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Letty's Blog
Blog / News - Friday - Oct 26, 2012
Nowak was recently featured in the La Jolla Edition of About Town Magazine in the "Inspired by the World Around Them" section which focuses on San Diego artists and their currently recognized collections. Nowak, along with four others, is honored to be apart of the magazine and the La Jolla art scene.

Blog / News - Monday - Oct 15, 2012
Summer kicked off at a House of Blues…
Faces of Surfing ventured to Encinitas,…
Nowak giving a demonstration at the…
Nowak painting a Paddle-board for…
Nowak and Ricky Schaffer at Mark…
Zac and Kim from Mark and Dave's…
Nowak with ISA President Fernando…
Nowak and her Mother, Linda at Windansea…
Nowak and Liz at the US Open in Huntington…
Nowak with Fernando and Florencia…
The Kimpton Hotel unveiling
Nowak's with friends at her Open…
Head Hunter Tourist Go Home Party…
Summer ended with an incredible exhibition…
This past summer has been a dynamic one for Nowak and the Faces of Surfing, from traveling to Nicaragua for the International Surfing Associations World Masters Championship to raising $15,000 for SIMA’s humanitarian fund at the annual Waterman’s Ball in Laguna Niguel, California. Also during the summer months Nowak was commissioned by the Kimpton Hotel Group to paint the California State Fish, the Garibaldi, for the newly renovated Hotel La Jolla, which will later be donated to San Diego’s Birch Aquarium. Along with traveling to Orlando, Florida for the Surf Expo Exhibition she also hosted an Open Studio in her La Jolla, California space to keep the community involved in the growing project. Click on the blog for a photo collection celebrating the incredible summer.

Blog / News - Monday - Oct 08, 2012
Yesterday Nowak traveled to Del Mar, California for The Boardroom International Surfboard Show which honored surfing legend and four-time world champion Mark Richards. The show was filled with surfboard and surf culture enthusiasts from all over the world. While in attendance, Nowak photographed Richards who will be included in the second series of her famed project, The Faces of Surfing.

Blog / News - Wednesday - Sep 12, 2012
This past weekend Nowak and her collection the Faces of Surfing traveled to Orlando, Florida for the annual September Surf Expo, where her paintings were displayed in the main entrance to the famed trade show. It was an exceptional exhibition that was able to broadcast the project to all spectrums of the surfing and watersports industries. The show had a great response; with the amount of people now being able to see the paintings they can grasp their individual intensity, and truly see the light within the paintings as they were shown as a series.

Blog / News - Monday - Sep 03, 2012
Letty Nowak's Faces of Surfing will be featured at the 2012 September Surf Expo. Check out, for more information on this exciting exhibit.

Blog / News - Friday - Aug 24, 2012
'Tracy Feith' and 'Ivona' in the…
Nowak with Hotel La Jolla's General…
The unveiling of Nowak's 'Garibaldi'
Nowak with Surf Diva's Izzy Tihanyi…
During yesterday’s Grand Opening ceremony at the Kimpton Hotel La Jolla, Nowak’s painting for the property was unveiled. It was a beautiful morning filled with community pride of the new endeavor. In attendance were San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, and Kimpton COO, Niki Leondakis. Nowak was commissioned by the company to paint a Garibaldi, the California State Fish. After being showcased in the new hotel's lobby, the painting will be donated to San Diego’s own Birch Aquarium. The Kimpton Hotel group is a pioneer boutique hotel, one that prides itself on individuality and comfort with the friendly ambience of "being in a friend's home". The effortless style of the recently renovated property displays their methodologies while bringing out the true beauty of La Jolla, California.

Blog / News - Tuesday - Aug 21, 2012
Nowak and her famed Faces of Surfing Collection are featured in the current issue of Sophisticated Living Magazine. Writer, Alix Rice precisely depicts the project, highlighting on key aspects that are important to Nowak and the formation of her project. “Letty Nowak is certainly sitting on top of the world waiting to catch the next wave.” We couldn’t agree more, view the article here:

Blog / News - Wednesday - Aug 15, 2012
Nowak's Rob Machado's painting being…
The guests viewing the 2012 silent…
Nowak with SIMA President Fernando…
The crowd viewing the art section…
A beautiful view of Salt Creek from…
The beginning of the 2012 Waterman's…
The surf industry's annual gala this past weekend at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel brought together the sports celebrities, athletes, professionals, characters,and brand leaders raising over $400,000 donated to 20 environmental organizations that stand to protect our oceans, beaches, and waves. More importantly, the people came together to honor the late Sean Collins with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau, as Environmentalist of the Year, and last but definitely not least, Shane Dorian, as this year's Waterman of the Year.

