Peeking Inside North Coast Open Studios


The interior of Joan Gold's dazzlingly patterned Eureka studio, where works in progress hang on the walls. Photo by Gabrielle Gopinath

The interior of Joan Gold's dazzlingly patterned Eureka studio, where works in progress hang on the walls. Photo by Gabrielle Gopinath

It's the 20th anniversary of North Coast Open Studios and Monica Topping, the event's hardworking organizer, is in a hurry. NCOS has 17 first-time participants this year, she says, as well as an impressive roster of "charter artists" — those who have exhibited since the inaugural North Coast Open Studios event two decades ago. "We try to have between 10 and 20 percent new artists in any given year," she says. "We try to include youth art, as well as art made by new and upcoming artists — not all of whom are necessarily young. A lot of times new artists are people who have been making art for years, who finally decided to take the opportunity to bring their work into the public eye."

Topping works for months ahead of time to make the event run smoothly but once the event gets under way, "it's no longer mine," she says. "It becomes the artists'. And I love that transformation that happens. I just get to show up, take pictures and say hi. Every year I try to visit as many artists as I can." She emphasized the diversity and variety of work on display, as well as the different ways for viewers to approach the event. Those looking to win a gift certificate by playing the event's popular bingo card will maximize that diversity. Those with a particular interest in a certain medium could specialize "and just do two weekends of ceramics," while a trip organized around the theme of place could result in "a special trip to see art being made in your neighborhood."

Likewise, artists approach the event in different ways. Charter member Alan Sanborn first showed his watercolor landscapes in the inaugural North Coast Open Studios event 20 years ago. He has been hosting open studio events on June weekends most years since, so much so that he is able to quip, "I've never even seen North Coast Open Studios!" In Sanborn's Arcata home studio, light-filled watercolor renderings of sites like Agate Beach and the Russian River crowd the walls, seeming to bloom in the ample natural light. He remembers that the event's early years "started out pretty low-key and small. But probably by the third year, I guess that takes us back to the Clinton years, the economy was booming. For two years in a row, I sold everything on the walls." he says, beaming at the recollection. Though sales have dwindled since what Sanborn remembers as their peak, he relishes the experience as much now as he did then. While making sales is nice, he says, "we do it primarily to show our work to the community, to make contact with the audience. To show that there is a cultural interest out there."

Across town in her Eureka studio, veteran painter Joan Gold's abstract works occupy every inch of available studio wall. Gold, who is preparing for a solo show at Black Faun Gallery in November, explained that she often works simultaneously on multiple paintings this way. Entering her studio feels like stepping into a kaleidoscope. Paintings at every scale and stage of completion surround you, dashed and patterned with vibrating matrices in azure, turquoise, hot pink, tomato red and parakeet green, layering on top of other paintings for a retinal experience that's nothing short of dazzling.

On the other side of Humboldt Bay, ceramicist and second-time Open Studios participant Jen Rand was at the Samoa Women's Club, showing a graceful range of high-fired stoneware on an oceanfront veranda. Many of her pieces are ornamented with a rhizomatic design that recalled tree branches or roots. She was happy to talk about process: "I start with a dark clay called Black Mountain and then I put on a liquid porcelain slip, and then a glaze on top of that." The process of firing at high temperatures, she says, allows each piece's ultimate appearance to be shaped by chance.

At the same venue, artist and designer Annette Makino is showing a selection of her popular greeting cards featuring Japanese-inflected watercolors and haiku. She describes the event as "a chance to connect directly with people. I am creating for the market," she explains, "and I sell a lot in stores and online. But in those venues, you don't get that sense of direct connection with the members of your audience like you do here."

"People have come up to me in the past (at North Coast Open Studios) and told me about a particular piece, describing why it has been meaningful to them," Makino recalls. "One time a woman told me that she had been having a fight with her sister and she sent her one of my cards, hoping to make peace, and in fact they were able to be reconciled. And, of course, I was happy to hear that. For me, laboring in my studio, the work doesn't really get reconciled until it goes out there in the world."

The 20th annual North Coast Open Studios event runs June 1-3 and June 9-10 at locations from Trinidad to Scotia. The free schedule is available in newsstands and at

Gabrielle Gopinath is an art writer, critic and curator based in Arcata. 

Open Studios: Five artists to showcase work at Samoa “hot spot”

“Dream Big” is painted in Japanese watercolors and sumi ink by Annette Makino.

“Dream Big” is painted in Japanese watercolors and sumi ink by Annette Makino.

Eureka, California
May 18, 2018

Five artists will gather to share their work with the public at the Samoa Women’s Club in Samoa for the first weekend of North Coast Open Studios.

Working in silk, clay, paper, and more, this diverse group of artists will show their work on Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3, from 10 to 5. There is also a special preview on Friday, June 1 from 6-9.

The artists at the Samoa “hot spot” include silk painter Tina Gleave, Japanese watercolor artist Annette Makino, ceramicist Jennifer Rand, milliner Amy Fowler and watercolor painter Araya Shon. 

At the Samoa Women’s Club, the artists will show their work, discuss their inspirations and demonstrate their tools and techniques. They will offer original paintings for sale as well as art prints, silk clothing, one-of-a-kind hats, greeting cards, jewelry, ceramics and more.

“Open Studios is always a fun time to connect with art appreciators and local friends,” said Gleave. “This event is all about sharing art and meeting new people, which makes me appreciate my community and all it has to offer.”

Gleave is a fine art silk painter who received her Master's Status from Silk Painters International last year. She makes her silk paintings into wearable art silk prints and currently sells her fashions across the nation in museums, galleries, boutiques and national retailers. 

Makino said, “My art fully comes alive only once it is shared with others. Open Studios is a wonderful opportunity to connect with my customers one-on-one and hear stories of how my art impacts people.” 

Using Japanese watercolors and sumi ink, Makino combines her joyful paintings with original haiku and other words. Besides paintings, she will offer cards and prints of her art.

Rand enrolled in a beginning ceramics class while working on her M.A. in literature at Humboldt State University—and quickly found herself hooked. She spent several more years taking ceramics classes, as well as a semester on exchange studying ceramics at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart, Germany. 

