Category Archives: STUDIO TOUR 9


Three days to be in the hills with wildflowers and blue skies and 21 artists in their art-making spaces.  Transform your life. Awaken your own artist.  Yes, we are, each and everyone, artists at heart. We came here to create, it’s what being a human BEing is all about.

Three Rivers Artists’ STUDIO TOUR 9
March 19-20-21, 2010

The Studio Tour starts at the Three Rivers Historical Museum on Highway 198.
21 artists’ studios open from 10-5 pm.
Tickets $20 per adult, $5 per child under 12.
Call 559-561-4671 for more information.

See our “Art Talk” twitterfeed conversation–live during the Studio Tour.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Martha Widmann

Martha Widmann
acrylic, oil, graphic design


“The nature of my work is hopefully a honest expression of my internal process as a human being. It isn’t easy for me to come to paint altho when I am painting, I am completely at home there. I really try to honor what shows up and how it shows up an I trust the universe perhaps more than I do myself. Once I can disarm the fear of not being good enough, I settle into the process and am at peace with what I discover. Maybe it is therapy, maybe not, but I know I am changed by the process of painting and with each painting.

Living in Three Rivers has made the process a happier one. The images that come have been less tortured, the space is more conducive for me and the energy here kinder and more compassionate. In LA it was harder for me and the images more raw emotionally, but cathartic none the less.

Mostly have shown my work in the Three Rivers Studio Tour. Also have shown with two other women at the Court House Gallery in Exeter. It causes some angst as I don’t paint fast and I am not prolific so I looked at that as a great experience and learned a great deal from it.

Mainly my goal now is to address consistency and concentrate on painting regularly. To start to see what comes from that and where it leads me.

I went to SUNY Geneseo in upstate NY. I went primarily because they had the largest collection of bavarian limestone for use in lithography/printmaking, which was the direction I wanted to go with my art … to be a printmaker.

Other influences have been – As a child growing up I was profoundly moved by Georgia O’Keeffe. not just by her paintings but how she lived her life. I felt a kinship to her emotionally and life perspective. I felt as if there was someone out there who understood how I saw the world around me but I always struggled with being able to express myself…I could relate but couldn’t see my own “self” to express.

I think moving to Three Rivers put me back in touch with nature so I could start to see my self better – I started to ride horses and that full body way of communication opened me up and I started to feel like I did when I was a little girl- imagining and playing in what I was imagining. The horse then started to show up in my paintings and I’ve been working with these images for the last six years. I have several artist friends who paint full time that I truly admire and see their process which is a beautiful gift for me…Daniel Nevins is one and Jim Entz is another.

I vacillate between feeling like an artist and then not…and when I am working graphically, all I tend to think about is how much I want to be painting. and once I begin to paint again, I feel like a painter. I am grateful for that.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Tina St. John

Tina St. John


“My one-of-a-kind creations are an inspiration from my heart. Each piece is designed to be classic and simple, as well as to create a feeling of well-being. My jewelry is handcrafted in fine silver, sterling silver, gold-filled (18kt overlay), swarovski crystal, semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls.

I’ve been designing jewelry since I was a young teenager. My mother was also an artist specializing in interior design and gourmet cooking. She enrolled me in a jewelry class with a designer from Denver, Colorado, who I later apprenticed with.  Further on, after traveling to India, Europe and South Africa I decided to start a business of my own. Tina St John Design was launched in the early 90’s. With much trial and error, and several jewelry designing ventures I have simplified my line and way of presentation. My goal is “to design jewelry that provides a sense of well-being while making a classic statement.

I am developing a line that incorporates vintage and antique beads to create new modern pieces. I will use your jewelry, and/or my found beads etc and recreate new treasured jewelry. Contact me to learn more about this service and to see what I’m creating from old into new. This eco-friendly and green line is my latest venture.”

Tina is a founding member of The Art Co-Op Gallery.

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: George Smith

George Smith
stoneware, salt glaze, pit fire

Studio Tour website page:

“My pottery consists of wheel thrown and hand built forms utilizing stoneware and porcelain clays. The pieces are fired using Cone 10 glazes, vapor and pit firing techniques.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Mona Fox Selph

Mona Fox Selph
oil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media

Studio Tour website page:

“As an art teacher for grade school to college level for eighteen years, I have taught and explored many media. Now retired, I work mainly in landscapes in oil, but continue to enjoy working in watercolor and other media, and exploring introspective themes.

