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The paintings of Stella Hubbard

painting by Stella Hubbard 14 something bright for a dark corner

painting by Stella Hubbard 9 untitled

painting by Stella Hubbard 2 untitled

painting by Stella Hubbard 15 Downtown San Diego, CA 1964

painting by Stella Hubbard 4 Cabrillo Bridge 1965

painting by Stella Hubbard 11 Young Mothers Watching

painting by Stella Hubbard Olivenhain School House (with gremlins)

Stella Hubbard was born Stella Johnson on July 2, 1897 in York, Nebraska. Her parents had emigrated from Sweden to America. She met Harold Hubbard and they were married on July 3, 1920 in Denver, Colorado. They soon moved to Encinitas and (with the help of family) built their own home. As well as being a housewife and mother, she was also a musician and artist. She played organ at the Methodist Church and created paintings as well as etchings, murals and other crafts. Her paintings were exhibited at the Del Mar Fair (often winning awards) as well as various local art galleries. Late in her life, Stella suffered from several strokes, ending her artistry and leaving her to live the rest of her life in a rest home. She died on May 25, 1996 in El Cajon, California.

In Remembrance of Harold and Stella Hubbard

For their children, Betty, John and Don and for all the grandchildren who knew and loved them, these few words cannot do justice to their memory or serve to recall all of the wonderful times we shared. But for the younger great-grandchildren and future generations who might wonder, let's try to describe this unique couple.

They were really a "couple" in every sense of the word, and that idea has been dominant in describing their life together. Almost never apart, except when Grandpa went to work, they were devoted to each other and to their "family", which included spouses and a few close friends.

Stella was able to do just about anything she set her mind to do. With hammer and saw she helped build the little house in Encinitas. A few garden tools and her magic touch and everything grew and bore fruit. A talented artist, she played the organ at the Methodist Church and entertained all of us at the piano and electric organ. With brushes and paint she could do a mural of full-size horses racing across a wall or a christmas scene in the patio or a life-like portrait of a grandchild. She loved her home and made it a happy place for everyone.

Harold was interested in everything, especially the latest inventions. He was among the first to have a radio, tape recorder, television set telescope with camera attached and a dark room for developing and printing his own color enlargements. Give him enough wire and friction tape and he could fix anything. Why he didn't burn down every house they lived in is still a mystery because he believed fervently in controlling everything electrical from his bed. Music was a great love and he couldn't resist buying records. Of course sales resistance was not one of his strong points anyway.

Grandpa and Grandma were great readers. They spent many happy hours reading to each other from the classics, the Bible, history, politics, art, religion. They devoured whole sets of thick volumes on civilization and philosophy.

Our warmest memories of Harold and Stella are of holidays, especially Christmas, when they invited all of the family and friends to the very long table at Del Mar. They cooked the dinner together and afterwards we all sang while Grandma jumped back and forth from the piano to the organ. And then piles of presents. Spending money at Christmas must have been Grandpa's favorite hobby.

Their life together serves as a sterling example of the meaning of "devotion" and "commitment". Their dreams for the retirement years were not realized because Stella's health failed after 70 active, fruitful years, but Grandpa fought to keep their lives together, trying everything to maintain their independence. His love never waivered and his energies were directed solely to Stella's welfare and happiness. He overcame every barrier to their staying together and she remained, as always, his Stella.

Their search for truth led them to a strong Christian faith, but they were non-judgemental and tolerant of other's sincere beliefs. They were very proud of their large family and we can all be thankful that they were there to lead us in their gentle, loving ways.

Program from CD release/art exhibit

Her works exhibited today are just a few of the several hundred she created. For me, these paintings are very special. Her incredible use of space, color and her amazing synthesis of realism and abstraction continue to inspire me. Many of the works are very large, while others are discarded sketches. I love every one. They range from landscapes and nature views to abstracted imaginings to religious renderings to a whole series on clowns. Over the last several years, most of my musical compositions have been inspired by her paintings or my feelings surrounding them. These compositions are the basis of our CD and tonight we will be playing a wide variety of selections from the CD as well as new compositions written in the last several months. We will also be playing former bandmember Roger Riedlbauer’s composition, Strange Pictures (oh yeah?), which, although written many years ago, was in many ways the catalyst for this entire concert.


The paintings shown here are just a few of a lifetimes work. Many of these paintings have inspired compositions, and the following is a complete list of those compositions with corresponding paintings

  1. wind (standing waves) - Untitled
  2. dancing horses (on the wall) - Untitled
  3. the leaf song - Happy Jungle
  4. the freeway - Cabrillo Bridge, 1965
  5. in her garden/all is silent - Untitled
  6. castles in the clouds - Castles in the Air
  7. who are those guys? #3 - Olivenhain School House (with gremlins)
  8. blurred image - Untitled
  9. parabolic flower - Untitled
  10. promises
  11. the checkerboard - Young Mothers Watching
  12. kaleidoscope moon - Land Where Sun Shines #1
  13. october calm - October Calm
  14. something bright for a dark corner - Something Bright For A Dark Corner
  15. bright lights - Downtown San Diego, California 1964
  16. lonesome tree - Blue Valley
  17. starsong - The San Dieguito Valley as seen from our window, April 1962
  18. secrets (for stella)
  19. firecliffs - Untitled