California Art Club

104th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition

When the California Art Club returns to USC's Fisher Museum of Art to present their 104th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition from March 29 - April 19, 2015 this spring, I'll be exhibiting a new large painting titled The Rush. This piece is located in the Pinto Basin of Joshua Tree National Park.

Purchase tickets to the Opening Night Gala Reception here.

The Rush, 24" x 48" © Eric Merrell

The Rush, 24" x 48" © Eric Merrell

The Artist As Critic: Art That Inspires

An Interview with Eric Merrell Discussing His Salton Sea Haze and Gustav Klimt's (1862-1918) Attersee, 1909 by Stephanie Campbell (Summer 2013 issue, CAC Newsletter).

Salton Sea Haze, 30" x 30", © Eric Merrell

Salton Sea Haze, 30" x 30", © Eric Merrell

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918),  Attersee , 1901, Oil on canvas, 31.57" x 31.57" Leopold Museum, Vienna

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Attersee, 1901, Oil on canvas, 31.57" x 31.57" Leopold Museum, Vienna

Eric Merrell was recently interviewed by Stephanie Campbell for the Artist As Critic series featured in the California Art Club Newsletter (previously featured artists include John Asaro, Amy Sidrane, and Tony Peters, among others). Here is the article:

STEPHANIE CAMPBELL: When did you first learn of Gustav Klimt, and how did he and his work impact you?

ERIC MERRELL: It was in my early college years, while I was at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia that I first learned about Gustav Klimt. I was initially introduced to his figurative work, which is what he is best known for, but a few years later I cam across a book that was specifically dedicated to Klimt's landscapes. Immediately, I was intrigued by his use of color and shapes, and found his landscape compositions innovative and fresh.

SC: Can you tell us a bit about Klimt's era?

EM: Klimt was classically and conservatively trained at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts where he focused on architectural painting. His career began as part of an intimate group of painters with his brother, Ernst, known as the "Company of Artists." The group provided him with important public projects including interior ceiling murals in large buidings on the historic Ringstrasse in Vienna. One of his most successful series was the "Allegories and Emblems." Some years later he became one of the founding members of the Vienna Secession movement. The secessionists were a group of many different kinds of artists who were trying to find a bigger and newer voice, but not necessarily with the purpose to get rid of the tradition. They were just trying to find their own place in the art world.

SC: How do you classify yourself as an artist?

EM: That's hard to say. I feel an affinity with the California Impressionists and also with some of the Romantics, but I don't know if it's completely accurate to place myself in those categories. The title "Romance of the West" that American Legacy Fine Arts gave to my summer 2011 exhibition was very apt. Romance in the classic sense is missing from the contemporary art world, and I think that is a big part of what my work is about. The ideal American West, pulling oneself up by your bootstraps and making something out of an opportunity, is something that I feel is lacking today.

SC: What ultimate effect would you like to have on society as an artist?

EM: I want to show that there is still something new that can be said with painting. I want to paint subjects they may have otherwise not thought of as being paintable. I find myself avoiding "traditional" perspectives of landscapes and digging a little deeper. For example, some of my latest interests have been painting right at dusk and during the middle of the day, periods which many artists refer to as "flat light" as there are no shadows to use for contrast. Of course, the world doesn't change from 3-dimensional in the morning to 2-dimensional at noon and back again in the afternoon - these situations are all paintable, they just need to be approached differently. I have also found that nocturnes provide a lot of room to explore artistically. In these types of situations I find I can solve some of these problems by playing with abstractions, shapes, and color. By doing so, I hope to show people how to see things from a different perspective. I truly enjoy taking a very traditional scene and making it my own, as Klimt did.

SC: How would you compare your style to that of Klimt's?

EM: Our color sensibilities are different, as is with every artist, because color becomes a very personal thing. Our training is also very different; he was trained under the much more classic academy and atelier style, whereas my education was (initially) based more on commercial illustration. Despite these differences I feel a kinship with Klimt. I can relate to the way that he saw the world. He didn't just do landscape for landscape's sake, he was doing something more unique with it.

SC: How do you think your painting Salton Sea Haze and Klimt's Attersee are similar and how are they different?

EM: Though our color sensibilities are different, our palettes are similar in this case where our use of colors are in the same family, such as the silvery violets and the cooler sea greens. I wasn't familiar with Klimt's painting, Attersee, until after my wife Ramona, went to Austria and saw it in the Leopold Museum. She emailed me a picture of it, because she thought the similarity (including the square format) was uncanny to my Salton Sea Haze. Despite how similar the tones are, the paintings are climatically different: Attersee depicts the cool damp European climate while Salton Sea Haze shows the dry heat of the southern California desert.

SC: What do you find particularly interesting about the Salton Sea, and what do you think Klimt saw in Lake Attersee?

EM: I've become more interested in temperature and color contrasts, beyond value contrasts, and because the desert lends itself to those qualities I often paint there. In particular though the grand scale of the Salton Sea and the fact that not a lot of artists have explored it as an appealing subject matter, gives it a pioneer aspect. It also has a bad stigma to it (drug trafficking, dead fish, and abandoned trailer parks) but I want to show the beauty that is there that people don't think about. The feminine aspect of depicting a body of water is what first comes to mind with Klimt as inspiration for Attersee, as his work often featured women. There is also the challenge of painting a body of water, Unfortunately most of what we are taught about Klimt relates to his figures, historically his landscapes and the inspiration behind them have received little attention.

SC: How would you compare Klimt's landscapes to his figurative work?

EM: They all have a mosaic quality. A 2006 LACMA exhibit of Klimt's work had a few figures and a few landscapes. The exhibition allowed people to see that although the subject matter is different in the paintings, there is a lot of crossover between the two areas. His landscapes may have been more of a breath of fresh air to him, because most of his figures were commissioned works, which meant dealing with individuals and committees, while his landscapes would have been painted by personal choice.

SC: What in particular attracts you to Klimt's Attersee?

EM: There is something about this painting that always seems to retain a certain freshness; it's one of those paintings that you can keep looking at and it never gets old. It has a contemplative quality that can put you into a meditative state.

SC: Do you think that you and Klimt were trying to achieve the same visual effect?

