Known for poetic landscapes, often sunset, illuminated by atmospheric light, Julian Walbridge Rix was early in his career an active painter in California and then on the East Coast. He was born in Peacham, Vermont on December 30, 1850 and moved with his family to San Francisco in 1853. Because of his mother's death, he went back to Peacham four years later to live with his grandmother and graduating from Peacham Academy in 1868. He returned to San Francisco where he was apprenticed to a trading firm and later worked in a paint store painting signs and doing decorative work. Primarily self-taught, he was briefly a pupil of Virgil Williams at the School of Design. He became close friends with Amédée Joullin and Jules Tavernier, and when the latter established an art colony in Monterey in 1876, Rix was one of the "Bohemians" who followed him there. His studio in Monterey was in the French Hotel, but in 1879 he returned to San Francisco and shared a studio with Tavernier at 729 Montgomery Street. The art market in San Francisco during this period was not a healthy one which prompted Rix to move to Paterson, New Jersey in 1880 and subsequently establish a studio in New York City. This milieu was what he seemed to need to find artistic success. His work was exhibited at the National Academy of Design during the 1880s. He studied art briefly in Europe during 1889 and upon his return, he found that his watercolor and oil paintings were in great demand in the East. He maintained an active interest and participation in the San Francisco art scene and in 1883 sent back 200 paintings for a successful solo show. In 1888 his illustrations appeared in "Picturesque California." Rix returned to California for several months in 1901 and painted the valleys and mountains near Monterey and Santa Barbara. A handsome man with a New England accent and blond sideburns, he never married and was called the Adonis of the profession. Following a kidney operation, Rix died in New York City on November 24, 1903 and was buried in the cemetery plot of a patron-friend in Paterson, New Jersey. Source: "Artists in California, 1786 to 1940" by Edan Milton Hughes
Landscape painter. Born on Aug. 26, 1865 in Stockton, CA when it was still a small frontier town. Mersfelder began drawing at an early age and in his teens moved to San Francisco where he studied for three years at the School of Design under Virgil Williams. While studying at that school, he often visited the nearby studio of William Keith who offered criticism. Mersfelder then moved to NYC where he had a studio for a few years. During his stay there, he exhibited at the first exhibition of the Society of American Artists. He also enjoyed the hospitality and criticism of George Inness and A. H. Wyant. He later exhibited in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and Baltimore. He won a bronze medal at the Louisiana Purchase Expo (St Louis) of 1904 and was awarded the Klio Assn prize at the annual exhibition held at the AIC where 18 of his canvases were accepted by the jury. He had a studio in Portland, OR in 1889 before returning to San Francisco in 1891. He was active in the local art scene when not out on painting forays in northern California. The year 1915 was spent in San Diego. Mersfelder lived his final years in Berkeley, CA and died there on Oct. 23, 1937. Although he made no known European trips, his works bear evidence of strong influence by the French Barbizons. Many of his landscapes of the rugged, old oaks of California compare favorably with those painted by William Keith during his late period. Exh: Calif. State Fair, 1882; Mark Hopkins Inst., 1897; Gumps (SF), 1900. In: St Francis Hotel (mural, Mt Tamalpais); Oakland Museum; CHS. CSL; BC; Ber; AAA 1907; DR.
Suzanne Demarest 1900-1985 American born studied in Nice Cannes and British Royal Academy. A 6 x12 inch painting by Demarest sold at Skinners In Boston for $1800. This is a fine impressionist painting would be a great decorative piece for any interior.
Biography>Born in Ravenna, Ohio, Anna Althea Hills was a prominent California landscape painter who was also remembered as a civic leader in Laguna Beach. In addition to painting in her native state, she was active in Arizona. She was raised in Olivet, Michigan, and attended Olivet College. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cooper Union in New York, and privately with Arthur Dow. After further study at the Academie Julian in Paris and traveling throughout Europe for four years, she moved to Laguna Beach in 1913 and was painting in Arizona as early as 1914. The landscape of the West inspired her to adopt a light, colorful Impressionist palette. In spite of a severe spinal injury, she took adventurous painting trips into remote mountain areas. She also supervised a Sunday School for ten years, and was a six-year president of the Laguna Beach Art Association and helped raise funds to build the existing museum. Her early works of genre and interiors were much darker than her later California landscapes and marine scenes. She combined watercolor and oil and painted in a decorative style. Sources: Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940