Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Joys and Holiday Toys

I have often enjoyed and admired department store windows, especially during the holidays and thought that it would be enjoyable to create something fun and festive to share with passers by. This holiday I got my chance to compete with the likes of the Macy's, Sax and Neiman Marcus holiday window designers. Quent came up with the brilliant idea and it was my job to execute it.

Our story dates all the way back to 1952 when the Napa Toy Shop occupied the building that is now home to Quent Cordair Fine Art. For nearly 40 years, the Napa Toy Shop was a favorite desitnation for the local children, who according to toy shop owner Joyce Brown, would bring in their allowances to purchase their favorite toys. Each year, Napa parents purchased many items from Christmas wish lists that would later be found nestled under the family Christmas tree wrapped in the familiar Napa Toy Shop red and white striped wrapping paper.

Back in April of this year when we signed the new gallery lease and learned of the building's history, Quent suggested that we create a tribute to the Toy Shop as part of our holiday window display. In November we solicited Napans via word of mouth and the local newspaper to bring us toys that were purchased at the Napa Toy Shop to display in our holiday window. Much to our delight, the phone began to ring and the toys began to arrive from all over the Napa Valley. Mrs. Brown brought in some of the now famous wrapping paper and with some help from my assistants, Shawn and Kristen, we began to assemble our tribute to Christmases past. Toys dating from the early 50's through the early 90's were catalogued and taged with the owner's name and carefully displayed amongst the red and white striped boxes. The walls are decorated with Bryan Larsen's "There's Opportunity Here" and "Young Builder" prints and "Holiday" by Jerry Rough. Nestled amongst the toys is Karl Jensen's "Man of the Future" and Danielle Anjou's "Arielle" which has been adorned with a garland tiara.

Young and old can be seen enjoying the display. Some sharing memories of Christmas mornings past and some younger admirers making amusing inquiries like "where is the remote control" and "what, no batteries?" We have received a plethora of positive comments and thanks for our efforts. Only one little boy about four years old was very disppointed when upon entering the gallery he discovered that it was not a toy store after all.

If you'll be in our neighborhood before the new year, stop by and enjoy a trip down memory lane outside and then come inside for an uplifting treat of Romantic Realism. The toys will warm your heart and the beautiful art will surely fuel your spirit.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours! We wish you all the best in health and wealth for the coming year and beyond and as always, we look forward to earning your business.

A Great Pairing!

What do you get when you cross an
incredible art gallery with great wine? The makings for a terrific party!

Last week we hosted Ceja Vineyards' December wine club pick up party in the gallery. On Saturday and Sunday, nearly four hundred people enjoyed a festive holiday party surrounded by our uplifting collection while sampling the latest release from the Ceja family. Accompanying the Ceja wines were incredible homemade tamales made by Pedro and Armando Ceja's mother, an assortment of delectable artisan cheeses and other tasty treats.

Wine club members, including ourselves, attend quarterly pick up parties to acquire their pre-reserved selections of Ceja wine. The Ceja family treats their wine club members like family. Their attention to detail and dedication to their business ensures a positive experience from the warm greetings provided by their family and staff to the exceptional wines that they make.

Our guests seemed to enjoy the opportunity to discover that a beautiful new gallery had arrived in the wine country. It was our pleasure to host such a wonderful event for such a wonderful family.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome Back!

We are very fortunate to have two celebrities back in the gallery again. My wonderful husband and "Spring Dance" by Karl Jensen. Each has me smiling with their presence.

Quent has returned to the easel and is painting in the gallery on the weekends much to the delight of our gallery guests. He is currently working on two small wine country themed pieces. And with all of the surrounding inspiration, who could blame him.

"Spring Dance" has been a very special part of the gallery for many years. When I arrived in Burlingame nearly 6 years ago, "Spring Dance" was there and one of the first QCFA sculptures that I fell in love with. We used her image in advertisements for the gallery and enjoyed how the neighborhood children would respond to her when they walked by with their parents. We eventually sold that casting and have since missed having her about. I could hardly wait for her to be uncrated when she arrived recently. She is every bit as lovely as I remember.

