Sunday, March 08, 2015

Charlien Muller

Charlien Muller is a wonderful artist/art teacher in Pretoria, South Africa.  I met in a link from another great artist in Italy that my son met while stationed there. As a Facebook friend I had the chance to see her art over several months of posts. 

Charlien has a love for art and in sharing this painting she wrote "This one is to show my passion for painting." The thing I like about her work is that her art expresses the creative mind she possesses as well as that passion for art

 She is a dancer in a room of statues and a bright splash of crimson on a midnight blue palette.

Most of her art is bright full of color, unreal color but like this windmill it provokes visions of reality I have seen in Sonoita, Arizona. Her's is an art of giving life to the ordinary we see every day. I am forced to look again at a favorite quote by Georgia O'Keeffe, "When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not." I find this compelling work.

She loves and I mean really loves what she does and says of this painting, "I love this one. People started calling it my lollipop style."  I am very grateful for the chance to see her work on Facebook almost every day. When I say her work I include the art of her students Charlien posts often on her page. Albert Einstein said "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."

 Charlien also does great looking mugs and her Facebook page gives a great view into her wonderful personality and gift for teaching, showing off her students works.

Thank you Charlien Muller for many colorful smiles you give to those who follow you on the Internet. To visit Charlien's page and follow her by clicking [here]

Friday, October 22, 2010

Analee Fuentes Ghosts of the Past and Future

I met Analee Fuentes at the Maude Kerns Art Center’s Dia De Los Muertos show this year, first through her works and then in person.

Analee was born in San Diego, California and raised in an area I am well familiar with, Barrio Logan. I worked for awhile at Continental Maritime of San Diego and drove through Barrio Logan often and loved the murals and art I saw in that area. It is no wonder Analee came to love art and the culture she was a part of growing up.

It always amazes me when I look back on my life and see the influences on my life and how little I realized the effect my environment had on who I am today. Analee Fuentes now beautifully portrays culture, mysticism, color of the past in beautiful works, like the one above, with the world today and the tenderness that surpasses the grave. Her presentations of this and other works for the Dia De Los Muertos bring mortality into the land of the living in a hauntingly sensual and sensitive look at death and life.

I went to Analee’s website ( to understand more fully the depth of her work and found a treasure of visual images that is impressive. Graphic images of color and diversity with smoothly rippled water and crossed fingers of the lottery along with earthy and earthly portraits that focus razor fine on small aspects of a larger view.

Meeting Analee was a little like meeting a calmer side of life spiced with a peppers of enthusiasm of her work. The thing I liked most about this artist is her willingness to open to her environment. Reading her biography page I was impressed by this particular paragraph:

"The Northwest has a distinct cultural history laced with stories of immigration and racial movements; most emphasize the Eastward route led by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. My awareness of the influx to our region is different, focusing more on the Northwest movement, the ongoing movement from Atzlan, the current “Oregon Trail.” It is more like the swirling of a living river than a wagon train. I necessarily view my surroundings from my perspective, in the here and now. Here is where Sasquach meets El Chupacabra, where Chalupas are not little boats, but something one eats at Taco Time." ~ Analee Fuentes

There are many trails like the Oregon Trail and I am glad her’s crossed mine at this show and I was treated to her wonderful sense of culture and the timelessness of her creations. I’ll look for future works and showings of this fine artist in the future.

Día de los Muertos Arist Talk
by Analee Fuentes
Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 7-8:30pm
The Maude Kerns Art Center invites the public to a special Día de los Muertosartist talk by Analee Fuentes on Wednesday, October 27, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Center. Fuentes, a Mexican American artist living in Coburg, has four pieces in the current exhibit, including a striking image of two skeletal lovers kissing and a humorous rendition in watercolor of the famous Grant Wood painting, American Gothic. She will speak about her work within the context of the popular Día de los Muertos holiday.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sarkis Antikajian

Maude Kerns had another opening. It was Sarkis Antikajian a local and well known artist.

