Staff Report

The community is invited to join the Wildling Museum for the final day of its Celebrating the National Lands of California exhibit for a panel discussion featuring artists Patricia Hedrick, James Hodgson, Alan Sonneman (first place winner) and Nancy Yaki (third-place winner), 3-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang.

Visitors will learn about the artists’ individual processes and inspiration, as well as their experiences working in California’s national lands.

Admission is $5 for Wildling Museum members, $10 for non-members. Tickets available online at or by calling 805-686-8315.

Celebrating the National Lands of California is a juried exhibition featuring 63 artworks by 57 artists from across the U.S. Locations featured in the show include:

Carrizo Plain National Monument, Channel Islands National Park, Death Valley National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Joshua Tree National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Mojave National Preserve, Point Reyes National Preserve, Redwoods National Park, San Jacinto National Monument, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park.

Support for Celebrating the National Lands of California is provided by the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, Pete and Becky Adams, Tierra Alta Vineyards, and Donors to the Patti Jacquemain Exhibition Fund.

Hedrick is a native Californian, who was raised in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. She earned a B.A. in fine art from Pitzer College, Claremont, and has practiced as a freelance illustrator for the, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara News-Press and UCSB.

After moving to the Santa Ynez Valley in 1989, Hedrick joined local Save the Sedgwick Ranch efforts to preserve the land from development.

Inspired by the natural landscape and open spaces of the Santa Ynez Valley, Hedrick has dedicated her attention to the landscape with a particular interest in atmospheric effects, typically captured in pastel.

She has exhibited at local museums and galleries, including individual and group shows at the Easton Gallery in Santa Barbara and Young’s Gallery in Los Olivos, as well as a 2013 retrospective at the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art in Solvang.

Above-the-Valley, artwork by James Hodgson.

Hodgson was born in Alberta, Canada, in 1956 and grew up in Santa Barbara. His love of birdwatching started at age 11, when he went on his first Audubon birdwatching trip. He later began sketching and painting birds and wildlife as part his lifelong study of birds, reptiles and mammals.

Hodgson’s career as a mechanical designer in the engineering field has honed his illustrative technique; his precision and attention to detail is reflected in his painting style, which combines accurate detail with muted abstract backgrounds. He spends hours in the field drawing inspiration from actual experiences and encounters with his subjects.

Hodgson uses field notes, sketches, and his own photography to compose his pieces in the studio. Careful attention is given to the authenticity of habitat and anatomy of his subjects.

Hodgson believes it’s imperative we protect our remaining wild lands and habitats to ensure rich biodiversity and ecological health of the planet. He hopes his paintings will help the viewer appreciate how much is at stake and motivate them to protect our environment.

“It would be such a loss for future generations to not know the beauty of these creatures,” he said.

Hodgson is a self-taught painter and works primarily in oil on hand-stretched linen canvas and custom frames each piece. His paintings hang in private homes and collections throughout the Western United States and Canada. For more, visit

Sonneman, who lives in Palo Alto, was born and raised in Winona, Minn. He briefly attended Northwestern University in Illinois before graduating from The San Francisco Art Institute in 1975. He spent several years working for galleries and museums on the East Coast before moving back to California in 1982 to divide his time between the fine arts and the film industry.

Sonneman’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the U.S., including the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Katzen Center at American University in Washington, D.C.; Southwest Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA; and Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA, in conjunction with his mural for the Riverside Hall of Justice.

His mural commissions include the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian.

He has received grants and fellowships from the Neddie Marie Jones Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Sequoia Parks Foundation. In film, Sonneman has contributed to such movies as “Cliffhangers,” “Dante’s Peak,” “Fifth Element,” “Titanic,” “Matrix Revolution,” “A.I.,” and “What Dreams May Come.”

From 1997-2001 he was an artist for Steven Spielberg’s company Dreamworks. For more visit:

Yaki, an Alaska- and California-based artist, said she feels most at home wherever she can find the powerful elements of nature and translate them into works of art. Traveling with her watercolors to capture scenes onsite, she might be sailing along the Aleutian Islands or trekking in the high western desert.

Internationally known for her contemporary and evocative style, Yaki embarks on far-flung journeys for artistic inspiration. After amassing raw material along the way in the form of her watercolor sketches, she returns to her studio and curates the most compelling images to transform into larger works.

Though her creations elicit comparisons to historical and contemporary masters, Yaki’s work is simultaneously acknowledged as stunningly original and inventive. Her art has been published worldwide and has earned multiple international awards. She has been featured in art textbooks and major art periodicals, as well as museums and gallery exhibitions.

For more information, visit:

For more about the Wildling, and to volunteer and/or join as a member, visit