Autumn is in full swing in wine country. The grapes have all been picked, the rains have arrived and the ornamental pear trees outside the gallery have shed most of their leaves. Soon all that will be left are the twinkle lights that illuminate the sidewalk in the evenings. The tourists and locals have traded in their shorts and flip-flops for sweaters and scarves and their evening strolls for fireside chats. As a result, we are no longer keeping the extended evening hours on the weekends but we gladly make the gallery available by appointment most anytime.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Art of Cooking

The rains have finally arrived in Napa, washing the summer's dust from the streets and unveiling a rainbow of umbrellas that have spent the last several months in seclusion. By mid-afternoon, sheets of water fell from the sky creating little rivers that cascaded down the streets towards the drains, carrying with them a flotilla of leaves on their way to the bay. While walk-in traffic was definitely down today, this season's first downpour did not prevent some of the tourists from venturing into downtown to enjoy their Napa Valley vacation. Some of the guests in the gallery today were from Vermont, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida and even Norway.

When the weather turns cold and damp, my thoughts turn to comfort food. Chicken soup with grilled cheese, fresh baked breads, homemade mac-n-cheese, lasagna, osso bucco, stuffed pumpkin and oh, so much more. Put away the salad spinner and bring me some warm and yummy goodness. What does this have to do with art? Not much unless you really know me. I am as passionate about the food that I love as I am about the wonderful art we represent. Our art fuels my spirit and my love of food fuels my tummy. That being said, it will be hard to resist sprinkling this blog with the occasional recipe. Consider it my tasty gift to you just for stopping by.

One of my favorite ingredients is pumpkin. It's not just for pies anymore! This week I made my annual stuffed pumpkin to celebrate Halloween. Ok, I worked on Halloween so we had it a couple of days early. I recommend using a small pumpkin, often referred to as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins. Cut off the top and scoop out the inside, reserving the seeds for toasting later. Prepare your favorite stuffing. I make mine by sauteing onions and celery in butter with some pressed garlic and fresh pork sausage. This time I added some chopped fresh eggplant that I had in the fridge along with about a cup of white wine and a little chicken stock. Toss with salt and pepper to taste, some poultry seasoning and a half-loaf of whatever bread you have on hand cut into one-inch pieces. Pack the stuffing loosely into your pumpkin shell, replace the top and bake in a 375-degree oven for about 1 hour. Any stuffing mixture that did not fit into the pumpkin can be baked in a greased casserole dish for 30 minutes and enjoyed as a side dish later in the week.

To serve, cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom creating two beautifully filled bowls of steamy stuffing goodness. Enjoy with a glass of wine, your favorite person and in a room where you can enjoy your favorite work of art. See, I did not forget to come back to the art. And speaking of art, here's my favorite pumpkin painting, "Pumpkin Festival" by Dale Momii.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Where's Linda?

I'm here, I've just been very busy marketing the beautiful art in our gallery and enjoying life in Napa. It has been an exciting month at QCFA. The Napa Valley is buzzing with tourists enjoying this year's harvest and the gallery is brimming with beautiful new art. We are honored to have Michael Wilkinson join our family of artists.

Mr. Wilkinson is the pre-eminent figurative sculptor working in clear acrylic today. Represented in private and corporate collections world-wide – with literally thousands of collectors – he has created a body of work known for its unique beauty and universal appeal.

With international shows and numerous one-man gallery exhibitions, in two decades Michael Wilkinson has become one of the prominent sculptors of our time, creating beautiful and powerful works unique in the history of art.

When asked about his work, Mr. Wilkinson said, "I believe art should uplift the human spirit, show us what is possible. That is why I seek the ideal in my art; the ideal illuminates our potentialities and acts as an affirmation of the best within us."

