Monday, December 27, 2010

This is the kitchen that the Elton Brothers are building

Brothers Winston and Leland Elton are my contractors for our Kitchen and Bath Remodel. Highly recommended! They are creating a beautiful new kitchen and bath for us.
They are kind and considerate and willing to listen to you. That is almost unheard of these days it seems. Good quality work and on time scheduling. Thanks guys!

The next photos show updates on our new custom built cabinets, concrete counter tops, tumbled travertine tile and Mexican tile backslash and our new back door.  Our new sink is also concrete....way cool! I'll post more photos when everything is finished....

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Love and Joy

Wishing you
a great holiday season full of warm yummy treats,hugs and fuzzies......
Taos in Winter I   

Saturday, December 18, 2010

San Miguel de Allende next April

Just keep this in mind..and sign up soon! ........
a wonderful, art filled getaway awaits you  in the heart of Mexico next Spring with Laurie Mika, Jane LaFazio, Lynn Leahy and Me!

We would love to have you join us for our week long retreat "Tescoro del Corazon"  -Treasures from the Heart.
April 13 to 20, 2011
This will be a progressive approach to art making in the creation of a single final mixed media art project. There will be four different classes running simultaneously and each day students will work with an instructor on one facet of their box.

Each day students will rotate into another class so that by the end of the retreat, all students will go home having learned a variety of mixed media techniques....and with a unique box that will hold all of their treasured memories of San Miguel.

San Miguel de Allende will warm your heart and fill your imagination and soul.........

Photos taken by Amberley niece who lives in New Zealand...thanks Amberley!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Helen's artful space

Helen's artful space
Originally uploaded by Agave Latte
This is my space at Amber George's 3 Day Monotype and Collograph Workshop this week....I've been trying to post the rest of the photos of our fantastic group and our artworks but can't figure it
Anyway..if you click on the photo it will take you there....
Amber George   is a very talented artist who shared so much with us. Thanks Amber!
We had a great artistc buzz going on....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Patron Saints Collabrative

 I was one of the Artists who participated in the Patron Saints Collabrative Book Arts Project in 2008,09. My book structure is constructed with paper mache, acrylic, inks, watercolor, and found objects. Saint Gertrude is on the right. I chose her because she's the patron saint of guessed it.....Cats, Gardens, and Travelers. Santa Lucia is another saint shown, selected by Laurie Mika St. Lucia is the patron saint of light, who unfortunatly, had her eyes gouged out by some horrible persecutors. She was miraculously still able to see without her eyes. And that is why, In paintings and statues, St. Lucy is frequently shown holding her eyes on a golden plate.

A majority of the works were developed in watermedia with some collage. I’m interested in organic shapes that are surrounded or are housed by geometric calligraphy. Each patron saint is surrounded by icons and symbols representing and supporting the figure. These shapes were sometimes pulled out of the geometric “housing” to create a sense of depth.  

This is the description from the Ukiah Art Center, where our books are currently  on display.
The Patron Saints Project -13 Women, 13 Books Project. Thirteen women artists in southern California and Oregon each made a book or container and chose a Saint. Each book was mailed in a circle for 13 months with each artist making one page in each book. Each book contains 13 Saints either ones recognized by the Catholic Church, or nominated for sainthood with a couple newly created ones. Artists:, Dorte Bistrup, Karen O'Brien, Deb Denton, Andrea Callas Hein, Helen Shafer Garcia, Lisa Guerin, Susanne Knutilla, Lyn Leahy, Laurie Mika , Josie Rodriquez, Cheryl Tall,  Elizabeth Raybee  The books will be on display through January 15. There will be two times during exhibit when viewers will be able to carefully look through parts of the books that will not be visible during the exhibit. Wednesday, December 8 2pm - 6 pm Sunday December 19 12 - 4 pm
Art Center Ukiah, 203 S. State St. Ukiah, 462-1400

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

These are the counters that Jack's building.......

