Thursday, October 31, 2013

Artist Sargam Griffin Helping Transform Stairways Empowered Living Facility in Chico, California

Artist Sargam Griffin Helping Transform Stairways Empowered Living Facility

Founder, Executive Director Mike Little announces makeover of his site by California painter and design
This summer, with temperatures hovering at 100 degrees in Chico, California, well-known artist Sargam Griffin was looking at paint samples and getting her hands dirty. This time, however, instead of preparing to create one of the lyrical abstract paintings she is so famous for, she was readying to commence her newest endeavor: a design vision for Stairways Empowered Living, owned and operated by Founder, Executive Director Mike Little. 

Griffin had agreed to become a consultant to Little’s company a few months earlier and would focus on a new ‘look’ for the site working in tandem with Little and the residents. “We couldn't believe our good fortune that Sargam Griffin agreed to help us. The residents here were overjoyed to find out that the place they called 'home' was going to undergo a makeover," stated Mike Little.

Little had been introduced to the art and design of Sonoma County-based artist Sargam Griffin when Sargam suggested to Little that she would like to make few design improvements to his cooperative living facility in Chico, working as a consultant. Little approved and soon Sargam Griffin started with lots of help-and input-from the residents.” I wanted my site to be pleasing to the residents, staff, and visitors. It needed some cosmetic treatment that we had not been able to do," Mike Little added.

Griffin is a well-known, internationally collected artist. She also has a very strong design and architecture background and could immediately see how to implement a few changes at Little's facility that would improve it immensely. She picked out colors for the exterior and interior of the buildings and made recommendations for materials to use for awnings, gutters. She also helped the residents with the redesign and the creation of a 40" by 60" painting.

The residents were very involved in the transformation of their facility and even created a sign in German saying "Willkommen" for the artist. Sargam, originally from Germany, was being given a big "Welcome" written in her native language. This sign touched her immensely. "This is exactly why I do work in the community. I get so much love and feelings of welcome. Art is what I can share and I was thrilled to be involved in this special project. I am very glad Mike Little found my work and agreed to have me make some improvements to his site." 

After nearly four weeks, this initial phase of the remodel was complete. Everyone-from staff to residents-were amazed how Sargam had made their facility more attractive. Mike Little agreed, "Sargam was a miracle and she accomplished a miracle. Her generosity of spirit and artistic talents really made our facility a better place. We are having her return to do more projects." Griffin also informed Little that she would like to initiate an art project with the residents in the near future. An art exhibit by Griffin is being installed in October. 
Little stated: "Griffin's vision meshes perfectly with that of our company-plus the residents love her. The site changes we plan on doing will take a year or so to complete, this is a real work-in-progress. We all are pleased Sargam is now part of our team.”

About Mike Little: Before launching Stairways in April 2000, Mike Little worked in Silicon Valley as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies with an emphasis on marketing and process re-engineering. Little’s partner and mentor, Bud Seith, had been the CEO of Xerox before retiring. Mike worked with him for 19 years and the most impactful lesson he learned from him was that everyone has a "Natural Genius", something they do exceptionally well without much thought. Mike Little has found that focusing on identifying, articulating, and leading residents at his facility to discover and express their "Natural Genius" by providing an environment that allows them to do so, has been the reason his residents tend to do so well.

For more information, please contact Mr. Mike Little at 530-893-4083. He is available for site tours by appointment, photo opportunities, and interviews.

For complete bio, CV, and resume for artist Sargam Griffin, please visit her website:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sargam Griffin


More than 400 art lovers recently visited Sargam Griffin’s beautiful studio in Healdsburg, California. The Arts Council of Sonoma County had invited Griffin to participate in its annual juried ARTrails Open Studios event and on two beautiful October weekends, Sargam opened her art studio to the public. 

Guests were greeted by the artist and given a personal tour to see where her art is conceived and created. Sargam displayed more than thirty of her large, colorful abstract paintings, the Boat, and four ArtDoors. 
“In all the years of exhibiting in places like Berlin and New York, this was 
the most heartfelt response to my art.”

Very popular was the large panel she is currently working on. This piece will be installed at the new Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa next year. Sargam was awarded this important commission recently and is honored to create this panel where it will be seen by staff, patients and visitors. 

During all four Open Studios, Sargam explained her work in detail. Many mentioned how much they really enjoyed talking to her and learning about her process.  Art can often be a mystery, but Sargam shared intent and meanings behind her subject manner so that listeners could understand.  Some wanted more details about her background in art as well as design. Others inquired about their favorite pieces—and purchased them.
While the final weekend of ARTrails Open Studios 2013 drew to a close, art aficionados, collectors, couples, and new friends drifted away from Sargam’s studio in the waning light. 

"I feel truly rewarded and acknowledged for
 my work and life as an artist. This was my first 
open studio event, but not the last."

Meanwhile, Griffin was already planning ahead. In addition to working toward the completion of the commission for Sutter Medical Center, Griffin will be preparing to exhibit new figurative works in San Francisco. On her schedule in January is a stay in South Africa where she will be creating a commissioned piece for a privately owned villa. She has also taken on a new role as a consultant to Stairways Empowered Living in Chico, California. 



Sargam Griffin was born in Bückeburg, Germany. Many years of travel formed indelible images that are an integral part of her work, from variations in color, to the depth of the layers and patina used on the surfaces. In 1982 Griffin moved to San Francisco where she studied at the Day Studio. After a trip to Italy, Sargam began creating large abstract paintings on canvas and museum quality panels that possess a quality of dynamic illumination. Her work has garnered worldwide attention and has been added to many local and international private collections.

For a complete bio, CV, and resume for Sargam Griffin, please visit:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Eileen Ormiston- 2013 Holiday Open Studio and Sale

Eileen Ormiston - 2013 Holiday Open Studio and Sale
November 16 & 17 11-6pm 

  • Watercolor paintings 
  • T-shirts (children and adults)
  • Tote bags
  • Greeting cards
  • Christmas cards
  • Decorative tiles
  • New designs and gift items

Refreshments:  scones, shortbread, tea, wine.

Eileen Ormiston Studio
38 Dutch Valley Lane
San Anselmo.
Tel:  (415) 457-9295

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Savor Every Breath~Someone Just Might Take It!

"Breathe in, breathe out. Now, push, the baby's coming."
"Inhale this. Will help your asthma."
"Hold your breath-this x-ray needs you to keep holding it."
"It's ok to breathe now. The thief has gone."

It is all about the breath. From birth to death. It's that cool intake of sweet air we rely on.

I had a friend who had a big rap sheet in California for drugs and violence. One day I was moaning over my life and blabbed--as I do too often--that I hated life. I will never forget that he turned his head to mine and looked at me with crazy blue blue eyes and said: "If I put my fingers on your neck and start to squeeze, you will be wanting to live real quick." Of course he's right. Strangulation is no fun.

Brave Dustin has had life-threatening asthma and is recovering at a Children's Hospital in Oakland after being sent there by helicopter.

He almost lost his precious little life. Intubation and fast er care saved him. 

My daughter lives in gold country, lower Sierra foothills in California. The area is just gorgeous until you get sick, have a car accident, or other bodily travails. 

Dusty has to get on the road to recovery. Kids can bounce back fast but this time he needed some excellent medical care.

Nothing like a breath when you can't have it.

"In, out."
"What are you gonna wish for? Make your wish, now blow your birthday candles out!"