Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Party Like It's 2009!

Chemers Gallery

What a year 2009 has been! We, at Chemers Gallery, have been busy as ever, striving to bring you, our wonderful and loyal clients, nothing but excellence throughout the last 12 months despite the continued economic challenges.

Left: Rage Against the Meshugenah by Danny Evans
Right: We Eat Food That's Fresh, illustrated by Cathy June (Arneson)

We kicked off January to the news that one of our 2008 children's book illustrators, Beth Krommes, won the Caldecott Award, while another participant from the same year, Melissa Sweet, won a Caldecott Honor! To add to our literary events, Karen's brother-in-law, Danny Evans, wrote his first book, Rage Against the Meshugenah. His book was released through Penguin, and we hosted a special book signing event for him in August. In September was an extra-special book signing for our own Cathy June (Arneson), who illustrated her first children's book! Since being released in July, We Eat Food That's Fresh has won two Moonbeam awards (Pre-School Picture Book Silver Award & Best Illustrator Silver Award). Way to go, Cathy! The year rounded off with our 18th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing in December, benefiting The Wooden Floor. This show boasted our biggest crowd ever.

Tustin Treasure by Pete Roberts, part of the "City of Trees" exhibition

Chemers Gallery hosted and participated in a number of events during the first half of 2009. In January, the Bureau of Jewish Education used Chemers Gallery as a venue for their annual Dinner With a Scholar fundraising event program, featuring guest speaker Erwin Chemerinsky. In February we hosted a Jewelry Trunk Show with artists Michelene Berkey, Bill Gallagher, Birgitt Hellemann and Amy Kekst. These four distinctly accomplished artists shared their collections of jewelry with us and even let us model their pieces for them! March saw the Enderle Center's annual Bridal Show come around, and once again we were delighted to have Turville Photography share the gallery space with us for the event. For the second time, Chemers Gallery teamed up with the Tustin Art League and TACFA to host "City of Trees," an exhibition open to local artists, both amateur and professional. In May, the West Wing of the Enderle Center hosted a very special event that we called the Sip'N'Stroll. Clients were treated to hors d'oeuvres, desserts, champagne, live music and even a progressive poker game as they wound their way through the stores. Chemers Gallery held a wine and chocolate tasting during the event.

Canyon Sunset, Suite of Six by Carson Gladson

2009 saw several new additions to the gallery artists. We were excited to welcome master printmaker Dirk Hagner and his beautiful textual landscapes and nudes. Campbell Laird's stunning abstract digital art captured Karen's imagination and can capture yours as well! Carson Gladson's transluscent contemporary watercolors can now be found within our inventory, and we became re-aquainted with John Maxon's bold landscapes after many years apart. We were introduced to Mary Hammond's intricately designed scarves and shawls by our good friend Michael Mora. Her work is so delicate and light hearted in its patterns and colors. We have been joined by several new jewelery artists, including Sue Wintner, Dinna Yesachar and Joanna Craft.

Desert Tree Vase by David Lindsay of Lindsay Art Glass

We're also thrilled to carry fused glass soap dishes, sushi sets and "light catchers" from Leona Hawks and elegant glass vases and bowls by David Lindsay of Lindsay Art Glass. Beverly Jacobs now shows her uniquely textured ceramic bowls and vessels at Chemers Gallery. You may remember Jane Nishii's sophisticated ceramics from the SAC Ceramics show in 2008, well, we are excited to finally have more!

Silver Birch by Jennie Tomao

As always, we've gotten new artwork throughout the year from members of our gallery artist family. We've had the pleasure of receiving beautiful seascapes and florals from local pastel artist Mary Aslin, and colorful watercolors from Sandy Clark and Joseph Stoddard. Jim Wodark is on form with his lovely California plein air landscapes. Bonnie Holmes has been able to devote more time to her painting throughout the year and is starting to apply her soft color pallet to larger-scale sea and riverscapes. John Sawyer, yet another local, has been painting up a storm in the Tustin Hills area, and Bay Area artist James Groleau has used his travels to India to create a stunning suite of mezzotint portraits. We're happy to have classically painted nudes from Steve Shapona, another talented Bay Area artist. Jennie Tomao has been very good to us, showering us with gorgeous Tuscan landscapes and ethereal forest scenes. We have new smaller-scale "retro" paintings from Gerald Schwartz, as well as his larger, more well-known sky pieces. Brother and sister Troy and Kelly Viss are considering a "siblings" show with us for 2010, and if their current work is anything to go by, we already know they hang beautifully together.

