Tag Archives: art

What a Year of Art

Oil painting of grape pickers by Pat Meier-Johnson

The Pickers – oil painting by Pat Meier-Johnson (study) Wine Country Series

It has been quite a while since my last post. It’s been quite a year.  Travel and numerous art shows and commissions throughout the year have provided me with a real deadline…sometimes I need that kick in the pants.  I am finding great solace working in the studio. The noise of the election season continues and at times it is almost deafening. I feel like pulling a pillow over my head and going into hiding, but instead I put on some good music, set up the paints and get lost in the studio until Russ comes and hauls me out.(It’s always surprising how dark it is at the end of the day this time of year.)


I have opened an etsy store just for my closeout items.  Visit us at https://www.etsy.com/shop/PatMeierJohnsonArt  I have a number of pieces that have been in shows and Open Studios and galleries. So I am running out of room as I make more pictures.  This might be a way of great way to pick up a real deal on original art as a gift for the holidays.  You can view and purchase my other works at my ongoing online store, http://patmeierjohnson.com/  anytime.

In addition to numerous shows in Marin and Sonoma, I am honored that several of my paintings won awards this year including the following:

New Beginnnings: Honorable Mention – Marin County Fair

Painting of Sonoma Land Trust Baylands Restoration Project

New Beginnings (Sonoma Land Trust Restoration of Baylands) – 10 x 30 Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson

The judges at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair awarded three of my paintings and two of Russ’ photos this year. I am particularly fond of these paintings – Piggy Dreams and The Toast, award-winners in the Agricultural and Lifestyle categories and a third prize winner, By Any Other Name:

Award-winning painting of sleeping pigs honored at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair

 Piggy Dreams – 16 x 20 oil painting on panel by Pat Meier-Johnson. Award-winning painting at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair 2016 

Artist Pat Meier-Johnson paints three girls celebrating with a glass of wine. Winner Sonoma Harvest Fair 2016

The Toast – 20 x 20 oil on canvas by Pat Meier-Johnson SOLD

Painting of autumn roses in Sonoma by Pat Meier-Johnson

By Any Other Name  – roses and peonies in a blue vase 12 x 12 oil on canvas by Pat Meier-Johnson

Russ and I have also been exhibiting together at Open Studios at the Marin Society of Artists and also currently have a show called “Side by Side” at the Parkpoint Health Club in Sonoma. Our reception was full of friends and we’ve met a number of new locals too.  The club is just a few blocks from our studio and a really nice place to work out.

Recently I have been doing some experimenting with colors, inspired by the bright hues of autumn.  This one in particular is a vineyard in southern Oregon. 

Oregon Vineyard in the afternoon - oil painting by Pat Meier-Johnson

Vineyard in the Afternoon (Study-Not for sale)

So come visit the online store and web site and even better, come visit when you’re in the neighborhood. I wish you the very best holiday season and a peaceful, happy 2017.

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Jump for Joy – It’s Time for Marin Open Studios

Oil painting of happy dogs by Pat Meier-Johnson

Jump for Joy – 16 x 20 oil painting on canvas by Pat Meier-Johnson

It’s Time to Celebrate Art

Hot dog (or dogs!) it’s that time of year for Marin Open Studios! I will be exhibiting new paintings and prints at the new headquarters for the Marin Society of Artists, 1515 Third Street at E in San Rafael. And right next to me will be my hubby Russ with his great photography. We’ll only be there May 7-8 so come see us. And bring your mom – remember May 8 is Mother’s Day. How about getting Mom a painting or a fine photograph as a gift?  And don’t forget the gala on Saturday April 30, 5pm – 8pm. Meet the artists, enjoy wine and lite bites, bid on items in the Silent Auction.


It was a great honor to have been able to contribute two works for the annual LymeLight Foundation’s Dart for Art auction in Burlingame, California. My good friend, photographer Judy Reed, introduced me to this this beautiful event featuring more than 100 works of art and more than 300 attendees. The audience gets to peruse the art at the beginning of the evening, making note of those pieces they want the most. Then according to group numbers on their name tags, each group assembles at the entry to the gallery area and on the given the green light, they dart to the piece of art they want and (provided it wasn’t already chosen by an earlier dart-er, they place their name tag below the tag describing the artwork to claim it. Lots of fun and lots of money was raised for young people suffering from awful tick-borne (and transmittable) Lyme disease. Insurance does not provide adequate coverage for this disabling disease, so every contribution helps.

STAY IN TOUCH. We love to hear from you and we look forward to seeing you in person at one of our upcoming shows.

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Of Muses and Mentors

It’s a beautiful day today and I just want to give a shout-out to some of the very special mentors in my life.

My grandfather loved to paint in the Carmel California area. This was at Point Lobos. Note the chipmunk taking in the same view.

My grandfather was my early mentor in art. He loved to paint in the Carmel California area. This was at Point Lobos. Note the chipmunk taking in the same view.

We were a very lucky family when I was growing up – four generations under one roof. Yes, I even remember my great-grandmother and the life lessons she would teach me. My gutsiness came from my grandmother who taught voice in our home studio and turned people who never thought they could sing into accomplished performers. My mother and father were hard-working, enterprising professionals in the textile business building relationships with top designers like Edith Head and bringing the finest fabrics to fashion-conscious enthusiasts in Marin County and San Francisco. Mom raised me to believe I could do anything I set my mind to. But it was my grandfather – an engineer, architect, poet, and artist who taught me to love art, giggle and appreciate hand-drawn cartoons of artists like Wilhelm Busch, and to understand some of the basics of painting. I would spend hours in my grandfather’s studio and he would drive me to the Marin Society of Artists in Ross as a small child, where I would take crafts classes. Little did I know then that years later, I would be exhibiting my own paintings at Marin Open Studios in that very same place.