I've posted the image of one of my favorite Wilkinson sculptures."Forever depicts the moment of anticipation and profound connection just before a kiss." - M. Wilkinson

Forever is from an edition of only 200 and is currently being offered at $2800. As the edition sells the price will surely increase. If you would enjoy owning one or gifting one to a treasured loved one, please place your order now before the price changes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Attitude Adjustment

This morning I found myself enjoying one of my favorite paintings by my wonderful husband. "Molly's Swing" hangs in the living room of our new home. While relaxing by the fire, and enjoying the warmth and aroma of the cup of coffee I held in my hands, I recalled the day that Quent gave me this beautiful print. I had admired it for so long and now it was mine. It's not the original painting, (that is proudly displayed in the home of our friends in the East Bay) but it is one of my favorite possessions.

Rather than dwell on what's happening to the US economy these days, I'm choosing to take the high road and appreciate who I am and how Quent and I are able to provide such a wonderful uplifting place for our fans and customers around the world. When I need an attitude adjustment or a change of atmosphere, I often find myself longing for a hammock on a sunny beach, (cabanna boy optional) along with a pitcher of tropical refreshment and some homemade guacamole. Relaxing on a hammock in Puerto Vallarta is not an option this week, but being in the same room with "Molly's Swing" can transport me to a happy place in my mind's eye. A beautiful place where I can enjoy the wind in my hair, the beautiful scenery at hand and the freedom to enjoy my moment, my day, my life. Today's strife can wait until after I enjoy this pleasure.

We've had a few Napans (that's what we call the locals around here) stop by the gallery for their attitude adjustments this week too. Just crossing our threshold can be a breath of fresh air, especially for some of our neighbors in the banking and investment businesses. Quent Cordair Fine Art is and will always be a warm and inviting place; one that can offer temporary refuge from all of the current economic nonsense and help one remember that life is wonderful and should be celebrated.

We'll all get through this mess at hand, but in the meantime, Quent and I are happy to share our sunlit world with those of you who share our passion for beautiful art. Consider gifting yourself something wonderful from the gallery; you deserve it. If an original work of art is outside the current budget, consider one of our very affordable fine art prints on canvas. The artists will appreciate it and so will we. Most importantly, you will add something wonderfully positive to your life that you can treasure and enjoy for years to come.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's a Man!

How do you fit a 10' sculpture through a 7' door? (Those of you who traveled with us on the QCFA Arts Cruise just smiled as visions of a 7' piano in a 6' elevator crossed your mind.) :)

This week we became the proud foster parents of a 800 lb, 10-foot cast bronze, Self-Made Man by Bobbie Carlyle. Bobbie and her fiance drove him here from Colorado, strapped to a flat bed trailer along with a host of other sculpture. What a vision he was rolling down First Street on the way to his new
home away from home. It took several of our new neighbors and two friends visiting the gallery to
move him from the trailer, down the sidewalk and through the gallery doors. Then there was the exciting task of helping him stand. Once that was completed, we all stood back in awe and admired our accomplishment.
Our good friends Joe Sanders and Ali Howard were on hand for the event. And I do mean "on hand." Both of them pitched in to help move the sculpture and were most happy to pose with him for his first official QCFA portrait.

Available in 10 sizes from 12 inches to 14 feet, this sculpture definitely makes a statement. When I admire him, I often think about my wonderful Quent; he is the most amazing Self-Made Man that I have ever met.

Friday, September 12, 2008

East Meets West

As I approach my office each day, I am greeted by one of my favorite paintings in the gallery. Ok, so I have a lot of favorites, but how adorable is "Hometown?" What a fun way to start my day. I especially enjoy the reactions from young and old as they discover this delightful jewel that graces the wall outside my door. It's not a small painting, measuring 57" x 43", but the person who comes along with the right amount of wall space that needs adorning is in for a lifetime of joy from this original painting by Han Wu Shen. I'll be a little sad to see it go, but then we're really just foster parents and enjoy finding homes all over the world for our wonderful 'children.' Han Wu's collectors are snapping up his originals as some of his paintings make it to auction and are bringing higher than his normal asking prices. If you have been contemplating purchasing an original oil painting by Han Wu Shen, treat yourself soon. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer Nights

The beginning of what we hope will be a very busy season in Napa is upon us. While it has been very warm during the day, (my apologies to those of you who live in Las Vegas) we are enjoying some beautiful summer nights. It has been perfect weather for evening strolls, dining on the terrace or walking to an amazing art gallery in downtown Napa. :) Seriously, you'd have a hard time finding more pleasant evenings than the ones that we have been enjoying lately. Being from Burlingame, where an evening stroll in the summer required a jacket or sweater, Napa continues to delight us. In an effort to cool things down a little, I have designed a new gallery window display featuring Quent's "Autumn" and Danielle's "Les Filles D' Avignon" to celebrate the approach of fall. "Autumn" is available as a limited-edition print on canvas and "Les Filles De Avignon" is available in three sizes; 26", 36" and 5'6".

