Arts Guild of Sonoma 2014 Invitational

I’m the lucky recipient of an opportunity to hang a piece of my art work at the 2014 Arts Guild of Sonoma December Invitational! This will be the second year I’ve received such an invitation thanks to Carol Larson, my friend and member of the Guild. You can see a portion of last years’ exhibit here.

Sunflower Scrap I will be part of a Salon-style installation in the front gallery.

Franki Kohler, Sunflower Scrap I, 12" x 12", 2012, For SaleArts Guild of Sonoma

140 E. Napa St, Sonoma, CA 95476

Open Wed-Mon, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Artist Reception: Friday, December 5th, 6 – 8 p.m.

I hope to see you there!




Blog Hop

I was invited to participate in a World Blog Hop by my friend and fellow quilt artist, Carol Larson. The agreement was to answer four questions and invite other bloggers I know to join in on the fun.  See Carol’s work and her responses to the questions at

On Monday, October 20 check out the fine work of Gurli Gregersen at

and Suzanne Kistler at

And the questions are:

What am I working on?

A series focusing on native California plants is demanding my attention for the foreseeable future. I have a number of art quilts completed which fall into this category: Sunflower Scrap I – V, Woodwardia Wonder, Nature’s Fractal, Woodwardia Fern, and Black Oak II. These pieces can be seen on my Art Quilt Gallery page. I have the top of Black Oak completed but not quilted — yet. I’m still working on completing Sunflower Scrap VI and I’ll turn my focus back to Black Oak when it is finished.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I am best known for my work with nature prints — many think of me working with ginkgo leaves — which I did for quite some time — but I think my new series will steer thinking in new directions.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I create the work I do because I simply love working with fabric, stitch and embellishments to capture the beauty and grace of nature. I enjoy the process of creating, including all the challenges I meet along the way. It’s really wonderful to have an idea, begin the work and, in the ‘doing’ process, see the work change and become something better than originally envisioned. I fought the changes when I first came to this art form, then I realized that it was inevitable and relaxed into it.

I started writing about what I do to record what I’m doing. If I don’t, details can slip away so easily. I share my work in the hope of inspiring others to try something new.

How does my writing/creating process work?

An idea for a piece or a series is the germ for beginning the creating. Once I’m creating new work, the writing flows.

Arts Guild of Sonoma

I went to the Artist Reception at the Arts Guild of Sonoma but there were so many art lovers there that one could not get photographs of the work. A nice problem to have! And I must add that it was raining and parking is limited — even more reason to be impressed by the turnout.

My sister was in town for a few days, creating an opportunity to go to the wine country and visit the gallery.

Franki Kohler, Arts Guild of Sonoma entry We were there in the afternoon so the light was not ideal but I think you can still see how charming the entry is. I especially like the iron gate that closes across the front entry. The gallery is located on one of the four main streets that surround the city square — who could ask for more?

I like the fact that the gallery exhibits of all kinds of art work. Here is my work hanging above paintings and books.

Franki Kohler, Oakleaf Hydrangea at Arts Guild of SonomaMy friend Carol Larson is an artist member of the guild. She is the reason my work is exhibited at this invitational exhibit. Here are three of her fabric art pieces:

Franki Kohler, art quilts by Carol LarsonIf you are in the area, it’s worth a visit. See details for dates and location on the right column.

Arts Guild of Sonoma

I’m delighted to share that I’ve been invited by Carol Larson to participate in the 2013 Arts Guild of Sonoma December Invitational. Carol is a member of the Arts Guild of Sonoma and was able to invite one guest artist for this annual exhibit.

Oakleaf Hydrangea II will have its first public viewing in a the beautiful wine country.

OakleafHydrangea-II_FullArts Guild of Sonoma

November 26 – December 30

140 East Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 94576

Artist Reception: Friday, December 6, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

I can’t wait to see this exhibit! If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop by.

Quilt Named and More Sketching

I asked for suggestions for naming the quilt I completed last week and received many ideas. I particularly liked the suggestion of Branching Out from my friend Carol Larson. Capturing the obvious (a tree branch) and the allusion to my trying something new with the quilting hit the spot for me.

The on-line class I’m taking with Jane LaFazio is coming to a close. The final lesson — Collage as a background for your page — was given last week, but we have until August 15 to upload more work and receive feedback from Jane and fellow students. I chose to collage a city map of Portland, one of my favorite cities to play tourist in.

