Monday, April 11, 2016

Abstract artist Curtis Stromme is April's Featured Artist at Sutter Creek Gallery

Curtis Stromme realized quite early that creating acrylic abstract paintings was what brought him pleasure. Utilizing paper rather than canvas, he applies acrylic paint with blocks to create vivid compositions. Some start with an intense blue background with additional colors skidding across the surface and sometimes colliding with those applied earlier.  The layers of paint create a textural surface and metallic swirls and lines add vivacity.  Stromme utilizes simple chrome frames so as not to detract from the artwork.  This makes the paintings seem “to go on into infinity,” he explains.

Curtis Stromme, who will be featured at the Sutter Creek Gallery during the month of April,  earned a B.A. from the University of the Pacific Art Department following a stint in the army during the Vietnam War.  Despite occasional excursions into representational art, inspired by numerous trips to Portugal, he came to prefer creating abstracts.  Stromme also produces what he calls art trading cards.  These 2.5 x 3.5-inch abstracts were previously painted on card stock, but he has recently switched to mat board.   Some of these cards come mounted on paper and can be framed for display.

Stromme is one of 25 local artists exhibiting at Sutter Creek Gallery, a cooperative located in the heart of Sutter Creek at 35 Main Street.  Besides original paintings and photography, Sutter Creek Gallery offers many affordable items including prints, cards, jewelry, gourds and fiber arts. The gallery is open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For additional information, call 209-267-0228 or email or visit

Sutter Creek Gallery presents Julie Muela-Farris as the featured Artist of the Month in May

Julie Muela-Farris considers pastels and charcoal as “my first love,” even as she has branched out to other media.  She will be the featured artist for May at the Sutter Creek Gallery showcasing her new work.  Last year she created a series of hands and has been working on a new series featuring glass and water.  She finds it challenging to capture the textures, highlights and depth of these elements in two dimensions.

No one in Muela-Farris’s family draws or paints, but she was always drawing as a child. “I had an amazing teacher in high school that first ignited my interest in pursuing art in college,” she stated.  As a result, she has taken classes in drawing, painting, and art history at local community colleges, as well as private lessons in portraiture and watercolor painting.   Last year Muela-Farris became a full-time artist.  A major project was the completion of a Lodi mural on the corner of Lodi Avenue and Ham Lane.  She has been an instructor with Paint Nite Sacramento since March 2015, teaching acrylic Sip and Paint classes.

Sutter Creek Gallery invites you to spend some time with the artist at a reception in her honor on Saturday, May 2, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., as part of the region’s First Saturday Art Trek.  She is one of 25 local artists exhibiting at the cooperative located in the heart of Sutter Creek at 35 Main Street.  Besides original paintings and photography, Sutter Creek Gallery offers many affordable items including prints, cards, jewelry, gourds and fiber arts. The gallery is open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For additional information, call 209-267-0228, email  or visit

"Pouring Bottle"
"Tandem Drive"
"Water Poured in Basin"
"Cowboy Hands"
Lodi Mural

Gallery 10 features Julie Trail's "Our Town, Our County...Favorite Places" throughout the month of April

Julie Trail, Sutter Creek artist known for her watercolors, has a new collection to share at Gallery 10 during April.  Julie has lived in Sutter Creek 15 years and every day she is aware of the beauty and history that surrounds us all in Amador County.  She is calling her 2016 show, “Our Town, Our County… Favorite Places.”

Julie’s favorite medium is watercolor, and she has many new paintings of the iconic places we are familiar with in our comings and goings throughout the county.  Although Julie enjoys experimenting with new and interesting techniques, paints, papers, and styles of watercolor painting, when it comes to what she loves, representing her favorite places with paint is always her passion.

It’s as if, with paint, she can make a scene more vivid, more real.  She hopes you all come to Gallery 10, 15 Eureka Street, Sutter Creek, during April, to see her new paintings. Everyone is welcome to see some beautiful art!  Gallery 10 is open Thursday-Monday, 11-5.

Demonstration by Watercolor Artist Dale Latinen featured at next ACAA meeting on Wednesday April 13

Dale Latinen, nationally known watercolor artist and teacher, will be demonstrating at the Wednesday, April 13 meeting of the Amador County Artists Association, commencing at 7 p.m. in the Jackson Senior Center, 229 New York Ranch Road.  Laitinen will demonstrate on Aquabord, a clay painting surface.

Laitinen has been roaming, hiking and painting the Sierra Nevada and the rest of the West for much of his life. His wilderness subjects include mountains, deserts, and canyons. His “Engineered Landscape” series, depicting dams, bridges, and roadways, reveal the aesthetic contrast between the man-made and the natural.

The artist is a Fine Art graduate with a concentration in painting from San Jose State University. His depth of knowledge of the landscape is a result of many years as an independent long-haul trucker traveling the country. Having survived the trucking life, in 1985 he turned to full-time painting and teaching and has pursued this line of work up to the present day.  His popular workshops are held throughout the United States.