Rand finds the ceramic medium a fascinating and unpredictable process that never fails to excite her imagination.  

Fowler is a milliner who has had her women’s fashion headwear published and shown locally and internationally. She designs her creations under the name Millinery by Amy Fowler, and is also the owner/operator of the online millinery supply business Humboldt Haberdashery.

Fowler uses a variety of classic and modern materials to construct her head pieces, and enjoys incorporating a variety of techniques in her designs. Her pieces are hand blocked and sewn, and all of the flowers and trims are handmade specifically for each piece.

Araya Shon has been painting with watercolors since she was five years old, and especially loves to paint flowers. She is currently in the eighth grade at Fieldbrook School.

The historic Samoa Women's Club, which looks out onto the dunes, is rarely open to the public. The house is located between Arcata and Eureka at 115 Rideout Avenue in Samoa, a four-minute drive from the Samoa Bridge. 

Directions are as follows: From Samoa Boulevard, turn left onto Cookhouse Road. Turn right onto Vance Avenue, and then take the first right onto Rideout Avenue.

Refreshments will be served at this family-friendly event and there will be free raffles for art. The building is wheelchair accessible.

Now in its 20th year, North Coast Open Studios is a showcase of Humboldt County artists and their work. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Samoa Women’s Club event, call (888) 508-5228.

Artist celebrates autumn at North Country Fair


Eureka, California
Sept. 14, 2017

While attending a haiku conference in Washington state last fall, Arcata-based artist Annette Makino opened her window to catch the fresh scent of rain as it fell on the maple trees outside. That simple but evocative moment led to her to paint the image and write the haiku for this painting.

“Dusk settling” is painted on paper with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors. It is one of several paintings that will be on view in the Makino Studios booth at the North Country Fair this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition to original paintings, Makino will offer her new greeting cards, signed art prints and 2018 calendars of art and haiku.

The Makino Studios booth can be found on G Street near Moore’s Sleepworld. For more information about Makino’s work, see or call 707-362-6644.

Seven in Samoa: Group of artists to showcase work together


Eureka, California
June 2, 2017

Seven Humboldt artists will join forces for the first weekend of North Coast Open Studios at the Samoa Women’s Club in Samoa. Working in silk, clay, watercolors, sumi ink and photography, this diverse group of artists will show their work on Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 5. There is also a special preview tonight from 6 to 9 p.m.

The “Seven in Samoa” includes silk painter Tina Gleave, Japanese watercolor artist Annette Makino, pet portrait artist Leslie Allen, ceramicist Jennifer Rand, photographer and mixed media artist Nancy Baar, and watercolor painter Araya Shon. Manga-inspired drawings by Kaylee Paredes will also be shown. Kaylee, who participated in Open Studios at the same venue last year, died of an asthma attack just before her 15th birthday in February. This year’s event is dedicated to her, and proceeds from her art sales will benefit a fund for high school artists.

At the Samoa Women’s Club, the artists will show their work, discuss their inspirations and demonstrate their tools and techniques. They will offer original work for sale as well as art prints, silk clothing, greeting cards, jewelry, ceramics and more.

Allen paints watercolor portraits of people and their pets. She said, “My experiences with many rescued pets have finally intersected with my painting. Creating an image of a beloved pet is very rewarding for me.”

Baar has explored many mediums throughout her artistic career—while her love of flowers has been a constant. But the day her first digital camera arrived in the mail, she knew she had found her true passion.

Inspired by nature and all things art, Gleave finds her original designs in everyday life and adds a ethereal quality to her silk paintings. She transforms her hand-painted designs into wearable fashions, including scarves, wraps, shirts, kimonos and jewelry. She said, “Open Studios is a wonderful opportunity to connect directly with the public and share my work in a relaxed, friendly environment.”

Using Japanese watercolors and sumi ink, Makino combines her joyful paintings with original haiku and other words. She said, “My goal as an artist and writer is to help people find joy and meaning in their daily lives and deepen their connections with the people they love.”

Rand says she is drawn to ceramics primarily for the sense of connection it gives her to something larger than herself. “Through my work, I feel as if I am able to participate in the long geologic history of the earth itself and its natural processes,” she said. “I hope, through my art, to evoke some sense of the wonder of these processes and the world to which they have given birth.”

Shon has been painting with watercolors since she was 5 years old, and especially loves to paint flowers. Now in seventh grade at Fieldbrook School, she said, “Painting makes me very happy. Art has the ability to touch people; I want to change the world with my art.”

The historic Samoa Women’s Club, which looks out onto the dunes, is rarely open to the public. The house is located between Arcata and Eureka at 115 Rideout Avenue in Samoa

Refreshments will be served at this family-friendly event. The building is wheelchair accessible. The event is free and open to the public.

Healing images: Artists create messages of hope for Japan

“May a thousand cranes” is 9×12, painted with ink on rice paper. © Annette Makino 2011

“May a thousand cranes” is 9×12, painted with ink on rice paper. © Annette Makino 2011

By Heather Shelton
Eureka, California
March 26, 2016

“May a thousand cranes
spread their wings over Japan
Bringing hope and healing.”

This brief prayer, coupled with vee of cranes flying over a red sun, was artist Annette Makino’s way of honoring and remembering the many thousands affected by the catastrophic earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident that devastated northeastern Japan five years ago this month.

“The crane is a powerful symbol in Japanese culture, representing longevity and good luck as well as peace and hope,” said Makino, who completed the painting on rice paper a few days after the unforgettable events of March 11, 2011.

Makino — who resides in Arcata — has close ties to the island nation. Her husband, semi-retired Humboldt State University Professor Paul Blank, recently returned from Japan, where he chaperoned Northcoast Preparatory and Performing Arts Academy students on a trip to Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo. And Makino herself lived in Takasaki, Japan, with her family at her grandparents’ home for several months when she was 8 years old. She has also visited the country twice in recent years.

“My Japanese father lived in Japan and I visited him and our other relatives there,” she said. “Later, my sisters and I returned for his funeral and then did some traveling around the country.”