EM: I feel like he was honoring traditions, while still using his own voice and creating something different. I hope that is something I am also achieving. I'm in this funny position contemporarily where I feel as though I'm more modern than a traditionalist, but I'm too traditional for the modernists. Somehow, I like that.

SC: How directly do you think Klimt's style has influenced you?

EM: I don't think his style has influenced me so much, but it's rather the way he sees things in simple shapes and design. Our textures and brushwork are different, but the way he views the world and translates that onto his canvas has had a big impact on the way I see the world.

SC: How do you feel Klimt has influenced other contemporary artists?

EM: Klimt was so unique in his own way that it is hard for people to be directly influenced by his work without having their work inadvertently look like his. Indirectly, I think that he has influenced contemporary artists such as myself in a way that inspires us to follow our own voice.

102nd Annual Gold Medal Exhibition

I've just learned that the painting shown here will be included in the California Art Club's 102nd Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition in June, held this year at USC's Fisher Museum of Art. For me this painting is personally important as it contains my deep affection for the wild open spaces of the desert, but it was also contains artistic growth for me, pushing myself to paint new things I'm seeing, such as the subtleties of dusk and other areas of visual perception that can sometimes take on an abstract quality but are nonetheless made more "real" solely by context. In other words, our perception of the world is often abstract, but certain things ground that perception and help us understand it.

I'm also honored to have been recently elected to Signature Artist Member of the CAC.

Amidst the Slowness, 24" x 28", © Eric Merrell

Amidst the Slowness, 24" x 28", © Eric Merrell

Remembering Daphne Huntington (1910-2012) and Her Contributions to CAC Art History

by Eric Merrell, CAC Historian

Florence "Daphne" Huntington, c.1920’s. Courtesy Christopher Kennedy.

Florence "Daphne" Huntington, c.1920’s. Courtesy Christopher Kennedy.

It is a rare opportunity to engage in conversation with a living link to the California Art Club’s past. I had just such an opportunity when I met Daphne Huntington on a number of occasions, each of which I remember fondly. She recalled stories of her time with the CAC, both as an exhibiting member as well as the club’s Vice President. My wife Ramona and I took Daphne to the CAC’s 98th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition in 2009, held that year at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA). Although just shy of her 99th birthday, and with more than one-hundred artworks to be seen, she was so happy to take in the entire exhibit and talk about the art that she never stopped for a break. We had lunch with her afterwards, where we heard stories about her life in Los Angeles, the film and animation industry, and the artistic personalities with whom she and her sister, Venetia Epler, worked.

Daphne Huntington and author Eric Merrell at the California Art Club’s  98th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition , PMCA, May 17, 2009.

Daphne Huntington and author Eric Merrell at the California Art Club’s 98th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition, PMCA, May 17, 2009.

Daphne Huntington, born October 24, 1910 in Ketchikan, Alaska to Franklin Epler (1891-c.1920s) and Anne Farrer Epler (1892-1994), was the eldest of three children, including sister Venetia Epler (1912-2005) and brother, Richard Epler (1913-2002). (1) Throughout their lives Daphne and Venetia were inseparable, and their friends often referred to them collectively as “The Girls.” It would be nearly impossible to describe one without including the other.

Daphne at her birth was christened Florence Daphne Epler, while Venetia was named Louise Van Ingen Epler. Neither sister liked their given names, so they often changed them; in their youth several different last names can be found on their work, including Peyton, Farrer, Quintain, and McLane (all but Quintain were family names). (2) The family resided in Hollywood, but they also for a time lived in Seattle and Colorado, and around 1921 travelled overseas from New York to England on The Turrialba, spending nearly a year with an aunt in Dunsfold, Surrey. (3)

The girls’ great-great-grandfather was the English artist Thomas Charles “T.C.” Farrer (1838-1891), a student of Pre-Raphaelite philosopher and artist John Ruskin (1819-1900) at the Working Men’s College in London. T.C. emigrated from London to New York City in 1858, and began exhibiting there and in Philadelphia. T.C.’s brother Henry Farrer (1843-1903), also an artist, joined his brother stateside in 1861. There the younger Henry became a founding member, along with William Trost Richards (1833-1905) and a handful of others on January 27, 1863, of the Association of Advancement of Truth in Art, which was based on the principles of Ruskin. (4) With their background, the Farrer brothers became leading American Ruskinians and an integral part of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in the United States (c.1860s-1880s). (5)

Other artists of note in the family include the English portrait painter Dominick Elwes (pronounced “el-wez”) (1931-1975) and his sons, painter Damian Elwes (b.1960) and actor Cary Elwes (b.1962). The girls are also related by marriage to English artist Walter Sickert (1860-1942). (6)

On another trip to England (after 1934 (7) ) the girls, along with their brother Richard and one of their British cousins, Geoffrey Alexander Farrer Kennedy (1908-1996) took part in a play titled “Spring Leaves,” which had been written by their father, Franklin Epler, a prolific poet, writer, and editor. The gala opening of the play was performed at the Court Theatre in London, with the Duke of Kent, Prince George (1902-1942) in attendance. The three siblings took to the stage in London again for the performance of another play written by their father, titled “Kept Woman,” presented at the Theatre Royal. (8)

In London, presumably on the same trip, Daphne and Venetia studied mural painting, stained glass, and mosaic at the Slade School of Fine Art and the London School of Arts and Crafts. They also took time to learn techniques of the Old Masters at the École du Louvre in Paris. (9)

The girls’ first stained glass window design was developed in England of “The Good Shepherd” for the Child’s Chapel in the Old Crusader’s Church in Compton, Surrey. Later, and in the U.S. they would create stained glass windows for churches in Beverly Hills and East Los Angeles. (10)

Back in California and living under the same roof with their mother and brother (Richard began to go blind at about age thirty, and their father had died mysteriously when the children were just teenagers), the girls continued their art studies with several well-known California artists, including Percy Gray (1869-1952), Sam Hyde Harris (1889-1977), Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939), and Claude Parsons (1895-1972). Percy Gray reportedly adored Venetia, and called her “Vanilla;” his watercolours became a big influence on the girls’ landscape work.