Jack is a Renaissance artist in my mind.
He is building our concrete countertops for our new kitchen. He has a very cool shop in Carlsbad close to the beach.
 Jack's tattoos read: "Become the change you wish to see" .....Mahatma Gaundi quote.....
Jack rides his bike from his home in SD to the train station, rides up north and then bike rides to his shop. His trucks run on Bio fuels....need I say more?

The second photo shows the templates he made for our counters.He's going in include some small found  stones and things in some of the sections.
My friend Al Rodriguez just came back from a fishing trip in  Baja...a thousand miles south. He picked up  a small very worn down shell remnant on one of the beautiful beaches and gave it to me last Friday at his studio in San Diego. . Al's shell will be a part of the countertop....thank you Al! There are also some milagro birds and a couple of clay buttons.....more photos after the holiday...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This is the Bath that Juan is building....

This is Juan. He's creating our beautiful bathroom with tumbled travertine, glass tile and mosaic bits. He created 2 nichos for us. I designed the nicho mosaic and the glass tile strip. Together we placed each small shell, ceramic buttons (that I made in high school!), ceramic heart designs, a little fish design plate, and stones. Juan had never created a mosaic piece before. He hand cut tiny bits of glass tile to fit around the objects in the nicho. The photo shows the nicho before the grout was laid. We picked out a teal looks great. Juan likes to sing while he works and it makes me happy to hear him.

We took out a massive iron tub that no one ever used and now we'll have this wonderous Mexican style shower....we'll want to sing everytime we take a shower too!

Yesterday I found a copper sink that looks like a seashell for only $55.00. Juan is going to mount it on top of the cabinet like a vessel sink. This bathroom is going to be amazing when it's finished. Our remodel continues.......

Monday, November 22, 2010

Helen on Vista Grande Trail

It was a lovely Thursday Morning at Santa
Rosa Plateau. My art friends and I painted along the Vista Grande Trail near the Visitors Center. The light was warm and wonderful.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ceramic Tree of Life for my Kitchen

This is a close up of my Ceramic Tree of Life I made at my friend's Ceramic studio Cheryl offers studio time each week and you get to see her fabulous sculptures too.

I used to have a running gas kiln but it's covered with a Wisteria Vine in the backyard. It would be quite a sight running that kiln with an eight foot torch of fire on my vine!
This Mosaic piece will be mounted on the wall behind my stove in my new kitchen. I almost didn't leave enough room for it.....didn't exactly measure.......
The kitchen cabinets are up and my tile guy, Juan, is putting up the tumbled travertine and glass tile in the bathroom as I write this......more photos soon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Plein Air at Susan Frommer's straw bale house

You know what I love about teaching? It's the fabulous places I'm able to go to and the interesting people I meet. Take for instance Susan Frommer's house. and her hubby built a Straw bale home just north of Santa Rosa Plateau in Murietta, CA. My Wendesday Pastel Class from traveled north  to paint on location this afternoon. Susan kindly invited us for a perfect October setting with lovely views of the Santa Rosa Plateau landscape. Of course, most of us ended up painting part of the Staw Bale veranda along with succulents and cactus! Christine Bowman  and friends from my Escondido Pastel class joined us also. Click on Christine's link to see more photos of our outing including Christine's great painting.....

A good time was had by all....Thank you Susan!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the kitchen remodel continues....

My new nicho complete with my son John and our kitty Frank. John's standing where the frig will go at the end of the room. Check out our new stove...5 mega grills for mucho tortillas y carne asada.....

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

money palette

This is the most inventive palette I've seen yet in my Palomar College Acrylic and Watercolor class. This student read somewhere that the vellum in the paper works well as an acrylic palette....pretty clever, isn't it? Just spray it from time to time to keep the paint wet. Of course if you are in dire need of a 3 dollar Starbucks coffee you might have an issue......

