MIA TAVONATTI, JAYNE REICH, TOM LAMB, STEVEN LUSTIG, ELLEN ROSE, MEL ANDREWS, RENE ROMERO, MELODY O’CONNOR ALLEN, SUZIE VUONG, and JORN FOX.
MIA TAVONATTI earned her BFA and MFA from California State University Long Beach, where she majored in Illustration. Mia has studied in Paris at the Sorbonne, Parsons School of Design, in the studio of renowned French impressionist Monsieur Relange’, and in Italy and Greece numerous times with such renowned international painters as Dominick Cretara, Johnny Cariachi, and Demitri Mitsanas. Over her long career, Mia has exhibited extensively in the US, Italy, France and Greece. Including having her work chosen annual award shows at the American Museum of Illustration in New York and the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators numerous times. In 2007 in Italy, thousands of people from thirty countries witnessed the European solo debut of her project Svelata, a monumental series of oil paintings on canvas, at the ancient Museo Arsenale in Amalfi. In 2008, Mia was one of twenty artists chosen worldwide for an exhibition in Acquasparta, Italy, where she was awarded “Best of Show”. Mia has since returned to California and has formed the Svelata Foundation and is currently producing the Power of Words Project, a national humanitarian mural campaign. Mia has been known to paint with glass…Her intricate stained glass mosaics weave her experience as a painter with her love of high renaissance glass mosaics.
She has created numerous mosaics for churches, restaurants, residences, corporations and public works projects throughout the US over the last sixteen years. Mia’s monumental glass mosaics Svelata and the Crucifixion of Christ garneted her consecutive 2nd and 1st Place awards at Artprize, the world’s largest art completion, in 2010 and 2011.
As a part-time painting and mural instructor at Laguna College of Art + Design in Laguna Beach, California for the past twenty years, Mia and her students have been responsible for the creation of eight public murals. Mia currently resides in Santa Ana, California.
MELODY O’CONNOR ALLEN grew up in the then sleepy little town of Seal Beach, in Southern California. I spent summer days on the beach, swimming and body surfing and soaking up the sun. Other days were spent wandering the Eucalyptus strewn hills behind Seal Beach, inhaling the fragrance of the dry leaves and ragged Eucalyptus bark. My return to California, after a number of years in the Midwest, has given me the freedom to explore the play of the color of sunlight on ocean waves and the hillsides covered with chaparral.
I have been indelibly influenced by Monet, Degas, Van Gogh and by California painters of the Impressionist period: William Wendt, Franz Bischoff, Granville Redmond and Edgar Payne. I use very soft pastels on sanded paper, allowing me to add layer upon layer of rich pigment, giving the images a more painterly effect and a fuller depth of color. I have also chosen the medium of pastel in part because of the tactile pleasure of applying the pigment to the gritty surface of sanded paper.
“For me, painting is about delicious, sensual color, quirky line drawing, and always a dash of humor”, says ELLEN ROSE.. Large canvases and brushes allow me the freedom and joy I felt as a kid painting with poster paint. In the last two years, I’ve done several commissioned pooch portraits. While photographing the dogs as reference prior to painting, I’ve become aware of the extraordinary bonding of man and pet in terms of love, devotion and well-being that I have found most affecting. Although painting is a solitary pursuit, in the process of photographing “Fido”, I’ve met some wonderful people and lot of great dogs.” Ellen will be happy to paint a portrait of your doggie, ask for details.
“I graduated from art school twenty years ago. In that time I have been a husband, an artist, “Stay-At-Home” Dad, and a home-school teacher. Being at home allowed me to paint & develop my work over the years. Today both of my children are adults, so I am a full time artist, painting five days a week. I agree with Mark Rothko that art is a job, so I try to paint five days a week, and eight hours a day. A few years ago I ran across this quote by Picasso, where he said, "Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." This approach to art made a lot of sense to me. I'm drawn to contours, the interaction of positive and negative space, and the use of contrasting and complementary colors.