This evening, we will be open late, and look forward to the tourists dropping in on their way to or from dinner. Our little corner of the neighborhood is delightfully diverse. Besides fabulous art, Ceja's tasting salon and wine bar is across the street, as is Ben and Jerry's ice cream store. Cafe Cicero is on the opposite corner and our friend Bernie Zipp's store, Accents Napa Valley,(I'm still trying to convince him that he needs a web site) is two doors down. So come visit us; wine, dine, shop and enjoy dessert all on one corner. Afterwards, stroll down one of the many lovely tree lined streets to one of Napa's lovely historical bed and breakfast inns. They're expecting you, we already told them that you would be visiting soon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thanks for the Ride

Like many Americans, I have spent the last 2 weeks glued to the television watching Michael Phelps and his fellow Olympians earn medal after medal at this year's Summer Olympics in Bejing. In celebration of their achievements, I created a tribute to these amazing atheletes using some of the wonderful Olympic sculptures created by Danielle Anjou. Three of the sculptures, "The Archer," "The Swimmer" and "The Gymnast" are prominantly displayed in our front window. I have adorned "Mr. Phelps" (The Swimmer) with eight gold medals, designed by yours truly and have enjoyed the reactions of those who stop to enjoy the display. The Olympians are available in four sizes and are a lovely way to remember your favorite athelete or Olympic moment. The reflection on the gallery windows has made it difficult to get a good picture of the display, but I've posted the best ones for you to enjoy.

As the games of the XXIX Olympiad came to a close last night, I found myself wondering what I was going to do on Monday night. That question was quickly answered when I realized that I had a garage full of boxes to unpack. Quent and I closed on our new home in Napa last week and today was the first day that either of us has had any time to begin moving in. Quent spent the day changing locks and I tackled the kitchen this evening. There were no diving, no hurdles, no volleyball or swimming events to keep me glued to the television this evening. Instead, I participated in my own Olympic events. Box toting, mop wielding and furniture arranging are among the many events taking place in the Cordair household this week. By week's end, we should be well settled and enjoying our new home. 2008 has been quite a year for us; we are looking forward to many more adventures around the corner.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Looking Good!

This week we took another step towards becoming a fixture in downtown Napa. Quent added our exterior signage which looks quite wonderful. We may eventually add a logo to the left, but for now, people approaching from down and across the street will be able to identify that there is a fine art gallery on the corner of First and Randolph.

Beneath the signage, in the window, you can almost make out our Olympic tribute featuring three of Danielle Anjou's Olympian sculptures. Special recognition is being given to Michael Phelps, who is centered in front of the American flag and is surrounded by eight gold medals. Due to reflections from across the street, I have yet to get a good picture, but have I plans to try again this evening. If all goes well, I'll post it here.

Yesterday, Napa resident, Donny Robinson, earned a bronze medal in the Olympic BMX competition in Bejing. Congratulations Donny!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Carefree Days of Summer

