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Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Monthly
December 2018
an online fine art gallery based in Bodega Bay, California
celebrating Historic California painting

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Now available from
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Richard Dey De Ribcowsky Supper Time
Richard Dey De Ribcowsky
Genre Painting, Supper Time
Oil on canvas, 22 x 28

Gerrit Dou, 1613-1675 The Trumpet Player in front of a Banquet, oil on panel, 1660-65
The Louvre's Dutch Genre
Painters: Hals, de Hooch,
Dou, Metsu, & Vermeer

San Francisco Cable Car Celebration Lee Blair
SF Bay Area Scene Painting
Now at the Hilbert Museum
of California Art, Orange, CA

Now available
at Landmark Collection
Linda Sorensen Contours Ink Grade
Contours, Ink Grade, 24 x 30
County, oil on linen

This month, we consider the similarities
of 17th century Dutch Genre Painting and 20th century California Scene Painting.

In his book, Windows in Time, Mark Hilbert writes that there is an "unmistakable" connection between Dutch genre painting and California scene painting. Mark and Janet Hilbert founded the Hilbert Museum of California Art in Orange, California.

Mark and Janet Hilbert
Mark & Janet Hilbert of the
Hilbert Museum of California Art

In the 17th century, Dutch artists created portraits, landscapes, and still lifes of every-day Dutch life, giving a rich picture of of Holland during the Dutch Golden Age.

In the 20th century, California Scene Painting did much the same. California Scene painters captured Californians going about their daily lives in the Golden State.

Mark Hilbert Windows in Time
Windows in Time by Mark Hilbert
(click photo for link
to purchase from the
Irvine Museum bookstore )

First, we go back over 300 years and consider the Dutch paintings from the Golden Age on view at the Musee de Louvre in Paris. Then we fast-forward to mid 20th century San Francisco and consider California scene painting. The Hilbert Museum of California Arts new exhibition, California Scene Paintings of San Francisco is curated by Gordon McClelland and is on view through April 27.

Although the techniques, styles, and artistic ideas of these two artistic periods are vastly different, they have this in common: they both used painting to effectively capture visually stimulating stories, portraying the incidents, episodes and expressions of the daily life of their times.

Louve Museum, Paris
Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Dutch paintings of the Golden Age are located on the 2nd floor of the Richelieu wing of the Louvre. Its a quieter corner of the Louvre, far from crowding masses capturing a selfie in front of the Mona Lisa. But after gazing at these Dutch paintings, you begin to believe it isn't quiet at all. These paintings of the Dutch Golden Age show 17th century Holland to have been a raucous, expressive and lively world.

These Dutch Golden Age artists made a refreshing turn. Before they came along, art was comparatively stuffy. Paintings were either classical or historical, having little to do with the life and times in which they were created. In comparison, the Dutch genre paintings were new and fresh. They showed contemporary people, living and lively, working, caring for one another, cooking, marketing, playing games of cards, enjoying their pets, playing music, drinking or engaged in the ever- entertaining games of flirtation. Many off these paintings are rich with humor, with grins and expressions of mischief. One can't help but feel invited to step into the scene and share in the goings on.

Below are the works of five Dutch painters on exhibit.

Frans Hals, 1581-1666 Dutch Fantasy Figure, oil on panel, c1626
Frans Hals, 1581-1666
Dutch Fantasy Figure, oil on panel, c1626

Frans Hals (1582-1666) is known for using loose brushwork, creating lively portraits. Behind these expressive faces are stories. He was one of the earliest of the Dutch Golden Age painters, a generation before Rembrandt and 50 years before Johannes Vermeer. He was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1583 while it was known as the Spanish Netherlands. During the fall of Antwerp, like many others, his family headed North to the new Dutch Republic where Frans remained the rest of his life.

He created both individual and group portraits from a full strata of society. Wikipedia lists his subjects as "portraits of officers, guildsmen, local councilmen from mayors to clerks, itinerant players, singers, gentlemen, fishwives and tavern heros." Often in these works, Hals did not idealize his subjects but allowed their personalities to show, with a wide variety of poses and facial expressions. They had character.

In comparing Hals' paintings with Rembrandt, Hals was a master at capturing a moment in time. His work is unique among the Dutch Golden Age painters. He evoked an emotional response by catching his model's expressions and the light with a few quick and fluid strokes. During his lifetime, his works were popular and he was in demand for commissioned portraits and wedding portraits.

Many of Hals' paintings have disappeared. His long life of 84 years was a blessing and a curse. He lived long enough to see his work go out of favor. At the end of his life, he was left destitute, given an annuity of 200 florins from the Haarlem municipality. It is not known whether he painted any landscapes, still lifes or genre paintings (other than portraits).

Because his portraits captured expressions so well, he has given future generations an insight into the Dutch people, their emotions, their humor and their love of life.

Frans Hals, 1581-1666 Laughing Child, oil on wood, c1620-25
Frans Hals, 1581-1666
Laughing Child, oil on wood, c1620-25
(I am fast becoming a fan of Frans Hals.
This small painting is from
the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
Frans Hals, 1581-1666 Buffoon with a Lute, oil on canvas, c1623-24
Frans Hals, 1581-1666
Buffoon with a Lute, oil on canvas, c1623-24

Hals' portraits of the wealthy were commissioned pieces, and had an air of dignity. The Louvre's website states, "Hals' portrayal of 'little people' from the lower classes -- peasants, merry drinkers, or loose women -- obviously did not have the same purpose of social recognition. In fact these pictures, which belong to what are known as genre portraits, were often the means of making a moral judgement on the pleasures of the senses and their attendant dangers. Thus this lutist might well be an allegory of hearing or a lesson about the vanity of music, which by definition is ephemeral."

