Sunday, January 13, 2008

Out of the Loop and Back Again

I have been out of the loop for a long time but now I'm back! So much has happened. I closed down my Ventura studio and have been working exclusively from the Westlake studio. I was once again selected to participate this last year, 2007, in the Focus on the Masters artist studio tour, and it was once again a great experience.

I have also completed a piece titled "First Steam Car in Town 1899." It was an amazing and somewhat crazy-making experience. I paint BIG because I like the freedom I feel on the large canvas, and I like the feeling that one can "connect" with a large portrait (or portraits) within a painting. However, on this piece, I have over 45 people in the painting - that's 45 portraits! This means that I might as well be painting 11 x 14 as opposed to 48 x 72, as all the figures had to be scaled down to fit and I'm just not used to painting such "tiny" (well, at least tiny for me) people!

It was a wonderful feeling, however, completing the piece and seeing the scene in full color and depth.

Also, sadly, I had to give up my wonderful 1949 Ford Sedan for now. I've had it for 3 years now and it has been an inspiration and a joy to drive. Although it hasn't made it into a painting yet, it may still happen. An interesting gentleman from Santa Clarita purchased it, and like me, he loves the fact that it was mostly all-original and not modified or "chopped." He plans to use it and drive it - like I did. I was pretty depressed about it at first, until I saw a 1941 Buick 8 Special for sale and realized THAT has to be my next car. Now I have something to aim for and look forward to!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Shows and New Paintings

There are a couple of shows I would like to mention that are going on right now!

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Running from February 11th through May 28th, "Renaissance to Rococo: Masterpieces from the Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art" will astound you with works by Tiepolo, Canaletto, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Frans Hals, and many others! With examples of portraiture, landscapes, and still lifes from Holland, Italy, Spain, France, and England, the collection is concluding a two year tour with this Santa Barbara exhibit and will then return home to Hartford, Connecticut. The piece at left is by Brittish artist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88). I got there after noon and wanted to stay after closing hours! The museum is located at 1130 State St., Santa Barbara. Their website is .

While I was there I stopped by the Waterhouse Gallery that's on the same block (1114 State St Santa Barbara). There are always some top-notch contemporary pieces at this gallery, including a number by the gallery owner Ralph Waterhouse. Find them online at .

Gene Autry Museum of the American West

Located at 4700 Western Heritage Way (where the 5 and 134 meet in Griffith Park), Los Angeles, this is a great museum! Although this particular show is over (Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale - it ran from February 4th through March 5th), there was some stunning work that fortunately, can partially still be seen online! If you turn your Web browser to and look at the left column menu, click on "Artists (flash required)" to see wonderful examples of some of the pieces. The museum has other fine exhibits if you want to drive down in person too. The beautiful piece above is by Mian Situ and is called The Overseer, San Francisco, 1905.

Below is Summer Sundown, Arivaca Cienega by Michael Stack:
Sea Breeze Art Gallery

Right here in Ventura you will find the Sea Breeze Art Gallery which is opening a new show on March 11. This show, "Essence Artworks," will showcase Lynn Le Tourneau. Lynn is an established sculptress (San Francisco) and is presently emerging as a painter and printmaker. I know Lynn and her work and it's truly worth making time to come see her show! The gallery is located at 255 So. Laurel St (between Thompson & Front Street), Ventura. The online poster for this event can be viewed at . The artists reception on March 11 will run from 6 to 9 PM.

My Own New Work

I have completed a couple more pieces and have updated my Web site gallery accordingly, including the "Work in Process" section under "Studio." My last piece is titled "Watching The Raising of Father's Flag 1931" and will make its first showing on March 11 at the Sea Breeze Art Gallery when Lynn's show opens. You can also get a sneak peek at how one of my works-in-process is progressing as I'll be working on it in my studio space there that same evening! Come on by, meet Lynn, see her work, see my painting, and have some refreshments! That's March 11 at 6PM.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Reunion and Teachers From Our Past!!


The City of San Buenaventura (Ventura), California has become quite active in the support of the arts and artists. One way in which this manifests itself is in the recognition of local artists through the purchase of their work for the old court house, as well as in recognizing these fine artists with a ceremony and reception when the pieces are purchased.

On the evening of February 2nd, two of my instructors from the early 1980's came back to town to participate in this honor.

The city recognized several fine artists that night, but what really stood out for me was that Mr. Richard Phelps and Mr. Bill McEnroe were present, and a number of us - old students as well as fellow instructors - were privileged to see and visit with them. Hiroko Yoshimoto, another fine instructor I studied under, who still lives in the area, invited us to her fabulous hilltop studio for a private reception prior to the formal City reception.

Although I forgot my camera, I had my trusty cell phone with me and snapped off this photo. Standing left to right in the photo are Bill McEnroe (ret.), who was leaving right as I started attending VC; Harry Korn – Art History; Debra Mckillop who teaches a gallery management class; Gerd Koch (ret.) – Painting, Hiroko Yoshimoto (ret.) – I had her class in ink drawing but I know she taught several courses; Richard Phelps (ret.) – MY, I had him for drawing, advertising, color and design, acrylic and oil painting, and independent studies (phew!) and somehow he put up with me through all that; Barbara Harvey who now teaches the commercial design courses; and my old friend and classmate Kris Doe (now is San Luis Obispo) who came back to teach color and design and – I’m sorry Kris, I can’t remember what else you taught!

It was a wonderful evening enjoyed by all - and I realize now that I must make an effort to go back out to visit Mr. Phelps in his Tennessee hideaway like I did back in '97, and see what wonderful Tennessee scenes he's been creating!