"Carefree" was used in an earlier blog post, but I could not resist featuring her again after Alexandra made friends with her outside the gallery this week. Walking down the sidewalk with her Mother, Alexandra gasped with delight when she saw her new friend. Without missing a beat, she removed her own sandals and took hold of "Carefree's" hand, all while insisting that "Mom" take a picture. Alexandra's Mother attempted to capture the moment with an uncooperative cell-phone camera, while Alexandra, without disturbing her pose, gave detailed instructions on how to take a proper picture. Seeing that this lovely moment might be heading south, I reached for our gallery camera and leapt to the rescue. As I snapped the picture, a wave of relief swept over "Mom's" face and Alexandra's smile was as sweet as the ice cream that stained her rosy cheeks. Following the photo shoot, I was joined in the gallery by two of its newest fans. Everyone was happy, especially me as I was able to enjoy someone new discover our sunlit world.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Life's Small Pleasures...What makes you smile and warms your heart? In the midst of getting our new Napa location open, I am reminded why we brought the gallery to Napa. In addition to it being a wonderful place to showcase the art, it is a beautiful place to live. I found myself gazing at Damon's latest work today and reflecting on how much I enjoy being here. Yes, it has been a lot of work and there is still much ahead, but the reward is worth all of the effort and energy that we have put into this project.

Each day brings with it fabulous weather, good people and the opportunity to keep our artists working as we find new homes for their amazing work. Yesterday's walk-in traffic consisted of people from all over the country. Some celebrating special occasions, others just enjoying a slice of paradise Napa style. Many of whom took home with them a little QCFA in the form of our catalogue and the knowledge that while their vacation may be limited to only a few more days, once home, they will be able to continue to do business with us from the comfort of their offices and living rooms.

Quent is enjoying a much-deserved round of golf today with Bernie. Sarah is home taking a nap to recover from a late night of Salsa dancing with her new California friends. And me? I'm enjoying another lovely day surrounded by some of the most beautiful art in the world. So if you find yourself wandering around Northern California, driving by the many thousands of acres of juicy orbs destined for a long soak in an oak barrel, stop in and say hello and enjoy Life's Small Pleasures with me. :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Taking a Break

The "baby" came to visit us this week. Sarah, 21, is a criminal justice major at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She will be here for 2 weeks, exploring Napa and taking a well deserved rest from her studies. She graduates in December with what will be her third degree (you go girl) and is trying to decide if a Master's Degree in Psychology is next or if it's time to get out there and strike some fear into the criminal population.

Last night, after closing the gallery, we strolled across the street to Ceja's tasting salon and wine bar for "Hot Salsa Nights." I have been telling Sarah how much fun salsa can be, but have been met with the usual resistance when a parent suggests that something is "fun." I know my daughter, all she needed was the right environment, and a terrific salsa partner to help her loosen up a bit. To my delight, both were present and as it turns out, she's a pretty quick study. Ariel Ceja had her on the dance floor and doing fairly well almost immediately. The best part was the smile that stretched from one side of her face to the other for the whole evening. She was having fun and so was I.

When they are small children we marvel at their accomplishments, console their pains and encourage their growth. Last night, I watched my daughter take "first steps" of a different kind and found myself enjoying parenthood all over again. Afterwords, we talked and laughed about the evening's events and made plans for this evening's encore.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Sometimes you know when something wonderful is going to happen, and the mere anticipation can have you behaving like a child at Christmas. We celebrated our own little Christmas in July this week when the much awaited "Deliberation" by Bryan Larsen arrived. She had been perfectly crated, and it appeared that the shippers had paid mind to the fragile stickers that called for special handling. I carefully removed each of the 3 dozen or so wood screws, knowing that each brought me closer to the moment I had been waiting for since March.

Quent and I had the pleasure, no make that honor, of visiting Bryan, Sara and Asher Larsen in their home earlier this year. While there, Bryan treated us to a sneak peek of "Deliberation" yet unfinished in his studio. There among the brushes, easels and paint was a site to behold. A vision so lovely despite its being incomplete. For me, it was love at first site. This was to become one of my favorite paintings ever and I know the artist! How cool is that? Thank you Bryan Larsen for creating and creating and creating. :)

I already had a spot reserved for "her" prior to her arrival. An alcove right next to the area where I often write these posts, greet gallery guests and return e-mail. She keeps me company and reminds me how wonderful life is and how much there is to enjoy. Sitting next to the painting, I find myself remembering to breathe and relax in the midst of our very full schedules and daily agendas. There has been much deliberating for us these days, both as we've created this beautiful gallery and as we continue to make major changes in our lives with respect to our Napa relocation. "Deliberation" is an ideal moment in time. Whoever purchases this painting is in for a lifetime of joy and inspiration and maybe an occasional guest. ;)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Milestone

Thursday afternoon we took another step towards making Napa our official home. After months of preparation, perspiration and even a little trepidation, Quent and I celebrated our new location with a ribbon cutting ceremony surrounded by our new friends and business acquaintances. We hope to have a Grand Opening event later in the year after we have completed all of the details that remain on our to-do list. This event was the city's way of welcoming us to downtown.

