E.A. Photo by: Claudia Pardo Erik Abel

Art Throb

Erik Abel is making waves

By Claudia Pardo 01/24/2013



Paulo’s palette

Born in Santa Paula and raised in Fillmore, Paulo Ruvalcaba, an acclaimed local artist, has been increasingly earning notoriety in Ventura County. It’s no surprise, given the popularity of his oil portraits. Right out of high school, Ruvalcaba saved enough money to travel to Italy, where he studied oil painting at the Florence Academy of Art. He studied character animation at CalArts, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. Currently, he spends his time among freelance illustration, fine art painting and teaching.

Ruvalcaba’s digitally rendered images for his work as illustrator are fantastical renderings that contain a subtle innocence. In contrast, his oil portraits demonstrate a mature painting style.  He focuses on four elements: shapes, value, edges and color. With subdued colors — mostly monochromatic palettes — within loose but determined brushstrokes, he captures the poise and personality of his subjects in a manner that shows a strong mastery of the medium. He recently gave a demonstration on portrait painting for the Santa Paula Society of the Arts. To learn more about Ruvalcaba, visit www.pauloruvalcaba.com.

Erik Abel is making waves

Ventura artist and designer Erik Abel — known for his bold geometric designs, unique graphic patterns and shapes, and Eastern-inspired images of waves — has released a series of limited-edition prints on FSC-certified birch plywood for Waves for Water, a nonprofit organization working toward global change one glass of clean water at a time.
Waves for Water’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Initiative struck a chord with Abel, whose travels have gained him clear insight about the world along with abundant artistic inspiration. Each print is a very limited edition of 25, with 15 percent of sales donated to Waves for Water. Additionally, Abel will donate 5 percent of sales from art on his site to reach his goal of raising $5,000 for the cause.

Abel’s efforts to use his art for a good cause have resulted in meaningful partnerships with a variety of organizations, including Surfrider, SurfAid, Save the Waves and Heal the Bay. He is currently exhibiting his work at the Sandbox Coffe House and West Side Cellar in Ventura, and at the popular Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., for which he designed the official artwork.

If you aren’t yet convinced about why you should support Abel’s cause, take a minute to read his blog. It is chock-full of original art, works in progress, cool vids and a very honest look at the artist’s journey. Go to www.abelarts.com/w4w or www.abelarts.com/blog.

Following the White Rabbit

The White Rabbit Cafe, a Fiilipino fusion eatery in Oxnard, is getting more urban, hip and creative by actively partnering with local organizations within the arts community.

The cafe is showcasing artwork by various local artists on a monthly rotation. Last month, it featured two dozen works from the Channel Islands College Art Club on the walls, some of it for sale. A portion of the commission earned from the sales will be donated back to the club. For more information, visit www.whiterabbittruck.com.

ArtThrob is a monthly column by artist Claudia Pardo, who is interested in what quickens an artist’s pulse and keeps him or her producing work despite less-than-ideal circumstances. If you’re a Ventura County artist, send her an e-mail and introduce yourself.

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