"2318 Chapala" by Chris Potter

In a town that’s home to the talented Bottoms family, generations of artists aren’t anything new. But what about when one of said artists isn’t even two years old?

Meet budding expressionist Malakye Beaumont Potter, born in August 2006, and already churning out some interesting material. It’s not a surprise considering his parents are plein air and abstract studio painter Chris Potter (a stockbroker by day) and jeweler Julie Beaumont (an organic farmer at Fairview Gardens). Together, the couple-who are expecting a little girl to join their ranks later this year-have already amassed enough art to throw a show, and they’re doing so this Saturday, May 10, from 3 to 7 p.m. in their private studio at 2318 Chapala Street, complete with music from the Dueling Cherrots, beverages from The Wine Garage of Calistoga, and cheese from C’Est Cheese.

While Malakye is still developing his craft, his mom uses beads, shells, gems, hemp, and silver wire to make necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings, which retail between $5 and $90. A Quebec native, Julie met Chris, an S.B. lifer, while they were both in Paris a few years ago. There, they shared a bottle of wine under the Arc de Triomphe. She tracked him down in California, convinced him to paint full-time, and then they both moved to Montreal. Though painting since college, Chris hadn’t sold anything before meeting Julie; since then, he’s peddled hundreds of pieces.

In Montreal, Chris focused on his art, developing an eye for natural landscapes. Once back home in Santa Barbara, that eye proved magical, and the contours of our coastline became perfect subjects for his colorful, at times whimsical oils and watercolors. These days, you might find him painting entire pieces of the beach, bluffs, or backcountry all in one sitting.

And with a baby due on Labor Day, the time seemed right for a Potter-Palooza. “Since we know we are going to be even deeper into parenting,” explained Chris, “we felt it was the time to show off all the creative work that we have done while a family.” Visit chrispotterart.com.


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