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Art Notes: The return of the Mustard

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The Napa Valley Mustard Celebration, a new iteration of the Mustard Festival, returns in February 2022, and to start getting ready, Jessel Miller at the Jessel Gallery in Napa has five flavors of new mustards for sale: Fig Balsamic Mustard, Honey Mustard, Sweet & Spicy Mustard, Herb Garden Mustard and Champagne, Honey & Sweet Garlic Mustard all with a Jessel-art label. The cost is $9 per jar or five for $40.

While you're there be sure to check out the gallery now showing "Ladies' Landscapes," works by notable California artists, including Beverly Wilson, Therese Legere. Marta Collins, Erin Dertner, Susan Hoehn, Jessel Miller, Terry Sauve, BJ Thrailkill, Marta Collins, and Kathy Tramner. 

Several of the artists will be in the gallery on Saturday, Nov. 13 between 2 and 5 p.m.

Next up at the gallery is the annual, month-long Holiday Extravaganza of arts, crafts and gifts. It opens the weekend of Dec. 4 and 5 and this year includes pop-ups in the parking lot.

The Jessel Gallery is at 1019 Atlas Peak Road, Napa. For information, visit, email or call 707-257-2350.

Napa Valley Writers' to meet

The November virtual meeting for Napa Valley Writers is on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 7 to 9 p.m. 

The guest speaker is Dr. Brian King, who followed an untraditional path to becoming a published author. His topic is "Becoming a Successful Writer by Making All the Wrong Choices." His Facebook page is

The member reader is Kathleen Anderson,  a retired physician who moved to the Napa Valley more than 30 years ago after completing her naval service.

Register for the meeting at There is a $5 fee, plus a Pay Pal fee. 

Light Painting at Jack London park

Discover the art of light painting for nighttime digital photography at Jack London’s Wolf House on Saturday, Nov. 6, 5 to 10 p.m. The cost is $50 including parking at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen.

Photographer and instructor Ray Mabry will take participants through the camera settings, equipment, tips, and techniques to make dramatic images. For more than 25 years, Mabry has captured images in architecture, landscape, and abstract forms. He has an extensive background in computer technology and digital imagery. 

The class will explore the traditional form of light painting, a technique using powerful flashlights (and other light sources) to paint light onto a subject or scene during a long exposure.

The class is limited to 15 participants. For more information visit, call (707) 938-5216.

The park is at 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen.

'Drive Thru Dickens' London'

Last year. the perennially popular  Great Dickens Christmas Fair had to be online only but this year — although the recreation of Victorian London can't take place inside the Cow Palace — Red Barn Productions has devised a new way to experience the fair's delights in person.

Drive Thru Dickens’ London will offer a taste of fair from the comfort and safety of your car. 

"It’s a whimsically ‘inside out’ experience with some fun surprises,” says Fair co-producer Kevin Patterson.

For $25 per vehicle, a car full of friends and family will encounter Dickensian street scenes as they travel around the exterior of the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls, where hearty English foods, ales, and ciders, as well as nonalcoholic beverages, will be available for purchase at an outdoor version of the Fair’s Grand Concourse.

Entertainment will include favorites such as Paddy West’s singing sailors, the lovable London Chimney Sweeps, Victorian Bobbies (aka Peelers), and many more on hand to entertain and delight. Tickets are on sale at

Drive-Thru Dickens’ London will also feature a selection of handmade goods including children’s painting sets, Fairy House building kits, hand-dipped candles, fine soaps, hand-blown glass ornaments, traditional rum cakes, and English Christmas puddings.

Fair producers will also reprise the Dickens Fair At Home online presentation launched in 2020 with Yuletide videos, traditional recipes, and craft activities as well as readings from Mr. Dickens and Father Christmas. New Dickens Fair at Home features will be posted each weekend beginning Saturday, Dec. 4. For details, visit

The website will also feature a Shop Online portal to many of the fair’s craftspeople. “Our marvelous artists have lost the majority of their shows once again this year, but many have continued to create their fantastic works of art and make them available online,” says Fair co-producer and vendor manager Leslie Patterson. “When you shop online and buy directly from the artists, you help them survive until live shows return.”

In 2022, a return of the in-person Great Dickens Christmas Fair is planned for Saturdays, Sundays, and the Friday after Thanksgiving from Nov. 19 through Dec. 18.

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The heart of Napa took on a playful look Saturday during the city's 16th annual Halloween trick-or-treat stroll, which drew hundreds of children and parents to about 80 local businesses and locations handing out candy for the holiday.

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