Makino says her childhood stay in Takasaki was formative. Her grandparents lived in a traditional Japanese home, with tatami mats on the floors, rice paper screens separating rooms, low tables and futons that were stashed during the day and rolled out at night. Her grandfather had a special tearoom connected to the main house where he spent a lot of time meditating, and both her grandparents practiced Shinto and Buddhism.

“The kitchen was the only modern room in the house,” Makino said. “It had a Western-height table and chairs and a small television where we children watched mystifying Japanese soap operas. Sometimes our Japanese cousins came to visit and taught us origami, the art of folding paper.”

To be immersed in the culture, spirituality and aesthetics at such a young age proved a powerful experience, Makino said, noting it permeates her life and art.

“Only in returning to Japan as an adult have I understood how deeply my temperament, creative expression and values reflect traditional Japanese culture,” she said.

Today, her artwork draws from several Japanese traditions. Inspired by a style of painting called haiga, in which art is combined with haiku, Makino often includes this traditional form of Japanese poetry — as well as other poignant or playful words — in her creative pieces.

“I’ve been honored that my haiku have won awards and gotten selected for haiku anthologies and the leading haiku journals,” said Makino, who also pulls from several Japanese practices when creating the imagery in her work.

“First, I draw on the ancient technique of brush painting, where you grind an ink stick in an ink stone with water to make ink, then apply it to rice paper using bamboo brushes,” she said. “This is very difficult to do well, and can take decades to master. I’m not trying to create those kinds of traditional paintings, but I’ve adapted the tools and techniques from that medium for my art.

“Finally, I have learned from the Japanese custom of exchanging etegami, hand-painted postcards with a few heartfelt words that are mailed to friends. These typically involve bold, outlined images that spill over the edges of the postcard,” she said.

“when someone you love” depicts a scene from the Arcata Marsh. Annette Makino wrote the words in response to the loss of her father four years ago. The painting was done in February 2016 with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors on watercolor paper with some digital collage. It is available as a sympathy card. © Annette Makino 2016

“when someone you love” depicts a scene from the Arcata Marsh. Annette Makino wrote the words in response to the loss of her father four years ago. The painting was done in February 2016 with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors on watercolor paper with some digital collage. It is available as a sympathy card. © Annette Makino 2016

“when someone you love” depicts a scene from the Arcata Marsh. Annette Makino wrote the words in response to the loss of her father four years ago. The painting was done in February 2016 with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors on watercolor paper with some digital collage. It is available as a sympathy card. © Annette Makino 2016

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of her art business, Makino Studios, Makino and her family — including husband Paul, daughter Maya and son Gabriel — are taking a three-week trip to Japan this summer, where the artist will not only visit family, but also further hone her creative skills.

“We will visit my Japanese relatives in Tokyo, probably spend a few days walking one of the ancient pilgrimage trails, soak in some hot springs, visit temples and art museums and eat lots of sushi and udon noodles. We four all love Japanese cuisine,” she said. “Though it’s fairly remote, I also hope to visit the 300-year-old Makino sake factory run by my relatives, with its own Makino temple.

“In addition,” she said, “I am on a mission to find a certain kind of narrow, supple bamboo brush that I bought in Tokyo in 2012 and have not been able to find anywhere since. It’s my favorite brush and I use it for all the writing in my pieces, but it’s wearing out. And, I also need to buy more Japanese watercolors, or gansai paints. They have a deeper, more intense, color than Western watercolor paints.”


Makino’s friend and fellow local artist Amy Uyeki has close connections to Japan, too, and in her artwork has also paid tribute to those impacted by the devastating events of March 2011.

Uyeki illustrated the 2015 book, “The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome: A Tsunami Boat Comes Homes,” written by HSU professor Lori Dengler and Amya Miller, director of global public relations in Rikuzentakata, Japan. Uyeki was also on hand earlier this month when Dengler gave a keynote address at the Tokyo National Museum on the earthquake, tsunami and Kamome boat story.

The children’s book tells the true story of a small boat washed out to sea during the tsunami. Over time, the vessel traveled from Rikuzentakata to the Crescent City shore. Del Norte High School students raised funds to make sure the boat got back home to the coastal Japanese town, and made friendships with Rikuzentakata residents along the way.

“The writing on the boat Kamome — the key factor in its identification — was made by a mutual friend of ours, Kumi Watanabe Schock,” Uyeki said. “When Lori was looking for an artist to illustrate the book, Kumi suggested she contact me, as she was quite familiar with my artwork.”

Uyeki says she was incredibly touched by this true story, and felt honored to be a part of the project.

“For many years since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, I’ve wanted to help in some way, but couldn’t find the means other than sending condolences and donations,” she said. “Using my images to tell this story about hope and kindness and resiliency was something I could contribute — and Lori’s mission of disaster preparedness and talking to children so they are armed with the proper steps (a section that is added in the back of the book) fit perfectly — a teachable moment.”

Uyeki did plenty of research as she did the illustrations, working from photographs, videos, books, the Internet and a personal tour of the panga boat housed at the weather station on Woodley Island, courtesy of Troy Nicolini.

“I wanted to portray things accurately, but also to show my own style, which has been influenced by Japanese art,” said Uyeki who, with her trip earlier this month, has traveled to Japan — like Makino — three times over the years.

“This (was) our longest trip — 2½ weeks,” Uyeki said. “Our other trips were limited to visiting friends and family, but this trip gave me and my husband, Rees Hughes, the opportunity to visit Rikuzentakata, where the boat is from and the area that suffered much damage and many casualties.”

She added: “I’m still processing the experience of seeing the devastated areas and the enormous task that the community and Japan has taken to rebuild Rikuzentakata and the region. We also visited Hiroshima … and the parallels between the devastation and the resiliency of the human spirit were not lost on us.”

‘Water & Earth’ depicts local landscapes

“Water and stone” by Annette Makino shows a scene from Luffenholtz Beach near Trinidad and includes one of the artist’s original haiku. © 2015 Annette Makino

“Water and stone” by Annette Makino shows a scene from Luffenholtz Beach near Trinidad and includes one of the artist’s original haiku. © 2015 Annette Makino

Eureka, California
Aug. 13, 2015

EUREKA –The untamed beauty of Humboldt County’s diverse natural places inspired Annette Makino’s solo art show, “Water & Earth,” on view at Libation in Arcata through the end of August.

