Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dancing with Anna Halprin at her mountain home

Hi All,

I've started my next phase in my personal development, dancing every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. with Anna Halprin.
Tonight, we are celebrating Winter Solstice at Anna's mountain home. For directions, go to www.annahalprin.org. I hope you can join us for movement ritual, painting, singing and having a great time!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

my magic sand paint

NEW App for Digital Drawing

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fwd: Mark Your Calendar! Elise Cheval: WORKS Art Show and Birthday Party with Live Entertainment!


Begin forwarded message:

From: Elise Cheval <elisecheval@gmail.com>
Date: November 24, 2010 4:53:44 PM PST
To: Elizabeth Roth <elisecheval@gmail.com>
Subject: Mark Your Calendar! Elise Cheval: WORKS Art Show and Birthday Party with Live Entertainment!

Elise Cheval WORKS 2 copy.jpg

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lamp on a Lake

Just saw the Post-Impressionism Exhibit at the DeYoung Museum in San
Francisco! I painted this lamp into a dark Prussian blue landscape

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Digital Painting with Flow Painter

Digital Painting in the Spirit of Collot d'Herbois' Veil Painting

Elise Cheval:WORKS, Solo Gallery Show in The Loft at O'Hanlon Center For the Arts

Hi Folks,

In Rembrandt's time, painters painted on Belgian linen with oils. Now, we're riddled with plastic. As artists and concerned stewards of Earth's future, we must find a way to use the plastic that continues to overwhelm our landfills and muck up our oceans. I'm only one girl, with one voice,and sometimes I feel like my effort to make our world a better place is merely a drop in the bucket, yet still I persevere in my quest to beautify the planet one artwork at a time.

Come and see and hear what I've got to say in my first Solo Show, "Elise Cheval: WORKS" at O'Hanlon Center For The Arts during my Opening on December 7 from 6-8 PM. Contemporary artworks including oil and watercolor paintings inspired by Collot d'Herbois' Veil paintings and sculptures created with China silk, rabbit skin glue, acrylic frames and mirrors and various media will be shown through December from 10-2PM in the "Loft Gallery".

While you bask in the glow of the "Art of the Spirit:Duality" Show next door in the Main Gallery, ask yourself, "What would Rembrandt do if he had access to acrylic frames?"


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Artworks Downtown's Small Works Show

Hi Folks,

My interest in creating miniature artwork will be appreciated by folks at the
Small Works Show during the Opening at Artworks Downtown on December 10.
My piece, "Georg", made with hand-painted eggshells will be on display through
the holidays.

I hope you can come.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sebastopol Center for the Arts Show: Innovations in Fiberart V

Hi Folks,
My artwork will be exhibited in Sebastopol Center for the Arts show called Innovations in Fiberart V.  The exhibition opens with a reception on Thursday, October 28, and runs through December 4, 2010.
Juror, Melissa Leventon, founding partner of Curatrix Group museum consultants, is a specialist in European and American textiles. She was formerly Curator-in-Charge of Textiles at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and has authored many exhibition catalogues, books, and journals. She teaches fashion history and theory at California College of the Arts. Melissa has been a consultant to numerous institutions, and currently is working with The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok. She received her BA from Brandeis Univ. and her MA in Art History/History of Dress from the Courtauld Inst. of Art, Univ. of London. 
Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Fiberart, 6780 Depot Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472
I hope you can come.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pictures of Breaking Through at Marin MOCA

The Opening at Marin MOCA's show, "Speaking of Solitude", was well populated with on-lookers and artists alike. I was happy to see "Breaking Through" positioned in front of the slatted window and casting her shadow on the floor at 4:00 PM.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Speaking of Solitude 6th National Juried Exhibition

Juror: Maria Medua, DirectorSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art
(SFMOMA) Rental Gallery, Fort Mason, San Francisco, California
has accepted my eggshell dress on vinyl, held together with
velcro for exhibition from September 4 - October 3.
I hope to see all of you at the Reception: September 11, 5 to 7pm


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Camargue Fantasy

It's been 6 months since I painted for the first time on my iPhone. I stopped after 3 weeks because I noticed the potentially deleterious effects to my eyes from looking at the screen and my hands and arms hurting from working on the itty bitty keyboard. I had a shock when I printed out my creations on my printer and they were grainy looking. A trip to a professional resulted in no better quality than my home printer. I found out from the clerk at Marin Photo that this is the problem with computer art! The quality is dependent on the initial resolution of the picture. iPhone apps are lacking in resolution. So, that being said, I left my goal of making a "painting-a-day" and took an oil painting class with Chester Arnold at IVC. But, as quandaries go, I love the paintings I make on my iPhone, so I decided to revisit the technology to see how I can take advantage of the App painting program called Brushes. With another Apps program called Mega Draw, I can create my own E greeting cards from my own oil paintings!

