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Fall Weekends

I can feel the seasons shifting even though the days are warm…the nights are getting cooler and there are hints in my garden that autumn has arrived.

We had a tremendous day in Los Olivos with The Global Eye Art Co. and Wendy Foster, Los Olivos. They have adorned their stores with art work by yours, truly, Holli Harmon and Nina Warner. Our paintings were inspired by The River’s Journey Project.

Thanks to all my friends and collectors who made a trip up on Saturday. The art work will hang through January, so you still have time to create your own special day in Los Olivos. I got some of my Christmas shopping done! Lucky family and friends :)

I also had the good fortune to run into Dorothy Gagner Jardin. She wrote this wonderful response to my work when it was hanging at the Wildling Museum. Here is the poem with paintings from the project.

Looking forward to connecting with you personally in this golden season!



California Impressionism

California Impressionism

Although many artists have found inspiration in the Impressionist’s approach to painting, California has a rich history with this movement. Key features of this style include loose brushwork, rich color and a fascination with the effects of sunlight.

When asked to participate in the California Impressionists: The Masters & The Greats They Inspire exhibition in Paso Robles, CA, I was quick to respond. Sasha Irving, the Artistic Director at Studios On The Park, sent a list of masterworks by well known California Impressionists. I scanned the collection and found one of my favorite California painters, Colin Campbell Cooper. He also has a deep history in our Santa Barbara region as a local resident and Dean of Painting at the Santa Barbara Community School of Arts.

Best of all, his image included a bunch of women playing in our Pacific Ocean. That sealed the deal. Sasha let me know that painting was available as a “call and response”. Below, you can see my 2019 painting mirroring Cooper’s level of fun in “Women Playing In the Surf”.

I wanted to feature the athleticism and strength women have in our era. No petticoats or head wraps here. I had a lot of fun applying paint and cold wax with spatulas and knives, while striving to show the action of these surfers and their fluid terrain. Staying true to the impressionists, I used bold color and focused on the sunlight bouncing off these athletes.

W A T E R = L I F E

One Drop

One aesthetic in contemporary art is to to reduce form, dimension and line to its minimal essence.  Many artists set out to convey their thoughts and inspirations in as few strokes as possible, something like a visual haiku.

The River's Journey Project  is our artistic exploration of our water source.  If I were to reduce Rose Compass's quest to it's most minimal form, I would say "water =  life".  Water is our most basic resource for survival.   Without it, life doesn't exist.

 Even in our grandest space explorations, we use it to find new life.  It makes sense that NASA uses a "follow the water" strategy to locate other life in the universe, says astrobiologist, Lynn Rothschild.

Light at the Low Point , 4x6

Light at the Low Point, 4x6

It seems our search for water is wired into our DNA.  During a 2010 TED talk, Denis Dutton proposed "A Darwinian Theory of Beauty".  When people were asked to describe a beautiful landscape, they universally identified these elements- ". open spaces, covered with low grass, interspersed with trees. And if you add water to the scene—either directly in view, or as a distant bluish cast that the eye takes as an indication of water—the desirability of that landscape skyrockets". He theorized these were the elements necessary for human survival: grasses and trees for food (and to attract edible animal life); the ability to see approaching danger (human or animal) before it arrives; trees to climb if you need to escape predators; and the presence of an accessible source of water nearby. 

Considering our brains are 80% water and our bodies are 60% water, we are deeply connected to this resource.  I love this description by science writer Loren Eisely.  

"Human beings are a way that water has of going about, beyond the reach of the river."


Follow the journey at www.rose-compass.com.


Excerpts From: Wallace J. Nichols & Céline Cousteau. “Blue Mind.” Little, Brown and Company, 2014-07-22