Along with their works of fine paintings, the multi-talented sisters designed public murals, wrote poetry, illustrated books, such as The Fables of Moronia, 1953, by Brigadier General Herbert C. Holdridge (1892-1974), and began working for Hollywood studios, including Hanna-Barbera and Warner Brothers, creating background animation artwork for early popular children’s TV programs, Bucky and Pepito (1959) and Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse (1960, Trans-Artists Productions). Later in 1973 the sisters worked together for Paramount Pictures on the highly successful full-length feature animation, Charlotte’s Web. (11) Although Venetia is usually credited for her animation work, Daphne often assisted her anonymously.

Daphne and Venetia also created ceramics and jewellery, including earrings, brooches, and various wearable adornments, and sold the work through companies bearing their brother’s name. The Richard Epler Novelty Company and Richard Epler Studios—Venetia’s Creations as well as Designs by Venetia of California are recognized today as collectible labels. Their line of Aztec-inspired turquoise ceramic-ware won them awards and publicity. (12)

Following their mother’s lead in social circles, Daphne and Venetia became closely involved with many southern California women’s and arts organizations, including the Hollywood Association of Artists, the National League of American Pen Women, National Society of Arts and Letters (Daphne served as president), the American Institute of Fine Arts (AIFA) (Daphne served as president and on the board of directors), the Women’s Club of Hollywood, San Gabriel Fine Arts Association, Artists of the Southwest, The Ebell, and the California Art Club (CAC) (Daphne served as exhibition chairman in 1960 and 1961, and vice president in 1967), among others. (13)

Daphne often assumed the role of mother hen, taking on the responsibilities of the household; this only increased when their mother fell ill. During this time it appears that Daphne’s selfless generosity, well known within her community, allowed a gypsy and his “relatives” to take advantage of the Epler family. The gypsy convinced Daphne that they needed money to aid their terminally ill child. After loaning the gypsies nearly all they had, Daphne was confronted with the sharp realization that not everyone possessed her sense of integrity.

As a member of the CAC, Daphne was the first of the two sisters to exhibit with the organization, submitting her painting, The Emerald Hour, to the 50th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition held in 1959 at the Greek Theater in Griffith Park. She exhibited as an “Invited Guest Artist,” a category that year that included other established names such as Joe Duncan Gleason (1881-1959) and Conrad Buff (1886-1975). (14) The following year, in 1960 Daphne was elected California Art Club’s Exhibition Chairman, and re-elected for a second term in 1961.

In addition to her demanding work as a volunteer exhibition organizer, she managed to exhibit her own work at The Rancho Club and the Friday Morning Club in Los Angeles, where she won first place for a landscape painting. Along with fellow CAC members, Elsie Palmer Payne (1884-1971) and CAC President Horace Edmund “H. E.” Huey (1895-1963), Daphne presented painting demonstrations at the Duncan Vail Gallery. (15)

In 1964, Daphne’s work was included in an exhibition of five California artists showing at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City along with her mentor, Claude Parsons, and CAC artists Orpha Mae Klinker (1891-1964), Paul Lauritz (1889-1975), and Edgar Payne (1883-1947). (16)

Daphne exhibited again with the CAC in 1967 at the 58th Annual Gold Medal. In the exhibition materials, she is listed as not only an exhibiting artist, but also as the Club’s Vice President. The following year at the 59th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition (1968), Daphne won a 1st place award in the Marine category for her painting, Emerald Sea.

In four of the subsequent CAC Gold Medal exhibitions, including the 60th Annual (1969), 62nd Annual (1971), 64th Annual (1973), and the 66th Annual (1975), Venetia exhibited alongside Daphne in all but the 64th Annual (1973).

(L-R): Mrs. Wells (AIFA), Daphne Huntington, Colonel Wells (AIFA), President Richard Nixon, Venetia Epler with her portrait of President Eisenhower. Courtesy Christopher Kennedy.

(L-R): Mrs. Wells (AIFA), Daphne Huntington, Colonel Wells (AIFA), President Richard Nixon, Venetia Epler with her portrait of President Eisenhower. Courtesy Christopher Kennedy.

Venetia created many portraits—her most famous was commissioned by President Richard Nixon (1913-1994) of President Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969). The painting hung in the White House during the Nixon presidency (1969-74). The Eisenhower portrait garnered Venetia another dignitary portrait commission, this one of Peter J. Valez de Silva, the Ambassador from Malta to Guatemala, where Venetia and Daphne were invited for the unveiling. (17)

A few years later, after their brother Richard had passed away in 2002, “the girls” somehow again become the victims of a scheme by a vagrant to rob them of their house. This person had moved into the upstairs portion of their house that wasn’t in use. Cousin Christopher Kennedy declared that although the girls at times seemed almost “incapable of understanding that a human being could be even remotely dishonest,” there were clues that they might have slightly enjoyed a sense of intrigue! Daphne related to Christopher once—with a twinkle in her eye—that when the vagrant and his friends were watching movies on an ill-gotten TV in her living room, she would drink beer out of a can. During this colorful period, the girls also learned how to fire a handgun in the backyard and “how not to BBQ a steak (quite so close to the garage).” (18)

Venetia (left) and Daphne working on the painting for “The Life of Christ” mosaic at Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries in Covina Hills. Courtesy Christopher Kennedy.

Venetia (left) and Daphne working on the painting for “The Life of Christ” mosaic at Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries in Covina Hills. Courtesy Christopher Kennedy.

