December 31, 2014

Remembering those Art on the Farm Lost in 2014

Sandy Greenblat & artist, Davis Perkins, celebrating Open Studios 2012

I waited until the last day here, and it finds me sick in bed without a physical voice, but I wanted to take a moment to write and honor some very special people who loved Marin, its landscape artists and organic farming.  My hope is that we can come together in 2015 and have a group show to give back to these special people, perhaps even start a memorial exhibit in their names that would continue to honor them year after year.

Sandy Greenblat was a compassionate force in the Arts in Marin County, and responsible for the reorganization of Art Works Downtown in his final years, where I assisted with graphics and PR.  I was able to witness, first hand, this extraordinarily committed soul, sweep in and sort through, by hand, over fifteen years of clutter.  According to the Marin Horse Council, where he was a volunteer for many years, his motto was to "always leave things better when you left", and he certainly did so for the Arts Community in San Rafael.  He organized the entire office where I worked, and lead the Board in hiring it's current Executive Director.  Sandy was kind to everyone.  Above all, he wanted the staff to get along with each other, a task I can say was not always easy, but his encouragement certainly helped me stay as long as I could and accomplish many projects to improve the publicity of AWD.

Sandy is survived by his wife, Artist, Marilyn Greenblat (pictured).
During Sandy's role as the Interim Director, he and his wife, Marilyn Greenblat, an award winning landscape painter, worked to design the building wide exhibit of Art on the Farm that raised money for Marin Organic 2012-2013.  A superb mediator and leader, Sandy was able to navigate the stormy waters of an Art Center situated in an old, historic building that had years of frustration based on building code changes and fundraising needs.  In the end, a very large, collaboration took place, in which all areas of the building were filled with art about farming in Marin County.  The Marin History Museum shared past artifacts and the artists in their studios benefited from the traffic stream of new people through the building and new cafe.  It was really a special exhibit for Art on the Farm, Marin Organic, and the community of San Rafael.  We were very proud of that accomplishment, and it could not have been done with out the efforts of both Sandy and Marilyn.
Sandy Greeblat (via Marin Horse Council Newsletter, Fall 2014)

Sandy was a horseman, and when working with him, I learned that he truly enjoyed assisting in trail building in Samuel P. Taylor and really adored being with horses.  His Facebook photo showed him in a cowboy hat, and I affectionately referred to him as the "Art Cowboy".  When I left AWD, I gave Sandy a painting of two horses by artist Margaret "Patti" Elliot, a Marin Organic producer, photographer and painter.  I always hoped he would have this for years to come and get to ride horses more often after AWD reorganized.  I have spent this year, really thinking about Sandy's passion and commitment to the Arts, but also, his love of horses.  To read more about Sandy's amazing contributions to the Marin Horse Council, Trail Maps and more, please read the dedication to him in the Fall MHC newsletter here, or visit the Marin Horse Council website.

I would like to propose that Art on the Farm artists come together and paint a series of horse paintings to exhibit in 2015.  "The Horse Show" can become our way of giving back to Sandy.  Perhaps we can find a way to include some of the horse non-profits in Marin.  In the spirit of Sandy's volunteer work, please do volunteer to help with this goal in 2015, by contributing your time, your organizational skills and/or your art work.  If you have a horse or friends with horses, see if there are ways we could bring artists to visit and paint/photograph horses, or get out to favorite horse trails for art involved with this goal.  Click here to send a quick note of your commitment and wish to participate in the show.
Sharon Mendoza Doughty (via Press Democrat article)

We also lost a very dear friend to Art on the Farm this Fall, rancher and producer at Point Reyes Vineyard, Sharon Doughty.  Sharon was an amazing woman.  I will never forget her voice on the phone when I would call to schedule an outing.  "What do you need?  and "Yes, we can do that"  Were always her answers.  She was so incredibly willing to help get artists out to enjoy West Marin that she and Steve hosted the Art on the Farm group at their vineyard and inns for several years.  Many of the Art on the Farm artists got to know them personally and really loved our annual show at the Vineyard where we displayed some of the art on hay bales.
View from Point Reyes Vineyards at Sunset
When the weather was in climate and rainy for two years in a row, this unique outdoor venue was scratched, but we all benefited from some wonderful events there.  Our group has never had a budget and always allowed all artists to participate for free, so the ability to rent a space or put up tents was never really something we wanted to do- we were trying to sell art and raise funds simply, not spend money.  Sharon and Steve offered their summer cabin on Tomales Bay to us once a year for the artist to paint on the Bay.  These amazing contributions from Sharon were always done with out question.  The more people, the merrier.  She never got frazzled or lost her cool.  I am sorry I did not get to visit her one more time.  I would like to pass on one of my paintings of her property to the family, and I welcome other artists from Art on the Farm to do the same.

