Plein air art collection
Richard Schmid, "Ruins Near Tavernelle," 1996, oil, 8 x 12 in., Plein air

“Having grown up in Laguna Beach, California, an art colony, I’ve always been exposed to galleries and art exhibitions,” says Mary Linda Strotkamp. “My mother was an artist, and as a child, I often attended art classes by renowned artists at the Laguna Festival of Arts. Although I do occasionally paint today, my main focus is as an admirer, supporter, and collector. My husband, Jay, also grew up in Laguna, and is an enthusiastic fan of plein air art, both historical and contemporary.

“We attend a number of plein air events and competitions around the country and have enjoyed getting to know many of the participating artists. That personal connection often influences our choices in terms of what we collect, as do familiar subject matter, quality of work, and an appreciation for the artist’s approach.

“In fact, we consider most of the artists in our collection good friends and enjoy following their careers. I made my first major art purchase — an incredibly lovely figurative painting by Richard Schmid, entitled ‘Jamie and Gretchen’ — in 1986 at the Gilcrease Rendezvous show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Richard and his wife, Nancy Guzik, who’s also an artist, have since become dear friends, and we have acquired a few more wonderful pieces from them.

“Another favorite, Scott Burdick, we befriended when he was still a teenager, painting at the Palette and Chisel in Chicago. Through Scott, Richard, and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, with which we are both involved, we have come to know a number of young artists just starting their careers.

Randall Sexton, "Laguna Canyon," 2011, oil, 14 x 18 in., Plein air
Randall Sexton, “Laguna Canyon,” 2011, oil, 14 x 18 in., Plein air

“The plein air artists in our collection include Carolyn Anderson, Kathy Anderson, Clyde Aspevig, Jacobus Baas, Kenn Backhaus, Cindy Baron, Clayton Beck, Gavin Brooks, John Budicin, Scott Burdick, Marcia Burtt, Saim Caglayan, Jill Carver, Kang Cho, Josh Clare, Glenn Dean, Rick Delanty, Don Demers, Karl Dempwolf, Romel de la Torre, Josh Elliott, Rose Frantzen, Dan Gerhartz, Dan Goozee, Nancy Guzik, Albert Handell, Carolyn Hesse-Low, Quang Ho, Jeff Horn, Laurie Kersey, Daniel Keys, Paul Kratter, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, Greg LaRock, Rou Li, Calvin Liang, Jeremy Lipking, Kim Lordier, Susan Lyon, Terry Mimnaugh, Clark Mitchell, Ned Mueller, Michael Obermeyer, C.W. Mundy, Billyo O’Donnell, Darcie Peet, Camille Przewodek, Lori Putnam, Ron Rencher, Ray Roberts, Richard Schmid, Randall Sexton, Jason Situ, Mian Situ, Michael Situ, Matt Smith, Kate Starling, Kathryn Stats, George Strickland, Bryan Mark Taylor, Hsin-Yao Tseng, Michele Usibelli, Jeffrey Watts, Robert Watts, Mary Whyte, and Jim Wodark. It’s difficult to put any above the others, but among our favorite pieces would be Mian Situ’s ‘Pescadoro Point,’ Dan Gerhartz’s ‘Cedarburg,’ and Lori Putnam’s ‘One Good Turn.’

“As with many addicted collectors, we are faced with the challenge of finding enough wall space. We try to keep proper documentation on all the artwork and artists, and have the artwork re-appraised every five years.”


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