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I Remember Better When I Paint

Editor’s Note: As an advocate for the arts, it’s important to me that the power of the arts for healing gets the attention it deserves. I have not seen this documentary (though it is not newly released), but it was recommended to me by a fan of one of my clients. The reviews are so impressive, and the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s is such a concern for so many, that I wanted to share it with you.

I Remember Better When I Paint, narrated by Olivia de Havilland, is the first international documentary about the positive impact of art and other creative therapies on people with Alzheimer’s and how these approaches can change the way we look at the disease. A film by Eric Ellena and Berna Huebner, presented by French Connection Films and the Hilgos Foundation. Among those who are featured are noted doctors and Yasmin Aga Khan, president of Alzheimer’s Disease International and daughter of Rita Hayworth, who had Alzheimer’s.

The Hilgos Foundation’s mission is to support and encourage the ongoing process of artistic creation with people who have memory problems and/or Alzheimer’s and who require assistance in creating art that is meaningful and enriching. The Hilgos Foundation was created in memory of Hilda Gorenstein, an accomplished painter whose career spanned 75 years. She died at age 93 and left behind her the legacy of an inspired artistic life. Choosing to call herself Hilgos, Ms. Gorenstein was known for her beautiful marine paintings, which are now in collections all over the world. She was such a skillful painter of water vessels she was chosen to paint an enormous mural depicting the history of the U.S. Navy for Chicago’s Century of Progress celebration in 1933. She completed hundreds of paintings in the last three years of her life, while she struggled with profound memory loss. The vestiges of her early, masterful renderings of waves, birds, and boats remain, but have been transformed into a new system of spontaneous, personal gestures, bordering on the abstract. The sophisticated color choices and compositions of these late works reveal how sharp her artistic eye remained up until the very end of her life.

The Hilgos Award provides student funding at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to support and encourage the ongoing process of artistic creation. The award was established by family and friends in memory of the artist Hilgos, who studied at the Chicago Art Institute as a young woman, graduated in the 1920s, and became a well respected painter and sculptor, specializing in marine themes. Hilgos painted well into her 90’s. She returned to painting with several Art Institute students even after suffering memory loss, which almost forced her to stop painting. An award has been created in her spirit and memory at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

See a gallery of Hilgos’ watercolors at the Hilgos Foundation website for inspiration and hope for those who struggle with, or who are caring for a loved one who struggles with, Alzheimer’s and/or memory loss.

The website has a link to an article with fascinating insights on the connection between art and a brain failing due to Alzheimer’s, which you can access directly here:

I Remember Better When I Paint has been released as part of a DVD package which includes the documentary as well as a series of short supplemental films that further highlight special programs and flesh out the how-tos of organizing an outing, a creative workshop or recreating social bonds between people with Alzheimer’s and their families.

To buy a copy of the DVD package:

Learn more and read reviews and comments on the film’s website:

Be sure to check out the blog – this film is still touring 4 years after its initial release, and most screenings are free!

Kim’s Last Weekend

Medford Kim’s – a place glamorous and practical, exotic and so familiar, a place so many people carry special memories of, a place that has gotten more beautiful with age –  is being torn down, beginning Monday, Nov 10, 2014.  I’ve painted this spot twice before, and went out today to get make one last effort at documenting this place.


The demolition of this Southern Oregon landmark is a big deal here, so I even got a nice news piece – see it here.

Filed under: Landscape, Nostalgia, painting, Paintings Tagged: 2014, art, Inspiration, Kim’s Medford, kim’s restaurant, landscape, medford Oregon, oil, oil painting, oregon, painting, plein air, rogue valley, Sarah burns, sarah f burns, southern oregon, urban, work of sarah f burns

The Many Faces of Pookie, Zeus and Zena are Finished – Inspired Pet Portraits & Animal Paintings by Dana Feagin

The completed paintings of Pookie, Zeus and Zena are soon to be headed down to California! They are part of the “Limitless Love” project, which is now a 501(C)(3) – for a traveling museum show featuring artwork of Pookie, Zeus and Zena. Admission fees to the show will be donated to an animal charity. These sweet dogs are being memorialized in a wide variety of art forms and styles by over 100 artists in the US and Europe – paintings, drawings, Legos, animation, etc. My commission was to capture Pookie, Zeus, and Zena’s expressions, in a collection of whimsical 10 x 10 inch portraits. Some of the photos I was working with were quite blurry, and the coloring in each dog changed quite a bit as the dogs aged. That made this a much bigger challenge than I anticipated,  as I needed to get the same level of detail across all of the paintings and the colors/age of the dogs looking consistent across the paintings for each dog – something to keep in mind for future projects!

