I am very pleased to have the opportunity to show the beauty that hides below the cold and green water of the Pacific Northwest with an underwater photograph that I shot while diving in Whidbey Island at the 16th Annual Juried Art Exhibition Expressions Northwest! :)
LOCAL ARTIST SELECTED
work of local artist Betty Bastai has
been selected to be included in ART PORT TOWNSEND/EXPRESSIONS NORTHWEST, the Northwind Arts Center
and Port Townsend Arts Commission’s 16th Annual Juried Art
Exhibition. It will be held August 1 –
August 31, 2014 in the beautiful seaport town of Port Townsend, Washington.
Greg Robinson, is the executive director and curator of Bainbridge Island Museum of
Art, which opened June 2013. Previously
he was executive director Art of the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner,
director of William Traver Gallery in Tacoma, and executive director of Pratt
Fine Arts Center in Seattle.
has participated in numerous jury processes for exhibitions and awards, and has
served on the Betty Bowen Award Committee of Seattle Art Museum for 13 years. He is originally from Seattle and holds a
master's degree in Public Administration from New York University.
has selected 77 pieces from 313 works of art submitted from the Northwest.
Bastai’s work was one of the chosen and she will exhibit an underwater digital
photograph titled White-Lined Dirona (Dirona
Several years ago
archaeologists discovered the oldest rock painting in a Spanish cave. The
creator of this artwork may be aNeanderthalinstead of Homo sapiens. Regardless
whether the Neanderthals were the first to create rock art or not, one thing is
clear: the human process that we call art-making dates back to a
fascinating time when animal instincts and behaviors seemed to coexist with more complex
developing mental functions that now we take for granted.
When you are a child you
don't think about aesthetics or the purpose of your art-making; you just
pick up a pencil and start to move your hand on a sheet of paper careless and
free, perhaps, like one of our prehistoric ancestors inside a cave.
I don't remember exactly
when I made my first graphic marks on a sheet of paper. However, I remember
“decorating" with my youngest brother one wall of the living room of my
family's apartment with markings that they were reminiscent of a prehistoric
abstract red rock painting while hiding under a table covered with a sheet so
our parents couldn't see us. How old were we? Preschool age, maybe?
At that time my youngest
brother had probably been diagnosed with leukemia, but I was not aware of his
incurable illness. At weekends our parents would take us to the mountains
to visit some friends who had horses in their back yard. An old
photograph, that I deeply cherish, shows my youngest brother, one of my sisters
and I posing in front of a gray mare called Luna. In 1970 my brother
died, he was 7 years old. My parents kept taking me to their friends' house in
the mountains and I would spend hours playing with that gray mare.
I don't remember when I drew my first horse. All the traces of that
drawing are gone. Since my brother's death I kept drawing horses obsessively
every day even when I was attending class during my last years of elementary
At some point I decided to keep a scrapbook where I would paste
images of horses cut out from old magazines and books and add my own drawings. I also read about the evolution of the horse and added a page about it in
I have been creating digital images with a smart phone for nearly a year. Several months ago I started to create collages using a free application called PhotoGrid. I manipulate the single images first using other free applications and then assemble the collage.
It is an immediate way to explore ideas about content and layout and establish a visual order whith a changing pace .
*** *** ***
Leaving Whidbey Island, Washington State.
Camping among white oak trees in Oregon and sleeping at Motel 6 in Stockton, California.
Spending a couple of days in Monterey, California, to go diving at the breakwater. Witnessing for the first time the giant dendronotid's hunting behavior.
The weather was a bit restless: sometimes a gorgeous sunshine would appear and other times huge dark clouds would move in and weep for a while.
Driving south on the scenic and stomach twisting SR 1.
Sunny and warm Santa Barbara!
After blogging on Scubaboard Force Fin forum for several years and exchanging online messages with the designer and owner of Force Fin, on April 6 I was able to meet Bob Evans and his wife Susanne Chess in "flesh and bone".
Recently Bob and Susanne have started a new company called HaeroHance that produces gaspods for motor vehicles.
Susanne is also a fashion designer and owns a fabric store in downtown Santa Barbara called Fine Fabrics. It was a lot of fun!
Breakfast before meeting singers and songwriters Rebecca Wave and Steve Powell.
On my way back to Monterey I spent some times with elephant seals at Piedras Blancas rookery, San Simeon, California.
Spending another couple of days in Monterey to dive at the breakwater where I had a lot of fun photographing a red octopus who was attracted to my buddy's bolt snap attached to his camera.
Diving, hiking and harbor seal, sea otter and bird watching at the beautiful Point Lobos State Reserve near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
What an amazing day! The giant kelp is growing again. For the first time I saw harbor seals nursing their pups, mom sea otter holding her pup with her arms while floating belly up and nesting cormorants. I also witnessed a viscous fight among nesting Canada geese.
Driving day on I 5 through California Central Valley made me think about intensive agriculture: How many farms are organic in this valley? How much herbicides and pesticides are spread on this soil? Who picks up the strawberries that we buy at the grocery store?
Sea Lion Caves, Oregon: Sketching Stellar seat lions in semi-darkness while
holding binoculars and taking photos. My nostrils were filled with the pungent
smell of marine mammals' body odor and their collective barking sounded like the
cry of a disturbed sea monster. The 19th century Romantic artists would have
loved this place!
This is the first collage where I combine
drawings and a photograph.
These sea lions looked like 19th century models. Their bodies were sometimes twisted in rather uncomfortable and funny poses.
Last chance to sunbathe in surprisingly warm Oregon before driving back to Whidbey Island.
black and white photographs with specific areas in color are very popular
nowadays. After seeing them all over the place on the Internet and printed on greeting cards, calendars etc. I kept wondering how the photographers managed to achieve that effect. Yesterday I decided to try it myself. I picked an underwater wide-angle image
of a white-lined dirona. I patiently selected the area that I wanted to keep in
color with the magnetic lasso tool that's available in Photoshop and then
converted the rest of the image into black and white.
I think small areas in
color work better than large ones.