If you're a regular at Beach House you know I like to give art to mark special occasions. My reasoning is simple: it's a unique gift choice - even if it's a print, or an edition, I'll choose a frame that nobody else will have - but more importantly art is something everybody can enjoy everyday.
For our second anniversary in Beach House I wanted to get The Guy a painting to hang on the sandstone wall in the great room. It had to be large enough for the space, abstract, have some sort of significance to our lives and of course, I had to know we'd both love it.
It took a while but eventually I found a large oil on canvas by Californian artist Don Clausen entitled Abstract (1984) at a California auction house.
I was immediately drawn to the colour of the painting, the touches of rose pink and aqua amongst the browns and ochre but it's the sculptural quality of the paint on the canvas that keeps me looking at the painting every day and finding something unique each time; even though Abstract (1984) is composed of geometric shapes there's a sense of movement in it that makes it feel alive. We loved it so much I hunted for more and a couple of years later I found a much earlier (1966) painting, Blue Bird, that now hangs on The Guy's office wall.
Don Clausen has been producing great art including pen and ink drawings, sculptures and assemblages for more than fifty years and he's still working. His most recent exhibition at the Alta Galleria in Berkeley features his latest series Tak, Danish for "Thank you", inspired by artists and musicians like Stan Getz, Salvador Dali and Erik Satie. We were very disappointed to miss last year's retrospective celebrating 50 years of work but on our wishlist of future trips is a stay in northern California and a visit to a gallery to see more of his magnificent paintings.