2:00pm until 4:00pm! Bring the kids!

Hope to see you Saturday!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cathy's Picks!


2008 Children's Book Illustration Show & Signing

December 6th, 1-5 pm

Pick my favorite? There are so many illustrations to choose from and they're so wonderful and they're all so different. How can I possibly?

Well, I guess if Jennifer can pick her favorite books, I can pick my favorite illustrations. So, here goes... I'll do my best.

Elisa Kleven
from the book, "Wishing Ball"

I think this little cat is so joyful and innocent. Elisa Kleven has created vibrant colors with water color, gouche, and bits of paper in this striking but simple piece. In the story "Wishing Ball", a stray cat wishes for a place to belong and someone to belong to. As seen in this delightful illustration Nellie has a dream that a wishing star comes down from the sky and plays with her. Don't you hope her wish will come true?

Melissa Sweet
from the book "Charlotte in Paris"
mixed media

When you see this lovely little piece in person it just pops! Melissa Sweet painted a garden scene in Paris with a deckeled edge, then topped with a hand made detailed "seed packet" attached. "Charlotte in Paris" is the first of a series of early chapter books about a young girl who's father is an impressionistic painter during the late 1800's, who brings his family along on his travels to Paris. This page illustrates a gift to Charlotte from none other than Monsieur Monet!

Beth Krommes
from the book, "Butterfly Eyes"

Such strong design and detail, I want to wander into this lively meadow! Beth Krommes has created this beautiful scene with scratchboard in amazing, fine detail, then makes an archival reproduction and adds watercolor to complete the illustration. "Butterfly Eyes" is an unusual and fascinating mix of poetry and scientific facts about the plants and creatures in the meadow. Along with this illustration are the answers to riddles about Spittlebug and Xylem & Phloem... I never would have guessed!

Holly Meade
from the book, "Sky Sweeper"
cut paper collage

I love the movement as your eye travels with the boy and the cat. Using paper collage, Caldecott Award winner Holly Meade, gently tells a story with patterns, simple shapes, and a soft calming palette. In this illustration from the "Sky Sweeper", young Takeboki sweeps the garden through the spring and summer which is just the beginning of his life long devotion of caring for the garden.

Zachary Pullen
from the book, "The Toughest Cowboy"
oil on paper

Zachary Pullen's characters are HILARIOUS! What can I say? I laughed out loud when I turned to this page of "The Toughest Cowboy". Grizz, the toughest of all, decided he needed another kind of companion other than his scruffy, rough around the edges cowboy buddies. The above illustration is their reaction when he tells them what their duties will be to care for "Foofy"!

That was tough! So, those are my picks, at least today. If you ask me tomorrow I'd look through all these wonderful illustrations and agonize about it all over again. Come in and choose for yourself which ones are your favorites!

...or browse our website. Your comments are welcome.

Cathy June Arneson


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Thursday, November 27, 2008


Chicken Dance
from Chicken Joy
Melissa Sweet

"Laissez les bon temps rouler!" (Let the good times roll!)

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving, from all of us at Chemers Gallery!

Holiday Hours
Thursday, Nov. 27th, closed
Friday, Nov. 28th, 10:00am-6:00pm
Saturday, Nov. 29th, 10:00am-5:00pm

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jennifer's Picks!

Our 17th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing is almost here! We have around 200 original illustrations from our five wonderful illustrators, and about 40 books for signing and dedication.

Don't forget, book pre-sales end November 29th!

Wishing Traditions Around the World
Written by Roseanne Thong
Illustrations by Elisa Kleven


Wish is a delightful look at the many wishing traditions throughout the world, and takes you from the United States to India, Japan, Israel, Russia, even Australlia. The above illustration shows the wishing tradition of Brazil, where people jump seven waves on New Year's Day and throw flowers and combs into the waters. These are offering for the goddess of the sea, who will grant their wishes. Elisa Kleven has created beautifully intricate collage artworks to highlight the many cultures of the world. For me, the best thing about Wish is that it gives children an early awareness of the world around them. The pictures are engaging, so not only do you read about the traditions, you also see the traditions in action. Besides, who doesn't love making wishes?

The House in the Night
Written by Susan Marie Swanson
Illustrations by Beth Krommes

Sleeping Dog

The House in the Night is the newest book illustrated by Beth Krommes. This is a soothing good-night book for little ones, taking them through a journey to sleep. Based on the nursery rhyme "This is the key of the kingdom" from The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, The House in the Night follows a similar progression in it's narrative. Beth's scratchboard illustrations are stunningly sophisticated in this black and white and golden yellow book. I love the way the words to The House in the Night draw you directly into the pages and into the illustrations. You can almost make up your own stories when you look at the images, opening the gateway for sleepy-time dreams.

That's What Friends Are For
Written by Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Van Clief
Illustrations by Holly Meade

Theodore Lying Down

A sweet story about friendship, That's What Friends Are For is the tale of Theodore the elephant, delayed from meeting his cousin by an injured leg. All of his forest friends are more than willing to give helpful advice about how he can make the journey to the other side of the jungle, like swinging from the tree branches with his trunk (from the monkey), or growing a new leg (from the crab). Finally the opossum stands to be the voice of reason, urging the others to help Theodore instead of offering advice. Holly Meade composed these adorable illustrations out of watercolor collage, creating a wonderfully three-dimensional and textured effect. I think this is a great book for all ages because it reminds us exactly what friends are for, to help us when times are tough.