The girls have two massive mosaic murals in their oeuvre; although each bears the title “The Life of Christ,” the two mosaics are different. The earlier and larger of the two, dedicated on June 22, 1975, resides at Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries in Covina Hills, California. The second, dedicated on April 9 (Good Friday) in 1993, is located at Woodlawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home in Orlando, Florida. (19)

The Covina Hills mosaic, one of the largest of its kind, (20) immediately strikes the viewer as they drive through the front gates at the memorial. Originally designed and painted in oil by Daphne and Venetia, the mural features twenty-six scenes from the life of Jesus, including a rendering of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) as the centerpiece. The 3-story mural was created out of 13 million pieces of hand-crafted, multi-coloured Venetian glass, tesserae, painstakingly copied from the original painting by the workshop of Italian master mosaicists, Ferrari e Bacci di Bacci Enzo e Bertellotti Aldo S.n.c (Ferrari & Bacci), in Pietrasanta, Italy. The project took six years to complete while being overseen by the two sisters; when completed, the monumental mosaic measured 172 feet long, 34 feet high and contained 460 figures. (21)

The Orlando mural features twenty-three scenes from the life of Christ and includes another rendering of Da Vinci’s famous work. Ferrari & Bacci returned for their second project with the sisters, where master mosaicist Aldo Bertolotti and his son Manrico began assembling the mural using 11 million tesserae in their studio in Italy in 1989. Taking four years to complete, the mosaic measured 78 feet long by 20 feet high. (22)

The mammoth mosaic at Covina Hills carries no mention of or credit to its creators. A small inscription to be placed on the sisters’ crypt, located inside the mausoleum that bears the mosaic, will be the only visible sign. (23)

When Venetia passed away in 2005, Daphne went to her bedside and just sat holding her sister’s hand. It was one of those rare periods that the two weren’t together. Though her production slowed, Daphne continued to create artwork and write poetry in these later years, always full on energy and smiles. When she joined her sister on October 2, 2012, she was just shy of her 102nd birthday.

The following is one of the earliest poems written by Daphne Huntington. It was read at her memorial service.

HAPPINESS By Florence McLane Peyton (a.k.a. Daphne) at age 12-ish

Free, free, free With limbs of ecstasy I shall leap from crag to crag Like a bounding stag On the lightning light of morning

Higher higher I shall aspire Where that star Burns afar With a golden light adorning

From there Through the air I shall spring And swing On festoons Of crescent moons And climb a star vine That glows with an iridescent shine Until I reach A golden beach That the waves from the Sea of Happiness kiss

I will sail On the sea in a pale Rose cloud boat And float In infinite bliss (24)

Notes: To learn more about the artwork and lives of Daphne Huntington and Venetia Epler, visit daphnehuntington.com

FOOTNOTES:

1 Christopher Kennedy, “Daphne Huntington and Venetia Epler, Career Notes,” p.1

2 Christopher Kennedy email to author, Oct. 23, 2012

3 Kennedy, “Career Notes,” op. cit.

4 http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/DLDecArts/DLDecArts-idx?type=div&did=DLDECARTS.NEWPATHV1N01.I0008&isize=text, (retrieved Oct. 23, 2012)

5 Andrew Melville-Smith, on AskART.com (retrieved Oct. 15, 2012) http://www.askart.com/askart/artist.aspx?artist=27198&GUID=CA95E6C1-8093-4A92-A3EC-2A7E6C101E75

6 Kennedy, “Career Notes,” op. cit.

7 Prior to Prince George becoming Duke of Kent in 1934, the title had not been used for some time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_Kent (retrieved Oct. 25, 2012)

8 “Duke of Kent Attends Opening Performance of Charity Play,” newspaper clipping, n.d.; “Charming Americans Thrill London Audiences,” newspaper clipping, n.d.

9 Famed Artist-Sisters Hold Exhibition of Their Work, Walter A. Bailey, South Pasadena Review, Dec. 14, 1977, p5

10 Christopher Kennedy, text for Daphne’s eulogy, email to author, Oct. 22, 2012; http://www.askart.com/askart/h/daphne_huntington/daphne_huntington.aspx (retrieved Oct. 24, 2012)

11 http://www.bcdb.com/cartoons/Other_Studios/T/Trans-Artists_Productions/index.html (retrieved Oct. 23, 2012); also Filmation Associates, TV shows, late 1960s; Hanna-Barbera, Warner Brothers, Churchill/Wexler Productions

12 Kennedy, “Career Notes,” op. cit.

13 Famed Artist-Sisters, op. cit.

14 California Art Club Archives

15 “Exhibition Chairman,” “Demonstrators,” June 1960 CAC Bulletin; “Award Winners,” March 1961 CAC Bulletin; “Committees, July 1961 CAC Bulletin, CAC Archives

16 Kennedy, p.10

17 Famed Artist-Sisters, op. cit.

18 Kennedy, op. cit.

19 It Took the Patience of Job To Create Life of Christ Mosaic, Adelle M. Banks, Orlando Sentinel, Apr. 4, 1993; ‘Life of Christ’ Mosaic Dedicated, The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, June 23, 1975

20 Though not in the world: “The largest mosaic in the world is in the central library of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City. Two of the four walls are each 12, 949 square feet.” Ibid.

21 ‘Life of Christ’ Mosaic Dedicated, Herald-Examiner, op. cit.

22 Banks, Orlando Sentinal, op. cit.

23 Daphne Huntington memorial pamphlet, CAC Archives

24 Huntington memorial pamphlet, op. cit.

Unearthing CAC History at the Smithsonian Institution

Published in the Spring 2012 CAC Newsletter

© By Eric Merrell, CAC Historian

When the history of the California Art Club (CAC, founded 1909) began to intrigue me about a decade ago, the club’s known past was partial at best. Entire decades were denuded of information. Sometimes tantalizing rumors survived, such as those of a CAC art collection and library. As I was drawn further into the Club’s storied history, I decided to try and put it all back together.

Taking what was already in the CAC Archives, I began to organize it into a history section on the CAC’s website (www.CaliforniaArtClub.org/home/history.shtml). This way it was much easier to get a broad picture of the Club and missing areas became readily apparent. As I documented past presidents and members, exhibitions and old CAC haunts, I zeroed in on places where other history might be hiding.

One of the first spots I started to dig was at the Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Research Library at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where I found numerous exhibition catalogues. Founded in 1913 as the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art (LACMHSA) in Exposition Park, the museum split into two entities about 1961 – LACMA, opening at its current location on Wilshire Boulevard, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles continuing on at the original location. The club’s Annual Exhibitions were held at LACMHSA for at least 25 years straight, from the 5th Annual (1915) through the 29th Annual (1938).

