A half-acre property on Miller Avenue welcomes people to downtown Mill Valley with redwood groves and a creek running by rustic wooden buildings. Its original purpose was as a lumber yard that supplied the surrounding community for 120 years. When new owners Matt and Jan Mathews purchased the landmark property in 2012, they hoped to attract a building and hardware tenant, but those efforts were hampered, likely by competition from "big box" stores in the county. They began the task of renovating and retrofitting buildings for a mix of tenant uses, with a goal to preserve the buildings and keep the spirit of the property alive, even keeping the name - Mill Valley Lumber Yard.
I've enjoyed walking, riding and driving by these great old buildings since I first moved to Mill Valley in 1987. In more recent years, I have also enjoyed painting them - so it is really a treat to participate with a group of six artists as we transform some of the vacant space and outdoor area at 129 Miller Avenue into studios for Marin Open Studios, the weekend of May 10 & 11.
I'll be there from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day - with my easel and paints - and a display of framed and unframed paintings, drawings and prints for sale. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, come by and have a look. Directions are on my website.
Over the past several years, I have enjoyed being invited to be an "artist in the garden" on the annual garden tour for Mill Valley's Outdoor Art Club.
This year, the organizers asked to use my Geraniums painting for the promotional poster and invitation, which is an honor - and good exposure.
This painting has certainly made the rounds -- it's been featured in Marin Magazine and in the Marin Open Studios gallery. The original painting is now back in the studio and it is for sale.
I've had requests for prints of this painting - which is an affordable and attractive option for people who like to have their art under glass - so I have decided to make it available as a matted photo print, for $50.
Geraniums will be printed half-size (11 x 14 inches) and matted to fit into a standard 16 x 20 inch frame. You can order it here.
Mt. Tamalpais, Bayfront Park Spring, 20 x 40 Oil
Hanging an art show takes time and patience. The opening night of a show over in a flash. Then the show hangs, until it's time to take it down. Pieces that have sold are delivered to new collectors, and the rest is packed up and taken back to the studio.
My June landscape show opening (at Alain Pinel in Mill Valley, California) had over 100 visitors for art, conversation, and a glass of wine. It was a great opportunity to show my latest work to old and new friends, collectors and interested guests.
If you weren't able to see the show in person, here's a look at some of the new, and still-available paintings, all beautifully framed. Click on the image for a larger view, size and price:
Tomorrow it will be time to load boxes, padding and tools into the back of the Prius and unhang it all. Some pieces are headed to new homes, others are headed to photography for prints and notecards. But tonight, I will put away wet paints and clean out the studio to make room for what's coming back. And I pick a winner - not a painting, but a person.
At every show, I ask people to sign a guest book and one person is randomly selected to win a print. This time, the print was "Mill Valley Depot," and winner is Lydia Maroevich. Congratulations!
Since I returned from Chalk Hill Residency and its fields ablaze with clover, I've had two weekends of Marin Open Studios and now I'm getting ready for a solo show in Mill Valley. Exhilarating. Exhausting. Energizing.
Nice article in "In the Make" about my time at Chalk Hill Residency.
Open Studios was an interesting learning experience. I've only done it once before and it was very successful. This time, I was coached to not use my in-home studio because of its remote location. Instead, I teamed up with two other artists in a location that was more central, but off the main drag. Traffic was in ebbs and flows, and most of the people who visited and acquired paintings, prints and notecards were people we knew. Does location really matter? I'm beginning to doubt it, since I got several emails and calls from new collectors who made their purchases over the phone and via my website as a result of my listing and advertisement in the Open Studios guide.
JoAnne Berlin of Alain Pinel graciously invited me to be the artist of the month at their Mill Valley location, and is hosting the opening reception on June 4th between 6-8 pm for the monthly Mill Valley First Tuesday Art Walk. It's a fun night where you can walk from venue to venue to see the art, enjoy a glass of wine and appetizers. If you are in town, I hope you can stop by. If you can't make the reception, feel free to drop by 32 Miller Avenue during June to see new California landscape paintings and prints of local favorites, such as Down Blithedale, Mill Valley Depot and Old Mill Creek, pictured at right.
Thanks for reading! If you aren't on my email list, and want early notice of shows, special events and sales, click here.
MOSS & MOSS is a great "antiques & etcetera" shop in my hometown of Mill Valley, California, owned by a delightful couple with great talents. Larry plays the grand piano and Marjorie creates beautiful vignettes to display the merchandise. One Friday a month they have a jazz and wine reception, and it's a popular place to stop by on the way to dinner in any one of the great restaurants in town. I am very delighted that they have chosen to carry my paintings and prints. It's a treat for me to see how they are displayed, and very exciting to get the phone call saying, "Linda, we sold another one!" Visit MOSS & MOSS at 1 El Paseo, just off Sunnyside Avenue.
A group of painter friends and I went out this week on a rare hot summer day in Mill Valley to paint in the cool, shady Old Mill Park, locally called "Dark Park."
WOW what a challenge. I brought my painting home and put it on a shelf to dry. Later that evening, I caught a glimpse and was shocked at how awful it looked. So I took out a palette knife and scraped every bit of paint off, leaving just a ghost of the composition.
The next day, my friend and houseguest Jessica came to town from Montana and was anxious to stretch her car-weary legs on a hike. She started off in the park, and I went back to my same painting location with my easel to try, try again. The shadows of the redwoods and the dappled summer light filtering through on the creek bed were so beautiful. What you don't see in this painting is the steady parade of beautiful toddlers wading in the cool water...that's another challenge for another day!
It's the time of year when my little town of Mill Valley is bustling. Starting with the Memorial Day parade, and then the 101st running of the Dipsea Foot race and moving on to the 30th annual Wine, Food and Gourmet Festival.
To celebrate, I'm giving away a beautifully matted print of my painting, "Mill Valley Depot." To be eligible, (1) click on the Facebook "like" button below this post, and (2) leave a comment saying what you love most about Mill Valley. Thanks, and good luck!
"Mt. Tamalpais, Richardson Bay" is a 10" x 20" giclee, printed with archival inks on heavy watercolor paper, was featured in the Mill Valley Arts Commission Show in April 2010, and on the main gallery wall of the Marin County Fair in 2009. Beautifully matted and wood framed, measuring 14" x 24" and priced at $300 at Moss & Moss on El Paseo in Mill Valley, or send me a note if you would like to buy direct.
The iconic Mill Valley scene - people and yellow dogs enjoying a warm spring day at the Depot Plaza - has been made into prints that were very popular at Open Studios. year. It is available as an 11 x 14 photo print, matted and ready for framing for $50, and as a 16 x 20 poster, for just $30. Contact me to purchase one.
P.S. It is also the profile photo for the Mill Valley Food, Drink & Hospitality Facebook page - a great page to check out if you like finding out what's good and happening in town!
About the artist
Linda Rosso is a California artist who delights in the colors she sees out of the corners of her eyes. Read more...
Get my blog via email:
Please sign up for the Linda Rosso Studio email list -- you'll get occasional emails about shows, special offers, events and artist postcards you can hang on your refrigerator.