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Brenda Semanick
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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."

christmas
This is an interior room (dollhouse size) thatchanges with the seasons.
The ornaments are made out of fimo clay.
christmas village
Plein air painter on gazebo
department 56 christmas village
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 Michael’s 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?
thanksgiving
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.christmas
With their final creations are Spencer's good friend Brian,
Tamera and Ashely. BTW, Brian is one great guy!

christmas
christmas houseIn front isTamera's church. The one to the left is the house
Brian made for his mother.

christmas house

Ashley's house. above and mine below

christmas house

October 30, 2003
Finally, the air is beginning to cool and I can feel a hint of fall in Tucson. Art friends gather each year to carve pumpkins for Halloween. We were missing a few people this year but we accomplished our annual goal. Last year’s design winner, Jinou Naval passed on the winning ribbon to Rebecca Macaulay who had no less than seven of her designs to choose from. I was so busy cooking during the day that I resorted to what came to mind, a cat no less. Check in next month for Gingerbread Houses. Who says you have to grow up?
pumpkin pumpkin
halloween pumpkin pumpkin

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

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 School Rules!

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.

class
Sandy with her painting ala Semanick.

From left to right: Sandy Marek, Wendy Zachau,me, Jo Ditta, Debbie Meyer, Patrick Hogan
painting class
jo
Jo with her painting "Salsa".
wendy
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.

July 2, 2003

**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 couldn’t 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 Vermeer’s, the only daVinci in the United States, Holbein’s Edward VI, Van Eyck’s The Annunciation and Dali’s 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 Museum’s 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 scored.
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.

capitol steps

montijo


me

June 10, 2003

**I 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 working on.

March 3, 2003

**The 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.

art and music
tamera and me

February 23, 2003

**I 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.

**Last 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.

**Saturday 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 event.

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 on line.

david prospero

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.


December 2002

What a busy month. I didn’t 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.


Celebrating together are Ashley, her brother Spencer, my dad and me.

ashley b-day

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 New Work.

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 location.

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.

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