Tag Archives: Morro Bay

Dawn Valli

Dawn Valli grew up in Tujunga, California within a home overflowing with art. Her father’s love of art stimulated him to achieve an MFA and becoming a full time art teacher. Her mother was also a very vivid artist, expressed herself and experimented in multiple mediums. Dawn, loving every kind of art form, received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, then went on to receive an MA in Psychology, and MSS and DSS in Spiritual Science.

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Dawn experiences art as a treasure hunt filled with the discoveries of Divine Imagination and vibrant dream lands that fill her heart and Soul with wonder. Beyond the surface of this life, she perceives depths of Infinite Love and astonishing beauty.

 

As an artist, Dawn initially focused on commissioned portraits in varying paint mediums.

Over the last decade, her lifelong love of photography brought Dawn into the expanding universe of digital art where she has been transcending realism into mystical realism. She exhibited and sold pieces at famed McGroarty Arts Center’s shows, “Just California” (2012) and “Bite Me” (2013).

Her love of touching art is being fulfilled through sculpture. Her figurative sculpture is at times completely realistic, and at other times travels into lands of metaphor. She began exhibiting and selling ceramics annually at McGroarty ceramic shows beginning in 2009. Additionally, she has been expressing through mixed media bas-relief and alto-relievo using painterly skills combined with gel mediums and fiber clays on carved boards with movable elements. She exhibited and sold mixed media pieces of this kind at McGroarty Arts Center Shows, “Art at Play” (2014) and “Earth, Air, Fire, Water” (2015).

See more of Dawn’s work at http://stores.sevensistersgalleryca.com/dawn-valli/

and http://dawnvalli.smugmug.com/Ocean-Adventures/

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Trudi Gilliam: Metal Sculpture

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Trudi Gilliam is an artist who specializes in sculptures and mixed media art. A graduate of James Madison University with a bachelors degree in Fine Art and a concentration in Sculpture, Trudi draws inspiration, for her one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces, from the wild landscapes in which she travels and lives. As an avid fan of the ocean, and to get an even closer perspective of the sea and marine life, Gilliam received her scuba certification while living on St. Croix, where she has spent more than 25 years. Today Trudi shares time between St. Croix, the Central Coast of California, and her home in Montana.

Gilliam makes frequent use of mediums such as copper and sea glass, as well as other metals like brass and silver, using them to create her works of art. Birds, flowers, and nature scenes are often the subject of Gilliam’s creations. One of our favorites is of a local treasure, the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, which has recently reopened after extensive restoration.

The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is located at Point Piedras Blancas, meaning “white rocks”. The name is inspired by the large white rocks located slightly off the point, which mariners would use as navigational landmarks. In 1875, a lighthouse was built to further take advantage of the white rocks, which glowed bright when hit with the light from the lighthouse. After 10 months of construction, the 100 foot tall lighthouse was complete.

Throughout the rest of the 1800’s and early 1900’s the lighthouse was in full use, although a handful of earthquakes began to shake the foundation of the lighthouse, and a large earthquake in 1949 forced the removal of the top 3 stories. After the top 3 stories were removed, the lighthouse stood at 70 feet tall.

Restoration is currently taking place, with goals to reconstruct the top 3 stories and return the lighthouse to its original height of 100 feet. Some of the completed restoration projects on the sight include the fog horn building, the water tower, and much painting of the original lighthouse.

In addition, the landscaping has been redone to restore it back to how it was at the time of the lighthouse’s construction. The reintroduction of native plants has also lead to the increase in native animals, such as sea otters, elephant seals, gray whales, and many species of birds.

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Morro Rock

Stretching from Morro Bay to San Luis Obispo, a string of nine volcanic plugs sacred to the Chumash and Salinan indigenous peoples of our area, separates the Los Osos and Chorro Valleys and provides incredible views of green hills and beautiful cloud formations. IrishHills_panoramoThe Morros, as the small string of peaks is called, end with Morro Rock in Morro Bay. Seven Sisters Gallery choose it’s name in honor of the seven visible peaks (known as The Seven Sisters) within this string of peaks. Morro Rock, the most sacred of these plugs and the location where countless rituals have taken place over the years, lies just outside our door and is the inspiration for our unique signature line of Morro rock jewelry.

