Thursday, May 14, 2015

That Extra Dimension 2015

Meet "MY PICASSO"! He is a ceramic mask made of black mountain clay. He is glazed with beads for eyes and he hangs on the wall. He will be entered in That Extra Dimension 2015 show at Arts Visalia throughout the months of July. The reception will be held July3rd, 6:00 to 8:00 P.M.

Marn Reich came up with the idea of a 3 dimension show. She approached Arts Visalia, and Kevin Bowman their curator okay'd the idea. Marn did the work to invite artists to participate, did the advertising, and Kevin hung the show. Normally we did show over the past several years in September but change is good. This year July.

When this show comes up I think of Nancy Jonnum with her quirky birds and animals, always a hit in this show. She is missed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


It is hard to remember exactly when I discovered I loved dot painting. Access to old things and trying to figure out what to do with them pushed me to realize I could make them into art instead of passing them off to some else to dispose of. Rusty tools, horseshoes, hubcaps, old wooden boxes, wall plates for switches and plugs, have provided me with hours of pleasure decorating them with dots. To my amazement people love them, and I am having  a hard time keeping up. What a great problem to have, too many people want the dot repurposed art than I can make. Fun!!!

Below are some pieces that hang on the walls outside my home, waiting for new owners. Hope you enjoy them.

Garden Tool $20.00

Horseshoes welded triple $25.00

1932 Chevy Hubcap $50.00
Switch plates $20 a piece
Any colors you desire: electric sockets, phone wire plates, dimmer switch plates, and more. Will do commissions.

Peacock of metal and rocks: $65

This turtle represents my Oaxaca experience. Efrain Fuentes let me paint in his workshop in the village of San Martin Telecate, an hour ride from Oaxaca. I sat with his cousin, Raquel and we painted all afternoon. Efrain worked on wood carvings and on painting multiple finished carvings, switching off pieces to let them dry, and stopping occasionally to see what I was doing and to make suggestions here and there. Wonderful experience. 

Monday, April 27, 2015


There is so much happening in Three Rivers May 2nd and 3rd. 

1st Saturday in Three Rivers will host open studios, artists with popup tents along 198, The Redbud Festival and the Redbud Garden Club. Pick up maps at Anne Lang's Emporium and the Historical Museum to find your way throughout Three Rivers.

At The Redbud Festival find arts and craft booths inside and outside, quilt show, music, food, children's art show, children art activities, and a Drawing. All of it at the Memorial Building. The Drawing prize packages will be on display. For only $2 a ticket  you will be supporting the Jonnum-Young Scholarship Fund to aid aspiring artists going to college.

The Redbud Garden Club hosts their annual native plant sale to support the wonderful work they do to provide public gardens for our community and maintain them through out the year. For examples look at the Fire Station and Post Office near the Village Market.

1st Saturday presents two open studios on Saturday: Jackie Gerstel's just past the Memorial Building with her crochet jewelry. Jackie specializes in color and style. The Gerstel's love to share their river view from the deck

The second studio is my studio: Spirit Hill Meditation Garden and Art Studio. Dot art and ceramic masks are some of what I will share. Jeri Burzin will bring her photography and multi-media artwork and will be set up on our deck. I really look forward to spending the day with Jeri, talking art and hosting all who come to our place. Children very much welcome. I offer them a choice of kiln goddess as a free gift.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

There is so much going on this coming 1st Saturday, December 7, 2013, 11-5 p.m.
Pick up guide maps at Anne Lang's Emporium, or the Historical Museum and find your way around Three Rivers.
45 artists will be available to share their creative process.

At my studio I will ask children to pick out their very own kiln goddess (free). I tell them about the process of firing ceramics and the role kiln goddesses play.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting ready for 1st Saturday in Three Rivers. November 2nd from 11:00 to 5:00 Spirit Hill Meditation Garden and Studio will be open to visitors. We are hosting artist Lisa Finley who will show her mosaics, acrylic paintings, and more. We look forward to a wonderful autumn day and hope many from the Valley will come to Three Rivers to see autumn leaves that brighten our hillsides. And enjoy how the leaves find their way into our artwork.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Creative Play: Bird Watching Series - Ceramic Masks

