Monday, October 12, 2015

Media Spotlight—Photography, Alice Cahill, Beth Sargent, Alison Salome, Carlo Christian, Jillian Parks & Chuck Pruitt for Fall 2015

Alice Cahill

Alice Cahill is an award winning nature photographer. Her inspiration is the Earth – she is fascinated by it, and she believes in nature as a healing force and a refuge from the chaos of daily life.

Alice’s photographs have been published in many nature and photo magazines, including Outdoor California, Photographers Forum, Outdoor and Nature, and Oprah’s O Magazine.

Alice is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

Beth Sargent

Beth has a love for nature’s beauty and mystery. The vision that she sees when she looks through the lens of her camera is a world of wonder. She shares that wonder of nature with everyone through her photography.

Beth says that the Central Coast of California has beauty like no other. It is rich with wildlife and beautiful views. Though Beth’s photography takes her to many wonderful places, the Central Coast of California is her home and she feels blessed to live here.

Beth’s interest in photography started in the 1970’s while in college. In time, her interest grew into a passion that really shines through her award winning photography of today.

Her work is shown worldwide. Her passion is photographing nature for all to enjoy.

Alison Salome

Oh, to walk where the ocean kisses the land!! To have my feet in the sand while the surf surges over them and swirls around my ankles - this is pure bliss. If only I could capture this feeling and share it with you!

I have always felt that I belong on the California Coast, where I can hear the ocean and taste the salt in the air. My images bring to life the sand, the sea, the playful otters, the majestic pelicans, or a dramatic sunset over the ocean.

Most of my photographs are from the area between Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo, although occasional road trips to the North provide images from the Mendocino area.

Thank you for viewing my photographs. I hope that they bring you the feeling of having your feet in the sand.

Carlo Christian

From a young age, I have been in love with the craft and art of photography. I was fortunate to work as a commercial printer in two prestigious photo labs, as well as, an assistant photographer in a high-end fashion studio. Today I work as a chemist and own a small studio and photography business.

My interest in history, both natural and human, informs my choice of photographic subjects. My favorite mentor taught me when outdoors nature tells us about relationships, the cycles of life and matter, organic and inorganic: “just look around and listen.” This lesson still inspires my photographic vision.

I love revisiting deserted buildings, farms, ranches and junk yards over time as they return to nature—the sacred circle. These abandoned places whisper stories of our ancestor’s dreams and lives when we take the time to look and listen. My ambition is to share those impressions. 

Jillian Parks

Jillian combines her background in animal care with her love of photography, creating joyful, timeless portraits of animals and their people. Jillian believes that having one special image of your beloved pet is a way to honor their love, loyalty and friendship.

When she’s not lying on her tummy taking dog photos, Jillian likes to go to the beach with her dogs, dance with her kids, and laugh a lot. She volunteers her time for various animal welfare groups including Woods Humane Society, SLO Animal Services, Second Chance at Love and more. She believes that every animal deserves a safe, loving home. Until there are none, adopt one!

Jillian lives in Morro Bay with her husband, two children, three dogs, and a persnickety cat.

Charles Pruitt

Charles Pruitt began taking photographs over 40 years ago when he was given an old 35mm camera by a family friend. 

While living in Hawaii, Chuck was mentored by Boone Morrison, founder of the Volcano Art Institute in Volcano National Park. This association led to meeting and learning from Brett Weston, Minor White, and Paul Caponigro. During this time Chuck began working in large and medium film formats, abstract photography using color infrared film and long exposures; often taking a 4x5 Crown Graphic on backpacking trips.

Chuck studied photography after returning to California. While in college he combined Chemistry and Photo classes to recreate historic techniques of wet plate negatives, cyanotypes, platinum and albumin printing methods. Chuck received state and national recognition for his experimental prints.Chuck took up digital photography in 2004, but still uses his 50+ year old Hassleblad.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Media Spotlight—Mixed Media 2015

We have quite a few artists at Gallery at Marina Square who work in “mixed media”—combining two or more media in one piece.

Ingrid Brink—Mixed Media

Ingrid Brink
Ingrid Brink and her husband Jan live in Baywood Park on the Central Coast and part time on the Big Island of Hawaii. The interplay of land, sea and sky of these two places in paradise with their amazing colors and textures provide ever-changing inspiration.

Ingrid creates many of her paintings using cut out pieces of watercolors and assembling them in a collage to achieve a unique effect.

Brink is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society and has taught as an Artist-in-Residence for 23 years. Ingrid embraces Paul Klee’s belief that “Art does not reproduce what we see, rather, it makes us see.”

Mauna Loa Waiting © Ingrid Brink

Don Doubledee—Mixed Media

Don Doubledee
Don Doubledee has been an Architect since 1982. Don has become known locally for portraits he has completed with graphite, color pencil or pen and ink.

His “Postcards of Amsterdam” began a number of series of what Don calls his “Postcard” sketches featuring line drawings he has completed while vacationing around the world. Now, his “Postcards of Morro Bay” series features detailed pencil drawings of Morro Bay’s waterfront.

