Irish artist Imelda Healy was inspired by Santa Monica to create a series of paintings like this one, which will be featured at Upper West restaurant on Pico Boulevard.

Irish artist Imelda Healy was inspired by Santa Monica to create a series of paintings like this one, which will be featured at Upper West restaurant on Pico Boulevard.

PICO NEIGHBORHOOD — Santa Monica locales have long inspired art.

The surging surf and colorful sunsets continue to star as the subject of the work of many artists. However, Irish artist Imelda Healy takes it one step further.

Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Healy re-located to Santa Monica three years ago when her husband was offered a job as a writer on a new HBO show. She was immediately taken by the shore, the sun, and the Santa Monica life and began to document it. The artist was particularly drawn to the people and how they interacted with the surroundings around them.

Healy admits she draws much inspiration from people watching. She has frequented the Palisades, Zuma Beach and Point Dume.

“I would take my little camera and sketch book, recording scenes and people who appear to represent the feeling I want to capture and celebrate,” Healy said.

Healy would often go on busy holiday weekends to spot families enjoying a form of respite in the park or on a beach, laughing, reading and relaxing on the sand.

“To borrow a line from Agnes Martin ‘We are in the midst of reality, responding with joy.’ The life here is good and the locals work very hard so they may take their ease at the end of the day in this little Eden,” Healy said.

Healy recently met the owners of Upper West restaurant who invited her to show her art in the Santa Monica restaurant. Upper West has long been a supporter of the arts and has consistently shown art since it opened about four years ago.

“I think Upper West is a lovely, cool oasis in an otherwise fairly beaten urban highway,” Healy said. “It’s a big open space with a welcoming atmosphere, a pleasant ambiance that both relaxes and energizes.”

The opening reception will be held at Upper West, 3321 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica, on Sunday, July 14 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The artist will be in attendance. For more information visit www.theupperwest.com or   imeldahealy.com.

 

editor@smdp.com