Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wild Watercolor

Click on the title to see image

Yesterday at Pacific Star Winery north of Fort Bragg was, yet again, an other-worldly experience. The breezes were lovely, the sunshine just right, the company of friends superb and the wee glass of their orange muscat perfect for our picnic. Painting was an after thought, but so glad that my friends indulged me while they gawked and gazed. Glad I carry an emergency watercolor bag in my car at all times! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Driving south toward Elk, one can be enthralled by one majestic vista after another. Such was the case yesterday when I went to visit an elderly friend and afterwards decided to continue south til I could find a pull-out in which to park and paint. The winds have been howling lately, but doing small paintings from the comfort of the front seat of my car is completely doable!
You haven't heard from me in quite some time for about 100 reasons. Most recently, we took a trip to Los Angeles to see our boys and that was action packed with no time to paint. Otherwise, we're still recovering from a flood that took place in our frame shop at the end of December. Believe it or not, it has taken that long to empty the space, rip out the sheetrock walls and ceilings, repair all upstairs flooring and all downstairs ceilings and walls, replace the contents and finally, to organize the contents. Horrific job, but it's finally looking rather spiffy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Albion Street Finale

Since moving into Mendocino proper some 6 years ago, we have had the supreme fortune of discovering even more nooks and crannies that we had in the previous 22 years. We walk around a lot and it blows my mind that there are more things to discover each time. The variables of season, time of day and weather condition certainly contribute to the phenomenon. Anyhow, there is a wildly colorful house behind the Sandpiper Jewelry store that has flowers blooming in front and in back. I crouched down in the alley behind the house one day and caught a bee line view to the house on the headlands, all framed and flounced by hundreds of colorful blossoms! Now I keep going back to see if there are variations of this stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Gleaming Snippet

Once upon a time I had the privilege of being paddled along the Noyo River from an inland spot to the mouth of the harbor. So happy to have had my camera along because I have a wealth of new material that I never could have gained along the banks. So much fun zooming in on 'gleaming snippets' of harbor life, especially that brilliant morning when the sun was working its wonder.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happily Strutting

Whew, LOOOOOOOOOOONNNGGG time you no hear from me. I've been in Maui for over 2 weeks and cannot post from my iPad. Had a marvelous time in that warm weather and loved the swaying palm trees and azure waters. I left all of my paintings at the Village Gallery in Lahaina but might be able to show them to you soon, once I get organized.
In the meantime, here is a fun little character happily strutting across a field of green. Hope you're cheered right up in the middle of winter and happy to hear from me after such a long absence!

Monday, January 19, 2015

January Morning

My husband and I took a ride out to Navarro Ridge Road early this morning to meet some friends and  on the way up the hill marveled over this scene. The sun was brilliant as the fog was giving way and I couldn't whip my camera out fast enough to capture the essence. I don't often share my photo reference, but wanted you to see that I interpreted what I saw with how I felt.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cozy Corner

This is a westerly view from the house we used to live in at Englenook. Whenever people give me flowers, I tend to create still life set-ups and take photos to make them 'last' longer. I've been able to re-visit many a boquet this way and my heart is warmed all over again. Besides that, who doesn't want a cup of tea by the seaside while contemplating God's goodness in giving us a brand new year?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Duck, Duck, Goose

'Back in the Saddle' so to speak, but only for a minute. Life is swirling around me like nobody's business and important things are demanding my time. However, painting is ALWAYS on my mind and I had started thinking that I had probably forgotten how. Stated leafing through photos and landed on this fun shot of the MacCallum House here in Mendocino and those cute geese just spoke to me. They said, "Let us out of this prison!", so here is my attempt at helping them realize their 15 minutes of fame. Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Crazy Week

