Hosted by the Coast Redwoods Art Association, the festival expanded its focus to include crafts such as homemade jewelry and handmade clothing. But, according to Bunny Phillips, chairwoman of the 2014 show, finding enough artists to fill the building was tough.
“I talked to every person I thought would fit in. I went to the Farmers Market and the Azalea Festival,” said Phillips, who operates the Crescent Harbor Art Gallery. “I was lucky to get 25.”
Paul Kingsbury of Gold Beach is one artist Phillips found at the Azalea Festival. Kingsbury, who came to Gold Beach from Prescott, Ariz., specializes in seascapes and coastlines using acrylic paint. He stood before an enormous painting of a wave crashing on the shore.
“This coast is really nice,” he said. “It’s got a cool summer, and it’s got a mild winter. Then it’s got the scenery. You can’t beat the scenery. I hope everybody who lives here is thankful.”
Even though she’s not exactly local, Carol St. James McKim, who’s visiting from Blythe, said she loves it here.
“It’s a joy and a delight to discover Crescent City,” she said. “The people here are amazing.”
After her first visit in 2011, much of McKim’s work featured Del Norte County birds, including Anna’s and rufous hummingbirds, osprey and sand pipers. She said she came up with a color-coded price system allowing children to take part in the festival as well.
“I can make my art affordable, especially for children, so they can have an original piece of art,” McKim said, turning over one of her painted rocks to reveal the blue, red or white dot that indicated the price, which ranged from $1 to $5. “The parents can control the price.”
Crescent City artists Jenny Bayon and Holly Jacot also focus on kids in their work. At the show, the sisters showed off what will be featured in their new children’s book.
Bayon and Jacot grew up painting murals in their bathroom at home and on their bedroom walls. They took lessons from Dorothy Ishoy at the Crescent Harbor Art Gallery and did individual projects throughout town.
“We both have children, so we tried to find ocean-themed things,” Jacot said, referring to the effort, an alphabet book with a different creature or item for each letter. “This is our first big project together.”
As adults both Jacot and Bayon have had their work featured in various locations, including a poster contest for the Del Norte Child Care Council’s Rocking at Rowdy music festival later this summer. Bayon’s poster featuring woodland creatures was chosen as the winner.
As for their book, the sisters said they did research to try to find animals that are unique.
“We’re four paintings away from being done with the alphabet,” Bayon said. “The illustrations have taken two months, working pretty steadily.”
Jacot and Bayon also sell their art on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/DreamofSky.
For more information about Kingsbury, visit www.paulekingsburystudio.com.