Category Archives: Succulents

Garden of Inspiration

This morning I was visiting with my BFF and fellow artist Trish¬†and was reminded, as I am every time I visit her house, that she has the most AMAZING garden! And when I’m there I find myself remarking on all the beautiful things I see. In fact, her garden has been the source of many of my paintings.

I live vicariously through this garden, especially after I sold my house and have been dealing with rental gardens. I decided that the world needed to see just how amazing this place is. Of course I have a thing for succulents and well, this garden is full of them! I’m often lucky enough to get cuttings and I’ve donated a few of my agave pups to the garden. But what makes this garden is not just the plants…its the love. Trish imbues the magic into it. It doesn’t happen by accident.

The hummingbirds flock to the many feeders she provides, even the squirrels get fed apple cores that she places atop the walls, the bees get rescued daily from danger whether it be the pool or her herding me to the side so I don’t accidentally step on it. She puts cayenne pepper in the front garden to keep the dogs from doing their business in her garden. I admire her total love for nature. Today she educated me on cruelty-free products and was truly appalled that I was so uninformed! I learn from her every day. I enjoy all our “dates”, I’m lucky to have such a great friend!

She inspires me…the garden inspires me and I hope it makes you feel good too! Enjoy…

Disclaimer: My photos don’t do this place the justice it deserves but I’m sure you’ll still enjoy it! ūüôā

















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A Succulent Affair

I admit that I have an obsession with succulents. Thankfully, its not a fatal attraction. Its hard to kill one…even the leaves will start growing roots! My attraction has produced several paintings. If I get a good photo sometimes I paint it more than once.

I like to experiment and use different mediums, change the composition, and see what I can do with it. Sometimes, the combination is so successful that I produce a series using the same concept but with different photos, like my Shadow Dance series. I have this amazing agave that is producing pups like crazy. I took some photos of it and the shadows on all the pups just really stood out and when I painted them, they turned into the focus. These little gems are painted on an upcycled panel from an art crating warehouse that ships art for museums. I love these little panels. They are covered in a brown paper that I primed so I could paint over it. The brown paper is what you see in the background.


Another painting I’ve done 3 different ways is the Prickly series. I just liked the photo so much that I kept painting it. The first one I painted is the pastel on black paper in the middle. I love the texture in that paining. The second one was a commission that I did and its a very large oil paining (3’x5′), the details and soft color changes in the agave’s petals are beautiful, you can really get lost in it. The last one, on the right is my most recent rendition. I have been working on a series of small paintings on paper with acrylic. With all the different mediums and surfaces, the effect produced is entirely different.

Prickly Collage

I was asked to paint a series of my agave and succulents on paper for a show at the Rebecca Molayem Gallery this past July. I had seen some new paper from Arches at Blick that you could paint with oils on without any additional prep work. So I bought several sheets of it and created these paintings.


The original paintings are available on my website You can find these and my other southwest prints on

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Art in the City of Roses

While the art wasn’t about roses per se, it was about nature. I had two paintings accepted into Linus Gallery’s nature show that opened on Saturday, October 22nd. The reception was packed all night with nature and art lovers alike.

The show featured artists many difference interpretations of Nature through a variety of 2 dimensional mediums. Check out all the work selected for the show here.  To see more of my nature paintings you can check them out on Fine Art America.

 South Pasadena Art Crawl

On the same night I was part of SOPA Studios collective show as part of South Pasadena’s Annual Art Crawl. ¬†Here is a sample of some of my new mixed media paintings that debuted at SOPA. ¬†See more of my new work at


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Celebrating Women Artists of Southern California

The Women‚Äôs City Club of Pasadena at The Historic Blinn House is pleased to announce ‚ÄúSpring Forward – Celebrating Women Artists of Southern California.‚Ä̬† The exhibition, which runs from May 1 through July 30, 2011, features fifty paintings by seventeen Southern California women artists.¬† It will be the first exhibition produced by Margaret Danielak, The Women‚Äôs City Club of Pasadena‚Äôs new Curator of Exhibitions.¬†¬†

The ‚ÄúSpring Forward‚ÄĚ exhibition features the work of artists Ruth Olenick, Beth Summers, Carol Steinberg, Elizabeth Wallace, Linda DuPas, Frances C. Muenzer, Ellen Brown, Barbara Thorn-Otto, Julie Snyder, Kate Moriarty, Beverly Lazor, Athena Mantle, Anna T. Kelly, Judy Taussig, Marian Fortunati, Merrilyn Duzy and Robin Neudorfer.

