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The aesthetic principles of her work – wild or rural nature viewed from a separate, detached location – explore the often uncomfortable relationship between that very nature and the artificial world of human experience.  Landscapes are beautiful and familiar to the observer.  Animals are seen as fascinating objects, something to appreciate visually.  Yet either through indifference or fear, there is often a distance between the observer and the observed.  In her 2010 series “Natural Paradigm”, grocery carts, power lines and construction fences float elegantly above a New Mexican desert, a snow-packed mountain range, a menacing winter sky. Her latest series “Veil” illustrates this distance in the form of a scrim which separates the viewer from the scene.  We are again observers, drawn in by the beauty, but never quite able to be part of it.


Cristina Hobbs is a painter living in Sebastopol, CA. She was born in 1984 in Hanover, Germany. After earning a degree in Spanish Literature and Linguistics as well as Philosophy at the University of Münster, Germany she moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to study abroad. In 2008 her path led her to California where in 2011, she graduated from California College of the Arts, San Francisco with a B.A. in Painting. Hobbs divides her time between the wine country of Argentina and California. When she is not in her studio in Healdsburg she is traveling through the different wine areas on the globe. Most of that time is spent in Mendoza, Argentina from where she works in her studio as well.

“Whenever I am on a plane I enjoy the moment of the take off. As the plane lifts I watch out of the window how every car, house and tree gets to be smaller and smaller. It is a detachment that I feel from the everyday life as the plane appears to be moving in slow motion over the rapid actions of everybody down below involved in their daily activities. Cars move on winding highways like ants in their colonies. The moves and shapes of man made constructions seem surreal from this perspective. As the plane ascends slowly into a thick layer of clouds I have a chance to reflect and contemplate about life. When back in my studio I try to return into this state of daydream and contemplation as it greatly informs my creative process.”

Hobbs’ work reflects personal narratives and is at once influenced by her travel experiences and the adaption of moving between places.

She recently started sharing a space at studio 428 and is currently showing her work at Flying Goat Coffee in Healdsburg.



Pat Lenz lives and works in Healdsburg, California. Born in Brooklyn New York, she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and did her graduate work at Columbia University. Pat has also reached beyond the art world over the years to develop several major business projects, from the Hampton’s four-star restaurant A Moveable Feast, to Lenz Vineyards, one of the first premium wineries on Long Island. After moving to California, Pat maintained a studio in the Napa Valley for ten years. In 1998, she moved to Healdsburg and converted the area’s largest slaughterhouse into a studio, gallery, and performance space where she both curates as well as works with guest curators to bring the unexpected and avant-garde to Sonoma County. Her focus is on multi-media installations of sculpture, drawing, and video as well as site-specific shows developed during residencies at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.  Her work is in numerous collections both national and international. She is presently the curator of contemporary projects at The Sonoma County Museum.




Drawing from her research into the lives of explorers and mountaineers, as well as an interview project she conducts on risk and regret, Jessica Martin’s multi media work evokes the shifting, borderless world of our dreams and ambitions.  Martin received an MA at California College the Arts and a BA in Anthropology and Studio Art from Vassar College.  Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, with Bay Area shows at Southern Exposure, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Traywick Contemporary, Pro Arts, The Lab, the diRosa Preserve, New Langton Arts, and Headlands Center for the Arts.  She currently lives and works in Healdsburg, California.



Caitlin McCaffrey has a BA in Photography and Literature from Bennington College, VT. She has also studied at the International Center of Photography/NYU. Caitlin McCaffrey has exhibited in solo shows at the Fresno Art Museum, The Sonoma County Museum of Art and has been included in group shows by the Oakland Museum and by the Pages Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Whitechapel, London. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

McCaffrey has an avid and active interest in photographic history and antique processes. She worked for ten years as a printer and staff photographer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She has produced commissioned work for collectors, designers and architects. Editorial work has appeared in magazines, journals and newspapers including Esquire, GQ, Elle and The New York Times, among others.



Susan Preston grew up in a ghost town and played in the remains of an

old fandango house, two large junk heaps and a forgotten blacksmith shop.

Sections of the town were separated by barbed wire fences; the lines in

her paintings and drawings remind her of that ragged wire. Preston craves

a strange and crooked simplicity.  She lives on an organic farm and

vineyard which she and her husband began many years ago. Her MFA

is from Mills College where she won the Jay DeFeo Prize for Excellence.


An award winning artist and filmmaker, Flora Skivington’s work has been shown in film theaters and art galleries in the UK, Europe and the United States.

Flora’s professional experience includes work as a creative professional in television and advertising  includes making current affairs TV programs with BBC Television in London, creating TV commercials with New York advertising agencies and working with an OSCAR nominated documentary filmmaker in California.

