Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Gift Baskets for Christmas and New Years now available!

Need a special gift basket for Christmas or a hostess gift?  Stop by our tasting room and check out our big selection, or call to have us make a special one for your needs or price range. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ironstone's Water Wheel is up and running!

After a brief hiatus, Ironstone Vineyard's historic water wheel is up and running again.  This beautiful water wheel was lovingly restored as part of Ironstone's outdoor mining museum.
Flumes carrying water gently flow from the top and turn the wheel.  with a series of pulleys, the wheel operates the stamp mill you see in the photo, crushing ore brought by ore cart from the mine shafts.

Don't miss seeing this historic example of a true mining operation here at Ironstone. Open daily from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Traditions with the Kruchta Family

Last week we were visited by the Kruchta Family of Hollister, CA.  

The family have been coming to Ironstone Vineyards annually during Thanksgiving since the oldest son was a baby.  The boys, Alden and Anton asked to help decorate one of our many trees here in the tasting room.  

Even dad and their grandmother helped. Mom stayed back taking care of the newest boy in the family who will be helping to decorate in a couple of years. 

Thank you to the Krichta Family from everyone

in the tasting room for making our holiday more special. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday Specials start today!

Collectable Dolls Super Sale  

From an outstanding Auction, owner Mr. John Kautz has found a plethora of collectible dolls that we are offering at huge discounts.  Original pricing of these dolls ranged from $25.00 to $400.00. 

 Ironstone is offering these dolls to you for prices ranging from $5.00 to $125.00.  

Perfect for those little girls on your list or the serious collector looking for that one missing doll. 

There are Christmas Angels, $5 baby dolls, limited edition "Erte" dolls.... quite a large inventory.

Most all of the dolls are in original boxes, most never having been removed from their containers, still wrapped and fully protected.

These are a must see and a great deal to add to your collection or just find the perfect $5 stocking stuffer.

Open 11:00 to 5:00 daily.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Call to Artists
Ironstone Vineyard’s 20th Annual
Spring Obsession Art Show & Competition


·     THEME Division entry due Friday, January 6, 2017
·      * OPEN Division entry due Saturday, January 28, 2017

   *THEME Division winner $500 with winning art piece reproduced as the promotional poster for Ironstone’s internationally acclaimed “Obsession Wine”. Full credit to winning artist.
·     * OPEN Division; 1st place $1000, 2nd place $500, 3rd place $250.

·      Final OPEN Division judging by nationally acclaimed artists/art field representatives. To Be Announced.
         Please see prospectus for complete details. Prospectus/entry forms available at Ironstone Vineyards Downloadable from and
         Or email click here w/ “ART ENTRY” in subject line.


Saturday, March 4 & 5, 2017 “SPRING OBSESSION” Show Opening.
“Meet ‘n Greet” the accepted artists through their “Art in Action” demonstrations, plein air painting and more.

More details to follow.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Day of the Dead Celebration

Today here in Murphys we are celebrating the Day of the Dead.  

You will find alters throughout town as well as here at Ironstone honoring some very special people.

Ironstone has chosen George Wendt to honor.  Having a very special place in all our hearts, George was an amazing human being and very much missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

George doing what he loved most

“Wine on the River”
A collaboration of O.A.R.S. and Ironstone Vineyards
Stephen Kautz on a "Wine on the River" trip with OARS

 Story by Stephen Kautz:

"I have always had a love for the outdoors in any form. When I was a kid I got my first taste of rafting down the Stanislaus River with OARS in those early days before the dam was built. I kept that love of rivers and fishing in them, but had moved away from the rafting part. Then my grandmother (moms side) invited me to go on a rafting trip with her through OARS, down the Alsek River in the Canadian Yukon. Yes, the story is true, it was for her 80th birthday.  Well, I was again hooked on rafting.  I came home and bought my own boat and started running rivers across the 11 western states. The only problem I had is a common one for rafting folks like me – work kept getting in the way.  I was doing a lot of winemaker dinners and tasting events across the country and one day was sharing that with George Wendt and his marketing guy Eric Grathwal, somewhat complaining that I wasn’t getting enough time on the river. They both looked at me and asked if I would do something like that on a river trip for OARS.  Let me see - wine, good food, river rafting and getting paid to do it!!!!!  YES, dream come true.
The first Wine on the River trip, started in 1997, was down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho through the Frank Church Wilderness area, one of the most beautiful trips you can take. I took along my executive chef a bunch of good Ironstone Wine and away we went.  Some of the best memories in my life have come during those trips.  I can remember 12 of our group huddled under a tarp, sitting in the raft on a beach in the pouring rain.  We were laughing at my description of our Symphony Wine when Chef Clyde pops underneath the tarp and starts passing out hot broth, asking what wine paired best with it….I think we tried them all.  The Middle Fork of the Salmon, the Main Salmon, The Rouge River, The American River, The Tuolumne River, or any river where you can enjoy nature, great food and wine and the experiences of life, that is what Wine on the River is all about."