A steadfast refuge to creatures great and small, The Rock symbolizes sanctuary, groundedness, the sense of our empowerment to overcome obstacles and the return of cherished things which might have once seemed lost.

Pendant_LARGE_TTMorro Rock_ring_TT
“El Morro” was first named by the Spanish maritime explorer, Juan Rodriguez Castillo, when he saw it in 1542. But the Chumash and Salinan had been living around the rock since long before the Spanish explorers sited it. Both Native American tribes have been known to perform rituals on Morro Rock, including one prayer ritual by the Salinan that was said to ensure the return of the Sun after it had set.

Morro Rock SS - 14K Bracelet

In 1968 the rock was designated as a State Historical Landmark and since then, climbing the rock has been off limits to the public as it is a designated Peregrine Falcon sanctuary. The majestic raptors have nested on Morro Rock for centuries, and it was at one time one of the last remaining nesting sites in California when extensive use of DDT nearly drove the Falcons to extinction. Rehabilitation efforts since the ban of DDT have been successful in increasing Peregrine population once again, and it is now common to see the fastest animal in the world flying above the bay.

https://sites.coloradocollege.edu/indigenoustraditions/sacred-lands/morro-rock-ca/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morro_Rock

Out On A Limb: The Photography of Ronnie Goyette

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Ronnie Goyette once again focuses her extraordinary eye on the many birds that call the Morro Bay Estuary and local environs their home.  From a large blue heron delicately landing on a tree branch, to the flickering reflections of an egret about to grab his dinner, Ms. Goyette’s patience, keen eye and mastery of her camera are evident in photographs that capture the stunning beauty of the exquisite, decisive moment.

Stepping Out, photo by Ronnie Goyette, 2013. 19 x 25

This is Ms. Goyette’s second one-woman show at the Seven Sisters Gallery and once again it will coincide with the Morro Bay Bird Festival, thereby giving bird-watching visitors a chance to see the talented work of this extraordinary new nature photographer.

“For me, the joy of photography lies in slowing down and seeing the small things.  In relaxing to watch a bird for more than a moment, personalities are revealed:  Snowy Egrets dance for joy, Grebes run across the very surface of the water, Elephant Seals battle to defend a harem.  With the light changing every minute, the photographer times the shot to reveal the beauty of a fleeting moment.  It’s a supremely rewarding experience, one that I am pleased to share with you.”

Ms. Goyette’s work has appeared in the SWAP (Elfin Forest), PG&E and the Elkhorn Slough National Estuary calendars and has been used by the Sierra Club in various venues.  In addition, her photograph of cows, “Sunrise on the Ranch,” placed 1st at the California Mid-State Fair, and “Mr. Adorable,” an Island Fox portrait, is a Flickr Explore selection.

-written by Ann Calhoun

Puppet Alchemy

Despite it’s simplicity, the puppet is one of the most sophisticated transformational tools we can bring to our children’s lives.

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“Puppetry isn’t simply child’s play. While American audiences may be more familiar with hyperactive Sesame Street characters and a “Disneyfied” version of Pinocchio, the puppet in societies across the world has played the role of provocateur, historian, clairvoyant,and keeper of the faith, says Kenneth Gross in a new book, Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life (University of Chicago Press, 2011). From re-enacting sacred texts in Balinese shadow puppetry to mocking authority in England’s raucous Punch and Judy shows, puppets are masters of metamorphosis and often, mirrors of ourselves.”