Flora received her PHD in Fine Art (by practice) from Oxford University in England and Masters Fine Art in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco USA.


My career has spanned the disciplines of book-keeping,retail, painting, furniture design, interior design and clothing design. The common thread is a serious observation of objects, I am particularly interested in how things are made. It is my long held interest in objects and how I experience them that has inspired my work.


Alice comes from a family of architects but her talent is sensitive line drawings. Therefore her exhibition pieces are slightly awkward structures built from drawings so responsive to their environment that the line breathes. Between gallery installations, you will find her sharpening her eye at careful portraiture, of people and family rooms. Born in San Francisco in 1984, Alice spent her young childhood with horses and apples in Boonville. At age ten she expatriated to France with her family where she planned outings around major points of sculptural and architectural interest and spent high school pursuing theater and the history of art. She returned to California’s golden hills for a degree in Art History at Stanford and focused on early XXth c. Russian sculpture, with El Lissitzky as muse. She then received her MFA in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts with influence from cheeky writer Cooley Windsor, rebel esthetics professor Joseph Tanke, and grotesque-infatuated artist Rajkamal Kahlon. By day, she manages her family ranch and grape growing business, and is the Program Director of Chalk Hill Artist Residency.


Victoria is passionate about investigating perceptions as measured by simple light shifts. Her family relocated from the Bay Area to the vast eastern Sierra high desert floor, marked by geothermal activity and herds of wild horses. At eight, living amongst the sage and violet mountain’s shadow forever changed her understanding of one’s place within the environment, slow knowledge that the world is not shaped by personal reason. In honky tonk spirit, she left Nevada in search…studied modern dance, painting and ceramics at Humboldt State University while moonlighting as a pastry chef. Between having a baby, gallery exhibitions and wedding cakes, she attended Mills college, earned an MFA in studio art and found safe harbor in the mentor of Hung Liu, Ron Nagle and Gail Wight…whom all reinforced the principle that artwork never be separate from everyday life and proved to be revolutionaries, poets and scientists in their own rights. Wedding cakes, quilting, sign painting and botanical illustration have all informed relationship to process and discipline within her art work as well as the importance of domestic handicraft at the edge of a contemporary practice. Victoria resides in Occidental and Oakland and teaches painting and drawing at California College of the Arts. She is currently the artist-in-residence at Chalk Hill Residency Program in Healdsburg.



Falling Dark: with their first collaborative show, 428collective expands the role of contemporaryart in Sonoma County.
Exhibition Dates: June1 – July 13, 2013, gallery hours Thurs – Sun, 12 – 6pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 1, 5-8pm
On June 1st, the Sonoma County-based 428collective will open their first collaborative show, “Falling Dark,” at Perdita Productions in Geyserville, CA. “Perdita Productions is one of the best venues to see smart, challenging contemporary art in our area, so we are honored to have our inaugural show in this space,” says 428collective artist Jessica Martin.
In keeping with the boundary-pushing nature of past shows at Perdita Productions, the works in “Falling Dark” range from site-specific installations to innovative interpretations of film, painting, and photography. Each artist in the show has created new work inspired by the time when day turns to night, or “the hour between dog and wolf.” The works in the show consider this liminal state through a wide lens, depicting ideas and experiences such as the space between public and private, moments of opportunity and risk, childhood perspectives of time, and the creative process. As another 428collective artist, Maura Harrington, observes: “We are bordered by the absolutes of day and night, lightness and darkness. The transition time, dusk, is where these absolutes lose definition. Like looking through a veil, or a curtain, to another place or state, we become an observer of experience. As observers, we are the most open to the creative mind, where perception can be altered, and even manipulated, to create a new story.”
In producing “Falling Dark” and future projects, the artists in 428collective aim to give contemporary arta stronger voice in Sonoma County.
“Falling Dark” features the artists of 428collective: Cristina Hobbs, Maura Harrington, Pat Lenz, JessicaMartin, Caitlin McCaffrey, Susan Preston, Flora Skivington, Carol Vena-Mondt, Victoria Wagner, and Alice Warnecke.
428collective has also published a catalog to compliment the show, which will be available for purchase through Perdita Productions.
“Falling Dark”
A multi-media art exhibit produced by 428collective, hosted by Perdita Productions, Geyserville.
Perdita Productions

June 1 -July 13, 2013
Opening reception June 1st, 5pm-8pm
Gallery hours:
Thursday-Sunday, 12-6

Jessica Martin: info@jmartinart.com



During their Western Edge Studio visits tour, In the Make stopped in to cover Chalk Hill Artist Residency:
(excerpt below & full article here)