Stephen Kautz

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

CALL to Artists! 20th Annual Spring Obsession Art Show

Entry Forms now available for Ironstone's 20th Annual Spring Obsession Art Show.

Ironstone's 20th Annual Spring Obsession Art Show is just around the corner. 

Entry deadlines are January 6, 2016 for the THEME Division and January 28, 2016 for the OPEN Division.

Entries will be juried. Notification will go out to artists of accepted art work 3 weeks prior to delivery dates.  All works must be original art completed by entering artists. 

Theme Division prize $500 with image recreated in Ironstone's 2017 Poster.

Open Division 1st. prize = $1000. 2nd prize = $500.  3rd. prize = $250.

This exhibit is not for photographs or digitally enhanced images nor 3 dimensional sculpture.

Please see complete rules and details on prospectus downloadable from this blog site.

You may download the prospectus/entry form from the pages on this blog or go to  to download from Ironstone's web page.

Should you wish to have the forms emailed, please Click Here
*place "Entry Form" in the subject matter 

Chris will respond to your email with the forms as attachments.  Be sure to mark the above email as NOT junk mail.

Stay tuned for more details!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin Contest at the Silent Movie tonight!

If you are coming to Ironstone's "Phantom of the Opera" Silent Movie tonight or for the Matinee Saturday, you will be casting your vote for your favorite decorated pumpkin.

Ironstone Vineyards has a wonderful tradition of each department creating a pumpkin and submitting it to the guests at the Silent Movie night.  Guests vote for their favorite pumpkin. Next day, all the pumpkins go to the Tasting Room for display "while they last".

Here are a few images from past years.  Great fun for everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

This Saturday Ironstone is proud to be host for the annual Concours d'Elegance. Fundraising for the California 4H and FFA scholarship programs, this event has evolved into one of the United States #1 Classic Auto Shows.  With over 300 vehicles gracing the impecable lawns of Ironstone Vineyards, it is a site to behold. 

Quoting the foundation website, 

Honored vehicle marques vary but this year include BMW, Corvette, Studebaker, Packard, Duesenberg, Pierce-Arrow, Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Special classes spotlight early Fords, streamlined cars, sports cars, exotics, race cars, coachbuilt luxury marques, plus unrestored and original automobiles. " 

Joining the festivities this year is celebrity, Wayne Carini of "Chasing Classic Cars".  Wayne will be on site all day Saturday. 

My favorite part of Concours are the many tallented artists painting on site for the day.  This year, Charles Pyle, Director of the Illustration Department of the Academy of Art University of San Francisco will be amoung the artists along with several of his painting buddies.  Charles has graced Ironstone's Spring Obsession event many years as judge for the Open Division Art Show & Competition.

If you would like more information on the event itself, here is the link to their website.

See you Saturday!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Last comments on Pokemon

This is my final word on the Pokemon.  Yes, it is fun to wander around town with my friends and play. I have learned something new about my home town that I didn't know before and met some new people who also play.  I will probably leave the game on my phone and play if I am out of town or in town walking, just to learn a bit more about where I am visiting.  I have also learned not to pay any attention to any of the pokemon advice you find on the internet.  Each person has to play their own game. (ie: the expert that said not to go into battle until you reach level 20, failed to mention by doing that, you fill your bag up with so many potions that there is no room for pokeballs!)

