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Sonoma County Gazette
Sonoma County ART Trails guide 2017

ART Trails Sampler - Joy Ride to Artists Studios - 2017

Oct 20, 2017


By Ramona and Jim Kelly

Because I’m a writer and an artist, my husband, Jim, roped me into helping him with a project for Vesta. As I waded into this endeavor, I asked Jim if I could talk directly to the artist, mano a mano if you will. Jim never says no to me.

So I hope you tag along for the ride through Art Trails this year and keep in mind, the Gazette gives you a Sonoma Sampler to enjoy as well as the complete list of 2017 Art Trails participants, by town, on their is an UPDATED MAP since some studios cannot be accessed: Buckle up, Jim, and try to behave.

Every fall, the Sebastopol Center for the Arts produces ART Trails, an opportunity for people to visit artists in their studios throughout Sonoma County. A full-color catalog with maps provides a guide to finding artists in all mediums, many of whom you would not know otherwise. All artists included on the trail have been chosen through a juried process. For information on this exceptional experience, and to see works of artists on display in pre-Art Trails shows, visit the Sebastopol Center for the Arts webpage at For online information about artists who are participating this year, visit: 
Studios which will be open to the public 10am to 5pm on October 21 – 22, and October 28-29, 2017- delayed because of fires this year.


David Henderson ceramicsDavid Henderson
Studio Number: 127
Art and functional ceramics
Showing at:
8890 Cypress Ave., Cotati, CA 94931
707) 293-0735,
From sake cups to teapots, you have a wide array of enchanting ceramics, David. Although Cotati only has two artists in Art Trails this year, you and Barbara below would have been chosen even if they had twenty. Deftly blending art and craft, your works evoke a sense of longing and appreciation. Scrolling through photos of your work takes me back to my childhood when I was first discovering the world of art. As a potter, myself, I can feel what your fingerprints felt as you wove your genius into art. A soft movement one way and answering strength in opposition.

Barbara Tocher ceramic jewelryBarbara Tocher
Studio Number: 126
Functional, sculptural, ceramic jewelry
Showing at: 390 W. Cotati Ave., Cotati, CA 94931
(707) 992-0747,
Blending African and Middle Eastern tones with new-world tastes, your jewelry, Barbara, evokes the feeling of planets strung together. Your ceramics also bring the scope of genius into play with a seeming ability to think, not just outside the box but out of the Universe as well. My husband, Jim, tells me I can never visit your studio.


Joel Bennett ceramic vesselFORESTVILLE

Joel Bennett
Pit fired vessels, drums, wall pieces, sculptures
Studio Number: 88
Showing at: 7531 Mirabel Rd., Forestville, CA 95436
(707) 887-1631,
Scrolling through your ceramics, Joel, I felt like I was looking at images in the clouds. Your creations evoke feelings of ancient Mesopotamia and the pottery found there.

Lorraine Chapman
Lorraine Chapman silk paintingSilk painting and mixed media
Studio Number: 89
Showing at: 
8046 Corso Dr., Forestville, CA 95436 
(707) 887-2482,
The colors of your silk paintings, Lorainne, give a cheerful balance to your work. With batik-like effect, these colors radiate vivid sensations. “Enter this world and enjoy my beauty,” your art seems to say.

Nancy H Dempster abstract paintingNancy H Dempster
Painting: In the moment abstract works
Studio Number: 90
Showing at: 6730 First St. , Forestville, CA 95436
(707) 820-5005,
From visions of Dante’s Inferno to a child riding a burning horse, I think you, Nancy, attack abstract art with a commanding, powerful brush. While some of your work inspires a feeling of nihilism, other pieces ease my mind with flights of whimsy. The kindness in your art, reflects the pain all of us go through.

Jane Fusek
Jane Fusek digital artDigital Art: Photo-art printed on aluminum or acrylic
Studio Number: 84
Showing at: 5623 Fallen Apple Ln., Forestville, CA 95436
(707) 273-2656,
Jane, like buttered popcorn, I couldn’t have just one of your pieces. I would need an entire wall adorned with your work to show the breath of such talent. Your praying sculptures give me insight into a sense of devotion to the sentient creatures all around us while your collages dance.

Gerald Huth
Gerald Huth Night SpiritsCollages, construction/painting; collage/sculpture
Studio Number: 87
Showing at: 5895 Anderson Rd., Forestville, CA 95436
(707) 887-9540,
While Jim, feels a sense of Picassoesque inspiration in your work, Gerald, I think sometimes he’s mistaken. Picasso doesn’t hold my attention the way you create for us a dream-like state. Picasso is dark even when his canvas is well lit and your art, on the other hand, increases my sense of well-being.


