Thursday is one our favorite days of the week, here at Luxe Beat Magazine. We feature articles on art, music and topics with a cultural bent. Here is a round-up a few from our collection:

Venice Opus 131   Venice Opus 13 Oil on Linen ©Layla Fanucci

Venice Opus 131 Venice Opus 13 Oil on Linen ©Layla Fanucci

City of Dreams Artist Layla Fanucci

Born in San Francisco in 1957, Layla Fanucci’s artistic talent was first expressed in music. Fanucci, along with her brother and sister, was encouraged by her parents to study multiple instruments, learning to play the piano, clarinet, and guitar. She went on to teach the guitar, putting herself through San Francisco State University by giving lessons. She pursued a degree in sociology, and graduated in 1980. Fanucci had married her husband Robert the previous year and in 1981 they moved with their infant daughter to New York City, where he attended law school, and where they had a second daughter. Four years later they also had a son. They returned to California after two years in New York, and eventually the family settled in St. Helena, in the Napa Valley, where Robert practices tax law and produces wine, and Layla has her painting studio.

Darlene Kaplan, Hey Goegeous: Peacocks Courting, Oriental Brush Painting. Chinese mineral colors on acid free rice paper, 37″ x 26″

Darlene Kaplan, Hey Goegeous: Peacocks Courting, Oriental Brush Painting. Chinese mineral colors on acid free rice paper, 37″ x 26″

Darlene Kaplan Imbues Her Oriental Brush Paintings, Workshops And Tea Tastings With “Chi”

For many years, Darlene Kaplan created realistic paintings in oils before making the change to oriental brush painting. As the award-winning artist and instructor explains, “Studying martial arts — Tai Chi’ — for years inspired me to try this medium, which I fell in love with right away.”

The artist, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, has been painting with Chinese watercolors for more than 40 years. She also teaches Chinese brush painting in her studio in addition to being a martial artist who teaches Tai Chi. As the artist reminds us, “The energy ‘chi’ is also essential in Oriental Brush Painting.”

David Pack. © 2014 Napa Crossroads Music Group LLC

David Pack. © 2014 Napa Crossroads Music Group LLC

David Pack’s Napa Crossroads a Toast to Music

Somewhere in between his top 40 hits and Grammy Awards ceremonies, he’s found the time to enjoy wine. I mean really enjoy wine. He takes as much pride in his music as he does in being an oenophile. Out of his passion for both art forms blossomed the Napa Crossroads project. Here is what he has to say about the venture. “Napa Valley and me are old friends. The grapes speak to me, the land soothes me, and the people move me like nowhere on earth. This project is my love letter to Napa Valley. Every song was written and recorded there. The primary inspiration is my five winery partners who contributed greatly to make this happen. We worked joyously to weave their life-stories into these songs and create a time capsule to preserve the memory of friends and a time that will never again be.”

Lunch Break by Quentin Cordair

Lunch Break by Quentin Cordair

The Importance Of Art In The Workplace

The artwork chosen for a business space can convey a devotion to important and distinctive values, helping distinguish the business from its competition, or it can convey a mere reflection of what is commonly accepted in the mainstream, or it can project a preference for the trendy and avant-garde, with little or no regard for how well or poorly the imagery may nourish the souls and minds of those who experience it. Artwork can help set and maintain a positive, optimistic, and ambitious perspective for those working in the space, or it can lend to a boring or draining atmosphere, or it can be markedly detrimental.

©Billy Rogan

©Billy Rogan

New Age Guitarist Billy Rogan Approaching the Unconscious

Billy Rogan is a musician’s musician. He has collaborated and played with some of the best artists in the business and was selected and featured on ASCAP’s highly-acclaimed Audio Portraits series. Humbly, he has this to say about working with other performers, “Learning from, or simply spending time with anyone who has something to show you, is a part of life that I’ve always felt was of importance. I’ve been lucky to have at a young age, some older people around me  influence my decisions to pursue art. Naturally then, having the opportunity to play along with someone who has devoted his entire life to music can show you a thing or two. Opening for, and jamming with, Bill Kirchen of Commander Cody, who is also known as ‘The titan of the Telecaster’, was most certainly a fond evening I won’t soon forget.”