Gallery talk with Brooke Holve

conversation Brooke Holve and I had an enthusiastic group for our conversation on April 27th at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts during my exhibiton, Evolutionary Processes.    We talked about my Icelandic residency as the basis for the works as well as our shared and separate experiences there.  (Brooke was at Gullkistan at the same time I was in summer 2012).   The discussion then expanded to the power of residencies for artists.

Check out Brooke Holve's website.

A catalog of the exhibition is available here.

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.

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 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 India it would take multiple trips tomsee it all. Now back to my lovely studio with view in the barn.

Learning Icelandic and Endless Days

Having never had a flair for languages I find Icelandic quite tongue twisting. So I tried to put some words into English sentences they way I was taught in grammar school. You can see the results of Learning Icelandic Pronunciation on Youtube by clicking The days are endless with a short twilight barely noticeable between sunset and sunrise so time is altered in interesting ways.

<br 20120629-084303.jpg

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