Style File: Double Duty Beauty

We’re all about multi-tasking these days, so anything that can help streamline my morning routine gets a thumbs up Merle Norman CC Broad Spectrum SPF 30in my book. Here are a few double duty products we’ve been loving around here.

Merle Norman CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30

One of my favorite trends continuing into this season is the nude or more natural looking face. Designers like Stella McCartney, Chloe, Narciso Rodriguez and others show off their latest designs with velvety smooth faces and natural pink lips. Merle Norman‘s new CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is a great way to achieve smooth, light coverage, while evening out skin tone and providing a nice sunscreen as well. It’s made from good natural stuff— Watermelon Rind, Lentil Fruit and Apple Extracts—and it also features Lumiesse, which contains a stable version of Vitamin C to deliver Murad Invisabluryouthful radiance. I’m all for that!

Murad’s Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 

Murad’s Invisiblur is another great multi-tasker I’ve tried recently. Made from ingredients like Shitake Mushroom Peptides, Black Currant, Rosemary and Goldenrod Extracts (sounds like a great salad), this new product treats the visible signs of aging, blurs imperfections, and protectse.l.f. Studio Bronzer against UV damage. Plus it feels great on your skin!


e.l.f. Studio Bronzer

Multitone Bronzers are the ultimate product to give you a nice glow, with a mix of a few different shades that can be worn separately or swirled together for natural-looking warmth. To get even more out of your palette, use the pink or peach tones as blush and swipe the earthy brown shades on your lids.

Lush UltrabalmLush Ultrabalm

This versatile balm can be used all over your body! A great product to stash in your purse or glove compartment, it locks in moisture, protects skin, soothes scrapes and burns, makes your lips shiny and even tames flyaway hair in a pinch!

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 24, 2015.


Local Lowdown: Harvesting H2O

Harvesting H20

Courtesy of Skywell

Who says you can’t produce anything out of thin air? Imagine filling your glass with clean, fresh drinking water made from the air. While it may sound like science fiction, Skywell LLC has developed a series of products that create air water, a new source of water designed to be a sustainable alternative to conventional drinking water sources.

At a recent event at Hotel Indigo, which is one of a dozen Southern California hotels and businesses piloting the company’s first models for free in a “first-glass program,” Skywell co-founder and president Jonathan Carson reminded guests that Luke Skywalker’s character in Star Wars was a “moisture farmer” before becoming a Jedi.

Check out the new technology in the lobby of Hotel Indigo, 121 State St., (with an updated version later this year) or at UCSB’s Bren School. For more information, visit

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Spring 2015.

Videos From CALM’s 29th Annual Celebrity Authors’ Luncheon

CALM-logoCALM’s (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) 29th Annual Celebrity Authors’ Luncheon last weekend was, as always, a rousing success, thanks in large part to the hard work of co-chairs Becky Cohn and Carolyn Gillio.

A tear-jerking video presentation brought the work that CALM does in the community to the forefront of the luncheon–to prevent, assess, and treat child abuse by providing comprehensive, services for children and their families–inspiring the approximately 500 supporters at the luncheon to dig deep into their pockets to help abused children.

Then it was on to the main show, where retired KEYT anchor Debby Davison and Tom Weitzel interviewed an interesting panel of authors, including Cindy Chupack (The Longest Date: Life as a Wife, Sex & the City), Andrew Marlowe (Castle, Derrick Storm series) and Hank Phillippi Ryan (The Other Woman) . Here are some snippets from the event.

For more information about CALM, visit Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on March 17, 2015.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Cocktail Corner: When Life Gives You Lemons

Hanky-Pinky, courtesy Limoneira

Hanky-Pinky, courtesy Limoneira

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

When life you gives you lemons, they may as well be pretty in pink!

Lemons mostly come in shades of  yellow, but Limoneira Company—a 120-year-old international agribusiness headquartered just down the road in Santa Paula—has a beautiful line of variegated pink lemons and an array of delicious pink lemon cocktails designed just for them by mixologists across the country.

Pucker up! These cocktails are a lot of fun and perfect for the beautiful spring days we’ve been having.

