Gallery: Painting With Wool, Photographs and Paintings of Bay Area Beauty

(Contributed Photo)
John Brown’s Old New Orleans.

    The Lamorinda Arts Council’s June exhibit features John Brown, Tina and Rick Nelson, Teresa Onoda and Karl Stinson in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library.
    At press time, it was unknown whether the gallery will be open to the public due to the shelter-in-place order. If the building is open in June in time for the artists to hang their show, the exhibit will go forward. If not, the exhibit will be rescheduled. Go to for updated scheduling. If permissible, an artist reception is scheduled 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. June 14.
    Brown’s history as a photographer began in high school when his math teacher introduced him to photography and gathered steam from there. As photographer for his yearbook at Tulane, he met his wife while taking her picture.
    “Years ago, I spent a summer touring Europe taking photographs; there were a lot of beautiful things to see, relatively close together,” said the Orinda resident. “Here in the U.S. things are much further apart. But in California, we are lucky that there are many beautiful places within a three or four hour drive such as Yosemite, Tahoe, Point Lobos and Point Reyes.”
    Landscapes are his primary focus as is evident in the 25 photographs he is exhibiting. They include animals, sunsets and sunrises, people, places, things, black and whites and several photographs from film. His sense of depth, composition and perspective draws viewers into Lucerne, a 20” x 30” pigment photograph on stretched canvas. See what he is up to at

(Contributed Photo)
Tina Nelson’s Girl in High Top.

    Tina Nelson, of Walnut Creek, is showing approximately a dozen works she describes as “Painting with Wool.” Using 465 colors of wool from Washington, Tina Nelson often works from photographs hand stitching vibrant modern colors of wool onto linen.
    Some of her favorite artists are Wayne Thiebaud, Edward Hopper and Richard Diebenkorn. This list sheds light on how she takes a 15th Century art form – embroidery – and awakens it to her 21st Century interpretation.
    Looking at Girl in the High Top, a 17” x 20” hand-stitched wool on linen piece, it all makes sense. Taught by her mother, Nelson says crocheting and knitting are in her skill set as well as the dozen embroidery pieces to be displayed. She wants viewers to know and appreciate that beauty can be created in different ways – hand stitching wool onto linen is only one. View Tina Nelson’s virtual exhibit of her Paintings With Wool at

(Contributed Photo)
Rick Nelson’s turned wooden vessel Starburst.

    Rick Nelson is showing about a dozen wood-turned pieces. Like his wife, Tina, he is pursuing more than one art form. As president of the Oakland Art Association, he often exhibits his photographs. In the Art Gallery at Orinda he says he is happy to find shelf space for his wood turnings. His interest in woodworking began in high school and is now combined with his engineering background. He volunteers at the Mt. Diablo Woodturning Center in Pleasant Hill.
    Rick Nelson’s preference is for segmented wood turning where he concentrates on the shape, design and technique of what he is creating. His focus of late is developing different techniques to give illusions to his pieces. Starburst, a 17” x 5” turned wood vessel, is made of Peruvian walnut and maple. The dark walnut interspersed with white maple truly recalls a Starburst. View his virtual exhibit of his wood turnings at

(Contributed Photo)
Teresa Onoda’s Dressed Up in White.

    Onoda, of Moraga, is a landscape painter, meaning nature provides her a continually changing set of surprises, choices and challenges. Green hills, pear blossoms, California poppies and much more inspires her theme, “Bay Area Beauty.” She says this encompasses coastal area, rivers and streams, farmland, orchards and vineyards. While much of this beauty may soon be lost to development, Onoda is consciously working to capture it before it is gone. The Old Fence Line 48” x 42” oil painting typifies her commitment to capturing such a landscape.
    Lately, she sees many people walking in the places she habitually works plein air (painting out of doors). “Where they might take a photo or tell a friend what they’ve seen, I’ll paint it,” she says. We are reminded that stopping and appreciating what Mother Nature offers us is always a good idea. View her virtual exhibit at and more of her work at

(Contributed Photo)
Karl Stinson’s Varanasi India.

    Stinson lived in Orinda for 26 years before moving to Rossmoor. “Mark Twain’s quote about travel is at the heart of my experience,” said Stinson: ‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.’”
    Photographing people he meets while traveling internationally is his life-long passion. Stinson’s exhibit, “People of the World,” consists of 48 of his favorite color photographs; each sized 8” x 10” and labeled by location.
    While the adage, “a picture is worth 1,000 words” may be true, Stinson says, “Each of my photographs comes with a story so I’ve included written stories next to about a third of them.”
    Enigmatic describes the effect of three in particular: Himalayan Foothills Nepal, Sahara Desert Morocco and Varanasi India.
    To learn more about the Lamorinda Arts Council, go to The Art Gallery at the Orinda Library is at 26 Orinda Way. Call 925-254-2184 for information on hours or visit
    The Art Gallery at Wilder is closed through June. For updates, go to www:// or email

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