Our Current Artists’ featured in our Artist Home Studio Tours
Inspired by the natural beauty
of the Mendocino Coast..
John Birchard – Photographer
As a professional photographer living on the Mendocino Coast of Northern California for over 20 years, I have worked to develop a wide range of expertise and services. The beauty and remotness of Mendocino are both a challenge and an inspiration. My goal is always to exceed your expectations and provide quality personal service backed up with the integrity of my name.
I rely on my years of experience and the latest in digital technologies to create professional quality commercial imagery for print and the world wide web. I am also available to document the joy and fun of weddings or to capture beautiful and lasting portraits of individuals or groups.
When photographing people, I prefere a “photojournalistic” approach whenever possible, capturing the honest and unposed moment, a revealing look or a heart felt feeling. I’m pretty good with pets and babies too.
I consider landscape and nature photography to be my true artistic calling, and I love chasing the golden light, trying to capture the wild beauty of the North Coast and other parts of the world. Visit John’s website here.
Cliff and Marion Glover – Potters
I’ve been a full time potter since 1991. Before that I worked as an editor for Nevada Magazine. Like many potters, I’m inspired by Japanese ceramics and use many oriental techniques on my own work. I also like natural materials in my glazes, such as wood ash and Big River mud. Once in a while I’ll put a few brush strokes on a piece, but in general I try to keep the surface simple. A good glaze enhances the worst pot; a poor decoration ruins the best. Visit Cliff’s website
David Jenks – Painter
David began painting outdoors in the early 1980s, and he has made Mendocino his base since 1993. His paintings have been featured in galleries across the United States and Japan, and articles on his work have appeared in Southwest Art, Art of the West and American Artist magazines. David’s paintings are included in such prestigious corporate collections as MBNA America, Fluor Corporation, and Raymond James Financial, Inc.
“I have always sought those vantage points outdoors where the light conveyed a spiritual connection or energy. I am always prospecting for light and seeking to open the door to pure energy—to transport the viewer to another realm beyond the physical or the pictorial. To me, that is the magic of art.”
Visit David’s website here.
John Fisher – Sculpture
” The creative process is about magic and believing in miracles. It is about trusting that the process will guide us. It borders on the spiritual, in that a connection is made for which words seem inadequate, yet we witness it. In fact this connection is a sign that the process is working.”
Sandy Oppenheimer – Collage
Sandy originally came to Mendocino for the ROP [regional occupational program]ceramics program back in the mid-eighties. She had been living in Provincetown, Massachusetts and was housesitting for an artist friend in Ukiah when the catalogue for the program arrived in the mail. Sandy’s future husband, marble sculptor Jon Fisher, was working at the Mendocino Art Center at the time, along with his mother Judy Fisher, who was studying fiber arts.
Sunshine Taylor – Painter
I began painting in watercolor in 1981, while living in northern Vermont. I’m a native Californian, and returned to my home state in 1989. After twenty years of creating watercolors, I added a new direction and began working in acrylics, which are providing me with a brilliant avenue for my love of color.
I created the 1998 poster for “Art in the Gardens,” the 2005 “Winesong!” poster, as well as the 2006 “Mendocino Art Center Garden Tour” poster. My paintings have been marketed nationally in the form of computer screen savers. My work is represented by the Prentice Gallery, and the Mendocino Art Center, both in Mendocino, CA.
My other love in art is swing dancing. I’m an avid Lindy Hopper and travel far and wide to participate in dance workshops taught by some of the world’s most dedicated, celebrated, award-winning dancers. If I’m not out painting you’ll no doubt find me kicking up my heels just about anywhere! My husband and fantastic dance partner, Glenn Rude, and I, met in a swing dance class 12 years ago and have been dancing up a storm and teaching dance classes ever since. I am fortunate to have my studio and gallery in the beautiful “Caspar Gardens” located midway between Mendocino and Ft. Bragg.Visit Sunshine’s web presence here.
Julie Higgins – painter
Higgins work could best be described as celebrations – her joyful paintings pay homage to her inspirations and herald a refreshing and celebratory vision of nature. Many of Higgins’ inspirations become repeating icons in her works. In a style reminiscent of Mexican muralists, bold voluptuous women, agricultural fields, crescent moons, and calla lilies intertwine to tell her own mythology. The colors themselves lend intensity to the images, as terra cotta figures dance between azure skies and verdant fields. Higgins says of her work,
“ The process is very intuitive, with color, form, imagery, and symbols often leading from one to the next. ”
And while the symbols convey a sense of universal storytelling, Higgins’ vibrant paintings have a particular connection to the local landscape. Their resplendent, earthy, often centrally placed female figures are reminiscent in themselves of the hills and valleys that surround us, and the luscious fruits that adorn them echo the area’s own fertile harvest.
Higgins exhibits throughout the wine country annually and is the resident artist with “the girl & the fig” restaurants in Sonoma, CA. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums as well as many alternative venues and can be found in collections nationwide and abroad.
Visit Julies website here.
Paul Reiber – Fine Woodworker
I first studied Wood carving in Berkeley while enrolled in Graduate School. In 1981 I moved to Mendocino County and studied Furniture Making with James Krenov at the College of the redwoods Fine Woodworking Program. After a year of working with David Stary-Sheets in Gualala I returned to Fort Bragg and opened my first Studio. I have lived, worked and raised a family on the Mendocino Coast since that time. My work is featured in the in the most recent Mendocino Arts Magazine, and locally at Highlight Gallery, the Mendocino Art Center, and am a regular donor to Winesong.