Pink Lemon Rumble

You’ll need: 1 bottle red wine; 150 ml strong tea; 100 ml pineapple juice; 80 ml rum; Juice of 1 pink lemon; 100 g sugar; 200 g pineapples and 50 ml sherry

Place the pineapple pieces in a punch bowl and pour the sherry over them. Chill for 2 hours. Place tea and sugar in a pot; add wine, juice of a pink lemon and rum. Heat but do not boil the mixture. Pour over the pineapple pieces and sherry.

Pinkee Plus

You’ll need: 1 fifth vodka; 3 oz pink lemon juice; 9 oz cherries and 2 liters lemon-lime soda

Pour Maraschino cherries and their juice into a two-gallon jug. Add vodka and let soak for a few minutes. Add the pink lemon juice and fill with sprite. Pour mixture into a serving container and strain out cherries. Serve over ice, with cherries dropped in.

Pink Persuasion

Pink Varigated Lemons, courtesy Limoneira

Pink Varigated Lemons, courtesy Limoneira

You’ll need: 1 oz tequila, 1 oz citrus vodka, 2 oz Limoncello lemon liqueur, ½ oz pink lemon juice and 3 oz lemon-lime soda

Fill shaker with ice and add ingredients. Shake a few times then pour into cocktail glass.

Pink Stinger

You’ll need: ½ liter sweet sherry; ½ liter brandy; 3 oz triple sec; 3 oz maraschino liqueur; 2 liters champagne; 1 liter soda water; 6 oz juice of pink lemons and 5 oz sugar syrup

Add to punch bowl with sufficient ice to chill. Serve with sliced fruit.


You’ll need: 2 oz gin; 2 oz of juice from pink lemon and ¾ oz grenadine syrup

Pour ingredients into a shaker half-filled with ice. Shake well and pour into a lowball glass. Garnish with pink lemon slice.

Lemon martini, courtesy LimoneiraPink Goose

You’ll need: 3 cups vodka, 5 cups homemade lemonade; 2 cups cranberry juice; 3 tbsp pink lemon juice; 4 cups ginger ale; 4 cups ice cubes; frozen cranberry for garnish and 1 pink lemon slice for garnish

Combine the lemonade, cranberry juice, pink lemon juice and vodka in a punch bowl and mix well. Just before serving, slowly pour in the ginger ale. Add the ice cubes. Garnish with the frozen cranberries and pink lemon slices; serve immediately.

Pink Thunder 

You’ll need: 1 oz melon liqueur; 1 oz peach liqueur; ½ oz pineapple juice; 3 strawberries; 1 mango chunk; 1 ½ oz vodka; 1 splash of juice of a pink lemon and 1 splash of crème de cassis

Mix everything in a blender with 5-6 ice cubes for 10 seconds. Pour into glass. Garnish with piece of pink lemon.

Pink Archipelago

You’ll need: 2 oz white rum; 2-3 dashes grenadine syrup, 1 tsp powdered sugar and ½ oz pink lemon juice

Shake well over ice cubes in a shaker, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Rumba Rose

You’ll need: 1 ½ oz lemon rum; 2 oz sweet and sour mix; ½ oz juice of a pink lemon and ½ oz cranberry juice

Shake and strain into a chilled, sugar-rimmed glass. Garnish with a slice of pink lemon.

 Pink Tingle

You’ll need: 1 oz Blue Curacao liqueur; 1 oz Jamaican dark rum; 1 oz grenadine syrup; 100 ml lemonade using pink lemons and ice cubes

Place ice in shaker, add all ingredients and shake well. Pour into shot glass to drink.

Packapink Punch

You’ll need: 1 liter Applejack; 2 cups orange juice; 5 oz grapefruit juice; 2 oz grenadine syrup; ½ oz orange bitters; ½ oz pink lemon juice; 1 qt lemon-lime soda; 1 qt ginger ale; 1 slice orange and 1 sliced apple

Combine the Applejack, orange juice, grapefruit juice, pink lemon juice, grenadine and orange bitters in a large punch bowl and stir well. Add lemon-lime soda and ginger ale; stir again. Add one large block of ice. Garnish with pink lemon slice.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 13, 2015.

Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg


When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

News From Over the Hill

What’s Going on in North County This Spring


Take flight over wine country with Sky’s the Limit Ballooning Adventures. Courtesy photo.