I attended University of South Carolina 2 1/2 years (beginning at age 17);  attended California State University, Northridge and finished master’s degree in June, 1981.  I have attended some good workshops, especially out of doors. I worked as presentation artist for 2 Hollywood design firms while in school.  I worked as  freelance artist for several firms in Tulare and Fresno Counties.  I did newspaper advertisement illustrations, logos, etc. and special commissions, cartoons for Sequoia Park newspaper, and two murals for the Tulare County Historical Museum at Mooney Grove, Indian room.

I was a substitute teacher for several schools and curriculum developer and art teacher for Three Rivers School for 17 1/2 years.  I also taught at other schools including Sundale and Strathmore for 3 years.  I taught in Tulare County Artists in Schools program for many years, at the College of the Sequoias for 18 years and at the Creative Center for the Developmentally Disabled for 7 years.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Marn Reich

Marn Reich
clay, fabric, acrylic, monoprint

Studio Tour website page:

“My primary medium is stoneware and I am known for whimsical teapots and boxes. I most recently won “best of show” at the Tulare County Fair in 2009. I also work in fabric, acrylic and monoprint.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Armin Pfadisch

Armin Pfadisch

Studio Tour website page:

“The bowls, shown here, are examples of the fine woods we have available for turning in this area. The richness and grain of the black walnut burl is exciting to work with. The variety and form and color in the burl of the buckeye is limitless. The potpourri bowl is wood from lemon trees planted over 100 years ago in Lemon Cove.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Judy Miller

Judy Miller
rock work, lapidary, jewelry

Studio Tour website page:

“My art is enhancing the beauty that I see in rocks. I cut, trim, polish rocks, and enjoy watching them transform into unique pictures, patterns and light reflecting pieces. I am able to place these pieces in jewelry mountings, belt buckles and wind rocks.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Wendy McKellar

Wendy McKellar
handpainted furniture,wood etching, oil, acrylic


“I have been painting and creating ever since I can remember. Canvas paintings with oil and acrylic, and whimsical furniture are my passions. My studio displays the bold and the bright color that I love using. I believe everyone has an artistic bone in them, and someday I plan to teach in my new “Colors’ studio.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Eddie McArthur

Eddie McArthur
watercolor, acrylic, pastel, mixed media


“I believe we all have “art” or more truly creativity within us.  Getting caught up in the world, making a living, keeping up with the neighbors, dealing with the daily-ness of life tends to blind our eyes and stuff our ears against the possibility of living a creative life.  Perhaps the biggest bar to creativity is the fear that we’ll be laughed at.  My cure for that is to laugh at myself.   When it all becomes very serious and is all about capital-A ART, the joy is gone along with my interest.

The love of animals led me to sign up for a sketch class at the San Diego Wild Animal Park because it offered the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the animals.  Not only did I love getting to know unusual animals like a Binturong, but I also discovered I could actually draw!  Everything took off from there.  Along the way I’ve continued to follow my instincts. For instance, I signed up for a one day workshop in pastels though I’ve never had a particular interest in that media.  Wow!  I was suddenly transported to a different world of vivid color, the possibility of mixed media, etc.

Having access to the thriving arts community here – the Studio Tour, Arts Alliance, 1st Saturday, etc. – has given me a community of like-minded people and served to energize both my art and my life.  While I don’t do landscapes as a practice, I find the majesty and strength of the mountains to be calming.  For me – my art and my Life – staying grounded with Mother Earth is essential, and living here is conducive to that path.”

Eddie McArthur was born in Illinois and raised on a farm. After attending local schools with no art programs available she attended Western Illinois University to major in English/Psychology. Although she had sketched and “played” at art since childhood, work, family and life took over and art was put aside for decades.
Many years later, while living in San Diego, California, Ms. McArthur happened to see an ad for a sketch class to be held at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It was the chance to get up close and personal with animals that led this admitted animal nut to pick up a sketch book and pencils. From there passion took over.
In short order Eddie began painting in watercolor, still her favorite medium. Although she has taken mini-classes like that sketch class, she remains essentially self-taught.
Some early success offered enough encouragement for her to continue the path to where she is today.
She  finds it difficult to categorize herself or her work. Painting in watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media; experimenting with different papers and canvases; addressing subjects from landscape to thought, she tends to work in the media and style that feels right for what she is doing.
She maintains a home and studio in Three Rivers, CA, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada just outside Sequoia National Park. The peace, tranquility and awe-inspiring views have influenced her work. Often weather – a foothill storm, a drought decimated scene, low lying clouds – will dominate both the mood and setting of her current work.
Eddie’s works are in private collections from New York to California. She does a rare commission, mostly portraits of pets or very young children.