Each day it seems like the number of tourists grows, which is a welcome site. Although, I'm almost convinced that the price of gas alone is affecting the amount of foot traffic in downtown. Area merchants have confirmed that things are definitely slower than usual and that the number of visitors from elsewhere in California is down compared to this time last year. I am however, optimistic that we will still enjoy a very busy summer.

This afternoon a gentleman in his 80's took rest on one of our comfy sofas while the two ladies that he was with wandered through the gallery. He motioned that I should come over. "Young Lady," he said (I loved that part), "you may not believe me, but I have never been one to appreciate art. Today, that changed. As you can see, I am not a young man, but sitting here looking at these two beautiful paintings, (Deliberation and Rendezvous) I feel young again. What beauties they are and what talent it took to create them. Thank you for being here and for making an old man smile. "

I have nothing that can follow that. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Good News...No Snooze

Over the last several weeks we have only taken a day off here or there, and now that the doors are open, we scheduled yesterday as our first official day off and closed the gallery. I'm not sure what Quent had planned, but I was looking forward to a day of jammies, movies and lounging. Mix in a little reading, a nap and maybe a mani-pedi and voila, instant revitalized Linda. Ok, yes that seems like a lot to squeeze into a relaxing day, but it would likely be another week before I got another one so I had to make the best of it.

The day turned out a bit differently than I planned. Tuesday morning when I rolled out of bed, Quent greeted me with a cup of coffee and a newspaper. As it turned out, the local Napa Valley Register had decided to place us on the front page of Tuesday's edition. to work we went. The employees had the day off since we were supposed to be closed, so it was Mr. and Mrs. Cordair, side by side, all day. Thanks for being there Babe! We enjoyed a fair amount of foot traffic as a result of the article and the traffic has been pretty good again today.

Today's gallery pic is of our lovely "Carefree." She stands outside the gallery welcoming those who pause and contemplate a stroll through the gallery. She has been a very popular and patient model for those who have posed with her to have their picture taken. More than one dog out for a walk has barked at her in frustration when she will not move or respond to them. Thank you Karl Jensen for such beautiful work. We love "her" and it appears that Napa loves "her" too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Sunday brought us among many wonderful things, friends and fans from our Burlingame location. We were honored to have Dave, Portia & Paul spend part of their afternoon enjoying a beautiful new surroundings. We are also starting to enjoy repeat guests, which is a real compliment. The word is out; the Cordairs are in town.

This week we will be working on many details in preparation for Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. With the last of the art now here from Burlingame, the finishing touches are in the works. New elegant tags accompany each work of art, the comfy sofas are in place and at this very moment, the incredible voice of Pavaratti adds the perfect touch as we welcome more
visitors today.

We know that you can't all make it here to celebrate with us this week. We encourage you to
visit the gallery on line and celebrate your life with uplifting art. Let us know if there is a special piece that you would like to own and we'll put it aside for you before one of the tourists buys it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Since opening our doors seven days ago, we have enjoyed a plethora of positive comments from both Napans and tourists. Comments such as the very popular "wow," "this is incredible" and "thank you so much for bringing this gallery to Napa" are just a few of the many accolades that we have heard this week.

Prior to our arrival, the space was most recently occupied by a baby-furniture store, before that a book store and the original occupant for almost 30 years was the Napa Toy Shop. We have enjoyed sharing memories with the locals who grew up here in Napa and were recipients of many a gift from the toy store or who often spent their allowances right here in this very building. Yesterday, I enjoyed a visit from the owner of the toy store. She seemed very pleased with the changes that we have made and shared a few stories about the history of this location. At one point she was near tears as she wished us good luck and said that she would tell her friends about the wonderful new gallery in downtown, I invited her to participate in our ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday and told her that we had plans for a holiday tribute to the toy store for our window displays. I have been actively seeking Napans who still have toys that they received or purchased from the toy store with hopes of borrowing them for a Christmas display.

