Artists Spotlight April 7 – April 29

Artist Spotlight Series to Highlight Artists
Gretchen Schields, Marianne van der Veer, Barbara Ann Leideritz, and Patrick Hotra

LAGUNA BEACH, CA – Forest & Ocean is pleased to announce the fifth installment of the popular Artists Spotlight Series in the recent expansion of their gallery in downtown Laguna Beach. This will be the last Artists Spotlight until the Fall season.

The expanse allows Forest & Ocean Gallery to include an area dedicated to a new monthly exhibit showcasing the talent of their artists. This upcoming spotlight will display the talents of jeweler Gretchen Schields, watercolor painter Marianne van der Veer, photographer Barbara Ann Leideritz, handmade shaker and craftsman Patrick Hotra. The exhibition will run from April 7 – April 30with artwork available for purchase. The public is invited to a reception with the artists on Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 6 – 9pm for unveiling of new artwork, discussion, and refreshments.

About the Artists

It was an intuitive progression that Gretchen and Marianne would stage a show together. Both award-winning artists with their international backgrounds and audacious fashion styles recognized each other’s unique vision and talent. This created a bond of friendship, and mutual inspiration.

Gretchen’s dramatic jewelry designs became Marianne’s focus for a series of portraits of women wearing Gretchen’s creations. Shown together, their parallel vision in different media proves fascinating.

They call this collaborative presentation “Bejeweled, Bedazzling.”


Gretchen Schields,Born in Tokyo and raised in Hong Kong, Africa and Australia, Gretchen draws on her fairytale childhood to create jewelry rich with the art traditions of her exotic homes. Gretchen works with freshwater pearls or semi-precious stones weaving dramatic, multi-strand neckpieces, often using one of her tribal and Asian treasures as centerpieces to create jewelry that is truly art to wear.

Her love of rare textiles is apparent in her signature line of fabric necklaces, SILK ROAD. Using silks, antique Japanese obi, Chinese embroideries and rich European brocades, she creates featherweight neckwear highlighted with ethnographic collectibles and beads.

An Illustration graduate of Art Center College, Gretchen worked as a fashion and advertising illustrator for much of her career. Before she began designing jewelry, Gretchen Schields was best known for the popular children’s book illustrations she created with novelist friend, Amy Tan. THE MOON LADY was their first book. Their second book, THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT led to their production of the Emmy Award-winning PBS children’s animated TV series, “SAGWA”


Marianne van der Veer,Born in the Netherlands, she received her art training at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where she excelled in the academic techniques of the Old Masters.


Marianne has taught art in France, California, and Middle East. A favorite of the Royal Families, Marianne painted portraits of princes and kings and gave private lesson to their children. She performed painting demonstrations on television in Kuwait, UAE, Oman and Dubai and held many exhibitions in concord with the Dutch Embassy. Her work has been shown and sold around the world including Switzerland, France, Middle East, and throughout the United States.


Like Gretchen, she also studied illustration at The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, going on to become Art Director of Capitol Records and Fashion Coordinator for Robinsons and other major department stores.

She now works in Laguna Beach, where she was a portrait artist at the Sawdust Festival for 7 years.


Barbara Ann Leideritz,Barbara Ann Leideritz is a native Californian and was trained in the appreciation of the arts, including studies in music.
She traveled extensively with her family and lived in many parts of the country, including a very special 4 years, living in Alaska. It was this experience that brought forth a deep appreciation and love for the beauty, majesty and serenity of nature.


Patrick Hotra, My woodworking background includes formal classes at Fullerton Community College and Cerritos Community College.  My informal education followed that of many woodworkers; books and magazine articles, DVD’s and online videos, studying the work of experts in the field of Craftsman and Shaker design and construction. The simple designs and honest approach to craftsmanship that I found there became the foundation for the pieces I sought to produce.


The countless hours spent in my workshop evolved my style, honed my hand tool skills, and distilled the bits and pieces of woodworking craft I’ve gathered over the past 30 plus years into the methodology I follow when designing a piece of furniture or cabinet.


The education doesn’t stop, however.  There are new refinements, new approaches to solving old problems, and the opportunity to produce a piece of work that stands slightly apart from the mainstream, that I can identify as my own.

About Forest & Ocean Gallery

Opened in June 2012, Forest & Ocean Gallery is devoted to the photographic arts as well as other forms of artistic expression and media. The gallery is located on 480 Ocean Avenue, Laguna Beach, CA. Hours of operation are Tuesday – Friday 11 – 5pm, Saturday 10 – 6pm, Sunday 11 – 5pm and by appointment. For additional information please visit

Artist Spotlight 5


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