Saturday, March 1, 2014


Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

Gay McNeal

Gay McNeal
I have always enjoyed playing with fiber and fabric, learning to sew on my mother’s Singer Featherweight at the age of ten. College classes in weaving and surface design coupled with a BA degree in Interior Design from CSULB allowed me to continue to create with fabric and design in a part time career while helping to raise our three children.  My passion now is to make most of my own fabric that I use in my work as a Fiber Artist.  I continue to learn and find out new ways to manipulate fabric by hand dyeing or painting starting with plain white fabric as a blank canvas.  Japanese Shibori dyeing, silk screening, stamping, mono printing, batik and fabric painting are only a few of the ways I like to use to create texture and depth in my art.  Stitching by hand or machine and maybe adding a few beads as embellishment works to further my artistic expression.

Rock Fragment © Gay McNeal

Everything Has an Edge
Another Night at the
Improv © Gay McNeal

Glacier © Gay McNeal
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Carole McDonald

Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist:

Carole McDonald

Carole McDonald

Carole is a native Californian and self taught oil painter who moved to the Central Coast in 2009 to pursue acrylics and water mixable oils. When she’s not painting, Carole is knitting one of her felted ibag creations.

© Carole McDonald

“As a former Disney Imagineer, working at the happiest place on earth where art was everywhere and discussed every day, my imagination soared. More vibrant colors came to mind along with a general tranquil feeling… Little did I know I would retire to the happiest city in America. Small World.”

The inspiration for Carole’s colorful paintings is the endless landscapes and seascapes of the Central Coast.

© Carole McDonald
© Carole McDonald
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Deborah Kyle Hintergardt

Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

Deborah Kyle Hintergardt

Deborah Kyle Hintergardt
A self-taught artist with a distinctive style, Deborah Hintergardt’s artistic goal is to impart a sense of peace and satisfaction with the moment, as well as an expectation for the future. Deborah started paining simple, vibrant, richly colored country landscapes while living in Los Angeles, then, in November of 2004 she moved to the landscape of her dreams, the Central Coast and continued her artistic pursuits.

Tribal Elders © Deborah Kyle Hintergardt

Deborah creates her paintings using bright colors and a variety of two and four legged characters and other subjects in her medium of choice: acrylic. She loves that it is clean, neat, quick drying, durable, non toxic and the colors are absolutely vibrant. Deborah explains that she can pile on the paint thick or skim it on thin. She can layer it fairly quickly and if not quickly enough ( she claims to be quite impatient), can pull out her trusty blow dryer to get the job done! She especially enjoys painting in acrylic on wood panel—you will see nothing but luscious paint and juicy brushstrokes, no dull, dry, canvas weave. A quick application of gloss varnish brings a sparkle and a luster to her paintings and they literally seem to come to life.

© Deborah Kyle Hintergardt
Every so often Deborah tries something new, but  always she comes back to acrylic. It’s like an old trusted friend. For Deborah, painting is intuitive, not academic. Thinking too much always seems to get her into trouble. From subject matter, to color choices, to composition, it’s all about how she feels, what makes her happy, what emotions she wants to project. In short, she paints whatever strikes her fancy, however it strikes her fancy.

Deborah is President of the Atascadero Art Association and a member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters. 

Kranhagen Ranch © Deborah Kyle Hintergardt
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Friday, November 1, 2013

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Carol Astaire

Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

Carol Astaire

Carol Astaire
I absolutely love the ocean! Being on it, in it, or hiking beside it brings me pure joy. Every day is a new experience and I always start to smile and sing when I take off in my kayak. Born and raised on the California coast it is just simply in my blood.

Anacapa © Carol Astaire
Wet Wednesday Regatta © Carol Astaire

With a lifetime of education, teaching, exhibiting and traveling to draw upon, I have devoted the last five years to exploring the ocean south of Port of Los Angeles and north of Monterey County, photographing extensively in all conditions year round. Then I use my reference photos to help remind me of my experiences on the water when I return to my studio and get to work.

Calm Shore © Carol Astaire
Bluffs at Montaña de Oro © Carol Astaire

I now try to bring it all together in a free and joyful expression of the things of the sea I love most. Still using the old masters’ techniques of multiple layers, glazes and traditional mediums to produce the luminosity and visceral qualities that are so rich; I hope to share all of it with anyone who views my work.
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Kira Olshefski

Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist:

Kira Olshefski

Kira Olshefski

Kira Fluer Olshefski is a California Central Coast artist, residing in Atascadero. She has dabbled in a variety of media, but has found oil paint to be her media of choice. Kira taught elementary school for many years. Incorporating art into the curriculum was one of the highlights of her teaching career. In her most recent artwork, Kira has taken a spin-off of the traditional classroom diorama. She has created mixed media shadow boxes that incorporate original or canvas prints, barn wood and antiques. Each shadow box is like looking into a small world. Kira’s work depicts many of the rural scenes of the Central Coast and other scenes that people can relate to. 

