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Artist Bettie Grace Miner
“Through My Window”

On display in the Art Exhibit Space from September 6, 2016 through January 3, 2017, the exhibit features original works that combine bold abstracts with the human experience.

“I like to dip my brush into traditional (wet) painting and mixed media, as well as digitally created art,” says Miner. “I am deeply inspired by interesting shapes, bold color and joyful movement Artists tell a story with their own interpretation of a visual thought. My goal as an artist is to speak to the viewer through my art and their heart.”

Bettie Grace Miner is a fine artist that brings an improvisational fusion of insight, bold colors and an expressive heart to photography and painting. Born in Southern California, the daughter of a career Navy Seabee, Bettie grew up on Navy bases around the world. She attended grade school in Paris, France, where field trips took her to The Louvre and painting expeditions at the Trocadéro. It’s no surprise that French painters were such an influence. Miner’s creative roots began in music and naturally grew into a love of the fine arts. After graduating with a degree in music, Bettie made the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music, only to be sidelined by a career in art, for which she is eternally grateful.

In an ever-evolving style, transitioning between photography and painting, the combination of the two art forms was a natural outcome. Always moved and inspired by the masters, Bettie’s work combines fine art photography with her great love for Impressionist and Expressionist art. Self-taught, Bettie’s approach to creating an art piece comes from the heart.

As a classically trained musician, music inspired imagery is a natural favorite. She interprets the art through listening to the music as she paints and allows the art to have its way as the music infiltrates the canvas, capturing the excitement and evoking the essence of music within her vivid art. Miner’s approach to other subjects remains constant. Wine art, Italian landscapes and architecture, nature inspired pieces and intimate portraiture all reveal the same passion, color, and insight.

Artist Jian Wang
“The Pacific Series”

An exhibition of paintings and etchings by distinguished artist Jian Wang are on display in The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge. The Pacific Series features works from Wang’s recent Artist in Residence at the prestigious Laguna College of Art and Design. For over 20 years Jian Wang has been serving bountiful helpings of color to audiences in the form of abstracted landscapes rendered in both paint and pastel. Deep orange, emerald green, and luscious lavender suffuse his sumptuous takes on California locations from the San Francisco to San Diego, inviting us to revel in the inspirational powers of nature. With broad titles like Summer Memory and Golden Autumn, Jian Wang does not seek to capture a specific location but rather the light and color harmonies of the region. Using a quasiabstract approach, and in often isolated form, the tree lines, rivers, and fields are represented more as shapes of mother nature rather than detailed elements within the landscape. A student of Wayne Thiebaud, and a confident colorist, Wang experiments with a variety of styles that show influence by such masters as Monet, Bonnard, Soutine, and Fairfield Porter. Using heavy paint and broad, colorful brushstrokes, Wang has defined a contemporary style that is clearly his own.

Artist Richard MacDonald
“Male Allonge” Third Life and “Female Allonge” Third Life

On display in The Ritz-Carlton Spa, both timeless and futuristic, Allonge Male and Female are Richard MacDonald’s exquisite homage to classical ballet. Working at the Royal Opera House in London’s Convent Garden, Richard immersed himself in the world of The Royal Ballet. There he found inspiration in the world’s most celebrated dancers. The graceful figures were created in the artist’s studio in London.  Poised en pointe in an elegant sous-sus fifth position - a ballet posture that looks deceptively simple, Allonge Female and Male symbolize a young dancer’s aspiration for beauty, elegance, and perfection.  Meaning to “elongate” or “reach” the poses embody the progression from talented student to accomplished professional.

MacDonald is considered by many to be the world’s preeminent living figurative sculptor. A leading advocate of the neo-figurative movement in the arts, his work has been featured in hundreds of solo and group exhibitions and is represented in important collections worldwide. His art is collected by people from all walks of life – from aspiring aficionados to celebrities and heads of state.

Committed to inspiring future generations of artists, MacDonald is involved with numerous philanthropic pursuits and the development of the arts through mentoring programs and art education in schools and universities. A member of major international social and art associations, MacDonald has received countless awards, honors, and professorships, including recognition by the United States Olympic Committee. He has the privilege of working with some of the greatest dancers and performers in the world, including those from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, The Royal Ballet, and Cirque du Soleil.

