Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Media Spotlight—Oil Artists 2013

Nona Jane Siragusa—Oil

Nona Jane Siragusa
Plein-air artist Nona Jane Siragusa’s landscape and seascape paintings capture the clear and intense light of the Central Coast. Among California’s Impressionist-inspired painters, Nona Jane is trained to paint “en plein-air” or out-of-doors. Taking advantage of the bright light and warm climate, she seeks to catch the fleeting moments of specific natural light as it bathes the surrounding landscapes and seascapes. 

Morro Bay Park Trail © Nona Jane Siragusa

Nona Jane believes that the biblical analogy of light as the creative instrument is appropriate to the land and ocean of the Central Coast—for without that unique light and the divine energy it represents, the land would not exist. Nona Jane Siragusa lives in Morro Bay and paints her Central Coast landscapes and seascapes in oils on canvas. She also makes giclées of her work on canvas and archival paper.

A Windy Morro Bay Day © Nona Jane Siragusa

Carol Astaire—Oil

Carol Astaire
I absolutely love the ocean! Being on it, in it, or hiking beside it brings me pure joy. Every day is a new experience and I always start to smile and sing when I take off in my kayak. Born and raised on the California coast, it just simply is in my blood.

With a lifetime of education, teaching, exhibiting, and traveling to draw upon, I have devoted the last five years to exploring the ocean south of the Port of Los Angeles to north of Monterey County; photoraphing extensively in all conditions year round. Then I use my reference photos to help remind me of my experiences on the water when I return to my studio and get to work.

Calm Shore © Carol Astaire

I now try to bring it all together in a free and joyful expression of the things of the sea I love most. Still using the old masters’ techniques of multiple layers, glazes, and traditional mediums to produce the luminosity and visceral qualities that are so rich—I hope to share all of it with anyone who views my work.

Wet Wednesday Regatta © Carol Astaire


Kira Fluer Olshefski—Oil

Kira Fluer Olshefski
Kira Fluer Olshefski is a California Central Coast artist, residing in Atascadero. She has dabbled in a variety of media, but has found oil paint to be her media of choice. Kira taught elementary school for many years. Incorporating art into the curriculum was one of the highlights of her teaching career. Often one could find Kira and her students partaking in walking field trips with drawing pads and pencils in hand. She encouraged her students to create from the heart and connect with their subject. After leaving her teaching career, Kira wanted to focus on her art. She is happy to be out of the classroom and exploring the Central Coast for inspiration. Just like her students, she paints from the heart and connects with her subject.

Rural Route 4 © Kira Fluer Olshefski

Kira’s work is not only at Gallery at Marina Square in Morro Bay, but has been on display in various venues throughout the San Luis County such as Linnaea’s Café, Joebella Coffee Roaster’s, and the annual SLO County Open Art Studios Tour.

Out-standing in Her Field © Kira Fluer Olshefski

Patricia Newton—Oil

Patricia Newton
It’s hard to believe that I have been painting with oils for 30 years! In the beginning, I only had time to paint during weekends. These days, since retired from a full time career, I get to paint much more often.

The most often asked question I encounter is, “How long does it take to complete an oil painting?”

It’s the one question I have the toughest time answering! Once in a while I will paint Ala Prima, in which case the painting will be completed in one day. However, most of the time I paint with a little more traditional style, by glazing with several thin layers of paint. This process takes several days and more time in between to dry! Sometimes weeks. More important, it has taken all of those 30 years, to learn a painting style that feels right to me. I have at times felt completely defeated and scraped all of the paint off a canvas, left it to dry and come back to try again another day. Years of learning to fix mistakes. Then I think, hopefully, I will remember what I did during one of those happy accidents so I can recreate something done right.

Although I have much more to learn, I am enjoying the journey! Then, my heart fills with pure joy when someone like you comes along and says, “That one speaks to me, I have just the right spot for it in my home!” Then, suddenly, off goes a piece of my heart with someone who will love my work of art! I am humbled and honored! Thirty years of work comes together and it just doesn’t get any better than that!

The Romance of Morro Rock © Patricia Newton

Ardella (Jo) Swanberg—Oil

Ardella Swanberg
Ardella Swanberg has been painting the Central Coast for 14 years. She loves to paint outside (plein air). One of her favorite tools is the camera. She takes a thousand photographs a year. Thank goodness for digital cameras and the computer. Ardella was primarily a watercolorist for 50 years but lately she has expanded to acrylic and oil. Ardella finds that all media are challenging and surprising. That is what excites her.

The Ranch at Midnight © Ardella Swanberg

Producing a good design that captures the viewers imagination is Ardella’s primary goal. Although she does enjoy painting realistically, Ardella is expanding her horizons by venturing into abstraction and non-objective painting. This approach is exciting and dangerous. She never knows if the painting will be good or a total failure. It keeps her on her toes.

Oak © Ardella Swanberg

Ardella Swanberg has paintings in many private collections. She has also had paintings accepted in exhibitions in California, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Italy and Malaysia.

Ardella studied art education at the University of Minnesota and in San Francisco. She teaches at the Cayucos Vets Hall on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 9 am to noon, and at Art Central in San Luis Obispo.

Galen Griswold—Oil

The experience of painting in oils is one that I relish. I will often do a quick sketch plein aire with acrylic and finish the piece in the studio with oil. I like the way oil paints blend and you can push the paint to please as you apply it to the canvas. Oils have a feeling for me in their application: passionate, flowing, colors integrating or connecting, creating hard edges or soft. I like the way the oils mix and work like a river flowing-glowing on the surface revealing depths beneath-within. Painting with oils for me is like having a great conversation with nature and an environs. Texture, color, rough and smooth surfaces are heightened for me with oils. Challenging, exciting, energetic expression--those moments with oils, I love IT.

Coming In © Galen Griswold
Bird Sanctuary © Galen Griswold