Dan Scannell, the featured artist for the Upstairs Art Gallery in May has a marvelous new area of study. Scannell’s new series is inspired by Japanese screens from the 19th century. He became interested in the highly stylized nature scenes, and thought it would be fascinating to create Japanese style paintings based on Sonoma County flora and fauna. He was further compelled to develop the backgrounds of these paintings using gold and silver leaf as Japanese artists did when making screens. Dan purposely allowed his red gesso background to show through in the finished painting. This emphasizes the graphic lines of the composition and serves to compliment the gold and silver leaf background. The finished piece is lacquer sealed to protect the metallic leaf and painted surface. Dan Scannell, an award winning artist, is the former Visual Director of I. Magnin in San Francisco and was an instructor at the de Young Museum Art School. Formerly most of his creative energy went into designing paper goods and fabric. Currently his primary focus is placed on landscape works and related flora & fauna, painting both in oils and soft pastels. Artist Reception: Saturday, May 12th, 2-5pm Marsha Connell Plein air painter, Marsha Connell, is featuring a collection of “Petits Bijoux”, Intimate Scale Paintings from France to California, in the gallery’s Small Works Showcase. These “Small Jewels” celebrate encounters with wild and domestic landscapes, and then travelled home in suitcases to tell the story. Connell’s expressive and rhythmic brushstrokes are a dance of color, in oil, watercolor or pastel.