Britta Kathmeyer
Britta Kathmeyer - acrylic painting Painting: Mixed media on panel and paper, abstract, minimal
Studio Number: 101
Showing at: 2860 Bowen St., #20, Graton, CA 95444
707) 824-0868,
Britta, you combine your energy and the excitement of raw nature with unpredictability, balanced as best it can.

Elizabeth Peyton
Drawing, Mixed Media: Botanicals, collage, and watercolors
Studio Number: 104
Showing at: 2860 Bowen St., Graton, CA 95444
(203) 470-4845,
In short, Elizabeth Peyton, you are brilliant. Your careful use of diagonals makes me feel like I’m walking inside the dreams you create on canvas. In some paintings, I feel like I’m on a photo-safari in a place I’ve always wanted to experience.

Susan Proehl
Painting: Colorful abstracts and mixed media
Studio Number: 102
Showing at: 2860 Bowen St. #6, Graton, CA 95444
(707) 824-9943,
Susan, your graceful abstracts flow from top to bottom and bottom to top giving me a feeling of comfort and peace. In a way, I feel like I’m watching a ballet. Your collages evoke the feeling of being in an old hotel room where newspaper clippings from long ago are peeling off the walls and a faded pattern of a doll’s dress waits patiently to be noticed. 

Sandra Rubin
Painting: Expressive, abstracted figures, landscapes, still lifes
Studio Number: 103
Showing at: 2860 Bowen St. #6, Graton, CA 95444
(707) 823-4728,
I delight in your impressionism, Sandra, because it flows through me. Rarely have I looked into the faces on a painting and truly felt what the subject was thinking. A small girl in a swirl of happiness, a man facing the forces of ill fortune. Your use of simple lines in your charcoals gives me a sense of ease and joy.



T Barny
Sculpture: Abstract synesthesia, stone, bronze, water
Studio Number: 38
Showing at: 4370 Pine Flat Rd., Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-8378,
Your sculpture, T. Barney, evokes a feeling of strength, grace and security. It’s mesmerizing. Brilliant work. 

John Farnsworth
Painting: Landscape paintings
Studio Number: 44
Showing at: 2319 Mill Creek Ln., Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-7015,
John, your time at Dartmouth wasn’t wasted because you’ve brought a touch of New England to the Wine Country. Your lines are perfectly imprecise and your perspective makes me believe you are also an accomplished photographer. The way you frame your main subjects allow them to grow out of the paintings naturally not envelop them.

Sargam Griffin
Painting: Large abstracts, figures & art doors
Studio Number: 39
Showing at: 15572 Pozzan Rd., Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 799-6743,
At first glance, Sargam, I feel like I’m looking outward, warmed from the inside. I find myself in a world at peace. If abstract, bordering on the thin line of impressionism, has a strong voice, it’s yours. 

Dana Hawley
Painting: Oil plein air and larger studio paintings
Studio Number: 41
Showing at: 6387 West Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 494-5332,
Rich, vibrant, enthusiastic, all these words describe your art, Dana. It’s more refreshing than a cup of coffee in the morning and you know how much we girls love our first sip of java. Your oils are fun. You can feel the movement of the ocean in your painting, Pt. Lobos. You can hear the hens peck, scratch and chortle in Old Olive Grove.

Willow LaLand-Yeilding, wine country realismWillow LaLand-Yeilding
Painting: Wine country realism and fauve
Studio Number: 37
Showing at: 807 Florence Ln., Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 322-8861,
As I look at your paintings, Willow, I feel like I’m in a new dimension. When I scrolled down to, Oak on your website, I had the distinct impression of falling. In impressionism, a sense of realism is captured throughout your work. I see wonderful stories inside every glass of wine you paint. In your abstract work, lines flow in vivid composure with their surroundings and, even if a person doesn’t understand abstract, my husband, Jim, being one of them, they will feel a sense of kindness and warmth in your work.(His words.)

Robert Weiss ceramicsRobert Weiss
Ceramics: Crystalline glazed porcelain ceramics
Studio Number: 43
Showing at: 2550 Jack Pine Rd., Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-7550,
With your oven set at 2,342 degrees, Robert, your ceramics are as hot as your talent. At such a temperature, the crystals in the glaze grow, giving your work an ethereal, gem-like quality. Your bowls evoke a feeling of ancient design and your mugs overflow in streams of honey-amber.



Susan Miron fiber artsSusan Miron
Fiber Arts: Horsehair, kelp, palm, glass, silver
Studio Number: 14
Showing at: 124 Treehaven Ct., Kenwood, CA 95452
(707) 833-4683,
I feel I could keep my most precious memories inside your baskets, Susan and their woven strength will keep my treasures safe. Your baskets speak far more elegantly than I ever could.



