Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018

And the Winners ARE....

T-023  Daffodils-In-Blue  by Ron Miranda  oil 16x20  $2000
Calaveras County Arts Council Special Blue Ribbon Award goes to
Ron Miranda for "Daffodils in Blue

O-060 Homestead by Paula Oesterling mm 12x13 $145-
Family Merit Award Ribbons:

Paula Oesterling, "Homestead"

O-154 Hoofveats in Spirit by Brad Stone acrylic 30x24 $450

Brad Stone, "Hoofbeats in Spirit"

W. Vaughn Lew, "Apple Blossoms"

T-014 Spring Apple Blossoms  by Vaughn Lew  oil 20x24  $1100

Judges Merit Award Ribbons:

Margaret Sloan, "Farmington
O-119 Farmington Road by Margaret Sloan wc 6x6 $175

Barbara Conley,  "Davis Grocery - Closed for the Day"
O-123 Davis Grocery Closed for the Day by Barbara Conley acrylic 14x24 $3300

3rd place OPEN Division

Marilyn Wear, "The River Flows" 
O-062 The River Flows by Marilyn Wear  wc 14x20 $1500

2nd place OPEN Division

Joani Taylor, "Blue Macaw"  

O-033 Blue Macaw by Joani Taylor   wc 24x30  $1500

1st place OPEN Division

Juliana Tillman, "Morning Walk"

O-134 Morning Walk II by Juliana Tillman Watercolor 8x10 $225.00 SOLD

2018 Series #21 Theme Division Poster Winner

Connie Carson-Romano,  "Simply Daffodil"

T-005 simply daffodil by Connie Carson Romano acrylic 20x20 $275

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Artist Leslie O. Vasquez, Not your typical artist's backstory

Bio for Leslie O. Vasquez

O-105 Connecting earth and sky during furtile moon by Leslie Vasquez oil 24x30 $750

Not your typical artist's backstory ….

Leslie spent her childhood outside Reno, Nevada, playing in boats, hiking, riding horses and camping with her family in the Sierra Mountains but art was not her thing. She comes from a long line of professional artists and musicians so she was surrounded by incredible art and people but she never had that gift. It was painfully obvious she was ‘not the talented one’ in her family.

So instead she embraced the outdoors and found she was great with animals. Her first jobs were as a ranch hand on a cuttin’ horse

O-102 Watching You by Leslie Vasquez oil 24x30 $1000

ranch and an Arabian horse ranch working with foals, horses, dogs and cattle. She earned her college degree in English Lit and became a writer among other jobs before having children.

So it came as a total surprise to her when at age 43, she turned to art. So sure she wasn’t good at it and never would be, she wouldn’t even have considered it except she wanted her young children to have more art experience than school was providing. So she turned on PBS with the idea that while watching Bob Ross paint mountains and “happy trees,” she would learn enough to translate the concepts to her youngsters in a way they could enjoy.

"I'm from the PBS-school of fine art," she laughs without hesitation. But the moment she picked up a brush she felt overwhelmed with joy, hope and a powerful healing energy. She suddenly saw nature, animals … everything in a new way -- with the artist’s eye. Science made sense. The world opened up before her.

Within the first year she was talked into teaching art by the local recreation agency who had previously hired her to provide outdoor adventures to the public. The arts council soon heard of her and also hired her to teach art in the schools. Within the second year, she started winning awards, was urged to hang her artwork in shows (both juried and non) and her paintings started selling. Local theatres began having her paint their sets and backdrops. For a while she was in such demand as an artist that she was losing time with her family and lacked time to get outdoors. It became obvious Leslie had to start saying, “No” and learn to balance the demands on her time. There is still the occasional show, awards, and backdrop to paint, and she still goes into the schools as a visiting artist but she also carves out time to explore and paint en plein air.

O-104 Iris Party by Leslie Vasquez oil 24x38 $1400

She still teaches art in the schools for the Arts Council and PTA groups and is hired to give talks about art.

“Doing art is like trekking through the wilderness,” she says. “The struggle is rewarded with discovery not only of a pretty vista but of awe-inspiring, profound feelings … and the struggle is necessary. It’s what changes you. You can’t improve without it.”

Leslie is a member of the Amador Artists Association, the Amador County Arts Council and Arts in Education Committee. In 21014, Leslie was awarded Amador County “Art Patron of the Year” by the Amador Arts Council.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Meet Artist Kathy Oja, Spring Obsession Artist

O-017  Beauty so Sudden  by Kathy Oja mm 20x16  $350

Kathy Oja - CV

BA Degree in Philosophy – Sonoma State University, California

Various artist workshops and classes – local and international


Ongoing   Gallery 621, Benicia, CA - Artist Member

Ongoing   Camel Barn Painters group show (artist member) -- Java Pointe Café, Benicia, CA

Solo Shows:

September 2014    Jordan Real Estate, Benicia, CA – two person show

November 2013   Benicia City Hall - solo show

October 2012   Shiroco Home Décor, Benicia, CA - solo show

September 2012   Gallery 2110/Loft Gallery – Sacramento, CA - solo show

O-019 Dreaming of Better Days  by Kathy Oja mm 16x20  $350

Juried Shows:

December 2015 Arts Benicia, Gems III – juried show

October 2015 – August 2016 – Vallejo Art Windows- Vallejo, CA – juried show

October 2016 – August 2017 – Vallejo Art Windows- Vallejo, CA – juried show

March 2015   Ironstone Winery Spring Obsession, Murphys, CA - juried show

March 2014   Ironstone Winery Spring Obsession, Murphys, CA - juried show

Group Shows:

September 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017   Arts Benicia Art Auction & Gala – invitational

October 2013   Umpqua Bank, Benicia, CA - Camel Barn Painters group

May 2013   BAIC Multimedia, Benicia, CA - Camel Barn Painters group

January 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 – Arts Benicia, Art of a Community – group

May 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 - Arts Benicia Open Studios