Sunday, June 28, 2009

Johnny Apodaca

Johnny Apodaca had the opening of his gallery in Carmel, California. Johnny has been painting on the Central Coast for 36 years. Here are some photographs from his opening in Carmel. There was great music and paintings that filled the room. It is so awesome to see Johnny open this gallery for his work. Great Job Johnny! If you are in the area you need to stop by and check out his work. Johnny has a varitey of sizes and prices. The gallery is located at Dolores St. between 5th and 6th in Carmel, Ca, 93921. p:831.250.7031.

Johnny and Suzka, keepin' it real. It was great to see some of my painting friends I dont get to see all the time and talk about Johnny's new gallery and his abstractions. Johnny is pushing his work and can really see his love and passion for paint.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Octopi Collective Workshops @ the National Steinbeck Center

The Octopi Collective held our first workshop together at the National Steinbeck Center (NSC), located in Salinas, Ca. The Octopi will be showing in the large gallery at the NSC during the Steinbeck Festival. The opening reception for the Octopi's work is August 7th from 6 to 8pm. The theme for the festival comes from Steinbeck's book, "The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights". So the Octopi has read or is reading this book and using it as inspiration for the body of work that will be at the NSC.

Our 2 day work shop is educating the children on a variety of things you can hand make with supplies you have around the house. We tea stained paper to age it. We also created our own hand made paper, and stamps. Bringing all of these things together the kids will create their very own story with a hand made manuscript. Below are some images from the first day.

Also if you are interested in purchasing your own Octopi t-shirt they are $12.00. You can email: for more information.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well, it seems that Change doesn't even make mochas. Change makes "Get the Hell Up and Start Working" cafe, but it is okay because her chocolate chip banana pancakes are to die for!

I have been doing quite a large amount of researching and discussing with a variety of sources from on-line, to books, to extremely knowledgeable artist working in encaustic. I love to work large, it is like candy to me, well more like the sun dancing on my skin after being in the fog for so long. When I have the opportunity to work large, I will. I am creating my largest works in encaustic. I believe it is very important to challenge myself in life and art. I always learn more in challenging situations and I love to learn. Challenging myself is not always as tasty and sweet as those chocolate chip banana pancakes, but if I learn the recipe well, where ever I go, I will be able to make chocolate chip banana pancakes.

My personality has been going through changes. I have had a complete 180 degree living situation change and I am learning to just, keep working.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Living in Inspiration

There is something to be said about an artist and the space they choose to inhabit and create. I have been reading "Where Inspiration Lives" edited by John Miller and Aaron Kenedi. This book is about writers, artists, and their creative places. I am going through a living transformation of my own.

I was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. I lived in the same bedroom from birth until I left the nest for college at the age of 18. Since I started college I have moved seven times. I lived on my campus, which is former Fort Ord for five years hopping from barrack to barrack.

I was on the train one day and sat next to a nice gentleman and we got to talking. He and I had something in common. We both lived on Fort Ord. His experience was much different then mine, but it was a connection that I had with him that I had not had with most other people I had met. We were able to talk about the view and the grassy hills that the barracks, which are now college dorms, sit on top of looking out to Monterey Bay and all its Cypress glory.

Since graduation, I have been living on the outskirts of former Fort Ord. Never veering too far from the ocean. As you and I both know I feed off the ocean and the inspiration it gives me for a large portion of my body of work as an artist.

This book, "Where Inspiration Lives" discusses about a few artists and their connections to their surroundings. Artist Richard Diebenkorn, moved to Ocean Park in 1966 from Berkeley CA. Out of this move he had a studio with light that had him inspired in a way like nothing before. This is when he created his Ocean Park series. Georgia O'Keeffe took a trip to Abiquiu, New Mexico in 1929 and went for a hike in the area and found dilapidated buildings known as Ghost Town. She would travel back there multiple times, made it her other home and she created some of her most profound work there. Here is a excerpt from a letter she wrote to Anita Pollitzer in 1916,

"Tonight I walked into the sunset to mail some letters and the whole sky--there is just so much of it here--was just blazing and grey blue clouds were rioting all through the hotness of it ... I walked out past the last house, past the locust tree and sat on the fence for a long time, looking, just looking into the lightning. You see there was nothing but sky ... there was a wonderful moon... It is absurd the way I love this country. ...And the sky, Anita, you have never seen such sky. It is wonderful."

The book discusses about Peter Matthiessen in Sagaponack, Larry McMurtry in Archer City, Anne Rice in New Orleans, Gary Snyder in Kitkitdizze, Terry Millan in the East Bay, Eudora Welty in Jackson, Henry Miller in Big Sur, and Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond. You see for every artist a place of inspiration is different. Some artists travel far and wide to be inspired and have interactions with people all over the world. Other artists may live in the same area for their whole life. Every artist is different and how they capture inspiration to produce their work.

Gary Snyder writes, "Place is a relationship like a marriage. Either you enter into that relationship, and it's very rewarding, or you deny that relationship, and you live in loneliness."

