Wednesday, December 5, 2012


'I begin with an idea and then it becomes something' Pablo Picasso. "This is how I see my art, it starts with a thought, a smell, an emotion and then it just starts to develop it's own soul.
I have enjoyed the best of two worlds, having grown up in Germany, spent 8 years in Switzerland  and have been living since 1992 in San Diego.
I am very grateful that I found my teacher Rivian Butikofer, who encourages me, pushes me and always surprises me with her passion for art." 
Angelika Erne 
.......And I am so thankful to have a student who soaks up everything that I show her, is always willing to experiment and try something new. If she lived in New York, Los Angeles, or Berlin where ART is more on the 'cutting edge',  I am certain that she would be selling her work for a great deal more than she does!  Angelika never ceases to amaze and delight me with her brilliance; she is a perfect example of what continues to excite me and give me such a sense of fulfillment from my teaching!  Thank you dear Angelika.
 Las Vegas, photograph
 Untitled, photo transfer
Untitled, photo transfer 

Narcisus, mixed media
Who Are You, mixed media
Madonna Of The Roses, Mixed Media
What's Behind#1, mixed media
My Marilyn, embellished photo transfer
Marilyn 2, photo printed on Mylar
Forever Young, mixed media
embellished photo transfer


Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Mikalene Thomas & Rivian, Brooklyn Museum, Oct. 2012
Mikalene Thomas is one of the artists that I have been teaching since I discovered her a few years ago when she was relatively unknown. Her work spoke to me immediately and she has not only influenced my own work but my students as well. So, when we were in New York in Oct. I was thrilled to see that she was having her first solo museum show @ The Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition is called "Origin of the Universe" after a painting by the 19th Century French Realist painter Gustave Courbet.  As you will see below, her paintings exude opulence and Female beauty as well as dignity! All of her work is embellished with rhinestones giving the work a "bling" which I just love. Thomas' work involves much more than luxuriousness, it is obvious that she has an understanding of Art History and is influenced by many of the Masters along with Courbet such as Manet, Matisse and Bearden. "As a black woman who loves women, Ms. Thomas is in a double bind, and she makes the
most of this in order to transcend it. Through the scale and material capaciousness of painting, she celebrates, decorates and really venerates the black female body by making it and its lavish surroundings bracingly tangible. She doesn’t so much depict a universal humanity as practically force it into the viewer’s place, where it implicates, illuminates and bedazzles." Roberta Smith
By the way, I agree with Roberta Smith who wrote in her excellent New York Times review of the Thomas show that "Her big portraits, especially, would have enlivened the predictable Warhol show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art."

Sooo, I'm walking around the Brooklyn Museum looking at the gorgeous paintings and all of a sudden I notice a Woman that I think is Mikalene Thomas, (because I have seen photos of her on line). So, I get my nerve up and walk over and ask her if she is in fact the Artist. She was and she was so nice and friendly.  (I sort of felt like a "groupie"). I asked her if my Husband could take a photo and as you can see above , she said "of course"!
I know that you will enjoy the paintings below by the Artist Mikalene Thomas.

Le Dejueuner Sur L'herbe: Les Trois Femmes Noir, 2010 rhinestones, acrylic, enamel on wood panel 
Detail of above
une très belle négresse #2, 2012.
 Rhinestones, acrylic paint, and oil enamel on wood panel
Monet's Salle a Manger, Jaune, 2012
inspired by the artist's residency in 2011 @ Giverny, Monet's Gardens in France
Sandra, (Mikalene's Mother)


Monday, October 15, 2012


Leslie Klurfeld
Leslie Klurfeld has been a student of mine both at The Athenaeum & at my studio.  She is a natural for Contemporary Art with her eye for Urban Art and freedom of expression.  It is such satisfaction to watch an Artist such as Leslie "bloom"! 

This year I was involved in  three juried group Shows In San Diego. One was at On Assignment Studios in san Diego, which included all the students in our art class at the Athenaeum with Rivian. It was called, “16 Plus One,” and two exhibitions at the La Jolla Library.  One of  the shows there was entitled “ New Directions In Art.” The other was a 'one subject' photography show in which the subject was pictures of the library. It was called, “ Reading Can Be Beautiful.”
 My instructor at the Athenaeum Art  Studio has been Rivian Butikofer. She has greatly influenced me as an artist and has 'opened up' my creativity.  I also love doing photography because it is enjoyable, shows imagination, tells a story, and creates memories.
Among some of the artists that have influenced me are Pablo Picasso,  Emile Nolde, Henri Matisse, and Jean –Michel Basquiat
Leslie Klurfeld         
Leslie, Self, Acrylic
Leslie, Self, Acrylic           
Leslie, After Nolde, Mixed Media
Leslie, Faces, Mixed Media incl. Mono Type & Acrylic
Leslie, Ater Kandinsky, Acrylic
Leslie, After Picasso, Mixed Media 
Leslie, Photograph,  "Reading Can Be Beautiful" La Jolla Library
"Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil", Mixed Media
Leslie, Untitled, Acrylic, Spray paint
Leslie, Untitled, Mixed Media
 ALL PIECES ARE FOR SALE.  PLEASE INQUIRE ON THIS BLOG.                                                                           

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"Artists view the world with our own eyes, each of us; and we make from us the world we see." San Diego , FAITH FLEURY

Faith Fleury & Rivian Butikofer@ 16+1
My earliest memories are in my grandmother’s gardens – the lively bursts of color and the lush, cool green shade of the 75-year old willow trees.  That’s probably when my fascination with color began. 
 I spent a large share of my life building business models and product launch plans in “high tech” – the more creative side of finance, 
all the while pining for that satisfaction of making something visually expressive.  
There is nothing like that special elation from creating a drawing or painting that makes people want to stop and drink in the environment I’ve produced.  
Now I devote as much of my time to those pursuits as I can, keeping a playful frame of mind whether it’s making an intriguing portrait, an inviting landscape or experimenting in mixed media/ collage and more abstracted forms.

Artistic Influences

Sorting out the influences on my work is a complex task – on any given day, the order of importance shifts. 

In studying art history, I was exposed to the whole panoply of “gods”:  Durer, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Renaissance artists Da Vinci and Michealangelo – they still captivate me; the economy of brushwork of Valasquez and Goya which looks remarkably “modern”; the expressiveness of El Greco, etc. But the period which has most influenced me is twentieth/ twenty-first century artists: Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso, Degas, Kandinsky, Calder and those who’ve followed.

 As I have explored more contemporary work, I find my favorites list has grown to include Nolde, Lucien Freud, Basquiat, Wayne Thiebaud and David Hockney. There are so many exciting developments in today’s artistic environment.  I’ve become a great fan of many current painters including Elizabeth Peyton, Romare Beardon and Beverly McIver.


I am so proud to say that Faith has been a student of mine since I first began teaching at The Athenaeum, La jolla nine years ago.

Faith Fleury, Self, Pastel
Faith Fleury, Self, Acrylic
Faith Fleury, Self, Acrylic
Faith Fleury, Acrylic
Faith Fleury, Acrylic

Faith Fleury, "Sissie & Ber", Acrylic

 Faith Fleury, Kiku, Collage & Mixed Media on Paper bag
Faith Fleury, Toshi, Collage & Mixed Media on Paper Bag
Faith Fleury, John, Palette Knife
Faith Fleury," Not My Problem" Collage
Faith Fleury, 'Self Portrait' mixed media 
incl. collage & photo transfer 

Faith Fleury, "Rock Phantom", Mixed Media incl. spray paint & collage
ALL PIECES ARE FOR SALE @ or inquire on this BLOG