“That part of us that finds life in objects is an aspect of the child’s imagination and instinct that is later hidden or sometimes let go of in adulthood. It’s something children are indeed more adept at, finding life and voice in objects. Puppets awaken that part of us. They bring a part of us back to play.”

http://www.rochester.edu/pr/Review/V74N5/pdf/0304_inrev_puppets.pdf

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Puppets have been used to help children open up about subjects that are difficult to face directly, by creating a simple scenario based on the child’s experience but set in a different context. Puppet therapy can be used to help children work though issues as simple as hurt feelings over a broken toy to losses as great as those experienced around natural disasters. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4416267.stm

“Puppets are one step away from being human and so there’s distance but at the same time we can identify with them.” –Dr Jones, a child psychiatrist with the International Medical Corps (IMC)

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While children will play without our involvement, there are many ways that we can engage. Thank you to www.gogivers.org for the list of the many ways that puppets can be used to work and play with children.

Puppets can…

· Model behaviors that teachers and parents want to promote

· Bring more reticent children out of their shells, and help everyone become more expressive

· Become ‘ambassadors’ as well as friends, introducing children to new topics

· Become a confidant for younger children – they may respond directly to the puppet when they are unwilling to converse with others directly.

· Encourage children who are learning English as a second language to ‘have a go’ if they feel hesitant because they are unsure of certain pronunciations or of exactly how to express themselves

· Support children with special needs, including those with attention deficits and visual and hearing impairments

· Role play strategies for resolving conflict

· Boost self esteem and to bring a sense of unity to the classroom or group of children.

· Provide an excellent way for children to work through their fears and vocalize their feelings

· Help children to settle into a new school

· Act as powerful communication tools. Talking about their ideas helps children clarify their thinking and develops their reasoning skills

· Access a world of imagination and fun for children

This Holiday season, consider a toy that is guaranteed to carry the spirit of the season and to bring joy and wonder to young and old. Come into Seven Sisters Gallery in Morro Bay and let us help you find the perfect puppet to add to or start your collection.

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Niki Lunn and The Colors of Morro Bay

Seven Sisters Gallery is excited to welcome our newest artist, contemporary painter Niki Lunn. I asked Niki to talk a little bit about her thoughts on creativity, and her life as an artist.

Personally, I think that creativity resides in all of us. Perhaps some more than others, but unfortunately with the current education system that has evolved over hundreds of years in Europe and now the United States it is apparent to me that most artists had to fight against the system to remain creative as it is often the tide to ʻeducateʼ it right out of us.

Sunset Morro Bay Acrylic on canvas 48"x36"

Sunset Morro Bay
Acrylic on canvas, 48″x36″

Sadly, many talented children have not been rewarded for their free thinking artistic leanings, but rather persuaded over the years to postpone the urge to just go and paint, or write, or dance in order to follow a ʻmore reasonableʼ money making career.

My education was started in Yorkshire, England where I was born and moved into the U.S. system later on in High School and University. It was typical in the way that most of my classes and teachers praised efforts in the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic equally in both countries. The pressure was always to ʻfit inʼ, make the grade and focus on a related career. My H.S. counselor told me after standardized tests that I was most likely to become a successful legal secretary. That was a shock for me and certainly not something I had any interest in, so I majored in a B.of Fine Art and Art History in college and of course minored in something ʻuseableʼ for later on-  marketing. After graduating I taught art for some years in the Michigan public system and later on in the Florida schools, always to find that at the end of every year I was in the principalʼs office hearing the words that funding had been cut and art and music were the first to go. But what I learned during this period of my life was important and I found myself going back to school to earn a M.S. in Psychology and Counseling. I wanted to help kids at a crucial stage in their educational development to really realize their dreams at an earlier stage than I did.

Fleet Returning 48"x24" Acrylic on canvas

Fleet Returning
Acrylic on canvas, 48″x24″

After another eight years in counseling I changed course again and did finally go into marketing and public relations. I was nearing the goal of incorporating artistic talents into an everyday job. Happily this led to creating my own company doing marketing for ʻadventure travelʼ companies. Suddenly everything changed and I was the one in control. I never worked in an office again and started traveling around the world doing what I loved- creative writing about adventurous, fun things to do in nature.

After meeting my husband, a private yacht captain, we traveled together throughout Europe and to many fascinating places that I would never have probably ventured to as a legal secretary! Throughout the last 24 years I have never lost my interest in art, if anything it was reaffirmed in every new location that I visited, seeing the art museums and their bounty of beautiful art collections as a perfect mirror to the culture that they represented.