Recent Shows/Exhibits
One-Woman Show, Geronimo Springs Museum, Truth or Consequences, NM
North County Society of Fine Arts, Open Juried Art Exhibit
Art in the Park, Balboa Park, San Diego
“Four at the Grill” show at Adams Avenue Grill, San Diego, CA
Sofa Art 2008, Visalia, CA
Three Rivers Studio Tour, March 29-30, 2008

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Shirley Keller

Shirley A. Blair Keller
writing, ceramics, photography, clay monoprint


“I came to writing late in life. Journaling led to writing a memoir and child’s book, with a dream of publishing both. I did self-publish a photography coffee table book: “Yokohl Valley, A Portfolio,” available upon request. Mostly self taught but attended many workshops in various artistic disciplines, and local city colleges.

My Ink Quilts came in a dream after writing the story of how I met my 1st husband’s grandmother. She said in the first minute, “I remember the day slavery ended. I was five years old.” I was 18. The thought that she, a wizened old woman could be someone’s property horrified me. 30 years later, writing her story, I dreamed seeing a quilt on the wall of a museum, but it was not cloth, but 8×10 multi-media collages that illustrated the chapters of the memoir I was writing, each framed in white wood frames. The next morning I began to make them.

My interest in photography began when my present husband gifted me a digital camera about three years ago. Positive responses to my work encouraged me to take it seriously. I have won prizes for my photography and recycled art at the Tulare County Fair, and a Photo Contest online. I am taking digital computer graphic courses to learn more from the local college.

A friend runs an Art Camp in Petaluma. A few of us from here joined others to learn clay monoprinting. We set up a workshop in Karen Kimball’s home, and gather occasionally for a day, sometimes a weekend, to explore this medium. I love it. I did some web surfacing one day on the sun and its solar winds and how they effect earth, and lo, it inspired the clay monoprints when I next worked on them. Or a raven was squawking in the tree near us while we were eating lunch, and then the whole after noon I heard him yelling. Without realizing it, the raven appeared in the art that day, as did migrating birds that I know fly over our area twice a year, sometimes stopping. At times I am conscious of these influences, and other times surprised.

Nature impinges on our life daily here in Three Rivers. The camera is near. I never open a door and just mindlessly walk outside. You never know what you will see: a rattlesnake on the porch, a bear taking a bath in the pond, a great blue heron hunting gophers on the hillside, the baby deer playing under the pomegranate trees. Or walk to the mailbox and a bobcat pops up out of the grass, and I haven’t even begun with the variety of birds that love Spirit Hill as much as I do.”

Unitarian/Universalist Church Art Gallery, San Francisco, 2000, Quilt Exhibit, 12 Ink Quilts shown.
Lorraine Hansberry Theater, San Francisco, Preformed short story, “Paul Robeson Remembered,” 3 day run for Paul Robeson Centennial.
Arts Visalia Sofa Show for the past 3 years.
Tulare County Fair for the past 3 years: ribbons won for photography and recycled art.
Tulare Impressions Show for the past 3 years, Tulare Historical Society and Museum.
Spirit Hill Studio takes part in the First Saturday, Three Rivers.

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Nancy Jonnum

Nancy Jonnum
pottery, sculpture


“I have always been interested in art and managed to fit some creative time in during all of my busy life. After retirement, I have had more time to think about my clay creations and have so many ideas for things i’d like to make that I never can make them all. So that’s what my art life is about now–constantly trying to take these varied ideas and turn them into clay sculptures.

Three Rivers has influenced my art in two ways. I am surrounded by beauty, and I have good friends who support and encourage me.

I have shown my work in many galleries in southern and central California. Last spring I had the honor of having two of my pieces chosen for the California Clay Competition show in Davis. This is a statewide juried show and very prestigious in the world of clay.”

