by Ken Katz
One of Oakland’s most valuable assets is the huge contingent of artists and craftspeople who make this their home and for whom the COVID 19 crisis has often been particularly challenging with galleries closed and shows cancelled. In this month’s News, we’re pleased to feature the works of five artists who are an integral part of our Grand Lake community. The artists are:
Jane Norling is probably best known for her posters going back to the 1970’s, when designed and printed posters with Neighborhood Arts Project in San Francisco, as well as producing print materials for social change as a member of People Press publishing collective in the Mission. Her work was very well represented at the 2012 show at the Oakland Museum titled All of Us or None: Social Justice Posters of the San Francisco Bay Area. The poster on the left was one of six that she designed for the hugely successful Measure DD campaign that funded major improvements citywide, including the new entry to Children’s Fairyland referenced above. That said, Jane also paints, focusing on landscape abstraction. A muralist as well, her most recent commission was a printed-on-glass installation titled, “Alameda County Water” for Alameda County at 1111 Jackson. While she maintains a studio space at 3298 Lakeshore, she is currently splitting time between Oakland and Chicago, where her son lives.
Daniel San Souci is something of a neighborhood celebrity thanks, in part, to the fact that so many kids grew up reading children’s books that he illustrated for his older brother, Robert R. San Souci—not to mention the half dozen books that he wrote and self-illustrated. In the course of his career he’s received numerous awards including the New York Times Best Illustrated Book designation in 1978, for The Legend of Scarface; Of late, however, Daniel’s been focusing on fine art paintings—mostly of wildlife—all of which incorporate incredible detail.
Karen LeGault began painting in high school in the late 1960s and has been painting professionally since 1993. Currently, she works primarily in watercolor on both Asian papers and Western style rag papers using both Asian style techniques and Western realism. Joy Garden and Nasturtiums at Play are both done in sumi ink and watercolor. Many of Karen’s original paintings are pictured and available for sale on the website but please note that she’s currently in the process of updating it to include prices. She also has a large selection of signed and numbered, fine art giclee prints in various sizes that can be ordered online. The same is true with her Greeting Cards Page on which you’ll find eight different images – five to a pack including envelopes. Karen just informed us that shoppers mentioning the Splash Pad News will receive a 20% discount on cards and/or prints. If you have questions, feel free to contact her by email or phone and also inquire as to whether free local delivery is possible. Once shelter-in-place orders are lifted, visitors to her studio will be welcomed.
Denise Owen was trained as an architect, but over time came to the realization that she was happier and far more creative as an artist. Eventually, she became an art professor. Her current work employs a variety of media, including charcoal, pastel, graphite, ink, and paints, usually on paper. Her work is sometimes inspired by what she sees or senses in the form of color, light, texture, movement, or expression. At other times, the process is more intuitive, which is likely the case with the three transfer mono prints on paper with collage. Cici is from the series Imaginary Friends: The Grattan Street Octuplets. The other two are from her 2019 series titled Conversations
Lorrie Fink‘s first major introduction to the art world was when she became acquainted with the Society of Six colorists while employed at the Oakland Museum in the 1970s. Subsequently, for twenty-five years, she worked at one of Oakland’s most prestigious graphic design companies—the Seventeenth Street Studio—where she was a principal partner. Her artwork is primarily an interpretation of what she sees in nature and much of her inspiration comes from the lush garden that surrounds her backyard studio. Her work has been included in countless group shows and in several solo shows as well, the most recent of which was Before the Clocks Held Time held last year at the NIAD Art Center in Richmond. The three paintings above are all from that series. All are oil on either panel or canvas. Sizes range from 24 x 24″ to 48 x 48″.