Morning at Hudsonville © Kira Fluer Olshefski 

Kira’s art training ranges from college courses at Cal Poly to Chinese brush painting with Bay Area artist Judy Chu. Her most influential art teacher has been local artist Tracy Di Vita. For many years, Kira visited Tracy and other artists during Open Art Studios. Tracy’s work and personality inspired Kira to take on oil painting and develop herself as an artist. Kira is a member of the Atascadero Art Association. Originals, prints and gift items of Kira’s art work can be found at the Gallery at Marina Square.

Morning Reflections © Kira Fluer Olshefski 
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Thursday, February 14, 2013


Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

Beth Sargent

Beth Sargent

Golden Light Halfdome
© Beth Sargent
I have always loved photography. When I was young, I would sneak off with the family’s brownie camera. I loved the thrill of seeing what I had captured when the film was developed. In my late teens I purchased a Yashica Single Lens Reflex Film Camera. I never went anywhere without it capturing moments in time. I would get together with friends and family to share a slide show. It was always a big hit.

Hawk Profile © Beth Sargent

Nothing gave me more joy than wondering off on my own to capture sunsets, take close up shots of flowers, or photograph star trails at night… nature and landscape photography was my real love.

Soon work and life seemed to get in the way of my photography. There was a large gap in time before I picked up a camera again to shoot images that inspired me. I am not sure what made me decide to give in to my creative side and capture nature’s beauty. One reason could have been that digital technology was improving so much that I liked the results I had been seeing. But whatever the reason, it was like I had been waiting most of my life to photograph nature again. It was like coming home. 

Stormy Seas © Beth Sargent

Yellow Barn © Beth Sargent

In 2008 I purchased my first Digital SLR camera and joined The San Luis Obispo Camera Club. Joining a local camera club can really improve anyone’s photography. At my very first meeting, a really talented photographer talked about High Dynamic Range Photography, also known as HDR. I went home that evening and downloaded an HDR program. The rest is history. HDR Photography seemed to resonate with me. Most of my landscapes and seascapes incorporate this technique. HDR allows me to get the light levels in my finished image that I can’t get with just one shot. The result is a shot that looks exactly as the scene actually appeared.

Landscapes and nature photography, especially birds, are my main focus. Early morning and late afternoon are my favorite times to photograph. I just love coastal sunsets, sunrises, rural and nature scenes.

Silent Hunter © Beth Sargent

Though all birds are of great interest to me, raptors are my favorite. What is it about photographing birds that has me hiding out in bushes and wearing silly looking camouflage clothing? I am not quite sure. I think it is the wildness, the freedom of flight, and the determination of nature to survive. Whatever it is, I am driven to seek out birds of prey and capture them in action. I almost always get to witness some incredible action. I absolutely love it.

There are times when someone will say to me, “Photography is your hobby.” I smile and say, “Not true.” It is way more than a hobby. It is what I do. For me, photography is a passion.

I found a quote from a poem that really says it all for me…
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”
Rumi, Sufi Poet
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Karen Peterson

Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

Karen Peterson

Karen Peterson
I received my first camera on my ninth birthday and I enjoyed taking snapshots of my family on vacations and of friends around my neighborhood. I didn’t consider the artistic aspects of photography until my Dad gave me his old Zeiss Contaflex 35mm SLR when I was in my twenties. I began taking the occasional weekend photography seminar (Point Reyes Field Seminars was my favorite location) and joined the Palo Alto Camera Club. Showing and sharing my images with other photographers encouraged me to take my photography in new directions. I began experimenting with Polaroid films, eventually teaching short seminars on Polaroid Image and Emulsion Transfers using Polacolor film. I studied traditional black and white darkroom techniques at UC Berkley Extension in San Francisco and hand coloring using Marshall’s Photo Oils. 

Chapel Hill Sunset © Karen Peterson

Since moving to the Central Coast in 1999 I’ve been actively involved in the Central Coast Photographic Society and the San Luis Obispo Camera Club, serving terms as President of both organizations. I’m currently experimenting with various digital techniques including High Dynamic Range (HDR).
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Deb‘s Iris © Karen Peterson

Fall Color Morro Bay ©
Karen Peterson

Afternoon at the Beach © Karen Peterson
It’s in the Cards © Karen Peterson

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ARTIST CLOSEUP • James A. Crawford

Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

James A. Crawford

Award winning photographic artist James A. Crawford’s interest in art began in high school and further developed at Orange Coast College where he majored in architecture and minored in history and art. In 1966, while in Viet Nam, he purchased his first 35mm camera. Upon his return to the States, Crawford lived and worked in Laguna Beach, CA pursuing an architectural career while continuing to photograph and interact with area artists. In 1976 James moved to San Luis Obispo to further his education at Cal Poly where he majored in architecture and minored in photography. Crawford states: “I have been greatly influenced by the Brooks experience because all my professors were Brooks Institute graduates.” James continues to further his photographic education through yearly workshops with varied master photographers.

Life Tree © James Crawford

 Crawford is the recipient of first place ribbons and Best of Show awards in several photography shows and publications and has been displayed at the Photo Technique Magazine, Preston Contemporary Art Center in Mesilla, NM, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Cal Poly (SLO), SLO Arts Gallery, SLO Coast Journal, Johnson Gallery, The Photoshop, San Luis Artist’s Gallery, Gallery at Marina Square in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo City Hall, Gallery at the Network-San Luis Obispo, Olive Tree Fine Arts Gallery in Atascadero, CA, and San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Crawford’s work also hangs in many private collections.

