Meet the Artists
I am an avid reader, traveler, baker, and student.
I’ve lived on the Coastside for the majority of my life. Still, I am constantly inspired by the irresistible scenery here, and by the work of other artists that I see both here, and in my travels.
I started throwing pottery, and sculpting, from a very young age. Over the years, I’ve come to know the feel of the clay, and the glaze, like a good friend. If I feel upset or overwhelmed, working with clay lets me ground myself again, and create something that reminds me that yes, life can be very stressful. But instead of letting myself be sucked under, I’ve made something beautiful; a little bit of happiness for our everyday lives.
When I’m not at the studio, studying, or traveling I love spending my days with my dog, four cats, and a good book.
To see more of my work, visit: www.functionalwhimsy.com
Vineyards by old barns, flowers cascading from windows and doorways, marshlands and oceans with cloud-filled skies, all executed in bold compositions with brilliant color characterize my work. There is nothing I enjoy more than pushing oil paint around a canvas, especially when working in the solitude of nature, painting “en plein air”. My vividly colored paintings, both realistic and impressionistic, are filled with the joy I feel when capturing a moment in time.
My work has been featured on event posters, used in products by a variety of companies, and is part of private and corporate collections in the US and internationally. In addition to teaching art to all ages, I have always loved visiting art museums and recently spent 7 years leading docent art tours in San Francisco.
I have painted professionally for 40 years. I have painted in locations around the world – but my subject of preference is always the beauty of Northern California, especially scenes of vineyards ablaze with color or coastal scenes of the area north of Half Moon Bay, California where I currently reside.
My personal challenge is to create the most striking photography on a personal level, then share that vision and enjoy reactions. My photography realistically represents the subject and composition. I also like to develop an artistic, imaginative interpretation. I photograph coastal scenes, landscapes, travel, nature, and cityscapes. I prefer vibrant color, like bold graphics, and use the best light for impact. I offer my photography art in a variety of media types. Metal, acrylic, wood, and canvas prints. Prints and framed art also. I have image merchandise available on my website with direct fulfillment offered. It’s been a joy to be part of the H.M.B. community, participating in various organizations, work/school volunteer activity over the years. Love my life on the coast for the last 38 years. How could you not with the natural surroundings & local community?
Barbara Masek Photography has also been a commercial photography service business and individual needs since 2010. I work with clients in head & portrait, event, and promotional assignments. https://www.barbaramasekphotography.com/home3 Sign up to receive previews of new releases and seasonal promotions. https://www.barbaramasekphoto.com
Casey is a lifelong, Half Moon Bay local. She created Layers Of Intention during the beginning of her Master’s degree program in Mind-Body Medicine nearly three years ago as a grounding tool, through the creation of jewelry and her Reiki practice. Now as she enters her Ph.D. program in Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook University, she still finds comfort in creating pieces of jewelry that are layered with intention through the metaphysical properties of crystals.
Daniel Ambrosi is recognized as one of the founding creators of the emerging AI art movement and is noted for the nuanced balance he achieves in human-AI hybrid art. Ambrosi, an El Granada resident since 1996, has been exploring novel methods of visual presentation for over 40 years since entering the Program of Computer Graphics at Cornell University where he earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree and a Masters in 3D Graphics. In 2011, Ambrosi devised a unique form of computational photography that generates exceptionally immersive landscape images. More recently, Ambrosi’s “Dreamscapes” build upon his previous experiments by adding a powerful new graphics tool to his artistic workflow: an enhanced version of “DeepDream,” a computer vision program evolved from Google engineers’ desire to visualize the inner workings of Deep Learning artificial intelligence models. With proprietary access to a customized version of DeepDream expressly modified by two brilliant software engineers, Joseph Smarr (former principal engineer at Google and also a resident of El Granada) and Chris Lamb (vice president at NVIDIA and resident of Los Gatos), to operate successfully on his giant images, Ambrosi has been empowered to develop large scale artworks that display exquisite sensitivity and intricacy. Ambrosi’s engaging AI-augmented artworks and grand format landscape images have been exhibited at international conferences, art fairs, and gallery shows, installed in major tech offices, featured in multiple publications, and are collected by enthusiastic patrons worldwide.