Anyway, enjoy the game, be careful and see you here at Ironstone when you come to take over one of the three towers here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Bad Company coming

Bad Company is coming in on Sunday night along with Lou Gramm and The Voice of Foreigner.  Great concert for a holiday weekend.  Get your tickets at Ticket master only!  Best price you will find.

Weather is looking prefect for this one, nice cool evenings.  Great for Popcorn!  If you are here Sunday night, stop by the popcorn booth and say hello.  

Pokemon Part Two

The Great Adventure begins!  First step is to download PokemonGo to my phone. It's a free app and quickly moved me through the customization of my game personality, sex, hair color, eye color and a few selections of outfit colors.  Pretty basic options, nothing exciting there, and here I was ready for a magenta spike cut with a turquoise cape to charge right out on my new and educational adventure. Not happening here, maybe later?

Capturing Pokemon and checking out stops has been fun while on my walks in the mornings.  Actually learned a few things about the town I live in that I didn't know. The Pokestops normally are historic locations, public areas, plaques and such. The app gives you a nice description and history of the stop that you can read while spinning the photo for items you will need to continue the game.  

Leveling through to level 10 is fairly easy and quick. Then, I went on line and read all the "advice" posts on how to play... I don't need to go into all that here. Take my advice, there is a ton of information on this game on line. Lots of opinions on how to play a better game and earn more rankings, win at the battle towers ... 

The advice I found most useful,  between levels 10 and 20, just take your time, capture pokemon and enjoy the walks and pokestops.  This I can do.  Since I can't get out all that often as I live away from pokemon hot spots, I need to make an effort to get there and take walks around town. I've been walking more and meeting great people out there.

I have discovered you can fill your "bag" with so much stuff, you won't have room for the pokeballs that you need to capture the pokemon. I had to do some battles to use up the revive potions and wound potions to make more room... there is a limit on how much stuff you can have in your item bag.  Doing battle at this stage is a loosing proposition as none of my Pokemon are strong enough to win... just to lose and empty my "bag" of potions healing my failed pokemon.  Oh well, at least I am enjoying the walks and learning more about my community... 

I will touch back on this when I reach level 20 ... later

Monday, August 22, 2016

PokemonGo through the eyes of a novice.

After a weekend of random iphone incidents with Museum guests wandering seemingly aimlessly and blindly through the Museum without lifting eyes to the stunning displays, I had promised myself to expostulate the merits of PokemonGo here in our blog. 

Those of you unfamiliar with the term PokemonGo, it is a game you download to your phone, based on the ever popular classic role playing game developed in Japan in 1996.

This new version is an interactive, location based reality game played on your phone.

Here in the Museum, our first big rush of players happened on Wednesday, July 27th.  The day of the Sublime w/ Rome, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Bleeker Concert.  4 bands in one night all here early in the day to enjoy Ironstone and play PokemonGo. 

Between the bands and the stage crews, we had a constant flow of iphone engrossed figures checking into the Pokestops to stock up.
When I inquired as to what in heaven's name were they doing, I was deluged with excited exclamations of the importance of Ironstone, the variety of pokestops and the existence of two towers right here at Ironstone!  What?!?  But don't you know it's NOT REAL!  Look at the 44 pound gold piece!  Check out the meteorite slabs, how about that prehistoric cave bear?  LOOK UP!

Throughout the next few weeks, we witnessed a growing number of visitors with eyes glued to their phones. My immediate reaction was to clear all below eye level displays and post bright colored signs in attempts to avoid head on collisions with static posts and walls. This is ridiculous! I have to write something!  I kept muttering under my breath, "but it's not REAL, can't they see that?", "Oh Wait, no they can't cause its not on the screen!".

With a sigh of relief, most did take a moment up from the phone to examine the gold. Some even wandered through the store and checked out some of the art and jewelry. Take a deep breath ... 

Then came the first bend in my thought process... a family trio came in to the Museum, father, son and grandfather. Father & son were glued to their respective phones while grandfather browsed through the museum and shop. I approached him in my anti-pokemon mode, and asked if the other two were going to stop and look up.  His reply was "eventually ... want to know something?" 

Without waiting for my replay, he continued with a story of a household of strangers, father in front of a TV or off with friends and a son in his room on his computer with friends. Both in their own worlds, very much apart. Then along came PokemonGo..