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The Blinn House was built in 1905 for lumber baron Edmund Blinn and his family.  The Blinns hired popular Chicagoarchitect, George Washington Maher to design their Californiahome in the Midwestern Prairie School Style.  The building has been home to The Women’s City Club since 1945 and continues to serve the Pasadena community as a meeting place for civic, cultural, and educational activities.

‚ÄúSpring Forward‚ÄĚ will be on view from May 1 through July 30, 2011.¬† ¬†The Women‚Äôs City Club of Pasadena is located at 160 N. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena, CA¬† 91101.¬† Parking is accessible behind the building from Madison Avenue.¬† ¬†The phone is 626-796-0560 and website is

 The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is open for art viewing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. Р4 p.m.  During the run of the exhibition, Curator Margaret Danielak will be on hand for special viewing hours on Fridays from 3 pm until 5 pm and by appointment.  Margaret Danielak may be reached through her blog at , via email at or via phone at 626-683-9922. 


Filed under Art Exhibition, Art Work, Oil Paintings, Pastel, Plein Air Painting, Succulents

Women Artists Celebrating Mother’s Day

Angeles Crest Art Guild
Mother’s Day Show
Broadview East Athena Mantle's Streetscape Painting

DATE: Friday, May 6, 2011
TIME: 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
LOCATION: Modest Fly Art Studio and Gallery
7578 Foothill Blvd.
Tujunga, CA 91042
This is the 4th annual show of the ACAG. The work of 20 wonderful and diverse women artists will be on display and available for sale.
This includes paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics and glass art. Stop by for hors d’oeuvres, a fun raffle, mingle with the artists and enjoy great art!
At this exhibit I will be showing some of my new local streetscapes.

Look forward to seeing you!

Happy Spring!

Athena Mantle
For more about the gallery, click here.
For more about the Angeles Crest Art Guild, click here.
ACAG Mothers Day Show Participating Artists

Save the date: Thursday, May 26th 6 – 9 pm. Stay tuned for more information on my next show at the Women’s Club of Pasadena.

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Filed under Art Exhibition, Art Work, Oil Paintings, Succulents

An Unlikely Muse

An Extra-Ordinary Street

The Lake Avenue street median in Pasadena has been catching my attention ever since they landscaped it with some really unusual curly agave and a large variety of other agave and succulents. ¬†I secretly scheme in my mind ways to go steal pups from the plants in the middle of the night. ¬†It’s become a joke between my husband and I because every time we drive down that street I point them out as if he had never seen them before. ¬†He turned it around on me and started pointing them out to me, “Hey, did you see THOSE?” he’d say. ¬†It gave me a good chuckle. ¬†The truth is I could sit on that street and stare at the plants for days and be perfectly happy. ¬†I find something new to admire each time I pass by, they are just mesmerizing!

I had my camera with me one day and took some photos. ¬†For some reason I didn’t paint them right away as you might expect. ¬†Maybe I had too much built up in my mind about what great agave paintings¬†they would make or maybe I just hadn’t formulated how the heck I was going to pull it off. Who knows my motivations…certainly not me! ¬† I didn’t photograph my favorite curly agave because the late afternoon light was blocked by the office buildings. ¬†Oh darn, I’ll just have to go back and look at them some more. But these beauties caught my eye so I snapped a few shots. ¬†I started the drawings for these weeks ago and today I went for it with the paint! ¬†I am doing a diptych (or a series of two) so I painted them¬†simultaneously.

Here are some in progress photos…

I’d love to know what you think.

Lake Avenue Agave step 1

Lake Avenue Agave Step 2

Lake Avenue Agave Step 3Lake Avenue Agave step 5

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Filed under Art Work, Oil Paintings, Succulents

Desert Jewels Opening Reception

Thanks to all those who came out to the opening reception of Desert Jewels.  I invited my good friend Karen Meinhart to join me at the show and display her gorgeous succulent container gardens.

Click on the link below to get a glimpse of the show.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Filed under Art Exhibition, Art Work, Oil Paintings, Succulents