Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Love Parade


The Love Parade
Helen Shafer Garcia
currently on display at the Fallbrook Art Center

My latest creation consists of  handbuilt ceramic sculptures depicting creatures of all sorts.

The instillation is a reflection and reaction to the current administration. The parade consists of  acceptance and inclusion with characters that reflect all types of beings. The names of the characters are carried over from song titles and TV shows from the past. The adornments show  military and peaceful symbols in a combination for reflection. The hats were derived from research from military war outfits. My hope above all is  to portray the good in beings without malice. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Back from the Ranch

Happy Trails were abundant at Rancho Bellota in Baja, Mexico last weekend. We had a marvelous time in the fresh air, listening to the chickens talk, hearing the sheep herd bells, watching the gazillion stars at night, drawing and painting in the canyon and patio, horse back riding, hiking, winery visits and tastings, melon margaritas, and of course, sharing stories at mealtime by candlelight....

I'll return next year...mark your calendar! May 2, 3, 4, 5, 2019
I've also included my paintings from a current show called "Songs of the Ranchos" 

 Agave the Ranch Dog

 Bellota Canyon
 Baja Nectar Bliss

 My Hubby and I at one of the many beautiful wineries 
 along the Crest Trail
 one of the 27 horses range...2,800 acres

 painting on location at Bellota Canyon
 Conquered  the Crest trail! 

Dudleya, white sage, Baja tickweed at the ranch

Monday, April 2, 2018

Happy Spring!

Spring has arrived with blooms and weeds and allergies ....but its all beautiful! 

I'm getting ready for Artfest at San Diego Botanic Garden this coming Saturday and Sunday....
Lots of new ceramics and paintings for you .....

 I'm also working on new paintings for an upcoming show at Mission Trails Regional Park here...."Songs of the Baja Ranchos". This will be a group show of the artists who teach at Rancho Bellota in Baja, Mexico. My upcoming workshop is sold out and I'll return next year! 

 CaƱon Bellota

Saturday, March 17, 2018


“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.”
― Hans Christian Andersen

April  29
9:30 to 4
San Diego Botanic Garden 
Pour it On! 
watermedia pours 


Art and Soul Colorado Springs      A new venue! 
May 29 to June 3


Baja Rancho Art  Retreat
  sign up here! April 18 -22 2018
Baja Mexico 

Painting on location, horseback riding, hiking, wine tasting, margaritas, yummy home cooked meals, cosy cabins, transportation from the border....need I say more? 

This is an all inclusive retreat in beautiful Guadalupe Valley in Baja, Mexico. 

The 2,800 acre ranch sits in an oak lined valley just north of Baja’s scenic “Ruta del Vino” between Tecate and Ensenada, approximately 1½ hours south of the border.

It is a working ranch, as you would have found in Baja California over 100 years ago. Oaks and sycamore trees, seasonal creeks and springs, rugged hillsides, boulders and local wineries provide inspiration for painting, sketching, and photography.

May 18, 19, 20
Queen's Ink 

Savage Mill Box 2048
8600 Foundry Street
Savage, Maryland 20763
(301) 497-9449


June 23 and 24
Poured Painted Surfaces

Art Unraveled 
Phoenix,  Arizona

September 19 to 26
I'll return to La Cascade in Southern France with Lynn Leahy for our retreat! 
Almost sold Out! 


Tesoro del Corazon  

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
late October to early November...
We will open registration late February 2018. This workshop sells out very quickly. If you are interested please email Leslie  to sign up for updates or to be put on the waitlist. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Hi Everyone! Its been awhile...I had that bad cold in January and had a major computer crash but other than that I'm great! Just sayin.....
I'm off to Portland tomorrow to teach at Art and Soul for a classes are full! So exciting for me to see everyone again and to play in the rain.

Registration is open for France 2018! This will be a small group workshop in southern France...details here!  September 19-26

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Happy New Year! More workshops added and a tutorial!

Hello creative peeps! 
I've added a few more workshops for you to ponder. for this new year..and...