Grandfather explained to me how the game has brought them together into the same world.  They now travel, the three of them, to places he never imagined they would visit, conferring on their captures, the sights they see and the fun they are having. 

Time to start my research ... 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

24 hours of lemons car rally coming through!

24 hours of lemons car rally coming through!  What a hoot.  With a toy in hand, each team is charging in for a photo shoot with the Gold Crystalline. As if Pokemon Go weren't enough, now we have a parking lot of clunkers and laughter.  And yes, some are also playing PokemonGo as well.  

As explained to me, signups are online, cars can't cost more than $500 and they earn points for photos of their "mascot" at designated side stops as well as a whole list of extra point items.  You really must check out their website. Pretty fun group.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chris Young Concert Sunday night

Here we are already half way through our summer concert series. As they say, time flies when you're having fun!  And what a great season it has been so far. Off with a bang with Darius Rucker, Dan & Shay and Michael Ray.  Rocking the house.  Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul and Tribe Society had a great showing.. New to the venue this year were sounds and setup of Sublime with Rome, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Bleeker.  No reserve chairs on this concert. Everyone was on their feet and danc'n.  Despite the heat, opening bands put on a wonderful show.  However, contrary to popular belief, this was NOT a popcorn crowd.  Now, the brownies from the food court were a great hit I hear....
And last week Train with the English Beat.  Again, standing crowd only danc'n the night away, and, they love popcorn! We love the popcorn lov'n crowds.

Tomorrow night comes Chris Young, Jon Pardi & Tyler Rich.  Country swinging. Great people watching night too. Lots of wanna be cowgirls in sharp looking cowboy boots and hats. And the guys not looking too bad either.  Bring your sketch books, its gonna be a fun night.  It is going to be a warm one, so if you haven't got your ticket yet, I would recommend getting a reserved seat. This way you won't have to rush out in the heat of the afternoon to snag a good spot on the lawn. Mosy on in after the rush, hang back in the food court with friends and move into your seats at your leisure, no problemo.

Did I mention that the Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds and Bleeker introduced us to Pokeymon Go?  Yep, seems Ironstone is a hot spot for you pokeymon hunters.  Many of the band members are adament gamers and showed us here in the Museum what they found here. More on that later. 

See you tomorrow at the Chris Young Concert!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Spring Obsession 2017

2017 will mark the 20th Anniversary of Ironstone's Spring Obsession event.  Quite a wonderful history to this event.

Begun 1998, we were looking for a fun way to celebrate our Symphony Obsession Wine, Ironstone's number one best seller world wide.  Back then, the newest release came out right around spring time, perfect for a fun Spring Event.  Marketing joined in the planning and found many of the restaurants throughout the United States and Canada serving Ironstone's Obsession had outstanding chefs creating entres or deserts that were made with Obsession wine or paired with the wine.

Our first few years of the event included an International Chef Competition.  Chef's from all over the US and Canada submitted recipes for a main entree and or desert that was made with or paired with Ironstone's Obsession.  The two winning chefs were flown to Murphys for the Irish Days weekend where they presented free cooking demonstrations both Saturday and Sunday of the event.  That Saturday evening was an amazing Gala Dinner featuring the winning entree and winning desert, with both Chef's in attendance.  Ironstone's own executive chef prepared all the remaining dishes, all paired with the Obsession wine.  

Also as part of the Spring Obsession event we began an art competition with two divisions. The Open Division featured any subject matter - any media, excluding photography and digitally enhanced images.  (We plan on creating a photo exhibit in the near future.) Open Division awards cash prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd prizes selected by some of Northern California's premier artists, educators and Fine Arts Museum Directors.

The Theme Division has featured daffodils with the winner featured on a limited edition poster that promotes the Obsession Wine. These posters feature the winning image and the winning artists name and are distributed by our marketing department throughout the US and abroad where Ironstone's Obsession wine is sold.  This winner is selected by the Kautz Family themselves and includes a cash award.

Past years, the Art Show featured a small reception for the artists on the Friday before opening weekend.  Always a fun intimate gathering in the early years, that recepting began to outgrow the Friday night spot and eventually took over the Saturday limelight when the Chef's competition was discontinuted.