Here is an photograph of my old space from my front door. I would hear people walking the streets at varies times of the day and night. This street is the main street for the emergency transportation, so sirens are an everyday occurrence and I too would hear that noise at varies times of the day and night. The one saving grace was that I lived so close to the ocean, so when times got hard I would go to the sea and just let myself feel the water hear the crashing waves and smell that rotting kelp.

I have learned to befriend Change. Change is a different creature than my friend Art. Change seems to show up when ever she feels like it. Change is not always nice and pleasant but when I let Change do what she wants, wow, she takes me to the coolest places I never imagined. So here is change working her magic on me. This is the current view from my new door step. Im out looking Steinbeck country, which is great because Im gearing up to create work for the National Steinbeck Center with the Octopi Collective's exhibition in August. I'll let Change and Art hang out together over the next several weeks and see what they do. As for me? Well, I will be in production mode. I just hope Change makes a sweeter mocha than Art.

O I cant let you go without you seeing this super rad beetle I found as I was walking up my wooden stairs. A-MAZING!

Working in Wax Lecture :: Eileen P. Goldenberg

Yesterday was the Bedford Gallery's 'Working in Wax' lecture given by Eileen P. Goldenberg. Eileen discussed about the growing popularity of encaustic work. This was a great opportunity for people to ask questions about the medium and the history of encaustic. Many members were there and a few of the showing artist came to support the education of the medium. This was also a great time to see the show again. Although I was there for a few hours during the opening reception there is nothing like going back to the gallery to really soak in the work with little to no distractions. This body of work at the Bedford Gallery is an extremely stimulating exhibition. There area variety of techniques and applications used with the encaustic medium. There are small sculptures, encaustic mono prints, realistic portraits, collage, and the exciting wax living room created by Wendy and Judy, who live right here on the Central Coast. I felt like I was in college again as I diligently take down the names and techniques of the artist I had not studied.

The Picture below is a close up of Rodney Thompson's Ceremonial Robe Series. I wanted to see his use of pigment and structure up close and personal. I have been researching and studying most of my time in the last few weeks with working large, so checking out this exhibition again was a great way for me to see in person the use of pigment, working large and just how the painter decided to finish their edges. If you are in town, or passing through, you should take some time and look at the exhibition.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club

The Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club (MPYC) and the Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) worked together to hold the first annual event, 'On the Bay in Monterey'. This event is put together to raise money for the Youth Sailing Team of MPYC. It is events like this and community support, that we are able to educate our youth and promote outdoor education. There were 285 pieces of art submitted to the juried show and only 20 pieces were selected. E. Michael Whittington, the Executive Director of MMA juried the exhibition that will be showing until June 18th. I submitted work for the community event and was juried into the exhibition. I am very jazzed about it all. 'On the Bay in Monterey' has three events for three potential times to have our local community come out and support the program while receiving an amazing piece of art. It is a win win. So here we go to Warf #2 for the first event. It is the private Artist Reception, where members of the MPYC and the artists meet each other.

Above is Johnny Apodaca's painting. Johnny has been painting on the Central Coast for many years and has recently been working on these large oil abstractions. Johnny has a gallery in Carmel and if you are ever in the area, you should check out his body of work! Apodaca has an amazing sense of color. Below is the ever so exciting picture I send to my parents with me and my acrylic painting. And who is that I see, it is Allyson Malek, with her painting which is next to Johnny's. I was very excited to see Allyson at the event. This is our third juried exhibition together. My other painting pal, David Molesky had a piece in the exhibition, 'Rip Curl', which was next to my piece.

The reception was exciting. I enjoyed being able to spend time discussing with fellow artists as well being able to meet and converse with the members of the MPYC about their experiences with sailing and their love for the ocean. That is most defiantly one thing we all have in common, the love and passion of the ocean.

The second event was today which was the Wine, Art and Jazz afternoon. The event went from 2 to 6pm with raffle prizes throughout the event.The proceeds from the raffle benefits the Youth Sailing Team. The food was amazing (which was paired up with the most perfect wines) the conversation kept me on my toes, and the view, breath taking.

The ribbons were awarded, the wine was being tasted and the foodies were being enjoyed. The Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club sure knows how to put on a very successful and truly enjoyable event. My painting sold tonight and I am very excited that I am helping to support my local community with what I do best, paint. Here is a photograph of the collector and me with the piece. Check out the RED DOT.

Even though the afternoon was winding down the Sun has been staying out late these days. I can not blame the Sun, it is summer. I want to stay out longer too. So I went to a local beach and watched the sun set. As I was walking to the beach I happened to glance up and started laughing. This image seemed so silly and absurd to me. I felt like the pooch was flying over me. So I had to take a quick shot of the dog looking over his land, as he watches his Sun set.

On my walk back I found a half eaten pepper. The color just screamed at me as I was walking by. I took it in. That blast of energetic color was the most amazing way to finish my night.