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Art on Vacation

When we were in Napa Valley recently, the concierge at Bardessono recommended a local artist for a private in-room art workshop. Karen Lynn Ingalls was an extraordinary instructor with a very engaging teaching style.  Her specialty is mixed media in vibrantly charged colors. This delightful painter introduced acrylic painting techniques combined with stenciling and collage, and used a simple paper plate to illustrate the effects from a variety of acrylic media.   These different techniques can be quite confusing, but Karen made them fun for experimentation with different papers and stencils. ...

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Hi from Ojai!

We are always looking for a mini-vacation no more than four or five hours drive from Monterey. Several weeks ago we had the wonderful experience of staying at the historic Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, a glorious oasis directly east of Ventura. The wonderful climate of the Ojai Valley draws celebrities and regular folk to  rejuvenate their health in a sanctuary of tranquility at the spa or on the vast grounds where tropical birds in large cages talk to you in hilarious repetitions of whatever you say. The trails –especially the Pratt Loop–are easy and long, with sweeping vistas of the...

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Inuit Art: Fusion of the Arctic and the Pacific

Inuit art has always had a profound impact on my aesthetics, almost as much as Japanese art.  The humor, minimalism, and abstraction in form combine in an original way.  On a recent visit to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Montreal, I had the memorable experience of viewing perhaps the best collection of Inuit art in the world. What is not well known is that the Canadian printmaker, James Houston, who had trained in Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock printing, brought his technical skills to Cape Dorset in 1957 to encourage local Inuit stone carvers to learn etching, engraving, lithography and silkscreen...

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“In the Moment”–Japanese Art from the Larry Ellison Collection

  The current exhibit (June 28-September 22) at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco  introduces sixty-four exceptional art treasures, mostly screens and paintings by acclaimed artists from the Momoyama through the Taisho periods (roughly sixteenth through early twentieth centuries).  All of the artwork is from Ellison’s Japanese architecturally designed estate in Woodside. With a retired museum curator as his advisor,  Ellison’s collection is extraordinary in vision.  The artwork includes Buddhist religious art, humorous illustrations of folk tales, and floral  and animal...

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“SaltWorks” –Return to the Sea

  Last Sunday, August 25, the Monterey Museum of Art was filled to capacity.  See the YouTube video clips to get a feel for the community response , both here and in an older YouTube video of Charleston, North Carolina where Yamamoto teaches , if you didn’t get a chance to be there yourself! The line went out the door to see the the closing of the Motoi Yamamoto exhibit SaltWorks”  (see my earlier post dated July 3 for the review of the exhibit).  The participatory experience for those of us who had the opportunity to disassemble the artwork was popular, especially with young...

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Japanese Art as Metaphor: “Return to the Sea” and “Hanga Reinvented”

Japanese contemporary art can be a wonder to behold, as evidenced by the current exhibit at the Monterey Museum of Art.  These two ongoing exhibits are not to be missed.  The first is a 300-pound salt installation that covers  1800 sq. ft. of the gallery floor, now roped off so that the observer doesn’t inadvertently step on the salt. Motoi Yamamoto’s lovingly created artwork is a commemoration of his sister’s death almost twenty years ago. Table salt has been painstakingly drawn with a needle-nosed bottle to create a lacy, macramé-like image of two typhoons, resembling a...

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