Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Meet Artist W. Vaughn Lew, Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

W Vaughn Lew
Murphys, California
T-004  In Like a Lion  oil  16x20  $500

I'm originally from Eastern Oregon. My family moved to Lodi in 1961 where I attended Lodi High School, graduating in 1964.
  I then enrolled at Sacramento State College, where I was a Commercial Art Major. De Witt Whistler Jayne was my main influence. He was a renowned commercial artist, illustrator, and portrait painter with a gift for teaching and an eye for perfection. "Mr. Lew", he would say, "so much for a nice beginning, but let's have a finish." I've been striving for that quality ever since.
   Another instructor that had a very positive effect on me was Dr. Tarmo Pasto, an eccentric art psychologist and art instructor who taught the "Space Frame Concept". It was all about space and form.
   After graduating from SSC and getting a teaching credential I was fortunate to get an art teaching job at Elk Grove High School. I taught there for several years, but had an itch to get into construction. That is where I've been until eight years ago, when my wife Glenda, and daughter Melissa and I moved to Murphys.
   One thing that is certain is that art requires a commitment. I feel that I now have the time and space to finally concentrate on my painting. Although I have been producing some art over the years, it is only now that I can continue to the next piece without an extended time period between. Landscapes, townscapes, wildlife, and portraits all interest me. My goal is to create images that bring the viewers into a space that takes them away, and gives them pause to reflect.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Meet Artist Jorune Jonikas, 18th Annual Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist


T-026  Three Graces  acrylic  14x18  $195

Discovering late in life that I could create art has been an unexpected gift. Although throughout my early life, I always wished I could draw, I never seriously considered attempting it or taking classes - until I retired.  I retired from a 25 year career in federal law enforcement and decided to explore that persistent itch and started taking every art class that was offered through the Smithsonian in Washington DC. It was a new and wonderful world opened up to me by professional artists teaching the Smithsonian art classes. During my time there, I was privileged to be included in gallery art shows at the Foundry Gallery, Washington DC and at the Mansion at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD.

Moving to Sacramento allowed for continued growth-taking different and varied art classes, and getting to know new talented artists.  Painting to me is quiet and contemplative and although I tend toward the realism side, I'm still learning and experimenting with different styles and bolder colors. I paint in oil, acrylic, watercolor and pastel. I find each has its own dynamic and that sometimes a subject matter is better suited to one medium than another. I have a definite fondness for painting animals, both wild and domestic and I have been fortunate to have received commissions for pet portraits. I have paintings in private collections in Maryland, Illinois, Colorado and Sacramento. I have been honored to have been accepted into juried shows at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center in 2012 and 2013, and have exhibited at Citrus Heights City Hall and at restaurants in Fair Oaks and Sacramento. I am especially pleased to have been accepted into the Ironstone Vineyards, Spring Obsession art show for the fourth time. Ironstone has been a wonderful and awe inspiring experience.

Meet Artist Debra Montgomery, Ironstone Spring Obsession THEME Division accepted artist

Debra Montgomery
Fine Metal Sculpture
Copper and Wood Daffodil
T-028  Renaissance  repousse  7.25x10.75  $1500


I am a welder by trade, having changed careers in 2000. I anticipated pursuing a very practical blue collar career when I went back to school. In discovering the aesthetic versus functional aspects of metal along the way, it has proven to be an unexpected and fascinating detour in my vocational path.

Working primarily in welded steel and the copper forming techniques of repousse and chasing, I value the potential for expressiveness and texture in my work. An integral part of my style is accuracy and tangibility. When people see my work, I want them to be inclined to reach out and touch it.

I do not always have a set plan when I start creating a piece. Of course there are mathematical formulas to calculate factors such as proportions and scale. Other times, the metal surface can, in essence, take on a life of its own, with the shadows from the lights hinting where the next hammer hit should be. A good part of my passion for and the challenge I get out of my work is driven by my finding the way to the end result.

I take great pleasure in utilizing traditional metalsmithing techniques, bringing into fruition, detail-oriented two and three dimensional art that would be considered non-traditional in nature.

As I continue to hone my skills as an artisan, I hope to develop my portfolio into a diverse and extraordinary collection of work that one would not expect to be constructed out of metal.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Meet Artist Katerina Rutherford, Spring Obsession THEME & OPEN Division accepted artist

Katerina Rutherford

T-019  Festival of Life I  gouache  18x18.5  $450

Paintings "Festival of Life 1" and "Festival of Life 2"

This is my 3rd Obsession and 4th Theme Division. for this year's Spring Obsession I wanted to create a joyful painting, one that celebrates the creative events put forth every year by the Ironstone Winery.

For the connection between wine and art, I tried in both paintings to express through a wonen-themed allegory of dancing in tulips, playing inside vineyards of daffodils in a wine glass.

I reducted my color palette to two tones to get more expression out of the painting. Finally, I used cubist abstract forms I found while being inspired by cubist artist Vaclav Spala (1885-1946), who comes from my home country, the Czech Republic.

T-020  Festival of Life II  gouache  18x20.75  $550

Angels Camp and San Francisco motifs accepted into the OPEN Division 2015

I am a plein air painter. Over the past 10 years I have focused more and more on plein air painting. My major topic on canvas over the last five years has become cities.

Angels Camp:

O-125 Gold Rush House  oil  15x18  $800
Angels Camp is an amazing gold rush town in Northern California, situated right on top of the Mother Lode of gold. Angels Camp was founded during the Gold Rush days in 1849/50.

O-126  Main Street Angles Camp 2014  oil  26x19  $1200

Walking along Angel Camp’s famous frog jump sidewalk on Main Street has a feel like time stopped during the Wild West days, except for one difference: you will not see horses and buggies, but big American cars and pickup trucks. This contrast of big cars and trucks and the Wild West architectural styles became a new approach to my plein air artistic visions.

San Francisco:

O-127  Powell Street in San Francisco  26x21  $1500

In May 2014 I spent one week painting in downtown San Francisco. During that one week I worked on only two motifs, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. My experience of painting cityscapes has personally been worth it!

Powell Street is one of San Francisco’s typical, breathtaking streets that winds up and down the city’s hills…cable cars snaking up and down, appearing and disappearing again at the top of another hill. Next to the cable cars are vertical and horizontal lines of cars and swarms of people busily moving about the city… I found this to be a perfect morning motif.

I realize that except for San Francisco’s buildings, everything else is in motion. I simply became an animator trying to capture the blink-of-an-eye on canvas over the course of five mornings. The City by the Bay’s fickle weather blessed us that week with consistent, warm sunshine.

If you would like to see more of my artworks, please go to my websites: :or under my name. Both websites are in English, German and Czech.