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Great artist retreat next April 2011!

Exciting news!

Now’s the time to sign up for a fabulous trip to San Miguel de Allende next April, 2011. This will be a fantastic opportunity to work with 4 amazing artists....including me! Our workshop and lodging will be located at Casa Luna, one of most prestigious and well known inns in town.

All details are listed below on our website.

Tesoro del Corazon

Art retreat in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

April 13 - 20, 2011

Come and enjoy a week of workshops and fun with four

top notch instructors: Helen Shafer Garcia, Jane LaFazio, Lynn Leahy and Laurie Mika

The old colonial town of San Miguel de Allende will provide the back drop

for workshops where your creative energies can flow.
All the techniques pictured below will be taught.
 Please find detailed

information at our website

Or email

$1390 (not including airfare)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Kitchen reborn

Here is the skeleton of my kitchen in my little house. After 28 years, I'm finally getting a new kitchen, down to the everything. It's been a dream and its finally happening. I don't care about the dust, the hammering at 7:15am, the frig in the living room....its all good. The closeup of the ceiling is what I call "repurposed" wood. We discovered in this 53ish year old casa that the roof was built with recylced wood from another part of the house, complete with original paint. We also discovered the writing on the wood in the bathroom. Jose, my husband, wrote our names and the year he worked on that wall, putting in a new window. We had forgotten all about it! John was only a baby then.........
 I asked for 2 nichos can see the framework for the large one. My son is in the other photo...he and his friends did most of the demolition....its all about smashing things!

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Mexico!

Fall in New Mexico is so beautiful! I can't wait to see the soft muted dreamy colors and the dramatic skies! My students and I are exploring Dixon, New Mexico, which has endless painting possibilities and oh so many quirky places to visit. Dixon has a great Artist Studio tour in November
My friend Margaret took me there last year for my birthday. We had such a good I love New Mexico!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

San Diego Botanic Garden Expressions Invitational Exhibit

San Diego Botanic Garden

2nd Annual Garden Expressions Invitational Exhibit

Saturday and Sunday August 21-22
9am to 5pm
Outdoor Art Exhibit set in the garden.
Come by for a visit to see my works!
San Diego Botanic Garden is just 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego in Encinitas, California
It covers approximately 35 acres at 230 Quail Gardens Drive, which runs parallel to Interstate 5 between Encinitas Blvd and Leucadia Blvd.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Helen's Art Unraveled Workshop

Art Unraveled HSG workshop
Originally uploaded by Agave Latte
In the Afternoon Jane LaFazio's students toured our paintings and then we toured her classroom. Both groups got a great look at all the beautiful works. Great idea Jane!

Marsha starts her painting

Here's Marsha finishing up her design and ready to paint....what a great smile! Thanks Marsha for helping me on Saturday!

Helen's workshop at Art Unraveled

Here are my students busy at work at my Art Unraveled Workshop last week. So many wonderful works were produced ....Thanks to my wonderful students who spent the day creating. We had a little excitement in the morning....we laid out our paintings on the grass to dry in the 112 degree hot sun. All of a sudden one of my students jumped up and ran out the door. Low and behold... the gardener had grapped our works in his garbage claw ...ready to throw them away!! Didn't he know it was ART! The paintings were recovered and all was well.....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Janet's painting -Montecito Family Camp 2010

student work 3
Originally uploaded by Agave Latte
This is Janet's painting...not quite finished. She was going to add a few words about camp in the little strip towards the bottom of the composition. Great job Janet! It's lovely and now you have a painted memory of the peaceful morning.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Montecito Family Camp 2010

Camp was great this year! My Montecito Family Camp
students painted each morning at different locations by the lakeside and up near the lodge. Great job everyone! This wonderful site in the Sequoias is so relaxing and peaceful. This year I taught a retired professor of Finance from Stanford, and a professional violinist among other great talents in their respected fields. Art takes us in new directions constantly.

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