Archive for September, 2011

Janet Botes

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Of sustainability.
Of a stable economy.
Of abundant resources.
Of animals walking the plains.”

Combining a love for nature and animals with my passion for creative expression, I love painting, drawing and photographing landscapes. This along with my experience as graphic designer birthed the “Nuances” series of photographic-digital landscapes. Inspired by landscapes from across South Africa, this series aim to capture the essence of the areas that surround us and make part of our existence on earth. The vastness of the Karoo and Kalahari, the presence of water around us, the stimulating combination of textures, colours and stillness in nature, and the joining of human living with the natural environment.

The series subtly represents the natural landscape as a memory instead of reality, as humankind fails to change habits, uses, abuse of resources and unsustainable lifestyles and in this way causes the extinction of natural life on our planet. Urbanization, agriculture and conservation are some of the bigger issues that are hinted at in the works – this is more evident in some of the works than in others. Nuances are also meant to celebrate the beauty of nature and encourage us to appreciate what surrounds us, cultivating a new respect and connection to everything. A focus on traveling through landscapes is also evident, as I merge photographs that I took in different cities, towns and areas into a new unity. We live in a beautiful country and due to our busy lives we often neglect focusing and appreciating  the vastness of the ocean, the serenity of the veldt and the expanse of landscape up to the horizon.

View more work by Janet Botes, and the rest of the Nuances series on

The Nuances series are sold as limited edition prints of 5 editions each, and are available for sale at

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Bill Dan

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Bill Dan is a sculptor and performance artist specializing in rock balancing. He creates seemingly impossible, temporary balanced sculptures from un-worked rock and stone in public spaces near his home in San Francisco.

Dan was born in Indonesia, and worked as a warehouseman before discovering the artistic possibilities of rock along the San Francisco Bay shoreline and his emergent skill in manipulating them.

Bill was initially inspired by rock piles he had seen on the Big Island of Hawai’i, the cairns of the Inuit, and later by the work of Andy Goldsworthy.

In 2004, he was featured on San Francisco public television station KQED as one of the artists in a show entitled “Collaborations with Nature”. Since then, he has been the subject of interviews and shows on TV stations in Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, as well as other U.S. stations.

Photos of his art have appeared in “Coast and Ocean”, the magazine of the California Coastal Commission, where he was the subject of a lengthy article, and have been used for book, magazine, and educational materials. He has been a featured presenter with the California Academy of Sciences and the Zeum exploratory space in San Francisco. A DVD compendium of video clips taken of Bill Dan at work by himself, by a professional filmmaker, and by a local amateur, entitled “The First Bill Dan Collection” is currently sold-out.

Bill Dan has frequently been asked about the “meaning” of his work, and he often replies that “Some people try to make things too complicated. This is the opposite.”

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Ben and Raisa Gertsberg

Sep 30, 2011 1 Comment by Sea Stories


Ben and Raisa Gertsberg, a husband and wife artist duo who collaborate under the name It’s a Beautiful World!® have always known that all one needs to do to find beauty is look around. They share a passion for life and their art is inspired by nature and contemporary design. In their work, they blend their rich sense of color, light and composition with unusual versatility of the digital medium.

Ben and Raisa are originally from Russia. They lived in Chicago until they moved to one of the Orange County, CA, beach cities. Living on the beautiful Pacific Coast triggered their inner creativity and inspired them to develop and share their unique artistic interpretations of the new environment.

The Seashells Spectacular series is the artists’ tribute to the awesome beauty of Southern California coast. Images from this series decorated the Music Room of the beach-themed Sunset Magazine 2005 Idea House in Ladera Ranch, CA. The series went on to become popular with residential and commercial designers and decorators, as well as those who enjoy coastal living.

To see the entire Seashells Spectacular collection, please visit

Facebook fan page

©2011 Ben and Raisa Gertsberg. All rights reserved.

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Terry Gilecki

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories

Artist’s Statement

Well into my career as an artist, I was fortunate to discover the pleasure and challenge of painting Koi and the world they live in. It was a subject that to me had it all. It was beautiful and meaningful, (more deeply so than I could have even imagined at the time). The last time I felt that way was when I met my Jo-Anne. Love at first sight, sums it up I guess. I discovered their uncanny ability to cast a sense of calm and tranquility onto anyone willing to spend a little time with them. I was pleased to find that my paintings were able to convey the effect, allowing buyers to take a bit of paradise into their home.