Hi There Friends and Followers,
  We have had a remarkable 9 days since Sunday the 21st. If you are my friend on Facebook you already know the story but for those of you that aren't, here is a re-cap.
  My mother in law who just turned 95 in September (seen above in April of this year) landed in the hospital in Sonoma County, so we raced down there to be by her side. She had suffered for a couple of months with problems swallowing and was depressed upon belief. They discovered via endoscopy that her esophagus was constricted, so they stretched it out and she awoke HUNGRY! Soon after, I received a call from my Dad (also pictured above) from ICU in Monterey telling me he'd suffered a stroke earlier that day. He was fine after having had the anti-clotting med administered and is recovering nicely. Thirdly, we received a phone call from one of our tenants that the overhead sprinkler in their apartment had busted and was flooding their space. We were still out of town so went into high gear making phone calls to get that remedied. We are now seeing professional people removing all of the contents and flooring of that apartment besides all the contents of our frame shop below in order to replace everything. We need new flooring upstairs and all new sheet rock downstairs, so are looking at 'being out of work' for a lengthy period of time. 
  Hoping to get back to painting very soon, so stay tuned! My studio is in a separate building, so I can still hit the easel and plan on it. Blessings on each of you and may each of us experience 2015 with joy, gratitude and confidence in God to handle the big and little things we all must face. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Books and Original Art

Still have a small batch of softcover books left and can send them out in time for Christmas if you've thought of somebody that would like one. I've also posted 35 original paintings to my website and to my Facebook Studio page that we're offering at a discount, so feel free to take a gander. Check out my workshops for 2015 and get inspired to travel or to tell a friend that might have wanderlust like me! Besides that we've been in and out of town a lot lately and plan to leave next week to see our boys in Los Angeles, so I apologize for not being in touch very much lately. I realized not long ago that I'm not as good at multi-tasking as I used to be and tend to get foggy headed when too many things pile up at one time. Thanks so much for tuning into my little online journal and I look forward to keeping you in the loop throughout the new year. Holiday Blessings one and all from your artsy fartsy friend, Erin 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Radiant Ripples

Sometimes I get a hankering to paint something other than a landscape or seascape. However, the brilliance of the sun can still be seen in just about everything I do. It's been awfully rainy lately, so it's nice to share a piece of sunlit water crowned by this regal but simple pond creature. I'm not up on knowing my water fowl, so forgive me for not naming his species!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Limitless Light

I happen to live in 'Amazing Sunset Land' and can jump up from the dinner table with my camera at the drop of a hat. It is always delightful to see a new set of colors and new cloud patterns appear as the clock ticks toward the closing of the day. Feeling blessed and wishing you a fabulous Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My very first book

100 softbound copies available for gift giving with a hardcover version to come after the 1st of the year. It's been a labor of love on the part of my designer Anita Thomas and my editor/sister Mary Calvez but the first batch is a wonder to behold. 60 pages including 51 full color images with my thoughts on painting each one. Here is the cost break down:
$25 ($32.90 w/tx & shpg) 3 copies for $70 ($87.33 w/tx & shpg) 5 copies $100 ($119.92 w/tx & shpg.) 
no tax if you're outside of CA 
email me at if you want to order!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Moove Over

I felt like doing something light and lively recently, so painted a few animals in this 6x6 format. Dairy cows are sure happy creatures, evoking hundreds of  years of hearth and home, farm and family. Right? Funny trivia: I drink almond milk but I simply ADORE butter! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Upcoming Painting Holidays

February in Maui?

September in the Greek Islands?

Girl addicted to large bodies of water

Always looking forward to new adventures and am hopeful that 2015 sees you joining me in one or both of these wonderful places! Please message me at for details on these waterfront holidays. I take painters and non-painters alike and the skill level is wide open too.  Prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience and please pass the word.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More Galivanting

It has been entirely too long since I have posted but you must know that I haven't stopped painting! After Shelter Cove it was Yosemite and I was able to dabble in watercolor again which was both delightful and challenging. On the last day a few of us plopped down amongst the trees and shrubs to catch the last sunrays on the glorious Ahwahnee Hotel, one of the country's beloved destinations. The weather was spectacular, cool in the mornings and evenings but hot during the day. We had to paint in the shade in order to keep from being sunburned and certainly reveled in all that magnificence bathed in golden light. It was unforgettable and I hope to return again and again. Did I tell you that this was my very first visit? Better late than never........