As things go, a little time for ideas in the incubator is sometimes all you need to inspire you to the next level of your art. Take the time to listen to your little/big Voice within and honor what it's telling you. All is not lost when things don't work out as you initially hoped they might. Come back and revisit what you've learned in a knew configuration and see what "shakes" out. Check out Mega Draw, and see how easily your "mistakes" are a thing of the past with a simple shake of your device.

Happy drawing and painting!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gearing Up to Paint Large

I went over to Utrecht in Berkeley to pick up a large canvas to paint a larger rendition of "The Last Run" for my solo show in December. This is my first large canvas, 36" x 48, and I'm looking forward to painting it with real oil paint. I've been painting with water-soluble oil paint, but then my friend Anne turned me on to hand-made oil paints by Williamsburg and the quality of the paints is amazing. So, I'll be making another trip over to Utrecht to get some of them.

Photographing Your Work for Gallery Shows

Photographing my own work has been a daunting task. I started out with bad advice to use white photo paper as a backdrop for my art, but encountered all kinds of problems with ambient light and reflected colors ranging from warm to cool tones of yellows and blues whether I took the pictures indoors or outdoors. It was very frustrating for me. I learned how to use Photoshoppe and was able to clean up the photos, but not to the liking of a friend/professional photographer. Shadows were a big problem, too. Then, my friend Ventana, came across some excellent advice for amateur photographers and shared it with me via email. I ended up using a piece of black velvet as a backdrop, attached to the wall, similar to when Juline used it to photograph the hats for Plexus cancer project, and the results were fantastic with no shadows or reflections on the velvet. Tomorrow, I'll post the pics I submitted to the MOCA show.

Additionally, I finished backing my piece, "Inner Reflections", made with Shisha embroidery, with a bright green piece of Lame. It turned out beautifully. I repaired my eggshell dress and photographed it as well. I retitled my piece, "Free Reelin'", submitted to the OHCA Portraiture Show, and submitted it to MOCA as "Sound Off", after Georg suggested the title, "Sounding Off". Sound Off is used when someone expresses their opinion about something. I'm expressing my opinion about the oil spills throughout the planet.

I delivered three pieces to OHCA yesterday, including my Shisha embroidery piece called "Inner Reflections", my first wire sculpture called "Wired to Go", and my painting called "Neptune's Horses".

I didn't get my act together to make the piece for the LAB Gallery, Art:Tech featuring biotech art. I guess two out of three isn't bad. Next time.

Now, I'm working on pieces for the next two shows, WEAD for the Bioneers Conference and the Wild Animal Art Show Benefit in New York.

O for Opaque - Every 2 Week Word Project

Opague, not clear. When something is opaque, it's not easily understood. The word opaque goes back to Middle English and means "shaded". Artists who use Gouache use it for it's opaque nature. My experience with gouache is limited to my color theory classes. Now, I'm thinking about how I can make statements in my art, juxtaposing opaque qualities with transparent ones.

I'm also thinking about other words that start with the letter O. "O" for Oprah! "O" for Oh My God, life is good. I made quite an impression at Utrecht. They are gifting me with a plein air umbrella! "O" for outrageous!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Neptune's Horses", oil, 8" x 10"

There is nothing more magical than white horses running together on the beach!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fury, oil, 8" x 10"

When I'm feeling ancy, I pick up my paintbrush and create works of art, living my dream to the fullest. I'm still drawing inspiration from the wonderful compositions of Equine photographer, Gabrielle Boiselle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Peace", oil, 6" x 8"

As a lover of horses, I have a hard time choosing my favorite breed. I love wild horses and the Camargue figures highly on my list. But, when it comes to pure Grace, I have to go with the Spanish Andalusian Horse. In my painting "Peace", I capture this Spirit of the Horse, after the photography by Gabrielle Boiselle.

"The Last Run", oil, 6" x 8"

Ever since I was a kid, I cringed when I read stories of how the mustang, America's wild horse brought to America by the Spanish in the 1500's, was used for pet food and glue. Now, through the mustang, I have found the vehicle to express my concern for conservation and preservation of our natural resources. In the National Geographic article, "Spirit of the West", Melissa Farlow captures the plight of the mustang, through carefully placed "underground" cameras. I am now painting "surreal" images of mustangs, and preparing my first large-scale canvas, with a larger version of my painting, "The Last Run".

"The Last Run"

Ever since I was a kid, I cringed when I read stories of how the mustang, America's wild horse brought to America by the Spanish in the 1500's, was used for pet food and glue. Now, through the mustang, I have found the vehicle to express my concern for conservation and preservation of our natural resources. In the National Geographic article, "Spirit of the West", Melissa Farlow captures the plight of the mustang, through carefully placed "underground" cameras. I am now painting "surreal" images of mustangs, and preparing my first large-scale canvas, with a larger version of my painting, "The Last Run".

