Bella Hearts

•February 26, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Exclusive Collections Gallery (ECG) warms up the hearts of local communities with their art showcase, Bella Hearts. This amazing art was created by an eight-year-old named Isabella Thorn, who has been painting ever since she first held a brush at the young age of 16 months. To date, Isabella has created more than 400 Bella Hearts, showing that even the smallest among us can have a huge impact. Bella Hearts’ pieces are collected and have traveled to collectors as far away as Dubai. These beautiful hearts can be seen at all five EC Galleries.

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At Isabella’s choice, 10% of the proceeds from her work go to benefit children and animals in need. It is her hope that every time someone sees a Bella Heart, there is a child who has benefited from another’s love and compassion. Each Bella Heart is an original creation made by the hands of three generations of artists. Together, grandmother, mother and daughter combine their creative talents to generate a beautiful, unique work of art crafted from the inherent love generated within the family.

Bella is frequently on TV and has been featured on KUSI Good Morning San Diego and San Diego 6 CW Wake Up San Diego. Her Hearts have been presented at different art shows, some shows where she has even painted live. Bella, a wonderful child, is creating art to help other children. What could be more special?

Bella posed with Renee K
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Asencio, “Eclectic Beauty”

•September 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This August at Exclusive Collections Gallery in San Diego’s Seaport Village, Henry Asencio presented a new collection of original oil paintings at his show, “Eclectic Beauty”.

In addition to a stunning array of new original paintings, Asencio also presented his newest available Fine Art Limited Edition painting, titled Classic Beauty.

“It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”
—excerpt from Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman”

Asencio’s newest Fine Art Limited Edition, Classic Beauty, celebrates the fundamental artistic elements of line, composition and light. As Asencio exhibits a seamless transition from drawing to painting, she, too, cannot be neatly defined or precisely bound to a series of connected lines. Her personality and the essence of her being gracefully leap from the canvas.

Hands on the hips, her confidence and strength shine through. Her face need not be revealed to determine that her beauty on the outside reflects every ounce of beauty that materializes from within. Asencio’s brushstrokes create a raw, palpable energy while the sepia tones demand a breathtaking silence.

With so many stunning works of art, several paintings from the show have been selected for future limited edition release, including the pair Flamenco and Italia, as well as Intrepid and Recollection.

Flamenco ltalia
Flamenco and Italia, two dancers, pay tribute to the aesthetic beauty of the human form in dance, as well as the beauty in dance tradition. Movement, strength and storytelling that emanate through flamenco dancing perfectly parallels the kind of messaging that Asencio seeks to portray in his work.

Intrepid and Recollection continue Asencio’s exploration into monochromatic works of art using sepia oil paint.


An upheaval of masculinity charged with the turmoil and fleeting memories. A teetering between emotion and a dedicated presence. Captive of his own struggle and triumphs, he is empowered not by his physical statement but all that is in accord with his recollections. His movements mirror his resolve. He remains shadowed as he remains unknown even to himself. Posed for a latent revelry, he begins the journey.


The beauty of painting with a singular tone is the immediate gratification in capturing the subject’s essence. Many times in these works the abstraction supports the figure, but in this piece it was the reverse. The figure’s shadows follow the fleeting strokes. The negative shapes of the figure are in harmony with negative shapes of the background. It’s as if she is the key puzzle shape designed to fit with the rest of the painting. The figure doesn’t impose itself, but interlocks perfectly within its design. This in turn mimics the subject’s acceptance of her surroundings and immerses her psyche into the realm of uncertainty.

On Saturday, Henry Asencio painted live in front of his audience. Standing at the Artist’s Stage, Asencio continued a painting, using a live model who posed in the gallery as a reference.



Thank you to everyone who came to support this fabulous artist in one of his most exciting exhibitions to date!

EC Gallery Celebrates 19 Years in Business

•July 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Exclusive Collections has come a long way in its 19 years, but it has never wavered in its spirit of community and family closeness. This past weekend, EC Galleries celebrated its 19th Anniversary with artist appearances, live painting, food and drink, and fun for the whole family!


Artists Steve Barton and Walfrido Garcia joined Exclusive Collections Gallery in San Diego’s beautiful Seaport Village on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. With delicious food created by Chris’ Ono Grinds Island Grill and hula dancing performed by the Island Praise Dance Ministry, it was a weekend of fun in the sun!

Barton and Walfrido at Seaport Village

Both artists painted live in the gallery, demonstrating their amazing brushwork and eye for beauty. While similar in subject matter, each artist carries a distinct style of painting that sets them apart. Walfrido Garcia uses many layers of oil paint that gradually build up to create serene seascapes of tropical paradise. Steve Barton, applying thicker brushstrokes to the canvas or even a surfboard, creates a painterly quality that contributes to the three-dimensional aspect of his work. This three-dimensionality is also seen in his signature wavy frames.

