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Famous artists and writers from Paso Robles 

famous artists from Paso Robles

Notable Roblans: Artists and writers edition

–Paso Robles is no stranger to fame. The Paso Robles Daily News is exploring some of the most ‘Notable Roblans’ throughout history. In this edition, we will look at the artists and writers who have called Paso Robles home or made an impact on Paso Robles.


Frank Armitage. Photo from OhMyDisney.

Frank Armitage – muralist, painter, Walt Disney Imagineer

Frank Armitage was a muralist, painter, and former Walt Disney Imagineer. He is known for painting the backgrounds of several Disney movies, including Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins, and The Jungle Book. Armitage became an Imagineer in 1977 and began helping to design the Disney theme parks. His work of anatomical figures helped create the Wonders of Life Pavilion in Epcot. He also painted 5,500 square feet of murals for the Safari Fare Restaurant in Walt Disney World. Originally from Melbourne Australia, Armitage re-located to Paso Robles later in life and died in Paso Robles on Jan. 4, 2016.

Paso Robles native and Pixar Supervising Animator Mike Venturini photographed at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Michael Venturini – animator

Michael Venturini is a Pixar animator known for his work on The Good Dinosaur (2015), The Iron Giant (1999) and Incredibles 2 (2018), as well as many others. Click here to read his full bio on IMDB. Venturini grew up in rural Paso Robles. His grandparents still reside in Templeton and he says that he has extended family scattered across the North County. He left the North County in the early ’90s, headed towards the “big city.” Related story: Animator from Paso Robles worked on Pixar’s ‘The Good Dinosaur’


L Ron Hubbard – author and founder of Scientology

L. Ron Hubbard was an American author who later founded the Church of Scientology. Originally from Nebraska, he died at his Creston ranch in 1986. In 1950, Hubbard authored Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and established a series of organizations to promote Dianetics. In 1952, Hubbard would later go on to form Scientology.

James Lee BarrettJames Lee Barrett – author and screenplay writer

James Lee Barrett was born on November 19, 1929, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He died in Templeton on Oct. 15, 1989. He is best known for his work on Smokey and the Bandit (1977), The Cheyenne Social Club (1970), and In the Heat of the Night (1988). He died on October 15, 1989, in Templeton, California, USA.

Dale Evers – sculptor

Dale Evers is a well-known Paso Robles sculptor who specialized in “centerpiece art.” Evers’ unique style blends the world of fine art and functional design. The artist says he spends much of his inspiration time with a camera, above water and below, gathering data that triggers ideas that manifest themselves into glass, bronze and steel “objects de’ arte.”

The artist Deprise with her award winning work, The Watcher.

The artist Deprise with her award-winning work, The Watcher.

Deprise Brescia – actress and artist

Deprise Brescia is an actress and assistant director, known for She Spies (2002), House of Lies (2012) and Let It Bleed (2016), and also a painter. Originally from La Jolla, Brescia now lives in Paso Robles and owns and operates her own art studio downtown, featuring her own work and the work of many other local artists.

Anne Landon

Anne Landon.

Anne Laddon – painter

Anne Laddon has been a professional artist for over 40 years. Her current work features oils and pastels with “bright color, bold design and strong composition.” She often works en plein air, enlarging and refining these works in her Paso Robles “bunkhouse” studio or at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, which she founded. According to Studios on the Park website, Laddon based her vision for Studios on the Park on her experience in the 1970s with the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Washington, D.C. Led by visionary Marian Van Landingham. She and other founding artists joined together to renovate an abandoned torpedo factory into working studio spaces for artists. In 1974, the center opened to the public and is still thriving today.

This list compiles famous artists and writers who are from Paso Robles or have lived here. Stay tuned for future installments of the ‘Notable Roblans’ series – to read about the most famous people from Paso Robles – for filmmakers, directors, writers, artists as well as sports heroes, local legends, and more. If you would like to suggest a Notable Roblan for our list, email

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