Artists of Marin

Marin Art Directory


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Alexander Carl Bratenahl

Alexander Carl Bratenahl (1946-1993) was an artist of West Marin who was associated with the Bay Area figurative and abstract expressionism movements, before his untimely death from AIDs. Alexander had studied at Stanford University. The Marin Independent Journal and contemporary artists paid tribute to him, during his retrospective show in Point Reyes Station, April 2015: “Bratenahl would bring members of the Cockettes, the San Francisco drag troupe, to sleepy West Marin, shocking some people and delighting others.” (source:

Art Holman
artist, sculptor

Art Holman (1926-2015) painted and sculpted for over 50 years, including landscapes and “outer space oils”. His artist statement includes: “Living in the San Geronimo Valley in Marin County and walking and hiking in the woods and hills has given me my subject matter: nature, light, color, with an abstract matrix.” Holman had a BFA from the University of New Mexico. He exhibited at the Whitney, Smithsonian, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the DeYoung Museum.

Arthur Okamura
artist, painter, illustrator

Arthur Okamura (1932-2009) was an American artist who worked in screen printing, drawing and painting. He lived in Bolinas, California, and was Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, California. His work is in the permanent collections at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum in New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He is associated with the San Francisco Renaissance. He illustrated numerous works of literature and poetry, including Just Space: Poems, 1979-1989 and 1234567890, and also created illustrations for the TV movie The People.  (source:

Charles “Charlie” Kleiman

Charlie Kleiman (d. 2016) was a Marin County stone sculptor, specializing in marble and alabaster. “Charles Kleiman of San Rafael, a 62-year-old retired computer programmer who was enjoying a second career as a stone sculptor, was killed in a head-on crash in New Jersey.” (MIJ 03/18/16)

Eric Norstad
ceramic artist and architect

Eric Norstad (1924-2013) was an award-winning potter and architect. Norstad was born in Valhalla, New York. He moved his family to Marin County, California in 1959. He built a kiln in the basement of their new home and began selling pots at street fairs and at word of mouth home pottery sales.

In 1960-1962 Eric Norstad worked as an architect in Tiburon, California, before he opened Norstad Pottery, building a larger kiln on their property. Norstad credits much of his success to the right time and place. The 1960s American craft movement was taking off and individual artists were able to make a living. With business booming Norstad hired other potters to help with production, including Toru Hasegawa, Jack Sears, and Michael Campbell to help with production. (source: image from

Gage Taylor

Gage Taylor (d. 2000) was a visionary artist known in part for his psychedelic posters, who resided in Woodacre, California. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum in New York, the Paris Biennalle, the Smithsonian, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Some of his psychedelic works became posters, including Mescaline Woods and The Road. He also created the album cover art for Brujo. (source:

George Demont Otis

George Demont Otis (1879-1962) was an American Impressionist and landscape artist. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and studied at the Chicago Fine Art Academy. During his art career, Otis restored and designed for the stage at the Chicago Opera House, worked a spell as a Hollywood scene designer, and painted the landscapes and native peoples of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. He moved his home and studio to Kentfield, California in the 1930′s.

Books about Otis:

Jack Beck

Jack Beck (1920-2016) enjoyed a long career as a fine artist and painter. He was born in Poland and emigrated to Mill Valley, California. His accomplishments include founding the First Tuesday Mill Valley Art Walk with Marin Art Festival Director Tyson Underwood in 1982. In the 1990s, Jack also created the Mill Valley Paint-Off, the annual plein-air painting competition in the Mill Valley Plaza. He was named a Master Artist at the Marin Art Festival in 2013 in Mill Valley.