Now one of the premier Art Competitions in Northern California, Ironstone's Spring Obsession Art Show is moving into it's 20th year in 2017!. 

Here at Ironstone, we are planning for a fun and exciting weekend of Fine Art and Artists!  Keep an eye here on this blog and on our Webpage for the official Art Prospectus / Entry Form which will be published for you to download.  Should be out early September.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jewelers of America announce new August Birthstone.

Jewelers of America has just announced they have added Spinel to the official August Birthstone lineup. Now, you might ask what gives them the authority to do this?  Jewelers of America is credited with the establishment the official list of birthstone list in 1912.  Which has gone faily uncontested eversince. Thus, they have the power and own the history.

Going further back in time, gemstones have been assigned to the astrological signs, and even before to the 12 tribes of Israel.  For a great history of birthstones, check out GemSelect's article here:  

Now, back to the spinel..  Here at Ironstone's Heritage Museum, we always thought light green was the August Birthstone. But, according to this article ...

"Here’s a quick guide to what makes spinel special and why it’s now recognized as a birthstone for August." ... "For those looking for an alternative to higher priced rubies and sapphires, spinel may be the best choice."  

Forget the time honored tradition of lunar symbolism and holistic qualities of the selection of stones as one's birthright, lets go direct into commercialism? Wait, just typo? ... OK. 

From our inhouse research, Spinel has been used as the birthstone for July on an international level for quite a long time.  When we first put together our in house list of birthstones, out of respect for our many international visitors (who actually called us out on our limited list) we have always had spinel listed for July. If you check it out, although the exact stones don't always match the official American birthstone list, colors have remained pretty much the same internationally. 

Jewelers of American is an outstanding source for jewelers and buyers, we were just a bit confused by this article.  Take a look yourself at the full article which was actually putblished June 2 of this year, and I only now discovered it.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Well, that was fun!

July 2nd. Independence Celebration was a big hit again this year.

First band up wandered the grounds playing awesome accoustics to the grateful crowds.  As the generators were unloaded, and the stage bands struck up some toons, out on the dance floor more dancers than we have seen in past years were having a ball!  

People were meeting their lawn neighbors, singing along or just visiting with friends, family and neighbors. Amazing what can happen when all cell service is down!  Seems one of the many fires that day took out two towers and left everyone without.  they actually had to spend the day talking to each other or doing something other than text or play on social media.

While up front all looked well, behind the scenes was chaos. Organized chaos mind you. With no power, all the food & beverage vendors were scrambling for generators to keep on functioning.

Ironstone crews were busy relocating massive light towers to locations deemed most critical come dusk, hooking up generators to keep everything running smooth, finding a lost ice delivery truck, the list goes on and on, but all ended with another amazing fire works display that just never ended!

We will all remember this year's event for some time to come.

Now, lets get ready for our first concert!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Independence Celebration!

Come Celebrate Independence Day with us here at Ironstone on Saturday, July 2.  Gates will open at 2:00 PM. There is a $15 entry fee for each adults and $5 for young people between the ages of 6 - 12. 5 years and under are free.  Cash only to get through the gate. Parking is free.  

Again, this year the kids can have fun on bounce houses, climbing wall, face painters and jugglers tricks. Volunteers from PAWS will be monitoring the bounce houses again this year. So, do stop by and show your support to that wonderful organization.

Adults will enjoy live music featuring some of the Sierras favorite bands.  Lots of food & beverage concessions.  No off site food or beverages are permitted, so please leave the ice chest at home.  

The fireworks will begin after sunset. We are excited to have the same fireworks company that has been "wowing" us for years. Here again to out-do last years show if that could be possible.

Weather reports it will be a warm day, so wear your big floppy sun hats and lather up with lotion. And lets have fun!  

See you Saturday!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Collector Dolls

Ironstone Heritage Museum has acquired several lovely collector dolls.

We are posting them on Craig's list for sale as we don't have room for them here in the Museum and don't want them to sit in boxes too long.  Prices range from $35 to $95.   Below are a few photos of a couple.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ironstone's obsession does Social Media!

Wine maker Steve presents Obsession wine made from the Symphony grape.