Over two hundred years after his death, Hals gained a number of posthumous students including Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Charles-Francois Daubigny, Max Liebermann, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and Gustave Courbet. Many of these artists copied Hals paintings to gain insight into his techniques which they incorporated into their own work.

Singular and Group Portraits by Frans Hals

And Vincent Van Gogh, a young Dutch artist living in France, wrote in a letter to his brother Theo, "'What a joy it is to see a Frans Hals, how different it is from the paintings – so many of them – where everything is carefully smoothed out in the same manner." It was clear to Van Gogh that Hals chose not to give a smooth finish to his painting, as most of his contemporaries did, but mimicked the vitality of his subject by using smears, lines, spots, large patches of color and hardly any details.

Gerrit Dou, 1613-1675
The Trumpet Player in front of a Banquet, oil on panel, 1660-65

Gerrit Dou, 1613-1675
Self Portrait with a Palette, oil on panel, 1660-65

Gerrit Dou (1613-1675) was a Dutch Golden Age painter known for his genre scenes. A student of Rembrandt van Rijn, he is noted for his candlelight scenes with strong use of light and dark.

He also used a technique using forced perspective, allowing him to create an illusion of his subjects appearing to exist in three dimensions. This technique has a French name (trompe l'oeil) and originated in the Baroque period. Elements of the technique were used in ancient times by Greek and Roman artists. Modern use of this technique is used in films, especially by matte artists.

Dou's father manufactured stained glass. At age 14, his father sent him to the nearby studio of Rembrandt when Rembrandt was just 21 years old. He studied with Rembrandt for three years, learning skills in coloring and using light and dark. Dou's use of color was always fresh and transparent. He is said to have once spent five days painting one hand, and was so demanding of his tools, he found it necessary to manufacture his own brushes.

Gerrit Dou, 1613-1675
The Dropsical Woman, oil on panel, 1663 (Here,
the visiting doctor examines urine in the sunlight.
Congestive heart failure was termed "dropsy.")
Gerrit Dou, 1613-1675
The Tooth Puller, oil on panel, 1628-30

Optical tools were used too. He often used a concave lens coupled with a concave mirror. He also used a frame criss-crossed with silk threads and held it up looking at his subject. Early in his career, he painted many portraits, but this declined over time, due in part to not being able to find models willing to sit long enough for his extended painting sessions. His pictures were always small.

Dou was successful in his lifetime. He even had a patron who paid him 500 guilders a year simply for the right of first refusal for his latest work. For a time after his death, his paintings remained in demand, but eventually fell into obscurity. His popularity was reestablished recently in the 1970's.

Gabriel Metsu, 1629-1667
The Herb Market, oil on canvas, 1660-61
Gabriel Metsu, 1629-1667
The Apothecary, oil on panel, 1661

Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667) painted history paintings, still lifes, portraits and genre works. He used a variety of styles and techniques throughout his career, never wedding himself to one niche. At age 19, he was one of the first painters registered in the painter's guild at Leiden. He left their membership less than two years later.

At age 26, he moved to Amsterdam, living next to a brewery and near his relatives. Two years later, Metsu got into an argument with a neighbor.

The neighbor leveled a reputation-killing accusation, saying Metsu left a brothel at six in the morning. The ensuing controversy drove Metsu to move across town on a canal where a daily vegetable market was held. This market was featured in his painting The Herb Market done in 1860. He died young in 1667 at age 38.

It is believed that Metsu studied with Gerrit Dou around 1653. Metsu's work previous to this time shows none of Dou's influence.

Like Dou, he created small works of figures placed in domestic interiors, and genre scenes. His favorite subjects included young women feeding pets or goods being sold in a market. Although Metsu is believed to have an impeccable reputation, some of his genre scenes are suggestive of lewd interpretations.

Gabriel Metsu, 1629-1667
The Dutch Tippler, oil on canvas, 1660-61
(Seated Woman Holding a Jug of Wine and a Glass)
Gabriel Metsu, 1629-1667
The Visit, oil on panel, 1660-61
Gabriel Metsu, 1629-1667
The Apple Peeler or The Dutch Cook
oil on panel, 1660-61
Pieter de Hooch, 1629-1684
Card Players in an Opulent Interior, oil on canvas, 1663-65

Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684) is known for genre paintings, quiet domestic scenes with an open doorway. He was a member of the Delft Guild of St. Luke along with fellow painter Johannes Vermeer. He was the son of a bricklayer and a midwife. He worked in Rotterdam, Delft and Amsterdam where he was known for genre paintings of ladies and gentlemen in conversation. His early work included scenes of soldiers and peasants in stables and taverns, showing his skill with light, color and perspective.

At the age 25, he married Jannetje van der Burch and soon had a family with seven children. Now, as a husband and father, he focused on domestic scenes.

His work shows his great skills of observation, detailing everyday life while also telling well-ordered morality tales.

His delicate treatment of light compares well with the paintings of Johannes Vermeer, one of his contemporaries who lived in Delft the same time.

Early on, de Hooch also shared themes and compositions with his close life-long friend, Emanuel de Witte, but beginning in the early 1650's, De Witte became more interested in the vast architectural spaces within churches, both real and imaginary, while de Hooch was more interested in people and their relationships with each other.

