LA state of mind

Ol’ Blue (oil, 11×14) by Jennifer McChristian

Palm trees. Earthquakes. Freeways. And 263 days of sunshine a year. The sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles is like no other landscape. In Southwest Art’s October issue, due on the newsstands soon, we spotlight an artist and two collectors who offer a counterpoint of sorts to my recent blog about California artists painting seasonal wildfires.

In the October issue, we feature a story about Jennifer McChristian, a Los Angeles painter who paints the city’s neighborhoods and deserted streets where not much is happening at all—no fires, no acts of God (or arson), no stunning Thomas Kinkade scenes of the coastline. “I like mundane-ness,” Jennifer says. For example, in Ol’ Blue (above) she depicts a beat-up pick-up truck nesting in a yard. In another piece, she features a simple green space between two houses where a discarded charcoal grill and pieces of gutter greet viewers. A beggar on the street corner, utility poles, ribbons of concrete and traffic cones are among Jennifer’s subjects of choice. Or she might focus on her own peaceful slice of LA life—her studio and haven in the Los Feliz neighborhood.

It’s difficult to protect paintings from the threat of fire, but we also have a story about Los Angeles area collectors Chris and Beverly Jones, who have done rigorous research on how to protect their California Impressionist paintings from earthquakes and the intense Southern California sunshine. The couple offers tips on an earthquake-proof gizmo that fastens paintings to the wall, a special film that blocks 99.9 percent of ultraviolent light, and a shatterproof laminated glass to protect watercolor works.

—Bonnie Gangelhoff

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