What Do You Collect? Boo Boo Records Collection

It's the hunt that we all love so much; flipping through stacks of both perfectly packaged treasures and beaten tattered used sleeves still protecting that beautiful vinyl record, but when you find that special album, the one you might not even have been looking for, it's difficult to contain your enthusiasm.  Steve Thomas' Newest Boo Boo Records Print celebrates those that love to collect vinyl.

In June of 2016, Steve Thomas released his first print of Boo Boo Records and we quickly learned what a big deal this small-town record shop was.  We had people rushing in to pick-up their print of Boo Boo's and they would tell us stories of first dates vinyl shopping, weekly visits to their store and how this piece perfectly captured the vinyl culture.  Since that first piece we've realized that Boo Boo Records isn't just a great local record shop, but that they're one of the best vinyl stores in the US!  We love the friendly vibe and the passion that they continue to share with each generation that discovers the beauty of vinyl.

As Steve began to work on a new Boo Boo Records piece, he was able to collaborate with Mike White, owner of Boo Boo Records, to line out a new visual concept that captured the nostalgic feeling and eclectic quality of vinyl collecting; and of course Steve had to sneak a few favorite albums in there too!  Can you spot the hidden treasures?

Art Saves Lives

A little about the mural that graces the front of our gallery; an image of which is prominently featured on our website.

Art has the power to connect people all across the world.  Art tells stories, bridges gaps, celebrates our differences and reveals what we have in common.  Man One grew up in Boyle Heights, LA with resilient affection for graffiti and urban street art and earned a degree in the Fine Arts from Loyola Marymount University.  No stranger to the adversity caused by poverty, violence, and other social issues, Man One has developed his artistic career centered around the belief that "art can transcend cultural and socio-economic barriers, fostering understanding, mutual respect and unity among disparate peoples" (Man One Art).  Widely known for his charitable events and contributions, Man One has organized local projects in LA and across the globe in an effort to educate and inspire the hearts and minds of others using the power of art.

Man One is not only one of the most iconic graffiti artists in LA, but has worked on projects all over the world.  He has collaborated with major companies such as Coca-Cola, Oakley, Disney, including painting live at performances alongside the Black-Eyed Peas, Blink 182, and George Clinton to name a few.  Along with these great opportunities and the work of his own gallery in LA, Man One has been a strong influence in legitimizing the value and collectibility of graffiti.  

Over the years Just Looking Gallery has been very proud to work with such a talented artist who's humanitarian efforts and creative integrity pair so well with the spirit of our gallery.  In November of 2013 we commissioned Man One to paint a mural covering the outside of our front wall.  The mural expresses one simple and genuine message which represents everything Man One and Just Looking Gallery believe in:

Art Saves Lives.

The Art of Printing: Giclee

Giclée printing is a term often used to describe high quality and high-resolution inkjet printed fine art images.  While inkjet printing was invented in the 1950's for commercial graphic printing, the term "Giclée" was coined more recently in the 1990s.  Now, what's the difference between the two?  The spelling!  Inkjet and Giclée describe essentially the exact same process however, before the 90's inkjet had never been considered for fine art printing purposes.  In 1991 a man named Jack Duganne began developing a series of fine art prints calling them "Giclée," an adapted French word roughly meaning "to spray," as a way to draw positive attention to the quality of his work and the capabilities of digital printing.

Inside nozzles of an Inkjet printer 

Inside nozzles of an Inkjet printer 

"Arise My Love" by Manuel Nunez One of the first pieces we printed as a Giclée in 1993.

"Arise My Love" by Manuel Nunez

One of the first pieces we printed as a Giclée in 1993.

With the rapid digital and technological advancements of the 80’s and 90’s by companies such as Adobe, HP (Hewlett-Packard), and Apple the possibilities for artists were seemingly endless.  Printing became more efficient, more affordable, and more versatile allowing artists to produce a single print or a full edition of prints in a short period of time with relatively little preparation or waste.  In comparison, more traditional printing methods such as lithography require time consuming preparation including plate making, or screen making in the case of serigraphy, which is often used for only one project before having to be recycled or discarded.  In addition to the speed and efficiency, the Giclée process allowed artists to experiment and print on a number of different substrates including paper, canvas and even aluminum.  The most attractive aspect of Giclée printing to artists is that it’s an extremely accurate and consistent reproduction process so there’s little variation throughout an edition of prints; but the real success of Giclée lies in its quality and longevity as an extremely high resolution, archival print that will stand the test of time with minimal fading or fatiguing.