As de Hooch's career and affluence advanced, so did the fortunes of the subjects in his paintings. His paintings became pictures of the more well-to-do, residing in interior scenes with designed marble tiled floors, long draperies and high ceilings.

Pieter de Hooch, 1629-1684
The Drinking Party, oil on canvas, 1858

We don't know much of de Hooch's living arrangements in Amsterdam, but it is known that he maintained contact with his friend Emanuel de Witte. In the 1670's, his work deteriorated and became more stylized. It may be that he was distressed due to the death of his wife at the age of 38, leaving him to raise his young family alone. He died in an asylum at the young age of 55.

Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) is known for his domestic interior scenes, familiar to him in his middle class life. He was moderately successful, but far from wealthy. He never traveled abroad, and stayed close to home in Delft. When he died tragically at age 43, he left his wife and children in debt, mostly because he had produced only a small number of paintings. He is known to have worked very slowly, creating only about three paintings a year, using expensive pigments to achieve his spectacular lighting effects.

Many of his paintings were done in two small rooms of his house in Delft. Repeatedly, his paintings use the same decorations and furnishings. His subjects were mostly women. Although he was recognized during his lifetime, he fell into obscurity after his death, and wasn't even mentioned in Arnold Houbraken's source book written in 1718 on 17th century Dutch painting. Since the mid 19th century, though, Vermeer's reputation has grown and he is considered today to be one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

Johannes Vermeer The Lacemaker
Johannes Vermeer, 1632-1675
The Lacemaker, oil on canvas mounted on panel, 1669-70

As good artists everywhere, the artists of the Dutch Golden age influenced each other. Like Pieter de Hooch and Gabriel Metsu, it is believed that Vermeer was influenced by Gerard Dou's paintings. In turn, Vermeer's treatment of light influenced de Hooch and Metsu.

Vermeer's early death, according to his wife, came from financial distress brought on by a downturn in the economy. 1n 1672, Louis the 14th of France invaded the Dutch Republic during the Franco-Dutch War. Later that year, the English invaded during the Anglo-Dutch war. These events squashed the art market for a while. After his death, in a petition to his creditors, his wife wrote, "... during the ruinous war with France he not only was unable to sell any of his art but also, to his great detriment, was left sitting with the paintings of other masters that he was dealing in."

Johannes Vermeer The Astronomer
Johannes Vermeer, 1632-1675
The Astronomer, oil on canvas, 1668

"As a result and owing to the great burden of his children having no means of his own, he lapsed into such decay and decadence, which he had so taken to heart that, as if he had fallen into a frenzy, in a day and a half he went from being healthy to being dead."

Musee du Louvre | Back to the Top

San Francisco Bay Area Scene Painting,
Now at the Hilbert Museum of California Art in Orange, CA
Evening on the San Francisco Embarcadero, Jack Laycox (1921-1984), 1959
Evening on the San Francisco Embarcadero, Jack Laycox (1921-1984), 1959
In 1959, when Jack Laycox painted this scene along the Embarcadero, the area was dominated by the double-decker Embarcadero Freeway.
At the time, the Embarcadero was in decay, docks used as warehouses and an unused Ferry Building. In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake damaged
the freeway, and eventually, it was torn down, opening the door for an Embarcadero renaissance. Today the Embarcadero thrives with life.

In 1929, the stockmarket crash cast a dismal shadow over the hopes and dreams of America. But San Franciscans, still reeling from the devastation of the '06 quake and fire just 23 years earlier, took these new challenges of the 1930's in stride, continuing to build their city toward a glorious future.

A View of Fort Point, Joseph Lee (1827-1880), 1870
A View of Fort Point, Joseph Lee (1827-1880), 1870

In the 1930's, San Francisco's artists painted its vitality. Building on the works of the Ashcan School painters of New York a generation earlier and Dutch genre painters long before them, California Scene painters took up the challenge and painted stories of San Francisco.

California's artists were drawn to San Francisco scenery and sense of vitality. The Hilbert Museum's current exhibition, Bay Area Scene Painting curated by Gordon T. McClelland features works by Jade Fon, Ralph Hulett, George Post, Dong Kingman, Jack Laycox, Sun Ying, Ken Potter, Lee Blair, Sung Yangchareon and others.

Just twenty years after California became a state, Joseph Lee created , A View of Fort Point, Golden Gate, San Francisco in 1870. This painting filled with incredible detail gives us a glimpse of San Francisco, already a major port city more than a half century before the 1930's. It makes us wonder what people were thinking in 1870. Did people back then dare to envision a bridge across the Golden Gate?

Fifty-seven years after Joseph Lee painted the Golden Gate, Jay Morse painted The Bridge Builders. The cities of Crocket with Vallejo would now be connected with the Carquinez Bridge. The plan was to connect Sacramento with San Francisco. The Carquinez Bridge was soon followed by the Bay Bridge opened in 1936 and the Golden Gate in 1937.

The Bridge Builders, Vernon Jay Morse (1898-1965), 1926
The Bridge Builders, Vernon Jay Morse (1898-1965), 1926
Cable Car Celebration, Lee Blair (1911-1993), 1930's
Cable Car Celebration, Lee Blair (1911-1993), 1930's

Lee Blair was President of the California Watercolor Society in the 1930's and created Cable Car Celebration while in San Francisco for a CWS traveling show. Lee Blair studied at the famed Chouinard Art School. He and his wife, Mary Blair, were among the core of Walt Disney's select group of animators in the 1930's.