Nancy graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in education.  She has taken pottery classes at UCSB, Rancho Santiago College, Idylwild, Gualala, Todos Santos (Baja California) and many workshops in the Antelope Valley and Mendocino. She has taught classes to children and adults and has written articles for Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times magazine and the American Ceramic Society Newsletter.

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Anne Haxton

Anne Rudisill Haxton
light sculpture, handmade paper

Studio Tour website page

“I am an artist who experiences creative periods. I am not sure if this is true for all artists, but for me, it’s an exploration of all that might be possible within a specific realm. Right now I am having fun with curves and swirls.”
Haxton is the featured artist for STUDIO TOUR 9.

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: John Griesbach

John Griesbach

Studio Tour website page

“These images are representative of my interest in “surf and turf” and the natural beauty of Central California’s coast, valleys and mountains.”

Father John is the Director of the Saint Anthony Retreat Center in Three Rivers.

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Aranga Firstman

Aranga Firstman
mixed water media, collage

website |

“My art work revolves around my esoteric interests in in archetypes, auras, chakras, reiki, spiritual growth, and the universe. Therefore, I call my work Inter-dimensional. I had been interested in art and music in childhood. In the 1980’s I decided to renew my creative side with guitar, poetry and watercolor painting. I then experimented with oil, egg tempera, casein, chalk, and acrylic. Living in Three Rivers, thus being close to nature, allows me to re-charge the energy in my body and connect to the universe. This allows me to relax and paint. I enjoy writing poetry, playing with my guitar and designing web sites.”

B.S., M.S. Biological Sciences, Cal Poly-Pomona;
Ph.D. Community College Education, Nova University; Equivalency in Art
College of the Sequoias. Biology Professor (29 yrs,), Adjunct Art Instructor (3 yrs.), College of the Sequoias
(retired); conducted arts projects for children, Three Rivers School, Imagine-U- Children’s Museum, Arts Visalia, 1st Saturday Arts Market: art projects for seniors, Visalia Community Hospital

Participating in the Society of Layerists In Multimedia web gallery show,show will be up thru the end of March.

Webmaster for Arts Alliance of Three Rivers

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: James Entz

James Entz
sculptural painting, acrylic on wood

Studio Tour website page:

March exhibition at Fig Tree Gallery, March 4-28, 2010.
Water: New Work by James Entz
Artist reception on March 4 from 5-8 pm during Fresno downtown ArtHop.
644 Van Ness Ave, Fresno.  Gallery open Fri-Sat-Sun from 12-4 pm.

“Water,like painting, is elemental. Water is essential to life, yet it’s also the vehicle that helps the paint to flow, and it’s the metaphor for my creative process. “Water” is the organizing concept of the body of work I am creating, of layered sculptural paintings and writings, which will be shown at Fig Tree Gallery in Fresno in March of 2010.”

James Entz’s exhibition of new work (sculptural paintings and some writings) explores the idea of water as the vehicle of the aqueous medium he works in, as a metaphor for the most valued aspect of his studio practice, “the creative flow–those moments of working transcendence,” as he says, and as the scarce resource and commodity that pervades California politics. “We are running our rivers dry here in the west,” says Entz. “We import water as the fuel for population and economic growth, and mine our groundwater as we did oil in the last century, at an unsustainable rate.”

Though Entz recognizes that water is “captured, diverted, and harnessed for human purposes, especially here in the Southwest”, he sees that, “water has carved this landscape, and continues to be a transformative presence in nature, transporting us out of the mundane disconnections of our modern world into nature’s flow. We live in aqueous bodies; our planet is an aqueous body; it seems that water and its qualities are our nature.”

In many ways, the topological paintings and writings in this exhibition have water as their source: celebrating, revealing, and reflecting water’s hard realities and unique qualities.

Living in the Kaweah River watershed in the Southern Sierra gives Entz a unique perspective on water use–from wild river to dam to irrigated farmland of the Central Valley.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR. Porterville College, Porterville, California. 2005 to present.
ADJUNCT FACULTY. College of the Sequoias, Visalia, California.  1988 to 2005.
•Taught studio courses–beginning and advanced drawing, beginning and advanced color and design, life drawing, and studio painting. Have taught ceramics and crafts courses.
•Taught art history (prehistory to present) and art  appreciation courses.
•Developed my own slide library (for use in the classroom) of over 5,000 art images.
•Co-created and team taught a 9 unit interdisciplinary (art history, literature, and history) course on myth, which we called “Merlin, Madonna, and the Big  Bad Wolf”. Only course of its kind (a learning community) as highly integrated and as ambitious in its scope amongst community colleges in the state of California (at the time). Created the visual textbook for this course.  Received a $1000 faculty enrichment grant for the development of this new course.

OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, Los Angeles, California. M.F.A.  in Painting. 1986.
B.A. in Studio Art. 1983.
CUESTA COLLEGE, San Luis Obispo, California.
A.A. in Liberal Arts.  1981

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Nikki Crain

Nikki Crain
handweaving, soy candle making


“The why of how I got started weaving is still mystery to me.  On the way to and from my home, I saw the sign for the “Loom Room” on South Fork as I went past the Seaborns’ Ranch in the early 80s and told my husband, “That’s for me.” At that time, I didn’t even know what weaving entailed, only that I desperately wanted to learn. Being surrounded by the beauty of Three Rivers makes me want to create beauty. Also, the contacts I have made here (former members of the Loom Room) have helped me immeasurably. Just driving past the Loom Room seemed to plant the seed in me.

A friend showed me how to weave on a loom with a very simple demonstration. Only one formal lesson in weaving, 25 years ago, after working on my own for a year.  Otherwise, friends helped me informally and I “picked the brains” of other weavers, experimented and read and continue to read a lot. I have attended many workshops and conferences studying many aspects of weaving.

It is a great mystery to me as to why I love weaving so much.  My husband asks if it isn’t extremely boring doing something so repetitive.  That has never bothered me.  I love to watch the woven piece grow under my shuttle or across one of my many looms. I like to line up the threads and make order out of the chaos that seems apparent at the beginning of a weaving project.  I have no idea why I was so drawn to it.  It seems to be a part of my DNA. Was there a weaver in my past?  A distant ancestor? I really don’t know.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Elsah Cort

Elsah Cort
collage, mixed media, watercolor, acrylic, photography, healing arts


“Collage is the medium I claim as an artist.
I have lived in Three Rivers, California since 1977.  I came here often as a child in the 1950’s and later as an adult to visit my grandmother, aunt and uncle who lived here.
I am the founder and the organizer of the Three Rivers Biennial Artists’ Studio Tour, started in 1994.
Forty years ago, I graduated from nursing school in Atlanta.  Once a nurse, always a nurse. Reluctantly.
As a teacher and facilitator for The Deeper Well, I guide retreats about authentic work and moving beyond burnout (with CE’s for California and Nevada nurses).
Early each morning I write a 140 character burnout blip on twitter first @burnoutblip then again @thedeeperwell.  This practice was started on February 19, 2009, to get me writing (…now several blogs later.)
I also offer what is now called, life coaching, sessions for burnout processing.
Cort Cottage Bed and Breakfast is the private guest cottage I have hosted since 1986, near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.  It is located 4 miles from the main entrance to the Park.
I have practiced craniosacral work since 1998, and also feng shui (the other side of the same energy work coin.) This work has profoundly changed my life.
I love to share ideas.  My friends say I talk a lot.  I was born this way, just can’t help it much.
I am now living the second half of my life-collage.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Tour Artists: Carole Clum

Carole Clum
clay, metal

Studio Tour website page

“For thirty-five years, I have hand built stoneware sculpture, using coils and slabs of clay. They are high fired in heavy reduction. For six years, I have made found object art from old metal tools, utensils, and hardware.”

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.

Meeting the Studio Artists: Jana Botkin

Jana Botkin
oil, graphite

founding member of The Art Co-Op Gallery

“Living in Three Rivers means that my camera is often in my pocket while I am walking, because everywhere I go, I see subjects to paint. It has always been my goal to represent the beauty of Tulare County in my artwork.

One of the most prestigious honors I have ever received was to be invited to paint an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree in 2007. I credit Mr. Tom Stroben with teaching me to draw in 6th grade at Ivanhoe Elementary School; his attention to detail and specific instruction started me down the path of realism.

In addition to painting and drawing, I am an avid knitter; I think of it as “cross training”!

How to get Studio Tour tickets…earlybird price until March 5.