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Archive for December, 2008

Drew’s studio sits in the back corner of a Zen garden in Pasadena. He had recently retired, from a mature, long paced career as a commercial illustrator. He was also a new grandfather of a 4 month old boy, who along with Drew’s wife is sitting in the chair and spends many hours in the studio entertaining Drew. On the table, under the window, sits a 6 shooter, holster and photograph of his role model, Roy Rodgers, who was also a family man. Drew now enjoys painting and sculpting personal work, like the image of his wife at 4 years old in front of a ’55 car (see at 3 o’ clock).

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Drew has painted album covers, advertising, collectibles, and book covers, but he is best known for his extensive movie poster work. Popularly known by his signature first name on his work, he is one of the industry’s most recognized artists, having provided artwork for over 150 movie posters, including many of the best-known films of all time. As a favorite artist of film directors, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Drew has created distinct and indelible images for many of their film releases. Indiana Jones’ fedora and whip, hangs from one wall as a memory from past movie projects.

www.drewstruzan.com

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We met Jerry, at the opening, of the first of his Annual Two Man Shows with Walk Gonske. It was one of the largest opening we had ever seen. He was standing greeting people, on the grand sala, dressed in a white western cut suit, a blue ruffled shirt and a large white cowboy hat. The earring he wore seemed out of place. Heck, the whole outfit seemed out of place, that’s Taos. It was appropriate that we should meet him here, in this gallery, the former home and studio of western landscape artist Victor Higgins. Kit Carson’s home sits across the street and I wondered how many artist openings it had witnessed during the 40’s and 50’s when this building housed The Blue Door, one of Taos’ most famous early art galleries. What is not out of place is Jerry’s New Mexican landscapes. One look at the golds, verde greens and turquoise blues and you know this man loves this area….. and has spent allot of time here.

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The last of the fans, collectors and family members had left the area when I got the chance to photograph Jerry in his home. For over 20 years, he has been splitting his time between Texas and Taos. Jerry and his wife, Marilyn, sold their historic adobe and today, they rent a small adobe, where he feels right at home painting the landscapes of which he is nationally known for and loves.

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Our visit with the easy going, fun loving Helen was completely unplanned. We went to San Rafael to photograph her husband, sculptor Rodger Jacobsen, whose house and studio has sat on the outskirts of town, among one of the many hills in that country for more than 40 years. He had recently injured his back and gallantly offered his wife and her studio as a substitute for our project.
Helen Stanley

On that day, Helen was alone in her studio, where she shares what was once an office/warehouse, with 5 other women. She has been on that hairpin curve for more than 25 years, painting 3D diarammas, peephole boxes, bird’s nests, water and material in the earthy tones of her native New Mexico. Helen has shared a 35 year love affair with art and Rodger since they met in school. Together they teach at the local city college and travel the world sketching along the way. You can see one of Rodger’s pieces to the left, at about 10 O’clock. We were so enchanted with Helen, her stories and her work.

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Huguette’s father was the first president of Lebanon after that country won it’s freedom from the French. (see her in the window next to the doorway at about 2:00 in this photo) As she served espresso in demitasse cups, her exotic history, soft French accent and gentile manners transported me from her modern concrete home in Venice, to a land and time far far away.

Huguette Caland
On this late August morning, she was spellbinding in one of her signature caftans, floating from room to room filled with byzantine influenced artwork and memories of her native country. Her work has the mosaic quality of small geometrical squares and metallic dots painted on linen weave. The large finished pieces were pinned to the walls of her huge studio, unfettered by frames or stretchers, creating a colorful display of finely painted textiles that – I imagined– could have been for sale in a booth in a Middle Eastern bazaar

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