In Cable Car Celebration, Blair gives a sense of motion as the back-lit cable car is filled with silhouetted revelry. For Blair, building a sense of motion within a frame was key to making animation movies successful. This painting serves as Blair's dream-like observation of San Francisco as a fascinating city ascending to new heights.

Milford Zornes has long been a favorite of Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery. His paintings are included in our collection, and we've attended two dedicated exhibitions of his work and other exhibitions which included his paintings. He lived to be 100 years old, and was a successful watercolorist throughout his long life. He often told his many students that the horizontal line in a painting is the plot line and the vertical lines are the chapters. He made his reputation in the depression and was highly successful in the 1930's and beyond.

In San Francisco Cable Car, he shows a thriving city, people on the move, appearing like jazzy musical notes on a staff, flowing through busy lives while the rattling cable car moves on.

San Francisco Cable Car, Milford Zornes (1908-2008), 1930's
San Francisco Cable Car, Milford Zornes (1908-2008), 1930's
San Francisco, Emil Kosa Jr. (1903-1968), 1940's
San Francisco, Emil Kosa Jr. (1903-1968), 1940's

Emil Kosa Jr. was a well known California scene watercolorist. For his day job, he was an artist for 20th Century Fox's special effects department for over 30 years, creating matte paintings and photographic effects for many of Hollywood's legendary films, such as Planet of the Apes, Doctor Dolittle, The Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, In Like Flint, The Sand Pebbles, Fantastic Voyage, Stagecoach, The Agony and the Ecstasy, The Sound of Music, and South Pacific.

He won an Oscar for matte art used in 1963's Cleopatra. In many ways, Kosa's movie career was much like Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery's featured artist, Joshua Meador. Meador served as Director of Animation Effects at Walt Disney Studios.

During the 1940's, Emil Kosa Jr.'s and Joshua Meador's paintings were represented by Maxwell Galleries in San Francisco. During those years, both artists came and painted in Northern California many times, recording its unique scenery and capturing its light and energy. The view in Emil Kosa Jr.'s San Francisco is looking down a hillside from Coit Tower.

Dong Kingman's watercolors are distinguishable from many of his peers. He worked in New York and San Francisco, and had some success in Hollywood too. The opening credits of Charton Heston's 55 Days at Peking and the films The Sand Pebbles and Flower Drum Song all include a series of watercolors by Kingman in their opening credits. (See our newsletter article from September, 2014.)

Dong Kingman, like Milford Zornes, became successful in the 1930's as a WPA artist, with his work recognized by Eleanor Roosevelt. He received a Guggenheim fellowship, became an artist for the U.S. Army during WWII, and taught at Columbia University.

Black Cat Cafe, Dong Kingman (1911-2000), 1943
Black Cat Cafe, Dong Kingman (1911-2000), 1943

In Kingman's Black Cat Cafe, he pays tribute to San Francisco's Bohemian artistic culture. Similar to its namesake, the Chat Noir in Paris, home to Toulouse-Lautrec, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Paul Signac, San Francisco's Black Cat Cafe was a home for all kinds of locals, from longshoremen to musicians, artists and beat poets. The San Francisco Chronicle's columnist Herb Caen often spoke of the Black Cat Cafe, a local color hangout for luminaries such as John Steinbeck, Maynard Dixon,

San Francisco Bay, Dong Kingman (1911-2000), 1944
San Francisco Bay, Dong Kingman (1911-2000), 1944

Bette Davis or Gene Kelly. Like many of San Francisco's artists, Dong Kingman exhibited some his paintings on the Black Cat's walls.

As a artist, Kingman was trained in what he called, "Oriental and Occidental" styles of watercolor painting. He often combined elements of each, giving his paintings of western San Francisco a touch of eastern flavor.

In San Francisco Bay, Kingman creates an amalgam of The City, dockside and bay scenes melded and illuminated by sun rays piercing through a gap in the fog. This isn't so much a picture of the City as it is a picture of San Francisco's

bustling activity, the pulse of the thriving port city, culturally rich and vibrantly diverse.

Louis Macouillard was born in San Francisco. He spent some time in New York studying at the Art Student's League, but returned to the Bay Area to pursue a career in graphic arts. In the 1930's, he was art director for the

Velvetone Poster Company while creating many watercolors of San Francisco scenes. During WWII, he was a Navy artists stationed in the South Pacific. His war work was featured in the October 1943 issue of Life Magazine. Other of his achievements include artwork for two U.S. postage stamps, one of Daniel Boone.

View of San Francisco shows the city by the Bay, rising high and spanning it influence eastward. The aircraft carrier headed toward docking shows the Navy's strong connections with the City, and the City's pride in helping to win WWII.

View of San Francisco, Louis Macoulliard (1913-1987), 1940's
View of San Francisco, Louis Macoulliard (1913-1987), 1940's
Downtown San Francisco,  Ralph Hulett (1915-1974), 1950
Downtown San Francisco,
Ralph Hulett (1915-1974), 1950

Ralph Hulett was a frequent visitor to San Francisco and Northern California. A graduate of the Chouinard Art Institute, he went to work as an animator for Walt Disney Studios. At Disney, Hulett distinquished himself, making major contrituions for films including Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmations and The Jungle Book.

