Tag Archives: art exhibition

Baywood Artists Paint Point Reyes

Weekend visitors to Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, California, have a treat in store for them. Through the end of this month, the exhibition of paintings by the Baywood Artists is on display at the Red Barn Classroom near the Visitor Center. Over 50 paintings of tule elk, pelicans, horseback riders, surf, fog, and the water and land of Point Reyes illustrate some iconic—and not so iconic—scenes.  The show is a benefit for the Point Reyes National Seashore Association, the primary nonprofit park partner organization created to raise awareness and funds for education, preservation, and resource protection of the National Seashore.

Point Reyes Poppies by Tim Soltesz.
Point Reyes Poppies by Tim Soltesz. Oil. 18 x 24. At Point Reyes Wild.

The show is a treat. From Tim Soltesz’ largish painting of fog rolling in to Christin Coy’s teeny views of the marshes, the works showcase the many aspects of Point Reyes.  While most of the works are oils, some are other media:  watercolor, pastels, graphite.  Something for every taste and price range.  And, even better, I hear the show is selling fairly well—nice to hear, because the sales benefit not only the artists but the land.

It’s this choice to use their artwork to support conservation efforts that so impresses me with Baywood Artists. Well, that and the high quality of their artwork!  For three years running they have chosen the Seashore as their focus.  You can see from the images that they spent a lot of time at Point Reyes painting.  Some of the works are from a mountain summit, which means the artists lugged their easels and paints and canvas up some trail to get those images!  It’s a dirty job, I know, but someone’s gotta do it, right?  All the better for us, the viewers, and the lucky people who take those paintings home.

Point Reyes Wild is on display weekends only through the end of September 2014 from noon to 5:00 p.m.


Ironstone Vineyards Spring Obsession 2013

I’m delighted to say I’ve been accepted into the Ironstone Vineyards Spring Obsession 2013 exhibition! I’ll be at Ironstone, in Murphys, California, on March 2, painting at the winery in the afternoon and attending the reception from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $25, and are available by calling (209) 728-1251 ext#11/reservations. They’ve even posted my bio on their blog!

The Lighthousekeeper's House by Stephanie Benedict
The Lighthousekeeper’s House ©2011 Stephanie Benedict. Oil on canvas, 400 mm by 1000 mm

The show runs through May 12, 2013, 3:00 p.m. I hope you can make it!

When you go wine tasting, do you think about purchasing artwork from a winery?

Ebb and Flow: a solo exhibition by Kathleen Dunphy

I had the chance to attend the opening of Kathleen Dunphy’s solo exhibition, Ebb and Flow, at Knowlton Gallery in Lodi, California, this past weekend. Twenty-six paintings fill the gallery at Knowlton with light and—I have no other word for it—grace. The works range from still lifes of flowers in glass vases, to cows quietly watching the watcher, to fog rolling onto the Marin Headlands. Some were created on site, en plein air; many are larger studio pieces. (A couple of the pieces are 36″ by 48″, and one is 48″ by 60″.)

Kathleen Dunphy at Knowlton Gallery
Kathleen Dunphy discusses how she painted “Sanctuary” from the small plein air sketch in her hand. At the opening of Ebb and Flow, October 2012. Photo by Stephanie Benedict

The landscapes, especially, have a grandeur and immediacy to them that stops you in your tracks. And it’s not the plein air pieces, so full of the energy, that strike you. No, it’s the big ones. So often, enlarging a smaller painting results in a loss of the energy of the original work. However Dunphy did it, whether by creating a new composition by using multiple sketches as the source material or what, she has given the larger pieces a different kind of energy: less visceral, perhaps, but more intense.

I overheard another artist at the opening say, as the highest compliment he could pay, “I wish I’d painted this.” Well—me, too.

(Full disclosure: I’ve taken several of Dunphy’s workshops. I’m a huge fan, so this is not an unbiased review.)

I’ve long maintained Dunphy is an incredibly generous teacher. She was also generous with visitors at the opening. The 30 or so people who attended last Saturday afternoon got to hear Dunphy describe how she uses her small plein air sketches as source material for her larger pieces. Her stories of trying to catch the light before the fog engulfed the view, or heading out for trip to the Sierras and forgetting all but one brush, helped give each painting a life beyond mere canvas. They also helped her listeners understand a bit of what it’s like to be a painter.