"Unknown Worker" by Tim Huhn We've been printing Giclée prints of Tim Huhn's artwork for 20 years.

"Unknown Worker" by Tim Huhn

We've been printing Giclée prints of Tim Huhn's artwork for 20 years.

Having opened our gallery in 1984, we've had the pleasure of working with a long list of incredibly talented artists to develop limited edition prints using Lithography, Serigraphy and Giclée.  In 1993 we began printing the first Giclées for our gallery with artist Manuel Nunez.  Over the past 25 years of printing Giclée we've been able to introduce the artwork of world renowned talents such as Tim Huhn and Steve Thomas to our collectors and offer attainable and collectible limited edition Giclée prints.  Due to the efficiency of digital printing we are proud to provide many people who come into the gallery with their very first piece of artwork.  Because of our ability to print high quality, long lasting Giclée prints, their work has been sold and shared around the world.  It is a top priority of ours to ensure that when working with our artists to produce printed editions of their work that they are of the highest quality possible and will last as long as the memories they reflect. 

Artist A Day Features Dennis Bredow

Artist A Day features a top, emerging professional artist each day, giving their followers the opportunity to discover and collect art from around the world; today they featured our very own Dennis Bredow!

artistaday.com feature on Dennis Bredow's original art

artistaday.com feature on Dennis Bredow's original art

From feature films to fine art galleries and even international public art events, it seems the world is beginning to figure out what we've known for years, Dennis' art is Killer Diller in Miniller!

Dyin A'int Much of a Livin ... Boy 30"x36" Mixed Media Original on Board Available $2,500

Dyin A'int Much of a Livin ... Boy

30"x36" Mixed Media Original on Board

Available $2,500

CowGirl 30"x36" Mixed Media Original on Board Available $2,500

CowGirl

30"x36" Mixed Media Original on Board

Available $2,500

Come And Get It 30"x36" Mixed Media Original on Board Available $2,500

Come And Get It

30"x36" Mixed Media Original on Board

Available $2,500

Dennis Bredow, a Los Angeles native, studied graphic design and illustration at California State University Fullerton.  Dennis has a long history as a commercial artist working on feature films and projects for Sony Pictures as a Senior Art Director.  Since working with Just Looking Gallery, his retro-modern artwork celebrates the tireless optimism of mid-twentieth century America.  Using acrylic, serigraphy, and found object assemblage, his bold, unique paintings offer a present-day revival of the exuberant ideals of a bygone era.

Creating "Fanfare For The Common Man"

Integrity.  Pride.  Dedication.  Greatness.  When it comes to Tim Huhn's artwork you can't help but think about these values which are represented in all of his paintings.  His art-deco series, which has continued to thrive and grow for over 10 years, speaks to the hard work and persistent creativity of the 1930's Art Deco Era.  Over the past two months, Tim Huhn has been diligently creating his newest painting connecting the themes of integrity, pride, dedication, and greatness within one spectacular original image.  Here you will have a rare look inside the creative process and development of Tim Huhn's latest project, "Fanfare for the Common Man."

Stage 1:  Beginning with the Basics

Even as a former Disney Artist with decades of illustration and painting experience, Tim starts with the basic essentials, a piece of paper and a pencil.  Beginning with an idea and a central message in mind, Tim decides how best to visually represent those concepts and the subject matter of the piece through rough sketches.  Then, he refines those sketches into a detailed line-drawing of what will become the finished painting.

Stage 2:  Moving Forward

The pencil drawing is the foundation for each of Tim's monumental paintings, and after he finalizes the line drawing he then proceeds to colorize the image.  Very attentively he focuses on one section at a time, slowly bringing the entire piece to life.

With his paintings diving so deep into these powerful themes every detail is considered when evaluating how best to capture the essence of this historic time period.  In this case, Tim Huhn created two different preliminary study paintings, each with their own unique color scheme before deciding on the final appearance.

Stage 3:  From an Idea to a Reality

Ultimately, it's Tim's compositional elements of juxtaposing perspective lines to create tension, and his stark contrast of light and dark to create illumination which capture the heroic spirit and inspiring nature of Tim Huhn's original ideas.  Integrity.  Pride.  Dedication.  Greatness.

"Fanfare For The Common Man"

Play Well with Others ... A New Series by Painter David Palmer

David Palmer's artwork is a rare blend of traditional painting techniques paired with Pop-Art imagery, colors and texture.  His stunning and tactile paintings of Orchids, Sunflowers, Carousel Horses and Hummingbirds have been a popular showcase for us this past year; but David has begun to paint a new series of work that plays well with all of his other paintings; simple but bold, Pop-Art Stripes!