While working on these and other Disney projects, he became a close friend of his co-worker, Disney's Director of Animation Effects, Joshua Meador. On numerous occasions, Hulett, his wife and sons Steve and Ralph would accompany Joshua Meador and his wife Libby and son Phil on their excursions to Northern California. Ralph and Joshua often painted together and exhibited their paintings in the same Northern California galleries.

Ralph was born just south of Chicago in Kankakee in, Illinois in 1915. He moved to California where he earned a scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute. This scene, Downtown San Francisco, captures some of the visual magic of the interface between the City and the Bay.

From Rincon Hill, George Post (1905-1997), 1955
From Rincon Hill, George Post (1905-1997), 1955
San Francisco North to the Embarcadero , George Post (1905-1997), 1959
San Francisco North to the Embarcadero , George Post (1905-1997), 1959

George Post is perhaps best known of all Northern California watercolor painters. His inclusion of geometrically abstract shapes allowed

for the participation of his work in more progressive art shows, but recognizable and pleasing enough to be included with traditionalists. Although appearing simple in design, his paintings are masterfully composed, showing sophisticated use of light and shadow.

Both From Rincon Hill and San Francisco North to the Embarcadero are examples of Post's use of exaggerated geometrical shapes and planes, giving a sense of San Francisco's Hills. These views of the city and the Bay are given a perspective from above, giving a sense of the vertical dimension of the City and its spectacular views of the busy Bay.

This Hilbert Museum's exhibition has many more paintings by George Post. Curator Gordon McClelland has long wanted to pull together a number of Post's paintings for such an exhibition. The George Post section of the exhibition includes many photos of George Post in the process of painting.

Coit Tower, Jade Fon (1911-1983), 1960's
Coit Tower, Jade Fon (1911-1983), 1960's
Blue Mood, Jade Fon (1911-1983), 1950's
Blue Mood, Jade Fon (1911-1983), 1950's
California Street, Jade Fon (1911-1983), 1950's
California Street, Jade Fon (1911-1983), 1950's

Jade Fon was a gifted San Francisco painter and personality. He was born in San Jose, but his family moved when he was a child. He grew up in Winslow, Arizona. His first job was in his uncle's Chinese restaurant.

But when he grew to be of sufficient age, he moved to Los Angeles. His artistic skills gained him employment in films as a scenic artist. He worked on 1939's Gone With the Wind.

In the 1940's during a film artists strike, he moved on to San Francisco. In short order, he established himself as a successful painter, and to help pay the bills, he was a singer and emcee at the Forbidden City night club.

While working at Forbidden City, he painted patrons and entertainers. But the smoke filled atmosphere aggravated his asthma, necessitating a move to a new career.

He began teaching watercolor painting at Diablo Valley College and soon moved to the East Bay near Martinez. During the summers, he began a series of well known and successful watercolor painting workshops which met at the Asilomar Conference Grounds between Monterey and Carmel.

His paintings of San Francisco speak to hilly geography, the gritty side of a working city amid natural and architectural beauty, many including a nod to San Francisco's rich Chinese heritage.

Hyde Street, San Francisco, Jade Fon (1911-1983), 1960's
Hyde Street, San Francisco, Jade Fon (1911-1983), 1960's
Cable Car Ride, Jack Laycox (1921-1984), 1960
Cable Car Ride, Jack Laycox (1921-1984), 1960

Jack Laycox grew up in Northern California. In his day job, he produced technical illustrations for the Atomic Energy Commission and created commercial illustrations for the Donald Art Company. As an artist, he produced many fine watercolor paintings and taught art. He exhibited with the American Watercolor Society and Northern California art club exhibitions and shows. Today, his night scenes such as Cable Car Ride and Evening on the San Francisco Embarcadero (pictured at the top of this art article) are in high demand.

Jack broke a rule known among watercolor painters. He used black paint. He flooded his paper with water before beginning. It could have been a real mess, but Laycox managed it to great effect, creating colorful images with soft edges.

A teen-aged Ken Potter visited the 1939 World's Fair on Treasure Island and had his first encounter with some of the world's great art. He was hooked. As a youth wandering about San Francisco on Cable Car and on foot, Ken Potter scouted scenic locations.

After serving in WWII, Ken Potter was taught geometric abstractionist ideas while studying art in San Francisco under the GI Bill. He also attended art presentations by master painters Dong Kingman and Milford Zornes. He continued his studies in Italy and France, with studies in fresco painting and cubism.

By the 1950's, Ken had one-man shows in Paris, San Francisco, and Rio de Janeiro.

View of Alcatraz, Ken Potter, 1926-2011, 1960's
View of Alcatraz, Ken Potter, 1926-2011, 1960's

After brief stays in New York and Rio, he returned to San Francisco, settling into a flat in North Beach, the center of San Francisco's Bohemian life. He counted artists, poets and jazz musicians among his friends. He was prolific and painted daily. View of Alcatraz shows a view not seen by most tourists, and may have been a location he had scouted in his youth. It shows the Bay and Alcatraz through a maze of telephone poles and cables from a location on Russian Hill.

Washington Park, San Francisco, Sun Ying (b 1919), 1970's
Washington Park, San Francisco, Sun Ying (b 1919), 1970's

Most of these watercolor artists have impressive and long biographies, but Sun Ying is the exception. Hardly anything is known of him, other than he was born in 1919. We have no death date. If he is still alive, he would be 100 years old this coming year.