It’s also nice to see all the red dots at the exhibition.  But then, most of Dunphy’s paintings sell.  So if you’re interested, act quickly.


Ebb and Flow: Painting Nature’s Rhythms is at Knowlton Gallery in Lodi through November 24, 2012.


Rivers of Gold

Full disclosure: I am an associate artist member of the California Art Club, and my painting was not accepted for this show.

The California Art Club finally came to the greater Sacramento area in the fall of 2011, when it established its Greater Sacramento-Sierra Chapter. Although the club is over 100 years old, it had never had an inland northern California chapter before. (And already the chapter has more than 90 members!) To celebrate, the club is currently holding its inaugural exhibition for the chapter, Rivers of Gold, at the Bank of America Gallery at Three Stages, at Folsom Lake College, east of Sacramento.

South Fork-Cosumnes River by Annie Fountain
South Fork-Cosumnes River by Annie Fountain. Oil. 6″ x 8″. Used by permission. On display in Rivers of Gold through September 2.

This is, as expected, a very strong show. The California Art Club is dedicated to supporting traditional painting and sculpture—that is, representational art. Rivers of Gold, themed around the rivers of Northern California, showcases 17 artists and about 25 paintings in styles that range from semi-abstract to very traditional tonalist works to impressionist styles. Many are plein air pieces, though not all. The artists represented include some well-known painters, such as Kathleen Dunphy, Susan Sarback, and Michael Knepp, to newcomers Annie Fountain, Tatyana Fogarty, Jane Welles. (I wonder if it’s significant that there are 5 men and 12 women represented in this show.) It’s great to see so many excellent pieces from around our region all showing in one place.

The gallery itself is fairly new. It’s part of the Three Stages complex in Folsom, which opened only in 2010 or 2011.  The gallery space is quite small, a triangular room tucked between the building’s exterior wall and an interior wall surrounding one of the theaters. While I’m glad to have another art gallery in the region—the space could use some sound muffling. The maybe 50 people who attended the reception July 21 filled the space with the kind of din you get at modern restaurants, where you almost need to shout at your companions to be heard. I am sure that lots of attention went into the acoustics for the theaters, but it seems they overlooked this gallery space.

And the gallery is open very limited hours. So if you’re planning a visit—and I do recommend the show—be sure to check the website or call first, to make sure it’s open. Rivers of Gold runs through September 2, 2012.

Stockton Art League 57th Annual Exhibition

Stockton Mayor Ann Johnston presented 24 awards at the opening gala reception for the 57th Stockton Art League Juried Exhibition at the Haggin Museum in Stockton Thursday, July 5. While your humble blogger was not one of them—they did use a detail from my painting for one of the banners outside the museum!

Banner at Stockton Art League show at Haggin Museum
One of the banners at the Stockton Art League Show at the Haggin Museum. The second from the bottom on the right is a detail of my piece.

Seriously, I am honored to have been included in this show. The quality of the work is very high. The show includes representational art, including both figurative and landscape pieces; abstracts; sculpture; and pottery. Entries came from as close as Stockton and as far away as Alaska and New Jersey.

Lighthousekeeper's House ©2012 by Stephanie Benedict.
They hung my painting by the sign for the show. The Lighthousekeeper’s House, ©2012 by Stephanie Benedict. Oil on canvas. 16 x 40.

The award for Best in Show was presented to Adam Forfang, of San Francisco, for his realist piece “On Thin Ice.”

On Thin Ice by Adam Forfang
On Thin Ice by Adam Forfang. Oil.16″ x 14″. Used by permission.

And if you’ve never been to the Haggin Museum: you’ve missed a gem. The paintings along the back wall in this photo of the awards ceremony (below) are part of the museum’s collection of Albert Bierstadt and William Keith paintings. And in other galleries there are works by Bougereau, Rosa Bonheur, Jean-Leon Gerome, William Merrit Chase, George Inness—even Gauguin and Renoir. They also have a collection of local and regional historical items, including a 1927 wooden boat.

SAL Awards Ceremony on July 5, 2012, Haggin Museum
SAL Awards Ceremony on July 5, 2012, Haggin Museum

I think it’s great that a local museum teams up with contemporary arts organizations like the Stockton Art League, the Plein Air Painters of America, and the American Society of Marine Artists to exhibit contemporary works, not just historical pieces.

Thank you to both the Stockton Art League and the Haggin Museum for including my piece in such a great show! The Stockton Art League show will be up until September 2.