David's idea was to accentuate each of his paintings with an optional companion painting of stripes that pulled out a complimentary color.  The structuring of the stripes offers a nice change of composition and format as they can be hung adjoining the main painting in any orientation; right-hand side, left-hand side, top or bottom, these Stripes Play Well With Others!

David Palmer, Flowers 6 with Blue Stripes

David Palmer, Flowers 6 with Blue Stripes

David Palmer, Flowers 17 with Orange Stripes

David Palmer, Flowers 17 with Orange Stripes

David Palmer, Horses 2 with Pink Stripes

David Palmer, Horses 2 with Pink Stripes

David Palmer, Flowers 11 with Rust Stripes

David Palmer, Flowers 11 with Rust Stripes

David Palmer, Flowers 18 with Orange Stripes

David Palmer, Flowers 18 with Orange Stripes

Viva Las Vegas!

The sound of casino chips and slot machines, the glitter of millions of rhinestones covering practically nothing at all, the swagger and charm of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin; and in spite of its heat, Vegas has a style and allure that will always remain the epitome of cool.  In the Spring of 2016 we met with the owners of the prestigious Regis Galerie located in the Venetian Grand Canal Shoppes in Las Vegas.  They wanted a series of Steve Thomas pieces capturing the glamour and history of Las Vegas.  Beginning with a series of Vegas icons, Steve created two pieces depicting The Rat Pack and Elvis Presley paired with the iconic sign "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada."

Right away the pieces were a hit, but Steve had another idea, an idea to tell stories that spoke more to the coolness and style of old Vegas, Steve wanted to create a series of pieces that told the stories of Las Vegas as seen through the eyes of an Old Red Cadillac.

Peppered with other images of neon, roulette wheels, pool days and glittering casinos at night, Steve Thomas created a fantastic body of work that captures everything we love about Las Vegas.

Viva Las Vegas!

What's More American than a Summer Road Trip?!

In (1903) President Theodore Roosevelt sent John Muir a letter asking to meet in Yosemite. "I want to drop politics absolutely for four days and just be out in the open with you."

In (1903) President Theodore Roosevelt sent John Muir a letter asking to meet in Yosemite. "I want to drop politics absolutely for four days and just be out in the open with you."

Pack your bags, get the kids, load up the car and hit the road!  There's few things more memorable or more rewarding than spending the summer trekking across the country to experience some of the many iconic locations we as Americans are so proud to call home.  For years distinguished artists across the country have captured the essence of these places through world renowned photographs to quintessential travel posters.  Check out a few of these photos and images (including a few pieces done by our own Steve Thomas) that bring back memories of those places forever in our hearts.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Big Sur Coastline by Steve Thomas

Big Sur Coastline by Steve Thomas

Sequoia by Steve Thomas

Sequoia by Steve Thomas

Yosemite by Steve Thomas

Yosemite by Steve Thomas

Grand Canyon by Steve Thomas

Grand Canyon by Steve Thomas

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

The Art of Printing: Lithography

In 1798 a German man by the name of Alois Senefelder invented what would become a revolutionary method of printmaking known as lithography.  The concept of lithography is based on using the attraction and repulsion of oil and water upon a stone or metal plate which is then pressed against a substrate, creating a finished printed image.  In order to make this possible, the image must first be created in reverse (as if looking at a mirror) on the stone or metal plate.  What makes lithography unique however is that the plate remains completely smooth, unlike a stamp or other relief printing techniques.  Rather, the stone is treated so that the area which will be printed onto the substrate repels water and attracts oil while the rest of the plate repels oil allowing ink to be transferred only to the printed area of the substrate.

Throughout the 1800s the process of lithography was refined, allowing images to be printed in color, and became a widely used method of printing among commercial industries and artists alike.  By the 20th Century the practice had become a staple for print making within the art world.  Many world renowned artists of this era produced some of their most esteemed pieces using the process of lithography including Toulouse Lautrec's famous "Moulin Rouge:  La Goulue" Poster, "The Bull" by Pablo Picasso, and "Metropolis" created in 1927 by Heinz Schulz-Neudamm which sold for $690,000 in 2005.  Recently on display here at Just Looking Gallery were a series of vintage lithograph Mexican travel posters and two rare YMCA and YWCA lithograph posters.

"Metropolis"

by Heinz Schulz-Neudamm 1927

"Ciudad Juárez Mexico"

by Jose Luiz Sanz Magallon 1938

"Moulin Rouge: La Goulue"

by Toulouse Lautrec 1891

"YMCA Lend Your Strength"

by Gil Spears 1918

Looking at the vast history of fine art and the numerous works which have truly remained timeless, it is impossible to overlook the immense impact of lithography.  It revolutionized the art world and remains a widely used practice within the print making industry to this day.