Linda Sorensen painterLinda Sorensen
Painting: Impressionist and modernist oil landscapes
Studio Number: 91
Showing at: 9448 Bohemian Hwy., Monte Rio, CA 95462
(707) 875-9284,
Most great artists, Linda, have mastered the technique of darkness playing with light. You seem to be the mistress of color playing with color. In Winter Radiance at River’s End, you create an image of the deep-blue Russian River merging with Pacific turquoise. Overlooking them both is a growing bouquet of ornamental grasses.



Charles beck painterCharles Beck
Painting: Norcal landscapes
Studio Number: 94
Showing at: 3595 Joy Rd., Occidental, CA 95465
(707) 874-1678,
The painting shown in the ART Trails catalog, Charles, pulls me into a back road in West Sonoma. I feel a sense of peace as I near my turnoff.



Leslie Curchack photographerLeslie Curchak
Photography: Images of Nature's Grace
Studio Number: 140
Showing at: 713 F St., Petaluma, CA 94952
707) 765-0300,
This photo takes me back to my childhood in Tahoe, Leslie, when skiing at the highest levels of the mountains where trees struggle to survive.(NOTE: Leslie produces a calendar of her photos calledIn Love with the Earth. Profits from sales are donated toDaily Acts, a non-profit sustainability group.) 

Ralph Ramirez
Woodturning: Lathe-turned wood art
Studio Number: 137
Showing at: 618 Walnut St., Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 762-5292,
How in the world, Ralph, did you keep the bark so pristine while turning this bowl? My grandfather created art out of wood but I’ve never seen a bowl so ethereal. It seems to be floating.

Marta Shannon
Fiber Arts: Handwoven scarves, shawls, cowls, ponchos
Studio Number: 136
Showing at: 3820 Bodega Ave, Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 364-2354,
OK, I want one, Martha. No well-dressed hippie in Sonoma County should be without a Martha Shannon original. Your work is quietly adorable. 


Henry White painterHenry White
Painting: Landscapes, still-life, portraits in oils
Studio Number: 139
Showing at: 5 Haven Dr., Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 763-6198,
You show such strength in the women you paint, Henry, I suspect there’s a lucky lady in your life to give you such inspiration. Your work is so diverse and professional, it’s hard to pick only one painting.



Tim Brody
Painting: Contemplative pastels, landscapes animals, building
Studio Number: 128
Showing at: 8501 Liman Way, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 664-9075,
Your seascapes capture light in a certain perfect way, Tim. I feel, if I turned away, I would see a Maxfield Parrish landscape behind me, swinging girls and all. 

Wendy G. Franklin
Painting: Oil, contemporary California impressionist
Studio Number: 129
Showing at: 1529 Marlin Pl., Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 776-7345,
Mea culpa on the kitty, Wendy, but what a sweet creature. I scrolled through your31 paintings in 31 days and became exhausted wondering how in the world you could accomplish such a task. Wonderful work and the kitty purred at me.

Rhonda Lee
Ceramics: Aesthetic/ functional pottery
Studio Number: 125
Showing at: 99 Madrigal St. , Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 758-7681,
What a cool idea for a fermentation pot, Rhonda. I’m wondering if I can possibly make some homebrew in it.



Michelle Hoting
Jewelry: Organic sculpture in recycled silver and stone
Studio Number: 27
Showing at: 321 Buena Vista Dr., Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 791-4680,
I love art jewelry (what lady doesn’t?), Michelle, but your work elevates me to the level of inspiration. I especially love the apple blossom necklace on your website. You could wear it as a hair wreath or have the flowers drape across your décolletage.

Cynthia Jackson-Hein
Painting: Impressionist painter of land and life
Studio Number: 78
Showing at: 3840 Finley Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95407
(707) 246-1471,
This beautiful painting of yours, Cynthia evokes the wanderlust in me. If I had this hanging in my home, I’d want to go for a walk every time I looked at it. Your careful attention to the girl walking (I see braids, I think) extends to the touches of red on her sleeves and your tin roof is rustically rusty.

Victoria A. Kocergin
Drawing: Detailed botanicals -flowers, fruit and leaves
Studio Number: 82
Showing at: 602 Von Reimers Ln., Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 479-3336,
victoriakochergin.comI sit and stare at your Bearded Iris every day, Victoria and think of you. A Giclée print of Snowflake (shown above) hangs beside the iris. Congratulations on your continued acceptance at Filoli Gardens’ annual botanical drawings displays.

Sherrie Lovler
Mixed Media: Calligraphic painting inspired by original poetry
Studio Number: 49
Showing at: 2012 Humboldt St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 528-1723,
Sherrie, your paintings are completed by the poetry you use to inspire them. Your art and poetry mingle as one in the mind. For others to see a glimpse of how your delft hand converts art into magic, I repeat the final lines of the poetry you used to create the abstract painting above.