He came to San Francisco from China and, although he did landscapes of other areas, is best known for his paintings of San Francisco. Given the subject matter in Washington Park, San Franciscohis sophisticated composition and use of silhouetted figures shows he had associations with more well known artists. His work certainly shows he was a deserving member of the watercolor painting community.

His painting Washington Park, San Francisco shows scurrying pedestrians with umbrellas, as wind bends the palm fronds above them. The use of vertical elements against the horizontal wet pavement below and his use of light and dark is testament to Ying's ability to create a striking and pleasing image. The streaks of rain were created with light blue paint.

Bay Area Scene Painting: curated by Gordon McClelland at the Hilbert Museum of California Art runs through April 27, 2019. It is well worth the trip. The Irvine Museum is currently nearby, featuring older California masters. Both museums can easily be enjoyed in the same day.

Mark and Janet Hilbert have created a wonderful venue for the public. The museum will soon be expanding their space, as a new museum facility is planned. The museum is associated with Chapman University in Orange, California and is a teaching resource for art students and aspiring artists.

Milford Zornes: Hilbert Museum of California Art from Eric Minh Swenson on Vimeo.

Link to the Hilbert Museum of California Art Links to
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Artists mentioned in this article ...
... Jade Fon
... Ralph Hulett
... Joshua Meador
... Milford Zornes

Gallery Notes
Looking past the Bay Bridge
Louis Macouillard,
Looking Past the Bay Bridge

An exceptional exhibition of California Style watercolor paintings featuring scenes of the Bay Area has opened in Southern California at the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University in Orange. If you live in the Southland or are visiting

See our Sep '17 issue ...
Ralph Hulett Out of the Tunnel Thumb
Orange California's
Hilbert Museum
of California Art
October 27, 2018 - April 27, 2019
Curated by Gordon McClelland

Hilbert Museum of California Art
at Chapman University
167 N. Atchison Street, Orange, CA 92866
Located across the street from the Orange Metrolink Train Station
Paul Gauguin Les Alyscamps
Paul Gauuin, Les Alyscamps
Musee d'Orsay

In next month's issue, two articles regarding. Paul Gauguin. First, his paintings in the permanent collection at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris
and second, the de Young Museum's current exhibition, Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey, through April 7, 2019.

The de Young's exhibition includes Gauguin paintings, wood carvings, and ceramics from the renowned collections of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. The exhibition explores Gauguin’s inner quests and imaginings - his spiritual journey - and how his intimate relationships with his wife, other artists, and people he encountered shaped his experiences, his work, and his development as an artist.

Paul Gauguin Tahitian Woman with a Flower
Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Woman with a Flower,
de Young Exhibition
At the Landmark Gallery
in Bodega
Linda Sorensen Cypress Over Highway One
Linda Sorensen's
Cypress over Highway One
9 x 12

Beyond Linda's studio, her paintings are currently showing at:

Bodega Landmark Gallery Collection,
located in the town of Bodega, west end of town a half block from the Casino, and just across from the General Store and the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department.

Corrick's "Art Trails Gallery,
located in downtown Santa Rosa on 4th Street, just steps from Santa Rosa's reopened Town Square.

6th Street Playhouse, The Red Shoes Gallery
6th Street Playhouse, The Studio Gallery,
52 W. 6th Street, Santa Rosa.

At Corrick's
in Santa Rosa
"Art Trails Gallery"

Linda Sorensen Hawks Hill to Point Bonita
Linda Sorensen's
Hawk Hill to Point Bonita
24 x 30
Linda Sorensen
Linda Sorensen
Linda Sorensen's Studio is now open in Graton.

In Graton, visits are by appointment only,
except for events such as Atelier One HANDS ON ART
and ART TRAILS and Art @ The Source

We must make arrangements with you for entry.
707-875-2911 or email Linda at

(Note that the gate/doors are generally locked on weekends, and we must let you in)

Linda Sorensen at Easel at Monte Rio Redwood Cabin Studio
Linda Sorensen at her easel

What's showing in Bodega Bay?
Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery Sign

Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery

by appointment in Graton or Bodega Bay | Call or Text 707-875-2911

Joshua Meador Composed by the Sea
"Composed by Ocean"
Joshua Meador
Ren Brown
Ren Brown
The Ren Brown Collection
1781 Coast Highway One, Bodega Bay, 94923
2019, The Year of the Boar: 2019 Karhu Calendar, Nishimura Ryo, Ikuta Koji
707-875-2922 | | Back to the Top
Reb Brown Sign Thumbnail
Pacific Bay Gallery

Pacific Bay Gallery
1785 Coast Highway One, Bodega Bay, 94923
Noki and Ron Jones, proprietors, featuring the etchings of Guillaume Azoulay
707-875-8925 | | Back to the Top

Pacific Bay Gallery Azoulay
Bodega Bay's Jean Warren Watercolors
Bodega Bay resident Jean Warren says her paintings are reflections of the places she has lived and traveled.
Jean is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society,
California Watercolor Association and full member of Society of Layerists in Multi-Media.
Visit Jean's site and view examples at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts

Jean Warren Watercolor

What's showing nearby?
in Sonoma, Napa & Marin Counties
Lorenzo de Santis
Landmark Gallery's
Lorenzo de Santis
IN BODEGA Bodega Landmark Gallery Collection
including paintings by Linda Sorensen
17255 Bodega Highway Bodega, California USA 94922 Phone 707 876 3477
Fri-Mon, 10:30 - 5:30 | | Back to the Top
Linda Sopensen and Lorenzo de Santis
Linda Sorensen
Lorenzo de Santis
Sebastopol Center for the Arts