Growing up in Half Moon Bay I’d find shells with holes in them. The day I found beads that resembled sea glass I strung them and made my first Sun Catcher. Coastal living inspires me to make Sun Catchers. Art gives me energy. Treasure hunting for inspirational pieces to use in my art is like a vacation.
Ceramics, Mosaics and More
Hi, I’m Diane. I am a long-time Coastsider and create functional and decorative pottery and mosaics for the home and garden. My handmade ceramics are food, oven, and dishwasher-safe. I create mosaics primarily with repurposed and handmade ceramic materials. Treasure hunting for colorful and unique materials inspires my creative flow that comes with making mosaics and knowing these treasures will find new life by giving people joy.
Pottery and mosaics are grounded in nature and allow me to feel, visualize and bring in the colors, textures, and movement of our coastal shore, agriculture, and mountains. Whether working in the Half Moon Bay studio I shared with my father-in-law or in our Santa Cruz Mountains studio, my mind flows with cherished memories of Half Moon Bay and Papa Joe, a Half Moon Bay Native who graced the Coastside with his stories, stained glass, craftsmanship, kindness, and generosity. Honoring him and our family’s love of the Coastside through art is pure joy. My love of nature and agriculture has inspired me through my life. My prior 42-year career included teaching Agriculture, Landscape Gardening, Design and Construction, Forestry, and Park Ranger.
I am thankful for the richness of our local community and the support of the Coastside Artists, the Vault my teachers, and patrons. In addition to the Vault, I’ve had the pleasure of showing my art at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival Made on the Coast, the Gathering of Women Artists, Mirada Art, and at various art shows.
Electra Field is a local photographer who lives with her family in El Granada, California. Ms. Field fell in love with photography at an early age with an Instamatic camera. After a cross country road trip in her late teens, she decided to pursue a degree in Photojournalism from Boston University. Ms. Field started out as a reporter and photographer for a semi-weekly newspaper and later photographed weddings and family portraits. Her latest photographic passion is the world of macro photography, where she finds beauty in everyday objects and turns the chaos of the world around her into something peaceful.
She has been published in the El Defensor Chieftain, the Socorro Chamber of Commerce and the Half Moon Bay Review, and has won awards at the Pacifica Fog Fest and the Peninsula Photo Contest. Her work has been shown at New Mexico Tech, the Sanchez Art Gallery, Filoli Historic House and the Palo Alto Art Center. You can also view more of her work at electrafieldphotography.com and follow her on Instagram at electrafieldphotography.
During sheltering in place from the coronavirus virus, I delved into the world of macro photography at home. It was an uncertain, tumultuous time with the pandemic raging and the 2020 presidential election being challenged. I felt the country was divided. So for my own peace of mind I wanted to use polar opposites, oil and water, to create something beautiful and special. I like to think of these images as a place of wonder where opposites attract, becoming something more than just themselves
Helen (she/her) is a 23-year-old female artist and wood recycler. Born and raised in Half Moon Bay, Helen began working with wood while attending Half Moon Bay High School. She began her art work creating gifts for loved ones. Since that time, her work has become well-known in the coastal community.
Beginning in early 2021, she began working with local wood cutters and sawyers who reclaimed wood from fallen trees destroyed in the CZU Lightning Complex wildfires that burned in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties August – December 2020. The fires started at 6:41 AM on August 16, 2020, the result of a thunderstorm that produced close to 11,000 bolts of lightning and started hundreds of fires. Two days after the fires began, a change in wind conditions caused the Santa Cruz and San Mateo County fires to rapidly expand and merge, growing quickly to over 40,000 acres. It was later discovered that the fires were not completely extinguished and trees continued to smolder well into 2021.