Kimono by Maria Counts

Our talented three-dimensional artisans have been busy this year as well. Canadian glass artist Robert Held introduced a new line of "heartlets" to his glass heart paperweight series, and they are getting snatched up like candy! He's also introduced us to his Mosaic collection, reminiscent of Gustav Klimt. Ceramicist Lilia Venier made her annual trip to Chemers Gallery after the summer art festivals in Laguna Beach, bringing her signature whimsey and humor with a whole new series of hand carved and thrown teapots, bowls and boxes. To add to our ceramics collection, Maria Counts visited us with her playful teapots and brand new kimonos, each intricately stamped and glazed to create stunning patterns that mimics fabric. Ayala Bar has continued to wow us with her delicate and sometimes outrageous jewelry designs in beads, crystals and fabrics. Ayala's limited edition finery is always a tremendous hit. We were especially excited to see that her fabric cuff bracelets had returned to her repertoire early in 2009!

2009 was also the year that Chemers Gallery decided to embrace the new social media by joining social networking groups LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. We are still neophytes, but you can still link to us, tweet with us and become our fan. Our email list is in it's second year and with over 1000 contacts, we are going strong!

Color Board for Kaiser Permanente (left)
Coordinating photography by Murtuza Boxwala (right)

The last 12 months have witnessed several accomplishments and milestones among Chemers Gallery's dedicated staff. Karen was selected as the corporate art consultant for two medical office buildings for Kaiser Permanente, a project that involved the coordination of original and limited edition art and custom framing to complement existing art pieces and color schemes. She participates in an Israeli folk dancing group at least twice a week, and she's recently begun learning how to knit with friend and artist Bonnie Holmes. Cathy's had a big year too! In addition to her first children's book being released, she has remained an active pastel artist, winning 1st place for Figurative work in the United Society of Pastel Artists' annual membership exhibition. Her already large family has grown again with the addition of her tenth grandchild! Jennifer has stayed busy creating jewelry, photographing, and enjoying her first year of married life. She won 1st place for miscellaneous color photographs at the Orange County Fair in July. Our head framer, Robert, continues to amaze us with his talent, precision and creative problem solving needed in the frame department. Over the summer his family increased with the addition of his first child. (He's starting to look a little less sleep-deprived now.) Our framing department gained a second set of capable hands with the addition of Angelica, who is attending college locally and is an art major. Tyler, our resident jack-of-all-trades, joined our team again after lifeguarding throughout the summer. He earned his Firefighter One Certification this year.

Thank you loyal clients, talented artists and vendors who have supported us through our 31 years! Without you, none of this would be possible.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Appears at Chemers Gallery!

We, at Chemers Gallery, have been good boys and girls all year long!
Santa and his elves have made an early stop here at the gallery, delivering goodies.

Artwork by Noah Evans

We hope all of you have a safe and magical holiday!


Chemers Gallery Holiday Hours
Thurs. Dec. 24th - 10:00am-2:00-ish
Fri. Dec. 25th - CLOSED
Sat. Dec. 26th - 10:00-5:00pm
Sun. Dec. 27th - CLOSED
Mon.-Wed. Dec. 28th-30th - 10:00am-6:00pm
Thurs. Dec. 31st - 10:00am-3:00-ish
Fri. Jan. 1st - CLOSED - HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Sun. Jan. 3rd - CLOSED

Regular business hours resume Monday, January 4, 2010
Mon.-Fri. - 10:00am-6:00pm
Sat. - 10:00am-5:00pm
Sun. - by Appointment Only

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'Tis The Season

The holidays are upon us once again, and if you're like us, life gets in the way of precious holiday shopping time! To help you out, here are some gift ideas that are sure to make it easy without breaking the bank:

Gift Ideas for $100 and under

Signed Children's Books
If you missed out on this year's Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing, don't fret! We still have a fantastic selection of signed books available for you! Not just for children, there are books for adults as well. All are filled with exceptional art, most of which is still on display on our walls until December 19th. We also have datebooks, writing journals and holiday cards by Kristina Swarner. Click here for the 2009 book list.

