Featured Artist

And now, to change the dialogue a bit, I would like to offer up a “featured artist.” I would like to make this a regular feature, but it would depend on others sending me jpg versions of their work, so no promises. The work could be in any form – paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, whatever form your art takes, but sent to me in jpg format.

Today’s feature artist sent me three jpgs, but I can only find two of them. This artist has been the art teacher, as well as a teacher of other subjects, for over 15 years at the school down the hill from me. He has led the school in an “Ambassador of the Arts” program, a recycling program, has won many awards and grants for the students and the school, and is a commercial fisherman on the side.

Dave donates his art to every non-profit fundraiser around, and donates his time unselfishly to leading student created murals, including one on the K-rail at the Health Center.

Dave Allen has also been a regular contributor to this blog since its inception, and has provided up close and personal accounts of harrowing trips down the coast in difficult winter conditions. Thank you, Dave for all that you do for your students, your school, and the community of Big Sur! And thanks for sharing your work with bigsurkate readers!

Mirage 2 by Dave Allen

Magnificent Sea by Dave Allen

If any other local artists would like to be featured, please send a couple of jpg files to kwnovoa@mac.com

8 thoughts on “Featured Artist

  1. Thank you, Kate, for thinking about me and my art! Yes, painting, teaching, and the Sea are my passions. Each of those paintings has a story behind it. If you want me to post the stories, let me know.

  2. So, here is the story about the lower painting, Magnificent Sea. Hope it is not too long as to clog up the blog:

    David Allan’s “Angry Painting” (“Magnificent Sea”)
    ….Painted in 2002 when my brand new computer crashed and I lost 20 hours of hard work!!! Yes, I cussed and wanted to violently throw the defective computer out through the window! Instead, after a moment’s thought, I told myself “If Van Gogh can paint when he is mentally disturbed, so can I!” Therefore, I painted this. Pulling a lot of black paint from my palette, I slashed my brush across the watercolor paper to express stormy waves smashing into the jagged Big Sur Coast under tempestuous skies. Upon completing the painting, I was surprised at how I felt better. Then when my dear wife, Jana saw the painting, she immediately exclaimed how beautifully magnificent it was. Later on, this work became known as one of my “star” paintings and has been exhibited in many art shows.

    But that was not all… A day after doing this painting, I decided to take it to San Lucas School, where I was teaching Art at the time. I wanted to show it to my students. After hanging the painting in the classroom, I was walking down the hall, and came upon an extremely distressed third grade student being restrained by a fellow teacher. The teacher explained that the student, Ulysses, who had been chronically in disciplinary trouble for months, had been trying to gouge his wrists with a pencil, and the situation was critical. I responded, “Please allow me ‘borrow’ Ulysses for a minute…I want to show Ulysses something that will really surprise him!” I could, at once, see that Ulysses’ rage had suddenly become replaced with curiosity. The fellow teacher cautiously released Ulysses, who followed me up to my classroom. I showed Ulysses the painting and told him the story. “I know how angry you are”, I declared. He agreed. Then I remarked, “Did you know that you can paint really well when you are mad?” And I pulled a watercolor set and some watercolor paper out of my desk, and offered “Do you want to try painting?” For the next hour, Ulysses painted with deep concentration. When Ulysses finished his painting, he was ecstatic with joy and his sense of achievement. He enthusiastically painted another until the school bell rang, when I handed him a stack of more paper with the paint set, and told him that he could take these home to keep and make more paintings. The next morning, I was met at the school gate by an exultant Ulysses. He couldn’t wait to show me…he had painted every one of the 20-odd sheets of paper! From that day on, Ulysses had transformed himself into a model student. With enthusiasm, that stunned his other teachers, Ulysses made sure he performed his best work with all his assignments…knowing that his Art class was coming at the last period of the day. He now lived for Art. My teaching obligations at my other workplace, Pacific Valley School took me away from San Lucas School for several years. But one day, I returned to present more Art classes there. The first student to meet me was Ulysses, now a successful eighth-grader. He had become a dedicated artist. Art not only heals…it transforms!

  3. That is a wonderful and inspriting true story. Thank you for sharing it. I think it ought to be on the ‘front page’ of all media outlets in order to get the philistines to start to comprehend the power of ART for everyone.
    Appreciate you taking the time to write extensively of this experience. Ulysses wea lucky and so were you–blessed to give and recieve from each other in such a way.

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