Sunday Morning © Don Doubledee

Lisa Kanofsky—Mixed Media

Lisa Kanofsky
Lisa Kanofsky is a California native. She has an A.A. degree in fashion design from Brooks college in Long Beach, California This is where she discovered her affinity for textiles, textile design, silk ainting and fashion accessories. She also holds a B.A degree in liberal arts from Antioch University in Santa Barbara, California.

Having lived in Europe and Africa broadened her aesthetic scope and palette. Always influenced by her surroundings, she draws inspiration from the beauty of nature and urban landscapes.

In 2011, Lisa created an online shop featuring her tiny art pieces and her “tiny tableau pendants.” This collection now includes rings and earrings. These are created from portions of original mixed media paintings and are secured under a glass cabochon. Each piece is an original work signed by the artist.

Untitled © Lisa Kanofsky

Linda LoebsMixed Media

Linda Loebs
Linda remembers that as a child she crawled behind her couch to draw a whole village of circle people on the wall. Her skills have come a long way since her wall drawings, but the passion is still there. She loves to paint, to create, to watch as an image appears, and finds it’s always exciting to see how colors come together on the canvas, and her art reflects this love of color.

Linda has two degrees in art: an AA in Fine Art from Cuesta College and a BS in Art and Design from Calpoly.

A Poe Moon © Linda Loebs

Mari O’BrienMixed Media

Mari O’Brien
Mary O’Brien was an academic teaching French and English language and literature, comparative literature, and humanities—for twenty-five years—until she felt a calling to return to the art that inspired much of her youth.

Her work is rendered mainly in acrylic, collage, and mixed media. She paints in a primarily intuitive, adventurous, and experimental way, resulting in abstract or non-representational pieces, using multiple layers and creating a rich, complex tapestry. Some folks describe her and her work as eccentric and eclectic, and she freely admits that I like these descriptors!

For Mari, a successful painting evokes an emotional response on the part of the viewer, even when no identifiable subject is depicted.

Rock the Boat © Mari O’Brien

Nona Jane SiragusaMixed Media

Nona Jane Siragusa
Nona Jane paints various types of Angels using different kinds of paper, cloth, paint, inks, and varnish—a collage and photomontage of other mediums.

When asked why she paints angels, Jane has said, “I believe that Angels move among us and encourage us along in life by their will and intellect. I can feel them invisibly directing my actions.”

Nona Jane is also a plein-air artist. Her landscape and seascape paintings in oil capture the clear and intense light of the Central Coast.

Grigori Angel II © Jane Siragus

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Media Spotlight—Drawing 2014

Occasionally we like to showcase artists at Gallery at Marina Square that work in a specific media—this time we would like to highlight a couple of our artists who draw—with pencil, charcoal, ink, crayon, or any other type of drawing medium.

Linda Bench—Drawing

Linda Bench
Linda likes to draw inspiring natural scenes—coastal panoramas, oak covered hillsides, flowers and wildlife. While she’s always enjoyed drawing and art, she learned to draw well while studying landscape architecture in college. In 1998, she began focusing her artistic efforts on colored pencil drawing, and has slowly built up her portfolio. Each picture takes about 20 to 25 hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the background. She starts with a line drawing, slowly building up multiple layers of color to achieve the depth and intensity she’s looking for. Linda lives with her family in the mountains between Morro Bay and Atascadero.

California Poppies © Linda Bench
Let’s Dance © Linda Bench

A Taste of Summer © Linda Bench

Jo Swanberg
Ardella (Jo) Swanberg—Drawing

Jo Swanberg keeps a small sketch book in her purse and she draws whenever she has to wait for someone. She keeps another one in her plein air art supplies and makes a drawing in it before she starts a painting. She uses only ink because one year she kept forgetting to put a pencil in her supplies and had to use Micron pens instead. Now she only uses ink in her sketchbooks because it doesn’t smear like pencil does. She often adds watercolor to her drawings. Here are some of Jo’s drawings:

Wednesday Irregulars © Ardella Swanberg
Windmill © Ardella Swanberg

Alice Cushing © Ardella Swanberg 
Shirley and Carl © Ardella Swanberg
San Simeon Pier © Ardella Swanberg

George Asdel—Drawing
George Asdel

Earlier he and his wife Kathie taught art in Newfoundland, Canada, where they also had a gallery. George’s self-discipline leads him to sketch each morning based on a theme-of-the-day he’s set up: on Mondays he draws mammals, on Tuesdays he draws bugs, etc. His drawings sometimes lead to watercolors. 

Drawing or painting, George likes to give his viewers a smile.