"Falling From Heaven" well-recieved

I sent my painting, "Falling From Heaven", to my cousin Sharon for her birthday. She received it in time and loves it. Now, she would like another one to go with it. I asked her if she wants a diptych, but she didn't know what I was talking about. She also wasn't sure what the horse in the painting was doing, but when I told her he was rolling on his back, she agreed that it looks like that.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Falling From Heaven", oil, 11" x 14"

Painting with Acrylics has been an opportunity to explore horses in all of their configurations. In my painting, "Falling From Heaven", this horse can be viewed as rolling on his back, or falling from Heaven. I prefer to see it the latter.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Personal Creativity Workshop inspired by drawings by Duffy Huppler

Cayen layed out old pictures of drawings by Duffy Huppler printed in 1947 on the table in front of us. We were shown artworks by Rauschenberg, then told to create an artwork using more than one medium. We had a lot of fun painting, drawing and sculpting with various media including pastels, paints, ink, pencil and went to town with scissors, glue and whatever else caught our fancy. I woke up in the morning with chickens on my mind, after researching biotech art and finding a connection to the egg's use as a vessel for creating vaccines, plus a whole lot more. Phrases like, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" and "You've gotta break some eggs to make an omelet", were sizzling in my mind when I saw the picture of Duffy Huppler's "clucking" to me. What makes Huppler's work so interesting is the surreal twist he gives to his art. In his chicken drawing, he placed an egg above the chicken's head and made me think of the proverbial lightbulb that we connect to our thoughts or perhaps the thought bubble cartoonists use.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Personal Creativity Workshop

Saturday has rolled around again, in time for Cayen Robertson's Personal Creativity Workshop at OHCA. I wonder what she has in store for us? Stay tuned for pictures of artworks created in the canyons of Mill Valley. We would love to have you join us for discovering and making art in the Spirit of Anne O'Hanlon. Free parking and only $30 for non-members of OHCA.

Art in the Making - Plein Air painting - Day 2

Today, my friend Karin and I had a blast making art together. Karin is a sculptor and is working on her piece, "Midgard Serpent", while I took my paintbrush in hand and painted outdoors with oils for the first time. When I got home, I pulled out my Adobe Photoshop program and made a composite of the pictures we took today with one of the City I took in late May. Karin lives on a boat in Sausalito and I thought a picture of the City with it's gorgeous Bay was just the ticket for this Photoshop fun.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

N for "Neo Megilp"

When I was talking to Karin about my "Every 2 Week Word Project", I told her I needed a new word. I told her I was playing with "new", but I wanted something a little jazzier that had to do with art. She asked, "What about something neo?" in fact, I was thinking of Neo Megilp, as I take an interest in oil painting. Neo Megilp is a Gamblin medium for reducing viscosity of oil paint and giving that "Turner-like" atmosphere to a painting. As it turns out, Chester was very generous and gave me a small bottle of it to try out this summer. My first exploration with it happens tomorrow on Karin's boat in Sausalito. I'll be deep in thought, considering the plight of the creatures in the Gulf as I attempt to capture the wonders of my second day Plein Air painting.

6th Annual Fall Juried Art Show at MOCA

Just got an email from Karin about the MOCA Show, "Speaking in Solitude", which is accepting CAFE until July 31. This the same deadline for the OHCA Show, "Bay Area Women's Artists", and The LAB's show, "Art:Tech", featuring Biotech. So, I'll be pretty busy making art for the next 2 weeks and meeting these deadlines. Timing is an interesting concept. I've been working on my knitted and crocheted cassette tape for a year and three months now. It's initial appeal as an interesting linear material lead to my recognition of how much it looks like "oil", right down to the sheen of multiple colors in the very drab pallet of browns and black tape. Today, while at AWD painting with the girls, I saw an article in the Economist about the BP oil spill in the Gulf. The article had several pictures of the animals effected - turtles, pelicans, dolphins - slathered with the mucky reddish brown oil from an oil source more than 4 miles from the surface of the ocean. The magnamity of the problem is daunting to me. When I think of the title, "Speaking of Solitude", I wonder what they are saying. The turtles are 461 less than they were before the explosion in April. Today they reported in the Chronicle that the primary food of sea turtles, a soft pinkish colored "worm" has been severely affected by the oil. My conceptual brain is on a fast track to giving them a voice, through the permanently silenced audiotape. So stay tuned as the parts come together and tell the story of America's worst oil spill in history.

As for the "Bay Area Women's Artist's Show", stay tuned for more eggshelled vinyl and Velcro.

Then, the Art:Tech show, featuring Biotech, will be my best sculptural success of all, with a white "cleanroom" suit stenciled with the bright orange biohazard symbol, called "The Empty Rite", as a play on satanic worship and the ethereal nature of the dangers of infectious agents.

