Friday, August 8, 2014

Breton Country Lane

I've been home for 2 weeks and  have been quite ill. However, I'm still basking in the great memories made in France, both visual and gastronomical! Our first stop was Brittany where my niece has many relatives and we were delighted with the scenery along the coast and throughout the villages. This province is Celtic in origin which is evident by all the stone cottages with their distinctive chimneys. Throughout the 3 weeks in the country, I ate my favorite salad de chevre chaud (hot goat cheese salad) within spitting distance of this scene. I miss that almost as much as the amazing visions like this and the sunflower fields of the south! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Home Again

I am home at long last but have been sick for a week and entertaining a string of houseguests at the same time! It's summer and everyone comes this way, so I went from one B&B experience to the other, only switching roles. I rather liked being fed 3 times a day and not having to shop, cook or clean............whilst gazing at the wondrous French countryside as well as magical Paris. So much fun and such great memories. This little piece is from our first leg of the trip in Brittany. An old village by the sea called Meneham and this building housed many artisans showing and selling their creations. Just delightful.

Flash! Flash! Still room left in my August 16-18 palette knife oil workshop at the Mendocino Art Center.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Many of you know this, but in case you don't..........I am in France for a total of 3 weeks, due to return on the 23rd of July. I am unsuccessful at posting to this blog with visuals but if you want to friend me on Facebook, please do! So far it's only been photos of the adventures but this coming week I hope to post the paintings I'll be doing as well. Otherwise, tune in at the end of the month and I'll show you many visuals all at once. Happy summer and thanks for being my cyber buddies, Erin

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fanciful Fences

I had a most delightful walk the other day with my husband, attempting to find corners of Mendocino that I hadn't photographed or painted before. Guess what? I found one! The two foreground fences are relatively new, so that's the reason I suppose, plus the flowers just behind the fence are grown up and glorious. The house in the background is actually the Mendocino Market and they serve up the greatest lunches that can be enjoyed on their back porch, so what are your waiting for?

Friday, June 20, 2014

West Cliff Panorama

What an almost fairy tale life I lead, getting to step out my front door and see the scene within 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This is mid morning light and the town and bluffs are all dressed up in their summer best.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wondrous Whitewater

It was fun to do a bit of armchair traveling to Pacific Star this week by using my iPad to take me there. Also fun to dabble with watercolors again, my first love in the realm of paint. There is a Chamber of Commerce event up there this week, so I look forward to being on site and maybe even painting while everyone else is schmoozing. Stay tuned. By the way, my posts are going to get even spottier in the coming days as I gear up for my 3 week trip to France. I cannot post from my iPad, but will do my best to post to my Erin Dertner Studio page on Facebook. Check that page out between July 2-22 and see if I reveal anything of the wonders I'll be seeing and painting!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gold and Bold

A lovely lady from Texas asked if I might give her a private painting lesson and she chose some photos of sunflowers that I'd taken in France long ago. The timing couldn't be more perfect as I anticipate being back in this very region of France in a few short weeks. I admit to being magnetized by these blossoms myself and look forward to being immersed in field after field, both close up and distant. For this warm up session, it was certainly a bonus that there were some billowy white clouds in the sky with some lovely purple undersides!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sunset California Style

I keep forgetting to tell you that you must now click on the title to visit my blog and see the current image. This was done as a way to allow folks to see what's going on in my art-O-sphere and not just one painting. It was impossible to do otherwise, so I hope you don't mind that extra little click.
Otherwise, I've been all over the map both literally and figuratively. Just coming off of a 12 day detox/cleanse and spent 6 days of it in Yuba City with my bestie of 40 years. I couldn't have done it without her. While there, I revisited this scene we'd taken in while on a road trip a while back. That year, we decided not to go out of the country, but to take a drive down majestic Highway 1 and soak in some of our very own sites. In 3 short weeks, we will be traveling to France with 11 others and you won't be hearing from me much during that time. I might be crazed leading up to that trip too, so here's a hearty hello with many thanks for tuning in.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Riverside Light

The American River was truly sublime. This subject while dreamy in real life, is quite hard to execute in a painting. I brought it home and tried to pump it up to tell the same story that I saw that lovely day. It's a simple vision of back light along a riverbank with just enough glimmers on the water to make your heart sing.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gazing South

