lowres-VickiMcClay-photoStop by Upper West Restaurtant to enjoy a delicous meal and enjoy the art of Vicki McClay.

Originally from Minneapolis where she first began her art career, McClay has lived in New York City and finally landed in Santa Monica. She was first inspired to paint by her single mother who gave McClay her very first set of oil paints.

As with most artists, McClay was also inspired by a mentor, who influenced her work early on in. “Lorna Ritz was an Artist in Residence at the University of Minnesota when I attended school there and she helped me see color and spatial relationships in a new way,” recalls McClay. “My work was very dense, perhaps a bit chaotic, and she suggested that ‘less is more.’ That approach still works for me today. I started to open up my use of the space on a canvas and bring subtle changes to the color fields. That was when I began layering my application of color, which I feel produces the nuance, the depth and the luminosity that exist in the paintings.”

McClay was introduced to the owner of Upper West via another artist, her friend Imelda Healey, who recently had a show at the restaurant. She talks about what she will be showing, “I feel that the horizon has been my muse throughout my artistic life and these painting are about that shifting line in front of us, the place we are headed, like a bridge to the unknown.”

McCllowres-March9-UpperWest-VickiMcCLay-VerdantMossay generally works with oils. She explains, “I prefer to work with oils because they afford me the blending properties I utilize in the work. Oil paints are slow to dry which allows for the layering quality I seek in the pieces. Oil also offers light and distinct color qualities I feel are at the heart of the paintings, qualities I have never been able to achieve with any other medium.”

Upper West is located at 3321 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. http://www.theupperwest.com/ http://vickimcclay.com/