Friday, October 04, 2013

kalassal art sale - 1/2 off at kala art institute

big annual 1/2 off art sale at kala art institute!

open friday through sunday, lots of events -
family art making, open studios, pickle tasting!
(and if you are lucky, you might snag an adorable heinz pickle pin :-)

more info here

here are a few of the little paintings I have there.

like waves over water
mixed media 

one eye shut
mixed media 

mixed media 

no enemies in the world
mixed media 

studio floor

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

painting a day - heinz avenue, may 2nd (sunset)

heinz avenue, may 2nd (sunset)
9 x 12
acrylic on panel

heinz avenue, may 2nd (sunset) 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

job (why do wicked men sometimes prosper?)

it's been a very long time since I've done a collage - this one, for how simple it appears, took a surprisingly long time.
Many of the pieces in my last exhibit were about breath and breathing.  This piece has that theme, as well as wondering about some of the perplexing questions about faith.

job (why do wicked men sometimes prosper?)
mixed media on handmade paper
(click to see large)
8 1/4 x 8 1/2

(click to see large)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

untitled - (woman with a wistful smile)

untitled - (woman with a wistful smile)
click to see large
acrylic on panel
8" x 10"

daguerrotype painting - young woman with a wistful smile.

I love looking at old photographs - tin types, daguerrotypes, cartes de viste.
It's like a window into the past.
I didn't quite capture the wonderful subtle smile on her face…..
I'll try again at some point

Thursday, August 08, 2013

painting everyday - two gulls, fort mason

two gulls, fort mason
9.5 x 12
acrylic on panel

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

cat sleeping (thunder)

cat sleeping (thunder)
acrylic on panel

thunder is the wonderful house cat where I was housesitting in sebastopol.
whenever thunder comes in and rubs up against me, I can't help but singing 
"and he strikes (dah dah dah)… like THUN....der ball!!"

ginger, the dog, is completely devoted to thunder….I don't totally understand the dynamic between them-  when ginger is alone in the house, she gets the dog bed, but as soon as thunder enters the cat door, ginger  relinquishes the bed to thunder, and finds a place on the floor.

I love watching cats and dogs sleep, the little twitchy movements of their paws and faces-  the unknowable mysteries of the adventures they have in their sleep.

Monday, August 05, 2013

a painting a day (more or less) - black and white hen

To get me back into the painting habit, I'm reviving the painting-a-day*.

Just got back from sebastopol, a week in the country, house-sitting.
Lovely - chickens, ducks, and a really, really mean goose.
Starting off the paintings with a silly chicken painting -
sadly, not from life (I've included a photo of an attempt to even photograph a chicken - they were attracted to the red beads of my necklace, and kept pecking at them.)

black and white chicken
acrylic on panel

black and white chicken (detail)

hold still, hold still…..


holding my favorite

four chickens, little farm at tilden park

* painting-a-day, with the occasional day or so off for camping trips, etc

Monday, June 10, 2013

portrait - marybeth, nico and annie + painting workshop

I very seldom take on commissions, but here is a rare exception, just finished - 

marybeth, nico and annie
acrylic on panel
16 x 20
click to see large

detail - marybeth, nico and annie
acrylic on panel
click to see large

understanding paint - a hands-on workshop

I'll be having a weekend painting workshop in my berkeley studio -
August 17th and 18th.

stop wrassling with acrylics, and get them to do what you want them to do :-)

learn how to make your paintings more luminous,
by understanding the mechanics of how paint "works".

In a relaxed, supportive environment, we will explore some of the ways acrylics can be used.
There will be demos, one on one help, creativity exercises, and the time to finish one small painting.
(plus, I throw in a bunch of useful painting and studio tips. 
and a big pot of vegetable soup :-)

The workshop focuses on understanding how acrylics (and paint in general) works, and covers basic info on materials as well as a variety of techniques, such as glazing and scumbling.  Not even sure what that even means?  Don't be intimidated - past participants have included painting novices as well as professional artists   - no past painting experience necessary.  

some of what is covered…..

(the surface you are painting upon) - paper, canvas, wood panel, etc

(how that surface is prepared)  - gesso, acrylic medium,  speciality grounds such as modeling  paste, pumice gel, etc.)

(the "glue" or binder that holds paint together).  added to paint, can change the properties, (make it matte, glossy, stiff, running, gooey, transparent, etc)  Also, works as an extender, and makes paint more transparent.  Can be used as a "glue", for making collage, as a final varnish,  to seal and "isolate" a layer of painting, for glazing, etc.

these change paint properties (but are not a "glue" or binder).  For example, retarder, which slows the drying time, flow release, which breaks surface tension, or thickener

August 17th and 18th
10:30 to 5:00

Workshop is $200 + $25 materials fee  if registered before
august 5th 
$215 + $25 materials fee after august 5th

A deposit of $100 holds a place in the class, and is refundable up to 10 days before the workshop.
(If a participant needs to cancel after that time, the deposit can be applied to future workshops). 

for more info, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me

Monday, May 13, 2013

inspiration monday and new facebook page

inspiration monday- sculptor ann weber
I love these, the the organic forms - swelling, constricting, the sense of off kilter totter-y balance.
i also love the elemental quality of the material, just cardboard and staples.
she'll have work at the artMRKT this week, in san francisco and at a show at dolby chadwick later in the month
here's a link with more info...
ann weber

ann weber

Just to let you know…. (if you're not a facebook-y kind of a person).