Plein Air Painting

AAH, Life is good. My friend CiCi called and invited me to paint with her at the Marin Headlands, near the Marine Mammal Center. I had so much fun painting with acrylics, but they dried so fast that it was really a challenge to "go with the flow". CiCi was using the Gorilla Painter system, including the wooden box/easel and tripod with her oil paints. When I showed interest in buying one myself, she quipped, "Why don't you go over to Utrecht in Berkeley and see if they have a 30% coupon." I put it in my mind, thinking I would first check on line with Gorilla Painter Company. After 3 or so hours, we packed up the cars and drove home, passing by the Presidio Riding Club, where I had CiCi take some pictures of me standing in front of the "Horse Crossing" sign that was hard to pass up, for my website. Now, the picture of me is posted along with a new page, "Comments", for you to leave your feedback, etc... Imagine what I was thinking when I got home and found a catalogue from Utrecht, which I did not sign up for, announcing their Summer Sale and offering a 30% off coupon! I opened the catalogue and sure enough, the Gorilla Painter system was on sale! So, this morning, I headed over to Berkeley first thing, where I picked up my very own Plein Air system, which I'll be using a lot in the coming days, since another dream of mine is to paint horses "live"!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Website

Well, I did it. I developed my own website, http://www.elisecheval.com and it looks great! I learned how to add all the bells and whistles, including expandable photos, etc... I've gotten good feedback from many of you on how to improve it even more and I really appreciate that.

Now, I'm off to the races, readying myself for the new show at O'Hanlon Art Center, "Bay Area Women's Artists", juried by Donna Seagar. See you there!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Abstraction of a Photograph

Free Reelin', mixed media, 12" x 36"

At the Roundtable last night, for the show called "You, Me, Us and Them: Contemporary Art Portraits", Juror, Irene Belknap, was present and talked about what she looks for in artwork. Her first and foremost interest is in how an artist comes from the gut and grabs the viewer emotionally. She also values a quote from a forgotten source who says that art is best when it comes from that place that says, "It's not me. It's not me. It comes from the wind that blows through me." I was delighted to meet a "kindred spirit" who thinks about art the way I do. Further, I thought about this quote and how a photograph is transformed into an abstract rendition of a 3D representation, as seen in my first "assemblage" art work called "Free Reelin'".

Last Friday morning, when I woke up and "saw" the audio cassette tapes I've been collecting for a year as potential material for a self portrait, I had no idea what the final piece would look like. Other than painting a "realistic" pallet of colors on the cassette tape housing and breaking it up into pieces, I had no idea how all of the tiny internal parts that make up a cassette tape would fit together. But, the magic of how structure and form of materials influences the final project is the joy of assemblage. From the beginning of breaking the tapes with the hammer, I noticed that the shapes resulting from the "random" breaks lent themselves to looking like the lines and curves of a face. The various plastic shards and some Elmer's glue emerged into a "necklace" and joined a pair of "ear rings", made from the colorful tape leader, and the wheel that holds the tape. After the main "face" was laid out onto the acrylic painted board, I realized that the scale of the various crocheted and knitted audio cassette tape was perfect for fashioning a "summer dress" and "hat". The "seahorse" piece I sculpted as part of the opera project, "A Sea Odyssey: 2012", is the kindred spirit that forms a "hat" and now lives in the upper right hand corner of the piece. As "Free Reelin'" continued to leap from the board, bits of metal inside the audio cassette tape became the perfect "eye lashes" and highlights in my self portrait's "eyes". Finally, the tape itself served as "hair" and "seaweed", and was attached under the hat.

Now, assemblage has grabbed me in a powerful way and will be the basis of three more pieces, created for the upcoming Faces of the Wild art auction and benefit.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paintings on View at 2nd Fridays ArtWalk in San Rafael

Spirit in the Clouds, acrylic, 11" x 14"

Rearing Dapple Grey, acrylic, 12" x 12"

Spirit, acrylic, 11" x 14"

Acrylic and oil paintings will be on view at Artworks Downtown in San Rafael, this Friday, July 9 from 6 to 8 PM.

Monday, July 5, 2010

My life as an Equine portrait painter..,

Today, I woke up and was guided by Spirit to return to the Fair a third time to see the horses and mules once more. After I had a lovely conversation with Matt and Hanna, at the Farm Fresh Foods booth, about RAW food and how I healed myself of hyperthyroidism in 2 1/2 weeks, I sauntered over to the paddock, where I was very fortunate to witness the Draft Pull, by two magnificent clydesdales, "Willie" and "Leo". I learned that they were originally bred by the Scots as war horses, and that all of their individual traits of large size, white markings and "feathers" on their legs were intended to be intimidating. Then, after the wars subsided, they were used for field work, and pulling ploughs and carts. Now, with their beautiful white feathers and sleek dark umber colored bodies glistening in the mid-day sun, they are truly something beautiful to see. Their owner, Neil, from the Jack London Ranch, was very nice to talk to and very receptive to my eager interest in his animals. He invited me to the ranch to paint his animals. In addition, I met Anne, a horsewoman and owner of 11 Roses Ranch, who owns two incredibly gorgeous white mules with black skin, named "Belle" and "Blue", who are half sisters who share the same donkey father and different mothers. As a child, my uncle told me that mules are the best horses because they are sure-footed, agile, and very smart. I guess it is because they don't have to contend with the hormones, since they are unable to reproduce. With camera in hand, I shot some beautiful videos and offered them to Neil, who was delightful and looks forward to seeing preliminary paintings of my first Equine Portraits, fashioned from my own pictures. I love how I can capture stills from the videos I shot and will be able to to paint them with their prancing hooves standing in mid air. Their harnesses alone will be a huge challenge for me, with all of the straps and fittings, but I am willing to give it my best shot. So, look for my portraits coming soon...