Helen chose local redwood for the Vault but also works with maple, acacia, oak, and beyond. Outside of the Vault, Helen also commissions art working with numerous woods, sometimes provided by customers. She can work on virtually any wood surface–including barn wood, benches, surfboards, signs, earrings and so forth. In addition, she is a calligrapher for weddings, events, and store signage. Helen has donated proceeds of her profits to CoastPride, Black Earth Farms, American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region, Stop AAPI Hate, Coastside Hope, First Nations, Wounded Warrior Project, UNICEF Ukraine, AAUW (HMB Branch), Andreotti Family Farms Barn Fundraiser, and more.
Read more about the artist in a recent interview with the HMB review: https://www.hmbreview.com/news/coastsider-burns-for-her-artistic-expression/article_ad46a6f2-aacf-11ec-8d24-fb20e80c7813.html
Follow along her artistic journey, ask questions, or commission a piece through the links below:
I was born in the Philippines and moved to the USA at the age of 2. I grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire where I fell in love with the ocean and learned how to surf at 13.
As a child, my mother gave me blank pieces of paper encouraging me to create from my imagination. My high school art teacher and mentor, Mrs. Jill Berry, introduced me to the foundational techniques of oil painting, drawing, and printmaking. She inspired me to pursue a career in art.
After high school, I furthered my education in Graphic Design at Northeastern University (NU) in Boston, MA. During my 3rd year at NU, I took 6 months to study abroad in Florence, Italy focusing on oil painting, High Renaissance Art History, Italian Cinema, and Jewelry Making at SACI: Studio Arts International College Florence. While at NU, I met my husband, Jacob. In 2010, we moved from Boston, MA to Pacifica, CA to follow new career and surfing opportunities. We have 2 children together: Leo and Adeline. They have become a large influence in my work and are often my muses.
I have been a professional Graphic Designer for 17 years and painting in oils and acrylics for 26 years. As a break from my corporate job, in 2009, I created my art business, BirdSwell Collection. BirdSwell Collection includes my original paintings and linoleum block printed t-shirts.
My art creations reflect my passions for nature, the ocean, and surfing. Creating art and going into nature helps me find tranquility apart from the noisy world. I find beauty, joy, and healing there. My inspiration springs from personal lived experiences, traveling the world, and the natural world. Every painting is created to evoke love, joy, and connection.
My artwork has been exhibited in Boston, San Francisco, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and Redwood City.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ~Rumi
I’m excited to be part of this season’s show at The Vault in Half Moon Bay! I’m happy for this opportunity to share my painted furniture with the community.
My furniture originates mostly as found, second-hand pieces that need new life. I love to see an old table or chair reborn with new color and a fresh purpose. My passion is to experiment with vibrant colors and unique shapes so that my furniture can inspire happiness in a new home. For me, it’s all about the shape of the “canvas.” I love to find discarded furniture and other objects with interesting curves and lines that come to life with vibrant violet, cobalt, tangerine, or magenta. Recently, I have started adding beads to some of my pieces because who doesn’t like playing with beads! My recent favorites include a telephone table, plant stand, shelves, and dollhouse furniture.
I was lucky to end up on the northern California coast in the 1990s. My children grew up in Half Moon Bay, and through my talented artistic daughter, Genevieve, I started exploring the inner artist in myself. When Genni was 5 and started after-school art classes at Fly on The Wall Art School, the studio’s owner, Susan Carkeek, became her teacher and my mentor. My daughter is now an art student at the California College of Art in San Francisco, and I aspire to be half as good as she is. Susan continues to mentor and inspire me, and I feel privileged to live in a community that supports and nurtures the arts.
Larry Salveson is a Software Developer in the San Mateo, CA area. He has enjoyed a lifelong passion for photography, which has evolved to include creating digital paintings. Larry’s images span a broad range of interests including people, abstracts, nature, and landscapes.