Twitter too!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ironstone presents Erin Hanson's "California Wine Country"

California Wine Country: Impressions in Oil by Erin Hanson

Coffee Table Book Featuring Erin Hanson's Iconic Wine Country Paintings

Ironstone Vineyards is please to announce we now carry Erin Hanson's "California Wine Country".  An outstanding coffee table book featuring Ms. Hanson's vibrant and impressionistic paintings of California's diverse vineyard landscapes.  
I was first introduced to this book by our Tasting Room manager, Ginger.  Immediately captivated by the intense colors, I found my self unable to put it down. With broad loose brushstrokes, each painted scene emits screaming emotions or calming vibrations. The images seem always in motion. Love Erin Hanson's Art and Love this book!  See for yourself... 

Erin Hanson invites you on a visual tour of the lush, multi-varied landscapes which comprise the world-famous wine country of the southwestern United States. Like a full bodied wine, Hanson's palette is vibrant with color and light, rich with texture and contrasts, and a virtual feast for the senses. Her perfectly rendered harmonious compositions are a celebration of life and the natural beauty of the wide outdoors. Indulge your senses with a fresh view of California wine country, and enjoy her modern take on a classic landscape.

Title: California Wine Country: Impressions in Oil
Hardcover with dust jacket, 200 pages, 10x12 inches, published 2015.  $65.00

Monday, May 30, 2016

"7 Color Jade" by Consilio Decor

Direct from the Tuscon Gem & Mineral Show, comes stunning "7 Color Jade" by Consilio Decor.

These stunning rock vases consist of Actinolite and Serpentine. Actinolite being in the nephrite family of jade and serpentine a multi-mineral stone, colors range in shades of red, green, yellowish, bluish, brown, black and white. No two are ever the same.  

Beginning as a weathered block of stone, these are shaped, cored, polished and glazed to become the vases you see below.  This amazing rock is found along river banks in Tiawan where the vases are painstakingly made today and imported by Consilior Decor.

Ironstone is proud to be a distributor for the unusual vases.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Spring Art Down ...

Ironstone's 19th Annual Spring Art Show ended this past weekend. Always sad to see the work come down. It was such an outstanding exhibit with works hailing from throughout California. 

Many new names graced the walls this year along side so many of our local favorites.  We have completed the posting, here on this blog, of all the artists biographies for you to enjoy along with an image of the pieces that were accepted into the show.  If you would like information on any one of the represented paintings, please do not hesitate to contact Chris at with the Artists name and title of the piece you are interested in and she will forward you the artist's contact information.

We are glad to announce that a great number of paintings found new homes this year.  One collector announced she was planning on donating her purchased painting to her favorite Charity for an upcoming auction.  A very generous gesture to be sure.

A special thank you goes out to both our wonderful judges this year, Kathleen Dunphy and Charles Pyle.  Both exceptional educators as well as keen observers, Kathleen and Charles are skilled  at evaluating all aspects of a piece of art and presenting their observations in a clear and concise manner. As nationally recognized artists in their own right, both are able to create an excitement towards a painting, opening eyes of non artists to all subtleties of a work of art.  Thank you Kathleen and Charles.

Next year, 2017, marks the 20th Anniversary of this exciting exhibit.  What would you like to see at next year's show?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Meet Artist Barb Young, Ironstone Spring Obsession accepted artist

O-023  Souza Cow Camp  watercolor  12x24  $500

Since coming to Sonora in 1990, Barb's 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 been WATERCOLOR.
O-025  Fall in Reds  watercolor  11x14  $200

She has a prolific way of depicting old and historical building and capturing life like realism in her paintings of landscapes. And as well as doing watercolors, she has 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 early 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.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Meet Artist Elizabeth Willmon, Ironstone Spring Obsession accepted artist

Elizabeth Willmon

O-055  Wine and Orchids  watercolor  20x30  $1200

Artist Statement

I love to paint the designs and patterns created by light and shadow in everyday objects all around me. While I paint in a realistic style, I add my own interpretation by laying down many layers of transparent watercolor. These layers create glowing color, emphasizing the design that first caught my eye.

I paint because I never grow tired of watching the vibrant colors I put on the paper mingle and transform something ordinary into something that commands attention from the viewer.