"Free Reelin'", Self Portrait on View at OHCA through July

I was sitting in chair number 7, my lucky number, on one of the rides at Marin County Fair today, when I felt the buzz in my pocket, alerting me that an email was coming in. When I saw the good news that OHCA chose my artwork for their upcoming show, "You, Me, Us and Them: Contemporary Art Portraiture", I was ecstatic. I really hoped that "Free Reelin'" would be picked and it was, along with my first eggshell mosaic, "Georg". The Opening Roundtable is tomorrow at OHCA, from 4 to 6 PM, then the formal Reception for public viewing will be from 6 to 8 PM. You can get more information for parking, etc... at www.ohanlonartcenter.org. See you soon. Pictures to follow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Portraiture, Contemporary Art Style

A whirlwind of activity grabbed me yesterday, after I broke my new eggshelled glass portrait of Georg and Koko. I simply had to have an entry for the O'Hanlon show, so when I woke up I was thinking a lot about what to work on. Then, a flash of insight - a self portrait made with the audiocassette tapes I've collected for a year for my Sea Odyssey: 2012 project would be just the ticket. I just love how the tape looks like hair or seaweed. Plus, all of the little pieces that make up a cassette tape, including the little piece of flat copper with a small square of felt which functions beautifully as "eye lashes" and the silver plate works great as the glint in the eye. Now, "Free Reelin'" has manifested, complete with all of the crocheted audiocassette tape that I made over the past year, which is the perfect size on a 12" x 24" board painted with acrylic. Imagine my joy when the little happenstance of the red leader appeared as I unwound the tape, and it became the perfect dangly "earring" when left attached to the cassette wheel. The little inner wheels serve well as "teeth" and "pupils". I'll know on Monday if my piece gets into the show. See you at OHCA on Tues for Roundtable and Opening Reception.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"M" for Mercy and Mark-Making

My every two week word project is clicking along nicely. Now, I'm up to "M" for mercy, as spiritual words find their way into my vocabulary these days. In keeping with my art theme, I'm making my "mark on the world", painting up a storm.

"Honorable Mention" for "Walkin' on Eggshells" in Marin County Fair

"Return to Oz", various media

Walkin' on Eggshells, eggshells on vinyl, 6' x 2' x 2'

Tonight, I received phone calls from friends letting me know that my wearable art, "Walkin' on Eggshells", created with eggshelled vinyl and held together with velcro has won a green ribbon for Honorable Mention. I'll be going to the Fair tomorrow with camera in hand to see for myself. Pictures will be posted tomorrow for your viewing enjoyment.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trash into Treasure

Indian Pony, acrylic on clayboard, 8" x 10"

Today, while at Art Works Downtown, I happily discovered in the trash three canvases that the artist tossed even before the painting had hardly begun. Given the nature of the economic/world situation, I quickly retrieved the "orphans" and made them my own. One "Clay Board", costs $12.95 at an art store, and my heart was breaking as I saw it unloved and unused to its full potential. So, I now have painted my beloved equus with my newest discovered "metallic" paint in gold and purples. The other two canvases, one on gessoed board, and the other a traditional fabric canvas, have been turned into a beautiful diptych of an abstracted version of "Neptune's Horses", and a more realistic looking dappled grey, my all time favorite "winter" colored horses commonly seen in Rockwell paintings. It's hard to believe that the paintings (photos to follow), started out as "trash".

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Eggshelling on glass

At 5:37 in the morning, I can hear the crows cawing for their breakfast - peanuts my husband throws out for them. Now that the hustle and bustle of summer opera has come to a rip roaring finish and I'm almost over my summer flu bug, I'm gearing up to finish my next big project. On July 2 and 3, submissions for the upcoming show, You, Me, Us and Them: Contemporary Portaiture, at OHCA, is due. In addition to submitting my first eggshelled portrait of my husband Georg, who spells his name without an "e", I am eggshelling a photo of him and my pet cockatiel Koko, who celebrated his 11th birthday on June 4. Where does the time go? If the number 11 does symbolize relationships, then this picture I took as a series of 75 shots says it all. What does it say? Koko loves to snuggle.

There I go digressing again.