08-07-Lesson-6-collageThe wine glass, rose and camera were sketched, painted inside the black line with absorbent ground, and finally painted with watercolor. The sun glasses were sketched and painted directly on the map. I wanted the lettering for “Portland” and “City of Roses” to be clear and handsome so I browsed my options on the computer, selected fonts, sized them, printed them out and traced them with permanent pen on artist tissue paper. They are applied with soft gel medium.

After reading one of Jane’s tutorials, I was eager to try my hand at using the absorbent ground in a new way. Here is the journal page with absorbent ground applied over a stencil then given a color wash using a one-inch brush. The stencil was a gift from my friend Anne (purchased from The Crafter’s Workshop) because she knows my penchant for ginkgo leaves.

08-04-Absorbant-ground-plus-stencil,-watercolor-overMany layers of painting later, here is the final page.

08-08-Absorbent-ground-and-watercolor-pageI like the texture and ghostly imaging achieved by stenciling the absorbent ground.

Here is another page using a collection of pod stencils, ready for work. I’ve taken this photograph at an angle to better see the absorbent ground on the paper.

08-04-Absorbant-ground-plus-stencilThis is actually the other side of the page I completed above. I’m eager to get started on this one!

You can see what I did for all of the lessons with Jane — this year and last year — by clicking on the Sketch/Watercolor category in the right-hand column.

New World Cuisine – Chocolate!

I’m in Santa Fe for a SAQA conference and had a morning open. My friend Carol Larson suggested a class on mole at Santa Fe School of Cooking and I said, “Count me in!” David joined us and we had a great time.

Chef Tracy Ritter took us through an historic background on chocolate, a variety of peppers and other essentials before the cooking began. Dishes to be prepared included:


Chipotle shrimp in adobo

Arroz verde


Chipotle black beans with cacao

Warm Mayan chocolate pudding

Chef Ritter started by taking us through a primer on a variety of chilis that are used in southwest cooking, including their heat levels and fresh and dried appearance.

Franki Kohler, Chef Tracy Ritter talks peppers

The mole was the first dish to assemble since it would take the longest to cook. Mole can consist of a wide variety of things — and, surprise! — it doesn’t always contain chocolate. We learned that the three primary cornerstones to a mole would include chilis (2 or more varieties), nuts and seeds, and fruit. Chef Ritter cooked a recipe that she has developed containing 19 ingredients including ancho and guajillo chiles, pecans, sesame seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), green apple, dried apricots, Mexican chocolate and bitter chocolate — this was, after all, a class about chocolate. Among the many essential steps of creating mole is toasting seeds, nuts, chilis and spices — toasting these ingredients releases flavors essential to the mole.

Franki Kohler, Mole, ready to simmer

Here is Chef Ritter tending to the Calabacitas, a dish common to the southwest containing corn squash and beans — also known as the three sisters.

Franki Kohler, Chef Ritter tends the Calabacitas

Chef Noa helps with final touches.

Franki Kohler, Chef Noa helps with final prep

Once cooked, lunch is plated.

Franki Kohler, Plating Lunch

Mirrors make watching all the action so easy.

Franki Kohler, Plating Lunch

And here’s lunch. Chipotle shrimp in adobo are plated on top of the mole. Yum! Yum! Yum!

Franki Kohler, Lunch

Having the historic and cultural background for the foods and preparation of the dishes was key to enjoying this class and meal. Future travel plans will include cooking classes for me.

The Liebster Blog Award

I have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award by Carol Larson, a serious fiber artist you can catch up with at Live2Dye.  This award is given to bloggers who inspire you and have less than 200 followers. The Liebster Award takes it’s name from the German word meaning Beloved, Dearest or Favorite. Oh MY! I’m so honored to receive this award. Thank you Carol.

As part of the tradition it is passed along to 5 bloggers that have motivated and inspired.
To accept the award you must:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

And now for my 5. . .

Sue Reno originally inspired me to start heliographic and cyanotype printing

Suzanne Kistler beautiful work and relentless creation

Del Thomas road trips and Wordless Wednesday and Corky, oh my!

Sara Kelly Incredible work and unstoppable positive attitude

Karen Musgrave Super high achiever who dares you not to be involved

Thank you Carol and my anointed 5 for inspiring me!