Eye Heart You © James Crawford

Wild Oak © James Crawford

Crawford believes there is more to photography than looking through the camera and pressing the shutter. He says, “The camera is only part of the process. It’s where my creativity leads on the computer, or the darkroom. It is not a mere image, it is an extension of my whole self, my whole being, the sum of all my experiences and the influences of great artists I admire.” Some of those artists are Mondrian, Braque, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Klee, the architect Antonio Gaudi and the photographers Eadweard Muybridge, Wynn Bullock and Paul Strand—to name just a few. Crawford states that many artists are an influence. “I take little pieces from everything and everyone and meld it into my own vision and truth. Whether that’s from architecture, sculpture, painting, music, photography or literature.” Not all of James’ images are intended to look like either a classic photograph or a painting. James has yet to find a classification, nor do he want it to be boxed or classified.

Crawford’s portfolio may also be found at the Web Galleries: and and

Monday, March 12, 2012

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Don Doubledee

Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

Don Doubledee

In addition to being an artist and a photographer, Don Doubledee is an architect practicing in Morro Bay since 1982.

Sunday Morning © Don Doubledee

Don’s pen and pencil sketch art has been a hobby. He has been known primarily for his pencil portraits of employees and clients. His “Postcards of Amsterdam” series from 2001 began what Don calls his “Postcard” sketches. They feature pencil line drawings he created while traveling. His “Postcards of Morro Bay” series features pencil and ink drawings and watercolors of Morro Bay’s waterfront. In addition to graphite, colored pencil, pastels, and watercolor, Don is experimenting with mixed media with more his recent work. Don is also an amateur photographer and has added photography to his palette.

Amstel Adam © Don Doubledee
Early Birds © Don Doubledee
Godwits at Rock © Don Doubledee
Sunset Morro Rock © Don Doubledee

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

Jack McNeal

I am a lifelong wanderer. As a boy, living in Long Beach, I would spend hours walking in the salt flats near my home. Another place we, the kids, called the sand dunes. This was an area on the edges of Alamitos Bay that was a wasteland of dredging spoils.

With the addition of a small rowboat, this turned into exploring around the bay. By this time (ca 1948), I was beginning to occasionally carry a camera with me.
Move forward a “few” years and I still investigate places on land and water. Now I carry a camera as a full time appendage.

My inclination is to follow any trail or road that heads toward the beach. Rain, fog and big surf are also attractive to me. I try to capture a sense of place and am drawn to the obscure beaches and headlands that rarely have anyone else on them.

On the water, I paddle canoes and kayaks around Morro Bay, and other California estuaries, including Elkhorn Slough, Alamitos Bay, Newport Bay and Mission Bay and San Diego Bay. Once again, interesting weather is an attraction to me.

My work is printed on 100% rag, hot press watercolor paper and matted with 100% rag museum board. This is done in an effort to ensure that my customers will be able to enjoy my work for many years.

Late Sun on Sandspit © Jack McNeal

Beach Near Piedras Blancas © Jack McNeal

Sweet Springs © Jack McNeal

Twilight on the Strand © Jack McNeal

Hidden Beach © Jack McNeal

Sunday, November 13, 2011

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Galen Griswold

Gallery at Marina Square Presents
a “Close Up” of Artist

Galen Griswold

“As the artist, I want people to enjoy what they see in my work. It is people, painting, purpose, and possibility that keeps me going in life. I am inspired by other people and their work and have fun creating mine. Marina Square Gallery and friends have created a masterpiece of a place for people to come and enjoy. And, I am so glad to be a part of it. One witnesses in nature Bergson's elan vital (vital energy) and when one paints the experience is like Pablo Neruda's poem--a focused feeling of being ‘fully empowered’.”

Crystal Cove #3 © Galen Griswold

Galen Griswold is a plein-air painter that loves capturing the moment… Paint flows naturally with its own motion. Movement, energy, color come together and the painting experience is serendipitous. Our coastal area and the islands of Maine are often featured in Galen’s work.

Galen studied at San Francisco Art Institute. He is a student of Ted Georschner and Ted Chistensen. He was chosen for a three-week program at the School of Art on Deer Isle in Maine. Over 1,100 collectors enjoy the color, the freshness, and the energy of his work.

Ames Pond Reflections © Galen Griswold
Marigold Fields © Galen Griswold

Galen paints with oils and acrylics, and his work is featured at Gallery at Marina Square. He loves the great outdoors and the breath-taking beauty of our landscape experience. First a field sketch is often done in acrylic. The painting is sometimes then completed in the studio with oil. Galen attacks the canvas in each case from the inside-out, focusing first on the larger shapes and receives the specifics from the scene itself outside-in. He delights in working with the paint and the elements—their flow and vibration is reminiscent of the nature that it reflects.

Stowe Lake Bridge © Galen Griswold
Maine Sail © Galen Griswold
Vineyard Road © Galen Griswold