I soon found myself searching other past CAC venues such as the Greek Theater inGriffith Park (a dead end), the Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park (a few extant items), and Glendale’s Brand Library (three annual exhibition catalogues); I also contacted club members who had participated in these past events. Yet another source (that has yet to be exhausted) is the Archives of the Los Angeles Times. Antony E. Anderson (1863-1939), the first Times art critic and an Honorary CAC Member, reported quite thoroughly on club exhibitions for many years, going so far as to list artists, painting titles and descriptions of the works. Anderson’s successor at the Times as art critic, Arthur Henry Thomas Millier (1893-1975), was also an Honorary Member and continued the in-depth reporting.[1]

During my forays I came across a brief listing on the website of the Archives of American Art, apart of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Titled “California Art Club guest register and scrapbooks, 1927-1961” and accompanied by a short description of the contents (“1.5 linear ft.” worth), I was curious to see what these archives contained. However, the only way to access them was to travel to Washington D.C. and make an appointment to visit the Archives in person. The trip would have to wait.

When I was given a solo exhibition at The Forbes Galleries in New York City during the summer of 2010 for my paintings of the California desert, I saw an opportunity. Since I was traveling to New York for the opening of the exhibition, it would be easy to take a train from New York to D.C. afterwards. With such a diminutive online description, I didn’t think it would take too much time to go through the archives, so I generously allotted myself three full days in the city. With the extra time I could check out the myriad D.C. museums.

On my first day at the Archives, I quickly realized that the brief online description was a hefty understatement. During their tenure as “scrapbook chairman” - Florence Adler [1882-1954] maintained it from about 1945-51, Greta Ammon through 1955, and then Emily Kelsey through 1960[2] - decades of newspaper clippings, California Art Club Bulletins, pamphlets, member rosters and more had been attached, affixed, and poured into the scrapbooks. When these custodians had run out of space, the next item was simply tacked the on top of the last, creating multiple layers one could lift up and leaf through. Since the Archives only allows photocopying of loose-leaf material, photography was the only option - but the petite two mega-pixel camera I brought with me was sorely outmatched by the task.

Luckily, there was a camera store between my hotel and the Archives, so I rented a powerful digital camera with a good lens. Now, instead of shooting one newspaper clipping (that may or may not be in focus), I could include an entire scrapbook page worth of clippings in one shot. Over the next two days I photographed everything I could – eventually totaling over 800 high-resolution images, some 20 gigabytes worth of material. Marisa Bourgoin, the Richard Manoogian Chief of Reference Services at the Archives, along with her many assistants, was a wonderful help. I spent the entire three days in the Archives, but since they closed at 4:30 pm, I would head across the street each evening to the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

After returning home, it required numerous days to process the raw files and then sort the multitudinous images; but I’ve begun to fill in a lot of information: the CAC Archives now has two additional decades of the Bulletin (1942-1961), plus exhibition pamphlets, clippings detailing events, parties, meetings, the gold medals, club presidents, and the busy activities of members. Overall, it gives us a much clearer picture of the club during the period after their fifteen-year tenure at the Hollyhock House.

I can now verify that rumor about the CAC library and art collection: Antony Anderson did donate five hundred volumes from his personal collection to form the nucleus of a nascent library about 1927 or early 1928. Supplemented by donations by other club members, the Antony Anderson Library, named for its benefactor, numbered nearly one thousand volumes.[3]

The club also at one point possessed a small art collection: one painting by William Wendt (1845-1946) and another by Jack Wilkinson Smith (1873-1949), though neither painting is named.[4] The collection grew when someone named Corinne Wood donated The Yellow Tea-Pot by John Hubbard Rich (1876-1954),[5] and later it also apparently included a fourth donated painting, one of the “finest works” of Charles J. Bensco (1894-1960). [6] Unfortunately, both the Anderson Library and CAC Art Collection have gone missing over time.

The next piece to the puzzle? Once everything has been gleaned from the first D.C. foray, a return visit to the Archives may be in store. One of my predecessors as CAC Historian during the 1950s was artist and art historian Ferdinand Perret (1888-1960), who worked for decades to create the Perret Art Reference Library. This collection, consisting of “thousands of reference works, art reproductions and material collected from newspapers and magazines,” was donated to the Smithsonian in 1945. The entire library covers a broad range of art history including European, American, California, Spanish colonial, and much more, and comprises NINE TONS of material.[7] I imagine that I’ll discover some CAC history buried in there somewhere.

[1] Honorary Life credits: Anderson, elected Feb. 27, 1910, Los Angeles Times; Millier: 1964 CAC Roster

[2] Box 3/5, “Scrapbook “1945-’6-’7-‘8’-‘9” (Adler); Box 5/5, Scrapbook “September 1953 – December 1961” (Ammon, Kelsey), CAC Archives, Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C.

[3]Artist’s Library Planned, Los Angeles Times, April 21, 1927; Art Library His Gift, Hollywood Magazine, January 6, 1928

[4] March, May 1949 CAC Bulletins

[5] October 1954 CAC Bulletin

[6] November 1960 CAC Bulletin

[7]Ferdinand Perret, Art Research Expert, Dies, Los Angeles Times, August 5, 1960

Paint-Out to Benefit Mojave Desert Land Trust

Desertscapes Paint-out in The Joshua Tree North Wildlife Linkage

Evening reception and art auction at Joshua Tree Art Gallery Saturday, April 28, 2012, 5 - 7:30 p.m.

Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT), along with California Art Club, is hosting an open air painting event on Saturday, April 28th in a beautiful natural area known as the Joshua Tree North Wildlife Linkage.  This paint-out will support MDLT’s current campaign, The Wildlife Linkage Campaign, which aims to preserve several undeveloped parcels in the Joshua Tree North Wildlife Linkage that connects Joshua Tree National Park to the Bartlett Mountains to the north.

