Tag Archive: art

Wildcat Nude Workshop, No. 1


Inspired by Art… Just got back to LA from a wonderfully inspiring stay at the Weston estate and the Wildcat Nude Photo Workshop led by Kim Weston and myself.  Last Thursday, when I first walked into Kim’s private studio and saw his paintings on the wall, I was feeling newly infused with inspiration and creativity. The gallery style studio reminded me of when I worked at an art gallery in LA and when I traveled through Europe stopping at every atelier I could find. I am so overwhelmed with love for art, artists, muses, fellow photographers, and the graciousness of everyone in our community. I am hard pressed to verbalize how grateful I am to lead a life filled with passion, art and beautiful people… so I will just leave it to my photographs to express it for me.

All photographs created at Wildcat Hill, Big Sur, CA August 29, 2010 by Christa Meola




I will be blogging the rest of my fav picks from the Workshop as well as share all of the news that has kept me so wonderfully busy this summer.

Stay tuned for more!

xx, Christa

Portrait of An Artist, Michelle Dunaway

You would be hard pressed to find a more soulful and endearing person than Michelle Dunaway. Michelle is a dear friend of mine, a talented fine artist, and an amazing woman.  She and I connect at such a core level – we can share a great laugh, a good cry, an interesting conversation, and always an inspiring creative collaboration. Michelle’s my soul sister 🙂  So I jumped at the chance when Michelle asked me to join her drawing and painting workshop and take pics for American Artist magazine.  Even though I had family shoots each morning, the past 5 days have been a whirlwind of inspiring art, geeking out on technique fundamentals and discussing light, shadow, color and line!  Thank you Michelle – I had so much fun. Who needs sleep?

This is one of Michelle’s beautiful portrait paintings… I saw it in the studio, and I used it to inspire my portrait of her (above).  I wanted it to look like one of her paintings… with soft blue tones and a gaze that draws you in…  (taken with my favorite 85mm 1.2 and letting light enter the lens directly.)


Michelle is a master of the 5 Minute sketch…


Here are a couple of Michelle’s 5 Minute drawings, published in an art book, “Strokes of Genius II, The Best of Drawings.”  Her work is incredibly inspiring to me – it’s confident, sensual, deliberate, and elegant.  There are subtle nuances in even her simplest strokes…


It’s great to have a teacher with a sense of humor and patience.  She always has a kind word of encouragement.


The picture on the left is my drawing of the gorgeous model (shown above).  And another of Michelle’s beautiful 5 Minute demo drawings…


The Workshop was held at the freakishly talented Jeremy Lipking‘s studio in Agoura Hills.  Jeremy, Michelle and I first met at an art gallery in 2001 when I did some posing for them.  Here are some of Jeremy’s figure demo’s and his latest painting…


A couple of interesting characters in the studio…


A couple of juicy close-ups to finish up. I think these pics truly capture Michelle’s sensitivity, beauty and spirit.


I loved switching back and forth from photography to art – what a great way to be challenged, grow and stay inspired!  I’m forever grateful to Michelle for the invitation and most of all… for her friendship.



PS.  Michelle is not only a fabulous artist, but she’s also a phenomenal photographer.  She was the gal behind the lens of my profile pic on the About page of this blog 🙂



Nude in Charcoal

The first lesson my Dad taught me was how to look at an object and see the light and shadow. I had the extreme pleasure yesterday of stealing a break from my busy fall schedule to meet up with my dear friend and incredibly talented fine artist, Michelle Dunaway.  Michelle called me up last week to let me know she’s back in town teaching a drawing & painting workshop and asked if I would photograph her for American Artist magazine.

Best of all, she offered me the opportunity to sit in on the class and draw!  Now, I haven’t picked up a piece of charcoal since 1992, but I was so excited!  Like a kid at Christmas kind of excited.  Michelle took me yesterday to buy supplies, and after taking loads of photos for her, I sat down at an easel bench and a blank piece of paper.  Michelle wandered over to give me a quick demo on drawing 101, and I began some 5 minute sketches.  The above picture was done in maybe 6 or 7 minutes. I had such fun with the process – very liberating.  I’ll be going to Michelle’s class over the next few days after my morning shoots, and will post pics of Michelle and her incredible work soon.

In other news, today is my 1st Anniversary! The Studio + Gallery, Christa Meola Pictures, is 1 Year Old!  The Grand Opening party last year was a blast, and today I’ll have to celebrate with a cupcake, candle, some friends, some photos, and a lot of nude drawing!



Nude No. 2

Larva X is a model who looks very art deco, no? Here are a few more nudes for a Friday night 🙂  Posting more soon… xoxo, C