Walfrido Garcia

Steve Barton



BYOB! Michael Flohr visited Exclusive Collections Gallery in San Diego’s Historic Gaslamp to celebrate with drinks in hand and on the easel! Art collectors brought in their favorite bottles to be turned into works of art by Michael Flohr in beautiful oil-on-paper sketches.


Daniel Merriam enchanted art collectors in Laguna Beach with a dazzling new collection of fine art limited edition paintings. Four new paintings include A World Away, Music Room, The Falconess and Staying on Top. Fans and art collectors were able to meet Daniel Merriam and learn more about the fantasy and imagination that inspires the way he sees the world.


EC Galleries is proud to announce the newest gallery location in the ECG family: Beverly Hills! Join us July 30 from 6pm to 8pm for an opening celebration featuring artist Henry Asencio! He will be creating a new work of art at the gallery from a live model.

Address: 229 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 | Phone: (310) 278-7117 | Email:

EC Gallery Beverly Hills

Michael Flohr Show “A Moment in Time” at EC Seaport Village Gallery

•July 9, 2014 • 1 Comment

Attendees had more than just a moment this weekend to speak with Michael Flohr about his newest collection, “A Moment in Time.” He hosted the three-day exhibition June 20-22 at EC Seaport Village Gallery where collectors got a first look at the collection of original oil paintings inspired by the artist’s travels and observations. Unveiled for the first time, Michael Flohr also presented his newest fine art limited edition painting, Romance in the Rain. The painting depicts a couple walking through the rain in Piazza Navona in Rome. Through Flohr’s vague brush strokes, he is able to capture the sparkling reflections and he transports viewers to the Piazza, as if they’re right there watching the couple. He says he sometimes takes pictures of places but generally sketches the setting and takes notes for later. He then goes into the studio to put his contemporary impressionism into practice. “My wife always says I have greedy eyes because once I see something I can’t let it go. I have to get back in the studio and paint it,” Flohr told the audience on Saturday.

Guests mingled over complimentary wine, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. The collection captured snapshots of cities throughout the world, including Austin, San Diego, New Orleans, Paris and San Francisco and offered collectors a taste of travel without ever leaving home. He draws inspiration from “little snapshots, kind of like when you’re walking down the streets, you see something that just sparks out,” said Flohr. This was his 12th exhibition for EC Gallery.  He met gallery owner Ruth-Ann Thorn while sketching at a cafe next to one of her past galleries in La Jolla. “It was serendipitous, I was sketching next door to her gallery in La jolla 12 years ago,” said Flohr. “History was made!” added Thorn. A lot has happened in the last 12 years. Flohr started a family and painted countless masterpieces. Three generations of the Flohr family attended the gallery opening to offer their support for the master artist. The family-friendly event ran all weekend and was featured on San Diego 6 News Saturday morning.

EC Laguna Beach Hosts Colorblind: A Black & White Collection

•June 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Hisashi Otsuka's Enlightenment was done in graphite as part of the Colorblind Collection.

Hisashi Otsuka’s Enlightenment was done in graphite as part of the Colorblind Collection.

What’s black white and red all over? The Colorblind Collection at EC Gallery Laguna Beach if you’re including the wine! EC Gallery Laguna Beach held a party to unveil the black and white pieces of Hisashi Otsuka, Daniel Ryan and Henry Asencio June 7-8, 2014. The balmy summer weather brought in lots of art aficionados to appreciate the distinct style of each artist, who were not allowed to use color  in order to emphasize composition, value and contrast. The theme was the only thing tying the pieces together which otherwise are extremely different in style.

Like yin and yang, Hisashi Otsuka marries Eastern and Western influences into one harmonious piece. Images of koi fish, samurai warriors and ancient Eastern deities are drawn onto the human figure to create an illusion of full-body tattoos. Otsuka’s discipline is evident in his painstaking attention to detail. The black and white contrast is a welcome reprieve from his normally colorful depictions of Eastern culture.

Be Still My Heart by Henry Asencio draws raw emotion from the viewer.

Be Still My Heart by Henry Asencio draws raw emotion from the viewer.

Asencio also paints the human form but that is where the similarities between he and Otsuka end. He used charcoal for the “Color Blind” show to sketch female figures for works like Be Still My Heart and Radiant Beauty. His bold use of black and white invokes passion and emotion in the viewer to create an unforgettable experience. Without color, Asencio’s work lacks the heat he normally conveys through the female form. The black and white charcoal pieces stir excitingly raw emotions in the viewer.