I learned how to program in HTML. It really is a feat especially since I told myself for the life of the Internet that all that gobbeldygook was "too hard" and consequently never developed my website. Now that's a story in itself and you get the gist of its magnitude when you go on-line to research how to build a website. It must be pretty daunting for folks to look at a blank page because the number of templates now available are amazing. Everything from personal to professional sites - it seems there are no limits to what you can do with HTML. But, as technology clicks along, HTML is soon becoming a dinosaur of the past. Website development just got easier with Flash, a code based on vector graphics, which will make my website move like the wind, with full animation of my galloping, frolicking horses.

Speaking of horses - I'm painting up a storm these days with acrylic. Given my utter disdain for the synthetic muk that is polluting Mother Earth, I never knew how wonderful acrylic paint can be. I have discovered a media that gives me complete control of my painting process. I recentlty discovered the beauty of multiple overlays possible through adding the media to quick drying mediums. Now, I can paint multiple layers of paint in lickety split. I'm also being conscientious of proper disposal of my waste rinse waters and am collecting them in separate containers for future runs to the hazardous chemical disposal plant. I'm also collecting my rags, Handiwipes and paper towels now "decorated" with the vibrant colors from my painting sessions, for who knows what? Future fiber art projects integrated with my dryer lint and felt projects. The sky is the limit in the world of pure creativity and material girl bliss.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Listing on ART Slant

I'm now registered on the website for artists called ART Slant. To see my work, go to http://www.artslant.com/sf/artists/show/108104-elise-cheval

Call For Entries for July and August at OHCA

Georg, Eggshell Mosaic on Glass, 4" x 6"

The O'Hanlon Center for the Arts is having two more shows! In July, look for their exhibit, called "You, Me, Us, Them: Exploring Contemporary Portraiture, juried by Irene Belknap. Then, in August, Donna Seagar returns to jury the "Bay Area Women's Artist's" show. For the prospectus, go to http://www.ohanloncenter.org/. For the portraiture show, I will submit my eggshell mosaics piece called "Georg", named after my husband. Then, in August, I'll be high-stepping and walking on eggshells, in matching shoes, hat and clutch to go with my eggshelled vinyl and velcro dress that will be on view at the Marin County Fair until July 5.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Walkin' on Eggshells" and "Return to Oz" Accepted in Marin County Fair

I called the Fair office and learned that two of my artworks were accepted
into the Marin County Fair. They'll be on view until July 5. For ticket information, go to www.marincountyfair.org.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Elise Cheval Performs with Contemporary Opera Marin during the Tiburon Music Festival

The Seasonings by PDQ Bach

Prohibition Songs

We're having a blast performing on stage with Contemporary Opera Marin. Our Opening Night was a sell-out. Let's hope that our Closing Night, Saturday, June 26 will be a sell-out, too! Check out these stills I captured from the Flip Video my husband filmed.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hi Ho Silver, Silverpoint Drawing

"Hi Ho Silver", silverpoint drawing, 11" x 14"

Last semester, while taking Materials and Techniques, with Chester Arnold, I learned about an ancient drawing technique called silverpoint or metalpoint, where the artist makes marks with a piece of metal wire onto a gessoed clayboard. I loved the concept of being able to make marks with a piece of metal wire, so I created the piece, "Hi Ho Silver" for the Marin County Fair. Since I was a little girl, I always got excited when our horses would rear up on their hind legs. The title reminds one of the famous Lone Ranger, who shouted to his loyal white steed named Silver, "Hi Ho Silver away", but I got my inspiration for the title from a play on words on the media silverpoint.

Submission of Artwork to Marin County Fair

Another milestone! I got my artworks to the Marin County Fair on time on Friday. I submitted 6 artworks including my oil paintings, "Camargue Dream" and "Fire Spirit", in beautiful frames purchased at Cheap Pete's in San Rafael, an iPhone painting called, "Keep That Dogie Rollin" that gave me a good education on "resolution" when I had it printed on photopaper at Marin Filmworks in San Rafael. It looks great on the screen, but when I had it printed it came out blurry. Ugh! The iPhone app called "Brushes" might be a great little painting program, but when it comes to printing a hard copy of my painting, it sure leaves a lot to be desired. My wearable art, under the title, "Walkin' on Eggshells", also gave me an education. A year ago, when I wore it in my final critique, "Breaking Thru", it was the hottest day of the year, and the vinyl melted in the car! I really wasn't sure if I could recover it's original shape, but over time while hanging on a dress stand, it worked out the "kinks". Plus, I discovered rather late that a key piece in the shoulder of the dress was missing! UGH. So, I recut the piece, using a technique I perfected while working on the shoes and hat, eggshelled it in record time, and it looked great. My first artbook, "Return to Oz", turned heads when I dropped it off. But, my pride and joy, is my silverpoint drawing, "Hi Ho Silver", which looks elegant in its silver colored frame. So, we'll see tomorrow if my artworks are accepted by the jurors.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Last day of 17th Annual Italian Street Painting Festival

