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BEST BET

September 29, 1991|BERKLEY HUDSON

When artist Paul Darrow's two sons and two daughters were growing up, they often played in his Claremont studio. With a box of crayons and a roll of butcher paper, they created their own works as he painted.

So, Darrow and his children say, it is not surprising that they all became artists--although it was not by design or the result of family pressure.

"It all has to do with environment," said Darrow,who is 69 and has taught art at Scripps College in Claremont for the past 35 years. "This was a very convivial town to be an artist or musician in. It wasn't weird to be an artist."

Daughter Elizabeth Darrow Jones, 40, said: "Our house was always filled with artists."

In fact, the children's mother, Nadine Darrow of Pasadena, is also an artist.

"To this day, I love the smell of turpentine," added Eric Darrow, 38.

Oddly enough, the Darrows say, they have never had a family exhibit, although three of them had a joint show in 1989. But now, as part of the Fringe of the Fringe Arts Festival, Paul Darrow and the four children are exhibiting their works in a show called "5D" in Claremont.

Forty pieces, including woodcuts, prints, paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures, ranging from $75 to $4,000, make up the exhibit.

Paul's work reflects his interest in Buddhism, Hinduism and the sea. Elizabeth's pieces include drawings of mermaids. Eric is a ceramic artist whose work is done by using raku, the low-fired Japanese process that results in an iridescent textured glaze.

Chris Darrow, 47, formerly of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, is a photographer whose work has been featured on record album covers. His sister, Joan Darrow Lindley, 42, is a photographer, printmaker and painter.

"Their work is almost like a family, with little touches of madness here and there to make it fun," said exhibit curator Georgette Unis, a former student of Paul Darrow. "There is a playfulness . . . and also a gentleness."

The exhibit, which opened Sept. 14, runs through Oct. 12 at 246 N. Indian Hill Blvd. Hours are from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Admission is free. For further information, call (714) 399-5346.

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