Awaken the Artist Within, February, 2022

Erin Lee Gafill & Tom Birmingham
with The Sea Ranch Lodge, LyndonDesign Gallery, and KGUA radio

  • Observation | Interpretationall month, exhibition at the LyndonDesign Gallery
  • Community Paintouts Saturdays, 11 am at the Sea Ranch Lodge, with weekly guest artists
  • Wet Paint ReceptionsSaturdays, 4 pm in the Cafe at the Sea Ranch Lodge
  • Make & MendMondays , 4 pm, stitching socials in the Fire Place Lounge at the Lodge
  • Awaken the Artist Withinonline, Fridays, 9 am, explore creative practices with Erin and Tom on Peggy’s Place on KGUA
  • Awaken the Artist Withinin person – February 24 & 25, Creativity Workshop – Gualala Arts Center – (Information & Registration)
  • A Legacy in the Arts – Slideshow & Talk – February 25, 7 pm – Gualala Arts Center – $10
  • A Day of InspirationSaturday, February 26, 11 am – 6 pm at The Sea Ranch Lodge

Register to receive information about all these programs.

Each week of February you’ll receive a video prompt of the creativity activity in Peggy’s Place on Fridays, and an invitation to join the event on Zoom.

Registrants are automatically entered to win a weekly drawing for an original art piece by Erin or Tom!

The Artists –

Erin Lee Gafill, Big Sur

Erin’s month-long residency at The Sea Ranch Lodge focuses on a new body of work inspired by the Sonoma and Mendocino coast.

Her paintings were most recently featured in the summer exhibition at the Monterey Museum of Art in Color Duets – Kaffe Fassett |Erin Lee Gafill.

Work produced this February will be presented at the Morris Graves Museum of Art in Eureka, beginning June, 2022.

Tom Birmingham

Tom Birmingham, Big Sur

Along with his wife, Erin Lee Gafill, Tom has traveled the world painting, photographing, and writing.

Birmingham publishes works about creativity and inspiration through his small press – 26 LetterPress.

He is on the creative arts faculty at Rancho la Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. He is currently working on his memoir, Road Work.

Gage Opdenbrouw, Occidental

Born and raised in Northern California, Gage Opdenbrouw is an award winning painter, teacher, and woodworker, who until recent times, traveled frequently both to paint and to teach.

He now teaches online courses at Washington Studio School, in Washington DC, and Winslow Art Center, near Seattle.

He recently had a solo show at B Sakata Garo Gallery in Sacramento, and had two solo exhibitions in 2020, “Midsummer Sun in an Empty Room” at SHOH Gallery in Berkeley, and “Silent Music” at Washington Studio School, where he teaches regularly.

Paul Rickard, Arcata

A lover of California and the Great Northwest, Paul Rickard is an artist and songwriter from Humboldt County, California. His songs, original watercolor paintings, and sculptures draw from the natural beauty of the windswept, marine landscape. Rickard studied art briefly in New Zealand and wood sculpture in Indonesia, graduated from UC Berkeley, and served in the Peace Corps with his wife Nancy. Rickard is a career educator and currently serves on the faculty of Humboldt State University. He lives with his family on a hand-built homestead top of Fickle Hill in Arcata, California with wife Nancy and his yellow lab, Daisy. Paul and Nancy’s children are Heather, Hazel, and Oliver.

Kate Warthen, Marina

I consider myself a contemporary/abstract landscape painter – sometimes including architecture.

Oil paint is my primary medium because I find that it offers the most intense color experience due to its layering ability and inherent rich depth of color.

Watercolor, pastel, and graphite are also favorites because of their immediacy and short drying time. Most of my paintings are done on site/out doors, sometimes being completed in my studio in Marina, CA.

Color Duets – Kaffe Fassett & Erin Lee Gafill

Hardcover Edition – 112 full color pages
Introduction by Kaffe Fassett
Written by Erin Lee Gafill
Paintings and Textiles by Kaffe Fassett & Erin Lee Gafill

Color Duets
Kaffe Fassett & Erin Lee Gafill

Color Duets is a new book of original artwork, textiles, and family stories. It memorializes a series of artist retreats shared by Kaffe Fassett and his niece, Erin Lee Gafill over the last twelve years.

Two artists in the thick of noted careers celebrate beauty through color and pattern. Each works tirelessly to create work expressing their individual visions, while touring the world evangelizing to the faithful their message: “You, too are a creative spirit.”

For over twelve years, they have come together each May in the home where they both spent their formative years. They retreat to a cabin in a redwood grove across the highway from Nepenthe in Big Sur, California. In this stolen week, they sit side by side, surrounded by palettes, easels, brushes, and paints. They observe and render the nuance of color and form as the canyon light illuminates selected groups of vases, pots, and flowers.

Color Duets represents more than the creative outcome of still life paintings. It reflects on the contemplative experience of sharing a studio and focusing the artist’s eye on simple objects. It honors the magic of the brush, which elevates these objects to a place of honor. It is about looking and seeing and finding the rhythm and the melody in the juxtaposition of simple objects. It speaks of taking time together in retreat from the pressures of the world.

This book serves as a catalog for Color Duets, a museum show opening in May, 2021 at the Monterey Museum of Art in Monterey, California.

Release date, June 15, 2020 by 26 Letter Press

ISBN: 978-1-950731-01-5

Introduction by Kaffe Fassett

Images, paintings, and text by Erin Lee Gafill, Kaffe Fassett, and Tom Birmingham

Touring Italy – Awaken the Artist Within

Spannocchia, Rosia, Italy
Castello di Spannocchia

We were enchanted with Italian culture, cuisine, art, and society from our first visit in 1991. That year we brought our two children for three weeks, spending time in Rome, Florencer, Venice, and Parma. Each meal was a revelation. Each cafe was an oasis. Each chapel a gallery.

It took us several years before we could return, but in 1998 we did come back, and brought our first group tour to join us in our love affair with the birthplace of the Renaissance.

Soon we were bringing groups to Italy each autumn. Our tours center around a week at the fourteenth century villa at Spannocchia. There we enjoy delicious meals centered on fresh vegetables from the organic gardens, daily walks through the 1000 acre estate, and a regular painting practice.

The annual retreat we coupled with visits to some of our favorite cities, Rome, Naples, Orvieto, Florence, and Venice. There is nothing we enjoy more than sitting with a group in a piazza, enjoying an espresso, or a glass of wine, and sketching the unique environs of Italian cities.

With the onset of COVID this year, we have suspended our annual visits for now, but look forward to a time on the other side, when once again we can immerse ourselves in the inspiration and “il dolce far niente” that Italy affords.



Erin Lee Gafill –

Tom Birmingham –