Abstract Pastels at Robert Allen Fine Art

I’ve not been one to daily or weekly blog, maybe one day, but when I saw that I hadn’t put anything here since January of 2013 my own dropped.   Life does intervene in many ways that do not lend themselves to all aspects of an artist’s life and I suppose that is what has been happening here.    I am still here however and so happily blessed to have the support of my wonderful collectors, my trusted gallery reps and friends and family who keep me grounded.   2013 was what I would call a challenging time.  In retrospect the ups were sweet and the downs trying.   The passing of my dear dad at just shy of 96 was bittersweet.   I am finding myself talking with him every day – he’s so much more accessible now that he is solidly in my heart and mind, not 700 miles away from me.   I’ll write more about him later.   I’ve lots to write about so maybe this year will be the year of the weekly blog for me.   I have a backlog of essays in my swimming brain on issues such as a recent award from Pastel Journal Magazine, inclusion in a coffee table book by E. Ashley Rooney, arts advocacy, dealing with galleries, staying hopeful while physically impaired and the journey through the second half of my life as an artist.

For now its about a current show at Robert Allen – one of my favorite art dealers and gallery owners I’ve ever had the privilege of working with.   I have a selection of abstract pastels in a group show there  through March.  Robert has a beautiful gallery there – slightly off the main track where most tourists devote time.   He is also an approachable, personable guy who believes deeply in his artists.   If you are in Sausalito, his gallery is a must!

Until next time!    Thanks for reading!


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Road Trip and Where did October Go?…….

Time flies….  October started with a two week road trip from one end of the California Coast to the other.    This is one of the first trips where we didn’t have to take care of kids or dogs at home.    Empty nesters are we.     We had a great time in LaJolla and placed more than a few original works with local collectors.   I have a true affinity for my San Diego patrons and have made some wonderful friends there.    Also met some new artists, and in one instance an artist I should have known 10 years ago but apparently we’re both usually so busy working in our booths we don’t come up for air.   This time we were right in front of each other and scratched our heads as if to say “where the heck have you been.”    Dorothee Naumburg makes beautiful gold and stone jewelry the old school way.   She’s a true goldsmith and her work is beautiful and special.   And she’s almost as funny as I am so we became quick friends.

Then it was five days of decompressing at my wonderful sister Kitty and brother in law Jim’s house at the beach.  As creative as some of you think I am as an artist, my dear sister is as accomplished and talented in the kitchen.   Check out this work of art she spun out one morning – made it look as easy as making toast.    She is seriously masterful and cooks all day like I paint.   Of course we didn’t want to take her away

My Sister Kitty’s Apple Joulis

from her normal activities and we were treated to such brilliant offerings as pork roast wrapped in pancetta with a roasted butternut squash and arugula salad and a version of potatoes anna with bay leaf that knocked our socks off.   Daily walks to the beach were invigorating and life affirming.   But there is nothing like laughing with my sister.    She is an epic treasure.

One of the highlights of our stay was getting a historic walking tour of Coronado led by my brother in law Jim’s mother Lois.   Lois is a tireless worker in local groups and has been leading tours for years.    Included in the tour was a map of Navy Aviator homes with corresponding signs distinguishing them.   Most were from World War II though there are some more contemporary aviators who had lived on or still do live on Coronado island.    My husband, a World War II history buff was particularly thrilled to see where Admiral William Halsey had once lived.

Lois On our Walking Tour

This trip was capped off with an evening of early bird over indulgence, pedestrian style.   We all went out with our twenty somethings niece, her fiance, my nephew,   on what I guess was a type of “bar crawl.”   As fun as it was,  I managed to make it back to the beach house by 9:30, with a headache.   That’s how I fly these days!

Me and Kitty

Onward up the coast to Solana Beach to drop off some paintings at Susan Street Fine Art’s new digs.  A lovely, light filled space in an enclave of creative businesses.   Susan and I worked together in decades past and reacquainted last year on a project for UCSD Thornton Hospital.   Wish I had installation shots of that!

A stop off for lunch with my dad in Orange County.   He’s going strong at 94 and it was a precious visit. xo

Breezed through L.A. and then it was onto my old friend, author Claudia Hoag McGarry’s house in Santa Barbara.    This was such a treat.   Claudia and I got our first apartment together at age 18 and have known each other for 40 years.    She’s the same.   Smart, funny, cute and married to the sweetest man. Paul McGarry.  They live at the beach – apparently everyone on this trip does!  They both are college teachers and there house is filled with papers being graded in overstuffed furniture in a cozy vaulted living room that looks out on a So Cal version of a Eucalyptus forest.    We took a short walk through the reserve and found ourselves looking over the ocean at this last peek of the  sunset.