Friday My Radio Flyer Flew
Written and Illustrated by Zachary Pullen

Grease Monkey

A wonderful story about the bond between father and son and the power of dreams, Friday My Radio Flyer Flew is the first book both written and illustrated by Zachary Pullen. While exploring the attic together, the pair discover Dad's old Radio Flyer, and his son becomes determined to make it fly. Zak's incredible oil on canvas illustrations are so delightful to look at. The figures are so very expressive, and each image is full of little details that keep you coming back to look again. I think this is a fabulous book because you can tell it's been a labor of love for Zak, and it feels like a very personal story. It makes me remember trying to emulate my dad in the garage when I was little, just like the young boy in this book does. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can relate to this lovely story.

Won't You Be My Hugaroo?
Written by Joanne Ryder
Illustrations by Melissa Sweet

Piggy & Zebra Greeting

Won't You Be My Hugaroo is an absolutely adorable book about the different kinds of hugs to give and receive. Follow friends and their parents to an amusement park for a fun-and-hug-filled day. Together, they give twirly hugs, off-we-go hugs, tickle hugs, and best of all, a cozy hug at the end of the day. This is a great companion to Won't You Be My Kissaroo, about the different kinds of kisses there are. Melissa Sweet's mixed-media illustrations are youthful and uplifting, and make you smile as you flip through this book. As a big fan of hugs myself, this book immediately spoke to me and made me want to share it with those that I care about. In this way, Won't You Be My Hugaroo is another kind of hug you can give.

We have many more books to offer, all with stunning artwork. If you need recommendations, just ask! For a complete book list, please follow this link:

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Signed Books and Original Illustrations, Oh My!

The invitations are out! If you're on our (snail mail) mailing list you should receive yours Monday or Tuesday of this week. Don't worry if you didn't get one, everyone is welcome and there's no charge for admission. All the details are below...

17th Annual Children's Book Illustration Show
and Book Signing

Saturday, December 6th, 2008
Show Continues through Dec. 20th

Children's Books and Original Illustrations
Available for Pre-Sale NOW Through Nov. 29th!

Our 2008 illustrators!

Elisa Kleven, Beth Krommes, Holly Meade, Zachary Pullen and Melissa Sweet

Enderle Center
17300 17th St, Ste. G
Tustin, CA 92780

You've been waiting, we've been working hard to select a great group of illustrators. This year's illustrators promise to bring a diverse mix of techniques. Don't take our word for it. Come in and see for yourself! More than 40 books are available and about 200 illustrations for presale until November 29th. Pre-order your books today and we'll have them signed and dedicated for you. They'll be ready and waiting for you at the show on December 6th. Don't wait until the last minute to pre-order your books because we get grumpy!

If you can't make it to the event on December 6th, you can pick up your pre-ordered books after the show at your convenience.

The day of the event you'll be able to meet the illustrators, view and purchase their original illustrations and listen to their presentations throughout the afternoon. There will still be an opportunity to make last minute book purchases, though we can't guarantee a supply of all titles the day of the show.

The original illustrations used to make these extraordinary books are also available for pre-sale. Here's a sneak peek at our featured artists:

Elisa Kleven: Returning for a third time to Chemers Gallery, Elisa brings an almost primitive charm to her illustrations. She creates magical worlds out of watercolor, cut up paper and bits of fabric. She has always wanted to fly like Peter Pan, and does so through many of her characters, including the award-winning Paper Princess. Her newest book, City of Angels, highlights all the great sites in Los Angeles.

Beth Krommes: Beth's delightfully unique illustrations are made using a combination of scratchboard and watercolor. She has illustrated The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish, which won numerous awards including the Golden Kite Award for Illustration. Beth's intricate illustrations in her latest book, The House in the Night, are receiving rave reviews.

Holly Meade: A Caldecott Honor Award winner, Holly uses a variety of techniques to create her stunning illustrations, including paper collage and woodblock prints. She has also been awarded
The Charlotte Zolotow Honor for the creative writing of John Willy and Freddy McGee. The artwork shown to the left is a woodblock from her newest book, On The Farm.

Zachary Pullen: As the creator of wonderfully expressive character-oriented illustrations, Zachary has transitioned from editorial work to children's book illustration. His just released Casey & Derek is an action-filled hockey story sure to delight the boys. Zak's use of oil on canvas and paper is masterful and stunning to see up close. Friday My Radio Flyer Flew was both written and illustrated by Zak.

Melissa Sweet: Melissa uses a wide variety of materials to create her adorable illustrations, from watercolors to collages of ephemera. Carmine: A Little More Red, the first book that she both wrote and illustrated, won the Lupine Award Honor for 2005. With more than 40 books to her credit, Melissa's most recent book, A River of Words, is a true story about the poet William Carlos Williams.

10% of art sales go to the Orange County Ronald McDonald House, a wonderful children's charity that provides comfortable and affordable housing to families who need to seek medical treatments for their seriously ill children at nearby medical facilities.
Hurry into Chemers Gallery to check out all of this year's books and illustrations!

Book publishers include Candlewick, Chronicle, Dutton, Farrar, Harcourt, Harper, Houghton, Knopf, Marshall Cavendish, Penguin, Putnam and Simon & Schuster.

To view this year's BOOK LIST, CLICK HERE.

If you'd like to be added to our email list to receive more information about this wonderful show, or any other gallery events, please click the link below. Or just give us a call!

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