The Ferndale McBride Collection
This is part of the collection of Viola Russ McBride, artist, third-generation rancher and adventurer.
In the early 1980’s while I was in Ferndale on the northern coast of California, McBride collected many works of aspiring artists, but probably no more than she purchased from me. I believe the number was well over 50 originals.
Viola, along with another great pation named Mildred Radanovich, helped me continue my painting by buying my work, and, in the case of Ms. Radanovich, provided a wonderful gallery space for me to experiment with my work without fear of eviction. I doubt I would be writing this had it not been for these two good-hearted ladies. Both Viola and Mildred passed away in 1996.
Some of these paintings are still owned by the family of Viola McBride. I found them on a web catalog, but no workable link was provided to communicate with the owners. On some, the image quality isn’t all that good, but at least it’s a record. All images click to larger versions.
Probably most interesting to me is that many of these paintings show a rural Western America that is now largely gone, gentrified and cleaned up. I’m glad I painted it while it was still there.
I remember this house, whitewashed fence and fuel tank were north of Ferndale at Arlynda Corners (wide place in the road) .Guache on paper
South of Ferndale, a dirt road meandered along the ridgetop. Can’t remember it’s name now, but one side had a cool climate with firs, the other was hot dry grasslands. Good for paintings.
Watercolor and ink.
I painted a series in the Sutter Creek area of the Mother Lode Country. This was an old foundry still operating then – maybe the last such place in California.
Watercolor and ink.
This was part of a series painted on the eastern slope of the Sierra, probably near Lake Tahoe.Guache on paper
Ranch at Mendocino, I think. The Ruth Carlson Gallery in Mendocino was one of the very first galleries there and I was proud to sell there.Watercolor and ink.
This old ranch was, as I remember it, over by Etna, or maybe Scott Valley near the Trinity Alps.Watercolor and ink
Sierra series. I was painting with Sherry Gribben, one of the few artists that had a lasting impact in my work. She still paints today.Guache on paper
Raptor landing in a snag. I had a studio space at College of the Redwoods near Eureka where I used their mounts to learn wildlife painting. The snag was from someplace else.Guache on paper.
There were lots of old fences like this in those days, made of redwood that lasted forever. I can’t remember where this was sited.Watercolor and ink
Sierra series. Can’t remember where this was sited, but it’s probably a very accurate rendering of the place.Guache on paper
Frahman Wharf in EurekaA series painted around this crazy old dock produced one the few one-man shows I’ve ever done. Sold the entire show at the opening. This was also the first show at the Eureka Art Center. 1980, I think.Guache on paper
The old store at Arlynda Corners was my subject more than once. It became a restaurant for awhile.Guache on paper.
Part of the old Emmigrant Trail over the High Sierra.I painted a show for a winery in Jackson on the Mother Lode. (one of the first wineries in that area).Guache on paper.
Mendocinco Watertower. This painting was destined for the Carlson Gallery there when Viola McBride came along. Watercolor and ink.
Backroads of Ferndale, probably Arlynda Corners area.This was probably late 1970’s, an early painting.Watercolor and ink.