Category Archives: Small Works

Marin Open Studios

Pat Meier-Johnson exhibits her oil paintings at the Marin Society of Artists

Pat at Marin Open Studios 2015 (photo by Lynn Tompkins)

What an exciting couple of weekends! It was time for the 2015 Marin Society of Artists’ group exhibit at the Ross Art and Garden Center, part of Marin Open Studios. What started out as a relatively slow first day continued to grow and by Sunday of the second weekend, (Mothers Day) the gallery was full of people looking at the works of some 15 local artists…including me.  Thank you to all my friends who came by throughout the two weekends.

The preparations for this exhibition began much earlier. I had to select the paintings I wanted to include and finish my three New York City urban paintings. Then I had to frame them all. I even built a frame for one of the very odd-sized ones like the 10″ x 30″ View from Keller Estate. (Yes, I bought a mitre box and saw, clamps, furniture glue, and pine trim and made a fine frame that went so nicely with the earth tones of that Sonoma painting.) Russ printed some great giclees and prints of my paintings that I matted and inserted into plastic bags.  Thank you Russ!

Judy Theo, our friend who used to own Wolf Gallery here in Sonoma, came over and gave me some great tips on working art shows and what sells and why. My friend and neighbor, Connie Parker helped me lay out the show on the garage floor where I had taped out two 4 x 8 areas. She laid out the paintings in a such as way that they really worked together. I took pictures and oh, did that help when the time came to hang the show!

I’ll say one thing, my background in setting up trade shows came in handy. I had everything from breath mints to wire cutters, my handy labeling machine, even a change of shoes.

Saturday morning, 11am, the doors opened. A few people came in, largely locals and friends of the artists, including my friends. Then, after lunch, a swarm. Then another. I sold two paintings. Originals. No one ever told me that it would be hard to part with a painting, but these were my two best pieces. (Does one get visitation rights?)

Some friends stopped by late Sunday and bought two paintings that will be featured art in their newly purchased wine country vacation rental home. I was so thrilled and can’t wait to see them when they have their open house.

I find it very interesting to see what people are attracted to. A lovely family came by on Sunday and both father and daughter immediately chose my View from Keller Estate and Sebastiani Vineyard paintings, one for each of their houses.  Others loved the edgy urban scenes.  Still others were drawn to the flowers.  Several people pointed out something that I  had never verbalized. My colors are “juicy” and the images are “happy”.  I take that as big compliments and if my paintings put a smile on someone’s face, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do since I was a little girl at my artist grandfather’s knee, watching him take such pleasure in painting.

The Same Pear Cool and Warm Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson 11 x 14  on canvas

The Same Pear Cool and Warm
Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson
11 x 14 on canvas

View from Keller Estate Oil Painting by Pat Meier-John son

View from Keller Estate, Sonoma
Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson
10 x 30 on canvas

Sebastiani Vineyard by Pat Meier-Johnson 16 x 20 oil painting on canvas

Sebastiani Vineyard Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson 16 x 20 on canvas

Beautiful Fall Flowers Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson

Fall Flowers – Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson 11 x 14 on Linen Panel 2014

Oil Painting of unexpected spring snow in New York by Pat Meier-Johnson Spring Snow Central Park 2015

Spring Snow Central Park New York Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson 11 x 14 on Linen Panel 

Cow Talk Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson 16 x 20 on Linen Panel

Cow Talk
Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson
16 x 20 on Linen Panel

 

Highway One near Jenner California

Highway One Near Jenner Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson 16 x 20 on Linen Panel

 

Cakebread Vineyard at Dawn Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 on Linen Panel

Cakebread Vineyard at Dawn
Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson
8 x 10 on Linen Panel

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Also posted in Articles, Exibits, Landscapes, Oil Paintings, Still Lifes, Uncategorized, Wine Country Art Tagged , , , , |

Marin Marshland

Marin wetlands by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

Marin Marshlands by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

I enjoy the trail that takes us through Marin County wetlands. In the fall the grasses and algae take on a ruddy hue.  The walk behind McInnis Golf Course takes one deep into the Marin wetlands where long-legged birds pick their way through mud at low tide, searching for tasty nibbles.

Hard to believe that many years ago during the Cold War the peace of this area was shattered regularly by sonic booms, probably from nearby Hamilton Airforce Base. Now, the thwack of a well-driven golf ball can barely be heard as we wandered out toward the San Francisco Bay.