The beautiful event began with a silent auction, that then later turned into an exciting life auction as everyone sat for an evening of detection and celebration. The live auction was produced of twelve items, including a commissioned portrait by Letty Nowak, which alone brought in $15,000. Also including a trip to the Vans Triple Crown in Turtle Bay, an Audi Allroad, a dive trip to Tahiti with Jean-Michel Cousteau.

The annual trio of awards began with an emotional tribute and life time achievement award to Sean Collins, who singled handedly created the mechanism for forecasting waves among many other attributes to the surfing community. “Sean Collins is responsible for bringing more stoke to the world than anyone else over the last 25 years,” Even Slater once explained. Next followed the Environmentalist of the Year Jean- Michel Cousteau who was honored for his life-time dedication to the protection of the worlds oceans, and for his many accomplishments including convincing former U.S. President George W. Bush to set aside 140,000 square miles in northwest Hawaii as the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The final of the evening brought to the stage 11-time world champion Kelly Slater to present Shane Dorian with this year's Waterman of the Year award, who is famously known for holding the world record for the largest wave ever paddled into, a 57-footer at Jaws.

Blog / News - Friday - Aug 10, 2012
An original Letty Nowak commission painting will be apart of the annual Waterman's Ball live auction The Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel
will host the event this Saturday night where the piece will help aid SIMA's Environmental Fund that benefits various environmental groups that dedicate to the preservation and protection of the world's oceans, beaches, and waves. Below is a link to preview all the items:

Blog / News - Thursday - Jul 26, 2012
Last week, Nowak was fortunate to bring the Faces of Surfing collection to Nicaragua for the International Surfing Associations World Masters Championship. Nowak was greeted by a crowd of ecstatic nations that were proud to be apart of the 26 countries and 150 athletes competing. During Nowak's five day stay at Mark & Dave's in the stunning community of Hacienda Iguana at Playa de Colorados she was engulfed by the landscape and lifestyle of surfing, yoga, and meditation. During her visit Nowak appeared on Nica TV to discuss her Faces of Surfing project, and to give light on being a female within the surfing community. Staying with the United States team, she cheered them onto winning the silver medal, beat out by the fierce Hawaiian team who finished first.

Nicaragua hosted the fifth edition of the ISA World Masters, where surfers aged 35 and over came from all over the world to broadcast their talents and bring recognition to ISA's motto " For a Better Surfing Future." ISA's intention is to use surfing as a vehicle to bring people, countries and cultures together. During the closing ceremony ISA's President Fernando Aquerre explains, "Nicaragua proved to be the ideal partner for a successful event. In this, their first surfing world championship, the organizers provided an impeccable event from all operational points of view, coupled with the warmth of its people, on top of that, we experienced some of the best waves in the ISA's history, with 24-hour offshore winds during the duration of the event. This was an A-class event from all points of view"

Blog / News - Tuesday - Jul 17, 2012
Last Thursday, Nowak was asked to speak at the San Diego Portrait Society meeting to discuss her unique style of color, scale and her different use of light within her paintings. All of the seats at demonstration were full as Nowak was able to describe her style by allowing the audience to watch her work in two different stages of her portraiture. Thank you to the San Diego Portrait Society for including Letty Nowak.

Blog / News - Wednesday - Jul 11, 2012
Tony Caramanico oil on canvas 56x54
Outside Nowak's studio in Sag Harbor
Nowak held studios in North Haven, Sag Harbor and Montauk for over 6 consecutive summers. She spent her time up north visiting galleries, going to openings, and spending time with friends in the city. Nowak became attuned with the community and lifestyle of Long Island ( The Hamptons), while staying in Sag Harbor in August of 2009 she was interviewed by Richard J. Goldstein about her upcoming show in New York City, her unique style of portraiture, and her famed Faces of Key West collection.

Letty Nowak | Richard J. Goldstein

Richard J. Goldstein: How do you go about selecting who you want to paint?

