As locals and visitors flock to Laguna’s beautiful coastlines and parks this summer, the city’s galleries, too, are celebrating the outdoors with stunning landscape paintings by artists Giorgio Dimichina and Gregory Hull.
Section by Ashley Ryan
(ARTIST EYE LAGUNA GALLERY)
Home base: Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but moved to the United States at the age of 5; now lives in Southern California
Background: Worked as a freelance illustrator for 28 years before his wife convinced him to create his own artwork; began showing as a guest at Artist Eye around three years ago before becoming one of the gallery’s permanent artists; his artistic skills have been self-taught through many hours of practice and dedication.
Media of choice: Acrylic paint on canvas; sometimes watercolor
Previously shown in: Laguna Beach; Giorgio is working on producing more paintings in order to show in additional galleries.
Work: Giorgio’s artwork typically features romantic scenes depicting scenery and everyday life in Tuscan gardens and the rolling Italian countryside, or along the streets and canals of Venice.
His bright, sunny paintings are infused with color and shadows that provide realistic depictions of everything big and small in Italy. From detailed images of grapes on a vine to scenes of tree-lined walkways in front of beautiful Italian villas, his work is both visually and emotionally pleasing.
When selecting scenes, he first sketches them out. “I can visualize things with color in my mind,” Giorgio explains. In addition to a vibrant and varied color palette, he permeates his work with dappled light. “I really love the play of light and shadow.”
By pouring emotion into his work, he is able to form a connection unknown to many artists. “I’ve realized in my lifetime that the kind of memories you recall later are the feelings,” Giorgio says.
“I choose places where I feel at peace and infuse my feelings into my paintings. There’s a magical moment where the painting comes alive and I feel like I’m actually there.”
His latest works differ slightly from his usual landscape format, featuring the Italian Renaissance and Carnevale festival. These detailed pieces will contain the same color and lighting techniques as well as the romantic feel, but they will depict subjects like Carnevale masks and alluring Renaissance women bathed in candlelight.
Giorgio’s latest work may be viewed at Artist Eye Laguna Gallery throughout the month of August including an artist reception Aug. 16. (949-497-5898; artisteyelagunagallery.com)
(THE REDFERN GALLERY)
Home base: Born in Oklahoma, he has lived in Utah, California, Pennsylvania and Spain, and now lives in Sedona, Ariz., traveling to California multiple times a year to paint.
Background: Received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master of fine arts degree in painting, both from the University of Utah
Media of choice: Oil paint on canvas
Previously shown in: San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Avalon, all in California; Tucson and Flagstaff, Ariz.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Pagosa Springs, Colo.; Chicago; New York; Palm Beach, Fla.; and an American embassy in Kuwait
Work: Gregory started out painting figures and still-lifes but has since transitioned to landscapes, citing the California impressionists as a major influence in his artistic style. He takes to the outdoors to paint en plein-air, generating powerful scenes full of color that elicit a specific emotion in the viewer.
He chooses painting locations by the places that strike him, then tries to convey those feelings through his artwork; sometimes the details aren’t as important as conveying how the viewer should feel about the painting. He starts by laying down the major elements of the scene—color correction and intricate details can be added after the fact.
For any plein-air painter, color and light play an important role, and it is no different with Gregory’s work. The images he creates are filled with the colors of land, water and sky: greens, blues and browns. Additional colors are used for other subject matter—red for desert rocks, purple for wildflowers and yellow for the sun’s light.
The lighting is a major factor in the scenes Gregory chooses to paint. “The way the light is falling on the land is very important,” he says. “Early mornings or late afternoons give you beautiful, glowing light.”
This glow can be found along Laguna’s coastline at sunset, one place that Gregory lists as a favorite to work. Although he also enjoys painting along California’s central coast near Santa Barbara, he doesn’t limit his work to shorelines. He paints
mountainous regions in California’s eastern Sierra Nevada, including Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite National Park, as well as at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.
