Tag Archives: abstract

Napa Earthquake Inspires Oil Painting

Napa Earthquake Oil Painting

August 24 Napa – Oil Painting based on Napa Earthquake 22 x 28 by Pat Meier-Johnson

When you live in California you become accustomed to earthquakes, but the 6.0 Napa Earthquake August 24, 2014 had a profound effect on me, shaking me out of a deep sleep to be helpless to the rumbling, twisting and  bizarre flashing earthquake lights or EQL .  A week or so later Russ and I drove over the hill from our Sonoma home to downtown Napa. We

Building damaged in Napa earthquake

Building damaged in Napa earthquake

saw the damage and I was particularly moved by one building that seemed gouged out by the quake, revealing its innards, sheet rock, wood beams, insulation, laid bare to the sky.  The image haunted me. Little did I know at that time that I would paint an abstract of this building to help raise funds for art and for earthquake recovery.

A couple of months after the quake I took a six-session class associated with the recent Realism exhibition at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, taught by Jean Prominski, executive director of ARTescape (more about that further down). Each class taught us to look at reality in a different way and one session involved making our own mirror kaleidoscopes and photographing the museum through it.  It made me think of the disorientation and the buildings and lives fractured by the recent Napa disaster. So I focused my kaleidoscope on the exposed infrastructure the downtown Napa building and used it to inspire my painting, “August 24 – Napa”.

“August 24 – Napa” goes on display for sale today December 7, 2014 and half the proceeds go to Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund http://napavalleycf.org/ and half to ARTescape http://artescapesonoma.com/, a Sonoma Valley program providing affordable and accessible creative opportunities on the visual arts to the diverse population of the Sonoma Valley community.  Bids may be made in person, over the phone 707-938-5551 or by email.

“Kaleidoscope”, the name of the show where this oil painting is on display also features photographs from the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art class by Suzanne Brangham, Susan Bundschu, Kay Maynard, Connie Parker, Suzanne Phillips, Jean Prominski, Jan Rafferty and Francina Richardson and me, ranging from the keys of the grand piano in the museum to the washboard pattern of the rolling garage door that leads to the museum classroom. The works will be on display December 7, 2014 – January 12, 2015 at ARTescape, 17474 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma www.artescape.com .

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