Light has played an integral role in many of my pieces. It is true that the impressionists became my favorite genre of painting while I lived in France, it is easy to see why they painted the way that they did with that soft mellow light playing amid their landscapes. It influenced my work as well.  When in harsher light such as the Greek islands my colours became stronger and painting style more bold.

When I am not painting, I tend to be walking in nature since it is there that I find inspiration. Somehow it speaks to me in a universal language unhindered by borders or words and offers an unlimited range of colours and meanings to the eye of the beholder. As far as my own colour palette I like to use a rich combination of bright hues, trying to catch on canvas a glimpse of what nature offers us as a visual feast of happiness everyday.

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Sunset
Acrylic on canvas, 48″x24″

My favorite painting is always the next one that I am going to paint. I typically work at home, taking the ideas from memory and photos I may have taken to remind me of shapes and movements in nature that I liked. Although I did take a B.F.A in university, I can honestly say that it has been through trial and error and perseverance that has found me at where I am now. I am still learning and think that I always will be.

I know that if you let the spirit move you then your inner talent will emerge, whether be it in dance, creative writing or producing a painting.

Niki will be showing her work at Seven Sisters Gallery in Morro Bay, beginning with her opening reception at Art Walk Friday, June 14 from 5:00-8:00. Stop by to meet the artist, see her work and enjoy music and refreshments.

The Art of Autism

Autism is gaining increased public attention thanks, in part, to the work of Debra Hosseini and the exhibitions she has designed to bring focus to some of the extraordinary artwork being done by artists challenged with autism and to serve as a resource to assist those artists in pursuing their artistic endeavors. We are happy to host this work at Seven Sisters Gallery in Morro Bay from May 12-April 7.

One of those artists, who will be exhibiting his pieces in the current show, is Jason Cantu. We asked Jason to say a little about one of his marvelous pen and ink drawings, “All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace a Chance.” Here’s what he had to say:

All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance 11x14 by Jason Cantu - printThe original version of the picture that you see here was a pen and ink drawing; the artwork is called “All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace a Chance”, based on the 1969 John Lennon hit song of the same name. My picture is an interpretation of an acrylic painting done by Charlene Chauvaux, who was a good friend of our family. Charlene made a painting of a white dove against a blue sky, to symbolize her feelings of thankfulness that the Vietnam War had ended, and peace had finally come. When Charlene passed away recently, we inherited her painting as a gift from her family. My original interpretation of the painting was made as a birthday gift for my dad; he was having back problems at the time. I made my drawing as my way of giving him a symbol of peaceful healing, protection, and a symbol that would keep him safe.

Although this picture only took me an hour to actually draw it, the picture is actually a culmination of hours of thorough preparation, determination, and good, hard work. The degree of the different areas of darkness in my picture; is achieved by how often and/or how hard I drew the picture, in order to symbolize the feathered texture of the dove.

The areas in which the ink is the heaviest, is where the shadows fell the most heavily on the dove; the areas in which the ink is lighter, is where the sunlight shines the most brightly on the dove.

When I looked at the dove, I was visualizing a bird; frozen in flight as though it had been captured in a photograph at an exact moment in time. I drew motion lines around the bird to simulate that the bird had been moving and/or was going to keep moving even though it was on a drawing.

In all my drawings/paintings that I have made over years of practice, I have made a habit of choosing to make pictures of subjects that interest me. The painting of a dove really interested me, and I wanted to draw what I was seeing. I feel that I have a real talent for making art, and as long as there are people who are interested in what I make, I will continue to make art. I like to make art that other people find interesting; that’s why I’m an artist.

Jason Cantu will be showing his work at Seven Sisters Gallery, from April 12-May 7, as part of our new exhibit, “A Spectrum of Music-Art”, which features the art of artists on the autism spectrum. You can also find his work at SevenSistersGalleryCA.com

Seven Sisters Gallery is located at: 601 Embarcadero # 8, Morro Bay, CA
For more information Call us at: (805) 772-9955