InTheMake-EternalSpring05 InTheMake-EternalSpring06


Field Note: Eternal Spring

MAY 5TH, 2013

“We were invited by artist and Program Director Alice Warnecke to spend the night at Chalk Hill Artist Residency. This small and relatively new residency is near Healdsburg on the Warnecke Ranch and Vineyards, an impressive stretch of land that includes Russian River frontage, a lake, grassy meadows, and an 80-acre vineyard. Artists are selected to come one at a time to live in the 1920’s farmhouse and are given a studio space in a repurposed barn and are encouraged to explore the rambling property. Chalk Hill Residency also collaborates with local organizations to integrate artists with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges. This is an important and personal aspect to the residency, started in honor of Alice’s uncle Roger Warnecke who has been living and painting with schizophrenia since he was 20. Before starting the residency Alice had been living in San Francisco but after graduating from CCA she decided to move to her family’s ranch and help out with the vineyards. The inspiration for Chalk Hill Residency was based on her grandfather’s vision (John Carl Warnecke), a renowned architect who had dreamed that the land would someday be a resource for architects and artists.”




Wall Street Journal loves a day in Sonoma County….

…three of our members (428collective) were mentioned in a “must see” visit to Sonoma County piece in the Wall Street Journal. Congratulations Pat (Slaughterhouse Space), Susan (Preston Vineyards) and Maura (Flying Goat Coffee)!!

Kudos for all your devotion and the recognition therein.

Duchamp's Head at Slaughterhouse Space Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 9.32.36 AM Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 9.32.46 AM


studio critical

a good blog to watch regarding painters and studio practice.

In a piece commissioned for the 2012 Whitney Biennial, Andrea Fraser elaborates on the contradiction between what art is socially and economically—often, essentially, high-valued luxury goods and investment vehicles—and what artists, critics, curators, and historians say that art does and means. She suggests that this contradiction reflects fundamental conflicts that have intensified along with income inequality and that art discourse, rather than reveal these conflicts, often serves instead to distance, disown, and conceal them. As such, Fraser writes, participants in the art world who perform these operations in art discourse “not only banish entire regions of our own activities and experiences, investments, and motivations to insignificance, irrelevance, and unspeakability, we also consistently misrepresent what art is and what we do when we engage with art and participate in the art field.”

Check  this link for two PDF files of her writings.  http://whitney.org/Exhibitions/2012Biennial/AndreaFraser

If you’ve not discovered the great studio interviews of In the Make, I wanted to share their archive….and let you know about their new Kickstarter campaign, Western Edge.

The ladies, Klea and Nikki, are planning on a West Coast artist’s studio interview tour from Vancouver to Tijuana which is reliant on community support.

Their past interviews are insightful and revealing and their gift to us is a glimpse inside the artistic practice of some of Northern California’s finest.

This one is a favorite with my good buddy, Michelle Blade XX

From Alice: Wonderful & I just saw the most recent with my friend Maja which is beautiful– this is the style interviews I would eventually like (us) to make for 428collective. A nice series of profiles with studio pix.

I just wanted to post my notes from our first and second meetings– we covered so much, and shared ideas I don’t want to forget!  Keeping references anonymous…

Some topics we covered:

-the importance of destruction in art-making.  But how this is also dangerous territory, as it is useful to document the process of creativity.

-The need to shift away from the focus on the end product.  One artist talked about her process-oriented projects with the kids in her family.  Everyone sounded interested in doing projects like that together, getting out of our normal ways of making art.  

-It is natural for art to evolve, and it is the role of galleries to support that evolution

-The desire to have a support network of like-minded artists up here in the “wine country.”  Keeps us, as one person said, working as regional artists, but not provincial artists.

-The debate over non-profits.  When does it work, when does it fall apart?  What are new models?

-Discusses the male-dominated art world, and ways for women to find a foot-hold though private, local collectors.

-We’d like to do a show together in some new interesting space in the area.

-Sharing our work via an anonymous “art chain letter”

-Studio visits and critiques.  

-The need for periodic check-ins via email.  We can send out questions/ ask for ideas when we feel we need input.

-The desire to influence and help direct this wave of change in the local art scene, help elevate the quality of art in our area.

-Why are we here?  What makes us stay? 

Second Meeting:

Some artists referenced–

Jesper Just: Danish video artist
Wade Guyton: Digital artist showing at the Whitney Museum
Gelitin: a Vienna-based art collective

Steve Kado (walked 30 miles with no documentation of the event). Read about it in Prism of Reality

B. Wurtz – has created work for over 30 years based on food, shelter & clothing

J. Morgan Puett & she founded Mildred’s Lane.

ellen gallagher, african american painter-drawer


Pier24 photography exhibit, San Francisco