Posts Tagged ‘Ray Vinella’

Born in Bari, Italy, raised in New York’s Lower East Side and joined the Air Force at age 17 during the Korean War. He attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, majoring in illustration. He later got a job in Pittsburgh as an industrial illustrator and then in California for Lockheed and Disney Productions (working on the classic “Mary Poppins”). Inspired by a Nicoli Fechin exhibit, he quit illustration and moved to Taos in 1969. Ray’s first home/studio in Taos was the historic Martinez Hacienda on Lower Ranchitos Road. He helped form the Taos Six with Walt Gonske, Ron Barsano, Julian Robles, Robert daughters and Rod Goebel. Vinella is one of the grand old masters of Taos, having instructed a large portion of the younger painters in the Taos area. Ray continues to paint and mentor younger painters in the area of oil painting.

In 2001, after 24 years together, Vinella lost his wife, abstract painter Leslie Crespin. I met and photographed him after he had moved from his home and into a retirement home. Leslie’s face recured in every room, in paint and on film, her arms thrown around Vinella or alone. In his poignant egg tempera piece, Portrait of Leslie, she is still with him, as she walks along a fence line in a meadow alone, wearing a long blue dress, hands clasped behind her back, her golden head bent.


Read Full Post »

I had not known Ron Barsano before I contacted him about this project. He cheerfully and enthusiastically told me to “come out to his place”. He has a wonderful studio built next to his home, down a long dusty road. The room is dominated buy large windows and LATILLAS (la-tee-yas), Small branches of cedar, aspen or juniper placed between vigas to form a ceiling. There is a sleeping deck and a fireplace that are typical to serious artists, in Taos, who work late into the night. His nudes are some of the most beautiful I had ever seen. Ron is orgionally from Chicago, Illinois and studied at The American Academy of Fine Art in Chicago. He etablished himself in an art community in Taos, in 1970. He was a founding member, along with Ray Vinella, the late Rod Goebel, Walt Gonske, Bob Daughters, and Julian Robles, of the Taos 6 Contemporary Artists in the early 1970s.


Read Full Post »

Since 1972, Walt Gonske has been working, almost exclusively, on location. Frustrated by the limitations inclement weather imposed on his painting in plein-air, he set about customizing a Ford pickup into a “paintmobile,” or rather, a studio on wheels. This mobile studio is stocked with canvases of various sizes and textures, and allows him to go on painting trips throughout California, Colorado, or wherever the road may lead. As a member of the Taos Six, along with Ron Barsano, Robert Daughters, Rod Goebel, Julian Robles, and Ray Vinella, they started the Taos modern “movement”.

Walt’s studio is a small house next to his home. My tripod and I stood between the triune of Taos architecture, pealed-bark vigas and latillas overhead, wood plank floor below. The room, the artwork, the artists and myself were bathed in the mid-afternoon light as it fell streaming through the window. Walt uses this studio to add detail and finish to his near finished canvass, Today he was painting flowers into a landscape.


Read Full Post »