December 23, 2003
This is my very favorite time of the year. We watch every version of A
Christmas Carol we can. I love them all but the one with George C. Scott
is the one I am most fond of. Christmas music plays everyday in the studio.
Right now it is the Vienna Boys Choir.
I have included some pictures of my village, and I hope you enjoy them.
The tiny cardboard houses with cellophane windows that were always displayed
under the tree when I was growing up is the best. I would spend hours
laying on the floor and staring at it. Notice the art gallery and school,
and the plein air painter.
I wish all who visit my site a most wonderful Christmas and holiday. Take
the time to be child-like and creative, to show your love and kindness
to all you meet, and to carry this spirit of Christmas with you all the
yearlong. And in the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, everyone."
This is an interior
room (dollhouse size) thatchanges with the seasons.
The ornaments are
made out of fimo clay.
Plein air painter on
December 9, 2003
After a two-week interruption with a flu-like virus that left me sicker
than I have ever been, I was really looking forward to Thanksgiving and
spending some time with my family. And yes, I have since received a flu
shot and I recommend it to any reader who has not yet done so.
While I was in Albuquerque, I took my sister and niece to Michaels
and bought all the makings for ersatz gingerbread houses, and while there
I got the grand idea of adding trees and cutting out sections in the houses
for lights. We spent three days decorating and assembling and I think they
all turned out with that quaint winter wonderland feel I had envisioned.
When you live in Tucson
Check in soon for pictures of my Christmas village, which should be finished
in a few days. Can you tell I have a fondness for miniatures?
From left to right: My niece and nephew Ashley and Spencer,
my twin Tamera, Dad and me.
|Look at all that stuff to choose from.
|With their final creations are Spencer's good friend
Tamera and Ashely. BTW, Brian is one great guy!
In front isTamera's church. The one to the left is the
Brian made for his mother.
Ashley's house. above and mine below
Today is the first day of autumn and there is much to celebrate. I was
notified yesterday afternoon that I am one of ten finalists for the Arizona
Teacher of the Year. I am thrilled beyond words. The next step includes
a day in Phoenix next week where the committee will view a fifteen-minute
video of me teaching and conduct an extensive interview. Desert View High
Just a reminder
that my work is now represented by Canyon
Ridge Gallery in Scottsdale and El
Paseo Galleries in Palm Desert and Cody.
My painting class
celebrated our one-year anniversary with a grand dinner party at the lovely
home of Jack and Sandy Marek. All of the students have made wonderful
progress and are now selling their paintings, and you will see what I
mean from the pictures below.
Look at that sunset - only in Tucson.
Sandy with her painting ala Semanick.
|From left to
right: Sandy Marek, Wendy Zachau,me, Jo Ditta, Debbie Meyer, Patrick Hogan
Jo with her painting "Salsa".
Wendy with a gorgeious painting, one of her first in oil.
Steve Montijo with his Grand Prize drawing, Congressman Kolbe,his brother
Efrain Jr., and his parents Efrain and Carmen.
**Just back from a week-long trip to D.C.
I was fortunate enough to accompany Steve Montijo and his parents to celebrate
his winning the Grand Prize in the Congressional Art Competition. We received
the royal treatment and were given a private tour of the Capitol Building;Congressman
Kolbe later met us on the steps of the Capitol and joined as we sat in
on a debate in the House Chamber, and then Steve and his parents were
off to a private reception. I couldnt wait to get to the National
Gallery of Art; in fact I went there three days in a row. A stunning exhibit
of sculpture by Jean-Antoine Houdon. There is a reason why he is considered
the greatest European sculptor of the eighteenth century. My favorites
were terra cotta and marble busts of Napoleon(see
photos below), busts of Benjamin Franklin and the full-figured Voltaire and Winter. This is a must-see exhibit as it is
the first ever international exhibit of his work. Other highlights
included three Vermeers, the only daVinci in the United States,
Holbeins Edward VI, Van Eycks The Annunciation and Dalis Last Supper, which was stuck on a wall in a small
alcove next to the elevators in the lower level. It was a shame that such
a masterpiece was essentially hidden. Unfortunately the Museum
of American Art and the Portrait Gallery were closed for renovation. The
Freer was a nice surprise and the Folger Museums Elizabeth I exhibit
with original correspondences and her official seal was fascinating. Folger
also has an original Shakespeare folio; in fact, they have over 100 in
their collection whereas Britain has only five.
In other news, I have been selected as one of two Star teachers from the
Sunnyside District and am now an applicant for the Arizona Teacher of
the Year. This will require the writing of eight essays that will be individually
Be sure to see the two new paintings I just posted in New Work.
The temperature is a steady 106 degrees here in the Baked Apple. The fire
on the mountain has consumed over 40,000 acres and the smoke hangs in
a thick, dense pall. It is now 70% contained, but this has been a great
loss for Tucson.
On the South
Capitol steps with Congressman Jim Kolbe.
June 10, 2003
am pleased to announce that I am now represented by the following galleries: El Paseo Galleries in Palm Desert, California and Cody, Wyoming,
and Canyon Ridge Gallery on Main Street in Scottsdale, Arizona. I am very
excited about this new venture.
