The event artist for 2015’s Cruisin’ the Boulevard, is local painter, Elise Durenberger.
In her second year behind the easel, on behalf of CBT, she delighted in the opportunity to create a new painting to represent this year’s salute. With the number 10, prominently used in the inspirational process, it was decided that Elise would work with 10 vehicles from the movie to commemorate the tenth year of Cruisin’ the Boulevard.
The conception process of painting is easy for Elise. The mother of two, son Justin (17) and daughter Callan (14), she dreams of her next project as she drives the kids to Petaluma High and Junior High, through the cow-studded back roads of Petaluma. She finds inspiration everywhere, planning out paintings, use of color and composition, daily. Finding the time to actually paint is a challenge. Busy with 5 horses, dogs, kids and her husband, Anthony, a local contractor, her passions out number hours in the day. She laughs, noting that every artist struggles with time demands, and that it’s all part of the thrill of a creative spirit.
Undaunted, when the CBT board came up with the “ten year” concept, the ideas flowed easily. With the success of last year’s painting and subsequent auction of the original, there were wishes to include more of the downtown setting that framed the ’56 T-Bird for the 2014 art. “It’s a logical choice, but one that requires ample planning to achieve the perspective to include all 10 of the featured vehicles.” Elise explained. “Stylizing images is not my forte. I need to rely on certain logic and perspective conditions.”
With the support of the CBT board, the Petaluma Police department and the fabulous American Graffiti Tribute Team, Elise instructed the team’s cars to park in selected areas on Western Avenue for a photo shoot last fall. Five of the 10 cars were present, but all of the other cars had to be improvised by the painter. Based on a rough sketch, a lot of research and serious binge watching of the original movie, Elise was able to recreate the missing characters convincingly. In the past, automobiles and architecture were dreaded subject matter, but these days she’s more confident. She’s planning to paint more images that represent Sonoma County, particularly Petaluma:
historical architecture and vintage automobiles are a large part of the mystique. Since this year’s theme is a celebration of the event, itself, she decided to let Petaluma have a little more spotlight.
Obsessed with detail and light source, Elise was mostly satisfied with her efforts when she handed the painting over to CBT president, Greg Gustafson early this year. A selfadmitted perfectionist, she would have kept working. Thankfully, she’s learned to let go.
Look for Elise at the Cruisin’ the Boulevard show. She will be available to sign posters and programs in her booth near the superstar automobiles and movie personalities from American Graffiti. She will have original paintings and prints on display and for sale. A full time artist and graphic designer, ask Elise about commission work, including paintings of your favorite automobile or subject. Her award-winning work is on display in numerous local businesses and in private collections.
To learn more about Elise and her art, visit her website: www.mamacowcreations.blogspot.com or make contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org