Letty Nowak: It depends on what I am trying to accomplish. If the painting is not in a series, and just for me, it is mostly on how someone looks and/or if they have a deeper impact on my life. There are a few people I have painted multiple times based on this. I tend to be attracted to people with distinct features or who may be a little older because of the different planes that make up their face. If it is in a series, such as the Faces of Key West—I tried to get an interesting group from the Mayor to bartenders, sometimes I knew they would just make a good painting based on their looks. There were others I couldn't pass up due to their role in the Key West community, like the man who makes his living doing tricks with his pet cats.

RJG: What part of the community do you turn to for subject matter?

LN: I think I just answered that. It is every part. For me, everyone has a story.

RJG: Have you been painting the people from the community in Long Island as you have done in Key West?

LN: Not to the extent that I did in Key West. The Key West project was pretty focused and in depth. Long Island is much larger, and I feel I would need to spend a little more time here—all of my time here is mostly spent in the Hamptons so it does simplify it a little more. That's not to say that I haven't painted people from L.I. I have photographed a number of people, and one of my favorite paintings is someone from Montauk, Tony Caramanico.

RJG: What have you found that distinguishes the individuals in Long Island from those in Key West?

LN: I am inspired from the people in L.I. (the Hamptons). People seemed to be balanced and do a lot with their lives from success in their businesses to being active. Most seem to have an edge to them as well—I love being in line at the East Hampton post office. For some reason I see a lot of “characters” there, like in Key West but with Blackberry's. There are many artists who I admire here as well. Key West is just a different world. It's a melting pot of people from all over the world and from all walks of life. I teach a lot in Key West and learn a lot from the Hamptons...does that make sense? Maybe it's because I just haven't spent enough time in L.I. yet.

RJG: How is their sense of community similar or different from each other?

LN: There seems to be a bigger sense of community in Key West. Although, it is smaller there.

RJG: From your Faces series to your gallery “lock-in’s,” community is central to your work. How do you situate the role of the artist within the community? What service or duties should the artist be providing?

LN: My first few years in Key West my role in the community was large—more than I anticipated. I got to know many people through painting their portrait, which immediately gave us a closer dynamic. From there I opened the Lemonade Stand Art Studio where I taught hundreds of people painting and used the space to it's maximum potential by inviting even the most established local artists in to paint in my space during the Lock-In's. Artists who only knew each other through their work now had the chance to interact
personally in a studio situation. Friendships were formed—really cool to see. I held numerous openings, which usually drew a large crowd of people new to art and long-time collectors. It was a very welcoming environment. I think artists can take a role like that in the community or remain elusive. I don't think there are any services or duties an artist should provide; that is up to them to be involved in the community or not. Sometimes artists are very private and all of their energy is put into their own work. I can understand both roles. I feel fortunate to have the role that I do in the Key West community, but I did have to make the choice to slow down my efforts with others to start painting more for myself.

RJG: The sitting must be a really intimate time between you and your model. Are most people open to being painted? How does the dynamic usually go with you both getting comfortable with each other and letting down your guard?

LN: Most people are interested in being painted. Some prefer to sit and others have me take photos due to time issues. I have had great experiences with those who have sat for a portrait. There is an energy between them and myself that grows as the painting develops. That is probably because we have talked for hours while I paint.

RJG: Is there a decisive moment when you feel you capture someone’s essence?

LN: Yes.

RJG: To me your paintings are a hundred percent the personality of the subject, but it’s also apparent the formal does play a big part in your work too. How do you use the qualities of paint and painting as a bridge to the qualities of the sitter?

LN: That is the question. How do I make it mostly about a painting and keep the essence of the subject? The medium of oil paint? I ask myself that in every painting. I try to keep the paintings as simple as I can bringing in only what I feel is necessary to make it a strong painting. I also try to keep my colors clean and rich. I can feel it when the painting has come far enough to have captured the person.

RJG: Hal had let me know that you prefer to consider the paintings as faces and not portraits. This sounds really interesting, and I'm wondering how you go about making the distinction and how that affects your process.

LN :This is just my interpretation of the difference between painting a "face" and a "portrait.” Painting someone's "portrait" to me seems relatively boring. Just a copy of the person. Trying to capture them accurately in the moment. Almost making the subject become more important than the actual act of painting. When I think of painting "faces," it feels like it takes the act of copying the person out more and making it my own image. I still try to keep it accurate, as it's part of the challenge, but just not a stale copy.

RJG: Does "face" imply the paintings are more objective than subjective . . . perhaps less narrative than a

LN: Yes, a "face" does to me imply more objectivity than subjectivity. That is a really good way to put it, and I haven't thought of it in those words. I don't know about less narrative. I feel the marks and color can give it a new narration of it's own.