Henry Matisse, David Hockney, Pablo Picasso,Eyvind Earle, Henry Moore, StewartDavis, GeorgiaO’Keefe,Vincent van Gogh, are some of my favorite artists.” MEL ANDREWS
Photographer RENE ROMERO began his life-long artistic career at the early age of five, when his father recognized his talent and gave him his first set of art supplies. Since then, having majored in fine art at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he has pursued a career in commercial art and advertising. After years of art directing both product and lifestyle photo shoots, he decided to strengthen his artistic talents by getting behind the lens himself. Today he operates his own design studio and, when not dealing with his clients, takes his camera equipment with him wherever he goes around the world. "The spectrum of light is a snapshot of time that provokes emotion,” says Rene, and this is what he attempts to capture when exploring artistic mediums.
Aerial, architectural, landscape, ethnographic, panoramic and interpretive photographer TOM LAMB in this exhibit pays homage to the monumental installation of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, “Floating Piers”. He photographed this display in 2016 in Lake Iseo, Northern Italy. Tom, as Christo, is interested in the balance between the natural world and man's mark on the land. Based in Laguna Beach, Tom uses photography along with pioneering trends in new media for his art of storytelling, as well as to champion environmental awareness. His images examine how we interact with the planet's most valuable but increasingly threatened resources.
JORN FOX was exposed to art at an early age by his father, an art instructor and abstract painter. He believes his real art education came from many hours he spent painting in his studio where his canvases offered unlimited opportunities for expression, exploration and discovery. His series of impressionist scenes, Coastal Landscapes have a signature characteristic of his elegant style with stunning locations and moments that have inspired them. He uses palette knife and brush and his striking use of color, pure and thickly layered immortalizes his subject matter. Jorn is frequently referred to as a California Impressionist. His works are of national recognition and are included in numerous collections throughout the United States.
"Human behavior, relationships, and scripture inspire the inward significance throughout the body of my work," explains HOLLY BUFFUM about her mixed media artwork. She finds that combining photography, paper sculptures, ink, pastels, watercolor and acrylics allow her endless possibilities of creation. "My subject matter represents qualities of love, support, strength, and compassion. The intention is to inspire personal growth in the viewers by challenging their thoughts and perspectives."
STEVEN M. LUSTIG’s sculptures are born out of a love of the human form and its natural motion. It is powerful, passionate, and embraces both human and natural forms. He was born and raised near the North Shore of Chicago where he began drawing at age 5. In high school he met a regionally known sculptor and began his fine arts education. His early work combining computers, art, and human motion became the genesis of Steven’s fine art. Steven moved to Southern California in the 80’s to work at an Olympic research center focused on Sports Medicine and Biomechanical Engineering. He has illustrated four books and completed a series of life science illustrations for the Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He currently teaches a stone sculpting class at the Laguna College of Art & Design, and Digital Media and Photoshop classes at Golden West College.
JEFF SCHWALM’s earliest stone carving influences date back to his old world Italian Grandfather. For the past thirty-five years Jeff has worked as a master craftsmen creating and executing beautiful stone and tile designs in people homes. Jeff has always known he would pursue a lifestyle where he would use his hands and follow some form of art. From the first stone sculpting class that was offered to Jeff in 2004 at Laguna College of Art and Design, he knew he had found his passion. Jeff’s artistic vision became taking those raw uncut stones, and being the master craftsman, to discover and uncover the beauty that is hiding within each piece. Sometimes that journey takes him to a place where he tests the stones boundaries and sometimes the stone test his boundaries. There is no greater pleasure than shaping raw stone boulders, whether it's marble, alabaster, onyx, or any other stone, into finished sculptures of art. Now after twelve years, this is his heart and soul. This is the path he plans to follow for the rest of his life.
SUZIE VUONG's works have been displayed in museums, art forums and galleries in over 33 countries. Her paitings have found universal admirers and collectors in the USA and all around the world. She is inspired by nature's beauty, emotiions, music and poems.
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