The Art Junket

A gathering of artists

Salon 3:4 – Blue



by Maureen Fitzmahan

Blue: The Salon was held in Berkeley, California at Zoey Olbum’s home.

The Salon was attended by Maureen Fitzmahan, Ana Perches, Brian Nelson, Kaitlin Fitzmahan Strange, Erin Mahollitz, Tony Jones, Zoey Olbum, Annelise Dohrer, and Katie Osenga.

This month’s theme was “Blue.”

The Art

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The artists

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Blue Inspiration

Kaitlin Fitzmahan Strange. 2017.

by Kaitlin Fitzmahan

I’ll admit that recently I’ve been struggling with my art.  To be specific, making art.

The past year has been emotionally, physically, and creatively jam-packed. I’ve changed jobs, got married, traveled to a different continent, changed jobs again, experienced grief, welcomed new life, and started a business.  So I’ve been busy.

But, a lack of inspiration has been the culprit, not the lack of time.  I’ve been uninspired. Depleted. Burnt out? Maybe.

I still draw, paint, and design. I have a pretty good habit of pulling out pen and paper at the brewery, the office, my backyard, in a campground, waiting of the bus, and at the symphony. But art needs more than the act of making. Putting pen to paper sometimes just doesn’t cut it.

I need inspiration, the life, the fullness.

But you know what helps? Its pretty simple. A good mix of nature + adventure + romance usually does the trick for me.  The Sierras, the Bay, or the backyard.

Time to look closely, to reflect, to listen.  To breathe.

Recently, a weekend in the great outdoors resulted in a 38”x 38” canvas of a blue whale.

(Katie wrote today, “I just got out of a very successful meeting with our board members and they congratulated me on all I’ve done since I’ve been back. So I guess the hard work was worth it!”)


Blue on Blue


Marc Chagall. “Over the Town” 1918

by Ana Perches

Blue, in Russian, is expressed in different ways, depending on the shade of blue. So that the color navy (which is blue), would not have the same name as another kind of blue. What do I know? I don’t speak Russian but you can look it up. The idea, though, intrigues me.

When do you stop calling a color blue and call it something else, like grey, purple, turquoise, aqua or green, or navy or celestial, yes celestial, like the sky.

In Spanish,  blue is AZUL, which probably comes from the Arabic “AZUR.” (Don’t quote me on ANY of this because I’m just on a roll and messing with your mind.)  But “AZUR” sounds so Romantic, so Middle Eastern, so when Erin said our menu is Middle Eastern, I said YES! Mosaic is blue, indigo blue, deep Greek blue, Turkish blue, ocean blue.

So, going back to “azul” (assul— don’t say the “zzzz” sound in Spanish, do the “sssss” sound). I love “azul”, the name, the sound, the connotations. But when you go to Argentina and something is light blue, they call it “celeste” (with the Argentinean Tango – such a cool accent).  Celeste refers to the sky.


1904 Diego Rivera “El Albañil” 

In Mexico we would just modestly (I insist on the modest) call that same color the equivalent of light blue:  azul bajito, blue but a little ‘low’ (not high).  Bajito, like “baja –the bay.  Like down there,  but in a light way with a diminutive, delicate bajito like soft, soft baby blue as opposed to dark lapis lazuli –  Chilean blue.

We all know the stone lapis lazuli, so cobalt, so deep blue, as opposed to celestial Argentinean blue.

BTW, I just had some Kahlua, which is not blue, but which inspired me to speak of AZUL.(assul –accent on last syllable, don’t voice the “z”; we don’t have “z” sound in my language.  Which is why it’s always so “confusing” for me to say certain English words, but I try.  I have tried since childhood to pronounce English [American English] as correctly as I can.  As I child, I was spanked by my teachers if I didn’t pronounce words right.  So I try not to auto-confuse  – just like the color blue……. that is everywhere!!!!

‘City Life’ (1968) by Osmond Watson

The sky, the moon, the Pacific ocean and the Caribbean. Yes, the Caribbean waters – when you see them and bathe in them, you know what azul means with its many hues. Hurricanes or not.  Please protect those waters and their living things.

Beauty is blue, blue is life!

I still would like to know how Russians say blue.

Note: “The Russian for blue is синий.  “siniy” – pronounced see knee.” (Thanks to Erin.)