Acoustic guitarist and vocalist Duncan Burgess will perform at Libation during Arts! Arcata tonight from 6 to 9 p.m.

“This show takes its name from the fact that all the pieces depict local Humboldt landscapes of water and/or earth, such as Luffenholtz Beach, the Klamath River or the Kneeland hills,” said Makino. “Also, because sumi ink is made of pine soot and watercolors are traditionally made with earth pigments, I am literally working with water and earth to create these images.

“In the paintings for this show, I hope to convey the vibrant beauty and meaning we can find by deeply observing the natural world.”

The Arcata-based artist often combines her images with original haiku or other words. Her extensive collection of art cards can be found in local stores, and her prints and cards will also be available at Libation during the course of the show. Although Makino has been exhibiting her work locally since 2011, this will be her first show in Arcata.

Libation is located at 761 Eighth St. on the Arcata Plaza. The specialty wine store and wine bar is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

‘Before we were tamed’: Artists team up for Open Studios, nature-inspired show

Annette Makino often incorporates haiku in her paintings, such as this one. © 2015 Annette Makino

Annette Makino often incorporates haiku in her paintings, such as this one. © 2015 Annette Makino

Eureka, California
June 5, 2015

EUREKA – Artists Tina Gleave and Annette Makino are joining their creative forces for two overlapping events this weekend.

As part of North Coast Open Studios, they will share their techniques and their newest paintings at Ramone’s Bakery and Café, 209 E St., from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

They are also launching a joint show there, called “Before we were tamed,” with an opening reception during Arts Alive from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Gleave, a silk painter based in Rio Dell, said, “Though Annette and I use very different materials and techniques, this year we have both been inspired by the endless variety and beauty of nature to paint wilderness landscapes.”

Gleave will be showing her newest work: dramatic painted silk banners. She will also have lamps with hand-marbled silk shades for sale. She will show Open Studios visitors how she paints on silk using special dyes.

“Participating in Open Studios is always so rewarding because I am able to share my passion for art with interested people, while introducing new projects and visiting with everyone,” she said.

For the second year in a row, Gleave has been selected as an Artist-in-Residence at Yosemite National Park. She will be teaching silk painting to park guests from June 15 to 20 and exhibiting silk paintings of Yosemite. For more information, visit

Makino, who paints with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors, is also a widely published haiku poet. For the past two years, the Arcata artist’s haiku have been honored as among the best of the year. She often incorporates original haiku or other words in her pieces.

The show takes its name from Makino’s painting of a red fox that includes this haiku:

fox tracks…
who were we before
we were tamed?

“Several of the paintings I’ll be showing depict local wildlife and Humboldt landscapes like the Arcata Marsh and the Kneeland hills,” said Makino. “In these pieces I’m exploring humans’ connection with nature — what we know, what we’ve forgotten, what we can learn. I’m really excited to share the new work with people.”

At Open Studios, Makino will demonstrate how she paints with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors using bamboo brushes. She will also have prints and cards for sale. For examples of her art, go to

Gleave and Makino will only be participating in North Coast Open Studios during the first weekend, but their joint show will be up through the month of June.

A window into creativity - StewArt Studios hosts 10th annual Holiday Open Studios Dec. 6 & 7


Mad River Union
Arcata, California
Nov. 26, 2014

ARCATA – Artists Patricia Sennott, Joyce Jonté and Annette Makino will provide a window on their creative processes at Holiday Open Studios on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7. This free, family-friendly event takes place at StewArt Studios in Arcata from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Sennott, who will be showing new monotype prints of birds and flowers, said, “It’s a great chance for the public to see behind-the-scenes art making. I can show my sketchbooks, drawings, and works in progress. When I visit other artists, I like seeing the early stages to understand how their work comes about.”

Jonté, a watercolor painter and mixed media artist specializing in nudes and florals, said, “Open Studios helps the public realize that artists are very human. Not everything we create is perfect. By visiting our studios and watching our demos, people can see the process and experience what we do.”

For Holiday Open Studios this year, StewArt Studios is hosting guest artist Makino, whose paintings in sumi ink and Japanese watercolors are often combined with haiku or other words.

“I’m delighted to team up with these talented artists to share our work with the community,” said Makino. “For artists, it’s really vital to hear how people respond to what we create, and Open Studios is a great way to get that feedback.”

Jonté will host an art corner in her studio where kids of all ages can come and experiment with water-soluble media. On Sunday at 1 p.m., Sennott will offer a demonstration of monotype printmaking.

All three artists will have framed and unframed originals for sale, along with fine art reproductions and greeting cards.

Art by StewArt Studios members Carol Andersen, Susan Bornstein, Carol Falkenthal and Libby George will also be on view and available for sale.

This year, StewArt Studios is celebrating its 10th year of hosting Holiday Open Studios. This event is in addition to the county-wide North Coast Open Studios that takes place over two weekends every spring.

“Open Studios is always really exciting,” said Jonté. “Many people don’t know about the wonderful things happening in this corner of the community. This is a fun way to spread the word.”

Currently home to seven artists, StewArt Studios also hosts the Arcata Life Drawing Circle three times per week (see for details). In addition, Sennott teaches a monotype class there on Monday evenings and Jonté offers private and group lessons in drawing and mixed media.

StewArt Studios is located at 1125 16th Street near Arcata High School, in the old Stewart School office building. Direction are as follows: Enter the parking lot from L Street between 15th and 16th Streets. Walk into the building on the ground level through the doors beneath the stairs, then look for Suite 105.

For more information, call 707-498-6224.

‘Ripples From a Stone’ – Artist friends share spotlight


Eureka, California
Oct. 31, 2014

EUREKA – Arcata artists Annette Makino and Amy Uyeki are teaming up for a show called “Ripples from a Stone” at the Adorni Center through November. Both artists will display artworks that combine images with haiku and other words.

