When our budgets and schedules align, I call “Date Night”!
This time our date night included a scrumptious dinner at True Food Kitchen, Pasadena, gelato at Swedish Scoops and a feast for our eyes at contemporary expressionist artist J. Louis‘ gallery opening at Arcadia Contemporary on Saturday, June 22, 2019.

For readers new to this artist, I’m pleased to share this aptly written intro by Arcadia Contemporary:
“J. Louis is known for his oil paintings of female figures, focusing on the exquisite strength and alluring complexity of women through saturated color, flattened space, and texture. His technical painting skills, his eye for capturing an expression that portrays an intimate story, and his material experimentation are combined together to create a dynamic harmony between emotion and design.”

In addition to marveling over Arcadia’s exhibitions, it is always a pleasure to kibitz with gallery owner Steve Diamont. He makes everyone feel welcome. It’s kinda like visiting family – the ones you really like. Other great artists often pop in to show support. Daniel Bilmes was there chatting with Josh. When I said hello, I was tickled that Daniel remembered me from his show a few months back, and our discussion on hosting a workshop for him at the studio. So cool!

Back to Steve Diamont…since Josh (J. Louis) lives in New York City, Steve shared with me that he made a point to introduce him to his other stellar artists who live nearby (Brad Kunkle and Casey Baugh, to name a few.) Rumor has it that when the artists hang out together they send Steve photos of themselves flipping him the birdy. Hilarious!

But seriously, I found Josh Louis to be warm and welcoming. He made us feel as if we were invited into his studio. Although many guests wanted to speak to Josh, he graciously made the time to introduce himself to my hubby and me. As an art teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed talking shop with the artist.

My hubby has an eye for detail when viewing artwork at an exhibit and has been known to pepper the artist with many questions about his or her technique. Last night was no exception, especially with Josh’s unusual paint buildups and textures. We hadn’t seen anything like it before. Josh was very kind and answered my hubby’s questions in detail. We were amazed at the methods of texture application and sequence of painting he uses. Please forgive me for not divulging Josh’s trade secrets. Thank you for understanding. I do encourage you to view his exhibit in person. You will be blown away by this stunning and eclectic collection of paintings.

As always, Arcadia Contemporary obliges my curiosity, and unlike the big museums with their testy armed guards, I’m allowed to photograph close ups of my favorite elements of the works on exhibit. Here are a dozen of my faves. All are Oil on Linen. Enjoy!


I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the extraordinary world of artist J. Louis and will find time to see his remarkable collection in person. The show runs through July 13, 2019.

To learn more about this remarkable fine artist, visit his website or follow him on Instagram.

In the meantime, here is the link to the complete online catalog.

Old Town Pasadena
39 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Phone: 626-486-2018
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm
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Pastimes For a Lifetime Art and Piano School is located in Valley Glen, California. 818-766-0614. School is open Tuesday – Saturday year round, except major holidays.
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