From South Australia to Oceanside, who doesn't love Wine and Koalas!

In March of this year, we sold a Steve Thomas "Bountiful California" print to a client who was opening a new Wine Tasting Room in Oceanside, California.  He thought the sunlight, colors and vineyard imagery was perfectly suited to their new tasting room.

The impact of the art in the tasting room was immediate and the client called back wanting more, but this time wanting something custom!  One of the great things about working closely with each of our artists is that we get to work on custom projects for our clients; often times those projects are very personal and in some ways tell their story.  In this case, the client had a very intriguing story; Craig Holme, originally from Southern Australia, moved to Oceanside California with his wife and partner Julie after years of domestic and international winemaking experience.  Resourcing their fruit from premium Family Estate Vineyards located in the Mount Benson region of South Australia, which the Holme family has owned and operated for over 100 years, and from the Central Coast of California, Holme Estate's wines are hand crafted using a mix of old and new world techniques.

Mount Benson wine region of South Australia

Mount Benson wine region of South Australia

Holme Estate Cellars wine

Holme Estate Cellars wine

After Steve referenced photos of the Holme Estate Vineyards and their wines, Steve came up with a clever concept of a Koala playing with a bottle of wine.  The pairing of this adorable Australian icon and the Holme Estate Cellars signature bottle of wine made the perfect visual story for Craig and his wife.  Steve Thomas then began to render the artwork in the distinctive graphic style of vintage French wine posters.  The simplicity of the image, the colors and stark contrast made for a timeless piece that speaks to the heart and history of Holme Estate Cellars.

The Art of Printing: Serigraphy

Fairly often we get questions from our clients about the limited edition prints that we're showing, how the prints are made and what's the difference between a print that's a Serigraph, Lithograph and Giclée.  So we wanted to take some time to explain these different printing techniques and how artists have used them over the years.  The first technique we want to focus on is one of the most widely used methods of specialty printing in the fine art world, Serigraphy.

The principle of screenprinting, silkscreening, or serigraphy, consists in applying stencils to a screen (constructed of silk or of some synthetic or metallic material), in such a way that when ink is applied it is prevented from passing through some parts while penetrating the rest of the screen, thereby printing an image on paper placed underneath.

The key to printing high quality serigraphs is all in the preparation of the screen. The process requires an immense amount of forethought, planning, patience and often a steady hand! There are a number of methods available to prepare the screen for printing, including the use of filling-in liquid, varnish or plastic film. 

The screen is then stretched across a frame and attached to a base in such a manner that it can readily move up and down, so that paper, canvas or other substrates can be easily placed and removed as required. For each impression, the substrate is placed against registration tabs to ensure that the image is printed in the correct position. After the screen has been lowered into position, the ink is poured over the masking at one end of the frame and then scraped across the screen with the aid of a squeegee.

Artists all over the world for decades have used serigraphy to create some of the most recognized pieces of art we know today.  Andy Warhol, known historically as one of America's most distinguished artists and a pioneer of POP Art, used screen printing to produce some of his most renowned works of art including his famous "Campbell's Soup" series and "Marilyn Monroe" images.  Patrick Nagel, the late iconic artist of the 80s era, whom Just Looking Gallery is proud to have showcased for many years, reproduced many of his pieces as limited edition prints using serigraphy which have since become widely sought after.

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Tomato Soup 1 of a 10 piece series Serigraph Print on Paper, 1962

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Tomato Soup

1 of a 10 piece series

Serigraph Print on Paper, 1962

Patrick Nagel, Texas 12 Color Serigraph, 1983

Patrick Nagel, Texas

12 Color Serigraph, 1983

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe 1 of a 10 piece series Serigraph Print on Paper, 1967

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe

1 of a 10 piece series

Serigraph Print on Paper, 1967

Patrick Nagel, Just Looking 8 Color Serigraph, 1978

Patrick Nagel, Just Looking

8 Color Serigraph, 1978

Over time screen printing has been highly valued for its versatility and ability to print on nearly any substrate for any purpose ranging from clothing to fine artwork. Since its invention at the beginning of the 20th Century, serigraphy continues to be one of the most popular and widely practiced methods of printing to this day. 