After gaining confidence in painting the subject, I began to experiment both visually and symbolically, blending ideals and concepts relevant to the Koi and their history into my art.  The fusion of eastern and western cultures and style has opened many new dimensions for me to explore. Drawing on Zen, Feng Sui  and other old and even ancient philosophies and symbolisms and merging them with the new, offers a enormous creative freedom and endless innovative possibilities, giving my art a distinctive purpose, style and voice.

As I continue to explore and paint this seemingly boundless subject, I have learned that over the relatively short, but remarkable history of the Koi, countless people from around the world and all walks of life have been touched by this colorful descendant of the humble brown carp. I have found there is much more to this subject than the aesthetic. I have discovered a subject whose origin, diversity and evolution is deeply engrained with our own and that the “Koi” species, as we know it today, would probably not have survived to develop to what it is today without our involvement in their world.”

Perhaps for our trouble, the offering of a sense of peace and serenity and the clear and creative thinking that comes with it will show us that even the most humble inhabitants of our planet have important lessons to teach us about our own diversity, evolution and survival as a species.


Terry Gilecki creates beautiful paintings of Koi that transport the viewer to a world of quiet reflections. Gazing down into their watery realms, the stresses of the day drop away as we take in the glow of the golden stones and the lily pads floating lazily as the colorful Koi fish glide by below. Gilecki brings over 35 years of experience as a professional artist to his meticulously rendered waterscapes. Born in January of 1954 in the frozen Canadian prairie city of Saskatoon, Terry demonstrated a gift and passion for art at an early age. By the age of 17 he took the fast track into his career and embarked on a journey to college to earn a degree in commercial art, launching him on a successful and diverse career as a free-lance artist, mastering the airbrush and eventually producing art in his studio for several international advertising corporations and painting murals for many private and corporate clients. Like most commercial artists, Terry also explored fine art in his private hours.

Gilecki’s Koi paintings are a culmination of many of the skills he has mastered in his career. Together they form the unique style that is his own. It begins by first applying texture mediums and numerous texturing techniques to create an organic and 3 dimensional surface on his canvas.  Even after applying multiple translucent color glazes and finishing with highly realistic renderings of water plants and the brilliant iridescent colors and varieties of Koi, the characteristics of the texture is evident in all elements of the painting and are essential to the finished art. This combination of techniques results in an incredible sense of depth and motion. The viewer gazing into a Terry Gilecki painting shares the same sense of calm reverie they might enjoy while sitting by an actual Koi pond, exploring the real and sometimes surreal below, on and reflected in the water’s surface. Although he uses only acrylic paints, his paintings have rich luminous blended color and are often mistaken for oil paintings.

The artist lives and works at his home on Vancouver Island in Canada. His art is widely exhibited throughout the U.S. Canada and is collected around the world. Limited Editions on canvas are available.

Terry Gilecki: Terry Gilecki Portfolio @

In the USA:    Terry Gilecki @ Coleman Studios

In Canada: Terry Gilecki Artwork in Canada House Gallery and  Terry Gilecki at White Rock Gallery

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Ulla Gmeiner

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Ulla Gmeiner is a virtual artist (painting and objects) from Germany with her own studio in Bonn. Ulla’s work (paintings, collages and objects) can be described as a “controlled chance.”  Her paintings and collages are based on a dialogue with experimentally induced processes and Ulla meets them with a conscious artistic development. Light, texture and colors play an important role. She likes to apply different materials like glass fiber, aluminum foil, eggshells, fragments of old books and wood engravings.  Ulla’s interest in philosophy, mythology and nature subjects is strongly expressed in her artwork. There is often a hidden sense in it which is not directly visible. She always look for “poetic possibilities” that often reveal surreal features and represent the themes of transience.

Ulla received her artistic education in Munich.  She is a member of different art groups and a curator of the International Competition Kulturpark Tapetenfabrik Bon. Ulla is also the recipient of the Art Majeur Silver Award in 2010 and 2011

Ulla’s exhibitions have been shown in Germany, Sweden, Austria, Italy, and France: Galerie Sassen in Bonn, KG 52 in Stockholm, ArtGermany in Munich, Vernissage Atelier in Heidelberg, Trevisan International Art in Bologna, and Carré d’Artistes in Paris.

Her artistic work was published in several different art magazines and books:

Art &Graphic Magazine: Interview and Title, 2009 and At the studio with Ulla Gmeiner

Design/Interior, Zeixs, Germany, 2010

The National Poetry Review: Title and Article, 2011

Book covers for Hachette, Paris and Harper Collins, London, 2011

Visit Ulla’s website:

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Hengki Koentjoro

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia, on March 24, 1963, Hengki Koentjoro is an accomplished black and white photographer. He is a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California, where he majored in video production and minored in the fine art of photography.