Sarkis is not only well known and well respected as an artist he is also a very fine person who is quick to smile and offer help to other artists. I had met Sarkis months ago in the parking lot at Tamarack Health Center where the Plein Air Artist Group was having a show.

Maude Kerns Art Center was doing a retrospective on Sarkis' wonderful works.

This is a great self portrait hung at the entrance of the gallery.

I was most impressed by the variety of works from Oil to Sculpture with a wide variety of themes from Still life to...

... the human form.

There was this wonderful clay and ...

... this colorful image of a man at a table with a spray bottle.

There was man with dog...

... and man reclining.

From black and white ink figures to ...

... and men in a field...

... and I really liked these eerie white trees in a rainbow of background colors.

I liked the girl with sunflowers I think mostly for the focal emphasis on the subject and the nondescript yet colorful background.

I think this was my favorite, a casual look at a girl at rest.

As I got to the back part of the Maude Kerns Center I saw these very unique Tulips caught perfectly in the natural light of the window.

Next to them was a book...

...changing focus I could see Sarkis also had a book on display.

Before leaving I got a picture of one more sculpture. This is a small sample of Sarkis' works for more information visit his website [Click Here] and be prepared to be impressed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Faye Nakamura

Pink Ginger by Faye Nakamura

So often we see art as a monolith of canvas and oil or acrylic possibly paper and watercolor but Faye Nakamura shows the diversity of media and creativity of spirit that sets her apart and virtually in a niche of her own. Ceramics, shells - of her creation, a little fabric, tiles and a beautifully created world of fantastic reality. 

Her work is best seen with a sense of adventure and thought because every piece I've seen has elements that beg the viewer to think about and envision a life both playful and peaceful at the same time. Delicate yet strong, her women in art guide me to understand that gentle beauty is a only a thin cloak over power and wisdom. Faye creates with a beauty from within that exposes a thoughtful and bold spirit hidden behind an engaging smile.

Some of her work can be found at the Karin Clarke gallery in Eugene, Oregon where she was recently featured in a show I absolutely loved. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Adam Grosowsky

One of the most interesting artist in the Eugene area is Adam Growsowsky. His art is reminiscent of Rembrandt and Vermeer but with what I consider more sizzle. High contrast and great use of yellow, orange and red against a black void. The works all seem to pop off of the canvas to capture the viewer.

Not only are they bold but for the most part are physically larger than life. I first saw his work at the Karin Clarke Gallery Annex on Willamette and was blown away.

Adam is a professor at Lane Community College where my son just completed his pre-U of O studies and I did get to see him for a brief moment on day I was visiting there.

In preparing for this posting I discovered that Adam is quite an athlete and slackliner. No! Not a slacker. He was one of the pioneers in walking on a slack (the opposite of tight) rope. I found this in an article online:

"Adam and Jeff (a friend) began practicing their balance among the high trees and peaceful valleys of Yosemite in the late seventies, and introduced many people to the sport. They were very good, even by today’s standards, and could do numerous tricks including an impressive juggling routine while both of them were on the line. Adam was an incredible line surfer, and could even do a handstand on the line. These tricks are astounding even among slackliners today."
As a professor there is high praise like the comment below I found also online at a site where students rate their professors.
"Best painting teacher I ever had and I am a 57 yr. old artist; my mentor. A really great teacher who puts his all into it; and a great painter. Hardest I ever worked at any course; quite intense; demands your best and then some. Great exp. that changed how I work for the better."
One of my all time favorite artists Adam's work can be seen at the Karin Clarke Gallery.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Robert Schlegel - Not Bird houses Birds and Houses

I guess we all have favorites and Robert Schlegel was definitely mine one Friday night in May. Robert Schlegel was kind enough to pose with a set of four smaller birds. I was drawn to this one because the birds are the ones we see at our feeders every year [not not the exact same birds but the same species.