Latinen is represented in several galleries in California and continues to be published in numerous art periodicals and books. He is the author of “Blue Shadow Country,” a self-published book featuring his paintings, which is currently available from and “The Language of Landscape” and “Landscape Essentials” are his teaching videos currently available through and

The ACAA invites the public to the meeting and demonstration and new members are encouraged.  For more information about ACAA, visit

Potter Jim Bass and Emerging Artist Robert Falco are Featured in AmadorArts Gallery for month of April

Jim Bass, pottery artist for over 50 years and Amador High School graduate Robert Falco, emerging artist in his early 20s, are featured for the month of April in the AmadorArts Gallery. The gallery walls will reveal a sampling of the latest large abstract paintings of Falco who now lives and works in the Bay Area after receiving his BFA degree last year. Pedestals will show off the ceramic art of Bass, longtime teacher of art and pottery, who creates elaborately decorated vases to simple goblets.

A resident of Mountain Ranch, Bass has been making art and pottery for over 50 years. He discovered pottery as a student at Shasta Junior College in Redding, Calif. studying under Burt Oldham. Then, he transferred to Pepperdine University studying under Tabor Jankay and graduating with a B.A in Art in 1965. He did his  post graduate work there receiving his teaching credential in 1967.  He accepted a teaching position at Calaveras High School in the Fall of 1967 where he taught Art and Pottery at Calaveras High for 33 years.
Jim Bass
During part of that time, he lived in Mokelumne Hill, and along with Lee Hess, whom he taught to make pottery, they ran a pottery shop for ten years.  While teaching at Calaveras he also taught Adult night classes for Columbia J.C, Delta J.C, and U.C Davis University.  Prior to retiring he began throwing pottery for Quyle Kilns in Murphys and continues in that capacity today. He’s been making all of Quyle's thrown pottery pieces for 18 years He is a member of the Calaveras Art Council and exhibits at the Gallery Calaveras and he is a participant at his studio for the Artist Studio Tour in Calaveras each year during the last weekend of September.

Vase by Jim Bass
You can find his work at Quyle Kilns Gallery in Murphys,  Prestige Gallery in Angels Camp and the Gold Country Roasters in Murphys. He lives in Mountain Ranch with his wife Linda and they have four grown children. His work is “art on pottery,” and he says, “I love to experiment; it shows in my work…something new all the time.”

Robert Falco was an artist as early as seven years old, and now, at just 22 he’s making waves in the Bay Area art world.  Falco grew up in Amador County; his parents are Lilliana and Manuel Falco of Sutter Creek.  Before he even graduated from Amador High School in 2011, he received early acceptance to study at the San Francisco Art Institute.  Last year he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from there after also taking a round of art studies in Germany. 

His early training began right in the Art Department of Amador High and he was one of the youngest to take a Master’s Class at Sacramento’s Crocker Museum usually reserved for professionals.  He won Arts Scholarships from AmadorArts and the Amador County Artist Association, and at the time a newspaper report said, “Many have witnessed his obvious talent and his drive to excel with perfection,… everyone agrees that he will become a new leading artist of our country. “  Falco has been honored by many exhibitions of his art throughout the Bay Area, including Berkeley, and also in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany. Falco currently works full time at a prestigious Union Square gallery in San Francisco and resides in the East Bay in a live-work warehouse space with three other artists.

On his webpage he has his Artist Statement:  “My work is a reaction of static forms of art dealing with inconstant information that through representation will fail and be left as relics.  Individuality and false personalization is a constant thread within the work and the materials used. My paintings are not glorifying locations or moments, but rather displaying them as ethereal devices, remnants of moments that are in constant motion within multiple lanes of information cannot be fully replicated in a still object,rendering the object outdated.”

For more information, contact AmadorArts, a non-profit arts organization since 1982 serving the region with arts education in schools and in the community, free concerts, and monthly art exhibits. Phone 209-267-9038 or visit

Local artist Sabina Turner hosts California Art Club's Fiddletown Paint In/Out on May 21

Sabina Turner’s oil painting “Of Many Colors” was accepted into the Oil Painters of America National Show in Dallas Texas.

Her watercolor painting “Nefertiti Of The Tribes” was accepted into the Red River Watercolor Society’s National Show in Fargo North Dakota.

Sabina will be hosting the California Art Club’s Fiddletown Paint In/Out on May 21st. All artists are welcome to participate. This is an uninstructed venue. There will be a model sitting in her studio or you can choose to paint En Plein Air in the surrounding area. If you would like to paint from the model there will be a $15.00 charge for model fees. Please RSVP if you will be painting from the model. There is no charge to paint outside. Check in time is 9:00 AM and the paint in/out closes at 4:00 PM.

Sabina will be conducting a portrait workshop at her studio on June 3rd, 4th and 5th. The cost is $225.00 which includes the model fees. Please RSVP as space is limited.

To contact Sabina either call her at 209-245-6581 or email

"Of Many Colors”
Oil on Board
36” x 24" Sabina Turner