Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Watercolor, OCHS, and classes in art and history

Today's image is "Bird Rock, Laguna Beach," painted around 1960 by Phil Dike. It comes from my favorite websites for "virtual window shopping:" CaliforniaWatercolor.com. (Someday when I actually have wall space, I will spend some serious money there.)     

Orange County's role in California Style watercolor painting will be the subject of the Orange County Historical Society's season kick-off program on Thurs., Sept. 13th, at Sherman Gardens, 2647 E. Coast Hwy, in Corona del Mar. If you'd like to participate in the Society's appetizer and dessert potluck beforehand, arrive at 6:30 p.m. with a plateful of goodies. Otherwise, arrive in time for the 7:30 lecture by author, historian, exhibition curator and art dealer Gordon T. McClelland.

From the 1930s through the 1970s, an innovative approach to watercolor painting called the California Style, flourished in Southern California.

Artists like Rex Brandt, Phil Dike, Dong Kingman, and Emil Kosa, Jr. were considered part of the American Scene or Regionalist movement and often painted scenes of everyday city and suburban life. Their work featured bold design, creative use of the white paper as a "color," and highlighted the transparency of their unique medium. One of the key schools that taught this approach to creating art was the Brandt-Dike Summer School of Painting in Corona del Mar.

The presentation will feature outstanding examples of California watercolors inspired by scenes in Orange County, with an emphasis on works painted in and around Newport Beach. McClelland will also address the historical and artistic importance of these works both locally and nationally.

Gordon is one of those guys who literally "wrote the book" on his subject. In fact, he has written many. I'm really looking forward to his talk.

Speaking of art and California history, Diane Ryan is offering classes this fall on "California Regionalism" and "Historic  Southern California Landmarks & Early Pioneers ," through the Huntington Beach Adult School. She is also offering classes on "California Impressionism" and "The History of Orange County" through the Oasis Senior Center in Corona del Mar. (See the Recreation Classes section on the City of Newport Beach website for more information on these last two.) For additional information, email Diane at dianeryan2010@yahoo.com.

For more about both California watercolors and about Diane Ryan, see my post from Feb. 19, 2011.

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