Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Tuesday, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History

While Fiona was at her school today,  I took the opportunity to go to the Santa Cruz Museum and Art Gallery.  I felt a little guilty taking myself off to see the gallery without Fiona,  but on second thoughts,  I'm glad because I got to spend a lot longer with the paintings than I would have had I had a three year old escort!  The museum wasn't here when I lived here.
There was an historical exhibition that showed the history of the county through artifacts and memorabilia pertaining to many of the different people who had settled here.  That was interesting,  but mfavourite part was the art gallery part.
  The main gallery had an exhibition of works by Eduardo Carillo.

This painting was in the gallery.  It is called "Two brothers fighting".  The exhibition included several self portraits and small portraits of other people,  but many of the works are large and painted in a style that is reminiscent of the Mexican muralists.  I'm not sure exactly what makes this so noticeable, but the slightly distorted perspective and proportions, the faded colours and the scale (for some of the paintings are quite large) makes comparison with those murals inevitable.    There was also one large and colourful painting that was described in the gallery as a meeting of Los Angeles, Nevada casinos and "el dia de los muertos" (day of the dead)....  wild and colourful!


Another artist that had a number of paintings in the gallery was Richard Mayhew, shown here with some of his paintings in a San Francisco gallery.



























These paintings are completely different.
These are expressionist landscapes that are some of  the most amazing paintings that I've ever seen.  The artist lives in Santa Cruz... or at least nearby,  Soquel,  I think... and paints landscapes of the area.  One of my favourites was of the mist and a landscape of receding trees that change colour and intensity as they recede into the fog....  a common sight around here.  He has a series entitled "Moonscapes" and these are just as intriguing.  Then,  as I looked, I realised that several of these were actually watercolour paintings on paper!  I spent some time looking at these and going back to the oils.... and then back again!   I thought to myself about then that Fiona wouldn't have liked me looking at these for so long!
Richard Mayhew, Soquel Valley


This tiny image (I can't do much else with it) shows an image of the Soquel Valley (near Santa Cruz) and is typical of several of the oil paintings that are at the local gallery.


Then on downstairs again and I saw an  exhibition of encaustic images by Tracy Adams.  I have never been a big fan of encaustic paintings previously,  btu haveing seen some at the open studio event a few days before,  it was interesting to see some more work in this medium,  and these were very beautiful.


The paintings were all abstract images,  but the waxy texture and colours were lovely to see.   It made one feel as though they would be nice to touch.  I didn't!




















I returned to collect Fiona after my adventure,  and she had had a nap at school.  This has become less frequent lately,  though she has been sleeping at night quite well.  She was helping to clean up, being one of the last few left at school.  She was very happy with her day, so I didn't feel so guilty about absconding for the afternoon!


I have just realised that the font and size of the type and positioning of the text is all over the place in this post.  I think that this is because of the photographs that I've stolen and included.  I suppose you get what you pay for, and there were no photographs permitted in the gallery today!


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