The mercury is high and steady at the above 100 mark but I am enjoying
the painting process. Check back soon for new photos of what I've been
March 3, 2003
Art for Music event at Skyline Country Club last Saturday was an elegant
and beautiful evening and I had a great time. I was thrilled that Harvey
and Rika Spivak were the highest bidders for my guitar. Below is a photo
of me passing the guitar to the new owners.
February 23, 2003
am in the process of creating additional pages to highlight the work of
my husband, David Johnson Vandenberg. To
see his latest painting, and information about it, click on the image
below. He is represented by Vanier
Galleries in Scottsdale and Tucson.
night was the opening for the Variety Show at El Presidio Gallery's Tanque Verde location. My friend, and owner of the gallery, Hank
Rentschler, was surprised with a plaque presented to him by Tomas Leon,
the director of Youth
on Their Own for his help in acquiring 20 pieces of art from
El Presidio artists for the upcoming art auction on Sunday, March 9, at
the Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel. The event is called Top of
the Town and they are hoping to raise $100,000.00 from the event. Tickets
are $80 and can be purchased on line. Follow the above link for more information.I
let the auction chair, Jane Turston, choose a painting and she chose "Tucson
Desert with Lupine and Poppies".
I am so impressed with the hard work of the volunteers of this organization.
ALL of the donations proceeds go to benefit the hundreds of young people
they serve. I want to acknowledge people like Dr. Foulk who has donated
his services toYOTO since its inception.
evening, March1st, from 6-9, is the Art for Music auction at Skyline Country Club. The guitar I painted for the event is
pictured below. Artists have painted many beautiful instruments for this
February 2, 2003
I have been busier than ever
this month. Last night, February 2, from 6-9, was the opening for Plein
Air 2003 at theDesert Museum and this is
a show to see. It was a great success with an outstanding body of work.
Congratulations to Glen Dean for his well-deserved Grand Prize Award of
$10,000 and the People's Choice Award. You can preview all of the paintings,
over three hundred of them, at the On Line Gallery. Work will be for sale
beginning February 2nd and through the ninth. You may purchase paintings
I finished the guitar
I am painting for the Art of Music, a benefit for the Tucson Symphony
Orchestra. Twenty artists' works on instruments will be auctioned on Saturday
evening, March 1st, at Skyline Country Club.
To the left is a picture
taken just before the artisits' reception this afternoon at Cafe' Terra
Cotta. I got to meet Michael Santini and catch-up with Michael Ives, Tom
Gress, DeAnn Melton and her husband, Jim Cook. All of the art was outstanding
but my favorites were Michael Santini's violin with added sculptural elements
and Harly Brown's portrait of Beethoven on the back of a violin. It should
be a great benefit for the Tucson Symphony. Call the Tucson Symphony to
order you tickets for the auction(520-792-9155)
January 1, 2003
The new year brings with it many new art challenges and with that comes
new learning, progress and rewards.
January begins the First Annual
Plein Air 2003, a fund-raiser for the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in
partnership with the Tucson Plein Air Painters Society, Inc. 85
artists from all over the country will be painting and competing for $20,000
in cash prizes judged by the Tucson 7. The month-long paint-out will culminate
with awards and a grand exhibit on February 1, 6-9pm with an Evening With
the Artists. Check out the above link for more information.
In February I will have a Night Blooming Cereus in a show at Sky Harbor
Airport entitled "Capturing the Wild, Celebrating the 100th Anniversary
of the National Wildlife Refuges in Arizona."
February also brings the Variety Show at El Presidio Gallery with a reception
at the Tanque Verde location on February 22, 2003 from 5-8 pm.
What a busy month. I didnt get too much painting done because I
really wanted to take time and enjoy the holidays. I turned 46 on the
first and was fortunate to be with my niece to celebrate her sixteenth
birthday on the 22nd.
are Ashley, her brother Spencer, my dad and me.
October 27, 2002
The weather is finally
cooling off making it a perfect time to do some plein-aire painting. I
joined the TPAPS paint-out last Saturday
at Agua Caliente Park and am looking forward to Finger Rock next week.
The Watercolor Show
at El Presidio is one to see. The opening is this Saturday, November 2,
from 5-8pm, at the Santa Fe Square location. (Tanque Verde/Sabino Canyon
Rd.) You can view the paintings I have in the show in
After a courageous
eight-year struggle with cancer, my beautiful and talented mother-in-law,
Sue Johnson Vandenberg, passed away October 3, 2002, only two weeks short
of her seventieth birthday. She was an exceptionally talented and nationally
acclaimed portrait artist, best known for her portraits of inductess to
the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame which are on display at the Pima Air
and Space Museum in Tucson. Sue was also the portait artist for the National
Aviation Hall of Fame honorees in Dayton, Ohio. She will be greatly missed.
September 1. 2002
I have been busy working
on watercolors for the upcoming Water Color Show at El Presidio Gallery. The show opens with a reception on November 2,
2002, but will be hanging by October 26th. Please note that all receptions
and shows at El Presidio Gallery this year will be at the Tanque Verde
The new poster for
the 2003 Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival has been printed.You can
see the painting in New Work. It is
from a massive spineless prickly pear at the home of my good firends Dr.
Alan Storm and Bill Jones.