IN SEBASTOPOL, Sebastopol Center for the Arts
home of Sonoma County's Art @ the Source and Art Trails

282 S. High Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472  707.829.4797
Hours: Tue - Fri 10am - 4pm, Sat & Sun 1 - 4pm

Corricks Kevin Brown
Corrick's Keven Brown

IN SANTA ROSA Corrick's Art Trails Gallery |
637 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 | Contact::

Corrick's has been a Santa Rosa Treasure since 1915,
a downtown stationery store serving the community's "cultural hub."
Corrick's has long supported local artists with its impressive "ART TRAILS GALLERY,"
including paintings by Linda Sorensen.
And currently has a number of originals by Maurice Lapp ... (see our August 2017 article)

located on Fourth Street, steps away from Santa Rosa's revitalized town square
and Fourth Street's Russian River Brewery

BBHPhoto Dennis Calabi
Dennis Calabi
IN SANTA ROSA Calabi Gallery |
-WINTER SOLSTICE PARTY, Thur, Dec 21, 5-8 pm

We are located at 456 Tenth Street in Santa Rosa.
Contact us with any questions at (707) 781-7070 or
456 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 | email: | 707-781-7070
Famed master conservator Dennis Calabi brings his rare knowledge and experience
to present a tasteful and eclectic array of primarily 20th century artwork. | Back to the Top
Easton Crustacean Dancing Dream 144
Easton, Crustacean Dancing Dream, American Alabaster
Annex Galleries Santa Rosa IN Santa Rosa The Annex Galleries
specializing in 19th, 20th, and 21st century American and European fine prints
The Annex Galleries is a member of the International Fine Print Dealers Association (IFPDA). | Back to the Top
Rik Olson

IN GRATON Graton Gallery
Sally Baker, Marylu Downing, Tim Hayworth, Bruce K. Hopkins,
Rik Olson, Susan Proehl, Sandra Rubin, Mylette Welch
Graton Gallery | (707) 829-8912  |
9048 Graton Road, Graton CA 95444 | Open Wednesday ~ Saturday 10:30 to 6, Sunday 10:30 to 4

Christopher Queen Gallery IN DUNCANS MILLS Christopher Queen Galleries
3 miles east of Hwy 1 on Hwy 116 on the Russian River |707-865-1318| Back to the Top
Paul Mahder Gallery Thumbnail IN Healdsburg Paul Mahder Gallery

 (707) 473-9150 |
222 Mill Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, CA 95448 | Open Weds - Mon, 10-6, Sundays, 10-5
Hammarfriar Gallery Thumb IN Healdsburg Hammerfriar Gallery

 (707) 473-9600
132 Mill Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448 | Open Tues - Fri 10 to 6, Sat 10 - 5, Sun 12 - 4

john Anderson
Petaluma Arts Council Art Center

IN PETALUMA Petaluma Arts Center
"... to celebrate local artists and their contributions and involve the whole community"

Petaluma Center for the Arts

Links to current museum exhibits relevant to Early California Art
The Greater Bay Area
The Walt Disney Family Museum
This museum tells Walt's story from the early days.
(on the Parade Grounds) 104 Montgomery Street,
The Presidio of San Francisco, CA 94129

-- view location on Google Maps
Disney Museum Exterior Thumbnail San Francisco
de Young Museum
Gauguin: A Spiritual Journey
Nov 17 - Apr 7
and Permanent Collection

De Young Museum Thumbnail
San Francisco
California Historical Society

California Historical Society Thumbnail San Francisco
Legion of Honor

-Permanent European and Impressionist Paintings
San Francisco Legion of Honor Museum
San Francisco
Contemporary Jewish Museum

San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum Thumbnail Oakland
Oakland Museum of California

-- ongoing Gallery of California Art
-showcasing over 800 works
from the OMCA's collection

Oakland Museum Thumbnail

San Francisco

Wayne Thiebaud: Paintings and Drawings
through March 10, 2019

SF Museum of Modern Art

Santa Rosa
The Museums of Sonoma County

Sonoma County Museum Thumbnail
Santa Rosa
Charles M. Schultz Museum

Charles M Schultz Museum Santa Rosa

St Mary's College Museum of Art

Hearst Art Gallery

Hearst Art Gallery Thumbnail
Mission San Francisco de Solano Museum

featuring the famed watercolor paintings
of the California Missions
by Christian Jorgensen
Mission San Francisco de Solano in Sonoma CA Sonoma
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

551 Broadway, Sonoma CA
(707) 939-7862
Sonoma Museum of Art Exterior Thumb
Grace Hudson Museum

Artful Liaisons: Connecting Painters
Grace Carpenter, Edward Espey, and Grafton Tyler Brown
Grace Hudson Museum

Bolinas Museum

featuring their permanent collection,
including Ludmilla and Thadeus Welch,
Arthur William Best, Jack Wisby,
Russell Chatham, Alfred Farnsworth

Elizabeth Holland McDaniel Bolinas Embarcadero thumbnail
Walnut Creek
The Bedford Gallery, Lesher
Center for the Arts
Lesher Ctr for the Arts Walnut Creek CA San Jose
San Jose Museum of Art

approximately 2,000 20th & 21st
century artworks including paintings, sculpture,
new media, photography, drawings, prints, and artist books.
San Jose Museum of Art Thumbnail
Monterey Museum of Art

