Art in the Garden has served as a North Fork Library fundraiser for years, inviting the public to view art in an outdoor, garden setting.
This weekend, 17 artists will be featured at three separate garden locations in the North Fork area.
Canadian born North Fork resident Joan Constable-Carpenter has been an artist all her life. From her childhood days on the prairies of Alberta to her adult years in California, Constable-Carpenter has made her life a series of adventures and much of that has to do with her art.
She graduated from Fresno State with a bachelor of arts degree in fine arts and has taught art throughout the Central Valley and continues to do so in the Mountain Area.
Constable-Carpenter did more than just paint -- back in the day she was also a private pilot. On days when she needed to get away, she'd hop in a plane and leave her troubles behind 10,000 feet of air. She said sometimes she and her husband Frank would even race in separate airplanes.
Back on earth, Constable-Carpenter was teaching art on a limited budget. So limited, in fact, there were no art supplies. Necessity was the Mother of Invention and Constable-Carpenter discovered "paper as paint" and from then on the art class was in business.
Constable-Carpenter now makes art pieces with all types of paper from tissue to old magazines. She molds layers of paper with liquid plastic to a canvas as if the canvas were a sculpture. She even uses items such as rose petals, onion skins and corn silks in her artwork.
"I recycle everything," she said. "People just box it up and bring it to me. If you throw something away, I have to do something with it. I like to try different things because I'm attracted to the challenges."
Her art is in private galleries throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Scotland.
Charlotte and David Hoffman, of Ponderosa Basin, have both been dabbling in art since they were children but didn't become serious about it until they were coming upon their retirement years.
Charlotte, a pastel artist who paints landscapes and abstracts, said even though her interest began at a young age and she continued on with art in college, she had to leave it behind to care for her children as a single mother.
For 10 years she put it in the background. The closest she came to "art" was finger painting with children at her childcare business. In the meantime, Charlotte and David were married.
When her children were graduating and leaving home, she decided she needed something to keep her busy.
"I decided I better check this out now to see if I was still any good at it," Charlotte said. She became involved with the Porterville Art Association and began dabbling with paint again. She has been painting again for 14 years.
"I just want to keep painting and getting better," she said. "Last year I was invited into the plein air event by the Sierra Foothill Conservancy. That's been a huge growing experience for me."
The event has both local and nationally known artists involved in the event.
Charlotte says she gets her inspiration from nature and color.
"If it has color I like, it may be worth painting," she said. She and David go out and take photos together and she uses her photos as road maps for her paintings.
The artist duo critique each other's art. "We learn from each other's comments or ignore it," Charlotte said. "We might just have a different vision for our art but we can't imagine not having someone to talk to."
"It's more fulfilling that way," David said.
David became intrigued with photography at age 10. "My dad was always into photography and we set up a small dark room in the garage," he said. He took a few classes in high school but other than that David is self-taught.
For a while, though, he also left his art behind. "Before, I thought to do photography you had to have your own dark room," he said. "The hassle would get old so I stopped, but when high-quality digital cameras became available at an affordable price, that was when I got serious again."
David focuses mainly on nature and landscapes, but tries to capture pieces of a scene instead of the full picture. "Often times it's just little things I see that catch my eye," he said. "It shows how much people really look at things. The art of photography is in finding that piece of what's in front of you and eliminating what doesn't need to be in it."
Both David and Charlotte Hoffman's art can be found in Stellar Gallery and Williams Gallery West in Oakhurst.
"I don't shoot a photo unless I think I'll get a print that will go in a gallery," David said.
Tickets cost $5, and can be purchased at the North Fork Library, Gas N Stuff, Bass Fork Minit Mart and Hair Care Plus. All proceeds from the event benefit the North Fork Branch Library.
"The Friends of the Library have fully supported the needs of the North Fork library that were not met by Madera County's budget," said Debbie Myers, president of FOL. "The Friends use the money raised by Art and the Garden as well as its other fundraisers to purchase new books and supplies for the library for the community to enjoy."
Sommerfield Garden, 31684 Duke Road, North Fork: Michael and Kathleen Sommerfield will featured six artists in their Mediterranean style garden.
Lois Betty: watercolor.
Joan Constable: mixed media.
Michelle Sonoqui Gillette: oil.
Phyllis Overstreet: mixed media.
Mary Siqueiros: watercolor.
Craig Schub: oils.
Eggink Garden, 59491 Loma Linda Drive, Cascadel Woods: Stan and Carol Eggink will feature five artists in their mountain, multi-level garden complete with its own train.
Gale Armstrong: manzanita sculpture, art cards.
Anne Bredon: bead work, hand woven rugs and Indian artistry.
Joanne and Michael Freemire: wire wrapped jewelry and photography.
Dianne Woodward: watercolor/mixed media.
Abarbanell Garden, 57124 Mono Wind Way, North Fork: Gay Arbarbanell will host six artists in her garden of raised beds, barrels, a stream and a Buddha statue to greet visitors.
Gay Abarbanell: photos/watercolor.
Ronna Adler: watercolor.
Judy DeRosa: mixed media.
Charlotte Hoffman: pastels.
David Hoffman: photography.
Julie Kunno: copper and silver adornments.
Details: Debbie Myers, (559) 877-4229.