So, as we move forward into 2015, I want to embrace Sandy's wish that "we all need to get along" as artists in Marin County, and Sharon's wish that "everyone is welcome" to enjoy the land that is West Marin and cherish it, preserve it and give back to Marin Organic and MALT.  As we say goodbye to 2014, Sandy and Sharon, I ask that everyone who has benefited from their work and kindness give what they can now.  Don't put it off.  Sandy and Sharon did not put things off... they helped right away, whenever they could.  You can do this right now by making a donation to Marin Organic, volunteering, or visiting Pt. Reyes Vineyards and telling the family "Thank you".

Art on the Farm, Volunteer

September 14, 2014

2014 Farm Visits Suspended in June

Due to concerns this year after an overbooked outing, Art on the Farm concluded this year's farm visits after May 28th.  Although we are delighted to have so many artists that wish to participate, we must cooperate and communicate better with the farmers as guests on their land. We will regroup soon to plan our next exhibit, fundraiser, and next year's outings. Our apologies to any artists and farms affected.

Please continue to follow to glean at farms and attend paid events to support organic farming and field studies in Marin.

Art on the Farm is highly active on Twitter, sharing Organic Food, Farm Art, tips and local producer info.  Follow us @ArtontheFarm on Twiiter to stay connected.  Thank you.

April 14, 2014

Green Gulch Farm Visit a Great Start | April 13, 2014

Artists made it out to Green Gulch Farm(a Member of Marin Organic) for our inaugural artist visit of 2014 this past weekend.  Among those noted were Nancy Thomson of Tiburon, Muriel Shcmalberg Ullman of Sausalito, and a new member, Nancy from Petaluma.  It was a warm, pre-summer day; hot in the sun, but a little too cool in the shade- Good thing we had both.  I was there with my "zen dog", Mesa, and we enjoyed the long walk down to the gardens from the upper lots.  It's a special location, moving from Eucalyptus trees and forest out through the valley to the coast.

There was a morning Dharma Talk when we arrived, so we had to tiptoe past quietly.  As some of us left, there was a work party going on in the afternoon.

Thank you to the managers at Green Gulch for letting us create in this peaceful spot for a day.  I learned much from the signs of Buddhism around the property.  We saw bikes, horses, families and day hikers.   The Green Gulch Nursery offers organic plants and starts available for sale.  There were many plants and they looked healthy and new.  Please contact the Green Gulch Office for more info, or to volunteer. 

Our next visit will be to Toluma Farm + Tomales Farmstead Creamery
on May 25, 2014.

"Bike Monkey" by C.Proppé

Fantastic, treasures to discover when you live in the present.  -C.Proppé

"Now as we enter our day of activity, fully engaged in helping others,
Let us remember the one who is not busy, and be free from self-cling-ing."

Hoping to paint this one!  Love the colors. - CProppé
View more photos from this visit on our Facebook Page for Art on the Farm,  or on Meetup.

April 6, 2014

2014 Artist Visits Begin April 13 + Find us on Meetup!

Our first visit of 2014 will be to Green Gulch Farm.  Click the Schedule Tab above for more information, or click here

Green Gulch Farm is located in a valley that opens out onto the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the temple program of zen and study, it includes an organic farm and garden, as well as a guest house and conference center. 

View a Farm Slideshow from Green Gulch.

Note:  all artists who attend must sign a waiver and mail it to Marin Organic.
***NEW:  We have joined "Meetup".  Cost to maintain Meetup is $144. annually.  We are requesting a $5. donation on that site, which appears as "Membership Dues".  You are not required to pay this to join, but it is suggested to off-set out-of-pocket costs to the volunteer coordinator.

