Collections and Obsessions, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Will Bullas


When entering our kitchen these are the paintings that people see first. The top one is entitled “bearista”, it kinda reminds me of my husband. It also reminds me of how I act in the mornings. I really do need my coffee, I refer to it as “liquid personality”.

I love our family gatherings in the kitchen, my husband and I drink coffee, and the kid eat their breakfast. Instead of reading the paper, we read our iPads or iPhones. I read the news first, and everyone shares what they are reading. Sometimes we share funny videos. It’s just a new age take on a business morning.

“The Wine King” kinda reminds me more of our son. He is the one that reads stocks and the Wall Street Journal in the morning. We all enjoy a glass of wine in the evening with our dinner. We all talk about how our day went, and no electronics are at the table. Well, I take that back, when we have guests that are checking into Reale Leone Suites, or the Crush Pad, we make sure all the guests for the day are checked in for the day. Sometimes, we do have to make an exception for business.

Seeing these paintings brings joy to my heart every time I see them. That is what art is all about…eliciting an emotional response. These two pieces were purchased at Just Looking Gallery, in San Luis Obispo.

Collections and Obsessions, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, Photography

Early Renaissance

My sister purchased these two pieces from a flea market about 20 years ago. They are black and white photographs. One is of the Holy Trinity, that was done by Masaccio. He was one of the first artist of the period to incorporate the  illusion of space in a painting. This painting is in Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy. IMG_9043

The second photograph is of the sculpture of the Virgin Mary and saints by Mino Da Fiesole, which is in the Fiesole Cathedral. He was an artist that was believed by the Medici family. He sculpted Piero di Cosmo de’ Medici.

Collections and Obsessions, Design, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Collecting Art 101

Ten steps to becoming an art collector.

(1) Art is all about being able to illicit a response from the viewer. Everyone has different taste, buy art that moves you!

(2) Does it match the couch…OMG! Please, stop! Buying REAL art has nothing to do with what it matches, and what it doesn’t match. You buy your couch for the comfort, and art because it provokes an emotion.

(3) Know how much you can afford to spend. The best art galleries have a wide variety of price points. Know what you feel comfortable spending.

(4) Window Shop, window shop before you buy. Go to museums, go to galleries, and research online. Develop your palette (pun intended), just like you wine taste, and get to know your favorite wineries…you’ll find that there are great galleries, and they will want you to meet artists. Do your research!

(5) Even if you don’t have a lot of money, there are art students that exhibit in galleries of your local university.

(6) Collecting art take up room in your house. Are you going to hang the art? Where are you thinking of hanging it? If there is a special place you want a piece, you are going to want to know the dimensions of the space before you shop. A long time ago, a friend told me…”If you love a piece of art, you’ll find room.”

(7) Print, giclee , or original? Well, it depends on how much you want to spend, how much you love it, and if this is an investment or not.

(8) Really make sure you love a piece before you take it home. You are going to have to live with this piece.

(9) Go with your gut, if something feels off, it probably is. Buy from a reputable gallery and or someone with a reputation for selling art that is not fraudulent.

(10) You don’t have to go for something new or old. Find what you love, get a budget, find the size and get excited about the artist and their work…then buy it!

I started collecting art in college, and my first pieces were from other students. I still have one of the paintings. Since then my collection includes portraits of people reading, cardinals from the 17 and 18th century. Mission paintings that are from the 1700’s to modern. Painting of transportation, from logos of the transportation, trucks, cars, cable cars, even horses. Plus, so much more. You can look at my blog under “Museum Monday” to find some of the artists that are in my collection.

Collections and Obsessions, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, Photography, Uncategorized

Art Festival

IMG_8153Lately, I haven’t had much time to write, and do many of my hobbies. Spending time renovating rental property and working at the winery. I was downtown for just a little bit to attend the Art Festival. Being a passionate collector of art, and viewing work of new artists is always enjoyable.

There are usually aspects of the art fair that only fleeting art, unless they are captured by a photographer. Some art is better while it is exists in a particular time and space, like the sand castle. The sand castle was surrounded by children and families being joyful and having fun, and the photo just does not convey that to the viewers.

This “Before I die…” is all about sharing your response and reading the ones others left. Your response may be something different on different days. Art is what makes an impression. Sometimes it is good, and sometimes it starts a conversation or even an inner dialog.



Collections and Obsessions, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Throwback Thursday, Uncategorized

Lambretta Load

This time three years ago we were loading up our collections on Lambretta scooters. One of our Lambretta scooters is from the 1960 Olympics that was held in Rome. We even have a collection of rare photographs of the Lambretta helicopters. One of our other Lambretta scooters has a bambino side car.

We moved trailer load by trailer load to the Central Coast. Oh, it was such a long journey, from 2008 to 2011. From the time we started looking for a space, we went through 5 realtors. Our gem of a realtor was David Crabtree!  We looked and looked,  for just the right space. Then in 2011 we found the perfect 300 acres. We purchased a few other pieces to add to the collection, before we found our current home. It took us 90+ moves every weekend to move our itemes from the SF Bay area to our current location.


We could not be happier with the way things have gone! Cheers to many, many more years her on the Central Coast, and with some patience we will open our museum within the next few years.

Collections and Obsessions, Design, farming, Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday, Uncategorized

Paolo Sala

A wonderful watercolor of nuns gathering for the day. I imagine they are gathering during the heat of the day. A time of the day they talk, knit, and maybe listen to family stories. They tell each other about the lives and families they left behind. The good times and the bad times, and why they were the ones that were chosen to join the church. I imagine that a few of them at least, have had crushes or pursued crushes or lustful tryst.

I am sure the conversations were more diluted when Mother Superior was around, and maybe when the initiates are around they may not want to tempt them to go back to city. Possibly even be the one to corrupt the initiate into sneaking out to pursue something less than innocent. IMG_7689.jpg

I’m sure the life of a nun was not an easy one. So many young women were sent to be nun’s because their families could not afford a dowery. Scrubbing floors, faming, and tending animals in the commune with other women. Gathering when you are told to do so…yikes!  Reading about the life of a nun is much different than living a life of a nun.

Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Francesco Peluso

In a barrel room, a lady samples the wine with some fellas. Three of the men are engaging with the young lady, while an elderly gentleman hangs away from the crowd. Could these be the three musketeers? Her bright colored dress, his pants, and the gentleman in the background are the ones that keep your eye bouncing around the canvas to each one, you are participating in the jovial spirit of the work of art. Although, some believe they are in a tavern, I suspect it is in a barrel room of a home. There are no taps on the wine barrels. The jug in the foreground, is also more of an indicator of the location.