CONJURING RAIN 1, 2, & 3. Artist, Mary Heebner.
Each 50 X 38

To visit an artist in their studio is just as thrilling today as it was the first time I got to do it 25 years ago with our group from our museum (Dallas Museum of Art). It’s so interesting to get to see where the artists lives (sometimes) and works. The space where the idea is “conjured”, where its executed, and finished…voilà…the master piece is born (or not).


This week I’ve been in the studio of the acclaimed California artist, Mary Heebner several times as we worked on her upcoming show that opens this week (Friday, February 13th, 2015) at our Cabana Home – Santa Barbara store. It’s absolutely thrilling to work so closely – with one so talented. The show, Conjuring Rain, comes at a time when we in Santa Barbara, and most of California, are experiencing severe drought conditions. Ironically, just as we began pulling works for the show, it began to rain!

“More conjuring”, I say!


Mary’s studio is layered with bits and pieces of her life’s works; Series of works that span decades, subjects so varied and deep it is difficult to comprehend in my short-spurt visits. Works on handmade paper, paintings on canvas, books, books with paintings and narrative written and by the artist, some in collaboration with others — well known for their literary prose.

During the Winter Solstice of 2014, Heebner writes the following regarding Conjuring Rain:

In mid-November I walked in the hills above Gaviota with a friend. Although a wash of low clouds portended rain, I simply felt, five years deep into a drought that the sky was once again bluffing. A mist as gentle as eyelashes darkened the dust. Were we in a fog cloud or was this really rain? We could see the slim lines of a soft shower—rain. While hiking, a shift in the air was palpable as the plants gave up their scent. I inhaled eucalyptus, buckwheat, coyote brush, sage as the earth exhaled, releasing her pungent perfumes.


Three weeks later I overnighted in Avila Beach. A storm was in the forecast. This time it was supposed to deliver. A sunless coat of grey erased the horizon, a sheet metal monoscape broken only by shoreline slashes of white foam. That evening I began a series of paintings, conjuring rain. I awoke before dawn to the sound of hard, steady downpour. Walking in the early morning, head turned skyward, the rain on my face, nose, fingertips, I felt like those thirsty plants in the parched Gaviota hills.

Conjuring Rain 4

Conjuring rain, to awaken the scent of a storm, to summon moisture and penetrate a sere land, to pour the most precious drink upon the dust. Water—the milk of the earth.
– Mary Heebner

Other works that deal with water from an earlier series of work by Mary Heebner will be included in the show:

Laguna Salada No. 03. Mixed medium collage on paper, 30×36
The Blues. Acrylic, ink, metallic pigment, on handmade Japanese paper, 73×37
Patagonia- Unearthed Indigo 2, Acrylic, pigment and interference pigment on Stonehenge paper
41 x 29

Please join us if you’re in the Santa Barbara area this week to see these extraordinary works and to meet and get to know the artist, Mary Heebner.

Conjuring Rain is produced  in cooperation with the Edward Cella Art + Architecture Gallery in Los Angles and Cabana Home Santa Barbara, opening February 13, 2015.

Cabana Home
111 Santa Barbara Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Good night moon.

Source: A Design Guy

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