Fine Art Gallery Depicts California and the West
is no greater canvas on which to brush the colorful
genius of Southern California's great painters than
on the gallery of the Old Stone Walls of Historic Capistrano
Depot. Restaurateur/Owner Deborah Bogdanski has done
just that with an ever-changing art exhibit featuring
artists whose work embodies the Spirit of the Coastal
Living and the Western Landscape in oil, watercolor
the train roars by this popular ambient restaurant,
one is surrounded by brick archways and stonewalls that
showcase the South Coast through these works of art.
Whether dining near one of two crackling fireplaces
or walking through to view the paintings, it is the
culture of California that cries out from each one.
Bruce Brown was an engineer specializing in International
Airport design. He began painting in the early 60's
and became an exhibitor at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna
Beach in the 70's and 80's. In 1989 Bruce suffered a
stroke that paralyzed his right side and took his speech
however, this did not dampen his spirits or his talent.
With the encouragement of his daughter Alexandra he
began to paint again using his left hand. His body of
work is beautiful, brilliantly detailed and engaging
with his scenes depicting the Wild West and still life.
His story is one of courage and his gift as a fine artist
transcended his physical challenges.
"Hunk PaPa Brown"
An avid surfer and painter of Surf Scenes and Western
and Native American Culture, Tony Brown is well known
in San Juan Capistrano. Tony paints in oil, pastel and
graphite and also does fine portraiture. In one of his
paintings the shadow of a great white shark can be seen
in the wave below an unsuspecting surfer, not unlike
a close encounter that Tony himself had off the coast
of San Onofre with the Great White that was there in
September of 2003. Tony's work has been commissioned
for events such as KSBR Birthday Bash, and the Swallow's
Day Parade. Tony is a general contractor and the owner
of Tony Brown Design and Build. He and his wife Orrie
are long time residents of San Juan Capistrano where
they live with their three daughters.
Many of the artists represented on the old depot walls
are well traveled and have a great appreciation for
this region of California, settling here after living,
studying and painting throughout the world. Don De Lew,
known for his brightly lit garden flowers created with
an amazing brushwork, studied at the Academy of Art
in San Francisco Art Center School. He then studied
in England, France, Holland and Spain and began doing
large murals in Mendocino and Half Moon Bay. Don's works
are described as "intimate acrylic abstracts reminiscent
of Zen Poetry" and have been featured in exhibits at
the Long Beach Museum of Art, his paintings are found
in private collections from Rome to Taipei. He and his
wife Grace also are educators in art and live in a sunny
flat in Long Beach.
Premier Coastal Painter Paul Gavin portrays detailed
colorful scenes of beach living and the surf culture
in vivid detail. Paul has been painting since he was
seven. His love for plein air painting has taken him
from sites around his home in Historic San Juan Capistrano
to Paris and Normandy France. He has created many military
themed works of art depicting the El Toro Air Shows
as well as Andrews Air Force Base, the City of Chicago
and the MCAS Miramar in San Diego. Paul has painted
the South Coast of California since 1976 until the present
and is well known for his "Premier Coastal Series",
which includes limited additions of Dana Point Harbor,
The San Clemente Pier and many other scenes depicting
the California lifestyle with vibrant realism.
Caroline is known for her large detailed watercolor
paintings of Flowers with blooms covered in dripping
dew, still life of fruit flowers and porcelain, scenes
of Historic sites captured like never before in soft
yet vivid detail and romantic use of color. Her soft
blue hued watercolor of the Capistrano Depot is timeless
and captures the ambiance of this Historic treasure.
Caroline has exhibited her work in The Festival of the
Arts in Laguna Beach and served as president for Women
Artists of the West as well as on the Board of Directors
The South of France was also the inspiration for one
Contemporary California Impressionist. Sandy Miller
was born in Waterbury Connecticut. Her initial works
were charcoal drawings and then after a trip to Province
France in 1991, she began to paint in oil. "I was so
moved by the wondrous light and amazing colors, continually
visualizing new paintings." Sandy's paintings are spectacular
and they ring with light. From the Mission San Juan
Capistrano in all of its glory to garden patio café's,
they can be seen at the entrance of the great dining
room inside Capistrano Depot.
In one of the intimate rooms of the depot and above
the hearth, artist, Brian Norkaitis, took me away to
Crystal Cove in the large soft watercolor captivation.
Brian has been painting the California Coast for over
25 years. From rustic coastal beach cottages, white
picked fences in wildflowers and nostalgic porches to
Fishing Boats and wonderful old Missions, Brian's work
is distinctive, and unforgettable. Beyond Newport Beach,
Crystal Cove, Laguna and Avalon on Catalina Island,
Brian enjoys pointing in Carmel, Monterey, San Simeon
and Cambria as well as on the East Coast capturing imagery
of the villages of Maine, and traveling to the South
of France to paint the charming villages in Province
and the Greek Islands.
Barbara displays a range of perspectives that highlight
the beauty of landscapes, the intimacy of outdoor still
life, and simple, "peaceful" daily activities. Based
in Dana Point since 1987, her award winning work has
been juried into shows such as the prestigious Art for
the Parks. Painting on location has taken her to venues
in Southern California, the Southwest, Europe, Hawaii
and South America. She is a member of San Diego Watercolor
Society, Watercolor West, and juried into Women Artists
of the West. Barbara has developed her art through personal
study and with professional artists. Her work has been
described as having "an emotional quality that transcends
the actual medium" and hangs at the Henstock Gallery
in Laguna Beach, Sarducci's in San Juan Capistrano,
Dana Point Art Center and in private collections in
Canada, Europe and across the United States.
The Linscott original "Guns and Roses" speaks of the
spirit of this collection of art. A brightly colored
wool Mexican blanket is the backdrop that gently drapes
down under an old leather Bible. A holster and gun belt
lay on top of the Bible and a large vase of beautiful
roses in watercolor soften the scene in a painting that
both a man and a woman could be equally wild about.
This painting embodies the ruggedness and the romance
of the West, a theme that runs through the entire fine
art collection at Sarducci's Capistrano Depot Restaurant
and Gallery where California's history, landscape and
surf culture are on exhibit daily.
© Copyright 2005 Purpose Media and Sarduccis
No unauthorized duplication without written consent.
To view other works displayed at the Capistrano Depot,
please visit their gallery