Last night was the first evening where we stayed open until 10pm to allow the pre and post dinner traffic to enjoy the art. The gallery is especially beautiful and highly visible after dark. The vibrant colors against the sandstone walls are impossible to miss when viewed from outside. The walk-in traffic was good and we enjoyed the oohs and ahs from our evening guests as they wandered into the light. One woman exclaimed that the gallery "took her breath away" and that she looked forward to visiting the "new jewel in Napa" often.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Can You Handle This?

You know a guy since high school, you date for a few years and you even marry him, but do you really know him? I knew my wonderful Man had many talents, but door handles too? Look at these beauties! Designed by, stained and installed by the same guy who's name graces the title of this blog and soon the doors to our new digs. These babies make a statement. Measuring about 18" tall and about 2.5" thick and made of cherry wood, these handles say "push me, pull me, come in and see what's on the other side of these doors." Thanks Honey, You Rock!

All Work, No Play...No Way

Today we took a day off (the first one in a long time) and enjoyed a round of golf with one of our new friends and area merchants. We were joined by his 16 year old step-son who is visiting from Italy. A good time was had by all and the post-round refreshments were especially good in the 99 degree heat. It was not my best round, but I will say that I made it through 18 holes having lost only one golf ball. :)

For those of you who are far more interested in news about the new gallery:

Yesterday we managed to finish hanging the majority of the art. It may very well be a long time before I volunteer to move the gallery again. What a job this has been! Have I told you lately how wonderful it looks? Seriously, each day I marvel at what we have accomplished. There are still many details to complete but we are very happy with our progress thus far.

We were interviewed by the Napa Valley Register (local paper) yesterday and the photographer will be by in the morning to capture history. Let the fun continue. To quote one of my favorite television commercials, "...I'm too excited to sleep." :) Ergo the late night post.

While I do not have any golf photos to share, I happily give you yet another glimpse of the church of Cordair. Enjoy! We hope that you will visit soon and remember that if you can't make it to Napa, we'll be more than happy to send a little Napa your way. Enjoy the art online at

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Warm Welcome

Napans and tourists alike have bestowed a wealth of compliments upon us since opening our doors yesterday. Our new neighbors are very pleased with the changes that we have made to both the interior and the exterior of the building and the tourists seem very pleased with our presence and the selection of art that we have on display. After an afternoon of wine tasting, the gallery provides a lovely place to unwind and refuel.

We have scheduled an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce for Thursday, July 17 at 5pm. We expect to have all of the detail work completed at that time. For now, we are opening one room at a time, which seems to be working very well for us as people are expressing a desire to return to see what has been added.

I was told that Craig T. Nelson was standing across from the gallery on Thursday, smoking a cigar. We were busy inside with last minute details and it's probably just as well that I did not run into him since I was sporting my newly stained tennis shoes and a variety of paint samples that somehow found their way off the brush and onto my clothes.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hello Napa, Happy 4th of July!

Thursday evening's Chef's Market provided a wonderful opportunity to offer a "sneak peek" of our new gallery space. Rather than open the doors, we invited select people to step in and enjoy a limited display. Two of the ten rooms are adorned and the next few days will have us busy completing the other rooms.

We officially opened the gallery this morning at 10:30. Happy Fourth of July! Everyone has been very complimentary of both the art and our new surroundings. We've already enjoyed more people in the gallery today than we would see in a week in Burlingame. In fact, two of our first visitors were from Burlingame and had never been in the gallery while we were located there.

In addition to enjoying Independence Day, today's tasks involve installing a rather stubborn pocket door, un-crating and hanging paintings and a plethora of details. This evening we look forward to celebrating our opening with a fireworks display courtesy of the city of Napa. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Concrete Evidence

Last night Quent and I stained the first half of the gallery floors and they look mah-vel-ous! Just to prove it, here are the before and after pics.