Hengki returned to Indonesia to become a freelance videographer/editor, specializing in nature documentaries and corporate profiles, and now lives in Jakarta with his wife Lana and their three children. Hengki is a part time practitioner of the art of black and white photography, which he believes to be his true purpose in life’s journey of expression.

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Larry Kuechlin

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Rock Climber

Born in San Pedro, California
Lives in Ocean Beach (San Diego), California

Books In Print:

Mountain Biking Orange County, Globe-Pequot Press (in print since 1996)
Along a Ruined Sea, d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t/ Press 2008
Along a Ruined Sea, Special Edition, Avalon Press 2009 to present (Nominated for the Tufts Discovery Award)
Entrances: 30 Poems and 100 Lines About Love, Avalon Press February 1, 2011 (Nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize)
Something Still Visible In the Fire, Alabaster & Mercury, August 2011 (Nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize and the Tufts Poetry Award)

Notable Events:

Award winning poet, California Collegiate System 1981
Published in Alabaster & Mercury, Volume 1 (two poems)
Short list; Tufts Discovery Award, Claremont Graduate University
Published in Ink Spots, San Diego Writers Union (1 poem)
Published Cock Amuck and Crowing, Chris Madoch; (3 poems)
Published in Starlight Press website (2 poems)
Associate Editor, Parapluie Publishing 2010
Editor for 9 volumes of poetry
Moderator of a writing group; 2007 to present.

200 first ascents in rock climbing in 3 different countries.
Published in Rock and Ice Magazine

I live close enough to the ocean that sea lions or a big swell wakes me up, along the world famous Sunset Cliffs of San Diego, California with my overly-possessive cat, Pogo.

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Shayna Leib

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories

The Wind & Water Series

Two of the most powerful elements on our planet are nearly indiscernible to the human eye, yet we are innately aware of their presence, their capacity to soothe and destroy, and their ability to weave patterns where they touch.

Wind and water possess no intrinsic color, are clear to the point of invisibility, and yet move through space. We see not their form itself, but can detect their patterns and shapes only vicariously though the objects they effect. The trace of water’s touch over moss and sea life, the wind’s passage over marshlands, through wheat fields and the fur of a long-haired animal- these two forces make their presence known. Their character is contradictory and fickle, encompassing fragility and violence, placidity and turbulence. They leave their mark upon us and our external world. The Wind & Water series was created to explore their influence through sculptural glass landscape.


When Shayna was seven years old, she saw glassblowing for the first time at a local university. She hasn’t been the same since. Shayna began her study of glass as an undergraduate at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA where she received a BA in philosophy and minors in glass and literature. Accepted to pursue PHD work in philosophy in New York, Shayna chose instead to study glass and moved to Madison, Wisconsin where she completed her MFA degree in May of 2003.

Shayna uses glass, not for its mimetic quality to capture the look of stone or plastic, but for its most unique properties: the ability to flow, the capacity to freeze a moment in time, and its inherent manipulation of optics.

She grew up on the Central Coast of California and always felt a pull to the ocean. Four years ago Shayna conquered her fear of the deep blue and became a diver and underwater photographer. Sjesoon developed a passion for deep diving and night diving. The ocean has always been a source of inspiration and mystery to Shayna, and it is a lifelong goal of hers to dive all of the earth’s seas.

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Domen Lombergar

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories

Artist statement

I am in love with my viewers… I bare my darkest fears and hopes to them, and they come with me on the journey of my everyday life. They live inside my dreams and travel the circuitry of my brain. You know me better than my brothers do … you are me.

What is the point of art, if not to create a world better than reality? And what is the point of looking at art, if not to be forever changed by the experience. This is my view of surreal art. I love to put dreams on a computer screen, I love to give irrationality pride of place. I like to push your buttons. I want you to see the beauty and the fragility of things, which is sometimes only obvious when you see it completely out of context. I love to have no limits.

Have you ever had a thought?! And then another thought … and then joined the two together, and then wondered what would happen if you added another ingredient, and then used that as segue to something completely mundane? Look at your thoughts sometime, remember them and then see the total ridiculousness of some trains of them. I like to remember these trains, put them all together in a balanced and beautifully colored form, and click them through my mouse finger into your eyes.

