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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

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Five Point Arena Oil Painters

October 5 - November 17, 2010

Other Venues: Sea Ranch Lodge Front Gallery

Gualala Arts will present an exhibit in the Front Gallery at The Sea Ranch Lodge featuring the work of five oil painters inspired by the Peter Dobbins' new book, Point Arena Oil, Six Local Painters. Five of the six painters in the book will be exhibiting: David Lewis, Lester Da Gradi, Mindy Eisman, Bill Elmore and Jon Handel.

oil painting by David Lewis David Lewis [painting at right] was born in London in 1946. He attended several art schools in England and taught at the Epsom Institute in London. He moved to Point Arena in 1979 and has been painting ever since. In his own words: "We live in an age of absurdity, our involvement of printed, projected and electronic images has imposed a veil between us and the real. The artist's search for authenticity has never been harder, but it's always fun."

oil painting by Lester Da Gradi Lester Da Gradi [painting at left] has been painting in the Point Arena area since 1980. He paints landscapes and seascapes mainly. In his own words, "I want to bring 'how it is' to the canvas, so painting on location puts me there. Studio work is harder for me - deciding and attempting to evoke. After all these years, I am getting better at it, but outside is reaction, like surfing." Lester lives in Point Arena, surfs, gardens, plays the sax, fixes surfboards and keeps the paintings coming. He attended California Institute for the Arts from 1965-1968. His father was a production designer for Disney.

Feathered Franny, oil painting by Mindy Eisman Mindy Eisman [painting at right] was born in New Jersey in 1960. Her mother was a painter/graphic artist and her father is a cartoonist. She was exposed to many different art forms from the beginning of her life. After a year at the Pratt Phoenix School of Design studying illustration, she got her first taste of oil paint at the Art Students League in Manhattan and was hooked. She spent many years working as a freelance calligrapher, comic book letterer and comic book colorist before having the opportunity to paint full time.

In her own words, "Oil painting allows me to express my interpretation of reality through the material application of color and texture. For me the most exciting aspect of this art form is the physical interaction between paint and thought. I often find my original vision will change and grow as I explore the relationship between the source of an idea and my imagination. I work toward getting past the surface appearance of the subject in order to reveal the hidden spark within."

oil painting by Bill Elmore Bill Elmore [painting at left] has been painting and showing his work in Point Arena for many years. He doesn't have an artist statement. He lives his art life without defining it.

oil painting by Jon Handel The same is true for artist Jon Handel [painting at right].

The exhibit at the Lodge is a rich variety of local themes. Iris by Bill Elmore, Point Arena Pier Moments by David Lewis, Manchester Beach scenes by Lester Da Gradi, a whimsical touch from Jon Handel includes a painting titled Floating Between Point Arena and Gualala. Mindy Eisman has done two portraits of Franny (above) of Franny's Cup and Saucer Bakery in Point Arena, as well as two coastal themes including one called Nine to Five [shown below right] which tracks the moon over the ocean, a view from her studio high up on the ridge above Schooner Gulch.

Nine to Five, oil painting by Mindy Eisman The book, Point Arena Oil, Six Local Painters, is the first in a series of self-published books Peter Dobbins plans to do of local artists. The next one, already in the works, will be on pastel and pencil artists from The Sea Ranch to Point Arena.

Stimulated by his interest in history and local history, Peter, an award-winning Point Arena photographer, has an eye for capturing the artists at work in their studios or outdoors painting. The book is available for $40 from Peter directly or can be purchased through Four-Eyed Frog Books in Gualala. Contact Peter at or (707) 882-2159.

The Sea Ranch Lodge is located at
60 Sea Walk Drive, Sea Ranch, California 95497
Please call (707) 785-2371 for more information.