Originally from Clovis, I have been surrounded by creativity for as long as I can remember. My mother was a fiber artist and my father was a jeweler and furniture designer. In the evenings as they were sketching ideas for their designs, I would draw portraits.

I fell in love with watercolor when I took Dan Petersen's classes at Modesto Junior College. After raising a family and then finishing my Bachelor's degree I have come back to watercolor because it feeds my soul.

I currently live in Modesto with my husband and our little Tibetan spaniel, Cookie. I paint every day in my studio which overlooks a beautiful courtyard filled with the scent of orange blossoms. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Meet Artist Paula Tooman, Ironstone Spring Obsession accepted artist

O-133  Spring Delight watercolor  27x33  $580
My name is Paula Tooman. I really love doing watercolor painting. The colors intrigue me and the techniques always presenting interesting challenges. In my thirties I started painting – but was busy raising two children so could not paint as often as I desired. In my forties my husband and I adopted fourteen children – thirteen Ethiopians and one handicapped girl from the United States. The children were and are a joy – and sometimes a sorrow. We certainly felt emotions parallel to those experienced by parents all over the world – multiplied by fourteen! As was expected they did keep me very busy and I found time to paint only sporadically. Now I’m in my sixties and we only have four children at home. My husband prepared a home studio for me and I am enjoying the freedom to regularly paint again with my beloved water colors. It is such a luxury to have time to paint again and I’m having great fun doing it!
O-134  Rain forest Jewel  watercolor  29x25  $950

I enjoy most of all painting flowers, people, and landscapes. They lend themselves to the use of a great variety of painting materials, many color variants, and a host of presentation and brushing techniques. I am always reading books and watching DVDs by other artists to encourage myself to try new ideas and to look at each new blank paper as a new and interesting challenge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meet Artist Cathryn Strong, Ironstone Spring Obsession accepted artist

Cathryn Strong, Groveland, CA
O-052  Bridge near Awanhee  watercolor  32x38  $630

 I re-discovered my love of watercolor in 2009 when I participated in a local watercolor class at Mt. Sage Nursery, Groveland.  As a Plein air artist, I try to attend as many watercolor workshops as I can and paint in Yosemite whenever I get the chance, and of course, with the MLAA Plein Air Painting group which enables me to paint throughout the “Gold Country”.
O-053  Call to the Mountains  watercolor  20x26  $450

Currently, I am a member of The Mother Lode Artist’s Association, Sierra Professional Artists, and Benicia Arts and show at the MLAA Aloft cooperative gallery in Sonora. As for education, I graduated from U.C. Davis and attended San Jose State University for postgraduate courses.

For the past two years, I have been juried into Ironstone’s Art Show (Spring Obsession) and was part of the 150th Yosemite celebration (Sierra Professional Artists) Art Show in Groveland, CA.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Meet Artist Wendy Rogers, Ironstone Spring Obsession accepted Artist & Judges Merit Award Winner

Wendy Rogers
Judges Merit Award Winner -"Prairie Fire"
O-104  Prairie Fire  watercolor  24x30  $550
Fiddletown painter Wendy Rogers is an award winning watercolorist and blogger, with work in private collections throughout the county. Working with careful drawings and a limited palette of transparent hues, she often enhances her paintings with layers of prismacolor pencil -- deep sky blues and purples, shadows of inky indigo, soft highlights of lightest grays and periwinkle -- all serving to communicate her passion for her craft, and her growing love of Nature.

Rogers was born and raised in the shadow on Mt. Diablo in the Bay Area of California -- and area known for its wonderful fresh fruit and rich farmlands. She learned at an early age to love the land, to respect the hard work and determination of the small farmers, and craved a piece of land to plant and nurture. 
In college she studied Fine Arts and Horticulture. Figure drawings often included detailed studies of plant parts, leaves and bark textures.
O-105  Redwood Sisters  watercolor  16x20  $400

"I am fascinated by complex subject matter. I love crisply defining sepia lines that play against soft washer of glowing light, enhancing depth and adding a sense of the mysteries of Nature. The dramatic lighting effects, foliage shapes and varying textures create vibrant contrasts. I enjoy painting portraits and landscapes, I love animals and birds."

In the last three years, her painting has blossomed. It has become richer and more expressive.