Know a local business that would like to sponsor our Meetup Group?  We can promote them on Meetup, our website, Twitter and at exhibits.  Contact us here to become a Sponsor.

Click here to join the Meetup Group, which will alert you of upcoming Farm Visits this year and allow you to arrange car pools with other artists share your art and more.  "Meetup" has an app for your phone so you can easily keep groups, members, directions handy for all of our meetings.

March 30, 2014

Artists visit Warnecke Ranch, Healdsburg

Today some of the Art on the Farm artists joined the North Bay Plein Air Meetup group and painted at Warnecke Ranch in Healdsburg. Click here to learn more about Warnecke Ranch and their artist residency program.
Micaela Marsden and + Maeve Croghan at Warnecke Ranch (Kristen Russel photo)
Maeve Croghan and Micaela Marsden are pictured here today as photographed by artist and photographer Kristen Russel, of Rhonert Park. Please visit the North Bay Plein Air Meetup and Blog to learn more about their group outings.
Maeve Croghan getting started at Warnecke Ranch (Kristen Russel photo)
Micaela Marsden at Warnecke Ranch (photo by Kristen Russel)

March 29, 2014

"Cows at Cerini Ranch" by Micaela Marsden

Painting and Words by Guest Blogger + Art on the Farm artist: Micaela Marsden.
Cows at Cerini Ranch, by Micaela Marsden

Cerini Ranch in Tomales, California is owned by the Doughty family, proprietors of the Pt. Reyes Vineyards and Winery on Rt. 1 overlooking Tomales Bay.  This ranch is just North of Hog Island Oysters, and neighbors the Strauss Family Dairy.

This is a wonderful place to paint, with many acres of rolling hills, clumps of gorgeous trees, and of course, many cows. I had the privilege of painting there a few years ago with Art on the Farm. You may view additional photos of Cerini during our artist visit here, on the photo blog of Photographer, Ann Brooks.

March 24, 2014

New Artist Visits.... Coming soon!

Hello SPRING!  Yes, we are still here.  We were waiting for the rains to come and bring green to the farms and the hills.  We are discussing the next steps for this group, and we have talked about creating a "Meetup" for Art on the Farm, like the North Bay Plein Air painters group uses.  It seems easy for others to upload their photos and stay better connected, ride share, etc....  For example, they have 79 people RSVP'd to attend a paint-out in Healdsburg on Sunday, March 30th! We collaborated with them once before for our visit to Gospel Flat Farms this past summer.  They posted our farm visit on their site, and more people showed up.  Hoping they may let us do that again this year!

Please check back soon for new dates and places to visit.  This year, due to the drought, we may have some restrictions on bathrooms and water use, so I would highly suggest people think about bringing their own water and using local public restrooms for their needs.  Check back soon!

In the meantime, feel free to visit THE NEW WEBSITE at and the individual producer websites, such as and .  We are still posting interesting news weekly on Twitter, so you may also wish to follow us there.

Thank you!

January 8, 2014

Marin Organic Auction a Success

Happy New Year!

We want to take this opportunity to thank Marin Organic and Liana Orlandi, who organized and ran the recent online auction through Bidding for Good.  As a first time effort, we feel it had a very good response as nine paintings from the Art on the Farm group were sold as well as additional local photography jewelery, lodging and dinner certificates for organic restaurants.  We were very pleased with the collaboration with Marin Organic, and I hope they will consider working with us to grow this option for the future.

Congratulations to the following artists sold work in the auction:

Liana Harris •  Frances Hiller Healey • Julia Ross •  Laura Williams  • Alan Mart  • Katie Horacek  • Colleen Proppé  •  Michael Lamotte

Many more artists had bids on their pieces, well up to $500., but since the reserve on the works was higher than this, he art was not sold.  Marin Organic has emailed the high bidders to connect directly with the artists in case they are still interested in purchasing the work.  Thanks again, and we look forward to hopefully trying this again in the future.

We hope to schedule new artist visits to the farms in the Spring. In the meantime, pray for rain and do your favorite rain dances so our local farms will have grasses for the cattle and the produce will be plentiful.