Saturday, March 19, 2011

Alexey Steele's Demo at The Old Mill in San Marino

On Sunday afternoon, March 13th Elaine and I ventured out to the picturesque Old Mill in San Marino. Constructed in 1816 the Old Mill is the oldest commercial building in southern California and houses the California Art Club's Gallery.The amazing Russian-trained artist, Alexey Steele, was giving a painting demonstration outside the historic structure in the Old Mill's Pomegranate Courtyard. He posed a young female model against the aged plastered wall surrounded by yellow climbing roses that were all in bloom. About fifty spectators came and paid to watch Alexey work his magic from 1 to 4PM. His painting turned out very well, and I think most everyone left feeling they got a lot out of his demonstration. Afterwards, a number of us went out with Alexey and Olga for an early dinner. He still kept  lecturing us while wildy gesticulating with his hands as he devoured a chile relleno with short ribs and mash potatoes. 

By the way, today is Alexey's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEXEY!!

Talking about the importance of considering "concept."

The audience enjoyed Alexey's performance while learning classical art skills in an 1816 California mission setting.

A classic California setting for a master contemporary artist.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Opening Reception at the Carnegie Art Museum

On March 12th the California Art Club enjoyed a spectacular opening reception at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard. Well over a hundred attended, and all seemed enthusiastic about the collection. The artwork exhibited were all landscape and seascape paintings by current Signature Members of the CAC to celebrate the Club's Centennial in conjunction with the release of our 276-page book of California landscapes published by Rizzoli International. Elaine and I were incredibly impressed by the variety and high quality of paintings selected by the museum's director, Suzanne Bellah.

If you want to know how to get to the Carnegie -- Practice real hard. 

Banners draped in front of the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, California promoting our exhibition "A Luminous Land: Selections by California Art Club Signature Artists." The exhibition is on view until May 22, 2011.

With Elaine in front of my painting, "Pools Above Sturtevant Falls, San Gabriel Mountains."

Alexey Steele, me, and Steve Mirich making a joint effort in spelling "CAC" with our hands.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Rose King of Pasadena Passes Away

As I was dashing out the door yesterday to attend the memorial service for Pasadena’s florist, Jacob Maarse, I glanced at the Pasadena Star News’ very complimentary article on Bob Ray Offenhauser. Bob is perhaps Pasadena’s most renowned living architect, and he and his wife, Katherine, were the first people I happened to run into at the service. Katherine has just finished a coffee-table-size book called “An Architect’s Journey” all about Bob’s impressive 50 year career (available on Amazon). Bob has created some of the most spectacular homes all over the world, and has built the elaborate botanical conservatory at The Huntington Library and is presently working on the Japanese Tea House there.

The memorial service for Jacob Maarse was held at All Saints Church in Pasadena. The pews were packed and the floral arrangements rivaled the church’s original Tiffany stained glass windows. Through Jacob’s daughter, Mona Delahooke’s eulogy, we learned that Jacob’s love for flowers started early in life. As a Dutch teenager, he would escape the occupying Nazi’s notice by hiding in a flower nursery. After coming to the U.S., Jacob soon became Pasadena’s most celebrated florist through his hard work, creativity, generosity and genuine love for people. I have always respected him as a fine artist. Jacob Maarse has given so much beauty, love and compassion to this world, and that’s something to which, I, as an artist, aspire. The Reverend George Regas stated, “Pasadena has had many Rose Queens, but only one Rose King.”
Flowers at the service

All Saints Church in Pasadena has an old-world feeling.  I particularly love the Tiffany stained glass windows and the way light streams through them. This is one of my paintings of the interior.
 After the Service at All Saints Church   Oil on panel    24” x 20”

Friday, January 7, 2011

Opening Night at The Old Mill

Yesterday was a full day for me, just now getting to my blog. I started early in the studio to try to get some work done before going for an hour run in the mountains behind Lake View Terrace with my border collies and then, running them more in my weekly  two hour dog agility class. The dogs did great! In fact, their trainer, Mike O’Martian, thinks Lefty Loo and Big Guy should compete.
In the evening I went to the opening of the California Art Club Gallery at The Old Mill. And what a great crowd – and lots of red dots! The exhibition, “Paintings of Tejon Ranch,” is really exquisite, one of the best I’ve seen at the gallery. I was proud to be included.  The paintings by Karl Dempwolf had his special sense of bold design, while W. Jason Situ’s work had his strong sense of realism. Scott W. Prior had a knock-out painting with an interesting perspective of looking out from inside an abandoned shack.  The other artists in the show were Donna Barnes-Roberts, Donald Crocker, Debra Holladay, Sharon Burkett Kaiser, Chuck Kovacic, Conchita O’Kane, Kathy O’Leary, Michael Obermeyer, Rodolfo Rivademar, Junn Roca and Gayle Garner Roski.  I really enjoyed talking to Steven M. Carr, Director and Curator of the Southwest Museum about unique programs for the CAC. It’s so special being at The Old Mill. The mission-style building was built in 1816 in San Marino – and feels like a neighborhood gallery in a great neighborhood.
Here are my new friends, Lourdes Tedmori and her niece Candance Giancanelli. Lourdes purchased my painting “Tejon Forest” from the CAC Gallery at The Old Mill.
That’s Sharon Burkett Kaiser’s beautiful cloudscape above my painting.

Diane and Karl Dempwolf by a couple of his paintings.
Nice work!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Los Angeles Arts Month

Just got home from the mega-kick-off with 400 other people at Los Angeles Arts Month at the Music Center Plaza. As you may know, January has been proclaimed “Art Month” in L.A. County. This started three years ago on the recommendation of Gayle Roski . She’s an amazing person and an amazing artist. My sister and Deputy Mayor, Aileen Adams, was there as well. And in the company of these two muses, I was able to reconnect with the major movers-and-shakers from The Getty, the Opera , the Music Center, California African Museum, LACMA,  the Arts Commission, and the Corporate world. We all discussed great new ideas on how to work together. So, stay tuned and find out how art continues to advance!!!
Anyway, enough socializing and strategizing, I have to get back to painting. Have some paintings to touch up for some upcoming exhibitions.
Two Snappy Dressers
 Me with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the Music Center for "LA Arts Month." 
Notice City Hall in the background. Thanks to my sister Aileen for this great shot!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My first day - My new Blog

Welcome everyone to my blog!
I just turned in two new paintings I did for the California Art Club Gallery at The Old Mill exhibition of “Plein Air Paintings of the Tejon Ranch.” The collection represents a dozen artists and looks spectacular! I would highly recommend seeing it. The opening reception is Thursday, January 6 (5:30-7:30 PM) at The Old Mill, 1120 Old Mill Road, San Marino.

Driving home this afternoon from visiting sculptor Peter Brooke at his studio located in Jim Henson's Creature Shop I was fascinated by the variety of characters he created for various films, such as The Wild Things, and was particularly inspired by the articulated sculptures I saw of fantastic creatures. I thought how lucky we are to live in southern California amidst so much talent and creativity - and GREAT artistic inspiration.
Autumn Morning at Tejon Ranch
Oil on panel  12" x 16"

Tejon Forest
Oil on panel  16" x 20"