Albert Operti, “Arctic Sunset”

March 16 through April 22, 2018
Rancho Palos Verdes, California

From the Palos Verdes Art Center:

Many artists today continue the long tradition of sketching outdoors, en plein air, as a necessary step that leads to an easel painting. Exemplars of this tradition, the Portuguese Bend Art Colony have captured the Palos Verdes coastline with their oil, watercolor, and pencil sketches at all times of day through the seasons. For the first time, these artists — Stephen Mirich, Daniel W. Pinkham, Vicki Pinkham, Amy Sidrane, Kevin Prince, Thomas Redfield, and Richard Humphrey — have generously agreed to show their oil paintings, each of which is paired with its preparatory sketch.

Capturing a Vision: The Portuguese Bend Tradition will give a glimpse of the creative process; starting with a first plein air sketch, to the creation of the final vision — an oil painting, finished in the studio.

Rich Humphrey, “Abalone Cove”

Rick Humphrey’s pieces focus on pencil drawing as an aid to teaching studio painting, demonstrated in his sketch of Abalone Cove, which poetically captures the detail of the cliff rock formations.

Daniel W. Pinkham, “Old Coast Road, Palos Verdes Drive South”

Daniel W. Pinkham’s sketch of the Villa Narcissa Gate House Courtyard dwells on the chiaroscuro created by oblique light. You can see the same play expressed in color in his oil painting “Old Coast Road, Palos Verdes Drive South.”

Sketches are also an indispensable part of the creative process for artists working in three dimensions. Included in the exhibition are also the tiny detailed sketches by Portuguese Bend resident Marianne Hunter, used to create her enamel jewelry. There will also be costume designs for the UCLA opera department, mural sketches by Steve Shriver (also of Portuguese Bend), and hidden away for almost a hundred years, the beautiful sketchbooks of Clover Cox, sister of Narcissa Cox Vanderlip, for whom Villa Narcissa was named. Tom Redfield will lend some of his great-great grandfather’s sketches, by the famous nineteenth-century American artist Edward Willis Redfield.

On loan by The Explorer’s Club (founded 1904 in New York City) is a rare find — the sketchbook of Albert Operti, made when the artist accompanied arctic explorer Robert E. Peary to document the first expeditions to the North Pole. Also on view will be Operti’s very large sketches, recently re-discovered in the Explorer’s Club archives. In spite of the hardships he and other members of Peary’s expedition endured, Operti still managed to record magical moments, like his sketch of the Arctic Sunset (shown at top).


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