Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Christopher Pilafian " The Open Gate"

I lived in an Old spanish house on a hill for eight years, until I got a call from my landlord saying he had broken up with lis girlfriend and needed to take the house for himself. I was going through a challenging time myself and the disruption of the forced move on short notice had an impact. at the same time, the usually pricey Santa Barbara housing market was peaking and had become daunting. Life's inevitable uncertainty and impermanence seemed heavy and dark.
Then a great place appeared: a spacious, light-filled loft in town, with ocean and mountain views. with this as my new home, I looked back and painted " the Open gate" as a memento of the joy I knew in the old house, a send-off to the past and a celebration of an auspicious beginning.
Shadows of trumpet vine, bougainvillea and palms mingle with the old brick of the front porch. I painted this from a photo. It is the most representational piece in a series around light and shadow.
Christopher Pilafian
Age: 56
"The Open Gate"
Acrylic on canvas 48" x 30"

Christopher Davis

I grew up about five miles from the ocean in Southern California, where to find snow you had to make an effort and make an effort we did from time to time. Then when I was in my twenties I lived in Minneapolis for a few years. Now this is a place where snow is a way of life and once it falls in November it’s on the ground until April. It was there that I learned that a sunny day does not necessarily mean a warm day, usually quite the opposite. I also learned the way snow changes the way we see and hear things, the way we experience the world, and the way it can challenge us in our daily activities. I now live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, which resides in a nice place between the constant summer of Southern California and the extreme winters of Minnesota. Here snow falls in winter but usually doesn’t stay on the ground for long. It stays just long enough to enjoy the beauty of its falling, to alter our landscape for a brief time and make usually easy routines a little more challenging. I especially love the way it dampens sound. This is one Southern California boy who has learned to love the seasons
Christopher Davis
Digital Photography
December 2008

N. Lacie Abell " Red Trees in Winter"

When in Doubt, Let it Out
A self-confessed 'Late Bloomer", I have brought much of my long past to my present, and artwork is no exception. The tricky part is leaving the baggage behind and pulling the treasures forward!
With a difficult childhood, I developed the bad habit of negative self-talk, reminding myself too often of how I had missed the mark, fell short of expectations and simply made "too many mistakes". I occasionally struggle with it still, but God has blessed me with the wisdom to recognize it. One of the advantages of age is that we can recognize this for what it is, and work with it, and, perhaps, turn it into an advantage.
The treasure I pulled forward in order to create this piece is a lifetime of "working around" challenges. My local color studies of this state park on the columbia River left me bored, so I decided to put doubt away and "let it out" by tweaking the palette, changing the paper and breaking a few rules.
Sometimes, in order to remain positive in life (or art, politics, music etc.) one has to break a few rules.
N. Lacie Abell
"Red Trees in winter"
Soft Pastel

Friday, July 3, 2009

Marty Rogers "Shadows and Old Roses"

This painting was done from a tiny thumbnail sketch I did many years ago and came across while looking through my sketch books of the years I have lived in the Pacific Northwest. I was challenged to give it a try with such a small amount of information, makes a couple of changes to make the piece work, and believe it did. As a result I can see the possibilities of doing more work from old notes and sketches.
Marty Rogers
Age 74 and 3/4
"Shadows and Old Roses"
Watercolor 19 x 22 framed
February, 2009

Leslie Stadnichuk "Wisdom"

In January, I was part of a short term missions team that visited Santa Rita in Guatemala, a community built underneath a bridge and home to the very poor. We were there to assist with a building project and provide some medical help. Word got out that we were there and people came from far and near. On the third morning, I saw a young girl in the distance assisting this woman who was her grandmother down the steep slope from the street level to the church/school/feeding station where we were working. I knew I was witnessing something extraordinary.
In spite of her age (94) and circumstances, she was in perfect health and had a peace and beauty about her that is rare. She gave us permission to photograph her and although many shots were taken, this candid one seemed to best capture her grace and wisdom.
I began with much fear and trepidation, wanting to do justice to the subject. Fear was quickly replaced with excitement as this dear lady began to appear on the paper. The experience was a delight from start to finish and God willing will be the first of many portraits for me.
Leslie Stadnichuk
Age: 52
Pastel 18" x 24"
March, 2009

Gretchen Rohde "Ware Walk Pond"

This beaver pond off the White River in North Central Washington has been a favorite painting spot since my first visit there in 2001. In 2004 it was officially named Ware Walk Pond, after a local longtime resident of the area, Mary Ware, who discovered the pond in the 1940's. Mary Ware and her husband John were full time residents of the Lake Wenatchee area, John being the USFS Ranger through the 1950's until John's death in 1995. When Mary died in 2007, I made a visit to the pond and found the pond drained dry. This painting was done in June of 2009, and I was so thrilled to see all the water back in the pond ( thanks to the local beaver population).
What a perfect day to paint - the water back in Mary's pond, the sun out the birds singing and the great feeling of pushing oil paint around.
Gretchen Rohde
Age: 60
"Ware Walk Pond"
Oil on panel 12" x 9"
June, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Robyn Williamson "Haiku Michelle"

During a workshop taught by artist Dawn Emerson, I decided to join in and try my hand at drawing the figure. It had been 39 years since I worked from the model. I didn't have any supplies or an easel, but Dawn graciously offered to share her pastels. I found a piece of foam board and propped it up against a folding chair and got down on my knees. There was only time remaining for 3 short poses. I have used the model, Michelle Wolff, for several figure sessions at the La Conner Art Workshops over the years and I admire not only her beauty and grace, but her professionalism. Now to actually be drawing her was a different experience. I considered the first pose a warm up and hit my stride with the second... with great regret that I did not choose to use good paper. With the last pose I knew only that I wanted to emphasis Michelle's beautiful neck. I finished this drawing in a few minutes and spent the remainder of the pose thinking...adding the final touches after Michelle had stepped down.
For me, painting with my friend Dawn, painting a friend Michelle, and painting with new friends in the workshop was truly a "Paint a Positive Picture" moment. I had traveled, for a short time, to the "zone" and was reminded that, although I rarely have the opportunity to make art, I still am an artist... and I get to be one for the rest of my life.
Robyn Williamson
Age: 58
"Haiku Michelle"
Pastel on BFK 22x30
April, 2009