Leona Hawks Glass & Soaprocks
Fused glass artist Leona Hawks produces an eclectic range of glass wares, from beautiful soap dishes and artfully designed "light catchers" to colorful sushi sets. A recent discovery for Chemers Gallery, Leona's beautiful glass pieces are hot ticket items, and make wonderful presents year-round. For an extra-special gift, pair one of her soap dishes with a color-contrasting Soaprock! Soaprocks are hypoalergenic, beautiful glycerin soaps that are Made in America.

For the objects d'art lover, ceramic works could be just the ticket. Kevin Nguyen's delicately structured small bottles look beautiful in groupings, and the contrasting smooth blue glazing and dark roughened earthenware are simply divine. Click here for more ceramic treasures by Maria Counts, Robin Reichelt, Lilia Venier and many more.

You'll get no complaints about the gift of jewelry, especially when it's a unique artisan-made piece! We have jewels galore in all price ranges. From the tailored look of local artist Bill Gallagher to the vintage-inspired glamour of Anne Koplik and many other talented artists, you're sure to find something she'll adore. The ladies of Chemers Gallery are happy to model necklaces, earrings and bracelets, just ask. Click here to see a selection of the baubles by Ayala Bar, Amy Kekst, and others.

Robert Held Heartlets
You're all familiar with Robert Held's beautiful hand-blown glass paperweights, and now he's got a new line of smaller, even more affordable "heartlets" for you! At just $17, these little gems make great stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, or just-because presents. Each "heartlet," like their bigger cousins, is blown by hand and signed by the artist himself. Prices are going up after the first of the year, so take advantage of their amazing under-$20 price while you can! BTW, Robert's larger hearts range in price from $29 - $50.

Tokyo Bay Watches
The ever-popular Tokyo Bay watches are sure to be a hit! With a wide range of color and design, these fashion watches suit a variety of tastes. A popular style is the Tram and the smaller Tramette. Oprah has even picked the Tram to go on her "O" List! The leather straps are durable and adjustable to fit all wrist sizes. Come on in to see other styles available!

ICON Handbags
If you haven't seen the beautifully detailed handbags, credit card holders and cosmetic bags from ICON, you need to check them out! Every soft leather bag is embedded with a reproduction of fine art, so the design won't rub off. Made from the highest quality materials, these leather goods are simply exquisite.

Bonnie Holmes Skincare
Who doesn't love to pamper themselves now and again? Bonnie Holmes Skincare leaves your skin feeling refreshed and renewed. We carry her whole line, including her recently re-introduced Original Skin Creme! My top pick from Bonnie's spa-quality line has to be her Roll-Away Creme. This once-a-week treatment exfoliates your skin and moisturizes it at the same time, leaving your face luxuriously soft. Click here for a full list of Bonnie Holmes Skincare products. For a more artful and higher priced gift check out Bonnie's artwork.

Don't forget about our range of hand-painted photo frames, beaded bracelets and Beacon Hill candles! Or, if you'd rather let them decide, give a gift certificate!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Great Time Was Had By All!

Ronald Himler
Rafael Lopez
Kelly Murphy
Kristina Swarner
Lee White

Be the first to match the name to the face in this picture and win a signed children's book! Just leave us a comment with your guess!

Thank you,
thank you,
thank you!

Our 18th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing was a huge success, and we couldn't have done it without our five talented illustrators, our wonderful volunteers from The Wooden Floor, and YOU, our fantastic clients! This year's show was the busiest we've ever had - take a look for yourself!

The 18th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing

Illustrators busy pre-signing over 600 books before the doors opened

Our dedicated volunteers on the left

Have you ever seen such a crowd?