I have started a new facebook page, claire b cotts art.

It will be away for me to posts inspiration, goings on, thoughts and general musings, without having to send out a deluge emails through my blog.
(It's a separate page from my personal facebook page, enabling me to continue posting videos of squirrels riding monkeys, etc)

All you have to do, is go to claire b cotts art  on facebook and hit "like".

inspiration monday

i'm in love…..

it took me a while to catch on to pinterest, but for an artist, it's amazing way to collect images, discover new artists and new affinities, and fundamentally waste large chunks of time and yet still feel quasi-virtuous and productive.
one thing I have always loved is sculpture - in many ways, I'm more interested in creating sculpture and making physical objects than painting.

After a long stint of heavy duty painting of abstracts, I'm looking forward to doing figurative work, and trying my hand at figurative sculpture.
Sharing some of my new inspirations - drum roll….introducing inspiration monday!

agnes baillon 
mère et filles

I really like the work of the sculptors olivia musgrave and agnes baillon - they remind me a bit of marino marini, and have that quality of volume, solidity, tenderness and quiet subdued emotion that interests me in can see some images of their work on my pinterest board.

here is the link to my pinterest boards….
(the categories are fuzzy, much of what interests me days straddles illustration and fine art.)

and here is a very nice video of olivia musgrave in her studio.
olivia musgrave - taking flight

Friday, May 03, 2013

annual sfmoma artist gallery 1/2 off warehouse sale!

the nightingale's egg
mixed media collage
click to see large
It's that time again!
annual SFMOMA artist gallery 1/2 off warehouse sale!
Lots of bargains on art work - I'll be there volunteering the first night, at the gala opening. - scroll down for details

Twentieth Annual Artists Warehouse Sale

A huge selection of original artworks at a savings of up to 75 percent!
Five Days Only
May 8 - 12, 2013

Opening night: Wednesday, May 8, 2013
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Be among the first to shop this annual sale, now in its twentieth year. With two venues of over 7,000 square feet filled with works by three hundred participating artists, it's your first chance to purchase at incredible savings. Opening night admission: $10 at the door; free for SFMOMA members.

Additional sale hours:

Thursday, May 9, noon - 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 10, noon - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 11, noon - 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 12, noon - 4:00 p.m.

Friday, April 19, 2013


acrylic on panel
48" x 76" (diptych)
click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

acrylic on panel
48" x 76"
click image to enlarge

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

pictures from an exhibition

some photos from the exhibit now up at the nüart gallery, in santa fe.
the show looks beautiful- it's always a surprise to see all the work together, on clean white walls, outside of the squalor of the studio

last minute -signing the paintings

Spring branches and willow withies, gathered from a beaver pond in a wildlife area outside the city, the afternoon of the opening.  Leaving the park, I realized I couldn't find the keys to my rental car….. Racing back along trails, eyes darting back and forth, by a miracle of providence, I found them at the edge of a marsh.
Happiest moment of my life! Zipped back just in time to change and make the opening.  Phew!

with a beautiful bouquet from my mother and sister (thanks!)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

new work - "the winter palace"

the winter palace
acrylic on panel
36" x 96 - (diptych)
(click to see large)

the winter palace
acrylic on panel - detail
(click to see large)

the winter palace
acrylic on panel - detail
(click to see large)

the winter palace
acrylic on panel - detail
(click to see large)

A little unusual - a much lighter color palette than I usually use, and a new format,
a long tableau. I think the feeling and the title perhaps derives from what 
I was listening to while I painted it this winter - a lot of Russian history and fiction.
Boris Akunin, Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie, 
Dostoyevsky and more.  Inspiration from onion domes and winter white and from some
 of Diebenkorn's wonderful abstracts. (plus it was SO cold in my studio!)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Exhibit and new work - the river is…...

"the river is so much swifter, 
so much darker, so much colder than you think"
48" x 72" (diptych)
(click to see large)

I'll be having a solo show of my work in april, at the Nüart Gallery in Santa Fe.
everything that rises
april 12th  -  28th 2013
opening reception april 12th  5 pm to 7 pm
you can see some of the new paintings here
and additional work here -
I will also be posting the new work, with details, to my website and blog.

the river is…..  (detail)
(click to see large)

the river is…..  (detail)
(click to see large)

the river is…..  (detail)
(click to see large)

the rubber band girl

Last year, I was commissioned to create a portrait to be used as a jacket cover for author Jennifer Nielson's book "The Rubber Band Girl".  The book is about the experience of raising her daughter, Hadley, who was diagnosed with Marfan’s syndrome.  You can read more about the book and learn about Marfan's syndrome at her site