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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 24th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 46

Hobnobbing With Helen


When artist Bob Burridge talks, people want to listen.

Jean Shinn (left) and John (center) and Karen Ransom (right) met up for a quick chat after the Bob Burridge lecture and reception.

More than 100 people—standing room only—crowded into Solvang’s Elverhoj Museum on Saturday, Jan. 5, to hear him talk—about his work and about his world before the desire to paint fulltime took him by the throat and held him happy hostage.

The title of the exhibition, “I Change My Mind,” was a springboard for the ebullient artist’s monologue on his life as an artist. The program blurb was “The Creative Process: How I create a body of work, from my influences to completion.”

Artist Bob Burridge spent some time in front of one of his larger works on exhibit at the Elverhoj Museum in Solvang.

There were lots of belly laughs, chuckles, and smiles from his spellbound, appreciative audience. Burridge has a flair for showmanship.

I arrived in the gallery 10 minutes late and was surprised when a half-dozen more trickled in after me.

A clearly pleased Esther Jacobsen Bates, the museum’s executive director, told me later, “I knew we would have about 20 or so come for the reception, but we didn’t expect so many to show up for the lecture.”

A rich sampling of Burridge’s work—some of it on loan from collectors—hung on the gallery walls. Bates told me that several pieces have sold.

After presenting an hour-long lecture on life as an artist, Bob Burridge mingled with guests on Jan. 5 in the main room of the Elverhoj Museum in Solvang.

What was interesting about this event was the high energy in the room and the obvious receptive mood of everyone there.

Also of interest to me was the fact that males comprised about 40 percent of the audience. Some were former students of Bob’s at Hancock.

Jill Targer (surely you’ve seen her lovely hand-painted silk scarves) said that the class she took with him launched her as a working artist.

Burridge talked about taking risks as an artist and about the need to work steadily and not sit and wait for inspiration. He mentioned a much-repeated anonymous quote: “Inspiration is for amateurs.”

Among those who drove over from Santa Maria for the program and reception (wine and a smorgasbord of tidbits) were artists Dale Cornwell and Barbara Alloway, as well as potters Gloria Mulder and Jean Shinn.

Former gallery owners and ardent supporters of the arts, John and Karen Ransome, enjoyed the upbeat program and seeing friends like former city librarian Jack Buchanan and his wife Sukey.

Bob’s wife, Kate Burridge, is very special in her own right. Aside from being very active with the Santa Maria Arts Council, this competent lady, with a head for business, tackles the daunting task of managing her husband’s career and marketing his work.

All creative people in the know are aware that super-savvy marketing moxie is one of the major factors in success in the art world.

The Elverhoj is an exceptionally attractive, squeaky clean place. Whenever I visit, I always feel that a slew of small Danish elves appear at midnight and clean, sweep, and polish their hearts out until daybreak.

The museum’s staff and board are charming hosts and hostesses and provided a quality experience.

The Burridge exhibit opened Nov. 10 and will close, alas, on Jan 27. Readers have a couple of days to catch this.

Located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang, the museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. More information is available by calling 686-1211.

If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at

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