I have been absent, but not quite absent minded as I've been working feverishly on paintings for my Ojai gallery. I hope to post them on my business Facebook page soon, so keep your eyes peeled within the next few days. Besides that my buddy Leslie is visiting for a week while we are engaged in a cleanse, looking forward to enjoying the delectable delights in France without too much guilt come July! My niece is going on the trip with us, so yesterday we helped prime her pump by gazing south from our deck. All 3 of us painted the view with equally fun results and I'm happy to say hello again at long last.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Iris Popping

I spent an (almost) idyllic coupla days along the American River outside of Sacramento last weekend. The temps were grand but the wind was a bit of a pain. I took a class by a great painter, Terry Miura and hope that the stuff I saw him paint and talk about sticks to my 'painting ribs'. Always learning, always adjusting and always hoping for better results. I loved the ochre reflections against the periwinkle and the yellow iris was like icing on the cake. Oh, and the path was just so inviting.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Harbor Halo

Thank you darling friend Linda for loaning me this awesome photo of magic hour at the harbor. How can you go wrong with coral and periwinkle, this hopeless painter lady asks? Besides that, the trail of light on the water just slays me.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring is in the Air

The weather is absolutely out of this world today. It must be 80 degrees out there and we are pinching ourselves, well and maybe fanning a little bit too. We just aren't used to this, but are reveling in all the sunshine, light and color that is prevalent in every direction. I actually sat inside my house to paint this scene because it was too hot outside! The view from my upstairs deck has recently improved due to the topping of some bushy trees so I was cool as a cucumber but still painting from real life. The headlands are blanketed with flowers of every color but from my house I could see yellow blooms and roses. Wow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rowin' on the River

You haven't seen hide nor (brush) hair of me for quite some time! We have been doing a lot of traveling and are about to leave again tomorrow for a few days. However, I did want to show you something that I painted recently after taking a trip down the river with this kind gentleman you see pictured. We met upriver at Dolphin Isle and made our way to Silver's at the Wharf where he dropped me and one other passenger off before docking his boat. It was a truly lovely day and I wasn't even scared one iota.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Magic Hour at Little River

I feel supremely blessed to drive along California's majestic highway 1 and often at the "Magic Hour". Cresting the hill just south of the Little River Inn affords a spectacular view of this graceful Victorian reflecting the evening's golden light. It takes my breath away every single time, so I grab the camera and balance it on the steering wheel as fast as I can manage before I'm too far down the hill!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Birthday Busy-ness

It's been quite a hectic week with festivities surrounding my husband's 70th birthday. We've been out of town for a family party and then hosted a great gathering here on the coast as well. Here is a painting I did of Tomas for a gift and a nice shot of our family and some of the friends that stayed over a 2nd night. Our boys are bookends in this photo and Tomas is wearing bright red behind Abe. Levi's amazing camera was used to shoot this colorful photo which was taken just yesterday morning. Hope to get back and track with new paintings asap. Thanks for hanging with me these past couple of years. It's been an amazing ride!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cock A Doodle Do

Believe it or not, this is an East Coast rooster. I ran across a photo of him as I was looking through some shots I'd taken years ago in Bucks County Pennsylvania. So much color out that way in the Fall, but this guy is dressed up this way in every season!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Victorian Garden

As I was wandering around my little town one day, I stopped in my tracks to gaze across this lovely house and garden to the subtle background. In the mist you can see the faint outline of the steeple of the Mendocino Presbyterian Church, the iconic silhouette that defines our skyline. Besides that, it's quite fun to take this path to get yourself there don't you think?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Forest Dawn

This particular pathway holds many fond and poignant memories for me as well as countless others. This is the path to the Woodbutcher, a cabin made famous by a book titled the same. It is a spiritual place, a reflective place, a rejuvenating place and a place where the journey is as important as the goal.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Radiant Radishes

I recently painted some cherries and while they are certainly more delectable than radishes, I think they might vie for first place in the beauty department. It is a barrel o'fun to go to the farmer's market just to catch sight of glorious clumps of color like this. They're also pretty stinkin' fabulous in a salad with their crunch and unmistakable zing.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sunlit Blossoms

Sally at Pacific Star has the most fabulous collection of terra cotta urns and flower pots. She rearranges them from time to time and plants new things in them season upon season. They are almost as captivating as the view, but more often than not I have taken photos to paint from later and you have seen this subject before! This time though I delved into the watercolor palette and sat next to my almost 12 year old niece while we each worked on our own version. I wish I'd taken a photo of hers because I'd love to be sharing that with you, but maybe later. Hers was spectacular and even more vibrant than mine, so I was a tad envious.