Jean Yanko Varda
artist, painter

Jean Yanko Varda (1893-1971) was a Sausalito artist known for his abstract painting and collages. He came from Smyrna (now İzmir, Turkey). At 19, Varda moved to Paris where he met Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and took up abstract and avant garde art styles, mosaics, and later collages. He lived in Cassis, France and London, England before World War II. At the onset of World War II, Varda emigrated to Monterey, California. Circa 1948, Varda and the British-born artist, Gordon Onslow Ford acquired an old ferryboat called the Vallejo and permanently moored it on a dock in Sausalito, California. They remodeled it into a houseboat, art studio, and artist salon. Varda lived on the docks the remainder of his life. A major exhibit of works by Jean Varda took place at the Bay Model Visitors Center in Sausalito in 2015. See slideshow

Books: The book  The Art and Life of Jean Varda by Elizabeth Leavy Stroman, published in 2015, is the first full-length biography of this important artist.

John Calvin Perry
artist, painter

The artist John Calvin Perry (1848-1936) was born in Ireland in 1848, and moved to the Sacramento area of California in 1873. He was next a resident of San Francisco by 1880.  John died in Marin County.  (Source: Artists in California, 1786-1940 by Eden Hughes)

Laurel Burch
artist, jewelry designer

Laurel Burch (1945-2007) was a American artist, jewelry designer and painter. She was born in the San Fernando Valley, and moved to Marin County, California. From an early age, Laurel made jewelry, dolls and sewn art. She sold her early jewelry designs on the streets of San Francisco from tackle boxes. In the 1960’s, Laurel worked full time as a fine artist, commissioned to paint by restaurants, businesses and private collectors. She traveled to China in 1971 and there discovered cloisonné enamel designs, that inspired many of her paintings and jewelry designs. Burch also worked with cast metals and wood, and made spin-off products in paper, porcelain and fabric. She licensed her designs to a dozen or so companies that now make and distribute her creations worldwide. See also her books and art prints:

See also her books and art prints:

preview of books about Laurel Burch

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Mary Lindheim
sculptor and potter

Mary Tuthill Lindheim (1912-2004), born Mary Barbara Tuthill, and also known professionally as Mary Tuthill or Mary Lindheim, was an American sculptor and studio potter. She trained as a sculptor with Ralph Stackpole and Alexander Archipenko, working in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco between 1930 and 1945. Widowed in World War II, she turned to ceramics, studying with Antonio Prieto at California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts), and was an active studio artist and leader in potters’ and craftsmen circles in the Bay Area from 1946 to 1969.

In 1969, Mart moved to Bolinas, California, and in 1994, she was given a retrospective at the small but respected Bolinas Museum, which revived her reputation. (sources: Image of “The Mothers” artwork by Mary Tuthill Lindheim, photo by Will Taylor. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.)

Phil Frank
artist, cartoonist

Phil Frank (1943-2007), was an American cartoonist best known as the creator of the San Francisco-based comic strip Farley and the artist on nationally syndicated comic strip The Elderberries (written by Joe Troise). Frank and Troise worked together on other comic strip projects, including Chateau Defeat (published in the Wine Spectator) and Miles to Go, plus Nigel Shiftright, Automotive Anachronism and the eponymous Frank and Troise, both for Road & Track magazine. Frank and Troise also collaborated on a series of Teletoons for Network World magazine.

Frank started cartooning at Michigan State University first by creating illustrations on classmates jackets and then with the university newspaper for $5 a strip. (source:

Sheldon Conner Gile

The artist Seldon Connor Gile (1877-1947) was mainly active in northern California between the early-1910s and the mid-1930s. He was the founder and leader of the Society of Six, a Bay Area group of artists known for their plein-air paintings and rich use of color, a quality that would later figure into the work of Bay Area figurative expressionists. He was born in Stow Maine and lived in San Rafael, California. (source:

Walter Egel Kuhlman

Walter Kuhlman (1918-2009) was a core member of the San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism and active in the Bay Area for more than six decades.

From 1947 to 1950, Walter Kuhlman studied at the California School of Fine Art (now known as the San Francisco Art Institute). He then spent a year in Paris, where he participated in some of the first international exhibitions to feature this new, distinctly American art. Kuhlman then returned to the Bay Area, producing sophisticated abstract works through the 1950s.

At the start of the 1960’s, Walter Kuhlman turned to painting figurative forms and subjects. Kuhlman’s figurative works defy easy definition: They are communicative yet mysterious, powerful yet ephemeral, detached yet intensely personal.