“The show takes its name from the idea that we all influence each other in surprising and unpredictable ways,” Makino said. “For instance, Amy’s grandmother, whom I never met, was instrumental in launching my life path as an artist and poet.”

Uyeki’s grandmother, Shizue Harada, wrote haiku and its wry, funny cousin, senryu. Her poems reflected her life as a Japanese immigrant who came to the United States in the 1920s in an arranged marriage.

“I got an instant visual from her poetry,” Uyeki, a mixed media artist, recalled. Her grandmother’s poignant and humorous poems inspired Uyeki to create a number of art pieces. She used varied techniques including pastel drawings, oil paintings, wood block prints and monotypes.

Uyeki and her mother eventually worked together to publish a book of Harada’s poems combined with these artworks. The book is titled Sanae, Senryu Poet: Her Life in 5-7-5. Four years ago, Uyeki gave a copy of this book to her longtime friend Annette Makino as a birthday gift.

“That little book was transformative for me,” Makino said. “It opened my eyes to the possibilities of haiku and senryu to share insights and tell mini-stories about real life. I also learned about haiga, the Japanese tradition of combining paintings with haiku, which inspired me to launch a new career as an artist.”

Based on her paintings of sumi ink and watercolors that include haiku and other words, Makino now has a growing line of prints, cards and calendars sold through her art business, Makino Studios. These are offered at 18 Humboldt County stores and will be available all month during the Adorni Center show.

Recently reprinted by Bug Press in Arcata, Uyeki’s book will also be available for sale at the show and can be ordered online (

“To me, what’s exciting in both haiku/senryu and the artwork is that they are so sparse and oblique that they can be interpreted in many different ways,” Uyeki said. “I hope my interpretations won’t be the only ones. Viewers can go in their own direction—and that will be another ripple from the stone.”

The Adorni Center is located at 1011 Waterfront Drive in Eureka. Although there will not be an opening reception, the show can be viewed now through the end of November when the center is open: Monday-Friday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Coincidentally, artist Diana Lynn is featuring a haiku by Makino in an interactive installation called “Impermanent Marks” running through the month of November. Opening at the Black Faun Gallery at 120 Second Street in Old Town Eureka on Saturday for Arts Alive! from 6 to 10 p.m., the show invites visitors to write or paint with water on large “Buddha board” scrolls.

For more information, call 707-362-6644.

‘Dare to dream’ offers whimsy


Eureka, California
Sept. 19, 2014

Arcata artist Annette Makino was inspired to paint “dare to dream” by her mother’s chicken Lucky, which was able to fly up into trees. This whimsical piece also reflects Makino’s own journey of pursuing a career as an artist and provides encouragement to others on an unconventional path.

Painted with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors, this 11-inch-by-14-inch piece is one of several paintings that will be on view at the Makino Studios booth at the North Country Fair this weekend. Makino will also be offering the complete collection of her popular greeting cards, art prints and 2015 calendars.

Held on the Arcata Plaza since 1974, the fair will feature some 200 craft and food booths as well as two parades and live music on two stages. Celebrating the fall equinox, the fair runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

The Makino Studios booth can be found near the corner of G and Ninth Streets by Hot Knots. For more information about Makino’s work, see or call 362-6644. For more information about the North Country Fair, see or call 822-5320.

‘Savor the Day’


Eureka, California
Aug. 1, 2014


EUREKA – This sumi ink and watercolor painting by Annette Makino, titled “…and they lived happily ever after,” is part of “Savor the Day,” a solo exhibit by the artist showing at Humboldt Herbals through August.

Meet the artist on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. during Arts Alive! and enjoy free refreshments and live music by Seabury Gould and Frank Anderson. A gallery of Makino’s work can be viewed at

Humboldt Herbals is located on the corner of Second and D streets in Old Town Eureka. For more information, call 442-3541.

Paintings invite one to ‘Savor the Day’


Eureka, California
July 4, 2014

EUREKA – Painter and haiku poet Annette Makino focuses on the small joys of everyday life in her new solo show, “Savor the Day,” at Humboldt Herbals. The exhibit opens during Arts Alive! on Saturday from 6-9 p.m. with a reception including live music by guitarist and vocalist Leah Tamara.

“I like to express the sweetness and delight in simple things, like honeybees at work in their hives, or a chicken taking a short, awkward flight,” Makino said. “I’m interested in art that lifts the spirit and helps people feel more connected to the world around them and each other. The challenge is to do this in a way that is authentic and heartfelt rather than clichéd or sentimental.”

Drawing on Japanese artistic traditions, Makino paints images on paper using sumi ink that she grinds in an ink stone and applies with bamboo brushes. She adds color with Japanese watercolors, and then hand paints her original haiku or other words directly onto the painting. Finally, she stamps each piece in red with her personal name seal.

Besides being an artist, Makino is an award-winning haiku poet whose work is regularly published in the leading journals of haiku in English. She often expresses a quiet Zen humor in her work. Red Moon Press and the Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Awards both selected the following as one of the best haiku of 2013:

some part of me
still wild

Much of Makino’s work is inspired by the Japanese tradition of haiga, artwork combined with haiku so that the image and words deepen and enrich each other. She also draws on the Japanese custom of etegami, painting and mailing postcard art featuring a few well-chosen words.

Makino has a growing line of greeting cards, prints and calendars of her art. Her cards can currently be found in 30 stores in four states. The latest stores to carry her line are Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore.and LifeSource Natural Foods in Salem, Ore.

At the opening reception Saturday, Makino will be offering several new card and print designs and a brand-new, 16-month art calendar for 2015 called “Poetry & Honey.” An online gallery of her work can be viewed at

Makino will also be at Humboldt Herbals on Aug.2 for a reception during August’s Arts Alive!, with live music by Seabury Gould and Frank Anderson. Her show runs through the end of August.

Humboldt Herbals is located at 300 Second St, on the corner of Second and D streets in Old Town Eureka. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 442-3541 or email

Silk, paper and feathers: 3 artists to show work

Redwood Times
Eureka, California
May 27, 2014

SAMOA – Silk, paper and feathers are the mediums of choice for three artists who are showing their work together for the first weekend of North Coast Open Studios.