Over the thirty years I have maintained an active studio my focus has moved from furniture, especially chairs, to sculpture. Along the way I have done a variety of work including carved mirror frames, beds, doors, mantels and decorative panels.
I am always interested in commissions for carved work of all types
I teach woodcarving at my own studio and in the summer programs at College of the Redwoods and Anderson Ranch in Colorado.
Visit Paul’s web presence here.
John has shown in over 100 juried national shows in past 20 years with over 30 awards. His accolades include signature membership in Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Watercolor West, Texas Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, Kentucky Watercolor Society and others. To obtain signature status one must be accepted into three years of juried competitions.
Judith Greenleaf – Painter / Sculptor
Judith Greenleaf spends summer and fall at her home, studio, and garden in Little River on Northern California’s Mendocino Coast, an area justly famous for natural beauty and its dedication to the arts. She offers workshops at her studio, and at the Mendocino Art Center.
Yarrow Summers- Art for Your Body and Soul
Yarrow Summers began her exploration of art as a textile and clothing designer in the late 1970’s making one-of-a-kind wearable art garments and custom pieces for the home’s of her collectors. It wasn’t until 2003 that she began painting, but she immediately fell in love with the medium and the process and it wasn’t long before she had completely embraced this new chapter in her life as an artist.
Today, Yarrow paints in her Mendocino studio where she produces her unique style of uncomplicated yet profound narrative iconographic works. Focusing her imagination through her heart and soul, she invites the viewer to borrow her imagery, to create their own story, add their own meaning, and thus continue a shared journey of discovery.
“As an intuitive painter I am intrigued by the alchemical transmutation of paint into art; the magic of color interacting with color and the shadow images that appear out of this process. I am inspired not by what I see, but by how I feel when I observe something that touches me deeply. Telling of love, spiritual pursuit, personal journeys, moments of perfect grace, disappointment, loss and finally, hope, my paintings are stories from my imagination and life.”
Visit Yarrow’s website here…
Margaret Paul-Antique Sterling Silver Jewelry
My life has been about following my passions. After a year studying philosophy in graduate school at the University of Virginia, I realized that I didn’t really want to be a college philosophy professor. A strong yearning to travel led to a flight attendant job with Pan Am out of San Francisco in 1967. Everything about California appealed to me…its climate, topography, politics, culture, etc. I’ve lived here ever since.
In 1971, I embarked on a 27 year elementary teaching career as a result of cherished memories of being a camp counselor in my teen years. I still enjoy teaching, anything to anyone. Upon retirement in 1999, I moved to Cleone to fulfill my creative leanings. A weeklong Donna Billick ceramic mosaic workshop at the Mendocino Art Center led to a decade of ceramic mosaic exploration, including teaching workshops at the art center and a commission for a public works project for the city of Fort Bragg.
My new passion is hand-crafting jewelry from antique sterling silver flatware. Once again, the Mendocino Art Center played a role. At the Wednesday night Jewelry Open Studio sessions, Jima Abbott and Tara Turner taught me the fundamentals of working with silver. In addition to rings, I hand-craft bracelets, earrings and pendants. It’s an on-going challenge to find the rare, sought after patterns of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It’s such fun to transform a handle into an exquisite piece of jewelry. I also make custom rings out of customer-provided pieces of sterling flatware. My craft brings these treasures out of the drawer and into the light of day to be thoroughly enjoyed.
My antique sterling spoon/fork jewelry is featured at Mendocino Gems on the corner of Lansing and Ukiah streets in Mendocino.
Visit margaret’s website.
Richard Yaski- Metal Sculpture
I’ve been sculpting in metal for over 47 years, starting in Los Angeles in the early 60’s and continuing up here in Little River for the past 42 years at my home studio and 5 acre sculpture garden.
My work is mostly abstract non-objective but occasionally I do abstract figures, landscapes and fountains, inspired mostly by Asian art and ethnic art from Africa and North America.
The work ranges in size from tabletop and wall pieces to large monumental outdoor works.
I started off using found object pieces because that was all I could afford, but eventually learned to love the beauty and the ability to see the sublime in the ordinary flotsam and jetsam of our metal age culture. See Richards website here
Erika Kohr Island- Glassworks
In 1996 I began working with glass at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. I soon found myself working with some of the finest glass artists and studios throughout Oregon and Washington State. My own personal pursuit in glass became primarily sculptural with narrative content. Glasswork became a way to process the events of my life as well tell stories that are common to the human experience.
After moving to the North Coast of California, Homestead glassworks was born. Homestead began as an idea to work collaboratively with my husband, Jason Island, to design a line of glassware made here on the Mendocino Coast. Our work is inspired by our love of both the natural environment and of working with this dynamic material.
I seek what is elemental and essential and that’s why I’m an abstract painter. My aim is existential– I try to convey the quality of being as it is felt in a crystalized presence of memory and time, a kind of suspended musical time from out of the sound of color.
I could say that through memory I summon up the essence, the ineffability, of an emotion or deeply felt experience and transmute it onto canvas. However, it is not I who am transmuting it, but rather, it is the play of materials which summons up a familiarity, finally, that strums a chord for me. The result is a mysterious amalgam that is only a resonance of what was at first intended, for the physical marks on a two-dimensional surface have their own personality and being. And here is where the wrestling with the wilderness of form begins: the confrontation with the elemental forces of color, line and space.
I love suggestion and ambiguity, the emerging and coalescing, something immanent and elemental, and the power and mystery of deep time and deep space.
Visit Virginia’s website here.