Off with your head over Croquet????

Need to learn to Play Croquet for upcoming match with the Red Queen, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter??? Want to know the official rules playing with a mallet rather than a flamingo?!. Pasadena Memorial Park, offers this sign, and a similar … Continue reading

Killing at Open Mic

Recent Acrylic painting reflecting the sort of evening I often enough spend in company of my comedian significant other Jen Eros. This is one of a set called the “Crowd Series” By Jim Christiansen, Modesto, CA 2014

Riverdance Farms Pick and Gather Festival

Now in its tenth year, this unique and ecclectic organic blueberry and cherry, spring harvest, eco tourism, music, powwow, and educational Merced River festival in Livingston, comes up May 31 and June 1 in 2014  Always the weekend after Memorial Day, in order to be easy to remember, and not to conflict with the Strawberry Music Festival (closed this year due to Rim Fire), the festival takes place in the middle of this working ranch’s blueberry and cherry harvest and U-Pick Season.  U-Pick organic berries and cherries available at wholesale market price during the festival and U-Pick weekends before and after, and by arrangement with Riverdance owners Cindy Lashbrook and Bill Thompson.  The site is on the Merced River, about 1.4 miles out of Livingston, on about 74 acres.  The Pick and Gather includes an all agencies, plus nonprofits, that manage and use the river, gathered in an educational Merced River Fair during the Saturday festivities.  This requires patrons to take the stroll through the berry field and cherry orchards to the “point” where the workshops, displays and live music take place in a shade house on the River.  The Main Stage and vendor area of the Pick and Gather sets up around the picking house, and shade house areas, down the river bluff from parking.  There is a pond project with habitat restoration to one side of the ticket gate, and the music venue, general store and craft vendors to the right.  That same path takes you to the Merced River Fair, or by a different path, to the Dance Circle, vendors and wares of the Second Merced River Benefit Gathering powwow that goes all weekend.  Entry into the festival is $10 general, $5 seniors, children, students, for Saturday, $5 general, $2 children, seniors, Laid Back Sunday.  Plenty of local artisans, crafters, artists, food for sale, kids activities area with hay fort and unusual stage area. Belly Dancers and Drum groups on site.  Camping is available Saturday Night at $15.  General admission runs 10 am to dusk on Saturday, 8 am to close on Sunday.  Camping for vendors and volunteers by arrangement Friday night.  For more information, email Cindy at or call 209-761-0081.  Vendor spots still open, and forms in pdf file can be found at the web site   For information on the powwow, and contacts for vendors, see the flier for head staff and contact information.  Additional contact for information on vendors, or music, or art, volunteers, etc, is me, Jim Christiansen at  I got into this event, from past work with festivals, but originally for this one for the watercolor commissioned for the flier poster on the third Pick and Gather, still used today.  This is my working vacation.  Music line up as we know it today, included The Poorhouse Millionaires, The Hunter-Austin Project, Hills Brothers Band, Frank Solivan and Friends Tina Louise Barr, and John Gwinner, Eric Burman and friends, likely newcomers Victoria Boyington’s Silly String Band, the Recycled String Band, singer-songwriter Patty Castillo Davis, Tim Lechuga Mahi Shakti on sitar and guitars with yoga to open Laid Back Sunday, the Adamantine Belly Dancers, and more.  Myth master from the Joseph Campbell Foundation and my former room mate Stephen L. Gerringer, will be telling a tale on the main stage and River stage.  This is a fun project, and different each year.  More people should be aware of it.  The last two years, the festival proceeds in part when to Save McConnell State Park, just across the river, which was successful, and kept open.  Kayaks on the river, likely.  Call in advance 209 761 0081 or check in when I update this blog for the schedule.  Rain or shine. Weather is a constant in the risk of farming, and this festival, in the midst of harvest in Livingston-Cressey area, has had wind, 100 plus weather, rain – our policy is to stay open, helps us harvest cherries before split, and enjoy the challenges. Site is 12230 Livingston-Cressey Rd., Livingston, CA.  From 99, use the Hammet or N. Winton Parkway Exits, and turn east at Main (N. Main) which becomes Livingston Cressey Road.  About a mile and a half down the road . Look for the flags on the left t the main ranch gate, and signs to get you there.  Weekend after Memorial Day every year, May 31 and June 1, for 2014

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Stanislaus Artist Open Studio Weekend April 12 and 13

I am participating in the Stanislaus Artist Open Studio tour 2014, in its fourth year, with 63 other artists in 42 venues, including my home garage studio  Maps for the tour are $10, students 18 and under in FREE.  With that you get to enter a drawing by submitting a completed form from the back of the map, which might get you one of five pieces of original art.  When you come to my studio, at 537 Bodem Street, Modesto, CA, 95350, you get to meet the cats, Smokey the front porch and studio cat, Cindy the odd cat who hangs out with my mom, and Sam, volunteer black kitty tour guide.  Sam my lead you through the front porch work area, into the dining room gallery, the Laundry Room Office, and maybe into the actual studio.  The house is a 1925 bungalow style house, and there is parking across the street if the dumpsters moved at the island park, where Bodem Street and Sunrise Ave split.  Signs will be out, and I have maps on sale on site.  For more information, see Image

The Actual studio, the way it usually looks while working, chair to paint in, unfinished projects, art storage, glass cutting, frames and art, portfolios, etc.


The dining room office  Other samples of my work can be found at Image