Four days after the Festival, I was able to walk normally again! Seriously folks -- it is an incredible experience to be so close to the ground for two days in grueling 90 degree plus heat, "painting" my beloved Equus with chalk pastels -- but, it is physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. However, having never been one to shirk from a challenge, when I heard on Thursday from Suzanne, the Director of the Youth in Arts Program, that I would be painting in the Festival on Saturday, I had a few days to prepare for the event. Using my Feldenkrais skills and meditation, I visioned the entire process from laying out the grid lines, to sketching and finally painting "Camargue Dream", with the chalk pastels in 90 degree heat. When I was exhausted and didn't know how I would be able to make another mark on the ground, I drew on the picture in my mind of pulling myself up by the bootstraps and trudging up the mountain. I knew that I would succeed.
In the morning, I gathered up all of my tools -- brushes and rags for blending, a piece of string to create a chalkline, pieces of felt for blending, a sun hat and sun screen, and plenty of water and a small cooler for snacks to get me through the day -- and I arrived in time for Ole Man Summer to be shining in all of his glory from the East Bay. Covered from head to toe and slathered with 70 Sunscreen, I managed to avoid the inevitable sunburns I got as a kid. Moreover, I developed a real appreciation for the nutrient that sustained me - WATER - throughout the day! Half way through the 2nd day, I started to get a feel for handling the chalk pastels on the asphalt, to the point that I really enjoyed the process of scratching and blending the luxurious media on the ground.
There were so many incredible moments, but the "highlight" of my day at the Festival, was when I had a sudden urge to stand up after painting for 2 hours and right behind me, watching me "paint", stood my Sponsor, Mr. Chris Dempsy, and his children John and Kate. They just "happened" to be standing there when I dragged my stiff body from the abstract images unfolding before my eyes. By this time, I was so full of emotion that I nearly burst into tears because it really is a GIFT to be part of such an incredible event, and Mr. Dempsy's generous GIFT made it possible for me to participate this year, when there were more Sponsors than Artists. Spirit is so GENEROUS!!!

Now that its over, people tell me that they enjoyed seeing my horses at the Festival and ask me, "Will you do it again?" They know its grueling and bolster my confidence when I say, "YES". In fact, on our way home from the Festival, dirty from head to toe with chalk pastel dust, I told my husband, "I just loved painting on the street. I'm going to practice on the street in front of our home." I definitely "heard" him whince at the meer thought, but he didn't object to my aspirations to practice over the year, so I'll be well prepared and ready for the 18th Annual Italian Street Painting Festival next year!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"L" for Love

Well, as my Word Every Two Weeks, Project continues, I'm up to the letter "L", and what better than the word "Love" to express how grateful I am for all of the opportunities that have unfolded for me this year. When I set up this project in January, I hadn't considered where the letters of the English alphabet would fall during the year. It seems quite befitting to see "Love" and so much of it in my life during the time period when the Summer Solstice will usher in the longest day of the year!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One Day Down and One More to Go

What a TRIP! I arrived at 10:00 AM to the Street Painting Festival, and right away encountered some lovely children resting their hands in my square! Cute little orange fingerprints don't work well with a heavenly blue background, unless of course you think "complementary" colors. No worry. I showed the little kids my painting and said, "See my picture - no orange!" Their mother was accomodating. My next door neighbor on my other side is a lovely girl from Indonesia named April, and paints like a genius for her first time in the Festival. I had no clue how to approach my picture, so I just went for it, filling in the background and working the whole painting at once. NOT a good idea though because I ended up stepping on areas that were previously worked. But, I am having fun, staying hydrated and learning a lot from the Master's at the Festival. One thing for sure that helps is to start with a good image that is "realistic" with a lot of shading. My painting defintely is "mooshier", and I approached the pastel painting in this fashion. Next year, I'll have a different approach. I love working with the pastels, and they aren't nearly as dirty as I anticipated. Well, tomorrow, I'll get an early start and beat the heat as much as possible. Tonight, I'll sleep like a baby.


In progress


Italian St Painting Festival

Camargue Dream in progress!

"In the Dust" in San Rafael

Well folks,

The day has arrived! I've been working hard to prepare myself for what I expect will be a fun, but very challenging day, sitting on asphalt and "painting" with pastels. I've decided to reproduce my beloved painting "Camargue Dream", 2010, after a photo called "Galloping Horses" I saw on the internet. I prepared my grid and placed it in a protective plastic sleeve because by the end of the day, I can image that it will be pretty dirty. I designed some lovely business cards with a cropped version of my painting, "Camargue Dream", in hopes that I'll get a commission or two to paint equine portraiture. I've packed my cooler with plenty of water and a healthy lunch. My art basket is full of supplies including extra large Sennelier pastels, which I picked up at the Mill Valley Art Store going-out-of-business-sale, bristle brushes, paper towels, gloves for smudging and blending chalks, Handiwipes to clean my hands, a large-brimmed sunhat and UV ray-buster sunscreen, and plenty of layers of clothing for conditions that can quickly change from egg-beater hot to "Old Man of the North" chills in the hills of San Rafael. Music will be provided by my friend Adrian Quince, so I'll leave my earphones at home. I'll have my 5 megapixel camera ready to capture the happy moments through the day. More tomorrow.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Blog Design

I'm going "minimalist" style on my Blog. I hope it's even easier to read than the older version, which had a black background on PC's and a purple one on Macs. I also like the white "gallery" look for "hanging" my art. I'd love to know what you think?