"I like to think it is my happiness showing through. If it is true that an artist's soul can be seen in her work, them my soul is sunshine and flowers -- and donkeys!"

Wendy Rogers

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Meet Artist Marilyn Richards, Ironstone Spring Obsession accepted artist

O-020  Historic Passenger Railroad Car  acrylic  16x20  $700 
I started my painting experience as a child in school. I went to the California College of Arts and Crafts and then continued painting landscapes on scene for many years with watercolors. I started working in acrylics and studying with Gereon Rios of Columbia College. Mr. Rios and my digital camera have helped me to expand my subject matter to landscapes, people, animals, and flowers. Now when I paint, I start with excitement and the challenge to incorporate color, composition, and joy into my paintings.

I am a member of the Golden Palette Art Association, and Arts of Bear Valley. I have participated in the Arts of Bear Valley Summer Shows during the Music Festival and the Art in the Park Show in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park. My work was selected to be on the posters for the Arts of Bear Valley Summer Show in 2006 and 2008. I am currently showing my work at Art on Main in Murphys. I also participate in the Fall Studio Tours sponsored by the Calaveras Arts Council.

O-021  contrasts on the Stanslaus  acrylic  24x30  $500
I have shown my work in the California Art League Exhibit at the Gallo Winery, the Mother lode Art Association Annual Exhibit, the Valley Art Assn Fall Carriage Show, the Ironstone Spring Obsession Show, the Professional Fine Arts Division of the Calaveras and Tuolumne County Fairs, with numerous awards and Best of Division in the Agricultural Division. I have also shown in Puerta Vallarta and Mazitlan in Mexico.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Meet Artist Henrietta Sparkman, Ironstone Spring Obsession accepted artist

Contact via studio phone: 1-209-521-8336                             E-mail:

O-040  Flash Flowers  mix medium  16x20  $435

O-042  Yosemite bus stop  pastel 13x16 $345

Artist Statement

Visual Poetry is the direction I work, in painting landscapes, catching the essence of the scene without many details, is the goal and to leave the viewer their own metaphoric interpretation. Painting en plein aire gives the composition an unique vibrance and life. Working on location gives the viewer the sense of the moment, of place and conditions.
     Capturing scenes that change over time allows the observer an opportunity for that which changes and is not always constant and reminds us to be stewards of our land and nature that is often taken for granted.
     Figurative work with a live model has a different tempo in composing the human landscape. To relay the sculpture of the human form and capture the personality and the elements together in a soulful expression requires one's own personal introspection and understanding of the human circumstance.
     Abstract work has given license to turn reality inside out and create introspective improvisations. To seize the essence of matter and separate fundamentals from irrelevance is what I have created in the painting and the monotype series.
     As an artist my work overs a range of media from ceramic sculpture,printmaking, watercolour,cast bronze sculpture, painting and mixed media. I enjoy working in different mediums as well as subject matter and find that one method of communicating transposes in to another a visual message that becomes richer with time. My art explores a personal timbre and through my eyes, may you discover your own perception and meaning.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Meet Artist Katherine Plumer, Ironstone Spring Obsession accepted artist

O-127  The Lookouts  scrimshaw  9x12 $2500
Artist Statement
Katherine Plumer

First Prize Winner * "The Lookouts"

When you were a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?  For me, the dream of being an artist has been unwavering, blossoming and growing ever since my little hands could use a crayon.  I create art because I can, and because I love it more than anything else, and because of the indescribable joy of the moment when a piece that I created I resonates with someone else, and becomes something that they treasure for the rest of their life.

O-131  Thankful  graphite and charcoal 29x37   $6500
 For most of my life, I have lived in the town of Wilton, California, a rural area south of Sacramento.  I was raised on a farm and have always had a passion for nature and birdwatching.  The animals that surround and inhabit my life have a strong influence on the artwork that I create.  I aim not only to portray my subject matter as realistically and accurately as possible, but also to capture the expression and soul of an animal.

O-128  The First of Spring  color pencil graphite 20x23  $1125
O-130 Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed graphite 12x14 $395

The work you see here represents a few different techniques and media.  Over the years I have explored many ways of creating art, and currently focus on engraving and drawing.  I invite you to visit my website,, or join me on Facebook at