Your rising flames
surround and scorch me
even torment me
but leave no exit

Lucy Martin
Painting: Forest scenes in gouache featuring mushrooms & lichen
Studio Number: 57
Showing at: 1908 Little John Ln., Santa Rosa, CA 95405
(408) 221-7788,
Your work wows me, sister. The lacy flirting of your mushrooms intrigued me the first time I saw your work at the Sebastopol Art Gallery. It does still.

Dannell Powell
Digital Art: Photo collage, painting and assemblage; lost, found and created
Studio Number: 32
Showing at: 5785 Wikiup Bridge Wa, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(707) 526-9419,
Mannequins and the Golden Gate Bridge just seem to go together for me, Dannell. I wonder how many guys wrecked their cars while driving past your photo shoot.



Wendy Brayton
Studio Number: 111
Showing at: 7245 Wilton Ave., Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 321-4154<
To enjoy your work, Wendy, you don’t have to have a sense of whimsy because your art provides its own. The soft way you play with colors and perspective really pulls us into your dream.

Barbara Hoffmann PotteryBarbara Hoffmann Pottery and Gary Lawrence Woodturning
Ceramics: High fired functional and sculptural, garden totems
Studio Number: 95
Showing at: 14039 Occidental Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 874-2787,
This is a beautiful bowl, Barbara, as all of yours are. Seriously, your slinky fish is adorable. Your work is beautiful in every possible way and the utility of each piece makes them all the more valuable. I love using pottery for everyday purposes. Jim says, if we break any, it will only increase the value of the remaining pieces. Sometimes he’s as crazy as a loon.

Terry Sauve
Painting: Luminous, archetypal, California landscapes in oil
Studio Number: 105
Showing at: 1349 Ferguson Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
(415) 867-8676,
I love Sunset Drive the best, Terry, but all of your work is masterful. In the above piece, diagonals compete with one another to guide the eye to the beautiful oak tree. 

Mylette Welch PaintingMylette Welch
Painting: Whimsical animals, botanicals, and narrative
Studio Number: 110
Showing at: 222 Pitt Ave., Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 433-7581,
Indeed, your work, Mylette, whimsy does play but I like the way you take care to do important things like painting polka dots on the girl’s shoes in the painting above. (Is that a shark fin and is that dog flying?) The only word better than whimsical for your work is adorable.

Carolyn Wilson
Mixed Media: Texture rich watermedia and collage
Studio Number: 118
Showing at: 1489 Schaeffer Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 824-1811,
I enjoyed pausing at this painting, Carolyn, and wondering what delights this country store had to offer. Red licorice comes to mind. Your animals are alive, your landscapes beckon, your edibles are fresh and your flowers flourish.



Roxanna Ahlborn
Fiber Arts: Hand painted and printed purses
Studio Number: 8
Showing at: 17145 Park Ave., Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 935-3926,
What defines a woman is her handbag and who wouldn’t want to be defined with one of yours, Roxanna. Your art is young and strong and proud. I’m saving up for Christmas. 

Patricia Akay - Village ViewPatricia Akay
Painting: Oil, watercolor, acrylic
Studio Number: 3
Showing at: 750 Third St.E, Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 935-6161,
I love this watercolor, Patricia. The wine glasses, the flowers and the lovely town below all make me want to be there. I’m daydreaming now of villages far away, where it’s always spring.

Irene Guidici Ehret
Irene Guidici Ehret - Sonoma CoastPainting: Watercolors, botanical art, nature journals
Studio Number: 2
Showing at: 466 East Walnut St.reet, Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 996-3622,
When you live on the ocean, Irene, you can never be happy living anywhere else. Your painting above shows the flow of the waves and setting sun with calm anticipation. Brilliantly done. 

Martha Mellinger
Painting: Oil, landscapes, figures, animals
Studio Number: 1
Showing at: 1759 Denmark St., Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 235-6566,
I want to write at this desk, Martha. Then I want to go downstairs and slip away to the corner market where I can buy bread for tomorrow. Afterwards, I will walk carefully home in the snow, thinking of spring. It gets drafty in the old place, especially when Jim forgets to close the balcony doors.



Rick Blundell woodturningRick Blundell
Woodturning: Handcrafted woodturned art
Studio Number: 34
Showing at: 401 Princess Way, Windsor, CA 95492
(707) 292-2092,
I agree with you, Rick, wooden bowls are like no other vessel. Woodworking runs deep in my family and goes back for generations so I can appreciate the mastery you bring to the art. 

Maria-Esther Sund
Creative storytelling with painting and collage
Studio Number: 33
Showing at: 411 Jensen Ln., Windsor, CA 95492
(707) 838-8118,
This little girl delights me, Maria-Esther. I can imagine writing a tale about her and her owl. Her closed eyes are enchanting, more than if they were otherwise, like when my left eye closes at moments beyond my control. Oops, it’s time for a glass of wine.



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