Craft Beer Month

It takes a lot of beer to make good wine, which is probably why the craft beer movement has exploded in Santa Ynez Valley. Our local wine country celebrates the virtues of beer for the entire month of May, when suds lovers can enjoy an impressive array of out-of-the-ordinary tastings, classes, dinners, demos and more. One of the highlights is the Buellton BrewFest. Featuring more than 50 breweries (and some wineries), life-sized beer pong, food trucks and three live bands, this fun festival is sure to sell out, so buy your tickets early. | Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer Month, May 1–31, various locations, Buellton BrewFest, Riverview Park, 151 Sycamore Dr., Buellton, May 9, VIP 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; general admission, 12:30–4 p.m.,


Cowboy entertainer Dave Stamey appears in Tales from the Tavern at the Maverick Saloon, courtesy of Dave Stamey.

Tales From the Tavern

Come hunker down at Maverick Saloon, Santa Barbara County’s quintessential cowboy bar, for the tavern’s annual concert series. Dave Stamey, who True West Magazine named the “Best Living Western Solo Musician,” takes the stage on March 11. This cowboy, mule packer, dude wrangler has delighted audiences in 14 states and says that he prefers this to being stomped by angry horses. Jamaican-born reggae singer-songwriter Owen Plant and Brother Sun play on March 25; then musician, rancher, storyteller and Canadian icon Ian Tyson tells his tales in a special Thursday night performance on April 16. Wrapping up the spring season on April 29 is American musical legend Janis Ian, who began her professional life at 12 years old and is probably best known for hits like “Society’s Child,” “At Seventeen” and “Between the Lines.” Fun fact: Ian was the very first musical guest on the debut broadcast of Saturday Night Live on October 11, 1975. | Maverick Saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez, 805/688-0383,


One of the best ways to enjoy the valley is to go up, up and away in a hot air balloon with Sky’s the Limit Ballooning Adventures. Flights capture beautiful views over the wine country surrounded by transverse mountain ranges, the Channel Islands, Lake Cachuma and the historic towns of Solvang, Los Olivos, Buellton, Santa Maria and Paso Robles. A variety of packages are available, including one that includes wine tasting at vineyards such as Bedford, Alma Rosa, Rusack, Brander, Carhartt, Bridlewood, Dierberg and Blair Fox. | Sky’s the Limit Ballooning Adventures, Santa Ynez Valley Airport, 900 Airport Rd., Santa Ynez, 760/602-0295,


Craft Beer Month in May is an excellent time to taste small batch beers, courtesy Firestone Walker Brewing.

The Penelopiad

Margaret Atwood’s new stage adaptation of her wry, witty and wise novella The Penelopiad is a reimagining of the ancient story of the Trojan War, Helen of Troy and Odysseus, told from the point of view of Penelope (perhaps the first desperate housewife to appear in art). She fends off the attentions of greedy suitors, as traveling minstrels regale her with the news of Odysseus’s epic adventures around the Mediterranean, only to have him repay her devotion with heart-wrenching ruthlessness. This PCPA (Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts) production runs March 5–22. | Severson Theatre, Allan Hancock College Campus, 1100 S. Bradley, Santa Maria, 805/922-8313,


Taste the best of Solvang this March, photo by Liz Dodder.

Taste of Solvang

There’s always something delicious going on in Solvang, but they really bring out all the stops at this annual event. Now in its 23rd year, Taste of Solvang offers a menu—from farm-to-table rustic Italian cuisine to new American and modern Danish fare, plus desserts in all forms, award-winning beers and world-class wines—that’s sure to please every palate. This year’s highlights include Farmers Market Chef Walks led by Chef Budi Kazali of The Ballard Inn & Restaurant, Chef David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante and Chef James Owens of The Bistro at Hadsten House; Bubbles and Brunch at Wildling Museum; a Winemaker Dinner with Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery and Bacon & Brine’s Chef Pink; plus sips and sweets, the Solvang Wine and Beer Walk, the Grand Tasting with treats from more than 30 businesses and much, much more! | March 18–22, various locations throughout Solvang. 805/688-6144,

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Spring 2015.