Gregory’s work will be on display at The Redfern Gallery through July. (949-497-3356; redferngallery.com)
SUMMER SUN INSPIRES ART IN LAGUNA
Laguna’s galleries are celebrating the summer months with paintings to match, celebrating the sunshine and warm temperatures with paintings of local beauty. Starting last month and running through Sept. 15, Pacific Edge Gallery will host the “Best of Laguna” group show, featuring artwork by Maria Bertran, Tom Swimm, Sandra Jones Campbell, Jacobus Baas and Bryan Mark Taylor. But Pacific Edge is not the only gallery to celebrate the city this summer; The Redfern Gallery is also honoring Laguna with a monthlong exhibition titled “The Masters” in August. This show will feature images from Laguna’s past, celebrating early settlement in Laguna with paintings of the quaint village, the sprawling canyon hills and the colorful coastline. In addition, Laguna North Gallery will host “Summer in Laguna,” a group showcase that will feature works by 13 different artists depicting their favorite scenes in Laguna Beach, in pastels as well as watercolor and oil paintings, until Aug. 31.
ANNUAL ART-A-FAIR RETURNS TO LAGUNA
Art-A-Fair, one of Laguna’s most well-known fine art festivals, brings art from around the world to Laguna, adding to the already vast artist community. The annual festival allows visitors to get involved in the creative process, watching artists as they work and learning about their inspiration and techniques. Paintings, photographs, jewelry and sculptures will be exhibited on the festival grounds and visitors can stop by Tivoli Too! for some delicious cuisine in a lovely garden setting. Additionally, art workshops will provide adults with a way to learn from experienced, award-winning artists to explore new techniques in every style from oil painting to ceramics. The festival is ongoing through Aug. 31. (949-494-4514; art-a-fair.com)
Artist Eye Laguna Gallery
During the month of July, the gallery will showcase work from Evan Roy Dahlke, whose large-scale abstract paintings represent the artist’s spirituality and serve as a means of inspiration. (949-497-5898; artisteyelagunagallery.com)
Forest & Ocean Gallery
The gallery will showcase the latest photograph from Cheyne Walls, titled “Gates of the Valley,” to commemorate the anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, which set aside land purely for preservation for the first time in our nation’s history. President Lincoln signed the grant 150 years ago on June 30, 1864. The photograph will be on display until the end of July. (949-371-3313; forestoceangallery.com)
JoAnne Artman Gallery
Artist James Verbicky will present multimedia collages with layers of resin, dye, color and texture in his exhibition, “Divisionaire.” He alters vintage advertisements to encourage viewers to contemplate the role of the media and its bombardment in modern culture. The exhibition will run through Aug. 31 with an artist reception Aug. 7. (949-510-5481; joanneartmangallery.com)
Laguna Art Museum
The Laguna Art Museum will host the show “In Praise of Sunshine,” which will feature artwork by landscape watercolorist Rex Brandt. The showcase, through Sept. 21, will feature nearly 50 of Rex’s paintings with the theme of sunshine for which he was well known. An illustrated catalog created by the artist also will be on display. (949-494-8971; lagunaartmuseum.org)
Printmaker Anne Moore will be showing in the Skylight Room with her “Trespassing Times” showcase. It will feature new one-of-a-kind monotypes created by Anne. The colors are dark and brooding, but have a captivating quality you won’t want to miss. They will be on display from Aug. 6 to Sept. 1. (949-497-6775; sandstonegallery.com)
Silver Blue & Gold Gallery
Although many are familiar with common faceted birthstones, they are less familiar with cabochons, or polished stones. July’s cabochon birthstone is jasper, and to celebrate, Silver Blue & Gold will exhibit jewelry created with jasper stones. (949-715-3000; silverblueandgold.com)
Studio 7 Gallery
Twelve of Laguna’s plein-air painters will display their pieces showcasing beautiful atmospheric colors and outdoor scenes through the month of July. These paintings will accompany daily demonstrations by featured artists who will showcase the fine art of painting “en plein air.” (949-497-1080; studio7gallery.com)
The Signature Gallery
Vince Broglio will display his “Resin Movement Show” throughout the month of August. A resin sculptor from Northern California, Vince has created a new and interesting technique of recycling resin from his surfboard fiberglass company. After letting the resin collect for two years, the artist molds the layered substance to form ocean- and surf-inspired pieces that also tell a story. The artist reception will be Aug. 7 from 6-9 p.m. (949-376-4244; thesignaturegallery.com)