Upcoming Gallery Talk

whole showLast summer I spent a month at the Gullkistan artist residency in Iceland. I am currently showing work from that experience in my exhibit, Evolutionary Processes, at the Sebastopol Center For the Arts from April 4th through May 10th. I shared the experience with Sonoma County artist, Brooke Holve. On April 27th, 4:30 – 6, we will talk about our shared experiences, the power of residencies and my work and the stories that inspired it.  Come hear more!  It’s free and there will be refreshments!

Sebastopol Center for the Arts 282 S. High Street Sebastopol, CA Hours: Tu – Fri 10 – 4, Sat 1 -4

Installing the drawings made at Gullkistan, Iceland.  Summer 2012

Evolutionary Processes Opening Reception April 4th, 2013

Upcoming Shows & Publications


Elizabeth Sher - Evolutionary Processes at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts

April 4-May10, HOPE TO SEE YOU at the Reception April 4 6-7:30 PM

OR drop by during Gallery Hours Tu-Fri 10-4, Sat. 1-4

OR come hear Sher in Conversations with Sonoma County Artist Brooke Holve Sat Apr 27 4:30-6 discussing the lasting power of residencies on their process and artwork.

3 Books featured in Lark Crafts Publication 500 Handmade Books Volume 2 

I am pleased to announce the inclusion of 3 of my artist books in the upcoming Lark Crafts Publication, 500 Handmade Books Volume 2.  The book will be released to the bookstores in  September of 2013.


Blog, a daily record of my residency in Can Serrat in Spain housed in a handmade wooden box fabricated  by Peter L'abbe.    


Arbres Arrencats d'Amethles is based on images of upturned almond tree roots made at Can Serrat Residency, Barcelona, Spain with text by Maw Shein Win.


Tangled Dreams is one of several projects on which I collaborated with artist Brooke Holve


Falling into Place

Apologies to my email recipients for a non-working link!   Love that technology thang! Fall is here and I am hunkering down with gingerbread lattes - Xmas starts early at Peets.   Work from the summer is on my studio walls to inspire me and film shoots are lined up for my in-progress documentaries Penny and Rituals of Remembrance.

My residency at Gullkistan this past summer was a fabulous experience – “la pura vida”, walking a mile to my studio in the barn at the sheep farm in Laugervatn and watching the gorgeous clouds during the endless days from my apartment balcony.   I hope you will click the links for August to also see my last 2 blog entries and, if you have not read them, check my earlier posts with many photos from this endless photo op of a country called Iceland.

Part of my re-entry transition was editing up 4 more video sketches from my experience. (The first one Learning Icelandic Pronunciation by Elizabeth Sher was posted on Youtube in June). Click the links below to view the 4 new video sketches.

Ducky Hver Broað Tractor Rap Wind and Water

There is still time to see my work in Beyond Landscape at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato through Sept. 28th.

Other news – - Revisiting my Exposed Series with new inspirations from Iceland

- Continuing to film for my upcoming documentary on the “fabulous” Penny Cooper, an extraordinary women, criminal defense attorney and art collector, seen here with her partner, Rena, in front of a Roni Horn piece.

Here’s to fall – with special hopes and rain dances for election results to stem the rip tide to the people who are corporations and corporations who are people. Semantics – gotta love it!

Tourist Again - Part 1 More Icelandic Adventures

Although it was strange not to be hiking over to the Gullkistan barn studios each day, there was so much more of Iceland to see.    Our Friends Aegir and Linda knew just where to go and when.   The Saga Museum in Reykjavik tells the violent history of the vikings arrival and subsequent conquerors, plagues, slavery and survival by this tough people.   The models are so lifelike it's almost scary - famous actors and artists where used for the molds.   Here is a woman being burned as a witch.

Iceland is a new land and steam comes up in various places.   So the entire country is heated geo-thermally and no one pays for hot water!   Note the gorgeous color of the water which is said to have healing powers even for psoriasis.

At the famous Blue Lagoon we tested out the healing mud masks available in big tubs for free (after you pay your entry fee).   Everyone in the huge pool looked like ghosts but we all had smoother skin afterward.

Below are a few highlights - and again the photo ops were endless - Iceland is an amazingly visual country.   This is probably why an early Norwegian king who wanted it for himself called it Iceland to deter people from coming.   He called the neighboring island which is almost all covered in ice Greenland in hopes of allluring them there.

It was a great week, but....

Just funnin' - it really was a great week.   Next stop Berlin...


20120716-102116.jpgOur last day at Gullkistan we went hiking near one of the oldest churches in Iceland. we walked by milky waterfalls and rapids lined with wild blueberry bushes ( albeit a month too early to gorge ourselves). Brooke went with Jon the Mountaineer husband of Alda, one of the 2 women who run the residency, and I took the "high" road back the way we came. When we saw Brooke stranded on a tall wall of shale I was glad I did. She crawled up Auke's body to get the plants to grab on to. Filthy footed but happy she made it and even tracked the challenge points on her GPS. An art piece will follow soon.

We showed our work in progress of Tangled Dreams through the temporary rust screen Brooke made and we got some great feedback for the final editing when we get back. Also have another video installation in the works. Very lucky to have met such an amazing and eclectic group of artists including Auke, a terrific young animator from Holland, Guttrun,  a former East German artist living in Paris, Amy, a new media artist from N. Carolina, and Yu Jun, an incredible concert composer as well as every other kind of musical genre imaginable just to name a few.

As with my two other residencies I used my time at Gullkistan to get back to my "roots", drawing and painting what was around me and letting ideas that had been back burnered by the busy-ness of my "regular" life, bubble up to the front of my mind.   I am sure these beginnings will lead to exciting work in the months and even years to come!