MacDonald believes that beauty connects people and lifts their spirits to a higher level. He has dedicated his career to creating passionate works of art that dramatically enrich the lives of others.

Artist Derek McDonald
“Paddle Hard Number 4”

Paddle Hard No. 4 is the next life-size surfboard in a series built from recycled metal and other found objects. It was given an industrial feel with polished refinement. The design of this board is very different from my usual art style. Typically, Derek tries to hide the welds so the piece conveys an unforced organic feel; contrary, this sculpture openly displays every single weld becoming part of the rhythmic beauty of the board. The rough and rugged product was then covered in a high quality automotive clear coat, giving it that “wet” look. The end result allows the board to have a deep and translucent appearance that creates a mesmerizing draw.  The unseen structure was built from recycled scrap metal made into the close dimensions of a “California Gun” surfboard. It was then covered with more than 520 hand cut pieces of recycled sheet metal that were given a chemical and torch patina before they were secured to the board. Each piece was arranged in a definitive non-symmetrical fashion as to not have any detectable pattern. Just like chess; most of the layout required 10 to 15 steps ahead before figuring out which piece was to be secured first. Each piece was then “tack” welded into place. The board is almost entirely made from recycled materials. Even the base is a thick piece of abused scrap metal that was cut into shape to form the anchor for the sculpture.

A self-taught artist, Derek McDonald was born in Orange County, California where he began to explore his artistic side at a very young age. He owns a collection of “napkin drawings” his mother saved for him, as he would draw for hours on coffee shop napkins when his family dined out.  He also got plenty of drawing practice during school hours when his teacher was busy teaching. Derek was curious about all things mechanical. He would take apart anything he could get his hands on, even if it was in good working condition (a tradition that he still honors today). 

In his freshman year of high school, 1982, Derek took metal shop. It was then that he was exposed to a whole new world which included welding; his artistic focus was found, and metal became his passion.

As a young man, Derek’s family was far from rich, so to make art, he turned to the open road (mostly the side of the road) collecting pieces of metal and other nonsense. He grew fascinated with the challenge of what could be made from his collection of junk. Nowadays, he has become a regular at a few scrap yards and visits weekly for new finds. That might be why his friends and
family refer to him as “Sanford." And even though Derek’s work is mostly recycled, he is perfectly capable of creating with new material too.  He started making small primitive sculptures for his family and friends in 1985. That evolved, and in 1989 he began selling his art locally.

In 1995 his long time love of water and metal sculpture led him to combining the two into a beautiful fountain that quickly rusted. At that point, he realized the only option was to learn to work with other media such as granite, marble and concrete. To date Derek has made more than a dozen fountains, from small tabletop versions to freestanding 7’ high water walls.

Pacific Artworks was formed in 1997 when Derek decided to dedicate more time to art and sculpture. Eventually with that decision came the overwhelming task of building a 900 square foot studio behind his house. After years of personal dedication and labor, not to mention supporting his wife, three kids, a dog and a day job (Derek has been a land surveyor since 1988), the studio was designed and completed within the span of five years (2003 –
2008).  Every artist needs his creative space, and Derek finally has his.

As he looks to the future, Derek says, “My mind is always moving faster than my hands, so it seems as though I’m constantly a few projects behind. Trying to catch up has been the very thing that keeps me motivated and neurotic at the same time. I’m genuinely inspired by other artists, and their accomplishments push me to perfection…I’ll let you know when I get close.”

Artist Sandra Jones Campbell

On display in enoSTEAK, Sandra Jones Campbell’s depiction of social and political scenes reflect both her professional respect for the 30’s style German Expressionists Max Beckman, George Grosz and Otto Dix, and her uniquely gentle wit. Multiple figures populate lively acrylics on paper or canvas images that blend Sandra’s optimism and candor, along with the artist’s keen visual skill: balancing color, form composition, humor and subject matter.

Sandra describes her paintings as composites of social sightings portraying evocative associations from a voyeuristic perspective, often at moments of personal social apprehensions or sociological attitudes. Her visual narratives achieve effects that are simultaneously playful and sophisticated.