 

Joe Forrester Crafted Central Coast Nostalgia

Since our friend and artist Joe Forrester's passing, it's been three years since we've had an original Joe Forrester painting showcased in our gallery, but this past week we were able to bring two of his beautiful original paintings back to Just Looking Gallery.  Both of these original oil paintings on linen are in pristine condition and framed in Joe's signature, hand crafted studio oak frames.

Born in 1925, Joe Forrester grew up in Southern California and joined the United States Navy while still in high school.  After serving in the Pacific during WWII on the US Navy destroyer USS Robinson, Joe Forrester enrolled in the Jepson Art Institute.  Majoring in Illustration and Studio Painting, Joe studied and worked under a celebrated staff of nationally recognized instructors.  Graduating in 1949, he began his career as an advertising art director.  After working for several Los Angeles based advertising agencies, he retired as Vice President, executive art director of Foote, Cone and Belding of Los Angeles.  Retiring to the Central Coast of California, Joe began to paint the natural landscape that surrounded him.  Joe always found timeless beauty in the quiet forgotten barns of the Central Coast and these two pieces capture something nostalgic for us.  These originals showcase his unique painting style with his extraordinary atmospheric perspective and his meticulous attention to detail.  Cheers to an exceptionally talented painter and gifted story-teller that will always hold a special place in our hearts and our gallery's history.

Cal Poly Proud, Introduce your new home to your Forever Home!

Congratulations to all of our fellow Mustangs this Commencement weekend!
If you're looking for the perfect gift for a Poly Grad, we have it!  This beautiful limited edition Cal Poly print by world-renowned artist Steve Thomas is available in Downtown San Luis Obispo at Just Looking Gallery!

Buy Cal Poly Art Print

Students may not always have that 30,000-foot-view to realize how momentous this point is in their life, but graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a significant moment in their lives, and one that they'll look back on and be proud of for the rest of their lives.  Fortunately, parents do understand how significant this moment is in their children's lives and this limited edition print of Cal Poly by Steve Thomas makes for an incredibly meaningful graduation gift as it captures everything we love and hold dear about our time at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  #CalPolyProud

Dennis Bredow Delivers Again

Over the weekend the one-and-only Dennis Bredow stopped by to deliver his latest original paintings, including the final piece of his killer Gun Control Series and a bold vintage single right in time for summer.  His work is a unique combination of retro and contemporary, sexy and fascinating, complex and simply satisfying, and continues to amaze anyone who walks into the gallery.  

Shoot From the Hip Original Mixed Media on Board 30" x 36" $2,500

Shoot From the Hip

Original Mixed Media on Board

30" x 36"

$2,500

Waters Fine Original Mixed Media on Board 30" x 36" $2,500

Waters Fine

Original Mixed Media on Board

30" x 36"

$2,500

When it comes to Dennis, he simply loves doing what he does best.  From beginning with a basic concept, to the precise layering and texturizing, and finishing with his iconic resin coating, Dennis spends hours on top of hours to make sure everything is done absolutely perfect.  Support for his work has grown immensely over the years with his paintings often coming into the gallery one moment, and the next their being placed in someone's home.

Releasing Our New Website

For over 33 years Just Looking Gallery has gained the reputation as a premier Fine Art Gallery along the Central Coast.  Throughout that time we couldn't be more thankful for all of the people, local to international, who've walked through our doors and become part of the Just Looking family.

We are excited to announce the release of our new website!  With a new, clean design that's easy to navigate, our website provides more comprehensive information about the artists and artwork that we're showing, on a format that's mobile compatible, while enabling our collectors to communicate and interact with us, and purchase prints and originals directly through the site.

More Comprehensive Information.  Soon You'll have a PhD in Your Favorite Artist.  Each featured artwork will have multiple images posted with detailed descriptions of the art piece and we'll be regularly updating the blog with information about our artists, what they're working on and any special events we have planned.

Mobile Compatibility.  Our website looks just as good on your smart-phone as it does on a desktop.  Scroll, tap and zoom, our website is ready for you and your fingers to cruise our new site.

Communicate With Us.  Call us your art guys, your art consultants or even your art enablers; you'll be able to get to know us even better through our blog posts and you'll always be able to use our "Contact Us" page to email or call us.

Purchase Prints and Originals.  Each of the art pieces that we'll be showing in the gallery will be featured on our website, and with the brilliance, ease and security of Credit-Cards and Paypal we'll be able to make arrangements for you to buy your favorite pieces without having to put any money in a Downtown Parking-Meter!  We're a very social gallery and we love it when you come by the gallery to visit with us to add a new piece to your home and collection, but we want to make sure that our website is an easy point of reference for you, so you can now easily buy your favorite art piece with incredible convenience.