Karen and Julia

Lee White and Rafael Lopez

Ronald Himler's presentation

Rafael Lopez doing his demo

The Whole Gang

The After-Party With the Illustrators, The Wooden Floor, Chemers Gallery and the Clients who Purchased Original Illustrations

Renate, Rafael and Joan

Volunteers from The Wooden Floor

Kelly, Antoine, Lisa, Lee and Kristina

Jennifer, Mike, Cathy, Mark, Jennifer, Liz and Riley

Kelly and Antoine

Cathy and Mary

Lisa, Lee and Kristina

If you missed the big event, don't worry! The artwork will be on display until December 19th, and there are still loads of signed books you can pick up for that special gift to a friend, relative or yourself. If you pre-ordered books, they are ready for you!

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Karen's Hot List

18th Annual Children's Book Illustrators

Show & Signing


Saturday, December 5th 1-5pm

At last, I have the opportunity to add my 2 cents about our illustrators and our upcoming fabulous book signing / illustration art show. Each year we say, “how can we possibly have as good illustrators as last year” but each year we have another stellar group. Which illustrations are my faves? you ask… Well, I’ll be so happy to share with you!

From "Brewster the Rooster" - Lee White

Let’s start with Lee White simply because his name occurs last in the alphabet. Lee’s sense of humor just makes me smile! So, I have chosen this view of Doc Sawyer checking Brewster with a stethoscope while the family crowds around offering their professional diagnoses. Don’t you just love that eye hanging out in the smack-dab-middle of the illustration!? Lee’s faces in Brewster the Rooster are so expressive, I know exactly what each character is thinking.

I love the textural quality of Lee’s mixed media illustrations. His use of bold bright colors really pulls me into to the whimsy of his illustrations that coordinate seamlessly with the text of the book.

Don’t think Lee’s a one trick pony. His editorial and personal work is quite serious and intriguing. We hope to have this work on a regular basis throughout the year.

From "Always With You" - Ronald Himler

Contrasting Lee’s whimsy with Ron Himler’s handling of topics often not discussed with children or discussed on a superficial basis is where I would like to go next. This illustration from Always With You of a young orphaned Vietnamese girl, Kim, who is rescued by American soldiers is so moving and powerful. Ron’s use of grays with only spot color highlights the feeling of despair this young girl must feel. The fact that only Kim is in color not only serves to show that she is the central figure, it also shows the good she senses from the soldiers.

Every time I see this piece, my heart skips a beat. And, the way we framed it – whoa - only adds to the entire feeling of this picture. I guess you’ll just have to come to the gallery to see it for yourself. No sneak preview here!

From "Fiona's Luck" - Kelly Murphy

My favorite illustration of Kelly Murphy’s comes from an out of print book we don’t even have. But, I do have to tell you, I saw Fiona’s Luck years ago and it is the reason I contacted Kelly to participate in our show. The muted colors Kelly used in this illustration give the feeling of days gone by and the cold dank Ireland environs. Yet, there is something warm and inviting about this illustration…Fiona’s kind face & the rounded figures Kelly uses to illustrate her characters.

Kelly’s technique is quite unique when you examine the illustration closely. She has created impressions in the paper by outlining from tracing paper. Then she deftly paints the illustration, skillfully layering colors to create her beautiful look.

From "Scholastic News" - Kristina Swarner

Kristina Swarner’s work is enchanting and mostly very small in size, but definitely not content or technique. Even so, I cannot resist her monumental illustration that was done for Scholastic News. Kristina sent us a picture of the illustration asking if we might like to have it for the show. My answer was an affirmative… that would be YES! Then seeing it in person, OMG. The sense of wonder created by this illustration makes my imagination soar.

It appears that Kristina has used a variety of techniques that we will all have to grill her on when we meet her on December 5th. What I can tell you is that there is every color in the rainbow masterfully placed to enhance every color in the scene. I would love to stroll through this flowered forest. And, look at the face on the charming child. You’ve got to love it!

From "Our California" - Rafael Lopez

After previewing the books and then seeing the art in person, the one illustration that gives such a different impression in the real form is this Yosemite scene from Rafael Lopez’s book Our California. I’ve never been to Yosemite and I’m not a camper (unless it’s at the Ritz Carlton), but this illustration is simply wonderful.

