The colors of the “Bright, Bold and Beautiful” show, running July-August, at Jessel Gallery reflect the “brilliant” light of summer in Napa Valley, even though two of the artists are from the East Coast.
The show offers a mix of whimsy, East Coast appeal, pointillism, impressionistic views and more through the paintings of Guy Buffet, H.M. Saffer II, Erin Dertner and Peter Batchelder.
An opening reception for the exhibit at Jessel Gallery, 1019 Atlas Peak Road in Napa is Friday, July 5 from 5-8 p.m.
It will also be the launch party for “Dancing On The Spider’s Web, ” the debut novel by Napa Valley Register features editor, Sasha Paulsen, who will be talking at 6 p.m.
Guy Buffet’s humor and wit finds its way into his chef’s paintings hanging on the gallery walls. His sommeliers, chefs and waiters capture the “spirit of his native France and their love of food and wine.”
In addition, some of Buffet’s subjects in this show focus on California such as “California Splendor” and “Taste of Yountville.” His “Sonoma Early Days” depicts monks, horses and a horse-drawn wagon in the foreground with a monastery and fields in the background.
Buffet’s interest in revealing the funny side of restaurant life through art came from his intimate knowledge of both. His parents were in the restaurant business and also enjoyed art. The Paris neighborhood where he was born had once been the home of such famous artists as Picasso, Matisse and Chagall.
At a young age, Buffet displayed his paintings on the walls of his family’s restaurant, and his first painting was sold to an American who was visiting the restaurant.
Art collectors around the world collect his art. Buffet lives and works in the Napa Valley.
The paintings of H.M. Saffer II, achieve luminosity and brilliance of color through his use of pointillism, a technique of neo-impressionist painting using tiny dots of various pure colors, which become blended in the viewer’s eye.
He is a lifelong painter who was born in the U.S., and became a multi-talented citizen of the world. As a young man living in Paris, he performed with French music stars.
In the 1960s, he produced hit records and was the chef and owner of two restaurants in Paris and later a third located in Ibiza, Spain.
Time spent with music and restaurants never prevented him from painting and exhibiting. He completed selected studies at L’ Ecole Des Beaux Arts and exhibited in Paris and Brussels, Belgium before returning to the United States in 1970.
Back in the U.S., Saffer II continued his music career at Warner Brothers Productions where he co-wrote the international hit song “Look What They Done To My Song, Ma.” At Warner Brothers, he also painted a 40 foot mural in their New York headquarters on Madison Avenue and exhibited his works in the firm’s lobby.
In the early 1980s, he studied the art of Japanese brush painting, Sumi-e and moved to Japan to study with Japanese masters. There, he met his wife, Hisayo and, as a resident artist, enjoyed many solo exhibits in Japan for over a decade before returning to the United States.
He now merges Asian and Western influences to create a “new and different path towards interpersonal visual expression.”
The desire to step into any one of Erin Dertner‘s paintings is almost irresistible. Each scene conveys a beauty in nature that suggests comfort.
She finds inspiration for her paintings of places you’d want to visit — and perhaps live in for the rest of your life — from her travels to the warm European “environs” of Greece, France and Italy as well as the Hawaiian and British Isles and scenic locations in America.
She is enlivened by painting en plein air because it allows her to “capture the essence of a place by more passionately communicating its light, temperature, color and mood.”
She also enjoys painting in her North Coast California studio, where she works mostly in oils although she is an experienced watercolorist and enjoys working with dry pastel and acrylic as well.
Dertner prefers to “simplify and suggest detail.” Her impressionistic images reflect “peace and a yearning for stillness.
Her work is collected around the world both as originals and reproductions.
Peter Batchelder likes to remove the “extraneous details” from both the landscape and architecture he paints in hopes that a viewer will be challenged by the image to let their own curiosity create a story. His work reflects the rural New England environments that inspire him.
As for the writer, Sasha Paulsen, although she is known in Napa Valley for her work as a journalist, she wrote and published short stories before enrolling in graduate journalism school at UC Berkeley in 1985. After a hiatus from fiction to raise her two children as a single mom, she began to revise manuscripts she had drafted in her 20s (“They were terrible,” she said.) “Dancing on the Spider’s Web,” is the first one to be published.
“Sasha has been a great friend and supporter of the arts in Napa Valley and the Jessel Gallery for years,” said gallery owner Jessel Miller.
“It is my honor and pleasure to introduce her book at this signing,” Miller said. “Her words have enhanced the beauty throughout this community for years, and I am thrilled that she is having her moment to shine — and I get to put the light on her.”
“She deserves this, and the community will be thrilled with her wonderful accomplishment.”
The Jessel Gallery is at 1019 Atlas Peak Road, Napa. For more information, call 707-257-2350.