Style File: Nerium Skincare Products

Nerium's line age-defying skincare products. Courtesy photo.

Nerium’s line age-defying skincare products. Courtesy photo.

So many people I know are raving about Nerium skincare products, not to mention signing up to sell them, the buzz is almost deafening. I’ve been testing them for a couple of months now and have been quite pleased with the results.

According to the experts, the secret ingredient in their popular NeriumAD night cream and day cream, and also in the NeriumFirm body contouring cream, is the exclusive, patented NAE-8 extract–a combination of antioxidants that have anti-aging properties and aloe, which hydrates, firms and soothes skin tissue.

What I know is this: my skin looks better. It’s not an inexpensive product, but if you apply it to wet skin then a little goes a long way. Plus, both the night and day creams address multiple skincare concerns at once, including the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, enlarged pores and uneven skin texture.

They also have another product called NeriumFirm, which works to improve the appearance of cellulite and dimpling on common “problem-areas” (like love handles, or your thighs, waist and upper arms).

If you’ve been on the fence about attending one of the events for this product, I’d say it’s worth checking out. For more information visit    

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 10, 2015.

Local Lowdown: Flock Soars into Lotusland

Put a Bird on It!

This spring, the otherworldly dreaminess of Lotusland transforms into a real-world call for awareness as FLOCK: Birds on the Brink comes to the garden. 

Story by Leslie Dinaberg

Inspired by the interdependency of bird species to plant species, and to the human race, this contemporary art exhibit celebrates the daily presence of birds in our gardens and communities while illustrating the critical impact of wild bird populations on our ecosystems and our own well-being. Guest curator Nancy Gifford (the same talented dynamo who brought the buzz-worthy bee-themed SWARM to the venue in 2013 and GONE in 2012) and the Lotusland team gathered artworks and commissioned installations from more than 30 local and international artists, which are displayed in the pavilion and—for the first time—throughout the garden.

“It should be quite a provocative and visceral experience,” says Gifford, who hopes to inspire action from all those who encounter FLOCK. “This year, we are covering the issues about birds…it’s about the interrelatedness of species and how important birds are.” She continues, “Plus there’s a tremendous amount of great artists worldwide who work with birds and the bird theme. It’s amazing.”

The exhibit, which opened on February 28 and runs through May 23, is amazing. Approaching the Pavilion Gallery, visitors duck beneath a courtyard “ceiling” of empty black cages titled Silent Spring, their doors open in wait for the return of songbirds long extinct. Upon entering, one quickly encounters the foreboding David Hochbaum blackbird Murmuration installation hovering over Laurie Hogin’s splashy Darwinian landscapes, Robyn Geddes’s moody color field birds, a burning crow by local artist Keith Puccinelli and embellished taxidermy specimens from New Zealand artist Karley Feaver.

Then there are various mechanical devices by Jane Edden, Juan Fontanive and Norman Reed, as well as a “chick bar” diorama by Michael Long. Next is the “nest” room full of surprises by Esther Traugot, Gayle Stevens, Philip Koplin, Liza Myers, Maria Rendon and the mesmerizing video Bobe’s Legend by Macedonian artist Robert Gligorov. Visitors then go through the pavilion into the main gallery, which features large-scale haunting bird works by Fatemeh Burnes. A robotic wing chair by Alan Macy flaps to the beat of a “bird dance” video by Robin Bisio that encircles an aviary centerpiece installation full of musical and avian surprises.

FLOCK also expands beyond the Pavilion Gallery to include six outdoor installations hidden throughout the gardens. Expect to encounter a Murder of Crows in the newly restored blue garden, Gary Smith’s human-scale nests, R.T. Livingston’s camouflaged Sitting Ducks: Hiding in Plain Sight by the lotus pool, a larger-than-life caged topiary peacock by Joe Shelton and a birdbath sound machine by Carlos Padilla and Pod Nest by Luis Velazquez in the pavilion courtyard. Other participating artists include Sharon Beals, Penelope Gottlieb, James Hodgson, Nathan Huff, Pamela Larsson-Toscher, Anne Luther, Kaoru Mansour, Cheryl Medow, Tom Mielko and Susan Tibbles.

