got my first exposure to painting when visiting my grandparents in the
Adirondack Mountains in Elizabethtown, N.Y. They lived next door to a
painting school known as “The Old Mill School.” The artists who taught
there were primarily landscape and portrait painters who taught oil
My mother and her siblings as well as my grandparents had their
portraits painted there. At 60 my grandmother took up painting. I knew
that I would be an artist by the time I was eight .
My grandmother got me going on landscape painting and as I got older I
took classes at the Montclair Museum in Montclair, New Jersey.
After graduating high school I went to
Goddard College in Plainfield, VT and took a study term in Cambridge,
Massachusetts where I took classes at the Boston Museum School. I met
artists Phil Geraci and Joey de Martelly who were my early influences,
teaching me design and sculpture.
In 1970 I transferred to California College of Arts and Crafts, in
Oakland, CA (now known as California College of Art), and received my
Bachelors of Fine Art in 1973. In 1976 I worked at Dharma Press, a
Buddhist Publishing House in Emeryville, CA, where I was a paste-up
artist and did the renderings for 90 manifestations of the Buddha. 1976
was also the year that I started working on my original existential
illustrated children’s book, (which has finally been printed in 2008),
In 1979 I took a class called “Form and Language,” that was co-taught
by the late sculptor, Dennis Leon and by the poet, Steve Ajay. I
enrolled in graduate school as a Sculpture major in 1980, and received
my Master of Fine Arts, cum Laude in 1982.
Both Dennis Leon and Steve Ajay became my
mentors while a grad student. I am forever indebted to their insight,
kindness and generosity.
After graduating I continued to make
sculpture for a few years but found that the large scale sculpture I was
making was difficult to store after I moved from my large studio in
Oakland to a much smaller one in Marin County in 1984. I moved into
working primarily as a two-dimensional artist working in pastel,
watercolor, printmaking, acrylics and oils. Most of
the work for the past 15 years has
been in oil paintings and I continue to use Nature, and Landscape as
inspiration for my fine art contemporary oil paintings.
Contemporary Art; featuring abstract nature and landscape paintings
using water, trees, sky and land as jumping off points, by California
contemporary artist, June Yokell. Original Fine Art includes large
scale landscape oil paintings, medium sized work and giclee prints.
These contemporary fine art oil paintings and giclees whose subject
matter derives from Nature, and
the original limited edition of June’s fine art book “The Pet”, a book
30 years in the making with 17 ink drawings and original text are
available for purchase directly from the artist, June Yokell.
I now have a
which I update regularly. The content of the blog is ultimately about
anything that I've been thinking about that inter weaves and influences
my work and my process. My hope is to invite artists and art lovers
into a dialogue of perception that is the ping and pong of the personal
and the public.