Robert's work reminds me of a term used more often for food than art but it is very appropriate here. This is definitely "comfort art" much the same way my mother's home cooking was and Sharyn's is today "comfort food." Art can hit people different ways and these images of birds and homes were very special. It's a little like Deja Vu looking at the soft yet brilliant colors and feeling, well, comfortable.

Just as we find comfort in rural pastoral settings Robert's homes from a city seem to blend into the soul and tickle the mind.

He shows us the beauty in simplicity and it is more than marks of paint on canvas there is detail in the simplicity that transforms the images into thoughtful look back in time, at least for me.

Houses I am sure I've seen in Louisiana, California, Montana or one of the many Midwestern cities and towns I have passed through in my life all start to find their way back to me as I walk slowly through the Karin Clarke Gallery a representative for his work here in Eugene Oregon.

Birds and...

... houses all great - Thank you Robert. You can visit Roberts Personal Web Page by clicking here or typing

Monday, April 07, 2008

Diane Widler Wenzel - Art on the road

"Reed Dragon, the Protector"
© Diane Widler Wenzel

Diane writes a bit about this painting
"Reed Dragon, the Protector" is an acrylic painting on museum wrapped canvas, 16" x 20", started on location at Mittery Lake, Arizona, March, 2008. Then at home seeing a fish-like figure in the reeds I pulled out the image and accented the fish dragon.
As some of you may know I have another blog called Travels with a Muse that started with our first trip from Oregon to the East Coast in our Musemobile a 30 foot Winebago Sightseer. Well it just so happens another RV person who has a Sightseer found that blog and wrote me.

It was then I noticed she was an artist who uses her Sightseer as a traveling Art Studio. That artist is Diane Widler Wenzel. We corresponded a bit and I visited her links and to make a long story short I asked her to allow me to feature her on this blog. I've added her links below so you can visit her sites and enjoy her work and creativity.

She was kind enough to send the image above and more, here is her Artist's Statement:

My outdoor paintings are colored by my captivation with the dragons collected by my paternal family who lived for generations as foreign native merchants in Shanghai. (mid-nineteenth century to 1946)

The outdoors has been a part of my art journey since 1956. I was 13 and we were camping under the redwood trees in Big Sur California when mother gave me her hand made brushes, easel, and wood box of oil paints. Ever since then I have been practicing painting outdoors. Outdoor painting has brought me to a closer relationship with nature on camping, hiking, back packing, boating, and white water rafting trips. Living outdoors gives me time to visualize my place in nature’s mystery. So rather than reproducing the scenery I am more interested in painting my feelings and connections to whimsy.

Then when I am back home and review my outdoor paintings, I often find the reoccurrence of dragons in the “S” curves that I favor. This whimsy I attribute to my exposure to Asian arts as a child. I lived with my father’s few humble household pieces with dragon motifs. One piece in particular has influenced me. It is an early 20th century Milles Fleures Vase now on loan to the Jordan Schniter Museum of Art at the University of Oregon.

My latest adventure is in our Winnebago Sightseer Coach March, 2008. On this first long trip my husband and I explored his interest in fishing holes in warm weather around Yuma, Arizona. One of our stops at Mittery Lake we parked our motor coach between reeds so thick that I could not physically penetrate them. I could hear the young birds in their nest and see the fish jumping in their shadow. I was facing the reeds out on a man made fishing access where time had slowed down as I relaxed. Then the roar came from behind - the Air Force helicopter was getting closer and loader. I felt targeted. Then it just hovered over me. I thought it would leave but I counted the seconds on and on. I had to put my brush down and put my hands over my ears. Still the horrible roar, so I turned around and looked up and waved. The helicopter left then only to return an hour later to make a circle - checking out how my painting was coming. The aviators needed to see. Ours is a changing world and it is an important need to get in touch with the earth’s primal dance.

Diane is a cool person and a wonderful artist who paints from heart and cares about the world we live in today and the world that awaits us in the future.


©Paul Viel