Santa Paula Times

SPSA: Demo by acclaimed painter R. Jay Ewing Sunday

September 05, 2012
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula Society of the Arts will be featuring an acclaimed painter whose career has included costume design and graphic design as the Demonstration Artist of the Month at their September 9 meeting.

R. Jay Ewing, who works in both watercolor and oil, will share his techniques at the SPSA demonstration meeting to be held at the Depot Gallery, 200 E. Santa Barbara St. (at the corner of 10th Street). 

As always, the public is welcome to the meeting, held from 2 to 4 p.m. and featuring light refreshments. You might even have a chance to win an art prize!

A native of New Mexico, Ewing’s earliest art influence was his grandmother, an illustrator who trained at Chicago Fine Arts Institute. Ewing said his grandmother taught him the value of art, while also providing him a great deal of encouragement.

In 1976 he moved to California to become a student at Pasadena’s famed Art Center College of Design, from which he graduated with a BFA in Illustration in 1980. Ewing’s early career as an illustrator provided him the opportunity to work in the movie industry as a set and costume designer and, eventually, a storyboard artist.

In 1984 he established the business, which would become Ewing & Beland, a graphic design firm in Monrovia. The business’ international client base, along with his love of travel, were the reasons he became fascinated with painting on location in various parts of the world.

Ewing is happiest when traveling with his paint box, and as an avid sailor he is drawn to waterfront scenes, boats and ships of all kinds, and the sea itself. In addition, he finds subjects in historic architecture, rural scenes and pastoral farmlands, mountains and other natural subjects, and in gardens and parks. 

According to the society’s Virginia Gunderson, Ewing is “wonderful at taking modern settings and putting them back in time,” which lends to them a charming, nostalgic feeling.

Ewing works in both watercolor and oil, finding that staying abreast of each medium’s challenges gives him a well-rounded artistic approach. His strongest influences have been the wonderful marine scenes painted by John Stobart, Montague Dawson and others, as well as the nature canvases created by Scott Christensen and Paul Strisik. Historic influences have been John Singer Sargent, William Wendt, and the artists of the Hudson River School.

Ewing has studied with watercolorist Tony Couch and has taken classes from Ron Chesley, Frank Serrano and, most recently, Margot Lennartz. He is an active member of the California Art Club, Mid-Valley Arts League, and the San Gabriel Fine Arts Association. He resides in Pasadena, California, with his wife - and travel companion - Carole.

For more information about the Santa Paula Society of the Arts, visit the website The Depot Gallery is open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., and at other times for tour groups by appointment. When visiting the Gallery, don’t forget the society SPSA Gift Shoppe featuring a large assortment of art and unique gifts available at very reasonable prices. 

For more information call the society at 525-1104.