Feral Grace: Conversations at the Threshold- Carolyn B. Ellis at Flying Fish until the end of June


Cat 2015 graphite, ink, colored pencil and inkjet on paper 10” x 8” $225.00 framed


Prayer: Love 2015 graphite and ink on paper 9-1/2” x 10-1/4” SOLD


A graduate of USC’s School of Architecture, Carolyn started in New York as an architectural designer for Skidmore Owings and Merrill and launched from there into NYU film school and set design for both theater and film. Desiring both more wilderness in her life and a richer content in her work, she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to complete a Master’s in ‘The Great Books Program’ at St. John’s College, reenter the world of furniture and lighting design, and go on to be published in Metropolitan Home for the renovation of her own residence. Upon returning to her roots in Northern California, she launched Shih & company – a luxury fashion accessories line sold in upmarket boutiques and department stores across the US and Canada. Today, Carolyn harvests the rich diversity of her past lives to fuel her return to her first love of image and storytelling. Sketchnig, drafting, model making, spatial psychology, classical studies, color sense and an obsessive attention to detail all are a part of her current visual work.

“I am mesmerized by thresholds as places of transition – where unknown becomes known, where void meets line. The imaginal realms of Grimm’s fairy tales, dreams and archetypes are some of my richest resources. Though I often employ exactingly linear techniques, my unconscious is my undeniable art director.

Gathering images from both the interior and exterior world, I allow their source to dictate the process through which I converse with them. To explore the interior world – dreams and archetypes – I often utilize photographic images and a focus on precise detail. When engaging with the exterior world, I opt for blind contour drawing and a more fluid line.

What happens between the images is what intoxicates me. In the final phase of my pieces, I find my hand moving fluidly over, around and between the ‘seen’ images. In my scribbling meditation, I am attempting to join and describe the grace residing in the ‘unseen’ threshold where the images converse. “


Artemis 2015 graphite, inkjet, beads, thread, pins on vellum and paper 22” x 14” x 1-1/4” $875 framed

Open Studio on Friday, March 6th

You’ve been asking for it!!

Art making studio time for adults at Flying Fish

Fridays from 4-6


Come work in a supportive environment with other artists on your own projects. I provide the environment so you bring your own materials.

Be part of a creative community. Artists and non artists all welcome…no experience necessary…just desire

Call Bettina @ 577-4747 or email bettinajane@me.com if you have questions

Studio Art Parties

Flying Fish now offers art making parties in their studio! Available for artists of all ages. We provide materials and projects that can be themed for only $20 per person. Previous projects have included decorated cigar boxes and a birthday banner with flags designed by party goers. Let us know if you’d like to host an art party at Flying Fish!

Your Sacred Golden Bird


I wrote this piece a while ago, but was reminded of it by seeing Josie Adam’s actual Golden Bird painting today at her studio


Your Sacred Golden Bird


                 My therapist talked to me years ago ago about how I saw the Golden Bird in other people, but not in myself. I could not really understand what she was saying, although I understood it a little. She was saying I had many talented, gifted, creative friends, and I could see their gift, but not necessarily my own. I could tell she was worried about me. I could not quite understand her worry. I thought “wow, I am lucky to have so many incredible friends who are so creative” Today, in week three of my writing group, I feel my own Golden Bird. My own Golden Bird is my own unique gift to the world. It is my book on creativity. It is me working in the studio with kids . It is me figuring out daily how to live creatively, and how I share that with the world. It is my creative dream of wanting to travel the world, journal and write, and make books about my experience. My Golden Bird is my own unique way I move in the world. For so long I had friends who had figured it out, Kathleen who makes incredible collage cards, Carolyn who made gorgeous shawls,  Laurie who makes beautiful necklaces, and JilAnn who makes incredible documentaries. In ways it is easier to be more excited about other people’s gifts. In a way, I was mirrored in other people’s Golden Birds. There was a part of me there. But there was also a part of me that lived in their shadow. While basking in someone’s else light, it can be difficult to feel your own light. I think Julia Cameron calls it being a “shadow artist”.

Like many of the birds from myths, our Golden Birds can appear to us unexpectedly over the years. We can see glimpses of their glimmering wings in the trees. It might light outside our birdfeeder one morning in the early hours, when no one else is up, and then be gone as quickly as it came. We will question, did we actually see it? Did I imagine it? Is it someone else’s bird. The flickering luminescent gold wings will stick in our minds…calling to us. You’ll see it reflected in others peoples work sometimes, and sometimes it will stare you right in the face. Don’t take it for granted, your bird must be fed, and watered, and polished and cherished. People can encourage you, when they get occasional glimpses of it, but you can’t rely on the voices and encouragement of others. You must believe in your own bird, however crazy it may be, or may seem to you. For several years I wanted to paint in this dark red blood colour, that I was slightly emabrassed about , but I had to do it. It satisfied something visceral and primal in me. Your birds will often not make a lot of “sense” , it will feel deep, intuitive, and when you are doing it you know it is absolutely the right thing. Your bird can be an obsession with the same shape, or colour, or symbol. You keep making it until you are done, or it is done with you.  I usually can’t explain the images and symbols that are important to me, especially when I am right “in it” with them. Feed, water, polish, cherish. Feed , Water, Polish. Your. Own. Bird.