Thunder Canyon Brewery Hosts Art Show Called Nostalgia

The Sculpture Resource Center is presenting an art show at Thunder Canyon Brewery in Downtown Tucson. The theme is Nostalgia. The reception is scheduled for Saturday, August 13. For this show artists were invited to create something that had a longing for times past. I had a hard time brainstorming for a concept that would fit this theme. I wanted to find something personal that would reflect nostalgia for me.

I felt nostalgic for my childhood in the 60s. I watched a lot of television back then. I could tell what time it was based on what was on TV. Much of what I liked were movies, of all kinds. I especially loved horror, science fiction and fantasy, which are still my favorite genres in many media. I was fascinated by many actresses of those times. Even at the young age of 10, I could see it was a male-dominated world, so I noticed women who stood out in movies, especially in the genres I mentioned. For this show I thought of making art depicting women that I really felt were powerful in roles that attracted my attention. I created two pieces for this show, and I may continue with this series with other actresses.

This piece I call Ubiquitous Raquel, and it’s a tribute to Raquel Welch in the film, One Million Years B.C. This movie was released in 1966 and it propelled her to international stardom. It was a remake of a 1940s movie, One Million B.C. with Carole Lombard and Victor Mature. It depicted humans existing with dinosaurs and a number of other large creatures (Historical accuracy for some people). Ray Harryhausen did the animation for the dinosaurs. The poster of her in her fur bikini was everywhere when I was an adolescent. I created this homage from a few images I found online. I wanted a different image than what was used in the poster, but still wanted to display her famous outfit.

Oil on canvas. 30 x 40 inches. 2016

Ubiquitous Raquel. Oil on canvas. 30 x 40 inches. 2016

Barbara Steele is a British actress who appeared in a number of Italian movies in the 60s. She appeared in an iconic dance scene in Fellini’s 8 1/2, which Quentin Tarantino paid homage to in Pulp Fiction. She made a number of TV appearances, as well. But for me, and many others, her best roles were in the horror films. Her dark hair and pale complexion was perfect for the black and white movies which featured eerie lighting to accent the gloomy mood many of these movies depicted. I created this piece in gray tones as a tribute to her haunting beauty and titled it Dark Beautiful Steele.

Gray scale painting of woman with dark hair.

Dark Beautiful Steele. Oil on canvas. 18×24 inches. 2016.

The vignettes to the right of her image, symbolize scenes from three of her movies. The top symbol is from a movie known as Black Sunday to American audiences. It’s called La Maschera del Demonio (Mask of the Demon) in Italian.  The middle image symbolizes Castle of Blood or Danza Macabra. Finally, the bottom symbol shows the the blade from The Pit and the Pendulum, a Roger Corman movie in which Steele appeared with Vincent Price.

New Work for Monsoon Show at Raices Taller.

I created two new paintings for a show this past week. They will be on display at the Raices Taller Gallery and Workshop show, Aguas Sagradas (Sacred Waters). The reception is Saturday, July 2, 2016. This is their annual tribute to the monsoon season in Tucson, Arizona. It always attracts a sizeable collection of artists, and draws a big crowd for the opening reception.

The theme, Sacred Waters, can mean anything. I sometimes like to have a theme from which to work, but it can be a challenge to find something within that framework, because it can be so open to interpretation. That’s a good and a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. That is where creativity comes into play. I don’t do landscapes often, and can’t think of the last time I created one. I thought I’d go ahead and try a couple of landscapes and see what could come of it, and was happy with the results.

Harrison Road on a Monsoon Evening in Tucson

Harrison Road on a Monsoon Evening in Tucson. Acrylic on canvas. 2016.

Distant Storm in the Desert

Distant Storm in the Desert. Acrylic on canvas. 2016.

Great Turnout at the Steinfeld Warehouse for Spring Tucson Open Studios 2016


Setting up at the Steinfeld Warehouse

The weekend of May 21nd and 22nd 2016, turned out to be a great show for the Spring Tucson Open Studios Tour.  Hundreds of artists opened up their studios and showed at other venues for this, and the previous weekend, of the tour. Dozens of visitors came to see artwork by artists who were displaying at the Steinfeld Warehouse at 101 E. 6th Street in the Tucson Warehouse Arts District. I made some sales on Sunday, May 22, the last day of the tour, so that made things worthwhile.

It was interesting to see what types of art people were buying. I paint a variety of subjects in a many media: nudes, still lifes, whimsical images, in acrylic, oil, pastel, charcoal and pencil.


Visitors walking around looking at art.

I noticed the colorful landscapes the artist next to me was making a lot of sales. I look at that and see if I can make some similar art in my own style, to see if those will sell. It’s always a challenge to note what people will by from my collection of eclectic subject matter.