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October 18
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]


Randy Watkins

For the last 20 years, Santa Clarita artist Randy Watkins has painted portraits of movie and music stars, and gotten the stars to sign the paintings for his personal collection.

Now Watkins, aka “Starpainter,” is one of 67 artists who have contributed a portrait of talk show host Ellen Degeneres to the 2nd Annual Ellen Art Show, organized by South Florida event producer and Degeneres fan Renda Writer.

The artworks will be auctioned off for charity at the Terrell Moore Gallery in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

A portion of the auction’s proceeds will benefit The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing help and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, which Watkins says is a worthy cause.

“One, it stops bullying of people, of kids who have decided to come out of the closet, and two, it also provides resources as in a support group so these people can talk to people who understand what they’re going through,” he said.

Watkins, raised in Van Nuys and an SCV resident since 1985, worked at the Los Angeles Daily News for 30 years until 2009, when the paper shuttered its plant in Valencia. He has been an artist for 33 years, painting portraits of film and music celebrities for his own enjoyment.

About 20 years ago, Watkins started getting the stars he painted to autograph his portraits of them. He takes his paintings to premieres, Hollywood Walk of Fame inductions and other public events where the stars will be.

Among the celebrities who’ve signed Watkins’ portraits are Jay Leno, Jack Nicholson, Eric Clapton, Harrison Ford, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber, Ted Nugent, Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Robert Redford, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise, George Burns, Bob Hope, Rod Stewart, Steven Spielberg and more.

“I’ve seen a lot of people out there collecting autographs, but I’m the only one out there with paintings, so it’s pretty unique,” Watkins said.

More recently, he has also filmed videos of getting signatures and posted the clips on his YouTube channel, starpainter4u. He’s also developing a reality TV show based on what he does.

Saturday’s event is a first for Watkins, who has never displayed his work anywhere except his website, www.randywatkins.com. Once he gets a portrait signed, he locks it up with the others in a vault, where he can see them anytime.

“I normally do all my own paintings for my own collection and don’t put them in a gallery and don’t sell them, so this is all going to be something new,” he said.

Watkins posted a time-lapse “speed-painting” video he shot as he painted the Degeneres portrait on his YouTube channel. “The Ellen Art Show’s organizer, Renda Writer, contacted me after he saw my Ellen video on YouTube, and asked me if I’d be interested in joining in this project,” Watkins said.

The Trevor Project was founded by writer James Lecesne, director/producer Peggy Rajski and producer Randy Stone, creators of the 1994 Academy Award®-winning short film “Trevor,” a comedy/drama about a gay 13-year-old boy who, when rejected by friends because of his sexuality, makes an attempt to take his life. When the filmmakers discovered there was no national support line phone number for LGBT youth, they created The Trevor Lifeline, 866-488-7386, and website, www.thetrevorproject.org.

Saturday’s auction will be held at the Terrell Moore Gallery, 1221 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles 90015. The Gallery’s phone number is 213-744-1999 and its website is www.terrellmoore.net.

Find out more about Saturday’s auction at www.ellenartshow.org, and about Watkins at www.randywatkins.com.

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SCV NONPROFIT LINKS

NONPROFIT HEADLINES
Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017
Pukúu Cultural Community Services, founded in 1971 by members of the local Fernandeno-Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, will host its 13th Annual scholarship gala fundraiser, "Night with the Stars," in Sunland on Saturday, November 4 starting at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
The Domestic Violence Center (DVC) of Santa Clarita Valley is accepting applications for Adopt-a-Family 2017.
Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
Major Impact Theater, founded by Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis in 2014, is a non-profit theater group that specially adapts plays for performance by adults with disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
Registration for the Purple Walk of Strength is now open.
Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017
RE/MAX of Valencia will be hosting a blood drive benefiting Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

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Determined to transform the deeply troubled Los Angeles County Probation Department, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to consider an independent entity that would provide guidance, oversight and accountability.
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The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's 2017 Medal of Valor Awards were held Tuesday in Los Angeles, and SCV Sheriff's Station Deputy Dmitry Barkon was recognized for his bravery and heroic actions.
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COC and the Hart District will host the 2017 College & Career Fair in the college’s Honor Grove on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
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The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will showcase the work of Los Angeles-based painter Sheldon Figoten in a one-person exhibition of new paintings, “Light Fields,” opening Saturday, Oct. 28.
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The Santa Clarita Artists Association held its 28th Annual Art Classic fine arts competition at William S. Hart Park's Hart Hall in Newhall on October 14.
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Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of October 2 to October 8.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Petty Theft in Stevenson Ranch
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Major Impact Theater, founded by Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis in 2014, is a non-profit theater group that specially adapts plays for performance by adults with disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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