[Images above: “Spring Acrylic,” and “Kathleen,” partly inspired by the beauty of gardens.]
The new work of Miramar Beach artist Linda Montalto Patterson features pattern and movement that will please your eye palette–and look great on your walls. Ms. Montalto-Patterson’s latest paintings can be viewed and purchased at Moon News Bookstore, 315 Main Street, Half Moon Bay.
Linda Montalto was born in Brooklyn, New York. As a youth, her visits to the Museum of Modern Art brought her in contact with Abstract Expressionism and the paintings of Mark Rothko. His work so moved her that she made the decision to dedicate her life to art and the pursuit of beauty.
She began her advanced studies in art on the East Coast but moved west, where she received a masters degree in art at San Jose State University under the direction of Frederick Spratt.
Ms. Montalto moved to the Mediterranean coast of Spain in 1976 with her husband, who was studying the Spanish classical guitar. There, by the sea, her palette turned brighter and she began to incorporate the vibrant use of color that remains a central characteristic of her current work. She continues to be inspired and profoundly affected by her love of nature. At her current home, a cottage on the Pacific Ocean in Northern California, Linda has created a resplendent garden that has been featured on television and in the print media. She is constantly working with the color in her garden and using these natural influences in her paintings.
Linda Montalto’s work has been shown in galleries throughout the San Francisco Bay area and group shows have taken Ms. Montalto’s paintings across the continent.
My abstract work is usually begun without preconceptions. I attempt to let the paintings evolve naturally. When I do begin with set intentions, the creative process usually overtakes them and the influences of my environment, the landscapes I see, my private dreams and emotions appear in the work as a kind of self-discovery.
These paintings use a process of layering, covering and then peeling away selected bits of color and information. There is movement of one color against another, a kind of force of motion that appears again and again in the work. At times, only an edge of previous color can be seen. I make choices to expose areas or veil them with washes of transparent color. The staining techniques create a richness of color and a lush quality resulting from the drips running over the canvas.
In this current series, amoeba like characters flit about the canvas expressing change, movement and the bounty of nature.
Here’s a little interview I did with Linda last year, a walk through her beautiful garden in Miramar Beach. Click below
When I first moved here in the 1970s, there was one bookstore called Coastside Books, located in an old house on Kelly Ave, near Highway 1. The proprietors were Diane and Richard Gates, an attractive and intellectual young couple. [Friends tell me Richard still lives on the Coasstside but he doesnât use email.]
In the late 1970s Inga and Jules Sofer bought the Gatesâ Coastside Books and moved with the store several times, always seeking a more comfortable location, from Kelly Ave to Main Street, where at one point they were neighbors of Elizabeth McCaugheyâs tea and coffee shop.
When my âHalf Moon Bay Memories: The Coastsideâs Colorful Pastâ? book was published in 1978, Inga hosted a booksigning at her shop [after a gallery run by Randall Reid on Kelly Ave hosted the first one] then located in one of Half Moon Bayâs old style Main Street house.
I know this: When you talk to Inga you feel like youâre sharing words with a close friend. Her smile is warm and genuine, her wit right on target. She knows writers, local and international, and sheâs blunt when judging these artists.
And when it comes to finding extraordinary greeting cards, the kind you pen a special note on, Inga has superb taste. Iâve never seen a finer selection of artistic cards anywhere.
Inga remains the moving force and husband Jules is always supportive and friendly. I saw them today and its always a great pleasure to visit with these professionals.
I’ve known Bay Book’s Kevin Magee just as long as I’ve known Inga and Jules Sofer. By “knowing,” I mean all these folks are professional booksellers.
But they are good in different ways. While Inga’s style is more intimate, Kevin is more outgoing.
As I recollect, I first met Kevin at a bookshop he owned in San Carlos; this would be around the time my “Half Moon Bay Memories: The Coastside’s Colorful Past” was published. He at once impressed me as a go getter, as enthusiastic about his shelves and tables of books as he was about selling them to his customers.
He’s a Coastside native with a keen knowledge of history, anxious to share all he knows. If you need a book, he gets it quick and his loyal staff are book lovers, too.
In Half Moon Bay, Bay Book was first located in a “shopping center” on the east side of Highway 1 before Kevin settled into his longtime location at the Strawflower Shopping Center.
This Friday, December 14 at 7 pm, Bay Book will be hosting a booksigning for my new book, “Princeton-by-the-Sea.”
Kirk works at Moon News Bookstore, 315 Main Street, Half Moon Bay–conveniently located next door to the Pasta Moon, one of the Coastside’s finest restaurants.
Mark Sipowicz owns Moon News Bookstore–and yes, his name is spelled the same as the hard-boiled Detective Andy Sipowicz on the long running NYPD Blue tv show. But the resemblance ends there.
Mark owns a bookstore that everybody I know says has been attractively set up–it may be the “perfectly” designed bookstore– a pleasure to browse around and to easily find the right book.
The store is located next door to the Pasta Moon Restaurant, and after a delicious lunch or dinner, accented with wine, there is nothing more delightful than walking into Moon News and scanning newspapers from all over the world as well as the latest book titles.
Photo: Ronda Quain helps customers looking for all kinds of used books at Ocean Books at 416 Main Street (650.726.2665) in Half Moon Bay. The store is located in the center of the shopping district, near restaurants and boutiques.
Whenever I walk by Ocean Books, I always check out the titles displayed in the window. Thatâs where the books I missed the first time around are, and Iâm always surprisedâ Iâll point and say to Burt, âLook! Thereâs a book about the history of wine, modern architecture or a great mystery story I always wanted to readâcollector items as well.
Ocean Books is chocked full of used books, all in fine condition, paperbacks and clothbound. Thatâs their specialty and if thereâs book thatâs hard to find, theyâll try to get it.
Inkspell is new to me as a bookstore–located in the historic Half Moon Bay Mercantile Building at 500 Purissima Street (650.726.65711) in Half Moon Bay, next door to the quirky cafe called La Di Da.
When I came here in the 1970s, the Mercantile Building housed a meat market. Across the way stood the Half Moon Bay Post Office, then very small, and even earlier that location belonged to the two-story Occidental Hotel (where the stagecoach dropped passengers off in the 1890s.)
We often park near Inkspell and I always look at the window display, filled with best-selling books as well games and children’s toys…