Friday, February 28, 2014

All in a Day's Work revisted

I posted this painting a while back but the boat and boatman were BORING. Who would want a painting of Venice without a gondola and gondolier???? The initial reason for this piece was my being drawn to the dark buildings and the shadows they cast on the sunlit water. The boat was in the right place but it just didn't communicate well. I have had this painting hanging around my studio speaking to me about the times I've stood on the Academia Bridge, gazing toward the Grand Canal and daydreaming about Monet's paintings of that view. Disneyland in real life.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wee Clump

Well, painting even a wee clump of cherries that measure 4 by 4 inches can take more than a wee bit of time. Though it's a relatively simple subject, there are many broken parts that make up the whole. I kept trying to simplify the background in order to make them pop and hope I've succeeded at making you want to pluck one off the screen and eat it. Cherries shown actual size.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pale Beauties

I took a shot of these lovely roses a gazillion years ago because I was mesmerized by their subtle colors and soft edges. I have looked at the photo as many times and decided that today was the day to do a 'quiet' kind of painting. Not a lot of drama but hopefully a calming feeling instead. Thank you Mark and Joanie Ellis for cultivating these beauties!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gladly Pay You Tuesday

Yep, it's an out of the box and into the wrapper painting for me, a double cheeseburger. Crazy enough, it wasn't even mine but just looked so great with those fries and that checkered tray liner that I HAD to take a photo. I was eating a falafel while my friends were indulging in this all-American staple and a good time was had by everyone there on the picnic bench in Mendocino. Kinda makes you hungry huh?

Monday, February 17, 2014

More Portraits

Liz Caudill today at 28

Lizzie as an 8 year old

My painting

I've been doing many more portraits than I've been posting, but I think I'll be getting back to some other things this week. Liz was hoping that she looked more happy, but it is VERY hard to hold a pleasant face for 2 1/2 hours. I asked her to take a photo of herself with a faint smile and give the painting back to me for revisions. Otherwise, it's been a historic day to see this darling girl pose in the same studio 20 years later. She lived on the coast between ages 3-12 and we've just shared a fabulous weekend visiting familiar places. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Portraits of Many Things

Long time no see, no hear from me, I know. I've been swamped with many things including some portraits and other busy work. I decided in the meantime to put a bug in your ear that I can do paintings of things that are near and dear to you. Below you will see examples of my paintings and the research photos I used to create them. A dear couple asked me to paint some important houses connected to their family's history, so the first 4 are from that special project. They each measured 8x10, so were a fun size for grouping on a wall to bring back all kinds of lovely memories. Have fun taking a gander and let me know if I might help you capture a special moment in time with something a bit more unique than a photograph. 
Besides that, Happy Valentine's Day to each and every one of you!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Joshua Grindle House

Click Here to Bid

This house is a much loved and gracious landmark here in Mendocino. Many have enjoyed staying there when it was a thriving bed and breakfast establishment. Years ago, I did another version of  this composition in watercolor and the owners at the time bought it and used it as a cover for their cookbook of morning delicacies. If you're wondering what that strange tall flower is all by itself, it's called a Red Hot Poker around these parts and they actually grow in delightful little clumps. Beneath it are a couple of 'fried egg' flowers or the more common name, Matilija poppies. The fabulous white Victorian houses make the perfect foil for the lavish gardens that adorn them and aren't we all inspired by such glorious images?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Kelly Street Path

Isn't this a path that universally beckons? Whether it's the end of the street I live on, or a beach on the coast of Sweden (!), we can all picture ourselves skipping out to the edge to fill our lungs with the sea air and wonder of it all. Many of you have walked out here with us after dinner but if you haven't, what on earth are you waiting for?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Munching Cluster

Some people like cats, some like dogs and still others favor horses. While I also like many furry friends, sheep and lambs seem to pull on my heartstrings the most. I think I'd be scared to own a farm and tend them (!), but I love to look at them grazing in a field with their fluffy wool that catches the light just right. This big mama sheep seemed to catch ALL of the sunlight on this particular day while all the others play supporting roles in the periwinkle and lavender shade.

Update on France trip: There are still a couple of spots open if you or someone you know might like 2 weeks of soaking up the art scene in Paris & Monet's Garden besides painting sunflowers near Toulouse. Check out the details on my website at