Over the years some excellent teachers have opened my eyes:  First of all, my husband Russ. It’s a joy to hang out with him and see what he captures in his photography and videos. At College of Marin I started studying art with Chester Arnold.  His profound paintings carry important messages about society today. A trip with my husband to the Maine Media Workshops introduced me to photography instructor Joe Baraban, who taught me about light, the most important element in photography and painting. He also taught me about Gestalt, perspective, visual tension and I’ll share with you this important point: “You find the light, you’ll find the shot.”  Light is everything! And a very special shout out to my mentor with whom I have been studying the past couple of years, Novato-based artist Carol Smith Myer, creator of luminous oil paintings.

So in keeping with my philosophy of living life with an attitude of gratitude, I say thank you to my friends, my family and my mentors.


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How Grief and Hope Inspire Art

Claude Monet, Rue Montorgueil, Paris, Festival of June 30, 1878. 1878. Oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France. WikiCommons PD-23

It took less than an hour for the graphics to appear. Some were broad brush stroked images, some  were highly sophisticated photographs.  The terrorist attack in Paris that at the time of this writing has taken nearly 130 lives has so moved people around that world that social media is full of images, not of carnage but of faith and hope and of course, grief. Some chose to post Claude Monet’s Rue Montorgueil,  Paris, Festival of June 30 1878, French flags flying and the street filled with carefree revelers under a blue sky. It was created to celebrate “Peace and Work” as the country emerged from its defeat in the Franco-Prussian war.  Others posted on Facebook vintage video of Edith Piaf, the little sparrow who fought her own pain and sang of love, anguish, courage and life in her beloved France. Still others posted their own photographs of the City of Lights, links to paintings by famous Impressionists, pictures of city halls and interiors of airliners lit up in the blue, white and red of the French flag.

I see few words of hatred and more of grief and solidarity with those who suffer at the hands of terrorists not only in France, but worldwide. The tear-filled eye reflecting the colors of the French flag, the child’s drawing of a bent Eiffel tower say so much in a simple image. We must fight hatred in ourselves and in those who want to dominate others with it.

Ironically today is Claude Monet’s birthday.  What would he have said about what happened to his Paris?

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Left-handed Still Life with Fruit

Fruit Bowl - Oil Painting on linen panel by Pat Meier-Johnson

Fruit Bowl – Oil Painting on linen panel by Pat Meier-Johnson

I decided to try a still life painting with my non-dominant hand. A large brush, broad strokes, and voila. Even the pattern and folds in the tablecloth came out well. Of course I went in with my right hand and finished off a few things. The stripes in the bowl were more difficult to do with my left hand, for instance.

Best thing about still lifes is that you get to eat the fruit afterwards. The mangoes were delicious.


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Napa Earthquake Inspires Oil Painting

Napa Earthquake Oil Painting

August 24 Napa – Oil Painting based on Napa Earthquake 22 x 28 by Pat Meier-Johnson

When you live in California you become accustomed to earthquakes, but the 6.0 Napa Earthquake August 24, 2014 had a profound effect on me, shaking me out of a deep sleep to be helpless to the rumbling, twisting and  bizarre flashing earthquake lights or EQL .  A week or so later Russ and I drove over the hill from our Sonoma home to downtown Napa. We

Building damaged in Napa earthquake

Building damaged in Napa earthquake

saw the damage and I was particularly moved by one building that seemed gouged out by the quake, revealing its innards, sheet rock, wood beams, insulation, laid bare to the sky.  The image haunted me. Little did I know at that time that I would paint an abstract of this building to help raise funds for art and for earthquake recovery.

A couple of months after the quake I took a six-session class associated with the recent Realism exhibition at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, taught by Jean Prominski, executive director of ARTescape (more about that further down). Each class taught us to look at reality in a different way and one session involved making our own mirror kaleidoscopes and photographing the museum through it.  It made me think of the disorientation and the buildings and lives fractured by the recent Napa disaster. So I focused my kaleidoscope on the exposed infrastructure the downtown Napa building and used it to inspire my painting, “August 24 – Napa”.

“August 24 – Napa” goes on display for sale today December 7, 2014 and half the proceeds go to Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund http://napavalleycf.org/ and half to ARTescape http://artescapesonoma.com/, a Sonoma Valley program providing affordable and accessible creative opportunities on the visual arts to the diverse population of the Sonoma Valley community.  Bids may be made in person, over the phone 707-938-5551 or by email.

“Kaleidoscope”, the name of the show where this oil painting is on display also features photographs from the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art class by Suzanne Brangham, Susan Bundschu, Kay Maynard, Connie Parker, Suzanne Phillips, Jean Prominski, Jan Rafferty and Francina Richardson and me, ranging from the keys of the grand piano in the museum to the washboard pattern of the rolling garage door that leads to the museum classroom. The works will be on display December 7, 2014 – January 12, 2015 at ARTescape, 17474 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma www.artescape.com .

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