Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What a Year, What a Year!

Sharon, Karen, Rita, Sharon & Mary-Austin Bame at the Eye Candy Jewelry Trunk Show

As always, Chemers Gallery has had a jam-packed 12 months! It seems like only a short time ago we were awaiting the start of 2010, it's hard to believe it's already at a close. As one of the few independently owned fine art and custom framing stores left in Tustin, California, we are honored that YOU choose us to be your source of R&R in these difficult times! We can't do this without you, fellow art and contemporary craft lovers, so THANK YOU!

Let's re-cap our busy year, shall we? In February we hosted a special reception for artists Mary Aslin and Bonnie Holmes. Mary shared her luminous floral still life pastels, many of which were musically themed. Bonnie brought her peaceful oil on board river scenes. Together, always and ever a gracious pair.

Cathy Markowitz helps show off Michelene Berkey's jewels

March saw our Eye Candy jewelry trunk show. Jewelry artists Mary-Austin Bame, Michelene Berkey, Joanna Craft, Amy Kekst, and Dinna Yesachar showed off their latest collections of bits and bobs. Ceramicist Maria Counts also joined in the fun with her whimsical and playful teapots, bowls and vases, the perfect accent to all the eye candy around! Ayala Bar and Jackie Jones sent us pick boxes full of goodies that we gleefully displayed and modeled. There's nothing like a show devoted to jewelry to get all the girls together and our favorite man or two! Our 2011 show will be February 12th, get prepared!

Nick Capaci, Karen Raab and Jonde Northcutt next to Jonde's award-winning entry

For the 3rd year in a row, Chemers Gallery hosted a juried show for the Tustin Art League in May with the theme of "Live and Play in Tustin." TAL members and other local amateur and professional artists were invited to submit their interpretation of the theme and we were rewarded with fresh new views of our fair city of Tustin.

Rita, a font of information, was invited by the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana to give a presentation in August about the art of collecting art. She was a huge success, earning top marks from her peers. We hope she'll give a similar talk here at Chemers!

Pete Roberts shared the beauty and inspiration of Tuscany, Cape May and Orange County in September at an informal wine and cheese reception for his latest watercolors. Pete packed the gallery with friends, family and admirers and regaled us with stories from his travels.

Our own Karen Raab gave her second talk to the local OLLI chapter in November - she's getting quite a following! She discussed the ways non-fiction is addressed in children's literature though illustration.

Front Row: Noah, Karen, Cathy, Rita, Gennady Spirin & Jennifer

And, speaking of children's book illustration, who could forget our 19th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing earlier this month? With a heavy-hitting lineup of artist greats David Diaz, Julie Paschkis, Patrick O'Brien, S.D. Schindler and Gennady Spirin, this was possibly our busiest show EVER. After pre-selling over 700 books and over 30 pieces of art, we were pooped. We rounded out the year with a special book signing for Dr. James Doti, president of Chapman University, for his very first children's book. Illustrator Lisa Mertins joined in the fun and shared in the biscotti with us.

After all of these events, we are all ready for a nice, long nap!

But, we haven't even touched on all of the new artwork and artists 2010 has seen!

The Deep End by Tina Sotis

Our talented and hard-working aritsts were at it again in 2010, creating stunning masterpieces out of paint, glass, clay and anything else you can think of! Perhaps one of the most exciting shipments to arrive at Chemers this year were two small paintings by Tina Sotis, who took a leave of absense from her studio for a number of years. She's back and is better than ever! James Groleau sent us a trio of European urban river mezzotints. This will probably be the last we see from him for awhile as James has decided to stop his mezzotint process, opting for one-of-a-kind works. His moody scenes will be sadly missed. Another San Francisco-based artist, Carol Jessen, sent some beautiful city scenes our way. We'd love to show them to you, but they flew out of our door before they could even be photographed! Carol, send us more, and quickly!

Country Road by Jim Wodark

We have seen an influx of work from Jim Wodark, a local champ of the plein air scene. He's brought us beautiful mission paintings, serene seascapes, lively city scenes and majestic vistas. Jim's color pallette is shifting into more pure hues that give a brighter feel to his work. Keep 'em comin' Jim! We've also seen new work from Los Angeles-based artist Jennie Tomao. This accomplished painter has been hard at work to bring you gorgeous views of birch tree forests and fields of California poppies. Her series of old world-style landscapes sold out almost immediately, guess she'll just have to get right back to work! The prolific John Sawyer has kept us busy with his paintings of our local hills, canyons and parks.