Custom sizes are available for most images. Contact me directly for signed prints that I make myself. Other prints can be ordered from my website.
I currently live on the beautiful coast, but I grew up in Pennsylvania where my love of art began as a child. I am a creative person who is inspired by nature and the world around me. A lot of things I see in nature show themselves as something else in my mind’s eye. A rock looks like a face, a piece of wood with a hole is an owl’s eye, a spikey tree nut on the ground is a hedgehog. I like to collect these items and use them in my nature inspired collages. I have been collecting bits and pieces from nature since I can remember. I incorporate these pieces of nature into mixed media collages that represent landscape scenery, people, animals or just about anything that is relevant in my life. My most recent work is a collage of an angel that represents a teenage girl who was taken from the Earth too soon. The flowers from her funeral are in her wings and dress, there is sheet music and cats and crystals, and nature, and so many things that she loved incorporated into the piece.
I love to teach art classes for my two kids and their friends and classmates. This enables me to share my love of creativity and hopefully inspire others to create along with me. I’m always being introduced to various forms of art and I love to experiment and see what transpires.
Recently, I have been included in the following themed juried exhibits:
San Francisco Women Artists Gallery- 647 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA 94122
Mistlin Gallery, Central Ca Art Association- 1015 J Street Modesto CA 95354
SIY Gallery- 1026 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Nancy is a designer period! She is an award-winning jewelry designer, an award-winning clothing designer, and a certified Interior Designer. She has been designing jewelry for 30 years and enjoys every minute. Her specialty is taking older pieces of jewelry and “re-purposing” them. However, she is quite adapt at real gems stones, and pearls. She is also known for making custom jewelry pieces for special occasions. Nancy is also part of an award-winning chorus, Bay Area Showcase Chorus, and sings baritone. She is the mom of 2 adult children and grandma to 2 growing boys. She has resided in Half Moon Bay for 40 years and loves it.
A San Francisco native, Nancy entered the ceramic field as a kid playing – outside – in the freshly excavated clay hills of the San Francisco peninsula. Her work is fueled by a love of moving clay, emulating the patterns and colors of the sky and ocean and the curves and textures of the coastal hills.
She has delighted in teaching children and adults the joy of creating with this earthly medium. Another delight is making pieces specific to clients’ desires. As she creates those pieces, the clients are always back of mind which fosters a warm connection to the usefulness of the work.
Showing in mostly local galleries, Nancy also has participated in bay area craft fairs including Kings Mountain Art Fair and the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival Made on the Coast Locals Block.
“We can feel secure and grounded by rekindling our awareness of Nature’s strength and beauty by using everyday items made of the earth itself.”
Patt Sheldon is local—born in San Francisco and raised on the Peninsula. She taught mostly middle school English and Health Education in Belmont for 35 years, and never considered herself artistic, though her flair for color aways showed.
Patt became a knitter, then a weaver after moving “over the hill” in 1999. Experiencing two summers of heavy coastal fog, she realized she needed indoor sports to combat the fog. She took a few weaving classes and many knitting technique workshops, learned ice dyeing one afternoon, and is self-taught in jewelry design. She creates unusual pieces and prefers being ahead of the crowd rather than part of it. Her works are one of a kind.
Hanging woven or fabric pieces on walls soften the hard edges of rooms, and after hearing how her dyed fabric and weavings should be showcased, she began creating wall hangings.
Ice dyeing natural fibers became a passion, preferring its soft patterns to deliberate designs. She dyes clothing and large array of home goods, as well as fabric for walls. The most exciting part of her ice dyeing has been collaborating with a former 6th grade student, now a fashion designer in Los Angeles.