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Le fruit de l’Espirit

“l’amour” | 8″ x 10″ | Mixed Media on Canvas
Almost a decade ago, I was traveling with friends through the south of France, researching for my novel, The Honeylicker Angel. We stopped at a massive, open-air flea market near the Sea. I could have spent all day there, picking through boxes of photos, running my fingers through bowls of buttons, shrugging on vintage jackets. I still have two of the treasures I bought that day. Well, now just the necklace.
The other treasure was a bit inexplicable at the time: a window valance made of burlap. The bottom edge was scalloped in wine-colored stitching, and the images embroidered across it depicted women circa the 1920s, frolicking in bucolic farmland.
I never hung the valance in a window. Over the years, I kept rediscovering the piece in my basket of fabrics, unsure what to do with it—even whether to keep it.
And then. I bought a set of small canvases and envisioned them with sky-ish blue backgrounds as if they were windowpanes. Maybe with a dash of red the color of Mourvedre—and then I remembered the fabric. I pulled it out and stretched it across the floor. I got out my scissors, cut a knick, and ripped off the first figure. The burlap tore into marvelous, rough edges. All of a sudden, I could see the paintings: the women and animals adhered to the canvases as individual vignettes like windows to history, each with their individual story. Finally, the valance would have not just one window, but many.
I knew words were waiting, too. And they would be in French to honor the fabric’s origins. One day, walking by the almost-finished paintings, I thought of the words we often see during the holiday season: love, joy, peace—some of the “Fruit of the Spirit.”
Voilà. I looked up the translations in French. The paintings had their words, and the series had its title: “Le Fruit de l’Espirit.”
May these fruit and their power extend through all the seasons. May they be the windows through which we see our lives and those of others. 

l’amour, love
la joie, joy
la paix, peace
la patience, patience
la bonté, gentleness
la bénignité, goodness
la fidélité, faith
la douceur, meekness
la temperance, temperance

You can view the full set of paintings at Fine Art America, and they are on exhibit through the end of 2014 at Art Presence in Jacksonville, OR

A new ACEO art – fall porch with a pumpkin.

Here’s another in my garden series:

ACEOs (2.5×3.5″) – pen and wash (watercolor) on vintage handwritten (1887) ledger paper. This time it’s a old porch with pumpkin and stunning autumn foliage.

Can be seen online on eBay artistjillian – Jillian Crider. Art journal, urban sketchbook style. Original.

Now available, and more coming … FINE ART PRINTS of my art. Choose quality and framing you want!

After initially opening a store on ImageKind in 2008, I’m now revitalizing this. My art has never been available as prints like this anywhere else. I think it’s time to resurface.
ImageKind is a ‘print-on-demand’ online store where my art is on file so that you can choose what artwork YOU want – be it a simple, inexpensive, quality art print on paper,

“New Directions: Perhaps dimensional, Perhaps intuitive” watercolors by Elaine Frenett

Encaustic mixed media by Elaine Frenett

Encaustic mixed media by Elaine Frenett

This gathering of newer pieces swerves strongly from Elaine’s usual approach. An inner yearning to move into a new way of expressing hatched from the play and process she has so come to love: visual art journaling. With no agenda, the pigment, be it wax or watercolor, was slathered onto the surfaces. And from there whatever whispered to her, she followed.

“It’s like leaving myself behind, and finding myself at the same time,” says Frenett. “Won’t you come see if you can hear the whispers, too?

Come see Elaine’s art upstairs at AAC  in her studio–No. 13.

First Friday Art Walk Reception, November 7, from 5:00 – 8:00 pm

As always, visitors will find galleries, open studios, art, and artists on all three floors of the Art Center

There will also be refreshments and live music

My 10th ‘garden’ series ACEO. Watercolor with pen and ink on vintage paper.

Original painting – ACEO (2.5×3.5″) – SFA – Small Format Art (Any artwork not over 14″). “Birdy Condo””Original unique artwork. I love and collect old papers, but there are so many wonderful things to do with them. This is a genuine 1887 handwritten ledger page, backed with acid-free cardstock. Some of the original handwriting appears on the vintage paper.