1st Saturday in Three Rivers July 6, 2013

Summer is here and it is hot more days than not. Soon July's 1st Saturday in Three Rivers will be upon us. I look forward to hosting people here on Spirit Hill. Below is the poster spread about town, and around Visalia and beyond thanks to our friends at the Art Consortium who willingly take posters from us each month to be displayed where ever they can find a space.
The deadline is June 15th to inform me of your intent to join us. I find spaces for artists from other towns to display their art. Last month a plein air painting, Joy Collier was set up at the Pumpkin Hollow Bridge. Two artists had tents in front of the Kaweah Commonwealth: Jami Beck, jewelry, and Darren Thomas, wooden portraits. There were two younger artists in front of Colors: Steven Higgenbathem, age 13, photographer of the wilds of Wyoming and the critters that live there. Another child of 9 was selling beaded bookmarks to raise money for her horse event. Jamie Otega transformed her tent into a magical spot. Not to be missed. A writer, Sophie Britten, was signing autographs for her latest book at Anne Lang's. And so much more all over Three Rivers to entertain our guests.

So what is in store for July 6th? Check out our blog at, after the 15th to see who is joining us this month. I never really know. Lately, last minute calls to join us appear. So check us out and be surprised as I am each month.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

1st Saturday in Three Rivers - February 2013

1st Saturday in Three Rivers is this coming Saturday, February 2nd, 11-5 P.M. Spirit Hill Studio will be open and we so look forward to hosting people. It is fun trying to anticipate guests. Last month there were mostly folks from Visalia with an Exeter person, too. More and more local Three Rivers residents have visited us here on Spirit Hill. What a joyful way to meet neighbors. Some Saturday's folks come from Fresno to Bakersfield and many places in between. Out of town guests as far as the Bay Area, to San Diego appear, too, not to mention out of State folks visiting local families. So Bruce and I await to see what surprises lay in store for us this coming 1st Saturday in Three Rivers.

Music will flow at Anne Lang's, at Colors Art Gallery artists will hang out and talk about how they produce their wonders, and Art Co-op will open with new management and enthusiastic artists. Individual studios will open their doors, like Nikki Crain's Weaving Studio. Grab a map at Anne Lang's or the Historical Museum and make your way around Three Rivers. And we welcome two new businesses as participants and sponsors: We Three Bakery and Rivers Edge Boutique. 

The blog: will give you peak preview of what to expect. Enjoy Nadi Spencer's wonderful way of presenting us each month.

To celebrate our theme of HEARTS AND FLOWERS the fiddlenecks are already popping out on my property so keep your eyes out. The flowers seem eager to appear this year! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

1st Saturday December 1, 2012

The Stocking Stuffer will be here on Spirit Hill this year. I am so excited to host these fabulous, talented, and energetic women. I invite all who are interested in art, or love hanging out on our deck, enjoying Bruce's meditation garden (weather permitting), listening to the bubbling pond, tonal chimes, and leaves fluttering (if the oaks still have any). Come on by. Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Newest Masks

Finished ceramic masks from the latest kiln firing.
                                             "Black and White"   by Shirley Keller @2012

                                                     "Hawk"   by Shirley Keller @2012

I am 70! My birthday lasted a week. It began in Vallejo with Delia, Luke, The Lizards, Bruce and me having lunch. A surprise birthday cake and cards, earrings and a heart pin, appeared with the birthday song! Chocolate on chocolate. YUM!!! I was surprised and pleased.

Next we moved on the Visalia to celebrate the Gaston Twins 55th. Since my birthday and Steve Diamants was close by they included us to our surprise. This time it was edible fruit covered in chocolate or vanilla, your choice. Strawberry with chocolate was mine!!! YUM again!

The next day we went to Exeter to the Jones' Family. I walked into what looked like an empty house, but flowing from the hallway, singing happy birthday were my grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law,    close girl friends Marn and Jane, and Grandpa Buddy and Grandma Lori. Lovely dinner was followed by a from scratch red velvet cake decorated with white, pink and red icing, looked like a painting, made by a young friend of the family. YUM YUM!

So now I am riding the spinner bike, going to senior exercise, and walking when I can get there before the heat hits, to erase cake memory from this body!! But the love that flowed cannot be erased, including all those who touched base through Facebook, and the cards from loved ones who live afar.