The final artist showcased, Daniel Ryan, was present for the show and is the newest of the three. He used ink in his nature depictions, which he told guests can sometimes take him upwards of 60 hours to complete. His use of contrast in Quiet Winter is calming and gives the viewer the chance to take a moment of solitude. He also draws majestic mountainscapes and powerful ocean scenes. During the unveiling, he drew live and even invited collectors to try their hand at drawing.

Artist Daniel Ryan speaks with a collector during the unveiling Saturday.

Artist Daniel Ryan speaks with a collector during the unveiling Saturday.

The warm weather brought lots of people out to enjoy the Black & White Collection. Tourists and locals alike enjoyed the complimentary snacks and wine while perusing the variety of black and white pieces. Art collectors were having a great time and at one point tango lessons were being given. Whether people were stopping in on their way to dinner or after enjoying an afternoon movie, they were all smiles. EC Gallery’s talented art consultants were dressed in black and white to celebrate the occasion.

The wine was flowing and art enthusiasts were aplenty. The exhibition, which ran Saturday and Sunday, was a success for all those who attended. Most people walked away with a new appreciation for grayscale art and for Daniel Ryan’s modern depiction of landscapes.


Quiet Winter depicts a fresh blanket of snow.

Quiet Winter by Daniel Ryan depicts a fresh blanket of snowfall on an unfettered forest.

Celebrating the Year of the Horse with Jia Lu

•March 13, 2014 • 1 Comment

January 31st marked the beginning of the Chinese new year, Year of the Horse! The horse is thought to bring luck and prosperity, fast victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. To help celebrate this event EC Galleries held an exhibition at EC Forum Shops Gallery in Caesars Palace for one of the most talented Chinese artists, Jia Lu. The festivities began with a traditional lion dance from the Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy and continued throughout the weekend (January 31, 2014-February 2, 2014). In celebration, all who attended received fortune cookies and lucky red envelopes with a special treat inside!

1457466_10202798287099690_1782604979_nArtist Jia Lu (center right) and publisher Geoffrey Bonnycastle (second from right) with a traditional lion dancer (center left), EC Gallery Owner Ruth-Ann Thorn (second from left) and EC Gallery Directors Vanessa (left) and Keen (right).

Jia Lu’s work is a mixture of femininity, spirituality and the theatric. She combines Asian and American culture, Buddhist and Christian influences, and blends important symbolism into her compositions. Lu looks to “assimilate tradition into a contemporary sensibility” and successfully does so by straddling the line of realism and surrealism, and humanity and the metaphysical. Her work has energy, continuously flowing and changing.

gingko“Gingko” by Jia Lu, Fine Art Limited Edition, 32″ x 32″

gold-pagoda“Golden Pagoda” by Jia Lu, Fine Art Limited Edition, 40″ x 24″

Thank you to all who attended! If you missed this celebration you can see all of Jia Lu’s work here! If interested in a private viewing please contact your ECG art consultant. Hope to see you at the next EC Galleries event and may the Year of the Horse be a prosperous one for you!


Color Blind: A Black and White Collection

•March 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

On the weekend of January 24-26, Exclusive Collections Gallery presented a one-of-a-kind group exhibition that challenged the artists to work out of their comfort zone by creating colorless works. The results were better than collectors could ever have anticipated!

Participating artists included: Henry Asencio, Steve Barton, Christopher M., Michael Flohr, Walfrido Garcia, Steven Quartly, Daniel Ryan and Hisashi Otsuka.

Daniel Ryan created beautiful works of art with pen on paper using a stippling technique that demonstrated his painstaking skill and vision for negative space. High contrast values created a stark and dramatic effect.
Daniel Ryan

Michael Flohr proved that his images in charcoal are just as impressive as those in color. The artist translates his oil painting’s layering technique in a different medium by adding dramatic lines on top of smooth shading.
Michael Flohr

Henry Asencio’s charcoal works capture a series of seductive moments. His innate way of transposing each model’s energy with charcoal on paper creates an undeniably linear quality showcasing his skill in drawing.

Black and white art creates its own mood, whether a feeling of antiquity, an emphasis on light and form, or a delineation of a different perspective. Whether it is to enhance the subject matter with greater contrast or to achieve a cleaner, more formal look through negative space, artists choose not to use color for a variety of reasons. Black and white art sends its own extraordinary message separate from that of color works — a message that may be shared or different for each person. It is entirely up to interpretation.

This event was such a success EC Gallery decided to offer it again! Join us this June for Color Blind: A Black and White Collection at EC Laguna Beach Gallery!


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