Best in Show Winner of Queen Calafia Deborah Hobbs. Hobbs won a 1 yr supply of Product from Calafia Farms for the following works. Hobbs is a native Californian, who resides in the central coast of California. She specializes on flora, abstract and portraiture.
Below is a little about the artist and her process in creating original work for the show.
"When approached by Marlena with this concept show I was immediately inspired. My first thought was of my friend Binta who is a poet, health care provider, fierce warrior, and who absolutely loves California. Currently a bay area resident she says she will never live anywhere else. I saw her immediately in this setting as Califia. I began with her in the middle foreground of this long canvas hoping to capture an expansive view as California provides. Iconically the Golden Gate Bridge frames Binta's face, placed on a beach is a representative "Hotel California" which is an iconic song by the Eagles, " you can check out but you can never leave", lyrics of which resonate with me as a native Californian. The California poppies seen all over our beautiful state often appear with the complimentary purple lupins, comfort Califia's chest. The mystical Griffin's perches are painted gold, a reference to the gold that brought so many settlers to California. The Pacific ocean, the Palm trees also an iconic symbols of California in my mind, and large Bird of Paradise referencing the paradise we Californians feel is our state, and the Monterey Cyprus trees dotting the coast had to be included. And of course the Monarch Butterfly adorning the image , dual reference to the Monarch Califia and the butterfly itself.
The name sake of California being a strong, dark skinned, warrior Queen is perfect in this political climate, thank-you Marlena for bringing her to my attention.
The second image of "Califia" that came to me was inspired by our first Lady , Michelle Obama. I wanted to juxtapose a "celebrity" along side my friend as equals. As I worked on this piece, not being a realistic painter, Michelle's face kept reminding me of the face of an American Indian which I allowed to happen given that " the original people" were indeed natives. I am so impressed with Michelle as a gracious, intelligent, loving, beautiful soul I felt her as Queen Califia was also perfect.
Included in this portrait are the rolling hills, with Oak trees in the background. Her crown/ halo is made of California poppies, Valley Oak trees leaves, two suns setting on either side also resembling wings coming from her head. And the Griffin protectors from the original story of Califia atop her head. A Monarch Butterfly, this time on the Queen's chest, was a must to reference both the Queen and the butterfly, a reserve for which exists within miles of my current residence." - Deborah Hobbs
24"x 30" in
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas