Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Meet Artist W. Vaughn Lew, Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

W Vaughn Lew
Murphys, California
T-004  In Like a Lion  oil  16x20  $500

I'm originally from Eastern Oregon. My family moved to Lodi in 1961 where I attended Lodi High School, graduating in 1964.
  I then enrolled at Sacramento State College, where I was a Commercial Art Major. De Witt Whistler Jayne was my main influence. He was a renowned commercial artist, illustrator, and portrait painter with a gift for teaching and an eye for perfection. "Mr. Lew", he would say, "so much for a nice beginning, but let's have a finish." I've been striving for that quality ever since.
   Another instructor that had a very positive effect on me was Dr. Tarmo Pasto, an eccentric art psychologist and art instructor who taught the "Space Frame Concept". It was all about space and form.
   After graduating from SSC and getting a teaching credential I was fortunate to get an art teaching job at Elk Grove High School. I taught there for several years, but had an itch to get into construction. That is where I've been until eight years ago, when my wife Glenda, and daughter Melissa and I moved to Murphys.
   One thing that is certain is that art requires a commitment. I feel that I now have the time and space to finally concentrate on my painting. Although I have been producing some art over the years, it is only now that I can continue to the next piece without an extended time period between. Landscapes, townscapes, wildlife, and portraits all interest me. My goal is to create images that bring the viewers into a space that takes them away, and gives them pause to reflect.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meet Artist Jorune Jonikas, 18th Annual Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist


T-026  Three Graces  acrylic  14x18  $195

Discovering late in life that I could create art has been an unexpected gift. Although throughout my early life, I always wished I could draw, I never seriously considered attempting it or taking classes - until I retired.  I retired from a 25 year career in federal law enforcement and decided to explore that persistent itch and started taking every art class that was offered through the Smithsonian in Washington DC. It was a new and wonderful world opened up to me by professional artists teaching the Smithsonian art classes. During my time there, I was privileged to be included in gallery art shows at the Foundry Gallery, Washington DC and at the Mansion at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD.

Moving to Sacramento allowed for continued growth-taking different and varied art classes, and getting to know new talented artists.  Painting to me is quiet and contemplative and although I tend toward the realism side, I'm still learning and experimenting with different styles and bolder colors. I paint in oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel. I find each has its own dynamic and that sometimes a subject matter is better suited to one medium than another. I have a definite fondness for painting animals, both wild and domestic and I have been fortunate to have received commissions for pet portraits. I have paintings in private collections in Maryland, Illinois, Colorado and Sacramento. I have been honored to have been accepted into juried shows at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center in 2012 and 2013, and have exhibited at Citrus Heights City Hall and at restaurants in Fair Oaks and Sacramento. I am especially pleased to have been accepted into the Ironstone Vineyards, Spring Obsession art show for the fourth time. Ironstone has been a wonderful and awe inspiring experience.

Meet Artist Debra Montgomery, Ironstone Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

Debra Montgomery
Fine Metal Sculpture
Copper and Wood Daffodil
T-028  Renaissance  repousse  7.25x10.75  $1500


I am a welder by trade, having changed careers in 2000. I anticipated pursuing a very practical blue collar career when I went back to school. In discovering the aesthetic versus functional aspects of metal along the way, it has proven to be an unexpected and fascinating detour in my vocational path.

Working primarily in welded steel and the copper forming techniques of repousse and chasing, I value the potential for expressiveness and texture in my work. An integral part of my style is accuracy and tangibility. When people see my work, I want them to be inclined to reach out and touch it.

I do not always have a set plan when I start creating a piece. Of course there are mathematical formulas to calculate factors such as proportions and scale. Other times, the metal surface can, in essence, take on a life of its own, with the shadows from the lights hinting where the next hammer hit should be. A good part of my passion for and the challenge I get out of my work is driven by my finding the way to the end result.

I take great pleasure in utilizing traditional metalsmithing techniques, bringing into fruition, detail-oriented two and three dimensional art that would be considered non-traditional in nature.

As I continue to hone my skills as an artisan, I hope to develop my portfolio into a diverse and extraordinary collection of work that one would not expect to be constructed out of metal.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Meet Artist Katerina Rutherford, Spring Obsession THEME & OPEN Division accepted artist

Katerina Rutherford

T-019  Festival of Life I  gouache  18x18.5  $450

Paintings "Festival of Life 1" and "Festival of Life 2"

This is my 3rd Obsession and 4th Theme Division. for this year's Spring Obsession I wanted to create a joyful painting, one that celebrates the creative events put forth every year by the Ironstone Winery.

For the connection between wine and art, I tried in both paintings to express through a wonen-themed allegory of dancing in tulips, playing inside vineyards of daffodils in a wine glass.

I reducted my color palette to two tones to get more expression out of the painting. Finally, I used cubist abstract forms I found while being inspired by cubist artist Vaclav Spala (1885-1946), who comes from my home country, the Czech Republic.

T-020  Festival of Life II  gouache  18x20.75  $550

Angels Camp and San Francisco motifs accepted into the OPEN Division 2015

I am a plein air painter. Over the past 10 years I have focused more and more on plein air painting. My major topic on canvas over the last five years has become cities.

Angels Camp:

O-125 Gold Rush House  oil  15x18  $800
Angels Camp is an amazing gold rush town in Northern California, situated right on top of the Mother Lode of gold. Angels Camp was founded during the Gold Rush days in 1849/50.

O-126  Main Street Angles Camp 2014  oil  26x19  $1200

Walking along Angel Camp’s famous frog jump sidewalk on Main Street has a feel like time stopped during the Wild West days, except for one difference: you will not see horses and buggies, but big American cars and pickup trucks. This contrast of big cars and trucks and the Wild West architectural styles became a new approach to my plein air artistic visions.

San Francisco:

O-127  Powell Street in San Francisco  26x21  $1500

In May 2014 I spent one week painting in downtown San Francisco. During that one week I worked on only two motifs, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. My experience of painting cityscapes has personally been worth it!

Powell Street is one of San Francisco’s typical, breathtaking streets that winds up and down the city’s hills…cable cars snaking up and down, appearing and disappearing again at the top of another hill. Next to the cable cars are vertical and horizontal lines of cars and swarms of people busily moving about the city… I found this to be a perfect morning motif.

I realize that except for San Francisco’s buildings, everything else is in motion. I simply became an animator trying to capture the blink-of-an-eye on canvas over the course of five mornings. The City by the Bay’s fickle weather blessed us that week with consistent, warm sunshine.

If you would like to see more of my artworks, please go to my websites: :or under my name. Both websites are in English, German and Czech.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Meet Artist Connie Romano, Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

Connie Carson-Romano  

T-003  Daffodil Rays  acrylic  16x20  $240

    Art is an expression of the way the Artist views the world in which he lives. Through my paintings, I try to communicate the emotions that made the subject something I wanted to share with others whether it is joy, serenity or the excitement of the beauty of nature. I know I have succeeded at my Art when someone looks at a painting or drawing and says, "That  painting makes me feel ... "
    Expressing myself through art has always been a form of meditation and relaxation for me, although until 4 years ago I never shared my passion for painting with anyone. My husband encouraged me to show my paintings and I found that people enjoy what I have to share.
T-002  Dreaming Big on the Lip of a Tulip  acrylic  16x20  $260

    Acrylic paint, with its forceful colors was my favored medium for years. About a year ago I began experimenting with oils. The difference in the mediums is very exciting to me as it allows for a varied representation of subjects.

    The colors that are present in nature are phenomenal and I love trying to create the same shades. Having been raised in the mountains of New Mexico I found myself immersed from an early age in the amazing palate of nature and the challenge of trying to recreate that on canvas. Now as a resident of Northern California, I am awed at the diversity of landscapes we live in and the unlimited array of challenges awaiting my brushes.

    Two Artists looking at the same object or same landscape will create completely different expressions of what they see. I find it is amazing and exciting that so many different interpretations of the world around us are available through the eyes of Artists. I love visiting galleries and museums to view the varied presentations of life as expressed by different individuals. It is my pleasure that I am able to add my own personal expressions to this collection.

Meet Artist Barbara Young, Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist


T-027  Wine and Spring  watercolor  11x20  $400

Since coming to Sonora in 1990, Barbs ART has expanded to include many sales and now, participation in local galleries, In 1996 she took a watercolor class from Dianne Starnes, while recovering from heart by-pass surgery. Since that time Barbs choice of medium has bee WATERCOLOR.

She has a prolific way of depicting old and historical buildings and capturing life like realism in her paintings of landscapes. And as well as doing watercolors, she has a special touch with her Sharpie Pen Sketches of rocks and trees, and pinecones, and other things that depict the Sierras.

Now retired, Barb can spend more time on the things she loves: painting and drawing, and Therapy Dog WORK with her doggies Happy BURITTO, & Kristy both Chihuahuas.

Barb has done some commissioned paintings, with unique challenges. She also has sold a lot of her paintings and sketches, as well as cards made from her paintings and sketches. You can find Barb around the Sonora and outlying areas sketching and taking pictures, and observing the many views and buildings. She also spends a lot of time in the Sierras.

Barb has come a long way from her beginnings in ART as a teenager, copying comic book characters and doing paint by - number Paintings. Her hearly works were sad and gloomy (which expressed her early life); and now, her work has taken on a "lightness, and colorfull expression." Barb credits her abilities as a God given talent.

Barb has won many awards at the MLAA shows in Oct. Her work can be seen at the ALOFT Gallery, Sonora. At Twain Heart's All That Matters; Pinecrest Gallery in Pinecrest and Sonora Blue Print. Barb has entered the Ironstone show many times.

Meet Artist Marilyn Wear, Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

Marilyn Wear NWS, WW, CWA

T-017  Daffodil Explosion  acrylic  18x24  $900


Marilyn was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. She has been painting professionally since 2003 and has earned signature membership in three major watercolor societies: National Watercolor Society, Watercolor West, and California Watercolor Association. Although she also paints with oil and acrylics, her favorite medium is transparent watercolor, where she uses a technique of layering many glazes of watercolor to create richness and depth, while retaining a glowing vibrancy. Her favorite subject matter is landscapes and natural wildlife.

She is currently represented by:
First Street Gallery, Turlock, CA *
Cedar Street Gallery, Honolulu Hawaii *
Sparrow Gallery, Sacramento, CA *

Marilyn can be contacted at 209 277-1922, or by email at or through her website at

Meet Artist Popi Tyler, Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

Popi Tyler
Santa Rosa,

T-007  Garden District  watercolor  22x15  $980

I was born here in this gorgeous land of Northern California, with childhood memories of riding my horse through Gravenstein Apple orchards and cattle ranches. I learned to be alone and observe the beauty of nature and the way things grow.

My formal education includes over 40 years of art classes and workshops. I have studied ceramics and painting in California, Mexico, and Hawaii. My training at Linecona Academy of Art in Honolulu opened my eyes to the endless joys of watercolor.

T-008  Bourbon Street  watercolor ink  22x15  $980
Recently, I have studied with Dale Laitinen, of Mountain Ranch, California, who continually teaches me to see new things in our landscape all around us.

To me, there is nothing better than a day painting with my husband and friends. I have such wonderful painting buddies -- each one is precious to me.

Good friends, beautiful views - what could be better!

Meet Artist Teresa Steinbach-Garcia, Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

Teresa Steinbach-Garcia

T-029  Daffodil Trio  pastel  20x20    $800

     A native Californian and a graduate of U.C.Davis, Teresa Steinbach-Garcia brings a radiant sensitive touch to her realistic works of art. After college, Teresa worked in both Graphic Design and Galleries in Northern California before devoting much of her energy to raising a family and honing her craft while living in the rural countryside of Wilton California.

Inspired by artists as varied as Michael Reardon, Toulouse Latrec, Lisbeth Zwerger and Kim Lordier, Teresa works in a painterly style using line, shape and color as a starting point from which to pull energy and capture a moment. She works in both Watercolor and Pastel. At times combining the translucency of one to complement the energy of the other.

Every Tuesday she can be found teaching watercolor classes at the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center. This spring She will add an occasional pastel workshop to her schedule.

She is currently a member of C.W.A., The Sacramento Fine Arts Center, W.A.S.H. and the California Art Club. She is thrilled and humbled with her third acceptance into the California Watercolor Association National Show, where she achieved Signature status in 2015.

More information can be found on her website;

Meet Artist Ruth Morrow, Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

Ruth Morrow

This stunning painting is shown sideways. Current application will not correct. Our apologies to Ruth. Do come out on March 7th to see this original painting in its correct form as it is meant to be seen. T-014  The Happy Garden watercolor and ink  26x20  $500
Embracing art since childhood, Ruth has spent her last twenty eight years painting and photographing the beauty of the Mother Lode. Ruth's loose and fanciful style becomes visible in her watercolors, acrylics, oils and mixed medium pieces, some of which contain recycled objects.

In the past two years, her artistic endeavors have been recognized with an award of excellence from Sacramento Fine Arts Gallery for her piece, "A Close Knit Village." SFAC also awarded her the Olive Schmid Memorial Award for "Spring at the Old Homestead." Other prizes included multiple awards at the 2013 and 2014 Frog Jump Professional art show and others at the juried Mother Lode Art Show. A bronze plaque from Windsor-Newton Company in New York for her excellence in watercolor as well as the Florence Ferraro Award for "The Tea Party."

Ruth was the first artist to wine the Ironstone Obsession poster contest twice with "A Romp in the Dills" and "Truckin' Dills." Her exceptional talent also extended to nine pieces juried into the KVIE live auction. generously donated.

Memberships include Art On Main in Murphys, Calaveras Arts Council. The Golden Palette, Arts of Bear Valley, Sacramento Fine Arts Gallery, Watercolor Artists of Sacramento Horizons, and Northern CA Artists. Her work may be seen at Townhall Arts in Copperoplis, Murphy's Grill. The Window Gallery in Arnold and her Arnold Studio.

Meet Artist Andrea Morris, Ironstone Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist


andrea morris                 

Andrea Morris was born in Karlsrhue Germany and spent much of her younger years in Montana and Arizona. She was exposed to art from an early age as her Mother was an artist and taught painting classes in their home.

She developed a love of wildlife and people and spent much of her time drawing and using pen and ink to capture her subject. It was not until the 1970's that she started to explore working with color in watercolor. Working in a local watercolor gallery in Tucson, Arizona she learned about building up her paintings through layers of transparent color.

She experimented in working in oils and immediately fell in love with the medium and has worked almost exclusively in this medium since. Although she does paint in Acrylics and watercolors at times.

Her main focus of subject still remains wildlife and people and she has been working towards representing her subjects in a colorful and expressive style.

Being self taught she has learned most about her art by painting, experimenting and studying other works of art. She has made a living of painting murals in many home sin the northern California area and has worked with the Wall Dogs painting large murals in city downtown businesses.

She presently resides in Lodi California and teaches classes in her small studio.  She continues to paint and show her work in the surrounding areas art venues.

You can view a gallery of her art at

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meet Artist Carol Leonti, Spring Obsesion THEME Division accepted artist

Carol Leonti

T-010  Afternoon  watercolor  15x22  $800

I've been interested in drawing and painting for many years but was able to devote only a little time to these while I was working and commuting. I am now able to paint regularly. I love to create and painting is a major challenge and outlet for me. I enjoy experimenting with many media but especially love working with transparent watercolor because of it's freedom, it's ability to capture light and to express emotion.

T-009  Morning  watercolor  12x12  $400

I love to learn ... I am greatly influenced by my current mentor Popi Tyler, who coaches me on composition, color and boldness. I have studied watercolor painting with Carl Miller AWS, Dale Laitenen, Ken Hosmer, and Tony Couch.

Meet Artist Lorna Ho, 18th Annual Spring Obsession THEME division accepted Artist

T-012  Spring Things  watercolor  11x14  $250

I spent a number of years doing Chinese brush painting but have been studying watercolor for the past few years. As an evolving artist, I am also experimenting with collage using paper and acrylics.  I get inspiration from many sources in nature, music, dance, people, etc. Life itself is inspiration.

I feel that it is not as important where I end up with the final art project as the process that I experience. If I've gained satisfaction and enjoyment from the creative process I just hope that someone looking at my work can enjoy it too.

Education and Background:
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii
University of Hawaii, B.A. Asian Art History
T-011  Diamond Head  watercolor  11x14  $250

Art Awards and Exhibits:
Lane County Fair, Eugene, Oregon
Sonoma County Fair
Sonoma Harvest Fair
Marin-Sonoma County Fair
Watercolor Artists of Sonoman County
National Arts Program, City of Santa Rosa
Sebastopol Center of the Arts
Healdsburg Center for the arts
Occidental Center for the Arts
Graton Art Gallery
15th Annual Sonoma County Senior Art Show
B.R. Chon Winery Art Show

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meet Artist Carol Goff, Spring Obsession accepted artist

T-006  Tulipmania  watercolor  18x24  $450
Carol Goff

The watercolor medium has intrigued me since I first watched some artists painting on site in Murphys when I moved here several years ago. Through private lessons, workshops and community college classes I have learned the versatile aspects of this surprisingly forgiving but challenging medium.  I continue to strive to add new dimensions to my work, always exploring new ideas and techniques.
My inspirations come from being an  avid gardener and many of my paintings show my love of what is produced there. I also feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful area where I can share the delightful scenery and wildlife in the foothills and surrounding areas.

T-005  Lavender Ladies  watercolor  16x20  $375
I am an active member of Arts of Bear Valley, Golden Palette Art Association, Calaveras County Arts Council and the Gallery Group.  My paintings have won ribbons at the Calaveras County Fair and Lodi Grape Festival. I also received the third place award at Ironstone Vineyard's 2011 Spring Obsession Professional Art Show. My work can be seen at the Art on main Gallery in Murphys and at other local businesses and seasonal shows in the area.

Meet Artist Jan Freischlag

Jan Freischlag: A Biography

Janice began her fascination with art in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1989. She began with German fold art painting, Bauernmalerei. After five years in Germany, she returned to the U.S. and began to broaden her painting skills.  On returning, Janice and her husband moved to Lake Tahoe where she was fortunate enough to befriend Lola Owen, her mentor and owner of Lakeside Gallery. At Lake Tahoe, where she became more accomplished, she began painting in oils. To her surprise she started to get commissions for pet portraits and more. She is accomplished in a wide range of subjects as well as most painting mediums, i.e. acrylic, water, gouache and oil.

Janice and her husband now reside in Ione, California, at Lake Camanche, with a parrot and four cats. She has a very productive berry and vegetable garden, apple trees planted from seed, is an orchid enthusiast, gourmet cook and paints wherever possible.

Meet Artist Diana Eppler, Spring Obsession Theme Division accepted Artist

T-016  Daffy Kitty  oil  8x10  $150
"My painting subjects are varied as that is my nature. I will probably be perpetually in some period of transition with my art which, I hope, is a good thing.  I try to work towards a melding of classical, contemprary and my own style; always striving to share with the viewer a means of expression which is representational without being literal or prosaic.

I used to worry where was I going with my art? Was I a colorist, tonalist, impressionist, plein air or studio painter? I now know my art leads me. Each piece is individual and dictates how it should be painted. First comes what I feel, then what I see. When I paint it is me and it is my own. An idea for painting frequently comes from my emotional response to color and light. I build around that, often changing the subject matter partly or entirely until the color, light, and design meet to fit the mood.  This manner of creating a painting works well for the studio, which I very much enjoy, however, painting en plein air (outdoors in one sitting) is a good way to rejuvenate the very feeling that create the moods.

Born in Amador County, Diana lived at Lake Tahoe and in Nevada, Southern and Northern California before returning to the foothills in 1997. She new resides in Jamestown. She attended Western Nevada Community College and studied with Wellington Smith, noted artist, lecturer and teacher. Workshops over the years included Janet Tarjan Earl, Edgardo Garcia, Jeanette LeGrue, Kathleen Dunphy and Charles Waldman although she considers herself, basically, self taught. Past Board of Director of the Siskiyou Art Assoc., Creative Arts Guild and Mother Lode Art Assoc. Past member of the Lithia Artists Assoc., Ashland, Or.; Central Sierra Arts Council, Sonora and Central Calif. Art Assoc., Modesto, CA. Founding member of the Post Gallery and founding director of Aloft Art Gallery in Sonora. Currently her works can be seen locally at Ventana Gallery, Sonora and Galleria Copper, Copper Square, Copperopolis, CA.

She has been accepted in numerous juried shows and won many awards including First Place, Foothill Favorites MLAA Show. Top fifteen finalists in California Shines Statewide art show for the 2011 US Capitol Christmas Tree Celebration. Her works hang in homes and businesses across the country and can be seen on her website.

T-015  Through the Looking Glass  mix media  20x16  $650

Meet Artist Judy Day, Accepted THEME Division Spring Obsession Art Show

Meet Artist Judy Day.  Judy's painting "Daffodil Surprise" was the first painting submitted to Ironstone's 18th Spring Obsession Art Show, Theme Division. Kudos!  Read Judy's bio below.

Daffodil Surprise  watercolor collage  24x31  $350
Bio: Judy Day

Judy holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design and a K-12 California Teaching Credential in Art Education and Math from Art Center School of Design and Cal State Northridge. She retired from 20+ years teaching at David Starr Jordan Middle School in Burbank, California. In April of 2010 she moved to Jackson, California. Although she works in many mediums, watercolor is her favorite.

Judy's Art credits include the following: illustrating three educational children's books, "My First Word Search", "Beginning Sounds Word Hunt", and "Fun Faces Fun Days"; numerous brochures, posters, paintings and cards, three foot by twelve foot long paper cut banners that hang seasonally in the First Christian Church of North Hollywood's Sanctuary, and directing a week long children's art camp each summer for children in 3rd through 8th grade, in Studio City, California. She is currently serving as the President of the Amador County Artists Association.

Her awards and honors are, 1993-94 Jordan Middle School Teacher of the Year Award, 1994 Burbank Woman of the Year, 1995 Disciples Christian Educator Award presented by Chapman University, 1996 Outstanding Teacher Award given by the LA Times and CSUN School of Education, and in 2002 the California League of Middle Schools Educator of the Year Nominee. She has received numerous awards and ribbons for her paintings at the Amador County Fair, Ironstone winery and the Lodi Art League Show.

Judy loves the outdoors and has hiked and sketched in the High Sierras most of her life. "My art is inspired by my trips into the Sierras, vacations around the world, majestic landscapes, historical site and almost everything in my neighorhood. You never know what will catch your eye and inspire you".

Judy's art work is displayed at the Sutter Creek Gallery in Sutter Creek, California

Monday, February 9, 2015

Meet Artist Connie Bowen, THEME Division accepted Artist

Accepted Artist, Connie Bowen has entered the THEME Division of Ironstone's 18th Annual Spring Obsession Art Show which will open March 7th, 2015 at Ironstone Vineyards.  Connie along with several other artists are competing for selection of their painting to become Series #18 poster of the year.  You may see each of the entries into this division as soon as Picasa's website allows the slide show to present itself just to the right of this blog. Check them out and see if you can pick the image that will become the finished poster of the year, unveiled on Saturday, March 7th.

Throughout the next several months, we will be featuring each of the accepted artists biographies along with images of the paintings that were accepted into this years show.  And now,

T-013  Tulips Galore!  watercolor  15x11  $360
Connie Bowen

I have always loved art and photography and have always dabbled. I had never tried watercolor before I took an ongoing class with *Popi Tyler. She is an excellent and patient teacher. It was Popi's idea that four of us all paint something for the show and we did and to our great delight we were all accepted.
I live in Forestville, CA with my two dogs and a cat, who sometimes become my muse.

Monday, February 2, 2015

We're BACK!

After our little sabbatical,  we are back in time to begin posting biographies of the wonderful artists that have been accepted into Ironstone's 18th Annual Spring Obsession Art Show & Sale.

As soon as work has gone out to all the accepted artists and their bios roll in, we will be posting here for you to enjoy along with images of the accepted art work. 

So, Stay tuned!