Thursday, August 11, 2016


I am so proud of the artists who are exhibiting currently until Aug. 29th @ The Mission Restaurant, 3795 Mission Blvd. Mission Beach. These are twelve disparate artists, all whom I have mentored, most for many years. I hope that you will get over to the show if you live in San Diego County, it will be well worth it!  Most of the pieces are for sale @ very reasonable prices for the high quality of the work.

Rivian Butikofer

I always considered myself an artist but was actively discouraged from pursuing it as a career. 
I Worked in corporate finance, mostly in high tech companies.
When I moved to San Diego, I started taking art classes at the Athenaeum, where I first met Rivian. Her class was a breath of fresh air! 
Since retiring, I make art 4 or 5 days a week and am currently producing for a one person show at the 1210 Gallery in La Jolla in November. 
I would include Matisse, Monet, Schiele, the Bay Area group/ Joan Brown, Wayne Thibauld, & various contemporary artists as having the biggest influence on my work.

Faith Fleury, acrylic
 Faith Fleury, mixed-media 

I remember in grade school wishing I could draw like some of my friends.  It wasn’t until I resigned from banking that I was able to pursue art and learn the skills necessary.  That was over 25 years ago.
I started with pencil and pastel, which I found to be easier to use as a beginner.  Eventually, I tried acrylics and found the freedom in movement with large strokes.  What I discovered was it led me into a surprise of subconscious expression.  When I paint, most of the time I have no plan, no idea of what will emerge.  I lay down the paint and I look into the canvas to see the forms that are ready to come forward.  That is the exciting part.  Color is extremely exciting to me.  Each color draws on our feelings and represents a certain vibration within all of us.
I began teaching myself to draw faces.  Leonardo DeVinci was my first study and copying a master like Leonardo gave me the basis that I needed.  But, when I started with Rivian Butikofer, my art world changed and continues to progress.  She has challenged me, supported my own individual expression of art and continues to open my eyes to new ways and ideas.
I have been fortunate enough to have Rivian Butikofer as my art teacher for at least 8 years.  Rivian has taught me to appreciate all types of art.  The freedom she gives her students to create their own individual art, combined with her knowledge and her patience, has allowed me to grow in so many ways.
I can’t imagine having any other teacher, but Rivian.  I recently took a non-objective and abstract art class from Rivian.  Voila!  My art has changed again.  Exciting!!

Phyllis Mcinnis, acrylic

Phyllis Mcinnis, acrylic


My first art class as an adult was intuitive painting and since then it’s all about the process for me. Over the years I learned to respect the final outcome and make it lovable to me. Color is my guide through out the process.
Pnina Gold, mixed-media

Pnina Gold, mixed-media


Art is my vehicle for self expression. I'm lucky that I have the ability to easily express 
myself visually more so than verbally. I like to be creative,
and innovative in my work.
Ralph Lazar, collage

Ralph Lazar, mixed-media

I love the serenity and the “other place” I go to when I paint.  I love the challenge of capturing the inner essence of a person, of reaching into their eyes to reveal.  Under the guidance of my very patient, nurturing, and ever so skillful art teacher, Rivian, my ability to “see” has broadened, my technique has improved, and my confidence to risk has grown.  Rivian has  provided me with the platform to explore beyond my artistic zones of comfort.  It has been and continues to be a rich journey of discovery and adventure.    

Gayle Tauber, oil

Gayle Tauber, oil

Thanks to my wife I started painting almost six years ago 
when I paint (or draw) I am in my "right brain" and sometimes allow my fantasies to inspire me.
Rivian keeps me motivated by giving me advice on colors, composition and other elements and principles of Art. I have had many influences besides Rivian; Masters in the many museums we have visited and that I see in class, places to which we have traveled.  I especially am drawn to Picasso & Modigliani.
Lucky me, I married an art teacher!

Hans Butikofer, mixed-media

Hans Butikofer, acrylic

Creating is a freeing, healing, spiritual experience for me. I approach each piece with a few ideas,
canvas or cardboard, the later my 1st choice, as the corrugated organic texture and recycling usefulness are very appealing to me. Selecting colors and mediums then applying these to what my heart would like to express I begin to create. I am influenced by family, friends, Mexican culture, Pablo Picasso, Alexej Von  Jawlensky, and my mentor and friend Rivian Butikofer.

 Kathleen Wilson, mixed-media

Kathleen Wilson, mixed-media

"When the self-consciousness and self-judgment falls away, I just let the pleasure of making art wash over me. I don't know how it can simultaneously be both meditative and exhilarating, but it is. As a beginner, I've gone from dreading art class each week, to eagerly awaiting the exploration of a new medium, a new technique or a new idea. "Gold Rush", One of the pieces displayed here, was my second chance to "play with" plaster-on-wood. It's a race against the quick-drying plaster to create or give in to the magical flow of the medium. So much fun! 
Max was a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor. I met him in his last days, while volunteering at Light Bridge Hospice. With no family left, his biggest concern was that his story would be gone. No one would remember him. He held this piece of art in his hands two days before he died. He then knew he would indeed be remembered. 

Lisa Swaiman, mixed-media
 Lisa Swaiman, mixed-media, Max


                                                     BARBARA SIMMONS
I love exploring texture, recycling and my imagination in assemblage, primarily sculpture. Currently I have three series; the first  consists of sculptures made of bark,pods & natural materials. The second sculpture series is based in recycled metal and wood. My most recent exploration is of recycled plastic and polymer sculptures.

Barbara Simmons, mixed- media
 Barbara Simmons, mixed- media

                                                    AVI MODY                    
 "My art is the song in my heart or the chatter in my mind or the sadness in my therapy , my outlet.... Nothing is as nurturing to my inner self as is a brush in my hand to do whatever I wish with!
There is no set manuscript for my work - each piece has its own narrative. Hopefully woven in each individual viewer's mind's eye"
 Avi Mody, mixed-media

Avi Mody, mixed-media 
                                                                            ANGELIKA ERNE
    I was born in Germany and lived in Switzerland with my Swiss Husband before moving to La Jolla where we have lived for many years. I began making "traditional"  ART' until  I found my Teacher & Mentor, Rivian Butikofer with whom I have been working for about ten or more years. Rivian has helped me to feel, see, smell & taste ART!
"I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say, he feels deeply, he feels tenderly"
Vincent Van Gogh

Angelika Erne, mixed-media

Angelika Erne, mixed-media

After leaving a 40+-year career in the world of advertising as an award-winning creative director, my focus is on process, rather than technique. In my creative work, I’m seeking the pure creative impulse arising from the authentic self, rather than the analytical mind. Influenced by the power of archetypical imagery and natural forces, my art tends toward darker emotional explorations while maintaining optimism through the use of a bright palette.                                                                        
Denise Paccione, mixed-media

Denise Paccione, mixed-media

Sunday, August 7, 2016


Introducing Sculptor/mixed-media artist Barbara Simmons working on one of her sculptures in my studio, & pictured below one of her wonderful mixed media pieces which is hanging in the exhibit @ The Mission Restaurant 3795 Mission Blvd. in Mission Beach until Aug. 29th. All of the work is exceptional & some is for sale @ great prices! I will be blogging about this with more images very soon, WATCH FOR IT!

Also, registration is open for my two new classes @




      OCT. 4-NOV. 8

Happy Art Making!

Barbara Simmons

Barbara Simmons, mixed media