Silk painter Tina Gleave, Japanese ink painter Annette Makino, and feather jewelry artist Marianne Odisio will share their art and demonstrate their techniques at the Samoa Women’s Club on Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I love experimenting with my art, asking questions and expressing the peaceful beauty of nature,” says Rio Dell artist Tina Gleave. “Silk just lets me be me!”

Gleave was selected as the artist-in-residence at Yosemite National Park for the week of June 16, where she will teach a silk painting workshop. She is also traveling to Durfort, France to lead a week-long silk painting retreat starting September 29.

Her painting of wilting white roses, “Swan Song,” just won an award in the national Art Comes Alive contest and will be exhibited at a show in Cincinnati, Ohio

At the Samoa Women’s Club, Gleave will offer large-scale silk paintings of flowers and other natural imagery, along with hand-painted silk scarves, leather purses featuring painted silk panels, and greeting cards. For a preview of her art, see

Arcata-based artist Annette Makino says, “After writing and painting alone in my studio, it is really fun and exciting to share new work with the public. Open Studios is one of my favorite venues for connecting with Humboldt folks from all walks of life who enjoy and appreciate art.”

Makino is a haiku poet who combines Japanese ink paintings with her haiku and other words. Often expressing a gentle Zen humor, her poems have won several awards and been selected for a number of anthologies, including the prestigious Red Moon anthology of the best haiku of 2013.

Greeting cards of her Makino Studios design can be found in two dozen California stores as well as retailers in Oregon, Washington, DC, and New York.

At Open Studios, she will have new paintings, prints, and cards for sale and will demonstrate how she paints with sumi ink on rice paper using bamboo brushes. A gallery of her art is online at

“Feathers fascinate me,” says Marianne Odisio. “It is a joy to work with the wide spectrum of colors and textures these natural fractals produce.”

Based in Redway, Odisio works with a variety of feathers, pairing them with dentalium and cowrie shells, sea urchin spines, beads made from wood, ceramics, glass, precious stones and other materials. She creates colorful original jewelry, hairpieces and masks.

She says, “Acquiring a new piece of jewelry is often an intensely personal decision. It’s a great feeling to see my work resonate with the person choosing it.”

The historic Samoa Women’s Club, which looks out onto the dunes, is rarely open to the public. The house is located between Arcata and Eureka at 115 Rideout Ave. in Samoa, a four-minute drive from the Samoa Bridge.

Directions are as follows: From Samoa Boulevard, turn left onto Cookhouse Road. Turn right onto Vance Avenue, and then take the first right onto Rideout Avenue.

Free refreshments will be served at this family-friendly event.

Now in its 16th year, North Coast Open Studios is a showcase of Humboldt County artists and their work. This year, there are more than one hundred artist listings from Miranda to Trinidad. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Samoa Women’s Club event, call 834-6460.

‘Hungry Ghosts’

Ink People show features Asian and Pacific Islander artists

Eureka, California
April 4, 2014

EUREKA — For the first time since 1994, a group show will feature the work of local artists with Asian and Pacific Islander backgrounds. Sponsored by the Ink People Center for the Arts, “Hungry Ghosts: Pan Asian and Pacific Islander Perspectives” opens Saturday with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. during Arts Alive! at the Brenda Tuxford Gallery in Old Town.

“We’re excited to celebrate the work of more than a dozen Humboldt artists who share Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry, but who express their creativity in very different mediums and styles,” said participating artist Annette Makino.

Robert Sataua, a member of the gallery committee organizing the show, said, “People have an expectation of what it means to be Asian, of what a Samoan man like myself should be, or what a Japanese woman should be.

“This show allows us to express and define ourselves without any expectations, and will give people some insight into the real and diverse experiences of people with Asian Pacific Islander roots.”

Coincidentally, the show will include three sets of sisters among the participating artists. These include collage artist and painter Margaret Uemura and her sisters, sculptor Katie Uemura and jewelry maker Laurie Aiko Lynch; haiku poet and sumi ink painter Annette Makino and her sister, clay painter Yoshi Makino; and ceramic artists Jennifer Be and Catherine Be.

Other artists confirmed include mixed-media artist Amy Uyeki, Japanese tattoo artist Brian Kaneko, painter Jessica Afable, artisan Leah Sachiko and Robert Sataua, a printmaker and painter.

At the opening, Felicia Yang will screen her video documentary about the local Hmong experience, created as a Marz project through the Ink People.

“Hungry Ghosts” takes its name from a festival practiced in many different traditions throughout Asia. The overarching theme of these ceremonies is to remember and pay respect to the dead. In the same way, this exhibition is intended as a tribute to traditional art forms throughout Asia and the Pacific Islands that continue to be practiced and interpreted by artists today.

The Brenda Tuxford Gallery is located upstairs at 325 Second St. in Eureka. Regular hours for the gallery are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact or call Robert at 954-8338.

New work: Merry & bright


Eureka, California
Dec. 6, 2013

This time of year, Arcata artist Annette Makino sets herself a special challenge: to paint holiday pieces that are fresh and original, avoiding cliched themes. This image of three ripe persimmons on the branch, titled “merry & bright,” is one of several nontraditional holiday pieces.

Makino will be offering her new work at the Humboldt Artisans Crafts and Music Festival this weekend, today through Sunday, at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka. Makino will also have a booth at the Holiday Craft Market at the Arcata Community Center on Dec. 14 and 15. To see more, visit

Zen humor and insights


Eureka, California
Sept. 20, 2013

Arcata artist Annette Makino will be showing several new paintings at her booth at the North Country Fair this weekend, including the piece shown here, “in meditation.”

Painted with sumi ink and Japanese watercolors on textured paper, Makino’s work combines images with haiku and other phrases to express Zen humor and insights. Her unique art cards are currently available in 16 stores around Humboldt County, as well as retailers in Washington, D.C., New York, Oregon and elsewhere in California.

The fair is an opportunity to meet the artist, view her original pieces and shop her entire card line. Held on the Arcata Plaza, the two-day North Country Fair features some 200 craft, food and information booths as well as two parades and two stages for live music. The fair runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free.

