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! 🙂
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.
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 athenamantle.com. You can find these and my other southwest prints on FineArtAmerica.com
The month of December proved to be a popular one for agave paintings. I painted this commission of a blue agave for a collector in Scottsdale. My largest one yet at 36″ x 60″. I have to say I was a little sad to send it off not having gotten much time to enjoy it myself. But alas, I make paintings so others can enjoy them so off it went!
Just before Christmas I sold my Blue Agave Family painting to a native plant lover from LA’s Westside. Its always exciting to be found through Google – ahhh, the power of the internet! I couldn’t have been happier to deliver it to it’s new gorgeous home.
Because this painting had been hanging over my fireplace for me to enjoy, I had to replace it before the company arrived for the holidays! I found the largest canvas I had and painted a replacement, finishing just 2 hours before throwing a holiday party. Whew! I couldn’t bare the thought of a wall devoid of art so I painted this 30″ x 40″ foxtail agave alla prima!
If this is any indication of whats to come, 2012 will continue the agave trend as I gear up to paint more of this series. A few of my agave paintings have been selected for Margaret Danielak’s upcoming show “Red” at the Pasadena Women’s City Club. The opening reception will be Thursday, February 9th from 6-9 pm. 160 N. Oakland Avenue -Pasadena, CA 91101
I’m pleased to have 3 of my paintings included in Margaret Danielak‘s latest art exhibition “A Touch of Gold” which will be on view from August 1 through October 31, 2011.
Fifty six paintings by eighteen California-based artists will be featured at “A Touch of Gold,” the fall art exhibition of The Women’s City Club of Pasadena. The “Touch of Gold” exhibition features the work of artists Scottie Brown, Barbara Davidson, Lee Edwards, Julie Hill, Olga Kaczmar, Anna Kelly, Athena Mantle, Beverly Lazor, Robin Neudorfer, Ferial Nassirzadeh, Kate Moriarty, Terry Romero Paul, Julie Snyder, Carol Steinberg, Diana Stewart, Beth Summers, Trice Tolle and John Paul Thornton.
The reception is Thursday, August 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is located at 160 N. Oakland Avenue in Pasadena. Free parking is accessible behind the building from Madison Avenue.
The Women’s City Club of Pasadena is open for art viewing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the run of the exhibition, Curator Margaret Danielak will be on hand for special viewing hours on Fridays from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. and by appointment. In addition, courses in art marketing and art collecting will be offered.
SOPA Summer Group Exhibit
June 18th, 2011 7-9pm
1025 Hope St. South Pasadena
I will be exhibiting some of my streetscape paintings and a few new agave paintings. There are over 15 artists exhibiting . The art on exhibit includes paintings (printmaking, oils, encaustics, and more) ceramics, photography, handmade journals by Amanda Ramirez (which are so amazingly clever and recycled, I just LOVE them!)
I hope you can join us!
Today designer Mollie Ranize picked up my painting “New Blue Agave” for her design project at the Good Shepherd Homeless Center for Women and Children where she is beginning her transformation of one of the many rooms that are part of the Good Shepherd Design Project.
Mollie makes sure to stay connected with the design community through her professional memberships with ASID, NKBA and USBGC. She is also a regular contributor to many environmental, animal and human welfare organizations.
Her interior design studio ranges from large scale residential renovations, exclusive photography and production studios, restaurants and lounges to highly publicized health and fitness centers. dmar interiors is a well versed design company with impeccable attention to detail, respect for budget and belief that customer service is what makes the most positive outcome on a project.
I’m excited to see how she incorporates the piece in the renovated room. I’ll share some photos when we get the big reveal! Happy Designing Mollie!
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.