A Walk In The Park

Yesterday was day one of the two-day, bi-annual Beverly Hills event, Art In The Park.  Despite the spike in temperatures as the day wore on, there was no denying, this year did not disappoint. I have not attended in several several years, and forgot how much fun it is to go and peruse all of the eclectic and beautiful pieces of art while listening to to the live music and eyeing the food trucks! Today, I discovered a true ‘gem’, Rachel Brown from Missouri. A little over a year ago, Rachel started her painting career and today, she took the show ‘by storm’.  Accompanying her blue ribbon for winning 1st place in watercolor, were quirky and playful depictions of her favorite animals.  Rachel shared the story behind the funny creatures she’s inspired to paint, explaining her childhood growing up in rural Missouri, “We had neighbors all around who happened to have exotic animals.  There were llamas, giraffes, and I just remember peeking at the ostriches as a little girl. You had to be very sneaky because they were often in a bad mood, so I would peer over the fence to catch a glimpse of them before they all ran off. I thought of them, funny as this sounds, as my friends.”  It is quite obvious she has captured each animal’s personality in the beautiful and fun paintings they must be familiar characters.  I could not resist! I bought 2 larger originals of the ostriches, and a little one of a funny llama.  If you did not get to the show today, then visit her online by clicking here!

This is one of my favorite pieces! How funny are these guys? I loved them so much, I purchased two for my apartment!
My favorite artist and winner of this season's 1st place blue ribbon in Watercolor!

[/media-credit] My favorite artist and winner of this season’s 1st place blue ribbon in Watercolor!

[/media-credit] This was a small original Rachel was sweet enough to give to me, for my brother, who loves leopards,  cheetahs, and tigers!
Ben and his friend!

[/media-credit] Here they are!!! Took me a while to choose the perfect frames, but with a little time I found frames I adore!   I love the juxtaposition between the formal frames and the informal subject matter.  I’m having them professionally ‘Time’ framed with UV protected glass sealed to preserve these little birdies, being that Rachel Brown is quickly becoming a ‘household’ name, according to the local framer.
I'm so proud of my very first Rachel Brown original!! "Ben" and I'll have to find out the name of the others.

[/media-credit] I’m so proud of my very first Rachel Brown original!! “Ben” and I’ll have to find out the name of the others.

While I always find some of the newest and most innovative artists just starting their careers, I was shocked to see an artist I had purchased three pieces from, literally, a decade ago!  My three pieces sold ten years ago for a total of $200.00 cash! The artist was traveling back to his then home, in Brooklyn, New York and the last thing he wanted to do, was schlep a giant 5’X3′ painting all the way back with him to New York!  So, I was more than happy to take it off of his hands. John Hungha, has now refined his style from primitive watercolors of Japanese Koi to a very stylized airbrush method. To this day, the kois remain to be the ‘crowd pleasers’.  I’ve sent him photos of my originals, to gauge his reaction from seeing his amazing progression over the past decade!  For those of you who did not make it to his booth or are outside of LA, you can check him out online by clicking here!

[/media-credit] All three pieces hanging in my hallway.
Watercolor Koi, circa 2003, John Hungha

[/media-credit] Ten years later, the watercolor Kois hang in my hallway, as they have in every apartment over the past ten years. They’ve been through ‘the war’; countless moves, survived black mold in Nashville, and are still hanging in cheap frames, but I love and treasure them everyday!
Lotus Flowers - Acrylic 5X3 on wood panel, John Hungha

[/media-credit] Close-up of the pencil outline Hungha used on my painting  from years ago.

[/media-credit] Hungha’s original signature, which he uses still today.


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