Did you know that golf was big in Iceland - short season but long days.

30 Words for Wind

20120713-103347.jpg There are about 30 words for wind in Icelandic! this tells you a bit about the weather - medium hard wind, cold wind from the north, harder than medium breeze, etc. Why generalize? This wind causes a huge erosion problem, a sense that Iceland is literally blowing away. One anti-erosion strategy has been to import a North American blue lupin and plant it all over the sand and mountain sides where it has taken off like crazy.


It is beautiful but as with any imported ecological solution has also caused problems. The sheep don't like its bitter taste and it grows so tall that it wipes out the shorter native grasses as well as moss and lichen. But it has stabilized the soil.


A long day trip to the North led through a long expanse of nothing with barren heidis (heaths) on one side and shimmering fljõts (streams) on the other. And there would be a long camper parked in the middle of it all so the owner could fish. The fjördurs (fjords) are a gorgeous blue against the sky amd there are even fewer trees.

Back in my studio looking out at pairs of white plastic wrapped hay bales that look like sheep-mates as I think about this raw new land, Iceland. Was this what it all looked like in the beginning?


Best Icelandic Ice Cream, Reykjavik Art Day + Horses

20120706-233915.jpg Isbudin Island Ice Cream - best in Iceland - dipped in chocolate and salted peanuts YUM!!

July 5th was a gorgeous sunny day to tour the art galleries and museums of Reykjavik led by my dear friend Linda. The Reykjavik Art Museum Hafnarhús had three exhibits I loved.

20120706-225555.jpg The Icelandic Love Corporation's Sokkkabuxnavefur/ Tights-Web - a great surprise when you look up in the entry. Best use of pantyhose ever!

20120707-100533.jpg Dagskrá. Palestinian Embassy a political video that was actually fun to watch! A hot air balloon with Palestinian Embassy written in English and Arabic in the colors of the Palestinian flag is launched over Oslo. As it floats its way across the city a woman sings a song in Arabic, soothing, melancholy, beautiful, and I assume political until the balloon disappears into the fog. Beautiful and Poignant!

And Knitting House by Elin Strand Ruin and The New Beauty Council, which recreates the most common type of apartment in Husby, a suburb of Stockholm, a pre-fab, post war European housing block. Women living in the same type of apts. collaborated on the project, knitting exact replicas of the homes at 75% scale. The textures and details are mind blowing and visitors can walk inside, stepping over the steel support structures to enter all the rooms the walls of which include stains, spots, wallpaper patterns, knobs...all in muted pastels hues.

20120706-234313.jpg Exterior View Knitting House

20120706-234452.jpg Kitchen

20120706-234547.jpg Bathroom

The Icelandic Horse Pure bred, strong, sturdy and super cute and friendly the Icelandic Horse has 5 gaits - walk, trot, gallop, pace and the famous running walk "so smooth and steady the rider scarcely notices any motion". They used to be used more for field work but today mostly for riding and showing. Owners take them abroad where they consistently win prizes and thereby are sold for more $$$. But once a horse leaves Iceland, he/she can never come back - gotta keep the breed pure. And of course no other horses can come into the country. The most important thing is Don't Call Them Ponies!!!!


The Spectacular SEern Coast

Took a weekend studio break last weekend to tour the southeastern coast of Iceland with my friends Aegir and Linda from Reykjavik. Amazing that we got anywhere as we stopped every 30 meters for another fabulous photo op. Aegir won taking over 1000 photos in 2 days! We saw the ash from the eruption of the impossible to pronounce Eyjafjallajokul and brought some back to draw with...so far just grit to me. Miles of moss covered lava 10" thick that takes 100 years to grow back if you snitch some. standing on it feels like a trampoline.


Giant waterfalls that you can walk behind or climb to the top of.



Old houses and barns built into the mountainside.


Skogasandur with black beaches and cliffs of crystalline formations one more spectacular than the last.



And Glacier Lagoon at Jokolsarlon at the base of Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe covering 12,000 sq. killometers. The blue ice with black and white stripes, blue green water and chunks breaking off and heading down to the Atlantic where the waves crash over them is like watching the beginning of the planet...this is a "young" island. The lagoon and the ice formations are never the same and you can sit there for hours absorbing the beauty and peace of the place. Of course you can also take a raft trip, a glacier climbing trip or an amphibian boat trip around the lagoon which gives you a sense of the scale of the icebergs but sitting was perfect for me. The lagoon is 250 meters deep in places so you are literally seeing just the tip of the bergs.



And this is just one of Icelands scenic wonder areas...like India it would take multiple trips tomsee it all. Now back to my lovely studio with view in the barn.

Clouds and More

The sky is huge and full of constantly changing fabulous cloud formations as the weather switches from sunny to overcast and back. Walk 15 minutes to farmhouse studio. Settling in and starting to work but constantly distracted by the beauty of the landscape. Wonderful walking in this small resort/hot spring/ sport village. Big treat to see my friends Aegir and Linda after 20 years and meet their 3 almost grown kids. LearningIcelandic pronunciation...stay. tuned.


Iceland Ho!

Next week I leave for the Gullkistan artist residency in Iceland. Sent supplies ahead and am trying to get Gear Small with iPad, tiny projector and camera. My laptop now seems huge. The residency is located in Laugarvatn, a small village 45 minutes east of Reykjavik in an agricultural area. Nearby are some popular tourist sites. The village of Laugarvatn has 250 inhabitants. The closest town is Selfoss, 45 km south of Laugarvatn. I am looking forward to absorbing my surroundings and the light and digging in in my studio. Brooke Holve and I will continue to collaborate as well as work separately. Watch for more posts.Image