I work with the unlimited possibilities of the computer, and also with the traditional mediums of paper, pencils, paints and canvas. In all of my surreal and fantasy artworks, you will see a balance and a lateral, not literal, visual symmetry. There are so many bright and beautiful artworks, and so many dark and desperate artworks. Which is closer to reality?


Domen Lombergar, young slovenian digital creator and artist, produces most of his artworks in only two dimensions. Putting aside some exceptions his computer screen represents his canvas and his tablet represents his brush. Yet not focusing on the used media Domen stays loyal to his expression … the surrealistic motives often shock the viewer with their rawness and directness and emerge a wish to further explore the work and its message. Domen’s refined sense for detail in combination with a high technical expertise lifts his creation on an even higher level. His style can most easily be defined as expressionistic, hyperrealistic or surrealistic. The quality of his art can also be described with numerous positive critiques on both slovenian and foreign websites and by various professional critics. His digital artworks have appeared in many prestigious Internet galleries.

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Craig McPherson

Sep 30, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


Artist Craig McPherson is known for his New York murals, paintings and mezzotint engravings, reflecting his 30-year tenure in New York City.

McPherson’s work has been exhibited in one-man gallery shows in New York, where he is represented by Forum Gallery, and in group shows all over the world. His body of work also includes a number of corporate and museum commissions. In 1998 he had his first museum retrospective at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. The show traveled to The Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, Scotland. In 2008 McPherson was commissioned by the Frick Museum to create an exhibition reflecting the heritage of steel production in Pittsburgh as part of that city’s 250th anniversary celebration. His most recent show at Forum Gallery “Steel/Stage” focused on images from heavy industry, experimental theater and theater interiors.

During the late 70’s and early 80’s McPherson concentrated on New York City landscapes, primarily at night, creating a series of paintings and prints in the rare graphic medium of mezzotint. This includes the iconic image, “Yankee Stadium at Night.” His work has been described as “cinematic,” the night scenes likened to film noir. One curator, describing work from this period, wrote “McPherson is almost literally ’sculpting with light’.” In 1983, McPherson had his first one-man exhibition at the A.M. Sachs Gallery on 57th Street in New York, where The New York Times critic Grace Glueck likened his paintings to those of the 17th Century Dutch master, Koninck.

From 1985 to 1992 McPherson spent seven years on commissioned paintings, including one of the largest mural cycles ever undertaken in New York City. The murals were commissioned by the American Express Company for their corporate headquarters at the World Financial Center (WFC) in lower Manhattan. These included a 90-foot mural cycle for the auditorium (1985-86), followed by a 318-foot cycle for the main lobby (1987-92). The first mural cycle is composed of four paintings titled, “Twilight: The Waterways and Bridges of Manhattan.” The second project, titled “Harbors of the World,” is comprised of ten paintings 11-feet high and 318 feet in length. The project involved working on site in New York, Venice, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Sydney and Rio de Janeiro for the first 14 months, followed by four years of studio work in New York. The Harbors mural is on permanent view in the American Express Company lobby. These paintings comprise one of the largest mural cycles in the U.S.

Since the mid-90’s, McPherson has been working with a broad range of imagery including landscape, natural phenomenon, near abstraction and the human figure. He has combined metaphoric elements and performers from experimental theatre. The New York Times critic Ken Johnson called his 2001 show featuring a 60-foot pastel of water, “a spectacular tour de force.” He wrote, “It verges on abstraction, yet produces an enveloping cinematically lush effect.”

Craig McPherson’s work is included in numerous museum, corporate and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. These include The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The British Museum, London; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Art Institute of Chicago; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Boston Public Library; The Carnegie Institute of Art, Pittsburgh; The Cleveland Museum; Delaware Art Museum; The Detroit Fine Arts Institute; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; The Fogg Museum at Harvard; The Hunterian Museum, Glasgow; The Library of Congress; Minneapolis Institute of Art; National Gallery of Art, National Museum of American Art and The Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C.; The New York Historical Society; Museum of the City of New York; The McNay Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Fine Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Wichita Art Museum and many other city and university collections. Corporate collections include Alliance Bernstein, American Express, Bank of America, Citicorp, Dreyfus, ExxonMobil, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, Marsh McLennan, MBIA, Microsoft, Wrigley’s Inc. and others.

McPherson has won a number of art awards and honors, and has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Art in America, Artnews, The New York Post, The New York Observer and other publications.

Craig McPherson was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1948. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Kansas in 1970, he spent the following years curating and lecturing for the National Endowment for the Arts. He was the director of the Michigan Artrain before taking up residence in New York in 1975 to develop his career as an artist.

View Craig’s website:

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