Thursday, October 16, 2014

Elise Cheval as Namaka in her mini opera "Voice for Mother Earth" debuts at Green Citizen in San Rafael

Less than 1 week after Green Citizen, an environmentally and socially conscious business collecting e-waste for free opened their 19th center in the Bay area, Elise Cheval was contacted through her web site and asked to show her art and stage a grassroots performance in San Rafael.  With big dreams to reach people about the impact of plastics on the marine environment and human health, Elise puts her money where her mouth is and makes her costumes out of recycled materials.  For her mini opera, "Voice for Mother Earth", she knitted and crocheted recycled audiocassette tapes to depict the endangered sea dragons, creatures she saw for the first time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 2009.  For the performance at Green Citizen, Elise created a music concrete, using sound effects of whales, shorebirds, and African animals, which have a "conversation" with concert pianist Jeffrey Paul and Native American percussionist QiQe White Elk.  During the performance, models wore the project GREEN runway collection including a dress made out of recycled plastic Target bags.   Elise's recycled art is currently on display through November 22 at Green Citizen, 777 Grand Avenue and 2nd Street, San Rafael.  The performance was videotaped by professional videographer Evan Harrar and will be shown on You Tube. 

Namaka wearing knitted and crocheted audiocassette tape costume

Namaka and QiQe White Elk
R to L, Louise Maloof, CEO/Founder of Green Citizen
James Kao, Forest Ray Thundercloud, Buffy Stolarcyzk, Angela

R to L, QiQe White Elk, Elise Cheval, Evan Harrar, Jeffrey Paul

A nice group of folks saw the show!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Opening of Luminous Worlds:Art of the Spirit at O'Hanlon Center for the Arts, December 3, 2013

Mock Fresco, "Free Spirits", created with mixed media will be on view through December during O'Hanlon Center for the Arts juried show, Luminous Worlds:Art of the Spirit, juried by Cindy Pavlinac from Sacred Land Photography.  I look forward to seeing you at the Artist's Roundtable and Opening on December 3, 2013
"Free Spirits", mock fresco, 2012

Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Solo Show Coming to the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts in December 2014

In preparation for my next solo show, currently titled "Equus:Self Portrait", in the Loft Gallery at the O'Hanlon Center For the Arts, in Mill Valley, December 2, 2014,  I am working on my new body of work including paintings, drawings and sculptures of horses.  For inspiration, I've been using the photographs of my favorite Camargue ponies, by my favorite equine photographer, Robert Vavra. However, when it comes to equine art-making, I prefer working LIVE.

I am documenting my process with photos, videos and writing.  As a story teller, I love to experience the "ahas" in my life, and recently I got a good one.  It started with my research on the internet on how to improve my writing skills.  I discovered Glen Strathy's post on his blog,, "How to create a plot outline in 8 easy steps".   I listed as one of the "Requirements" to achieve my story goal, "You will meet people who will teach you about horses."  That afternoon, Providence and Fortune were upon me, after I stepped out of the Woodlands Market in Kentfield, and glanced at the bulletin board that I never look at and spied a flyer by Equine Insight, an operation owned by Judy Weston-Thompson.  Her fully certified operation called Equine Insight,, at Willow Tree Stables, in Wild Horse Valley, is just 20 minutes from my studio, in Novato, CA!  With her permission, I have taken some pictures of her beautiful creatures, a 19 year old French Percheron -gentle giant- gelding, named Star; a 21 year old gelding -beauty- named Cesar and a 23 year old mare -sweetheart- named Calysta, and posted them here.

Now, as journeys go, they start out as one thing and continue to morph into something else.  As an artist and Feldenkrais teacher, I am interested in the mind, consciousness and how we make sense of our world.  I enjoy seeing images emerge from the "random" "leftovers" of paint, oil sticks and markers, on paper, like a Rorschach blot, which I use as "backgrounds" for my art journals.  Last Monday, when I returned to my studio after my first encounter with Judy's horses, electric shocks of recognition raced through me, as I noticed on the corner of my art bench, the "painting", created months before, that was waiting to be dredged up from the depths of my unconscious.

A "painting" created with random leftovers of paint

Star, Cesar and Calysta, 2013

Star, Cesar and Calysta

Cesar and friend


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

GARB-age solo show moves to the City Center Building in Oakland

Having my work in the public view is so exciting.  I was able to eavesdrop as people walked by and saw Scarlett, Rhett and the others take center stage under sky lights at the City Center Building and deVries Institute at 505 14th street.  The show will be up from August 28 to November 23 and then will move back to my studio in Novato.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Marin Arts Festival a HUGE Success

My friend, Laura Lee Fritz and I, took advantage of the opportunity to show and sell our work at the Marin Arts Festival this year.  We had a great time, selling our hand-made, hand-dyed jackets, tee shirts and scarves on a beautiful sunny day, while enjoying the music from a live sound stage.

GARB-age moves from Union Bank to the Gymboree Corporation

I am happy to announce that my recycled trashion collection will be moving to the Gymboree Corporation for a month before it makes its final destination to the City Center Building in Oakland.
Scarlett and Rhett, and the rest of the collection, can be seen there through August 28 and will be on view in Oakland until November 23.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Legend of Kunibiki at O'Hanlon Center For the Arts through April 2013

The NEW fabrics are a hit!  People look at them and ponder if they are made out of silk.  At the Roundtable artist talk, the Facilitator at O'Hanlon Center For the Arts asked me why I called the kimono pictured here "The Legend of Kunibiki".  I shared the Creation story of how the god Yatsukomeizuomozunu saw that after the gods had created the Land of Izumo, now known as Japan,  that it was too small.  He used a plow and a rope to pull other pieces of land together, the way the mixed media act as a substrate to hold the colorants in the kimonos I create.  I loved how the accidental cracks are a metaphor for the land in the Creation Story and found my process to be consistent with the myth. 

Elise with "The Legend of Kunibiki", Mixed Media, 2013