Friday, October 3

Visiting the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Today’s Image

If you have ever been to Santa Barbara, California, you may remember that State Street is the main thoroughfare through town (other than the 101 Freeway). And if you drive into ‘downtown,’ you’ll find the Santa Barbara Museum of Art located at the corner of State and Anapuma St. Today's Image is a view of Santa Barbara I took from Stearns Wharf.

I’ll quote from a brochure I picked up on the Santa Barbara’s Historic Arts District (which also includes a map and lots of info): “The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, one of Southern California’s finest art museums, features nationally recognized permanent collections and special exhibitions of international importance.” With that I will agree. Although I’m certainly no expert on Southern California art museums, from what I saw, it more than lives up to that billing, especially for a city the size of Santa Barbara (about 100,000).

The visiting exhibit when we were there was Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation. This is an exhibit that includes all sorts of photographs of some of the most famous (and infamous) stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age, which was dated from 1920-1960. The photographs have been sized to larger than life so that they fit comfortably in the large McCormick gallery/room of the museum for easy viewing. The photographs of the stars were primarily taken on the sets of some of the most well known movies (Wizard of Oz 1939) and some that I had never heard of (Dancing Lady 1933).

I had never heard of most of the photographers unfortunately, but their work is superb. I Googled the exhibition and found an informative article from the Arts & Culture of the LA Times that provides more information than the museum, especially on who John Korbal was.

But wait, there’s more. There was another exhibit that was even more attention-getting. It’s Picasso On Paper: Drawings from the Permanent Collection. These are 25 of the great artist’s works that span his entire career from 1899 to 1967. Needless to say, this was an unexpected bonus, and viewing them in the small gallery makes you feel up close and personal to Picasso himself.

I want to also mention one of the works in the museum’s permanent collection. There are several by Claude Monet that are placed along a wall with lighting that enhances the beautiful artwork. It's Villas a Bordighera. The museum was thoughtful enough to place a sofa facing the row of Claude Monet's, and I sat there for a while to enjoy the work of the master Impressionist.

In the Studio

Still working on my view of Santa Barbara from the wharf. Maybe it will be finished this weekend. I think I am making progress on the ‘hazy light’ problem. An artist friend suggested a glaze/wash with diluted cobalt blue, titanium white, and a touch of alizarin crimson. I tried it, and it seems to work, although I’m not 100 percent sure yet. I also added much of the out of focus cityscape on the hillsides. I will keep you posted on progress.


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