Category Archives: Celebrate

All the Way to the Ocean

By Nancy Weiner, Editor Southern Sierran

Designed as a children book, Joel Harper’s “All the Way to the Ocean,” illustrated by Marq Spusta, and foreword by Laird Hamilton, delivers a strong message to adults as well about protecting the ocean, keeping our sewers free from garbage, and also about friendship and teamwork. And it is through teamwork that Mr. Harper created this wonderful little book with Mr. Spusta’s colorful, expressive illustrations.

What strikes this reader first upon opening “All the Way to the Ocean,” is that it is ostensibly a labor of love.

Each Grain of Sand a Tiny Work of Art

Sand Microscopic
Microscopic images of Sand.

A Grain of Sand, Gary Greenberg: in Discover Magazine

Excerpt from Lizzie Buchen, Discover Magazine

When you take a moonlit stroll on the beach, how often do you think about the tiny grains of sand creeping in between your toes?

From above, sand seems like a bunch of tiny brown rocks, perhaps peppered with occasional shells. But sand has a far more fascinating story to tell.

Composed of the remnants of volcanic explosions, eroded mountains, dead organisms, and even degraded man-made structures, sand can reveal the history, both biological and geologic, of a local environment.

And examined closely enough, as the scientist and artist Gary Greenberg has, sand can reveal spectacular colors, shapes, and textures.

These images of sand from around the world were taken by Greenberg using an Edge 3D Microscope and can be found in his book, A Grain of Sand.

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Midway Atoll, Northwestern End Of The Hawaiian Archipelago; By Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan Photography

Midway: Message from the Gyre (2009)

By © Chris Jordan, Photographic Arts

As my team and I prepare to travel back to Midway Atoll, I cannot help but note the macabre juxtaposition of the environmental disaster that is happening in the Pacific Ocean, with the one that is happening in the Gulf of Mexico. The two phenomena are oddly parallel, involving (among other grotesque features) the deaths of untold numbers of sea birds, caused by millions of tons of our petroleum products that have poured into the ocean via our collective negligence. And in each case the birds can be viewed as messengers, serving as one small warming signal of a much larger calamity, with global consequences, in which our individual consumer lifestyles are unavoidably complicit.

My friend the artist Richard Lang says the opposite of beauty is not ugliness, but indifference.

Mired, East Long Island; By Dalton Portella

48″ x 72″
Digital C-Print on Dibond
No Picnic Series

By © Dalton Portella

My process on the Picnic Table series and a lot of my other work is to create images that inspire thought. These images are created digitally, combining different images to create a story.

The winter shots capture the beauty and isolation and drama of life on the east end of Long Island. A view of the beach that the general public does not get to experience. My Montauk.

My concept is to challenge the definition of painting by blurring the distinctions of medium. By marrying different mediums, a metaphor emerges for what I see as necessary in order for our society to survive – the acceptance of differing philosophies. In art, the acceptance of new technologies and mediums is essential for innovation and growth.

With my art, I capture essence; the essence of places I’ve been, emotions I’ve felt and the subjects I paint and photograph. I portray the broad range of the human experience.

I use my art to demonstrate that all is connected. one piece will feed the next, common elements appear in a series, across a variety of mediums. A watercolor will turn into a digital piece, which will in turn become a work on canvas. A work on canvas will be combined with photography and transferred to paper where it will then be worked on with pastel, showing how a change in texture, composition, size, medium or the mark will change our response to the piece. This enables me to explore all the elements that I find important for my art, using all the tools at my disposal.

With this concept in mind, I create images that invite the viewer to trace the image’s origins and inspiration. I invite the viewer to follow the transformation of a watercolor to an oil painting to a digital piece. I invite them to conjure up their own interpretations. I don’t want to explain my personal view of a particular piece until they’ve explored their interpretation.

I want the work to provoke thought and evoke emotion.

Paddleout; By Lyndie Benson

POM Lyndie Benson

By © Lyndie Benson

Photographer Lyndie Benson is a contemporary photographer specializing in Fine Art photojournalistic portraiture-Her subjects range from natives from the Bush in Africa to People and places in India and beyond with special artistic forays in between such as the Nudes On Boulders series, where Lyndie set loose nude models on 30ft boulders from the river Quai in Thailand. She has done campaigns, album covers, editorial and special charity projects such as The Best Buddies Campaign pairing intellectually disabled people with Celebrities of Iconic Stature as well as Save The Elephants. However Lyndie loves the freedom of Photojournalistic Portraiture where a single shot can express so much about the subject, be it a person, animal or beach. A series based on a decade of photographs from a community in Malibu called THE POINT has special significance and is seeped in culture and history. “On any given day you may walk down to the beach and see someone surfing with their dog” Something you don’t normally see in other communities for sure.

In this shot entitled PADDLEOUT from that series depicts a community coming together in the love and support of one of its fallen members. On THE POINT when someone passes away the whole community paddles out into the ocean and makes a giant circle of love-holding hands and they toss flowers or in some cases ashes into the beloved sea. It is such a special and emotionally supportive community that shares both the love of the community as well as the Ocean and the beach that they call home.