Cat and Crows
© George Asdel
Frequent Flyer Monarch
© George Asdel

Birdbath Weather Report © George Asdel
Magic Fish © George Asdel
The Tiger and the Dreamer © George Asdel

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Media Spotlight—Watercolor Artists 2013

Jarien de Ham—Watercolor

Jarien de Ham
I have been painting Chinese-style paintings for a decade. I hesitate to call myself a “Chinese brush painter” since I am not Chinese. I am an admirer of Chinese culture, art and philosophy from an early age. From looking at Chinese art, I have tried to translate what I see in my own environment into paintings with a Chinese feeling. We are surrounded with cypress trees and headlands surrounded by fog which work into the spontaneity of xie yi style. The mood is fresh and often nostalgic. Even though meticulous style, called gong bi, looks more difficult and shows off technical ability of brush control, to me it is simpler, while still beautiful. I have been fortunate to travel to China and study for a month at a time at a prestigious art school several times. I will be going there again soon and hope to absorb more of the aesthetics and incorporate it into new pieces.

Montana de Oro, Rough Water © Jarien de Ham

Inspired by local landscape. The tiny person is
dwarfed by powerful forces.
Man Walking, Lone Pine Tree © Jarien de Ham

A casual scene not depicting any particular place. This
is xie yi or spontaneous style. My goal was to compose
a painting in traditional Chinese style.

Ardella Swanberg—Watercolor

Of all the media I have studied, I love watercolor best. I started using watercolor when I was a freshman in high school and the art teacher told the class, “Well, it takes twenty years to become proficient with watercolor.” I thought at that moment, “I better get started!” Watercolor intrigues me because of the brightness of the colors and the way they mix on the paper which is an entirely different effect from any other medium. In the time since I graduated from college, I have experimented with print making, oil painting, and weaving but I always come back to watercolor. I was astounded when I took my first watercolor workshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I had been painting all my life but never knew anything about quality paper and paint. It is amazing how much better you paint when you buy fine quality supplies. Now, I am careful to select the most permanent paints, the most stable paper and archival matting and framing.

Cerro Romaldo © Ardella Swanberg
Cayucos Cove © Ardella Swanberg

Sarah DeLong—Watercolor

Sarah DeLong
I recently moved to Morro Bay at the end of 2011 from Grinnell Iowa. I have traveled throughout the United States but only a few times on the west coast.

I got hooked on watercolor over 26 years ago and I am in my element painting near a rushing stream or setting on a dock in a harbor. I am mainly a landscape painter but have painted people, animals, flowers and more recently fishing boats. Watercolor has allowed me to have a loose realistic interpretation of a subject. I love the transparent and glowing colors, soft and hard edges and the blending of colors one can create with watercolor.

I am a signature member of the Iowa Watercolor Society and have won a 1st, 3rd and two 5th place ribbons in their Annual Jury Show. I have exhibited in many shows in Minnesota and Iowa. In 2010 the National Transparent Watercolor Society accepted my painting called “Oaxaca Basket Weaver” painting into their annual jury show.

Morning Fog in Wisconsin © Sarah DeLong
Evening in Morro Bay © Sarah DeLong

Deb Festa—Watercolor

Deb Festa
Deb paints with passion and joy in her heart. She is known as the Happy Painter because of her vibrant color combinations and her spirit of life. She has been selling her art for over forty years, (ten years at the Gallery at Mariana Square) and loving every minute of it. Landscapes and florals are among some of her favorite things to paint.

Deb is a self taught artist who gets so immersed in her painting that it becomes a form of meditation. She feels blessed to have the natural beauty around her, which is a constant inspiration to paint and to create dynamic ways to share her artistic vision with others.

Deb’s artwork is in 43 states and 20 different countries. She loves to track where her paintings travel to. She has had over 60 solo exhibitions, many group shows, and a television appearance.

Deb’s purpose is to capture and share the serenity and joy of nature – a serene refuge from the modern world.

Burano, Italy © Deb Festa
Festa’a Paradise © Deb Festa

Virginia Mack—Watercolor

Virginia Mack
Capturing the moments: I love being afloat in my kayak in the back bay of Morro Bay gliding by the birds making quick watercolor sketches of them. I occasionally paint a quick scene of the rock or the peaks from mid bay. The waves, the tide, the wind all become a part of the paintings. I feel continuous with it all.

Watercolor is my medium for these paintings. Its fluidity and unpredictable ways add to my sense of capturing the moment.

Curlew © Virginia Mack
Kayak View Peaks © Virginia Mack

Susan Wood—Watercolor

Susan Wood
I love watercolor. It’s challenging, it’s translucent, it spontaneous. At least I think that the best qualities of good watercolor is translucence and spontaneity. I don’t want to paint to be exactingly realistic—I want to paint an expression of what I see.

Each medium presents challenges—and watercolor has several. Some colors are opaque, some transparent, some are staining, others non-staining, some are “sedimentary.” White is not normally used in watercolor—the white you see is the paper—so if I want to leave something white, I don’t paint there! Watercolor is much lighter when it dries than it is when still wet. Watercolor can be painted very wet, very dry, or anywhere in between for different effects, and the heat, humidity, and light will affect how quickly it dries. I paint “en plein air”—in other words, outdoors. This adds it’s own challenges, as the light and air conditions (and the water conditions if painting at the ocean) are in constant flux.

Painting outside in watercolor is a constant adventure.

Sweet Spring Reflections © Susan Wood
Windy Dunes © Susan Wood