The Makino Studios booth can be found near the corner of Ninth and G streets by Hot Knots.

For more examples of Makino’s art, see


Haiku art featured at Persimmons Garden Gallery

Arcata artist Annette Makino debuts in SoHum

Redwood Times
Garberville, California
July 1, 2013


Arcata artist Annette Makino will show her Japanese-inspired paintings in Southern Humboldt for the first time in July at Persimmons Garden Gallery. The public is invited to the opening on Friday, July 5 from 6 to 9 p.m., which will also feature live music by The SoHum Girls Band and The Fabulous Resinaires.

”I’m really excited to share my work with folks in SoHum, and Persimmons is such a warm and inviting place to show work,” Makino said. “I’ve created several new paintings for this show, and am looking forward to hearing people’s responses.”

Using bamboo brushes, Makino paints with sumi ink and watercolors on rice paper and other papers. Updating a Japanese art form called haiga, she combines her paintings with original haiku and other poem fragments.

Makino’s pieces convey a quiet Zen perspective and gentle sense of humor. Many of her paintings portray flowers, plants or landscapes; dogs are another common theme. A close-up painting of flowering red clover includes this haiku:

three-leaf clover
counting the blessings
in the everyday

Makino grew up with a Japanese father and a Swiss mother, and has lived in both Japan and Europe. She draws inspiration from those roots, as well as the untamed beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

She comes to her work with more than thirty years experience in writing and graphic design as a communications and outreach specialist for nonprofit organizations. She has a degree in international relations from Stanford University and has studied drawing, painting and graphic design at Humboldt State University.

Makino has published her poems and haiga (haiku art) widely, and her haiku recently took first prizes in two categories in the ukiaHaiku Festival.

She has previously shown selected prints at the Mateel Cooperative Gallery in Garberville, but the Persimmons exhibit marks the first time she will be showing original work in SoHum.

Makino’s show will run through July and August, along with works by Piercy ceramic artist Nan Penner. There will also be signed prints and greeting cards of Makino’s art for sale at Persimmons. There is an online gallery of her work at

Playing at Persimmons the evening of the art opening will be The SoHum Girls with Marcia Mendels, Brigette Brannan and their band. Their music spans rock, ballads, country and pop. Making a special appearance will be The Fabulous Resinaires, who keep audiences laughing with their costumes and witty song lyrics.

Persimmons Garden Gallery is located at 1055 Redway Drive in Redway. For more information, call 923-2748.

Samoa Women’s Club hosts five artists for NCOS


Eureka, California
May 24, 2013

SAMOA — Showing work together for the first time, five local female artists will join forces and demonstrate their tools and techniques at the historic Samoa Women’s Club, 115 Rideout Ave., during the first weekend of North Coast Open Studios on June 1 and 2.

The Samoa event will run for one weekend only, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Participating artists include silk painter Tina Gleave, beeswax collage artist Gigi Floyd, fiber artist Cindy Shaw, ceramic artist Marty Flora and Japanese-ink painter Annette Makino.

During this free, family-friendly event, Makino will grind a sumi ink stick in a traditional Japanese ink stone and show how to paint with bamboo brushes on rice paper.

”I’m very excited to be sharing a space with four other dynamic and talented women artists,” said Makino. “We each have such different creative approaches, but we all love to share our work with visitors, and I think it will be fun and stimulating for people to see how each of us makes her art.”

Floyd will have the tools and supplies that she uses to create both her collages and block prints, and said she will be happy to explain each process. She will also debut something new: beeswaxed versions of her bird-themed block prints and monotypes.

”There’s much I love about working with beeswax — the rich tones and luscious texture, the intoxicating scent and, most especially, the wonderful way that the beeswax can lend a translucency to each collage element, allowing glimpses of previous layers,” Floyd said.

Gleave will demonstrate silk painting without resist lines.

”I found my true art passion when I discovered silk painting,” she said. “I continue to find inspiration studying color and light while on garden walks, during trips to the nursery, in botany classes and while reading.”

Shaw will share her deconstructed silkscreen process of placing textures under the screen, such as leaves, and transferring them onto paper.

”I am living back in Northern California permanently now after spending the past 10 years in Thailand,” Shaw said. “It’s great to be back and I’m getting more ideas for my books and boxes and designing new pieces all the time.”

Based in Shelter Cove, Flora makes ceramic pieces, as well as gyotako, Japanese fish prints made from fish her husband catches.

Of her pottery, she said, “Most of my work is oxidation-fired, with some glazes I make and some commercial. I have also been drawn towards pots with little glaze and flashings left by wood and smoke. It’s a nice way to achieve a surface of depth and richness and create a soft quality.”

Free refreshments will be served. In addition to original art, haiku greeting cards, prints, handmade books, fabric-covered boxes and T-shirts will be offered for sale.

The historic Samoa Women’s Club, which looks out onto the dunes, is rarely open to the public. The house is located between Arcata and Eureka at 115 Rideout Ave. in Samoa, a four-minute drive from the Samoa Bridge.

Directions are as follows: From Samoa Boulevard, turn left onto Cookhouse Road. Turn right onto Vance Avenue, and then take the first right onto Rideout Avenue.

For more information, call 834-6460.

Eleventh Annual ukiahHaiku Festival

By KAREN RIFKIN for the Ukiah Daily Journal
Ukiah, California
April 30, 2013

On a hot Sunday afternoon the seats at SPACE’s auditorium are filling as the judges/poet laureate committee members are taking theirs on the stage. Retired English teacher and Ukiah city councilman Benj Thomas welcomes the audience to the Eleventh Annual ukiahHaiku Festival. He briefly explains – haiku poems open things up; they are non restrictive.

Ukiah’s poet laureate Dan Barth introduces the keynote speaker, Bart Schneider who reads from his book, the protagonist is a poetry-loving detective hoping to open a poetry bar in Cazadero.

Barth explains, “We no longer insist on the five, seven, five form five syllable in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third – for the 1,023 haiku entries we received this year. It is a fluid form; the English language is not the same as the Japanese.