I've been obsessed with printing...simple printing.....easy cleanup.... I now have an arsenal of stamps that I can share at my workshops for mixed media. I also use them for my clay sculptures. The ideas just keep coming in! 

For those of you who live in the southwest or who want to fly to the Phoenix area to get out of the snow I still have openings in my Prayer Flag workshop and my Handcrafted Vellum  Book workshop at Southwest Gardener. This shop is located downtown in a mid century cool building with a coffee shop/bookstore right in the same building....and you get a catered lunch included......what more do you need in life? 

So here's a little tutorial to get you rolling.....

I drew out my design on tracing paper and rubbed pencil on the back for a transfer. This print was designed for the San Diego Book Arts Society Collaborative series of projects. The link shows the last project called "Over the Moon" My painting is shown...the one with the brainer......This new project is a Postcard collabrative. Each artist designed images for a location in and around San Diego. I chose  San Diego Botanic brainer.......
Each artist sent out the postcards to all of the artists on the list. I now have a group of postcards and will make a book structure to house them. I haven't come up with the concept yet......wait and see.......

I transferred  the image onto the  printing plate. Notice that the word is backwards on the printing plate......

Carving the plate...speedball tools are great for this...easy to use. 
Printing.....come to my workshops and see! I used open acrylics to print with....

 I hand painted each one with watercolors...40 cards....addressed all and mailed them out. These are the proofs...

Interesting note: there were 8 leftover cards that I mailed to myself from my hometown postoffice. I had the postal worker hand stamp each one for art's sake. 4 of the cards arrived back at my house the next day. The other 4 went to San Diego and back(50 miles each way) ..went through the machines which ripped part of the layered paper...and double postmarked over the hand stamp...2 had "Happy Holidays"as part of the processing
 .....ponder that for a while....

Friday, December 22, 2017

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Tis the season....I'm off for the holidays to spend time with my family. We finally have some cool weather here in Southern CA but still no rain. 

My Friends and I took the train up to LA, met my brother for a tour of LA architecture and wonderful.....featured exhibits with Chagall and Mexican Colonial Art as well as Mexican design.....

Sign up soon for my Phoenix workshops at Southwest Gardener.....I'll be driving out in January!





my brother Jim

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fall Collage

Our Fall has been very dry and sunny....which...I know I shouldn't complain but.......
My garden is complaining from the lack of rain and quite frankly.....I love the rain! on the topic of plants here's a tutorial I taught this Fall on printmaking and collage.
Credits on the printmaking process due to Leslie Marsh, who taught great workshops this year for San Diego Book Arts 2018 workshops are up for you to ponder......and of course to sign up! 


I started out with a quick pencil sketch on hot pressed watercolor paper. The surface was painted with dropped in watercolor, wet into wet. This process involves wetting the paper first and dropping in watercolor pigments so that the colors mingle on the paper without brushstrokes. 

This printmaking process is quite simple...which I love.....we used black stonehenge paper to print on. Green leaves were used to roll Speedball water soluble inks onto. The leaves were placed onto the black paper and brayered to transfer the inks. We did a second run of ink color over the top while the leaf was still in place.

To enhance the edges of the Agave I used a black Tombow pen to draw the lines. I then added water to my brush, wet the lines and allowed the pen lines to bleed out, creating a darker area next to the lines. I also started to cut out pieces of the prints, choosing pieces that corresponded to color and line in my painting. 

Working on placement.....this is the fun part....I have 4 pieces on the painting. I haven't glued them down yet. I'll wait till I've finally decided on placement. The intent is to add interest but not dominant the work. Notice how I thought about color repetition.........

Saturday, September 30, 2017

October Fest

October will go by fast with things to do and see....I'll be exhibiting my new ceramics works in a couple of weeks for Open Studios San Diego in conjunction with Fallbrook School of the Arts. Come on by and see us! 
My fall workshop for 2017 at San Diego Botanic Garden is on Sunday October 8...sign up soon! 
and ...I'm off to San Miguel de Allende at the end of the month for Tesoro del Corazon with my amigas....this workshop sells out very quickly...we are already planning for 2018....sign up for the interest list with Leslie on our blog to keep up to date......