Here too is a glimpse into a corner of my studio with a sweet fabric banner above my kitchen door. I had purchased the word 'ART' but soon afterward, received the word 'LOVE' as a gift for my birthday. It was fun to buy one more letter and then string them all up so it's the first thing I see when I walk through the door each day!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Plein Air at the Lost Coast

It's been a while since you heard from me, but at long last I'm posting some pieces I did early this month in Shelter Cove. I took part in the first outdoor painting event they have organized and had a fabulous time. My piece with the orange house won first place in the oil painting category and believe-you-me, that was encouraging and exhilarating to say the least! The final piece with the bridge was painted during the 2 hour Quick Draw and I won 2nd place with that one. Woo Hoo, a fun year for this painting machine!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Silver Sea

This week has been a lot of fun as I've been doing some 'fun time' painting with 2 friends. We spent each day in a large open studio with lots of elbow room but one evening when the light was beyond belief, we had to step out and do some plein air work. Yes, you've most likely seen me paint this house before but not often is the ocean brighter than the sky. It was almost blinding to look at as the sun was peaking down through the oncoming rain clouds. Great light. Great friends. Great pastime.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sunflower Triptych

I was inspired by one of my traveling buddies on the France trip to create some tall skinny sunflower paintings. She did one in watercolor while we were there, so I expanded and designed a 3-part image that are each 12x3, making it 12x9 overall. Those have to be the happiest flower faces on the planet and this project took me right back to the massive field we enjoyed together in July.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More Plein Air Work

Faybell in the Sun 10x5

Noyo Relic 12x9

Patterns of Light 10x5

I did the sunset piece last night and the other 2 this morning. You can sure tell the difference between the top two where I used a palette knife and the lower one a brush. I keep myself from getting bored this way. These pieces are hanging at the Art Center and the Noyo Relic might already be sold to a couple that watched me paint it today at Sea Pal Cove where I had lunch. I was all alone and thought business was slow, but one by one, each outdoor table filled up and by this time I had my painting going and ended up putting on a show for all the diners. Crazy huh? The foggy painting of Faybell sold to a Canadian couple that visited the Art Center, so things are humming right along this week. I've also got a show opening this weekend at the Highlight Gallery here in Mendocino.  I feel like a painting machine but it's a good feeling after the lull I experienced after coming home from France...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Faybell in the Fog

M.O.P.O. (Mendocino Open Paint Out) started today and since it was gray I headed down to the harbor. The wet paintings hang for sale at the Mendocino Art Center all week and the event culminates with a "Quick Draw" competition on Saturday when each participant has 2 hours to start and finish a painting. I hope to post my pieces each day to keep you abreast of my goings-on, just in case you think I'm sitting on the couch watching Soaps and eating bon-bons. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Still Alive and Well

It is sad to see that it's almost been a month since my last post. While I've been dealing with a bit of sickness, I've also been QUITE busy with a few projects. First off, I'll tell you about the little watercolor I'm posting and then the rest of the news. I took my group to Monet's Garden and the Impressionist Museum in Giverny on July 11th and we had a most delightful time. It wasn't a day for painters, so after we feasted on the garden visuals we were able to spend a bit of time exploring the village. I plunked myself down in a shady spot and found that this sweet little lane caught my attention. No time to shop in the antique store behind the open door, but we can all imagine that it was chock full of wonderful and dusty French stuff right? 

Now, onto the big news of the decade. I say that because I have been wanting to create both a teaching video and a set of small coffee table books for at least that long. My son Levi shot footage of me doing 3 different paintings here in Mendocino County and we are almost finished editing the first one. Hurray! After editing, I will add voice-over narration to explain all my techniques and artistic decisions. I'll shout out again when it is complete and let you know how to obtain one for yourself or a painter friend.

Finally, here is the cover of the upcoming book. The first one will showcase my blog posts of Mendocino paintings and the fun things I had to say about each image. Hope you want to snag a copy or two and I'll be letting you know when those are available. Thanks for your patience and I hope you hear from me more often. Next week is the Mendocino Open Paint Out, so I'll be painting a blue streak and not sure how often I can post but don't give up on me!!!!

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.