From 9am until noon, artists from the California Art Club, Coachella Valley Watercolor Society, and the Morongo Basin will set up their easels and create paintings that will be auctioned off during an artists’ reception at the Joshua Tree Art Gallery (JTAG) later that evening. The paint-out will take place on Section 11, which sits adjacent to the northern boundary of Joshua Tree National Park and within the Joshua Tree North Wildlife Linkage. This beautiful area is home to a diverse population of wildlife and is one of the most scenic hillsides on the south side of Joshua Tree. The artist’s reception and art auction at JTAG will be held that evening from 5-7:30pm and include light refreshments, wine, and of course, the beautiful works of art created that day. Featured artists include:

Diane Best Veronique Branger Chuck Caplinger Richard Calderhead Jean Choi Connie Collins Jim Draughon Hermann Fischer Annette Fragasso Andrew Gillespie Patricia Kodet Ray Lanowy Eli Lund Del Lunde Elaine Matthews Terry Masters Eric Merrell Diane Moore John Ressler Nancy Rizzardi Kathleen Scoggin Esther Shaw Silvio Silvestri Liliana Simanton Sylvia Smith Lisa Spencer Barbara Wells-Roberts Connie Zane

This fun-filled day provides a unique way to support the work of MDLT and The Wildlife Linkage Campaign.  The Joshua Tree North Linkage provides important habitat for animals such as desert tortoise, bobcat, fox, coyote and dozens of bird species.   Mojave Desert Land Trust has preserved 2,126 acres in this wildlife corridor, but acquisition of additional parcels is needed if we want to succeed in protecting this critical linkage.  Find out more about how you can support the Wildlife Linkage Campaign by clicking here.

We look forward to having you join us for this wonderful event! The artists’ reception and auction will be held at Joshua Tree Art Gallery (JTAG), located at 61607 Twentynine Palms Highway, Suite B, in downtown Joshua Tree. To RSVP or for more information, please call us at 760-366-5440.

This event is held in conjunction with Desertscapes, featuring a full month of activities every April in celebration of the Coachella Valley plein air art tradition. More information about Desertscapes, as well as a schedule of events can be found at www.desertscapes.net. The artist’s reception and auction is generously sponsored by Joshua Tree Art Gallery (JTAG). Directions and information about JTAG can be found at www.joshuatreeartgallery.com. The Section 11 Paint-out is co-sponsored by California Art Club (CAC). Information about CAC is available on their website at http://www.californiaartclub.org

101st Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition

A Place of Clarity; Crystal Lake, San Gabriel Mountains, 30" x 30", Oil on canvas, © Eric Merrell

"A Place of Clarity" will be part of the upcoming California Art Club's 101st Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition opening March 31, 2012 at a new exhibition venue: The Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 95614 (in Griffith Park). The Artists Gala Reception will open the exhibition on Saturday, March 31 from 6-9 p.m.

This was painted at Crystal Lake, one of my favorite new locations to paint in the San Gabriel Mountains, way back up Highway 39 out of Azusa. This area has been closed for about 9 years, since the 2002 Curve Fire which burned much of the area. Crystal Lake is apparently the only natural lake in the entire San Gabriel range, being fed from snowmelt and rainfall. As I painted there over last summer, I did notice the water level drop significantly over the months of warm weather. It's a popular place for fishing, too.

This is a special place, and feels more like the Sierras. These kelp-like plants grew very rapidly (kelp is not a freshwater plant, however, so I don't know exactly what it is, but it very much resembles kelp!) Fun to paint them growing out of the watery depths into the sunlight, swaying with the slight breezes over the surface of the water.

Here are some old photos of the Crystal Lake area.

Here is an interior shot of the secret Neutra studio where I worked on the painting in an undisclosed neighborhood in Los Angeles... :)

Down to Earth Sinks the Sun; The Arroyo Seco, 9" x 12", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Also in the exhibition is a small painting of dusk in the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, looking towards South Pasadena with the last of the sunlight hitting some trees in the distance.

CAC Returns to Barnsdall Park

Joshua Tree Nocturne, 30" x 30", Oil on canvas mounted on panel, © Eric Merrell

SAVING PARADISE: The Symbiosis of Landscape Painting and Environmental Awareness March 8 - May 6, 2012 Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG), Barnsdall Park 4804 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027 Conversations with CAC Artists: Friday, March 23, 7 - 8:30 pm (more info)

These two paintings will be in the upcoming exhibition "SAVING PARADISE" at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles. This exhibit's theme is to designed to highlight the importance between landscape painting and preservation, so both of my paintings are from protected areas in California - Joshua Tree National Park and Angeles National Forest. I'll be at the Gallery on Friday, March 23 at 7 pm along with some of the other artists to discuss our paintings.

Some historic notes: The California Art Club was previously headquartered at Barnsdall Park and specifically used the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House for 15 years, 1927-1942, so this exhibition marks the first time the Club has been back to Barnsdall Park since then. Read about this slice of L.A. history that is only documented on this blog.

A Great Containment: Morris Dam and Reservoir, San Gabriel Mountains, 12" x 16", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Los Angeles Fine Art Show

Morris Reservoir Shoreline, San Gabriel Mountains, 12" x 12", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

The 17th Annual Los Angeles Fine Art Show opens up tomorrow, January 18th, and runs through January 22nd. Two pieces of mine will be there: a new painting, "Morris Reservoir Shoreline, San Gabriel Mountains" will be in the California Art Club's booth, and "Commanding View, San Gabriel Mountains" will be at American Legacy Fine Art's booth.

January 18-22, 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall B

Wednesday, January 18th -Collector & Press Preview: 5pm to 6pm -Patron Reception: 6pm to 7pm -Opening Night Premiere Party: 7pm to 10pm

General Show Dates: January 19-22nd -Thursday, January 19th: 11am to 7pm -Friday, January 20th: 11am to 7pm -Saturday, January 21st : 11am to 7pm -Sunday, January 22nd: 11am to 5pm

Commanding View, San Gabriel Mountains, 26" x 24", Oil on canvas mounted on panel, © Eric Merrell

Fresh paint from the Arroyo

Arroyo Seco Afternoon, 12" x 16", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

These are a number of new pieces I've done recently - since moving closer to the Arroyo Seco, I've been painting there almost entirely. And since I'm temporarily without a studio, everything is done on location. It's a fantastic place to paint, and as the birthplace of plein air painting on the west coast and California Impressionism, offers some pretty special light. Jean Mannheim, Franz Bischoff, Elmer and Marion Wachtel and William Lees Judson are just a few of the artists who lived on or near the Arroyo. The high western edge of the Arroyo casts a shadow a little earlier than sunset and creates some unique painting opportunities - below are some examples of this: "The Arc of Evening" shows the eastern rim of the Arroyo and "In the Gloaming" looks up at the western edge.