Edvard Munch




151 3rd Street
September 7, 2017.  5 p.m.

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Between the Clock and the Bed

A master by the age of 30, Edvard Munch (1863–1944) was among the most celebrated and controversial artists of his generation. But, as he confessed in 1939, his true breakthrough came very late in life. Featuring 44 landmark compositions about art, love, mortality, and the ravages of time, Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed uses the artist’s last significant self-portrait as a starting point to reassess a lifetime of painting. Together, these profoundly human and technically daring artworks reveal Munch as a tireless innovator and an artist as revolutionary in his maturity as he was in his breakthrough years.

Don’t miss the audios and readings before you come to see the exhibit!

An Icon of Emotion

Audio Tour 

Conversation on Munch

Series 3:4: Theme “Blue”


by Ana Perches

BLUE: a color, a primary color, a privileged color.

Which vowel is blue? Is it the vowel A, E, I, or U?

According to the French poet Arthur Rimbaud………

A Black, E white, I red, U green, O blue : vowels,
I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins:
A, black velvety jacket of brilliant flies
Which buzz around cruel smells,

Gulfs of shadow; E, whiteness of vapours and of tents,
Lances of proud glaciers, white kings, shivers of cow-parsley;
I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips
In anger or in the raptures of penitence;

U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas,
The peace of pastures dotted with animals, the peace of the furrows
Which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;

O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds,
Silences crossed by Worlds and by Angels:
O the Omega, the violet ray of Her Eyes!

Dorothea Lange, photographer


Oakland Museum of California

1000 Oak Street (at 10th Street)
August 11, 2017.  5 – 10 p.m.

Dorothea Lange. Migrant Mother.

The photograph that has become known as “Migrant Mother” is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her children in February or March of 1936 in Nipomo, California. Lange was concluding a month’s trip photographing migratory farm labor around the state for what was then the Resettlement Administration. In 1960, Lange gave this account of the experience:

I saw and approached the hungry and desperate mother, as if drawn by a magnet. I do not remember how I explained my presence or my camera to her, but I do remember she asked me no questions. I made five exposures, working closer and closer from the same direction. I did not ask her name or her history. She told me her age, that she was thirty-two. She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me. There was a sort of equality about it.”

The images were made using a Graflex camera. The original negatives are 4×5″ film. (


Enjoy the best—and biggest—street market in the Bay this summer with OMCA and Off the Grid! Friday Nights @ OMCA is now open an extra hour later, and expands onto Oak Street, adding even more food trucks to help quench your thirst for delicious local cuisine. Savor California beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages around the Koi Pond at the Blue Oak beer garden. Enjoy half-price admission, live music, hands-on activities for kids, a pop-up art market in the Redwood Burl area, and extended OMCA Store hours. Bring friends and family for a taste of local music, food, and culture at the Oakland Museum of California every Friday Night!

What to expect on August 11:

5–10 pm: Half-off gallery admission for adults, free for ages 18 and under
5–10 pm: All Museum galleries open late
5–10 pm: Gourmet food trucks from Off the Grid featuring the best in local cuisine: get the weekly list here
5–9:45 pm: OMCA Store open with great artisan California-themed gifts, apparel, books, toys, and more
5–9:30 pm: Local beer and wine specials in the Blue Oak beer garden
5–9 pm: Gardens open for family fun
5–9 pm: Marketplace @ OMCA, featuring local vendors selling their wares in Redwood Burl area
5–6:30 pm: August resident DJ Suavecito Souldies spinning vinyl in the 10th Street Amphitheater
5–8 pm: Family-friendly drop-in activity: Make a Summer Zine in the OMCA Gardens
6:30–7 pm: Salsa dance instruction with Nick and Serena of Salsa Vale Todo in the 10th Street Ampitheater
6:30–8:30 pm: Live music from The Bob and Lenny Show setting the mood in the Oak Street Plaza
7–9 pm: Live music with Latin fusion band Debajo del Agua in the 10th Street Amphitheater

Cost: Half-price gallery admission for adults, ages 18 and under are free. Admission for Members is always free. Cash bar. Prices vary for Off the Grid food trucks.

Transportation: OMCA is located one block from the Lake Merritt BART Station. Event parking is available at the Museum for a $7 flat fee after 5 pm. Museum garage closes at 10:30 pm.

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