Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joseph Raffael

One of my "Bucket List" dreams was to one day travel to France to see the astounding works of Joseph Raffael. http://www.josephraffael.com/ Soka University is presently displaying a collection of his best works right here in Aliso Viejo, California!  I would love to know how they transported these giant watercolor gems. Sometimes dreams fizzle as reality, but there was no disappointment in viewing these true masterpieces.
Brilliant colors abound on giant sunlit florals that reach from the paper.  Blue skies back a massive branch teeming with white blossoms.  On one particularly amazing piece, Raffael gives us a glimpse of his studio with a wall of an artwork hodgepodge beside a french door leading to the garden.  A massive birdcage anchors the side and gives depth to the scene.  Another endearing portrait of his wife, Lannis, touches one's heart.  Buy a plane ticket to California if you need to, but don't miss the opportunity to view this amazing show while it's in America. Soka will continue the exhibition through April 15th. It's open Monday through Friday for FREE. Soka University - Joseph Raffael Art Exhibition

Merwin Altfeld Retrospective

The National Watercolor Society hosted the Merwin Altfeld Retrospective Show from January 15th through February 6th. The family of this former NWS President provided a collection of his work for display. Merwin passed away in 2007, but his joy for art was obvious with bold colors and whimsical uses of shapes. The variety of the show was fantastic.
A great group gathered for the opening reception, including several members of Altfeld's family. His sister was an especially honored guest.

Other guests included artists Fealing Lin and Devorah Friedman, as well as NWS members and art collectors scouting the show.

NWS President, Mike Bailey, and NWS Past President, Chris Van Winkle, both paid tribute to Altfeld while Caroline Van Winkle graciously served a delicious reception.


The exhibit included Altfeld's characteristic boat paintings and figurative works in both color and ink. I was especially touched to see photos of the artist painting at various ages of his life.