The Arc of Evening, Arroyo Seco, 9" x 12", Oil on canvas panel, © Eric Merrell

Summer Heat in the Arroyo, 11" x 14", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

San Rafael Bridge from the Arroyo, 11" x 14", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Hillside Oaks and Shadows, Arroyo Seco, 11" x 14", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

These three paintings, "Hillside Oaks and Shadows," "In the Gloaming" and "Down to Earth Sinks the Sun" have been great challenges. I spent at least three consecutive days working on each, developing the color and subtleties.

In the Gloaming - Arroyo Seco, 12" x 9", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Down to Earth Sinks the Sun - The Arroyo Seco, 9" x 12", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Palm Desert and Pasadena events

This Too Shall Pass - Arroyo Seco, 9" x 12", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell (Private collection)

I'll be giving a short presentation about my work at 1 pm on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at the Henderson Community Building, 72559 Highway 111 at El Paseo (Entrada del Paseo) in Palm Desert for the 6th Annual Desert Garden Community Day, presented by the Desert Horticultural Society, the City of Palm Desert, and the Desert Garden Center in Palm Springs. The events will be a combination of artists and their work along with workshops about desert landscaping. The Palm Springs Art Museum is not far from there, so stop by and make a day out of it!

On Sunday October 16th I'll be exhibiting new paintings of the historic Arroyo Seco along with other artists from the California Art Club. The exhibition will take place from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm at La Casita del Arroyo, 177 S. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena, CA  91105 [map].

100th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition

Embers: The San Gabriel Mountains After the Station Fire, 24" x 32", Oil on canvas mounted on panel, © Eric Merrell

I'm so thrilled to be included in this historic exhibit with these two paintings that I decided to make this announcement early. The California Art Club, founded 1909, is continuing to celebrate their Centennial by presenting the 100th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) from April 3-24, 2011, with a special Gala Reception on April 2 from 6-9 p.m. Hope you can make it!

Casting Shadows - The San Gabriel Mission, 12" x 9", Oil on canvasboard, © Eric Merrell

Wishes for a Happy New Year

Thanksgiving, 20" x 16", Oil on canvas panel, © Eric Merrell

This year flew by - I got married to my sweetheart Ramona! Adding to that excitement, I had a solo exhibition at The Forbes Gallery in New York City, gave a lecture on California art history, and took trips to paint out in Cape Cod and the Salton Sea, among other places. I'm looking forward to 2011 - lots of exciting new projects and travels!

One particularly neat item coming to fruition is a new book titled California Light: A Century of Landscapes. Due to be published in April 2011 by Rizzoli International, this will be a beautiful coffee-table sized book featuring the artwork and history of the first 100 years of the club. Authored by Jean Stern, Director of the Irvine Museum, and Molly Siple; little ol' me even has a credit for contributing the chronology of the club! You can purchase an advance copy online here.

Wishing you a warm and happy holiday season and a prosperous 2011. Here's a toast to all Art that adds to our lives, creates memories, opens our eyes to new things, challenges us and gives us a sense of purpose: Prost!

Back to Back: An Art Lecture and Showcase

I'll be giving a lecture this coming Sunday in Pasadena on the history of the California Art Club, specifically the 1940s. That decade was an exciting and turbulent period for the organization - it found itself squarely in the midst of the red-hot controversy over modern art in Los Angeles, contributed locally to the war efforts, and lost its beloved clubhouse. I'll share insights on the club's inner workings as well as how they fit into the changing national landscape of art and the theater of World War II.

"In the Trenches: The California Art Club during the 1940s" Sunday, October 24, 2010, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

$10 CAC Members/$15 Non-members

The Historic Blinn House at the Women's City Club of Pasadena 160 North Oakland Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 626/796-0560 www.womenscityclub.com | Directions

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Evening in the Foothills, 16" x 20", Oil, © Glenn Dean

Shadows on the Mountain, 30" x 40", Oil, © Logan Hagege

Spaceship Landing (The Salton Sea), 30" x 30", Oil on canvas mounted on panel, © Eric Merrell

Alexey Steele's Classical Underground, a collection of world-class musicians and artists performing in an intimate studio setting in Carson, CA, has gained quite a following since its inception only a few years back. From the beginning, Classical Underground has featured contemporary paintings along with amazing classical performances unlike anything you'll find elsewhere.

The next concert on the evening of Monday, October 25, 2010 will feature work by Glenn Dean, Logan Hagege and myself, These events have limited seating and sell out quickly, so you'll need to purchase your tickets soon after they go on sale. You can find more info (and buy tickets) on the Classical Underground blog.

Pasadena's Arroyo Seco

This Sunday, March 14, I'll be part of an exhibition at La Casita del Arroyo in Pasadena, California. It will only be up for that one day from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., so please stop by and check it out if you can. There will be some good artwork to see and it should be a nice day to explore the trails in the Arroyo. La Casita del Arroyo, 177 S. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena, CA

Spring in the Arroyo, 14" x 14", Oil on panel, Private Collection, © Eric Merrell

Christmas in the Air, 14" x 14", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

"The California Art Club and the La Casita del Arroyo Foundation join forces for the fifth exhibition and sale of plein air paintings of the Arroyo Seco, Southern California's most celebrated canyon."

"The exhibition will feature new original artwork by renowned contemporary-traditional fine artists who will paint on location during the week prior to the exhibition to document the environmentally-sensitive Arroyo Seco, which includes the historic Colorado Street Bridge.  Proceeds from the sale of the paintings will benefit the California Art Club's educational arts programs and La Casita's conservation efforts."