My grandson toasted me a wish for 30 more.....that's a lot of cake! YUM!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Monday I went to Sherley Tucker's clay workshop for the first time since total knee replacement surgery. I found the masks I had worked on before surgery had been bisque'd, glazed and final fired, and waiting for me to pack up and bring home. A new ceramic artist, Louise, had generously glazed my pieces, even though we'd never met. She did a great job! When she was working on the masks that I had made braids on, she said they were too much work, and I should stop making braids! HA! In spite of the work, she did them all, individually and perfectly. I am in her debt.

Knees slow me down, but physical therapy through Josh Vance, is teaching the legs to walk correctly, pushing me to exercise as a daily routine, and I see in the future the capability to walking through our hills, camera in hand, back to capturing the beauty of where we live. I cannot wait!!!


 "All Eyes" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Ceramic Buttons $50
 "Woven in Blue" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Buttons $50
 "Brother Dot" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Beads $50
 "Sister Dot" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Beads $50
"Wise One" Coronado Clay, Glaze, Beads $50

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Three Rivers Studio Tour Ten

What an adventure Spring is in Three Rivers. Here were are feverishly getting ready for the Studio Tour Ten that begins next Friday, March 23rd, and we awaken to a snow covered land!

Facing North from our home.
Notice the green circle under the Oaks protected from the snow. There are fiddlenecks growing under those trees, as there has been for a month all over my property. Spring was here, and flowers all over Three Rivers were popping up, blanketing the hillsides more each day. We were hoping for the beautiful colors to attract more people to the Tour. Well, I'd rather have this stormy, snowing, raining time happen this weekend, than next!
Facing East from my back Porch.
Facing South from my back Porch.
For a while now I have been bragging to everyone that the flowers are filling in the hillsides, carpeting the land with yellows, purple, orange, white, pink, and more, the weather as perfect as it gets around here, sunny, clear and in the 70's. The art below are samples of what I have been working on, inspired by the unfolding of Spring. It all makes me laugh. Today it is cold and wet and white. Nice to have the art to remind me that the warm days are just ahead! I cannot wait to host people here on Spirit Hill.

 Spring Flowers 8X10 $50
 Mating Time 13x16 $50

 Lizard: Metal artist unknown, painted by S. Keller $65
 Ant: Recycled metal signs by unknown artist in Mexico, painted by S. Keller $65

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Three Rivers Artists' Biennial Studio Tour Ten

January 28th the artist's gathered at the home/studio of Elsah Cort. We were to spend the day visiting one another's studios. This is in preparation for the Three Rivers Artists' Biennial Studio Tour Ten, March 23, 24, & 25. For me, it is the dessert before the main course, a chance to spend time with artists, to see how people work, to admire their artwork, and to help one another plan for the Studio Tour Ten. About half the artists were able to attend.

Elsah has hosted the Studio Tour for twenty years and it is always an amazing experience for artists and guests. As usual Elsah fed us well. The breakfast of quiche, fruit salad, bacon and sausage, breads and cakes, juices, coffee, tea were delicious, and we felt extremely well cared for. Thank you, Elsah.

After we ate, she welcomed us.
Elsah, Ann, and Mona sit on the stairs that lead to Elsah's studio.

We each introduced ourselves. When you buy tickets on the day of the Tour, you will be greeted by Ann. She will give you a booklet that has directions to each studio, a name tag to wear, and answer any questions. We then proceeded up the stairs to Elsah's studio.

Karen hidden and Martha observe Nikki Crain at the loom.

Nikki is the featured artist for this year's tour so we started at her studio out on the South Fork. She is demonstrating weaving techniques. The colors in Nikki's studio, the variety of looms, the setting in which she lives, and works, captures one.

Anne Birkholz is showing us burl in contrast to the bowl it might become.

Not far from Nikki's is Anne's woodworking studio. Anne's enthusiasm is contagious. A new electric saw, tools every where, finished wooden bowls, candle holders, pieces of raw wood yet to be worked on, and more, graced the studio. Her love of wood is very evident, a stop not to miss!

Christine Sell-Porter shares the curtains she painted with Marn and the other artists.

