Call Us: 1-530-778-3080

Yearly archive for 2016

Natural, rare and artfully abstracted!



In the latest “gleaning” of quality wood product for our boxes John discovered something that       has excited and stirred him to a creative adventure once again!  His love for fine, natural wood, creative craftsmanship and passion for what he creates brought the discovery of a limited supply of “Birdseye Birch”.   Strong, resilient, light and abstracted in its design, these sheets will yield a very special product for artists interested in our boxes.

These special consignment pieces will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis styled personally for the artist and in the Backpack and Sketchbox Double sizes. These are one-of-a-kind artworks, a collector’s dream; an artist’s treasure.

Framework to be of Cherrywood; plywood inserts to be of Birdseye Birch.

Prices are:  Sketchbox Double – $195. + $15. Sh/h. (tax in CA)

Backpack -$265. + $25. Sh/h. (tax in CA)


Outstanding in Her Field! Bravo Lynne Vokatis, Plein air Warrior!


As told by Carol Douglas….

The air was perfectly still when we started painting. Unfortunately, neither she nor I thought to weigh down her Heilman pastel box. The wind rose imperceptibly. Whitecaps began to form and bigger breakers crashed along the rocks.

Lynne’s entire kit flew over onto the rocks with a terrible crash.

If you’ve worked in pastels, you know that the tinkle of broken chalks is the saddest sound known to mankind. An open-stock pastel stick can range from $3.50 to $7.00, and a good pastel artist can carry more than a hundred of them, accumulated over decades and treasured. The proper response to a fallen easel is either copious swearing or copious tears, depending on your personality.

Instead, we squared our shoulders and set to work cleaning up the mess. Miraculously, the box itself wasn’t damaged by the crash. Neither were the Terry Ludwig soft pastels she was carrying. While some of the other brands came from dust and to dust returned, these chalks were unfazed. A soft pastel that can survive the granite of Maine is not to be sneezed at.

On the first day of a workshop my students are usually so gung-ho that I have to drag them away for breaks. This year was no exception. By 1 PM, I was begging them to pack up their easels and eat their lunches. Our situation was untenable. The wind, at around 20 MPH, made the easels vibrate and the work snap around like tacking sails.

We moved to Arey Cove, which gave us a little protection. There I did a demo while my students ate their lunch.

At 5:30 I told everyone to pack up, as we had half an hour before dinner was served. Lynne was covered in pastel dust. “I think I’d better shower,” she said, and rushed through her packing. Unfortunately, the back door of her SUV wasn’t secured.  As she sped around the corner, her art supplies flew out of the back, including her Heilman pastel box on its tripod.

Again, we squared our shoulders. Again we picked up the mess. Again, that box was completely unscathed.

So consider this an endorsement of the Heilman pastel box. Apparently it is indestructible. The same might be said of Lynne. Lesser women (like me) would have cried and quit for the day. But she didn’t let disaster derail her. She told me that her neurologist says to think of such moments as clouds that will shortly move along. Sounds like brilliant advice to me.


Bon Voyage!


The excitement is high as I try out our new Heilman Designs All-in-One Oil Box®! The wonderful lightness, the stability and the versatility for different sizes of paintings that can be done will be so helpful when hiking off road and painting in small spaces! I like the fact that I can access brushes, paint tubes without having to carry extra storage and also store my wet paintings in several sizes and get them safely back to the car without carrying several containers. I am so looking forward to sharing the adventures this oil pochade box will make possible and also using it in tandem with the Heilman Pastel Boxes! Thanks to the magic craftsman, husband John, son Ted, grandson TJ for perfecting this innovative design! Thanks also to our children, John, Larry, Therese and Patrick who have helped take our passion for art to a new level as they help us navigate the daily demands of our operations.


An Ashland Experience

Art & Soul Gallery

Art & Soul Gallery

In my many years of making art, dealing with different art-forms, learning and sharing with fellow artists I have given gifts that keep on giving. As artists we learn and express our passions each in our own way. This is why I feel so blessed to find a consortium of talent that offers creative support and a professional gallery setting in one of the most charming places in southern Oregon, The Art & Soul Gallery, 247 Main Street, Ashland, OR 97520. You will be greeted by a gracious staff and directors who are owner-artists who enjoy sharing art with new and seasoned collectors and casual visitors. The directors keep the gallery fresh and energized with exhibits and activities that make for exceptional first Friday Art Receptions. New works, different interpretations and encouragement to higher levels of accomplishment in the many mediums is enthusiastically encouraged. Visit their website at and like them on Facebook at: › Art & Soul Gallery, Ashland, Oregon.

I invite you to visit me at the June First Friday Art Reception for my one-person show “Passages”

Oil Painting by Marge Heilman

Oil Painting by Marge Heilman