Thursday, December 1, 2016

Artists Closeup for December 2016!

Watercolor & Mixed Media
Virginia Mack

Two Doves on an Oak Tree

Virginia Mack is a native Californian. She has been exploring and savoring the wild lands of the state throughout her life. She has been living on the Central Coast for 15 years. She is a part-time instructor at Cuesta College in the fine arts departments.

Virginia works primarily in watercolors and mixed media and is a colorist at heart. She builds most of her pieces in a wet-on-wet process (wet watercolor paints on wet watercolor paper) resolving the pieces as the paper slowly dries. She creates the forms with rich colors that she plays off against contrasting colors thereby subduing them while preserving their presence in layers of color. She often mixes the watercolor process with work using colored pencils, pastel, charcoal, and pencil.

Photography & Digital Art
Aris Zavitsanos

In Aris’s own words: "Space has always been so fascinating to me and has influenced my art throughout the years. My inspiration started in Crete Greece, when I saw a street artist making a beautiful space scene using spray-paint. The different techniques the artist used surprised me. When he finished he turned his spray can upside down and made a comet, the spark to my inspiration. When I returned back to my home in Pacific Grove CA, I spent hours upon hours trying to re-create the Greek artist’s style and I eventually succeeded. That wasn't enough, I wanted to do more, so I took more and more art classes and eventually got into AP art where my teacher, Mr. Kelly, pushed me to try new techniques and mediums. I am grateful Mr. Kelly did so because I would have never found my niche. My art is a mixture of the photographs gathered from friends and family and my different adventures along with lots of time on a tablet with Photoshop. Once I manifest my idea on the computer I print it out on canvas or watercolor paper and add acrylics with gloss varnish. This saturates and brings the highlights out allowing me to control the focus of each art piece. My art is always evolving and I am working on some new techniques."

Friday, July 1, 2016

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Nina Litvinoff

Pen and Ink Drawing

If you like the sea, birds flying, otters and seals basking with their pups in tangles of seaweed, boats moored in peaceful bays and artists illustrating the bustle of life around them, you will enjoy the paintings and drawings of Nina Litvinoff.


A native of the Pacific coast, Nina enjoys sketching subject matter on-the-spot, in the open air. Her sometimes humorous depictions draw many passersby to comment on her free and original style and interpretations of life around her.


The teacher credited most for the development of her style is the prominent and well loved artist Stephen Rodionoff, her father. Rain or shine, they were seen sketching and painting on the Morro Bay Embarcadero, or other coastal areas with Marie, Nina's mother by their side. 


Nina enjoys doing commissioned paintings, sketches or other creations using both her imagination and fantasy to create a more descriptive figure and image. Her highly detailed drawings of ships and Victorian Homes have been seen in galleries, art shows and homes all over the United States, Europe and Asia. 


Sunday, May 1, 2016

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Galen Griswold

Artist Closeup with Painter 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’.”

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.

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.

Friday, April 1, 2016

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Ardella Swanberg

Artist Closeup with Painter Ardella Swanberg

Ardella Swanberg earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education, at University of Minnesota. While still in high school, she was awarded a figure drawing class scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute.

Ardella has been an award winning artist since 1962 and has had 20 art exhibits and one person shows. Her work is in national and international corporate collections.

One of her works was published in Watercolor Magazine, Winter 2002 issue, in an article titled An Artistic Journey Through Spain. She illustrated The Centennial Collection, published by Bechtel Wives of the Bay Area, 1998 and the dedication portrait of Robert Lyon in My Heart Belongs to Cayucos.

Composition is important to Ardella and so is skillful drawing so she has taken many life drawing and design classes. She tries every interesting technique that comes along but prefers a straight-forward approach to painting. She usually makes a small practice composition and then begins the painting with a free hand drawing, often in pencil, sometimes in pen and ink or charcoal. It all depends on the effect she wants. She was a watercolor purist for many years which meant that she used light pencil marks and only transparent watercolor. She still enjoys that method but sometimes it is too restrictive.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Artist Closeup with Painter & Architect Mark Allen

Shasta Sunset by Mark Allen

I have always painted for myself. Painting is how I explore the world around me and express how I perceive it. Art and science may seem mutually exclusive in today's world, but it wasn't always thus, and I strive to revive art as a scientific instrument. I find painting and drawing to be powerful tools in teaching us to see what's all around us – through the simple act of following an amazing line or pattern into infinity.

Hayz by Mark Allen

 I've always viewed my paintings as entries in my journal – part of my reference library that reminds me of where I've been and how I saw the world, which often leads to what's next. I had never considered selling my art – until I discovered giclée  reproductions. They can so precisely replicate the original, I feel I have as full-dimensional a “journal entry” as ever.

 I judge a painting by its ability to always please me, and, even better, to be an ongoing source of discovery and rediscovery.  I hope this is what you'll find in my collection of paintings and giclée prints.
Prefumo Canyon Road by Mark Allen

Monday, February 1, 2016

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Karen Peterson

Artist Closeup with Photographer Karen Peterson

Karen's interest in photography began with the gift of a camera on her ninth birthday. Her parents always had a camera front and center for family events and trips. This inspired her interest in photography.

After earning a B.S. in Recreation Administration she used her photographic skills on the job, as a Recreation Supervisor for several agencies in the San Fransisco Bay Area. Workshops and local photographic organizations allowed her to expand her creative vision. 

In the 1990's Karen began working with Polaroid Film, mastering the art of image and emulsion transfers as well as S-X 70 Manipulations. 

Since moving to the Central Coast of California, Karen has enjoyed exploring the wonderful landscapes of the area. Karen's photographs have won awards at New Times & The Palo Alto Weekly photo contests as well as the Juried Fine Art Photography Shows at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. 

Karen has served as the President of the Palo Alto and San Luis Obispo Camera Clubs as well as the Central Coast Photographic Society.

Monday, January 4, 2016

ARTIST CLOSEUP • Patricia Newton

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

Patricia Newton

Artist Pat Newton

Fueled by curiosity and imagination, Patricia Newton has always been intrigued by the essence of light, luminous color, expression of a face, a warm gentle breeze, the smell of citrus or salty air.

Patricia was influenced by the professional artists and their work, of family members while growing up.

Patricia's style is representational, utilizing a glazing technique by brushing on several thin layers of oil paint that lend a translucent effect and emanate light to her subjects. Her use of color and dimension are reflective of realism.

Moonstone Beach © Patricia Newton

An award winning artist, Patricia feels that in the end, it is not how well you paint or the number of accolades you gain, but how much you have grown as a result. Moreover, that the gift of creative spirit is celebrated and shared.

Morning Glory © Patricia Newton

Patricia is a member of "Oil Painters of America" and "The Portrait Society".

Patricia has painted in oil for approximately 30 years and resides on the Central Coast of California.

Summer Breeze © Patricia Newton