Christine lives up on the South Fork Estates. This is her first Studio Tour and she is very excited about hosting people to share her artwork. Her studio is small, but packed with color, watercolor paintings, cloth on a frame that she is working on, beads, colored pencils, paints, tools, and more. Her paintings hang in every room of their home. Her husband Clayton is a jewelry artist and he too will be a part of the Studio Tour Ten.

Nancy Jonnum in her potter's studio.

We moved on to Cherokee Oaks for our next group of artists. As you walk toward Nancy's studio you will walk on a tile path made with recycled tools, chains, glass, in cement, made by her husband Jerry. Nancy is demonstrating how she sculpts the wonderful and strange critters she is known for. She also does practical pieces like dish ware, bowls, and more. 

Jeffrey Jay in his garage, holding the beginnings of making a guitar, with Mona looking on. 

Jeffrey is new to the tour, and looking forward to sharing the delicacy of guitar making: the temperature of the garage must be so, the sawdust vacuumed up or will interfere with other stages of putting the guitar together. He played the various guitars displayed so we could hear the differences. 

Jim Entz holding up one of the pieces in progress.

It takes Jim at least a year, sometimes more, to create his art pieces. The color in his studio is stunning. To have him explain the process a treat, filled with information he has gathered to influence his artwork. 

Karen Kimble is explaining the process of clay mono prints to the other artists.

Clay Mono Printing is a medium that many people are not familiar with. On a table in Karen's studio is a huge clay slab. She layers colored liquid clay onto the slab, rolling each layer into the clay's flat surface, using various techniques for design, and eventually takes a print off it. Each print one of a kind. In her home hang many samples of finished pieces of art to demonstrate the versatility one can produce in this medium.

Deborah Dal Zuffo Studio: a new piece of art she is working on.

We left Cherokee Oaks and headed for North Fork. Not long ago, Deborah and her husband finished building their home and her studio. She is looking forward to the new adventure of living in Three Rivers, and participating in the tour for the first time. So welcome her to Three Rivers when you visit the studio. She has many interesting and inspiring items throughout her studio. 

Marn Reich display's ceramics and doll.

Marn is known for a sense of humor and when you see the critters, teapots, mugs, and vases you will find yourself chuckling. She works in cloth as well as ceramics.

Rick Badgley's underground studio.

A big culvert is the body of the building, half of which is buried into the hillside, with a sod roof, and Rick makes furniture in this unique studio. Martha, his wife, makes the leather cushions and pillows that are beautifully matched to the wood pieces. I dare you to sit in one of his rocking chairs. I did last tour and now it sits in my home! :)

Martha Widmann watching Rick share his studio with the artists.

I owe Martha an apology. When I downloaded all the images, I realized I had no pictures of her studio. On remembering the day I, I was recovering from the walk from Rick's studio to Martha's. They are in separate buildings. To get to hers you walk down steep rock stairs, which I have done many many times before and never a problem. Having not long ago had knee replacement, the steps were good exercise for my recovering knee, but not so good for the other knee that is waiting replacement. With the help of Nikki (thank you) I made the trek, but obviously didn't feel like taking pictures in Martha's studio. She paints in acrylic, shared her process, and showed us her beautiful pieces of art. There is an easier way to get to her, from the road, walk down a driveway comfortably, so if you have walking issues, just ask. Martha or Rick will point the way. 

Mona Selph's studio was last, but not the least by any stretch!

Mona has been an artist longer than all of us. Her studio always makes me feel star struck. Paintings, drawings, clay work, collages, an endless array of art. I look at her quality of work and promise myself that this year I will up my quality, inspired by her. She's up off the Mineral King Road and her property is situated in a beautiful spot.

One of the attractions people feel on the tour is that the hillsides are beautiful and spending a day wondering from studio to studio in Three Rivers is a delight, adding nature's artwork to the tour.

My studio was some where in the middle, after Marn's and before Rick's. But of course, I was too busy hosting the artists, and feeling nervous that my studio and art is up to snuff. I came to art late in life, and so many of the artists have done art their whole lives. It's hard not to compare myself with them. But as they keep reminding me it is better to find your creative self late, than never to have found it at all.

Old School house on Kaweah River Drive  Photography by Shirley A. Blair Keller ©

The Studio Tour is a great time to share the images, ceramic masks, and other art forms with people who come from all over, to host them here on Spirit Hill. I just cannot wait!!!