Sparkle Tone 

Glittery abstract paintings in a cool Walnut Creek lounge.

"My 'Glitterati' series paintings all have glitter embedded in the artwork," declares East Bay artist Ricki Mountain. "So an environment that has dark and light such as Spoontonic will make these paintings pop." And her glitter-drizzled creations do indeed catch the light in crazy ways. The abstract impressionist-style paintings teem with the trademark drips and gloops of a Jackson Pollock, but it's doubtful that Pollock ever hung his canvases in a Walnut Creek bar.

Mountain, whose day job as a trade consultant for a fine art publisher gives her a lot of access to what's current ("I swim in imagery all day long"), has been painting professionally for about ten years. She cites Pollock and especially Mark Rothko as inspirations for her current series of oversized, free-form canvases, although she swears the style emerged all by itself. "I didn't consciously make those paintings drippy," she says. "I paint flat, and in the middle of working I stepped back and said, 'Wow, that looks like Pollock.' I like to take all kinds of abstractions and mix 'em up. I've never really been schooled." Maybe not, but even in one of the most Pollock-like of her acrylic paintings, the 36"x36" Athenian Queen (2003), Mountain's energetic playfulness shows through. And anyway, the drips are history: "I've moved on to squares and concentric circles now."

The "Glitterati" show opens Thursday, April 8 at Spoontonic, Jeff Sun's intimate, retro-techno lounge hidden away beneath an Indian restaurant at 2580 N. Main St., Suite A, in Walnut Creek. "Jeff is very open to emerging artists," claims Mountain, who digs having an urban art bar at the "wrong" end of the bridge 'n' tunnel continuum. "This little lounge oozes culture and inspires both Gen-X and Gen-Y to enjoy a social night out without the hassle of driving into the city." Just don't ask her to drink one of the house special cocktails, the Blue Otter Pop. "It's made with blue vodka or gin, with vermouth, very sweet," she laughs. "I'll stick to my Coors Light." "Glitterati" stays on Spoontonic's walls until May 30. 925-977-1888.

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