Birdcage in Tree by Kristina Swarner

We've seen John Maxon a few times this year, and his canvases are getting bigger and bigger! John drives all night from northern California just so he can see us first thing in the morning. His contemporary oils are fascinating to look at and masterfully executed. Another contemporary painter who's had a busy year is Kelly Viss. Her soft and dreamy canvases inspire our imaginations. Chemers has continued carrying Kristina Swarner's charming mixed media pieces after the 2009 children's book show. Her little prints are just so sweet, you'll want to snap them up like candy!

Smokin' by Gerald Schwartz

Other new art throughout 2010 included oil paintings by Gerald Schwartz, watercolors from Joseph Stoddard, mixed media canvases from Max Rodriguez, metal art by Karen Musmeci, ceramics by Lilia Venier and Jane Nishii, to name a few. This just in, Bonnie Holmes visited us yesterday with several gorgeous new pieces!

Garden Lyrics 35 by Kay Flierel

Chemers Gallery welcomed several new artists during 2010. Kay Flierel, a local gal, paints beautiful abstract "Garden Lyrics," but she doesn't stop just there! She's also a talented plein air painter. We know how much you love our "spinner rings," so we found even MORE for you! Israeli artist David Tishbi creates delicate sterling silver and gold rings that are stamped with intriguing patterns. We also started carrying jewelry by Laura Cardwell and Jessica & Ian Gibson. Deborah Jarchow joined the Chemers family with her softly woven scarves. We've also added Kenny Smith, a local ceramicist. Kenny joins his wife, Linda Smith, and son, Joshuah Warwick Smith, both artists already showing with Chemers.

Impromptu by Jeff Jamison

Karen vacationed in the Carolinas and in Utah this year, and made some fantastic discoveries along the way. From her trip to the south in the spring, she found jazz artist John Mitchell, who creates mixed media pieces out of paper, paint, wood and metal. She also found Jeff Jamison and was struck by his arresting rainy day city scenes. Textile artist Doris Grieder and jeweler Q Evon also caught Karen's attentions. During her trip to Utah, Karen stumbled upon the copper and molten glass "Spiritiles" of Houston Llew.

Phew! We're exhausted just thinking about it!

Thank you for making 2010 such a special year!
We hope you all have a healthy and prosperous 2011. See you in the new year!

Karen, Cathy, Jennifer, Robert, Cory, Mary & Rita

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

Vacuuming from "How Santa Lost His Job", Illustration by SD Schindler

Seasons Greetings from all of us at Chemers Gallery!
We hope you all have a magical holiday!

Holiday Hours:
Fri, Dec. 24 10a - 2p-ish (please call for afternoon hours)
Sat, Dec. 25 CLOSED
Sun, Dec. 26 CLOSED
See you next week!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Gift Giving for Under $100

It seems hard to believe, but yet another holiday season is upon us! If you're scrambling for budget-friendly gift items, don't stress, Chemers has got you covered!

1. Signed children's books- We still have plenty of signed books from our 19th Annual Children's Illustrators Show & Signing available! Complete your collection with signed books from David Diaz, Patrick O'Brien, Julie Paschkis, S.D. Schindler and Gennady Spirin. We also have a selection of signed books from previous years available as well.

2. Fashionable metal bracelets & rings *Hot Seller*- A treasured client turned us on to this fantastic line of bracelets and stackable rings and they have been flying out of here ever since! These stretchy metal bracelets come in different metals and patterns that are perfect for everyday wear. You'll be sure to fool everyone into thinking you spent a bundle! Don't worry, your secret will be safe with us - ranging from $20 - $48, these bracelets and rings are a steal.

3. Soap Rocks - Nothing makes a better stocking stuffer than soap. Our Soap Rocks are all natural with glycerine, vitamins and yummy scents. Don't be tempted to let these soaps sit on the shelves - trust us, they are meant to be used! Our rocks are available as birthstone sets with wooden soap dishes. Made in America!

4. Bonnie Holmes Skincare - Treat them with luxury skin care from Bonnie Holmes. Her line of spa-quality facial cleansers, cremes and balms will leave faces soft and hydrated. Make sure they feel pampered and relaxed, especially after the hectic holiday season!

5. Jewelry - Let's be honest - you can never go wrong with jewelry. And do we ever have jewelry! Styles range from simple and chic to bold and funky. Available in all price ranges, check out our unique artisan-designed necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more.

6. Scarves by Doris Grieder - Swiss-born textile artist Doris Grieder collected fibers from all over the world to create her one-of-a-kind skinny scarves. Utilizing a variety of textures and colors, every "fiber seed" explodes with character. Not a scarf person? These would make wonderful table runners, too.

7. Light Catchers by Leona Hawkes - Decorate your windows year-round. Fused glass artist Leona Hawkes creates beautiful "light catchers" with glass panels, glass shards, beads and copper wire for a look that's artistic and fun. Give them as wedding gifts, holiday presents, or snag some for yourself!

8. "Spiritiles" by Houston Llew - A recent acquisition from one of Karen's trips, these Spiritiles from Houston Llew make thoughtful, heartfelt gift. Made with copper and molten glass, every Spiritile carries a fun or inspirational message to tie in with the graphic on the front. Arrange them together in a table or ledge for an inviting display, or hang them in groupings on the wall.

9. Gift Certificates - Let them choose for themselves! Gift certificates are available in any amount and can be used for fine art, custom framing, contemporary crafts, art glass and jewelry.

Don't forget, we have beautiful hand-blown glass hearts from Robert Held!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Come and Celebrate!

Join Chemers Gallery Wednesday, December 8th, as we welcome Dr. James Doti, president of Chapman University and illustrator, Lisa Mertins to celebrate the recent release of their children's book, A Christmas Adventure in Little Italy! For one night only, Dr. Doti and Ms. Mertins will be meeting and greeting their fans and signing their book, which is Dr. Doti's first foray into the world of children's authorship. Based on his memories of visiting his Nonna in Chicago's Little Italy and helping to bake biscotti, this heartwarming tale is sure to bring smiles to readers everywhere.

Lisa Mertins' adorable illustrations are a rich companion to "Little Jimmy's" story. Filled with texture and color, Lisa's artwork seamlessly weaves together with Dr. Doti's verse to capture the magic of childhood.

This event benefits the Kathleen Muth Reading Center, a literacy program developed by Chapman University to aid children in their struggle to read. The program offers one-on-one tutoring sessions and involve the families and teachers of the struggling student so a custom program of learning can be mapped out for the individual. Tutors are MA students at Chapman's College of educational studies and are overseen by leading professionals in the field of literacy.

A Christmas Adventure in Little Italy
Book signing with Dr. James Doti and Lisa Mertins
Chemers Gallery
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 7 pm - 8:30 pm
Remarks at 7:30 pm
Benefiting the Kathleen Muth Reading Center

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Monday, December 6, 2010

What a Blast!

Oh Em Gee! What a fantastic show we had on Saturday, and we have all of YOU to thank for it! Our 19th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing was a success, and we couldn't have done it without our kindhearted, loyal clientele and our talented artists. Thank you all so very much! We had a blast, and we hope you did, too!

Check out some of the highlights:

Busy signing the over 700 pre-sold books

Patrick O'Brien

Gennady Spirin and the parade of books

S.D. Schindler with Roberta Widdicombe

Gennady & son, Ilya Spirin with Mickey Chemers

David Diaz, Julie Paschkis and S.D. Schindler

Karen Raab, Patti DiSaia and S.D. Schindler with Steve's book "Monster Mess"

Julie Paschkis and Deborah Levy, executive director of the OC Ronald McDonald House

David Diaz, Karen Raab and Mark Huebsch with one of David's demo pieces

Gennady Spirin with Patty Liu

Illustrators David Diaz, Julie Paschkis, Patrick O'Brien, S.D. Schindler and Gennady Spirin

The whole gang

Missed the big event?
Don't worry, the artwork will be up until December 18th,
and we still have plenty of signed books for you to choose from.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Get Ready, 'Cause Here It Comes!

Over 700 pre-sold books

We've been hard at work for 6 months. We've received over 500 illustrations from 5 different artists. We've pre-sold over 700 books and over 30 original artworks. And, we've transformed Chemers Gallery from this...

...into this!

Doesn't the gallery look pretty all spiffed up?

19th Annual Children's Book Illustrators Show & Signing
Saturday, Dec. 4th, 2010
1 pm - 5 pm

Chemers Gallery
17300 17th Street, Ste. G
Tustin, CA 92780

Meet featured artists
David Diaz | Patrick O'Brien
Julie Paschkis | S.D. Schindler | Gennady Spirin

Come for the art and books and stay all day!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Karen Selects...

19th Annual Children's Book Illustrator's Show & Signing

December 4th 2010, 1pm - 5pm

Can you believe a year has gone by since our last children’s book signing and illustration art show? Well, we can because we have been working hard for almost six months to bring you an incredible show! With over 500 illustrations available and over 600 presold books, we are overwhelmed, but undaunted.

I’m sure you’ve been waiting to hear about my faves this year, so here goes, in alpha order…

From the illusive David Diaz, the work from Me, Frida is breathtaking to me. The book is beautifully written as well. These large-scale illustrations are paintings on canvas, representing the lives of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The work is slightly reminiscent of Gustav Klimt in his use of color and glazing technique. I could so easily hang one of these pieces in my living room.

from Me, Frida by David Diaz

Diaz’s work varies widely in technique and style. From silkscreen to mixed media on an interesting array of substrate, his illustrations are at times folk and other times refined.

To the galaxies we travel with Patrick O’Brien. His Captain Raptor series stimulate the imaginations of both big and little kids. I love his space ships travelling through the skies. His use of rich dark colors creates an ominous effect of travel through the stars and planets. I can’t get enough of this piece from Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery. Patrick’s work, in general, is quite technical and yet very painterly.

from Captain Raptor & the Moon Mystery by Patrick O'Brien

I just have to throw in this very adorable piece from A Wasp is not a Bee also by O’Brien. Don’t you just want to take these friendly koalas home with you!

from A Wasp is not a Bee by Patrick O'Brien

Having recently begun practicing Yoga, I would have to say that Julie Paschkis’s illustrations from Twist speak to me. But, I can’t pick a favorite. Just like any given pose might be a favorite any given day because I need its benefit to my body, I may like different illustrations because they do different things to my psyche on different days. In these illustrations, each pose is shown and set within a descriptive scene showing the translation of the pose. For example, Mountain Pose is set in a landscape with a gently erupting volcano to show both the stillness and strength of the pose.

from Twist by Julie Paschkis

Much of Paschkis work has a Northern European feel in the folk tradition. The bright vivid colors she uses certainly draw attention!

With over 200 of S.D. Schindler’s illustrations in our possession, choosing a favorite is a difficult task. No trouble choosing my favorite book, The Story of Salt, which tells the historical significance of salt from influencing trade to the curing of meats. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a salt-aholic, but only sea salt!

From his humorous style to the more serious, Schindler’s work is expressive and diverse. I would say this small piece from Three Pebbles and a Song is the most charming. Schindler’s deft usage of watercolor and gouache gives this piece the feel that you could touch the soft moss and climb this lush tree stump mouse house.

from Three Pebbles and a Song by S.D. Schindler

Last, but certainly not least, is the work of classically trained Gennady Spirin. My dilemma here was do I select a slightly twisted, scary piece or a simply exquisite piece. Hmmm…. gotta choose twisted.

from The Tempest by Gennady Spirin

We don’t have the book, so I can’t verify this character, but I think he is Caliban, the giant malformed beast from The Tempest. I love, love, love this piece. Calibansits on a grassy knoll with strange spirits emanating from the flower above his head while angels float around the knoll. The more you look at this work, the more interesting creatures you find. Spirin’s signature alone is a work of art and the drips on the paper give it life.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Come choose your favorite on December 4th 2010, 1-5pm. See how easy you think it is, when you look through more than 500 illustrations and over 50 books. Don’t worry, you can come back time and again because the show will be hanging through December 18th!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Little Red & Mother" from Little Red Riding Hood, watercolor by Gennady Spirin

Have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving!
We'll see you again on
Friday, November 26th, 10 am - 6 pm

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jennifer's Book Picks

I look forward to the Children's Book Illustrator Show & Signing every year, not only because I get to see such beautiful art firsthand, but also because I have an excuse to read the books! We have an extraordinary selection this year, so our book choice is tougher than ever. But, I guess if I have to pick just one from each illustrator, these are my choices...

Me, Frida
Written by Amy Novesky
Illustrated by David Diaz

Frida in Gold, Mixed Media on Canvas

If you're like me and love the work of artist Frida Kahlo and the City by the Bay, Me, Frida is a great book for you. Frida and Diego Rivera travel to San Francisco so Diego can work. This is Frida's first time out of her native homeland, and she finds the ways of America strange and intimidating. She is left alone much of the time while Diego is painting, and she soon discovers a love for the city as well as her own artistic voice. David's inspired paintings set the mood for this journey to self discovery.

Written & Illustrated by Patrick O'Brien
Cat Face in Tall Grass, Watercolor & Gouache

Patrick O'Brien's books are just oh-so-BOY, but the science-minded girl can get into them, too! Sabertooth explores the physiology and biology of the prehistoric big cats with great illustrations of skeletons, teeth and fur. Packed with fun facts and explanations, Patrick presents a wonderfully readable lesson in prehistoric schooling. Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is the details, like 2 smilodons hiding in the tall grass stalking a mammoth, or even a modern-day paleontologist that looks suspiciously like Patrick!

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella
Written by Paul Fleischman
Illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Rooster, Gouache

I've always loved fairy tales, the weirder the better, so when I saw this version of Cinderella I was delighted! Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal seamlessly combines different versions of the Cinderella story from cultures all over the world. We travel from Mexico to Korea, Iraq to Zimbabwe and further afield as we yearn to go to the king's ball, dance the night away with the prince and foil the stepmother and stepsisters. Julie's magical illustrations were inspired by the traditional textiles of the countries and work together to flawlessly blend one page into another.

The Curious Adventures of the Abandoned Toys
Written by Julian Fellowes
Illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Doc at Home, Watercolor, Pen & Ink

This book really got me, from the title to the sweet illustrations. It reminded me of books I had when I was little, and the well-loved stuffed animals that I still have to this day. Poor Doc the teddy bear is thrown out when the children's hospital he lives in has a re-vamp. He finds himself tied to the front of a garbage truck hurtling towards his new home, the city dump. He quickly befriends the rest of the abandoned toys, and that's when his adventures truly begin. Steve's pen and ink and watercolor illustrations tell Doc's story with such charm that your heart can't help but melt.

The Tale of the Firebird
Written and Illustrated by Gennady Spirin
In the Forest Lake, Watercolor

What a great year for fairy tale books! Russian artist, Gennady Spirin, adapted The Tale of the Firebird from three traditional Russian fairy tales from his childhood. The son of the Tsar must travel from kingdom to kingdom with the help of a magical wolf to retrieve the gifts desired by his father and his father's friends. Gennady's stunning illustrations give the feel of an illuminated manuscript, and his exquisite attention to detail lends a magical feel to every page.

Don't forget to pre-order your signed and dedicated books by November 27th -
that's 12 days from now!

Monday, November 1, 2010

John Maxon - Bigger Than Ever!

Out and About, oil on canvas, 60 x 48

John Maxon drove all night from northern California last week just to see us. He packed his car in the dark (man, was it ever packed!) with his newest works to share, left his house at 3am, while we were busy getting our beauty sleep, and was on our doorstep by 10:30 that same day. What a guy!

We had a hard time choosing from so many gorgeous canvases, but we finally narrowed the selection down to 7. These large-scale paintings are bold and imaginative. John masterfully combines shape and form to suggest plateaus, vistas and overlooks. As always, his pallet of colors is vibrant and lively, inviting you to sit and stare. We like-y!

Be on the lookout in the new year for works of John's with birds. We got a sneak peek and they are bee-you-tee-ful! In the meantime, head on over to our website to get an eyeful of the new work.

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