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Italian Street Painting Festival, June 12 and 13

"Camargue Dream", portrait-style, soon to be reproduced on asphalt with pastels, 4' x 6'

Oh, Happy Day!

Suzanne Joyal, the Director of the Artists in Schools, in San Rafael, called to ask me to participate this year in the Youth in Arts Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael. I'll be painting a picture on the street of camargue ponies, with chalk pastels, under a wide brimmed sunhat and plenty of sunscreen. Stay tuned for the videos and photos my husband Georg will take to mark the occassion. See you there, June 12 and 13 from 11: Am to 5:00 PM.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New Studio Space at Artworks Downtown in San Rafael

Well, I took the plunge and rented space where I can paint with oil. I started painting last semester with Chester Arnold, who's artworks are on view at the Catharine Clark Gallery through September. Each week, Anne, Carol, Christiane, Esther and Elise will be meeting to paint and share our creative juices. Our paintings will be on view during Art Walk. Hopefully, I'll have an opportunity to sell my paintings and note cards.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Personal Creativity Workshop at O'Hanlon Center for the Arts

It's Saturday, and another opportunity to join Cayan Robertson and all the girls for her Personal Creativity Workshop at O'Hanlon Center. Come and join us and see what Cayan has up her sleeve today.


Painting on Silk

Learn how to paint on silk in my introductory silk painting class, using basic watercolor techniques. Sunday, August 22 from 12-3 PM. All materials provided. No experience necessary. Limited class size . $32 for members of O'Hanlon Center for the Arts; $40 for non-members. $8 materials fee. To register, please contact www.ohanloncenter.org


Friday, June 4, 2010

Tiburon Music Festival

The Tiburon Music Festival is in full swing this year at St. Hillary's Church, in a breathtaking setting overlooking the Bay in Tiburon. We have a great line up of Bay area musicians dressed in full costume with magnificent hand-painted sets singing opera June 19-26. I'll be singing in two of the operas, "The Seasonings" by P.D.Q. Bach, and in a quintet in "The Prohibition Songs". I hope you can come. For Ticket Information, go to www.tiburonmusicfestival.org


Thursday, June 3, 2010

One Year Anniversary Blogging

My Little Mermaid

Say, "Hello" to Shannon

Glass Art By Shannon Seek

Well Folks,

I'm getting a lot of comments through my email about the picture I took of the sky yesterday. I have to tell you that I didn't "take" the picture. I actually just pointed the camera over my shoulder in the direction of Mt. Tam, and clicked the shutter button. Look at the composition of the image. Just a little off-center. Catch the little hexagon shape in the lower right corner? Probably due to refraction of the sun from the magnificent skies we've had in this fantastic watery El Nino year. At any rate, it's a great expression of the Wabi-Sabi I learned about on Tuesday night. The best of that moment though was when I LOOKED at the picture. What an EXPERIENCE that was.

I guess you are thinking by NOW that it couldn't possibly get any better than this. Right? Well, it just got BETTER. As you know, I made a comittment this summer to build a 20 foot long tentacled octopus out of bubblewrap for the opera. NOW, the perfect stage/movie set for HER creation has manifested through Spirit. In the time of St. John, where the St. John'swort, will be blooming soon and ushering in the longest day of the year, my new friend Shannon Seek has offered her empty/FULL house to build the octopus and film a movie. To work through her troubles, she has covered the walls and floors with graffiti - images, words, spirals, symbols of love and joy - and painted the windows with gorgeous glass art while dancing her story. Imagine the octopus's tentacles feeding through the portal of the wall, of your soul! Filling the space, traveling through the rooms...


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Blue Skies Smilin' At Me, Nothing But Blue Skies Do I See - Announcing a One-Girl Art Show in the Gallery at O'Hanlon Center for the Arts in December

Hi Folks,

I'm excited to announce that I will be showing my artwork in a One-Girl art show, featuring my paintings and sculptures, at O'Hanlon Center for the Arts on December 7, 2010. This will be my last day as a 50 year old woman, and a wonderful opportunity to close another wonderful year with a huge BANG! So, Please mark your calendars. I look forward to seeing all of you there for great art, food and drink, and the best Black Forest Cherry Birthday cake and ice cream. Free parking, too!