On top I’ve done some pen and wash

Show Us Your Angels! Call to Artists for December Show at Goodbean Cafe

Goodbean_Xmas-logo-portrait_redLast year’s Angels show made the shop’s owner so happy that we have made it an annual event! We invite you to show us your angels to consider for this year’s holiday exhibition.

We would like to see new angels, but we also want to welcome last year’s artists to return if their exhibition schedules allow.

Generally each section of brick wall can hold 5 16 x 20 pieces, but you are not limited to any specific size, medium or style. Though these are also welcome, we are not asking for traditional or religious angels, but for your INTERPRETATION of an angel. We just ask that the angels you submit are suitable for the family nature of the season.

3D art may be a challenge to display due to the shortage of available horizontal surfaces in the shop, so please only submit 3D artworks which could be set on a bookshelf or hung on the wall.

Artists can submit as few as one piece, but if you have more, we’ll be happy to consider all of them. Don’t have any angels but do have other Christmas-themed pieces? Send them and we’ll take those into consideration, too!

Please submit images of your angel art to Hannah at and provide her with your phone number. The show will hang on November 30 at 4pm and will continue through December 31 at 3pm. If the show’s timeframes present difficulties to any artist who would otherwise like to participate, Hannah will be happy to make special arrangement for you.

The GoodBean features art and artists with no intent of making a profit, preferring instead to provide a low-cost, high visibility venue to share the work of local artists with our clientele. This is a wonderful opportunity for emerging artists and those who have recently moved to our area to gain local exposure. This call is being emailed to SOAR listed artists and last year’s participating artists, and we would be grateful if you’d share this call’s post with other artists whose work would be suitable for this show. Please send your submissions as soon as possible.

Artists who make a sale are invited to donate a percentage with volunteer curator Hannah West at their own discretion, but will not be charged a percentage by the cafe. If one of your pieces sells, we ask that it remain for the duration of the show or that you replace it with another appropriately themed work. Management requires artists to sign a liability release and to submit a disposition summary with the details and price of your painting. The GoodBean’s employees do not handle art transactions, but refer all inquiries to Hannah West, who then follows through with providing information and/or completing sales transactions.

Here are some angelic highlights from last year’s show:


Photography by Adam Marland at GoodBean Jacksonville

Olympic Day, Adam Marland

Olympic Day, Adam Marland

GoodBean Coffee in Jacksonville, Oregon is delighted to announce our November 2014 art exhibit: travel photography by emerging photographer Adam Marland. Adam has a thing for sunrises and sunsets – he say he never misses one, and now a number of the sunsets he has captured are hanging on our historic brick walls! His work is clear, with a consistently great vantage point, composition, and beautifully saturated color. We didn’t know it until we were hanging up his work, but after four years of travel, capturing and collecting images this is the very first public display of Adam’s photography!

Adam is a very personable young man who loves to talk about travel, photography, and the special memories captured with each image. Here’s a bit about how he got started from the artist’s own mouth, which also tells us of his courage and originality:

“At twenty-five years old, I realized that making money and climbing the corporate ladder only to drink away my paychecks each weekend was fast-tracking me to an unsatisfying life of mediocrity. One day, literally, I realized I was dissatisfied with the modern life that was scripted for me and decided to escape at all costs; to exchange my career path for hiking trails. Knowing less about what I wanted in life and more about what I didn’t, I sold everything I owned, bought a used station wagon with 6 feet of sleeping room and a gas tank that could go 800 miles without a refuel, then hit I-5 South.”
~ Adam Marland

We respect Adam’s strength and foresight to make this kind of major life change! We are honored to facilitate this talented young photographer/world traveler’s debut and hope that the next time you duck into GoodBean Coffee to warm yourself on these increasingly chilly fall days, you will take a little extra time to enjoy his photographs and consider purchasing one to give to someone special on your holiday giving list. If you are interested in one of his beautifully framed photographs, please contact Hannah West at 541.99.2012 or for more information and to buy the image you love. Here are a few images from Adam’s portfolio, some of which you will also see hanging in the shop:

This month you will also find several paintings by Katy Cauker, friend of the GoodBean and talented plein air painter, above the toaster counter. We welcome Katy as our new resident artist in this section.