FLOCK: Birds on the Brink is on view at Lotusland from Saturday, February 28 through Saturday, May 23. Visitors may see the exhibit as part of a docent-guided tour offered at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Reservations are required. For reservations, call 805/969-9990 or visit for more information.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Spring 2015.

Cocktail Corner: Lots of Ways to Eat, Drink and Make Merry

Kurt Russell, photo by Isaac Hernandez

Kurt Russell will take part in the annual Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend at the Bacara Resort. Photo by Isaac Hernandez

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

There’s no shortage of fun wine, beer and cocktail events in Santa Barbara County, but the next few weeks are particularly eventful.

Here’s a look at some of the toast-worthy happenings:

March 6-7 World of Pinot Noir

Indulge in the pleasures of Pinot Noir at the beautiful Bacara this spring, when the 15th Annual World of Pinot Noir unites producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education. Last year’s event set a high bar for wonderful wines. Sip and savor at the Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 805/489-1758,

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

March 18-22 Taste of Solvang

Celebrate the 23rd year of “Taste of Solvang” Food & Wine Destination Weekend with a five-day experience that encourages attendees to embark on “a culinary journey through Solvang, where wine country meets ‘dine country.” Highlights include the ​two-day Taste of Solvang Wine & Beer Walk, which allows guests to taste their pick from more than a dozen participating wine tasting rooms, wine bars and beer bars during the two-day stroll through Solvang Village. In addition, there’s a special Winemaker Dinner in a greenhouse setting with local winemaker and vineyard owner, Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery, and a carefully-curated pairing menu by Bacon & Brine’s Chef Pink. New this year is Bubbles & Brunch, an exclusive brunch held at Solvang’s Wildling Museum, featuring three different sparkling wines from local label, Flying Goat Cellars’ “Goat Bubbles” – a Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, and a sparkling Rosé. Flying Goat Cellars Winemaker, Norm Yost, is available to walk guests through each sparkling wine and the sparkling winemaking process. Various locations throughout Solvang. Tickets are available at, and for further information, visit

Garagiste Southern Exposure 2015March 27-29 Southern Exposure Festival in Solvang 

This popular festival returns to Veterans’ Hall in Solvang for what Festival co-founder Stewart McLennan promises will be “our best Southern Exposure ever—with many more exciting wine discoveries on tap from Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara County.” The weekend of events will showcase the wines of over 60 artisan garagiste commercial winemakers who produce under 1,500 cases per year from the Santa Barbara region and the Central Coast. As an added benefit, the nonprofit Garagiste Festivals benefit the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program. For more information on The Garagiste Festivals, go to

April 16—19 Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend 

Now in its second year at the Bacara, the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend showcases the distinct tastes, sights and sounds of Santa Barbara County while also bringing cutting-edge culinary talent from across the country to our region. This multi-faceted event, which includes cooking classes with famed chefs, local wine and food tastings, movie screenings, special presentations and much more, is a benefit for The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. Among the highlights this year is a special dinner with actor/winemaker Kurt Russell on April 18.  Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta.

April 18 Earth Day Pop-Up Farm-to-Table Dinner

When the sun goes down on Saturday’s Earth Day celebration, a large community table pops in front of the main stage immediately after the last band. The only activity in the park with an admission fee, this four-course locavore feast—a benefit for Community Environmental Council—features seasonal delights from New West Catering and Cultivate Events, as well as local wine pairings and live music. This limited-seating special event will sell out, so get your tickets early. | Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St., 7 p.m. For tickets contact Kathi King at 805/963-0583 ext.108, or visit festival-highlights/farm-to-table-dinner.

April 19 Magic on the Urban Wine Trail III

Join the Parks and Recreation Community Foundation (PARC) for its third annual fundraising bash, Magic on the Urban Wine Trail, where music, art and wine meet.  Enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting featuring more than 12 wineries from the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail, while you mingle with friends, enjoy local art and music and feel great about supporting Parks and Recreation programs for under-served youth.  There is also a silent auction, raffle and bottles of favorite wines for purchase. Carrillo Recreation Center Ballroom, 100 E. Carrillo St., 3-6 p.m. 805/897-1946,

Hope to see some of you there. Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns. Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on March 6, 2015.