Me and you three; 2 years, 4 artists, 8 beaches

Me and You Three; 2 Years, 4 Artists, 8 Beaches

The exhibition showcases works by four island of Wight artists: Judes Crow, Annik Cullinane, Mary Flynn & Gerry Price, presented at the Michael West Gallery at Quay Arts from June 5th to26th 2010.

For two years, four artists have been making site visits together to coastal locations and visits to eight island beaches, around the Isle of Wight, UK. The result is an eclectic exhibition made cohesive by linking the marine environment to humanity. The work communicates experiences of loss and bereavement, conflict between the undeniable beauty of the coast and evidence of decay, thoughts about permanence and transience, and the rythm and inevitability of change.

15 metres of plastic debris, large sea banners stitched from materials reclaimed from the sea and installations entitled ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘This is Not a Toy’ refer to a world drowning in plastic. Plaques commemorating bodies washed ashore and paintings of human embryos comment on the unpredictability of life. Clay re-claimed from the cliffs and sketches done on location evidence the continually changing nature of the coastal environment.

Groups of young people from three local schools will visit the exhibition. These students will show their responses in the form of their own artwork. This will take place in the ‘Learning Curve Gallery’ at Quay Arts Centre 12th June – 24th July.

Artists statements:

Judes Crow

“The sea is the container of the unknown and the mysterious. It is an appropriate synonym for the unconscious” C.G. Jung 1944

Through my art practice I aim to achieve both conscious and unconscious expression of an internal mythology developed from intense life experiences and a profound connection with the natural cycles of birth and death. Within my paintings visual narratives emerge, joining together subjective feelings and transforming objective reality.
I use the richness of the coastal environment and the wealth of material it provides to explore internal states and childhood memories.

Annik Cullinane
Since moving to the Island twenty years ago I have been involved in
drawing the landscape. Settling in Ventnor, my focus became the rugged
coastline, particularly the eroding cliffs of the wild dramatic
beaches such as St Lawrence, Luccombe, Shanklin and Bonchurch.

Mary Flynn
I find myself continually drawn to the beach, witnessing the ebb and flow of the tides. The rhythm of change and the excitement of shoreline finds interest me. I am compelled to explore and record the objects I find, creating a new order from found objects, or attaching a personal significance to them. I have become concerned with the impact of man on the environment. The materials I use vary: they include found objects, fabric, stitch, and print. Exploration and experiment are key issues in my work.

Gerry Price
The focus of my visual arts practice has changed and developed over the years. I have used a wide range of materials and processes to produce objects and images. Recent work has been made in response to experiences of loss and bereavement. The work has strong conceptual and physical links to the coastal environment in which I live and work. Physically this often means using materials found on the shore. Conceptually the impact of the environment is more complicated. The sea and tidal action become metaphors for change, transformation and loss. I am currently preoccupied with thoughts about permanence and transience.

For information contact:

Judes Crow

The Beach, Drangsnes, Iceland; By Börkur Sigthorsson

Borkur Sigthorsson

By © Börkur Sigthorsson

Icelandic filmmaker and photographer, Börkur Sigthorsson has inspired the visions behind Nikita, Nike, Honda and numerous celebrity and fashion shoots, all while nurturing his personal artistic pursuits. In January 2010, Börkur made his long-awaited debut in the contemporary art world with Blythe Projects | Los Angeles in association with the MOCA Contemporaries. In his uniquely energetic and poignant style, Börkur reveals the deeper emotional and psychic landscape of his subjects.

The Beach series was shot on Drangsnes, a remote peninsula on the West Fjords of Iceland. Leaving Reykjavik on a borrowed bus, Borkur and his team of ten arrived on location at 3am. Fatigue and weather conditions promptly found the bus lodged in a ditch and the team decided to catch a few hours of sleep. Waking to wind and snow, Borkur could only shoot in short bursts before the young women turned purple. A geothermal pool was a fortunate discovery as it kept the team warm during the frigid shoot.

A local farmer was another fortunate break, as Borkur still had the bus and the treacherous mountain roads to contend with. Retrieving his tractor, the farmer pulled the bus from ditch and hauled it over the mountain pass to a herring factory that moonlighted as an inn. However, in the process both vehicles were severely damaged. Borkur, his team, the farmer and the innkeeper made the best of the situation with mounds of pasta and wine.

One year later, Borkur made his final payment toward damages on both vehicles. Six years later, Borkur unveiled The Beach.

Baldwin Beach, Hawaii; By Richard Renaldi

Baldwin Beach, Hawaii

By © Richard Renaldi

“What makes Baldwin Beach so special is not only the breathtaking views and sunset but also the locals that hang out there. It is not a flashy tourist destination but rather a small community beach. Many of the kids show up after school to surf, skateboard, smoke pot, flirt, and relax. It is this local flavor combined with the majestic Pacific that makes Baldwin Beach one of my favorites in Hawaii.”
—Richard Renadi