The vertical format is unusual but accentuates what I imagine to be the grandeur and majesty that is Yosemite. The colors, in the real life illustraion, almost glow and jump off the contrast of the night sky.

The illustration is acrylic painted on thin plywood. You can see the grain of the plywood through the paint along with textures worked in that remind me of American woodblock tradition. Besides, I just want to squeeze the squirrel’s cheek!

Plan to meet the artists, view over 200 original illustrations, select from over 40 book titles. You can click on the names of the illustrators above to see their work if you can't wait until Saturday. But, of course, they really come to life in person! See you Saturday, December 5th 1-5pm! Enjoy the illustrator lectures/demonstrations from 2-4pm to learn more about their work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so thankful for you, our loyal clients.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

From all of us at
Chemers Gallery

from Yum! MmMm! Que Rico!
Rafael Lopez

Holiday Hours:
Thurs, November 26: CLOSED
Fri, November 27: 10:00am-6:00pm
Sat, November 28: 10:00am-5:00pm

Don't forget, Saturday, November 28th is the last day to pre-order your signed and dedicated books!! Hurry in to make sure you get all the books you want! You can still purchase books the day of the show, but we can't guarantee to have everything.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cathy's Picks!


2009 Children's Book Illustration Show & Signing

Opening Reception December 5th, 1-5 pm
Show continues through December 19th

How can I pick a favorite? Each artist for this year's show has so many imaginative and beautiful illustrations, over 200 in total! This is going to be tough, but I'll do the best I can.

Ronald Himler, watercolor/gouache, from, Bee My Valentine

I chose this illustration because it's a lively, happy piece with so much movement. Ronald Himler's traditional style captures the gestures and expressions of children at play. This illustration is unframed, so you can choose whatever you'd like from our huge selection of frame samples. In the story, Bee My Valentine, all the children in the classroom decide to play music to cheer up their classmate, George, who didn't get enough valentines.

Rafael Lopez, acrylic, from, Book Fiesta


Who wouldn't love to spend some time wandering in Raphael Lopez's playful, and colorful paintings? I love the "out there" concept and bold composition of this illustration, created in vibrant color and rich texture. This piece is in an exquisite hand carved wood frame with a purple linen liner to compliment the vivid colors. In Book Fiesta you can read books anywhere; at the library, in the car, even in a hot air balloon with a giraffe!

Kelly Murphy, mixed media from, Dancing Matilda


Is this adorable or what? Kelly Muphy's illustrations are so full of character, painted in rich layers of color. This picture, with Matilda dressed for stardom, reminds me of every little girls dream; to be the star of the show! For this piece, we've selected an antique gold frame with a dainty leaf pattern all around, a white linen mat, and a touch of red fillet to finish it off. Matilda joyfully dances everywhere she goes, day and night in Dancing Matilda.

Kristina Swarner, mixed media, greeting card


There's a child like quality to Kristina Swarner's mixed media works that steals our hearts away. In this illustration, I like the way Kristina cleverly created a pattern in the girl's dress, making her one with the colorful field of flowers. It has a gold hand-made frame with a delicate corner design, and a soft off-white linen, which compliments the art perfectly.

Lee White, mixed media, from, Ducks Don't Wear Socks


As you can guess, Lee White's illustrations are whimsical and humorous. This one make me smile every time I see it! Maybe, because my son rides a unicycle, maybe because it's ridiculous, or maybe because it's just plain funny. It's frame fits it just right, with tiny gold swirls all around to mimic the movement of the wheel. Ducks Don't Wear Socks is full of delightful silliness that everyone seems to enjoy.

So, those are my picks. That was not easy! I suggest you come in and see these amazing works up close. Then decide which ones are your favorites!

...or browse our website.
As always, your comments are welcome.

Cathy June Arneson


Tell Your Friends About Our Event!

Don't forget, books are available to preorder only until
Saturday, November 28th!

Framed Illustration by Rafael Lopez

Framed Illustration by Kelly Murphy


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