PAAR Presents

Conversation with the Artist

Four Sundays in 2020, 1 p.m.–3 p.m. $30/person/Conversation

Join the Plein Air Artists of Riverside, a RAM artist-member group, for this special event and luncheon catered by The Spaghetti Factory. Enjoy your choice between four delicious food specialities. Wine included.

You're invited to an afternoon of art and great food with a premier California Art Club artist master! Each Conversation with the Artist will feature a well-known master artist and includes a visual presentation of slides and prints of the artist's work, which will be available for purchase.

Join us for one or all of the following Conversations:


Signature Member California Art Club, Lifetime PAAR Member & World-Renowned Pastel Artist

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Strand was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, the highest commendation of the Pastel Society of America, NY. She is the recipient of numerous top awards, including the PSA Master Pastelist distinction and the IAPS Master Circle Medal. Her solo exhibitions in galleries and museums include a one-person retrospective of pastel and oil paintings at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in California. Widely published in books and magazines internationally, her work is also represented in many corporate, private, and museum collections, including the Butler Institute of American Art. Strand studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and the Art Students League and National Academy of Design in New York. She earned a BFA from the University of Denver and a MFA from the Laguna College of Art and Design. Strand teaches workshops and master classes internationally.


Signature Member California Art Club & World-Renowned Sculptor

Sunday, March 29, 2020 POSTPONED

Mehaffie excelled in school where one of his teachers described him as a prodigy because of his outstanding artistic ability. In the 5th grade, he was double promoted to the 7th grade and presented with a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago for outstanding artistic excellence. After many years of working as a successful landscape designer and building contractor, he was able to resume his formal art training at the Laguna Beach Art Institute of Southern California. He stayed a few semesters, but decided he learned better working with master art teachers than in formal classes. He has studied under many outstanding teachers, but his favorite is Christopher Slatoff, whom he considers one of the most remarkable sculptors of all time. Of course, he may be prejudiced as he credits Slatoff with helping him come out of his shell to become the sculptor he is today.


Signature Member California Art Club & World-Renowned Artist

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Steele, born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1967, began his art training at an early age in the studio of his father, Leonid Steele, a renowned painter of the Russian Academic Tradition of the Socialist Realism School. He furthered his professional education at the prestigious Surikov Art Institute of the Soviet Academy of Arts in Moscow under important, internationally acclaimed artist Illia Glazunov. Steele moved to Los Angeles in 1990. He is known for his large-scale figurative works in oil and on paper, psychological portrayals of common men of society, plein air landscapes, and for the employment of art as a tool of social action in the form of public art and art outreach. Steele’s approach to figure is rooted in the Renaissance and Barque periods seen through the prism of the Russian Academic Tradition. At the same time, his works possess a modern feel and intensity in their peculiar audacity of grand scale, grand themes, and content-driven formal expression. Solving various problems in the development of his mammoth works, Steele employs largely forgotten Renaissance period processes. He is known for creating full-size drawings, referred to as “cartoons,” which attract attention in their own right. His portraiture conveys empathy and expresses humanistic ideals by giving the noble presence of royal portraits to the modern-day common men and women from the rock bottom of society. Steele executes his life-sized portraits in a series of live sessions, often publicly, as a form of community outreach. In his landscapes and seascapes, Steele examines formal qualities of movement and distance, while in his figure works he is preoccupied with the dimensional underpinnings of shapes. The Russian Academic Tradition inspired approach to unity of dimension, tonality, and color play an important role in his visual language.


Signature Member California Art Club & World-Renowned Artist

Sunday, July 26, 2020

After acquiring a BFA in graphic design with a minor in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art, Kovacic directed numerous advertising campaigns for a variety of print and media clients and detailed urban revitalization programs for communities participating in the Main Street program for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He relocated to Southern California where he used his artistic skills as a restoration expert specializing in pre-1950 merchandising ephemera and related antiques. He has staged speaker presentations for numerous Fortune 500 companies. As part of the California Art Club’s revived lecture series, Conversations in the Atelier, Kovacic has hosted videotaped interviews with many distinguished fellow CAC artists. In 2016, he was honored to be the recipient of the CAC’s William and Julia Bracken Wendt Award. In 2018, he received the CAC’s Special Achievement Award. He regularly exhibits at: the Old Mill in San Marino, CA; Hillside Gallery in Claremont, CA; Hudson Fine Art in Hudson, OH; and the annual CAC Gold Medal show. He has been a guest artist of the Kaiping Museum of Art in China, as well as participating in instructionals in Provence, Switzerland, and Scotland, and has participated in events throughout California and Ohio. “I am particularly interested in the wealth of subjects found along the California shores and ridgelines. Working in the plein air tradition allows me the immediacy of light, shadow, and color.” Kovacic is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society, and an Honor Court member of the Mid Valley Art League. He is honored to be a Signature member of the CAC and Laguna Plein Air group.


Click here to register and pay to join the Conversation.