Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bill McQuary's Joyce Oroz

I am here today to talk about passion. Without passion books would be dull, 
paintings blah and life would be lived in black and white instead of Technicolor. 
Whenever you read an especially good story or see a painting that captures your 
soul, you can bet the creator of such work loved the creative process. 
When all the skill and passion come 
together perfectly, we have lift-off, the “aha” moment, a faster heart beat.
Speaking of passion and creativity, I want to tell you about Bill McQuary, 
a valued member of the Aromas Hills Artisans group. He and his wife Edita 
live in Watsonville, where he creates pictures of Yosemite with paint on 
canvas and pen on paper drawings suitable for framing. More than suitable, 
beautiful would be more like it. Much of his work represents scenes of 
Yosemite because Bill is an avid hiker, in love with the most 
amazing park in California or anywhere.

Bill began his artistic adventure when he was thirteen years old with a 
paint-by-number picture. His neighbor encouraged him to paint and by the 
time he was a senior in high school he knew he wanted to major in art. 
He attended West Hills College in Coalinga, 
California where he was active in sports, especially basketball, music, 
jazz and “the big bands” in particular and of course art.
Bill went on to study at Fresno State under artist, Darwin Musselman. 
He earned a BA in art and went on to the San Francisco Art Institute 
where he studied abstract art and figure drawing. The abstract art loosened
up his work, although Bill is best known for his realistic style.
Many people are able to find a career where they can use their art training,
but Bill was able to use his training working for US Geological Survey. 
He worked as a technical illustrator for the scientists. 
King Huber was a scientist for Yosemite Valley, working on plate-tech-tonics.
Bill later went to work for FEMA and after that held interesting positions at 
Mono Lake and then with the Parks dept. His love of art and music never 
wavered. He studied art history for many years—most of his life, actually. 
Frederick Edmond Church is one of his favorite American artists. 
He believes that America, especially the western states have inspired great 
landscaping because of their diversity and grandeur. 
As an avid nature-lover, Bill hikes, 
backpacks, photographs and sketches 
the Sierras. When he is at home in 
Watsonville, outside on his patio, 
he turns the sketches and photographs 
into beautiful paintings.
Bill is currently working as a 
docent at the Di Young Museum in San 
Francisco, helping visitors to be 
inspired by great artists, learn from 
the past and study contemporary artists 
such as Larry Hill.
If you would like to drop Bill a line:
A call to AHA artisans! I have openings for interviews. 
Please contact me at

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Great Joyce Riley

By Joyce Riley
I am sorry to see October go,
To look ahead at rain and snow,
To see another red leaf falling
And hear the last, late bluebird calling.
I’m sorry for our garden bed,
For frost on roses and pumpkin heads,
For shorter days and longer nights,
Our stove’s voracious appetite.
Still, there is much to be grateful for:
A cord of wood outside our door,
A fire in the fire place,
A cozy bed, a warm embrace,
Soon, the silence of snowflakes falling,
The telephone, a neighbor calling.
When November slips from sight
I will settle down to read and write,
Remembering that winter brings,
The promise of another spring.

                                                         Cuddle-up, winter's coming

There’s a touch of autumn in the air,
Not much but it is there,
Soothing a sun parched land.
There’s a ripple in the trees.
Tired leaves are touched
And tinted by a gold tipped hand.
The painter’s hand is crimson, now.
Transforming leaves and boughs
From a dusty green to gold and umber.
Frost turns the landscape into flame
And game obeys an urge
Awakened from its slumber.
There’s a touch of winter in the air,
Not much, but the trees are bare
And geese have flown from sight
Now, where the picnic table stood
Fire wood is stacked and ready
To give us warmth and fire light.
Autumn’s story, now completed,
Will, in time, be repeated.

I trace them ‘til bright beams of light
Sweep the tears and rain from sight.
                                                            I smell the rain coming!

Thank you, Joyce Riley for your lovely poems.