RJG: Just a thought: It's interesting in this difference between face and portrait that a face is dynamic, it can change expression and age, while a portrait is static and meant to fix the subject in time. In painting the paintings as "faces," do you see yourself re-visioning portraiture?

LN: As I have been finishing my most recent work, it almost sits uncomfortable with me because to me, they do not feel settling and easy. My goal is not to glamorize any of my subjects but rather to show them for what makes up their faces and let the light bring it out—planes, color, creases. It's almost a landscape of sorts. So yes, I have revisioned portraiture for myself.

Blog / News - Monday - Jul 09, 2012
Nowak will be in her La Jolla, California studio continuing work on the second series of her collection, Faces of Surfing for the month of July. Private tours of the Windansea studio are available upon request, please contact Liz at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Nowak will also be giving a demonstration at the San Diego Portrait Society this Thursday starting at 4:00pm located at the North University Library, 8820 Judicial Drive San Diego, 92122. Nowak looks forward to a productive summer on the West Coast.

Videos - Thursday - Jul 05, 2012

Blog / News - Tuesday - Jul 03, 2012
Bettina's Orchard
Nowak and Ivona with Bob Hurley at…
Nowak is inspired by the features of long-time friend Ivona, so much so Nowak has painted her twice in 'Ivona' and 'Bettina's Orchard.' Both paintings were shown in New York City and Montauk. Nowak prefers to work with her on a large scale, both paintings are 68x52 inches and 52x72 inches respectively. Nowak finds that Ivona's skin tone and the angles of her face transpire well onto canvas and add great definitions of light. Nowak's painting 'Ivona' is still available for purchase.

Blog / News - Monday - Jun 18, 2012
Keep up-to-date with the Faces of Surfing collection through our Facebook page. Nowak contributes daily highlights and important aspects of the project, for example our Print of the Week. Each week Nowak selects a print from her Limited Edition set, and gives a small bio of each subject mostly highlighting on their influence to the project. The Facebook page gives the viewers a hands on experience throughout the growth of the project. Follow us today,

Blog / News - Thursday - Jun 14, 2012
Bob Hurley and Nowak in Tavarua -…
Nowak with the Fijian Tavi locals
Nowak enroute to Cloudbreak
Five years ago this month, Nowak traveled to the heart shaped island of Tavarua, Fiji for her first visit. The remote island is home to celebrated world class surf breaks such as Cloudbreak, Restaurants,and Tavarua Rights. At the time, Nowak was working on plans start next body of work, the Faces of Surfing. During that specific week of her stay, she found herself surrounded by a few subjects that would be perfect for the first series of paintings including Richard Woolcott. His portrait became the second finished for the series and was first exhibited at the Hal Bromm Gallery in NYC. A few years later, Nowak was fortunate enough to fly back to Tavarua for the same Tavi Trippers week. Here she met more subjects including Bob Hurley and Aamion Goodwin. Her introduction to Bob lead to him offering to debut the entire first series at his Hurley Headquarters. This launch was instrumental to her paintings, the new studio in California, and all of the great and new people she has met along the way.

Tavarua recently hosted the 2012 Volcom Fiji Pro during the same week in June of Nowak's stay, where Cloudbreak greeted many of surfings top names last week such as Julian Wilson, Owen Wright, and Taj Burrow. Congratulations to Kelly Slater for finishing first at the Fiji Pro.

Blog / News - Friday - May 25, 2012
On Nowak's recent trip back to Key West, Quiksilver Watermans just happened to be visiting Key West at the same time for their Spring Line photo shoot. Included in the QS crew were Peter Mel and Shayne McIntyre - both who had never been to the FL Keys. Not only was Nowak able to photograph them for potential paintings, but also got to spend the day with them, their art director and photographers.

Blog / News - Thursday - May 10, 2012
Nowak with Richard Woolcott Photo…
Check out Nowak's interview on Liquid Salt at Salt is a website that is dedicated to giving a voice to those that make the surfing community unique and celebrate the culture.

Blog / News - Wednesday - May 09, 2012
Nowak with Fernando Aguerre at the…
Due to high demand Nowak's series of new paintings being shown at the La Jolla Art Association Gallery has been extended through Saturday May 12th. The gallery is open 7 days a week from 1-5pm. Private showings are available for more information please email Liz at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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