Summer House

"Summer House" Pastel Victoria Ryan

After a week living out of a suitcase at The Four Points Sheraton and preceded by weeks and months of annual preparation for my biggest event of the year The Sausalito Art Festival, we are finally, and happily, home.    I’m sitting in my office, Barack Obama is addressing Congress in the background…..hmmm, I’m not big on politicians right now, even the ones I voted for.   I’m incredulous to all of the rhetoric but let’s see how he does.   I need to be inspired right now.

This time of year is historically the end and beginning of the work season  for me.   I just sent my daughter off to college and my dear husband and I are now empty nesters.   Its a strange feeling but one I am embracing for the sake of my psyche and my art.  I look forward to working with abandon in my studio late at night, taking the occasional trip to gather inspiration without having to concern myself with school schedules and the fear of my child driving at night.   No car for this freshman and the dorm is right on campus.   Somewhere there is an R.A. who is going to get a nice Christmas card from me.  I wonder if they make sure the kids eat their vegetables?

Back to current events….. Sausalito was a bittersweet blast.  Its always fun and crowded and I’m by now a show veteran along with my other peers in Row 600 on the tennis courts.  This year’s “gala” was a tad ill conceived but our spirits were not deterred come opening morning.

My work looked great and I placed quite a few originals in the hands of new collectors and added to the collections of more.    I love this show more than any other and its always sad when its over.   So many friends and laughs and good times.    But its so nice to be home.

In a little over two weeks we take off again for San Diego.    A little show in LaJolla that has the benefit of having Joseph Lillis on board.   He is the mastermind that turned the Sausalito Art Festival into a blockbuster event for artists and patrons and is hoping to do something similar in other venues.    Till then I’ll be back in the studio in earnest.   I have paintings to paint including a big hospital commission.    Hope to come up for air soon.

Bay Area Friends:   if you would like a private showing of anything you saw at the Sausalito Art Festival I will be in the Bay Area at the end of the month.  Please let me know and I’ll come by and show you work in your home/office!

Barack is still talking.   Lots of clapping.   Seems to be going quite well.   I’m actually inspired!  Awesome.


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Sausalito Art Festival and a Dream with a View

"Dream with a View"

"Dream With A View" Pastel 26.5x40"

This time of year is my busiest with school starting up for my daughter and the summer show season winding down.   Though there’s technically still several weeks of summer left there is a definite shift that happens with the advent of these two events each year.    I’ve been so busy painting in my studio, still working on commissions and creating new pieces to show at Sausalito.   I just finished this pastel this morning in time to get it to the framer.    Titled “Dream with a View” this is a rendition of my own version of a “dream” home.     Pulling from my inspiration of a heightened reality this painting reminds me of  walking into a lucid dream – a theme that has shown up repeatedly in my work.

If you’re in the Bay Area for Labor Day Weekend the Sausalito Art Festival is a great event with wonderful art, entertainment, food and libations.   I’ll be in Booth Space 600 right near the entrance.   This is my 11th year in a row exhibiting at the festival and it is my favorite event of the year.   Simultaneously,  I am exhibiting as part of a group show of landscape artists at Robert Allen Gallery, also in Sausalito.

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Bellevue wrap up

Thank you to my Pacific Northwest collectors, friends and community.   I had a very successful show at the Bellevue Museum Fair this year and am so appreciative for everyone’s support and patronage.   Some of my favorite paintings sold at the show including the newly completed  “Applegate Valley  Vines” which sold on the first morning.   Fortunately the collector let me hold onto that piece until Sunday so others could see it.   I had finished it and had it framed just a few days before we left for the show so it was nice to be able to look at it for a few more days before having to part with it.

The Bellevue show is long hours (12 hour days) but when you are in the company of funny, friendly artists it is a lot of fun.    On the way up and down we broke up our trip and stayed at a wonderful b&b in Eugene, Oregon called  The Augusta House.  If you are looking for a luxury inn in that area, I cannot recommend this place enough.     It is truly a cut above and as frequent travellers we tend to be picky.

I’m back in the studio working on commissions from the show as well as preparing for the Sausalito Art Festival coming up over Labor Day weekend.   I have some paintings that were nearly finished prior to Bellevue and will be posting those soon.

Its back to the studio for me.   Until next time…..


Bellevue Booth Display

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Thank You Sausalito!

My husband Bruce and I had a great time at the Sausalito Art Festival.   I had worked very hard in the weeks and months prior preparing for this final event of the summer season and my planning and execution paid off.   The Sausalito Art Festival is like no other, at least in my rather limited experience with the higher end art fairs in the western region.  In the years preceding the “great recession” painters and artists from other media would enjoy brisk sales and additions to their collector base from visitors who come to this event from all over the world to purchase art.   The economy has certainly put its stamp on the volume, but the throngs of enthusiastic patrons who appreciate and support the arts are still showing up in Sausalito over Labor Day Weekend.

Where else can you spend a day or weekend seeing the works of about 300 juried artists and dance to English Beat on one day and Jefferson Starship on another while drinking a margarita!   This event is truly a blast and for all the hard work, we artists manage to have an immensely good time as well.  The festival organizers brought in a huge crowd each day and for that I am thankful.

I am grateful to my new and established collectors who purchased from me this year and who commissioned paintings….I’ll be kept busy for months to come.    As one visitor put it,  in this economy,  many  with discretionary income would rather invest in individual artists rather than purchasing from large chain operations, thereby contributing to the health and sustenance of  the arts as a whole.   I highly condone that!

Here’s me at the Preview Party.   I’m showing off my new JayneMax handbag – a gift from  Designer Jayne Dearborn.   Check out her beautiful line at:


Sausalito Preview Party

Sausalito Preview Party

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Sausalito Art Festival

  It’s Sausalito Art Festival time!   Labor Day Weekend, September  5, 6 and 7   marks my favorite show of the year, and my 10th straight year participating in the #1 art festival in the country.  This year will be the first year I will be debuting a series of oil paintings in addition to my pastels.   Check the “Oils” category on the right side tab bar for a sampling of what I will be showing.  Additionally, I’ve been adding new pastels frequently so be sure to check the Pastels category as well!   For the past two years I’ve been fortunate enough to serve on the 2-D jury and this year there should be some great work by new artists  and of course excellent art from artists who have been exhibiting at Sausalito consistently over time.   I’ve been working hard doing extensive preparations for this show so I hope to see you all there…its a wonderfully fun event!

For more information visit www.sausalitoartfestival.org

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Victoria Ryan