Ongoing exhibitions ...
Museums Permanent Collection
including William Ritschel, Armin Hansen
and E. Charlton Fortune
Monterey Museum of Art Palo Alto
Cantor Art Center at Stanford University
Cantor Art Center at Stanford University

Salvador Dali Museum

Salvador Dali Museum Monterey Sacramento
Crocker Art Museum
Nature's Gifts
Early California Paintings
from the Wendy Willrich Collection

Opening April 22, 2018
& their marvelous Permanent Collection
Capitol Museum

Governor's Portrait Gallery
Permanent Exhibits

(including one of our galllery's favorite artists,
Robert Rishell's portrait of Gov. Ronald Reagan
Capitol Museum Sacramento Thumbnail Stockton's Treasure!
The Haggin Museum

-Largest exhibition of Albert Beirstadt paintings anywhere,
plus the works of Joseph Christian Leyendecker,
Norman Rockwell's mentor.
see our Newsletter article, April 2011
Haggin Museum Stockton
Southern California (and Arizona)
Los Angeles
Los Angeles Museum of Art

Art of the Americas, Level 3:
Artworks of paintings and sculptures
from the colonial period to World War II—
a survey of of art and culture
& "Levitated Mass"
Los Angeles County Museum of Art Irvine (now part of UC-Irvine)
The Irvine Museum
Once Upon a Painted Ocean
Nov 10 - through Mar 30

Irvine Museum Thumbnail
Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Santa Barbara Museum of Art Thumbnail Orange
Hilbert Museum, Chapman University
The Hilbert Collection focuses
on California Scene Painting,
including many well known
20th century California watercolor artists

New Exhibition ... Bay Area Scene Painting
Oct 27 - Apr 27

Hilbert Museum Chapman University Orange CA
Norton Simon Museum
-an Impressive Permanent collection,
European impressionist and post impressionist paintings
See our newsletter from March 2014
Norton Simon Museum Pasadena San Marino (near Pasadena)
The Huntington Library

American Art Collection
Paintings by John Singer Sargent,
Edward Hopper, Robert Henri,
Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran,
William Keith, Mary Cassatt,
Thomas Hart Benton and many more.

Huntington Library Art Collection Pasadena
San Diego
San Diego Museum of Art
Permanent Collection
San Diego Museum of Art Thumbnail

Palm Springs
Palm Springs Art Museum

Permanent Collection
American 19th century Landscape Painting

Palm Springs Art Museum Thumbnail
Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix Art Museum
an excellent sampling of
Artists of the American West
Phoenix Art Museum
& Beyond
Honolulu, HI
Honolulu Museum
(see our Newsletter article
from February, 2015)

Honolulu Museum of Art Kamuela, HI (Big Island)
Issacs Art Center
65-1268 Kawaihae Road
Kamuela, HI  96743
(See our Dec '16 article "Hawaii's Paul Gauguin," 
modernist Madge Tennent, 1889-1972)

Isaacs Art Center
Seattle, WA
Seattle Art Museum
( see our article Mar 2018
French and American Paintings )
Seattle Art Museum Portland, OR
Portland Art Museum

Permanent Collection: American Art
Portland Art Museum Thumbnail
Washington D.C.
The Renwick Gallery

Permanent ... Grand Salon Paintings
from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Renwick Gallery Washington DC Chicago, IL
Art Institute of Chicago
Permanent collection:
the Impressionists
Art Institute of Chicago Thumbnail
Cedar Rapids, IA
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art
Grant Wood: In Focus

is an ongoing permanent collection exhibition.
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

Bentonville, AR
Crystal Bridges
Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Washington D.C.
The National Gallery

Permanent collection
American Paintings
Tha National Gallery Washington DC Thumbnail Philadelphia , PA
The Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art Thumbnail
Philadelphia , PA
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Campus
Barnes Foundation Campus Philadelphia Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Museum
American Art
Permanent Collection
The Brooklyn Museum Thumbnail
New York , NY
The Whitney Museum of American Art

The largest selection of works by Edward Hopper
The Whitney Museum of American Art New York Detroit, MI
Detroit Institute of Arts
American Art
Permanent Collection
Detroit Institute of Arts
Ottawa, Ontario
National Gallery of Canada
Canada National Gallery of Art    

By appointment only or online ... email or call ... / 707-875-2911

... IN GRATON, CA ...
Linda Sorensen's studio and Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery's showroom is now located in Atelier One, Graton. You may view all paintings in Linda Sorensen's or Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery's online offerings. Call or email for an appointment.

... IN YOUR HOME ... Call or email for a an appointment. If appropriate, we'll bring the art to you (up to 200 miles from Bodega Bay).

... ON LINE ... Call or email about pieces which interest you. We offer FedEx shipping (included in price) in the U.S. for major purchases.

At present, we are acquiring few paintings. We are interested in considering works by Joshua Meador, or exceptional paintings by a few other Historic California artists. We do not do miscellaneous consignments but do represent artist estates. We do not provide appraisal services.

DO NOT CALL AND EXPECT A THOUGHTFUL ANSWER REGARDING YOUR PAINTING, ... INSTEAD, Please EMAIL US ( along with a high resolution jpeg image of your painting. Include the name of the artist, its title, dimensions and condition. Please include any history or provenance. Rather than responding off the cuff, in a timely fashion we will read your note, do our homework, and write back and let you know if we wish to acquire your painting or we may give you our our ideas on how best to market your painting through other resources.