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Thursday, November 11, 2010

THE FINE ARTS FILM FESTIVAL The Art of Film; The Film of Art

Sunday, November 21, 10:30 am - 5 pm
and Friday, December 3, 1-3 pm

Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center
524 Chapala St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Cost: $25 at the door. $20 in advance with reservation and payment.
RSVP online or call 805-957-1115
Seating is limited.

I'm very happy that the film was chosen to be presented in the first year of this prestigious film festival in Santa Barbara. Maynard Dixon has a large following there, many collectors and also friends and students of Ray Strong have contacted me. The Fine Arts Film Festival was founded in 2010 by Lynn Holley, a Santa Barbara writer, independent curator and art consultant, and by Kathleen Fairweather, a Los Angeles writer and documentary filmmaker. "Films about art, artists, collectors and those inspired by art are rarely shown at regular film festivals," says Holley. "Art is not just for galleries and museums; the stories of art should have their own film festival. There are plenty of good films on art that are rarely seen. We wanted to offer some to the community."

Co-sponsored by the
Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara
and the Santa Barbara Art Association.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Going East to see the West

Desert Scene-Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The title for this post came from advice that Charles Fletcher Lummis gave to Maynard Dixon. He actually said, "If you really want to see the West, go East." Makes sense if you are in California. So I took a trip back to Arizona recently, a much needed vacation. It was so good to get back to Arizona, to enjoy those Maynard Dixon skies and sleep under a canopy of stars each night. There were plenty of javelina, deer, bobcats and roadrunners making a daily pilgrimage to the troughs of water at my friend's ranch. We saw a sleeping rattlesnake in the bunk house, and one of the biggest spiders that I've ever seen. The desert is filled with unique critters, that's for sure.

I mentioned on my posterous blog how I often thought about the hardships that Maynard Dixon undoubtedly endured on his painting trips in the heat of Arizona's monsoon season. He traveled then because of the enormous clouds and dramatic contrasts. Also, remember that he traveled on horseback or by buggy. For me, being there on a 103 degree day, I couldn't help but think about Dixon sitting out there in the desert, probably pretty uncomfortable, but determined and inspired to record the magnificent vistas that he loved so passionately.

He wrote, "As for myself, my choice of profession could not have been otherwise. At an early age I had a deep and intuitive conviction that art was my calling, and I have never departed from it. It is not an occupation, it is a way of life. With all of its disadvantages (and in this land of ready made, there are many) I would not exchange it for any I know. To recreate with paint on canvas the wonder and beauty that I extract from this amazing western world of ours is for me enough."

A fortunate man, that Maynard Dixon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ray Strong at 100

I had the pleasure of getting to know artist Ray Strong over a period of several years, before he passed away at age 101. He was always a joy to spend time with at his studio in Santa Barbara, and at his daughter Barbara's hideaway in Three Rivers,Ca. He loved to be in nature, and painted it so beautifully. He delighted in visiting the dioramas that he painted at the museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara. They are really fantastic, if you ever get a chance, go check them out.

Ray always said what was on his mind. He whipped out his harmonica often and broke into song whenever and wherever he felt like it. Kids and adults alike adored Ray and his spirit of fun and his exuberant love of life.

His memories of working with Maynard Dixon were vivid, and he shared with me stories of camping out with Maynard Dixon, substitute teaching for Dixon at the Art Students League, (which Ray founded with his wife Betty). Would that we all could go back in time and attend classes with the incredible talent teaching those classes!

To watch video of Ray,visit my site at:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Linda Jones Gibbs interview from Maynard Dixon Art and Spirit

I've been secretly working on my "Director's Cut" over the past year. With over 100 hours of fascinating interviews, lush B-roll of the Southwest and countless paintings and drawings that didn't make it into the film, I've toyed with the idea of Dvd extras, a Director's cut or an Educational version. It takes time and money to edit or produce something new. I have lots of other things going on! So for now, here's a blog post to share with you a wonderful bit of Linda Jones Gibbs, author of Escape to Reality: The Western World of Maynard Dixon and curator of the 2001 Dixon retrospective at Brigham Young University. Enjoy.

Video Content © Cloud World Films- All Rights Reserved

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Life of Maynard Dixon by Donald J. Hagerty now available

The Life of Maynard Dixon, written by Donald J. Hagerty has just been released. The book contains lots of new material and so many of the stories that I wish I could have included in the film. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Newport Beach screening

I want to mention what a great experience I had screening at the Studio at Sage Hill in Newport Beach. Thanks to Leslie Feibleman of the Newport Beach film festival for all of her efforts arranging this screening and to Chris Marshall for his technical assistance. The event was very well attended, and the film looked incredible in this state-of-the-art facility.

To all of the audience members who asked such interesting questions, I thank you. Obviously, I love speaking to people about Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange and the discussions we shared are always very inspiring to me. Looking forward to the next event.Check back soon!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Screening Thurs. Feb. 11th, Newport Beach

We're happy that the Newport Beach Film Festival & The Studio at Sage Hill will be screening Maynard Dixon Art and Spirit as part of their film series on Thursday, February 11th at 7:30 pm. Admission is free, and I will be attending to answer questions from the audience at the end. Please join us!
The Studio at Sage Hill is located at 20402 Newport Coast Dr.,Newport Coast, Ca. 92657