“Those here are the crème de la crème. The majority of entries were from poets in the state of California’s Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt and Sonoma Counties.

“For the Jane Reichhold International Prize category, entries were received from three continents, five countries and thirteen states and we are pleased to present the first place prize to our very own Armand Brint.”

sunless day
a child’s yellow comb
on the sidewalk

–Armand Brint

Brint talks about the prize and what it means to him.

“We expanded the competition to include this international prize about three or four years ago,” he explained. “Reichhold, a coast resident, is a well-known, internationally recognized poet, expert both in writing haiku and about them. She suggested we include the category in our festival and we were honored to have her participation.

“I have been studying, writing, and teaching haiku for a number of years,” Brint continued, “and I was particularly interested in submitting for this juried international competition. The category attracts haiku writers from all over the world, many of them experienced; I was very honored and excited to receive first prize.

“Entries tend to be more contemporary and western; they don’t adhere to any syllable structure. The three lines follow the short, long, short form but not the five, seven, five. It is non restrictive. The Japanese language is divided into sound units instead of syllables so there is really no direct correspondence.

“Entries for this category comply with the typical haiku requirements – seasonal, a recording of a moment in nature – evoking what the poet feels, rendering it in very simple, concrete objective language. It looks easy because it is short and non-rhyming and although the form is simple, it is not easy. It is very different from what we consider lyrical poetry; there is no figurative language, no human interaction in the poem. You have to be able to quiet your mind enough to absorb that single evocative moment.”

The young, the old and the very young take their turn on stage reading their haiku in both English and Spanish, carefully and twice, to the appreciative audience.

rusty old car parts
broken down coated with dirt
alongside Orr Creek

–Casey Snodgrass

Casey, a 2nd grader in Mrs. Carter’s class at Frank Zeek, won first prize in the K-6 category about Ukiah. He explains his process. “We were on a hike for a field trip at Low Gap Park where we got to play. When it was time to go home we were walking and I saw the old cars on the side of the road. They were all rusty and covered with dust. Our teacher gave us a piece of paper and a pencil so we could write down stuff we saw. When I got back to the classroom she helped me spell some words.”

golden hills
turkey vultures circle the remains
of summer

–Annette Makino

Makino, who is originally from Redwood Valley and now lives in Humboldt County, won first prize both in the adult general category and adult haiku about Ukiah. “I started writing haiku in 2010 and combine the poems with Japanese ink paintings. This is part of a tradition in Japan called Haiga; the words and the images deepen the meaning. I also enjoy creating a related form of Japanese poetry called Senryu; although similar to haiku the poems are generally humorous and have more to do with human nature. My inspiration comes from everyday life: my children, my dogs, the landscape in northern California.

“I was very excited to win; I am originally from here and am happy to see my old home encouraging haiku poets of all ages,” Makino said.

When wrinkles inspire: Arcata artist and haiku poet creates work about aging

Eureka, California
April 26, 2013

ARCATA — Creative inspiration can come from unlikely sources. For Arcata haiku poet and artist Annette Makino, 49, the wrinkles and gray hair of growing older have provided an unexpected gift: the idea for a number of poems and paintings.

”The great thing about writing and painting is that you can take whatever is on your mind and turn it into art,” she said. “For me, one of those things was observing and responding to the process of growing older.”

Using a sumi ink stick that she grinds in an ink stone and gansai paint, a Japanese mineral-based paint similar to watercolors, Makino paints images with bamboo brushes on rice paper and writes her haiku on them. This follows a traditional Japanese art form called haiga, in which the poem and image enrich and deepen each other.

”Those of us in middle age and beyond tend to focus on the losses of what we once had,” she said. “Things we once took for granted, like smooth skin and firm flesh, the color of our hair, sharp eyesight and hearing, a reliable memory and unlimited energy.”

One of her haiku reads:

laugh lines, worry lines –
the shifting geography
of this face

Makino reflected that even those in great health eventually have more and more friends and loved ones who are not. Hospice visits and memorial services serve as a reminder that we are all gliding inexorably toward our own end. One of her one-line haiku reads:

shooting star this brief bright life

”The rewards of getting older are subtle and intangible,” said Makino. “They include the wisdom to make better choices, a clearer understanding of who we are and what’s important to us, maybe a bit of serenity. Those compensations are not anything you can see in the bathroom mirror.”

However, Makino said that she has gradually come to realize that there is a different way to think about getting older that is equally valid — and more encouraging. No matter how much we age, it’s a gift just to be “alive and kicking.”

In one of her paintings, the haiku under a radiant yellow sunflower reads:

whispered message
of each new wrinkle
rejoice! you’re still here

Another painting combines a close-up of cherry blossoms, a symbol of spring and renewal, with the words:

you’re younger now
than you’ll ever be

Her art appears to have struck a chord. Greeting cards of her paintings are currently sold in more than 20 stores, including several in Arcata, Eureka, McKinleyville and Trinidad.

As of this spring, they are also available in three East Coast locations: the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, N.Y., an educational retreat center with more than 20,000 visitors each year; Zen Tara Tea, a specialty tea shop in Bethesda, Md.; and Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C., which the Wall Street Journal has called the country’s most successful independent bookstore.

On a recent visit to Washington, Makino visited Politics & Prose and was delighted to learn that most of her designs had sold out within a month. The store soon reordered, including a number of her two cherry blossom designs, as cherry blossom season was just beginning.

Locally, people can meet the artist and see her paintings on the first weekend of North Coast Open Studios, June 1 and 2. Makino will exhibit her work and demonstrate her Japanese ink painting technique at the Samoa Women’s Club along with four other women artists. These include painter Tina Gleave, beeswax collage artist Gigi Floyd, silkscreen artist Cindy Shaw and ceramic artist Marty Flora.

Makino will also have a summer art show at Persimmons Garden Gallery in Redway during July and August. In addition, people can view and purchase her paintings, prints and cards any time through her website,

Meanwhile, Makino will be reaching a milestone of her own.

”As I approach my 50th birthday this summer, I am focusing less on all that I am losing and more on my vitality, creativity and wisdom,” she said. “Maybe I’ll even earn a few more laugh lines along the way!”