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Also posted in Landscapes, Oil Paintings, Uncategorized Tagged , , |

Yellow Flowers

Yellow Flowers by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on board

Yellow Flowers by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on board

It was a blustery fall afternoon. These yellow flowers certainly brightened the studio. It’s really one of my very favorite oil paintings and reminds me of a moment when I began to see color and shapes in an entirely new way. That’s why the original is not for sale. It’s staying at home with us.

I painting this while I was studying with George Scribner, an artist for the Walt Disney company who is also documenting the building of the new Panama Canal through a series of oil paintings.

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Also posted in Oil Paintings

McCloud Cabin Near Mt. Shasta

McCloud Cabin near Mt. Shasta by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

McCloud Cabin Near Mt. Shasta by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

Our friend Bruce let us stay in his cabin in the tiny town of McCloud near Mt. Shasta in northern California. I listened to the water splash over the rocks as I painted this on a very peaceful warm afternoon in August.

This Shasta oil painting was doing with water miscible oils. More convenient but they feel a bit different. They’re not quite as buttery as traditional oil paints. Still the range of available colors was good and it made for a very easy plein aire painting experience.

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Old Coffee Pot

Old Coffee Pot – Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson – 5 x 7 on canvas

Our friend Kathleen Hill has collected kitchen paraphernalia for years and in 2013 assembled a marvelous exhibit, “Kitchen Memories: The Kathleen Thompson Hill Culinary Collection” at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.  As visitors wandered through the exhibits they recognized food mills, Jell-o molds, even a formica and chrome kitchen table that took them back to their childhood and put warm smiles so many people’s faces.  I loved this old coffee pot displayed atop an O’Keefe and Merritt stove in a corner of the show and just had to do a small oil painting of it.

My great grandmother was a wonderful cook and came to California from Czechoslovakia. Going through Kathleen Hill’s show I saw several items that took me right back to the days where I was at my Omi’s side as a very little girl watching her mill walnuts that she put in homemade apple strudel. No store-bought filo dough for her! This was the real stuff rolled out on a floured tablecloth so thin till you “could read a newspaper through it.”  She loaded the filling at one edge, sprinkled melted butter and nuts over the rest, and then gathered the tablecloth until the dough flopped over and over, enveloping the apples in the middle with layers of flaky pastry, butter and nuts. She then lifted it onto the flat pan where it looked like a baby in swaddling clothes and baked it.

Food is such a big part of our lives, and Kathleen, who is Food and Wine Editor of the Sonoma Index-Tribune, has rounded up all kinds of good folks and businesses here in Sonoma for the Sonoma Valley School Garden Project. This wonderful program connects local kids with the origins of food, how it grows, how to cook it, and shows them how cool it is to raise their own fruits and veggies and enjoy them. (It’s astounding how many youngsters are unable to connect the processed foods they eat with the produce in its natural state). Is there such a thing as a plant that grows french fries?  Some schools are even donating some of the food they raise to people in greater need. Ah, that’s the spirit of Sonoma!

When I created the small oil painting of the coffee pot I tried to capture the transparency of the glass part of the lid and the hard baked enamel finish of the pot itself. I hope you like it.

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Also posted in Oil Paintings, Wine Country Art Tagged , , , , |

Welcome to the Hood

Welcome to the Hood by Pat Meier-Johnson oil painting on canvas

Welcome to the Hood by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

Our friends Alan and Kathy in Sonoma have a beautiful Siberian husky named Patsy who appears to be fascinated with a white neighborhood cat. Do dog and cat meet regularly on the hood of this red car? Almost an abstract, I enjoyed doing this small oil painting, capturing the light at play on the cat and dog’s fur and whiskers and reflections on the hood of the car.

Alan gave me the photo that I worked from. It reminded me of when I was very little I believed that dogs and cats went to their own little schools in a fruit orchard across the street from our house in Mill Valley.

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Also posted in Oil Paintings, Uncategorized Tagged , , , |

Gloucester Harbor

Gloucester Harbor by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

Gloucester Harbor by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

This painting of Gloucester Harbor at sunrise is a particularly important one for me. My husband Russ and I had just attended a week-long photography course at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport where we studied under master photographer, Joe Baraban. I learned to see like never before and to seek the light at dawn and at the golden hour around sunset.

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Also posted in Landscapes, Oil Paintings, Uncategorized