Planted by Streams of Water, 11" x 14, Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Having the Determination to Push Through the Surface, 12" x 12", Oil on panel, Private Collection, © Eric Merrell

Glenna Hartmann Invitational

Glenna Hartmann, pastel

Glenna Hartmann Invitational Fine Art Exhibition February 19-21, 2010 Artists Reception: February 19, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 2559 Puesta del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Glenna Hartmann (1948-2008) was a well-known artist, loved by everyone who knew her. This exhibit of 100 new works by 60 California artists has been organized in her honor. A bio on Glenna from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's website:

An accomplished plein air pastelist, Glenna Hartmann began her lifelong passion for nature and painting at an early age. Growing up in New Jersey, she found great pleasure in exploring the hundred acres of protected woodlands bordering her family's home. She received formal art training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where she was guided and inspired by her mentors there: Arthur De Costa, Will Barnet, Dan Miller and Marshall Glazier. The Academy awarded her a Schiedt Traveling Scholarship which took her to Europe for independent study.

After moving to Southern California in 1975, her focus on figurative work, portraiture and animals gradually shifted to pure landscape. She began painting outdoors with artist friends in Santa Barbara and eventually these friends formed the nucleus of the Oak Group – a group dedicated to raising funds from their art exhibitions for environmental causes. Today, nationally recognized for their preservation efforts, the Oak Group has donated over $1 million to organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Center, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Even though painting is a solitary experience, she enjoyed the camaraderie of painting with other artists. Some of these invitational trips have taken her to the Forbes' Chateau de Balleroy in Normandy, a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, and with the Plein Air Painters of America, Catalina Island and Lake Tahoe. Glenna was a Signature Member of the California Art Club and a member of the Oak Group.

Two of my paintings will be in the exhibition:

Further Along the Path (Ellwood Mesa, Goleta, CA), 24" x 24", Oil on canvas mounted on panel, © Eric Merrell

Orange Groves, Santa Paula Valley, 11" x 14", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Participating artists: Meredith Brooks Abbott, Whitney Brooks Abbott, Peter Adams, Jamee Aubrey, John Budicin, Marcia Burtt, Chris Chapman, Patricia Chidlaw, John Comer, John Cosby, William B. Dewey, Dennis Doheny, Michael Drury, Erika Edwards, Michael Enriquez, David Gallup, Rick Garcia, Karen Gruszka, Robin Hall, Anita Hampton, Whitney Brooks Hansen, Jeremy Harper, Tom Henderson, Jeff Horn, Ray Hunter, John Iwerks, Larry Iwerks, Hans Kegler, Mark Kerckhoff, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, Jean LeGassick, Calvin Liang, Manny Lopez, Eric Merrell, Laurel Mines, Clark Mitchell, William Mitchell, Charles Muench, Dan Pinkham, Jesse Powell, Scott Prior, Camille Przewodek, Ray Roberts, Rob Robinson, Ann Sanders, Rick Schloss, Frank Serrano, Randy Sexton, Skip Smith, Arturo Tello, Libby Tolley, Kevin Turcotte, Thomas Van Stein, Sarah Vedder, Ralph Waterhouse and Jim Wodark.

Happy 100th Birthday CAC!

One Hundred Years! It's an amazing feat for any group, let alone an art club where the demands of the career as well as individual temperaments generally keep members working in isolation. Today marks the Centennial of the California Art Club. The founding of the club was first reported by Antony E. Anderson in the Los Angeles Times on December 12, 1909, one hundred years ago to the day. The early meetings took place along the banks of the Arroyo Seco in South Pasadena and throughout greater Los Angeles, and included artists like Franz Bischoff, Aaron Kilpatrick, and William and Julia Wendt. The CAC's predecessor, The Painters' Club of Los Angeles (1906-1909), had limited its members to male painters in the L.A. area. With the founding of the new club, the rules were widened to allow women, sculptors, and others living as far away as New York City to join. Throughout the CAC's storied history it has embraced time-honored techniques found in the grand traditions of painting and sculpture, molding them into contemporary relevance; at the same time it helped to present such progressive events as the first black American art exhibition in Los Angeles (1929) and the first G.I. Arts & Crafts exhibit (1946, also in L.A.), and maintained a venue to present exhibits of diverse themes and backgrounds.

Over the past century, the club has counted among its members Sir Winston Churchill, architect Richard Neutra, illustrator Dean Cornwell, artists Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Sergei Bongart, Nicolai Fechin and Theodore N. Lukits, as well as many distinguished guests and speakers: the Mexican muralists David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco, conductor Leopold Stokowski, violinist Xavier Cugat, architects Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr. (And of course, most of the well-known Southern California artists throughout the years, too numerous to mention in this post but listed online here).

In recognition of this milestone, I thought I'd link to my article on the Birth of the California Art Club, originally published this past spring. Here's to the next hundred years!

The California Art Club will be publishing a large coffee table art book (due out in early 2011) with Rizzoli Publishers to commemorate the Centennial, and will be full of paintings by historic and contemporary members of the CAC. Purchase your copy here.

The new logo above was designed for the Centennial by CAC Associate Artist Member Stan Prokopenko.

The Southern Sierras and Yokohl Valley

These pieces, created on location (I paint primarily en plein air, French for "in the open air", to study the way light reveals our world) during a painting trip to the Visalia area this last March, will be part of a new exhibition: Paintings from the Southern Sierra Foothills - Celebrating 100 Years: Capturing California's Preserved Lands and Historic Districts (that's a mouthful) at the Old Mill (El Molino Viejo) in San Marino, CA. The opening reception will be on Thusday, October 1 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Hope you can make it! This paint-out and exhibition, organized by the California Art Club in conjunction with the Sequoia Riverlands Trust, is one of a number of exhibitions and events to celebrate the CAC's 100th anniversary of its founding in 1909. Yokohl Valley Sunset Framed_s

Yokohl Valley Sunset, 6" x 8", Oil on canvas panel, © Eric Merrell

Battle Mountain Framed_s

Battle Mountain Ranch, 12" x 12", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Exhibitions at the Old Mill are free year-round and open Tuesday through Sunday, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. (Closed Mondays)

The Old Mill (El Molino Viejo) [Map] 1120 Old Mill Road San Marino, CA 91108 626/449-5458 www.oldmill.info

Other artists in the exhibition include John Budicin, Karl DempwolfDave Gallup, Ray HarrisScott W. Prior, Junn Roca and Jason Situ.

Battle Mountain_detail_s

Battle Mountain Ranch (Detail)