Rulon Hacking

I was introduced to the work of former-Bongart-student Rulon Hacking when NW artist Virginia Phillips gifted me the painting above. It means a lot to me because I know this very street in Venice CA, so close to where I live. The painting, measuring about 3-feet wide, is larger than most that I’ve seen online.

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Mary Balcomb – Student Work

Author Mary N. Balcomb (Sergei Bongart, Nicholai Fechin, William F. Reese, Robin-Robin: A Journal) was born April 29, 1928, in Mass, Michigan. After high school, from 1946-1948 she attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where she met her husband-to-be, Robert Balcomb.

The class she valued the most, and which had an effect on her for the rest of her life, was Quick Sketching—how to get the essence of the subject on paper very quickly. Below are ink/pastel drawings done in that manner. One can tell that by this young age, she was already a prodigious talent.

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Diane McClary


Rock Cairn at La Quinta Cove
30×40 oil on canvas

As an artist, I am totally grateful for the knowledge that I received from studying with Sergei Bongart, along with my studies with Ron Lukas, Sunny Apinchapong, and Del Gish. Also, I feel very fortunate that Mary Balcomb wrote an intensive and comprehensive book, Sergei Bongart, on the life and teachings of Sergei.

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William F. Reese

“Mt. Shasta” hung in Mary Balcomb’s home for many years. It was painted from the eastern side of the mountain, a view not seen by most who travel the I-5.

Born in South Dakota and raised in Central Washington, William F. Reese painted for over 50 years. He created an astonishing body of work that includes oils, pastels, watercolors, sculptures, etchings, and instructional books. Though prolific and proficient in several media, Reese was likely best known as one of America’s premier plein air artists, reveling in the majesty of the Northwest and setting up his easel outdoors in all kinds of weather and in every kind of location.

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Sunny Apinchapong-Yang

Arrival of Autumn

Sunny Apinchapong-Yang was born in Bangkok, Thailand, where his Chinese parents settled after the Second World War. In 1970, Sunny arrived in the United States, receiving his first formal art instruction at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design and Cal State (LA), earning both BA and MA degrees in Fine Art. Sunny studied with Sergei Bongart (1977-1985) and later worked as his assistant in teaching at the LA school and his summer workshops in Idaho. Since 1987 Sunny has worked for several animation studios such as Disney, Dreamworks, Sony, and Don Bluth. His many exhibitions include the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; Morseburg Gallery, West Hollywood; and the Oriel Gallery, Dublin, Ireland. Sunny is a Signature Member of California Art Club and also a member of Oil Painters of America.

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The Making of “Sergei Bongart”


Amphora Editions took over the remaining stock of Mary Balcomb’s Sergei Bongart from Cody Publishing in 2013. It has been extremely popular since its initial debut in 2002. The entire second printing sold out rather quickly; however, a cache of rare first-editions in original shrink wrap was discovered in Mary’s effects. A simple search online will reveal that vendors are charging many hundreds of dollars more than we. So, owners of first and second printings alike, you possess a valuable and important book of art, beautifully designed by Norm Nason.

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Darrell Anderson

In the upcoming months we wish to profile some of the well-known artists who Mary Balcomb knew as good friends, such as Del Gish, Darrell Anderson, Lois MacFarland, and William Reese, most of which were connected to Sergei Bongart in some way.

Today we feature Darrell Anderson, of Bainbridge Island, Washington. A frequent visitor to Mary’s home, the above painting of his hung in her bedroom for years, up to the day she died:

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