Realizing how isolated artists can be, particularly after retiring from teaching and working at home, Patt started a group called Colony of Coastside Artists in Feb, 2010. The group is open to any level artist living on the coast interested in socializing, art discussions, and group projects, and is currently 100 members strong. Prior to 2020, CoCA met monthly, and has resumed annually sponsoring Open Studios in November, which is available to all coastside artists.
Besides selling through CoCA’s Open Studios, her diverse work sells in stores, and several in-person shows, mostly on the coast. Her website www.pattsheldon.com highlights her vivid colors and textures. Patt also sells through Harvard Market, Make It Main Street, SVOS, and Etsy and GoImagine online under the name Patt711.
She is very excited to be part of The Vault’s inaugural art group.
I live in Half Moon Bay and paint primarily watercolor sketches. I am a retired history teacher, and varsity basketball, baseball, and football coach. I took up painting after I retired and found I have a knack for it. I concentrate on watercolor sketches of historical iconic buildings and structures. San Francisco and Half Moon Bay have been my recent focus. I also just finished a major project; an oil painting of Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France.
Spence Platt is a local artist, born and raised in San Jose. Spence grew up loving the western genre and country music and pulls his inspiration from that love. He uses a mixed media technique which includes but not limited to inks, watercolors, acrylics, spray paint, and resin. This blending of media provides texture and dimension to his work.
As many galleries closed during the pandemic, Spence intertwined his love of nature and the outdoors with his passion for art, traveling and adventuring throughout California finding beautiful places to display his work. You can follow his journey on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.
I am grateful to live in this
place where on my daily walks
and sometimes in our own
backyard) I encounter a
spectacular variety of life. I’ve
fallen in love with our local
birds, and sharing photos of
them has delighted me and my
friends. I marvel at the diversity
of sizes and shapes, so these
prints depict each bird in
exquisite detail, and at its actual
size, from the tiny to the huge.
There is a QR code next to
each photo that takes you to a
web page describing that bird.
Thank you for visiting.
I’ve been a maker from my earliest years. As a child, I drew horses, made paper dolls, greeting cards, garments, cooked and baked. I could draw all the Flintstone characters, and a pencil drawing I did of Peter Tork of The Monkees was published in a teen magazine. I painted 40 murals in a hospital when I was 18. By the time I got to high school, I decided to major in art, stepping away from my high academic achievement and probably disappointing my parents. I went to Pratt Institute but quit in my second year. Since then, I have been on the journey. Always creating — my hands are never idle! I had a long career in graphic design, including my own sign company in the 80s and 90s, and a career in advertising until my retirement two years ago. I now devote much of my time to painting and have completed over 700 paintings in the last 40 years, mostly in private collections.
I like to paint outdoors from life (en plein air) and about 50% of my paintings are done that way. I pack my gear and take it when I travel. Having a focus on depicting the places I visit gives added meaning, and mementos galore! Visit my website for more details on my long and varied career.
Susan Grabowski, originally from New Jersey, spent 22 years on Cape Cod before making her way to the San Francisco Bay Area. She captures the fleeting moments in her light-filled paintings in the California plein air/impressionist style.
Art That Makes a Difference
Ayudando Latinos A Soñar or ALAS is a Latino centered nonprofit organization that began as a grassroots program in 2011. The organization was born from the desire to help children and their families to feel proud of their identity and culture and amplify their voices. ALAS values each family and individual they work with, honoring the immigrant journeys that many have traveled to bring their special gift of cultural wealth to our community.
In this month’s Living Locally segment, Ocean Blue Real Estate founder, David Oliphant, visits a place near and dear to his heART, The Ocean Blue (Art) Vault, a local artists’ collective. David’s vision in creating this special space is to showcase local artists who celebrate the natural beauty found in Half Moon Bay.
In this segment, meet photographer, Steve Maller; sculptor, Marie LaCour Studio; eclectic creative, Jennifer Roberts Almodova; and local artist, Sonya Kleshik who champions this unique collective “as bringing the community together because art acts as an instrument of connection.