Bak Country Poster 1 copy
June 10, 2013 | See comments »

Postcard painting by Alan Willis; Graphics by Christopher O’Brien.

On First Friday June 7th, 2013 I curated a show called “Bakersfield Country; the Legends of the Bakersfield Sound.” We had 13 artists paint a portrait of a Bakersfield Sound musician from the 40’s and 50’s. I hung the show in a spaced out manner along side bios typed on each musician. At the end of each bio the artist’s statement was included. Each statement explained how the artists felt about their involvement in the show.

The artists were handpicked for participation. We had 12 Bakersfield artists and 1 from Los Angeles. Every single piece in the show was extraordinary. Mediums ranged from pen and ink, acrylic and oil. Along with the paintings we displayed four boards of original photography donated by Ray Urquhart, Wren Tidwell, The Bill Woods Family and William J Saunders. there was live music by Vince Galindo and Therese Muller. Along the wall behind my counter I painted a mural of The Blackboard Café and we mimicked the Blackboard stage wall with head shots of the artists and recreated show posters from the 50’s.

IMG_3956webPhoto provided by Crysco Nabisco Photography







BlackboardOn Friday morning I was on First Look with Scott Cox on KERN radio/podcast. William “Joe” Saunders went with me to discuss the production of a documentary of his grandfather Billy Mize. He is working on raising $53,000 to finish the production of the film. Joe is an Emmy award winning director. Be sure to check out this link and do what you can to help contribute!  First Look interview:





Thursday, the night before, we had a private viewing for the Bill Woods Family. My mother grew up with Tomi, Bill’s daughter. We connected and she provided photography for the show. Her family was so honored he was included in such a big way. “The Godfather” of the Bakersfield sound, Bill played an important role in the structure of that era. He helped and promoted everyone.

Woods FamilyThe night was a colossal success. All but two of the pieces were purchased in reserve for an even larger project to come. Later through the night one of the two left also sold. This has never happened at The Foundry before. The purchases warmed my heart and brought smiles to many artists faces through out the night. I spent the after hours with great friends. Saturday I woke up and had to make sure it hadn’t all been a dream.






Bonnie OwensBonnie Owens, by Christina Sweet











Thank You Poster

I must thank our Sponsor Greenhorn Grill of Alta Sierra. The owner Mike Hill, born and raised in Bakersfield, has been a lifetime fan of the Bakersfield Sound music and musicians. Your generous contribution is so much appreciated.

Thanks also go to the photography contributors Ray Urquhart, Billy Mize, William J. Saunders, The Bill Woods Family and Wren Tidwell. Thank you poster graphic by Christopher O’Brien.

May 24, 2013 | See comments »

{03C693F9-BB73-4449-B8CA-35F09C8EAD51}Months ago I turned in my submission for the Eye Gallery show this summer at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. The artists for this show are hand selected by a committee of organizers between the Bakersfield Californian and BMoA. I was honored to be a selected artist this year.

The assignment? Within a 96 hour period the artists are to write a portion of a story, 50 words or less, and illustrate their entry. You only see the pieces preceding your contribution and build on the stories of the artists before you. I was number five. This was a great challenge. During the exhibit in June, the pieces, both written and visual, will hang in order and tell the complete story. My piece introduced the character of the story. A woman intrigued by a ghostly yet familiar silhouette in her yard.

I’m looking forward to the opening!



16 1612 Lofts Mural 14x17 pen and acrylic
May 20, 2013 | See comments »

I was asked to come up with a design for mural installations on the building my gallery, The Foundry is in at the corner of 19th and Eye Streets. I am super excited about this one! I’m posting the concept from my very first raw thought to to my final piece, posted above.

















16 14x17 1612 19th city lofts mural concept colored pencil, ink, watercolor


















16 Blacktop Mural 35' at Ronald Reagan Elementary
May 20, 2013 | See comments »

I have been a member of the Parent Club at the kid’s school. This year I was contacted by the President of the club to see if I would be interested in repainting the USA map on the blacktop. I guess after they resurfaced the area it covered up the old mural. I of course said yes and scheduled an appointment to check it out.

Boy was I in for a surprise! We met, looked over the area, I picked up the stencil package and set the date. Ty and I went out the first day and got started. We laid out the stencil. It was 8 large strips of paper with holes cut in it. You spray or paint the holes, remove the paper stencils, then basically connect the dots. I’m pretty sure we picked the hottest day of the year so far… Out on the blacktop for about 7.5 hours the first day I got it all outlined and two-thirds of the color done. Not to mention, a HORRIBLE sunburn…

Second day we were out there were two other mothers there to help. They started the last color and helped apply more coats to the less solid colors. That gave us a great head start to finish up. We finished it that evening and even painted the state abbreviations on each state.

Sometimes as an artist you should pay back. God has given you a talent and you should use it. Just don’t forget the sunscreen…


May 20, 2013 | See comments »

For the month of May my friend, Jesus Fidel, and I co-curated a show together at his gallery, The Empty Space in Bakersfield, CA. The show was inspired after we had a movie date to see Oz the Great and Powerful. Although I was not totally impressed with the movie, it did bring back a lot of great memories of watching the original movie, Wizard of Oz. During the movie Jesus and I decided we should plan our future group show around the characters. We made a list of the characters Dorothy meets along her journey from Kansas to Emerald City.

Once the list was set we made our list of artists and assigned them a character from the movie. It was a lot of fun pairing the artists with the characters.

All of the normal curator duties were performed and the show artist reception was on the 18th of May, 2013. Before the reception three pieces were sold. Another sold during the reception. We had a viewer’s choice award, which went to artist Josiah Lorsung for his piece based on the tornado.

The artwork featured is my piece titled Horse of a Different Color, which sold to another volunteer of The Empty Space theatre.

This piece was created using Prismacolor pencils. It had been over a decade since I used this medium. It was a lot of work and I am pleased with how it came out.HDC











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