Not that anyone should be looking at the floors when they enter our hallowed halls, but we do have our standards. How does one make concrete look warm and inviting? It's harder than it looks. Two coats and two colors later, we are very pleased with the results. We managed to get most of the stain on the concrete but some of it did manage to find our shoes, pants and hands. I'll be buying a new pair of sneakers this week, that's for sure.

Details, Glorious Details

The countdown to opening day continues as those involved in our adventure add the finishing touches. Pedestals are being prepared by Shawn, Erik has painted nearly 1000 feet of baseboard and crown molding and Trace has made sure that the art will be beautifully lit. We have all worn many hats over these last few weeks; it won't be long now.

Friday, June 27, 2008

First Impressions

Yesterday, just in time for the downtown Chef's Market (a seasonal weekly street event featuring a farmers' market, food, wine and entertainment), we unveiled the windows of our new digs. It would be just a small taste to wet the appetites of the many who would pass by our little corner that evening. This morning, I was interviewed on the local radio station, KVON, which resulted in some immediate local traffic to the website and this afternoon as I was taking pictures of our progress, I had fun watching some tourists enjoying one of the sculptures in the window. They even snapped a few pictures as momentos of their vacation. Things are looking very good here in the Wine Country, especially on the corner of First and Randolph. It won't be long now; soon the walls and rooms will be filled with some of the most beautiful art in the world.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Destination Napa

In addition to working on the new gallery space, we have been exploring our new surroundings, enjoying the beautiful scenery and making an effort to scope out the area's restaurants and wineries for you.

We have also made some special arrangements for a special Cordair rate at a wonderful local Bed and Breakfast. The Inn on First is, yes you guessed it, on the same street and walking distance to the gallery. The proprietors, Jim and Jamie, have generously agreed to offer our clients a 15% discount off of their rates. When making a reservation, please mention that you would like the "Cordair rate."

Quent and I stayed at the inn during the time that we were contemplating the gallery's relocation to Napa. Everything was perfect and we think that you will like it too. In addition to a lovely room, the inn features:
  • Full breakfast from 8:30am–10:00am. Please let your innkeeper know if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies at the time of your reservation.
  • Glorious gardens in which to enjoy breakfast or just relax
  • Complimentary split of Mumm Sparkling Wine in room upon arrival
  • Complimentary chocolate truffles from Anette's Chocolate Factory
  • Complimentary sodas and snacks
  • Complimentary afternoon refreshments
  • Complimentary WiFi provided in the Mansion
  • All rooms have private baths, Jacuzzi tubs and gas fireplaces.
  • Concierge service
We are entering into the busy season here in the Napa Valley so advance reservations are highly recommended. Please let us know if you are planning a visit. We look forward to seeing you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


After several weeks of planning and execution, our new gallery is finally taking shape. In addition to the interior remodel, the outside of our "new home" is also getting a face lift. The city is supposed to be replacing the unsightly metal box out front, which by the looks of things, served as a buffer between the intersection and the building at least once.

We are now officially members of and listed on the Napa Chamber of Commerce website as well as the Napa Downtown Association web site. With a little luck and a lot of hard work we will be open in Napa on or around July 1. If you can't squeeze a trip to the wine country into your summer plans, enjoy our web site or sign up for our monthly updates to keep up with new gallery arrivals and important announcements.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Coming Soon to Downtown Napa!

That's right, after nearly 13 years in Burlingame, we are moving the gallery to the heart of the beautiful wine country. Construction has begun at 1301 First St., and we hope to be open by July 1st, but if all goes well, we may be open sooner. The new location is 3600 square feet versus the 1800 square feet in Burlingame.

In the meantime, the Burlingame gallery will be open by appointment. We are spending most of our time in Napa these days but do travel back and forth at least once a week.

For those of you who would enjoy enhancing your gallery visit with a day or two (or longer) of R&R in the wine country, plans are also underway for special accommodations at a local bed and breakfast that is walking distance to the gallery.

And if you have an uncontrollable urge to assist us in opening this beautiful new location, visit our website and treat yourself to something fabulous from our growing selection of uplifting and inspirational art. No purchase too big or too small. :) We appreciate your business!