Ah, the flowers of June! Open your eyes to color. We have a few blooming fields in Lompoc yet, of sweet peas and other beauties. Thanks to abundant rainfall our yards are graced with vibrant blossoms. And so are the walls of the Cypress Gallery this month.

The front gallery treats the viewer to an immersion in full-blown color with the works of photographer Bill Morson, our featured artist for June. Among them are voluptuous images of iris, lilies, plumeria, and our local fields of stock, picked and hoisted on the shoulders of a powerful field worker.

Morson’s early life experiences shaped him for a career in photography, and in particular as a documentary and news photographer. Growing up in a military family, Bill had the opportunity to live all over the United States. The artist in him was sensitive to the unique landforms, regional events and people of various locations, each being a new place to discover and observe. As a geography major in college he continued to explore the physical world, and how people live and adapt to their local environment.

Morson received extensive photo processing training in the military, a career path which allowed him to remain a curious observer of people and places, and the chance to record his discoveries. Morson’s professional career spanned many years as a photojournalist in Hawaii and Santa Barbara County. As a “behind the scenes” resort and corporate photographer in Hawaii he also has lifetime of great stories, that include hanging with the secret service guys, and a very amusing anecdote of photographing President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter playing tennis!

The technically and physically brilliant forms of Morson’s art photography span the gamut of what we experience, including sports action, space launches, and the treasured places and things of nature. His images of Hawaii in particular express a degree of intimacy and fondness for the subject. One gets a palpable sense that Bill is watching, analyzing and enjoying what he sees. You will too!

The main gallery is also awash with color, many works following a flower theme. Vicki Andersen has chosen pinks, roses, sweetpeas and daisies to cascade over fences, Linda Gooch her exquisite roses, Chris Jeszeck a semi-precious trumpet lily, Jane Kametami a smiling sunflower, and Yours Truly a bevy of matilija poppies in the breeze. In “Luna and Ghost” artist Mitra Cline uses a bold, playful style to create an exuberant piece of a cat and a bird, with large red happy flowers in the foreground.

One of the great pleasures for me in viewing art is to enjoy the infinitely various styles of line and brushwork found in them. Neil Andersson’s paintings seem to be a slow unfolding of soft, refined strokes, which help to create the glowing, evocative aspect of his work, particularly evident in “Canal in Amsterdam.” Dee Sudbury uses scratchy, active strokes to depict a crowing rooster. In Trish Campbell’s “Summer Time Palmtree” the dancing, colorful paint strokes rejoice in the sunlight of a golden sky.

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So dear readers, when June gloom is getting you down, the skies are gray and the mist swirling all around, have a look in the Cypress Gallery. Pick up your spirits with color therapy! Enjoy some shopping therapy as well, among the abundant selection of colorful gifts.

The Cypress Gallery is operated by the members of the Lompoc Valley Art Association is a 501c(3) non-profit organization, committed to expanding and supporting access and exposure to the arts in the Lompoc and Santa Ynez Valley. Find us at and on Facebook/CypressGallery. We're located at 119 East Cypress Avenue, Lompoc. Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12 noon to 5:00 pm. Phone (805) 737-1129.

All photos by Bill Morson, Gallery Director

Bill Morson “Sis’s Kitchen Window ”

Mitra Cline “Luna and Ghost”

Bill Morson “Carnival Ride ”

Bill Morson “Air Tanker Drop”

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