Leslie DinabergWhen she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Editor’s Pick: World of Pinot Noir

EP 1

Courtesy photo.

World of Pinot Noir

Indulge in the pleasures of Pinot Noir at the beautiful Bacara this spring, when the 15th Annual World of Pinot Noir unites producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education. Last year’s event set a high bar for wonderful wines. Sip and savor on March 6–7 at Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 805/489-1758,

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Spring 2015.

Inside the Flat File

Paintings on Guitar, by John Chervinsky, courtesy of wall space gallery

Paintings on Guitar, by John Chervinsky, courtesy of wall space gallery

There’s something magical about searching for art amidst the flat files. As wall space gallery owner Crista Dix says, “Looking through the flat files at the gallery is like heading to a buffet and coming back for thirds and fourths. Every drawer is filled with unique work, unlike the drawer before it, and the one after unlocks even more visual desserts.” 

Let’s take a peek inside the flat files.

Story by Leslie Dinaberg 

Aline Smithson

This series, entitled “Spring Fever,” is a take on childhood, womanhood and the future. Inspired by Michael Apted’s ongoing “7-Up” documentary series—chronicling the lives of British children every seven years through adulthood—based on the Jesuit maxim, “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.”

Aline Smithson says, “In this case, I give you the girl. ‘Spring Fever’ explores the idea of childhood and beyond, capturing seven-year-old girls wearing 1950’s spring hats. Juxtaposing hats traditionally worn by women half a century older with the visual of a child on the threshold of knowledge and sophistication allows us a glimpse into the future, and possibly a reflection of a face that wore a head full of flowers long ago.”

Smithson has had solo exhibitions throughout the United States, China and Europe and her work is in a number of museum collections. 

John Chervinsky

This work represents John Chervinsky’s photographic investigation into the nature of time, light, space and gravity. He creates these conceptual pieces by first composing and photographing a still life; cropping a subset of the image and sending it to a painting factory in China; waiting for an anonymous artist to complete an oil painting of the cropped section, and send it back in the mail; then reinserting the painting into the original setup and re-photographing the piece.

Chervinsky states, “ I’m interested in issues relating to perspective. I’m interested in the tensions expressed in the comparison between reality versus representation. I’m interested what happens when I collaborate with another artist that has no idea that they are involved in a collaboration, and I’m interested in seeing and expressing subtle changes over time that we might otherwise take for granted.”

Bill Finger

With a background in photography and more than 20 years working on movie sets, Bill Finger creates photographs of miniature scenes that seem life-sized. Handcrafting each element, he builds miniature dioramas of narrative scenes that serve as the subject of his large-scale photographs. 

“… I put the camera into the scenes as though it’s the viewer’s point of view, making the viewer a participant,” states Finger. “I also play with the idea of a filmic place that only exists to be photographed and then is destroyed after the photograph [is shot]. This happens in real life too. … I’m creating temporary places that are coming out of my imagination, but they exist in the real world as long as it takes me to photograph them.”

Space Oddity, featuring work by Bill Finger, John Chakeres, Charles Grogg and Ryan Zoghlin, will be on view from May 30 through June 28 at wall space gallery, 116 E. Yanonali St. C-1, 805/637-3898,


The subject matter in this series is botanicals frozen in blocks of ice. The ice is as important as the flowers it encases, providing an element of the unexpected and unpredictable. This element can be likened to the Japanese principle of wabi sabi—beauty in nature in all its imperfections.

“Taking spring flowers and stopping time, Ryuijie has managed to mix line, form and texture to brilliant effect,” says Crista Dix, owner of wall space gallery. Crafted by freezing the blooms, then illuminating them with light, these painterly images capture the eternal warmth of the season.

Ryuijie, who was born in Otaru, Japan, has steadfastly pursued his own photographic vision for more than 30 years. An exceptionally prolific artist, works by Ryuijie can be found in private and public collections worldwide.

“Photography is such a unique art form. Most think it’s about what image can be captured from a phone, like landscapes or selfies, but photography can be so much more,” says Dix. “It is fun for me to be involved in releasing someone’s creativity when they come in to look at work and see anything is possible.” 

All photographs pictured can be found in the flat files at wall space gallery.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Spring 2015.