   This visit was years in the making and now we can’t wait to do it again.     Claudia’s second novel was recently released.   Her first one, “My Scorpio Soul” really put her on the map and is a great thriller of a read,  along with witty and relatable references for any boomer.    Her second, “My Aries Secrets” continues the series – this one I still have to read!      The next morning our timeline was shortened and we had to be in San Luis Obispo that evening.    Missed seeing my sister and her family at her incredible spanish bungalow in Santa Barbara after going by two times!!!   We promise to return soon.    My sister Sue’s creative gift is in renovating interiors.   Can’t wait to see what she has been up to inside this gem. I want to do a painting of that house!   And by the way, Santa Barbara rocks.

Who wouldn’t love this?

Paul and Claudia McGarry










On to Avila Beach near San Luis Obispo and I feel like I have entered a Disneylandesque (due to its newness and shininess) beach town.   I found out later that Avila Beach had been subject to some sort of oil spill under the town and was subject to a massive cleanup and reengineering of the entire town.   It rose from the ashes so to speak and is now a thriving little beach town.   I can say after staying one night (midweek Autumn rates were quite low) this is a nice town to take a family and the resort is perfect for same.   With vineyards nearby and the absolute beautiful beaches, its really quite nice and lovely to see businesses doing well.

The next morning we met with Maridel Salisbury at Salisbury Vineyards.   Maridel has been an art dealer like her sister, Susan Street, for decades.   The vineyard has a tasting room and gallery in a renovated schoolhouse in Avila Valley.    They did a phenomenal job restoring the building and keeping the integrity of the space intact.   I was elated to start working with Maridel and to leave her with one of my paintings, “Fall Rain”  to formally introduce the central coast to my work.

From there we meandered home, the empty nesters.    This is something I am still getting used to.   I’m loving it but after two months of not seeing my daughter I missed her terribly.   She came home last weekend and I got my kid fix.    And she used all the gas in the car, left a big mess and went back to school.   I love her so.

Back to the studio………I’ve got some paintings in me that are just waiting to get out!   Stay tuned….



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Getting a Jump on October

Vineyard hill evening

Busy time continues and I’ve been holed up in my studio for the past few weeks working away.    Sometimes the business of being an artist means juggling deadlines, details and most importantly, showing up.     In addition to a large commission, which thank goodness I have a few months to complete,  I have gallery shows and another art festival this opening this weekend.   This pastel is for a group  show at Studio Seven Fine Arts in Pleasanton, California through October.

This weekend is also the LaJolla Art and Wine Festival where I will be showing new work.   This is the last festival of the season and the year.   I’m looking forward to spending some time on the Southern California coast, visiting friends and family and taking a much needed break with my sweet husband.     I did a series of small paintings revisting my ocean series.   The beach is where I go to clear my mind and refresh my creative juices and it just seemed fitting to return to this imagery after a work filled season.    This was a long summer and I’m ready for fall.    Bring on the autumn color!

Where I Go

See you on the other side.

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California Coastal Landscapes at Robert Allen Fine Art

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New Gallery in Town

This coming weekend should be fun.   In addition to it being a 3 day holiday, the 4th of July is my birthday!   No big whoop there but there’s always fireworks!   Locally though, we have our first Saturday of the month’s Arts Alive and this month there’s a new gallery opening featuring some of the best of Humboldt’s artists.   Located in a LARGE space previously occupied by our beloved Plaza Design which relocated to G Street.    Jack Sewell, a local sculptor has taken over the space and along with his wife Amy they have done the leg work and homework needed to become not so small business owners in the form of this great new gallery.    There was a soft, soft opening last Friday for the artists where we all gave kudos to the Sewells for taking on this commitment to the art community, drank wine, ate great food prepared by John Sallizoni and basically shmoozed and saw folks we hadn’t seen in a while.  Here’s a link to an article in our local North Coast Journal about Jack and the opening of the gallery.   The inaugural exhibition begins in July and I will have a few pastels to show including this new landscape.

And then fireworks!  Have a Happy and Safe 4th!


"Into the Hills" 12x12" Pastel

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Victoria Ryan