Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nancy Calhoun

St. Jerome -- Taos, 13" x 13"

Nancy Calhoun's complex watercolors often start with a collage created from scraps of paper or photographs. Her ideas come from people or places that have inspired her -- the southwest, the Sierras, and a recent trip to France are depicted in her current work. From her collage, she creates a drawing that she transfers to watercolor paper. By using multiple applications of masking fluid and pouring numerous washes of transparent paint, she builds depth in her images while retaining the vibrant glow of the paper.

Real Indian Stuff, 13" x 13"

Nancy started her art life as an oil painter, studying with Chris Borggren in his San Carlos studio. Born in Denmark, Borggren studied with the Fauvist artist Maurice de Vlaminck in Paris, eventually moving to the U.S. where he taught art for his entire life. As the mother of three small children, Nancy cherished the hours that she spent studying with Borggren, remarking, "He was an incredible person, artist, and teacher with a fauvist's love of color which he passed to his students." After several moves back and forth between northern and southern California, Nancy and her family settled in the Bay Area and she began taking art classes at local community colleges. She took her first watercolor classes in the early 1990s, eventually discovering Mike Bailey's challenging class, Watercolor Beyond the Obvious. Although she still loves the smell of oil paint and still has Borggren's easel, which she purchased after his death, Nancy now works exclusively in watercolor.

Southwest, 20" x 20"

Nancy studied art and education at both UCLA and San Francisco State University, earning a bachelor's degree in Education. She has won Best in Show in the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society annual show in addition to other awards. She is a member of Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos and a longtime and very active member of Arts of Bear Valley, near her summer cabin and studio in the Sierras. Arts of Bear Valley sponsors a summer show in conjunction with the annual Bear Valley Music Festival, as well as another show in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

Beynac I, 22" x 14"

Beynac II, 22" x 14"

Please visit Nancy's website to see more of her work.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rosanne Seitz

Carrizo Colors II, 22" x 30"

Rosanne Seitz knew at age five that she was drawn to color and loved the process of putting it on paper to create form and space. During the 23 years she taught elementary school, she took art classes and painted in her spare time. And she says, "Watercolor chose me." She has been inspired by the early California scene painters, primarily the plein air watercolorists, and was fortunate to be able to study with Milford Zornes, among many other well-known artists. Plein air painting allows her to soak up the atmosphere, color and adventure of exploring new landscapes and provides the means to pay tribute to the land and her heritage, while studio painting allows her to enjoy working on a larger scale in a more controlled environment. Both bring her a sense of connectedness to the world.

Relating a plein air painting day, Rosanne writes, "...on a stormy Friday afternoon at the Chimineas Ranch, the sun found a break in the clouds and shone across the grassland. We stopped to paint, and as the sun went lower, the grass lit up like it was on fire and glowed against the dark blue purple of the storm clouds. WOW! We stopped painting every 5 minutes to exclaim as the scene changed and finally the clouds began picking up the sunset colors."

Sierra Monument, 30" x 20"

Although she is a member of a number of local and regional art associations, Rosanne is particularly proud of her membership in San Luis Obispo Outdoor Painters of the Environment. This group of 20 professional artists is committed to preserving the diversity of life in the natural communities throughout the county, drawing public attention to the environment through their paintings and through shows held in conjunction with local and national conservation groups.

Mouth of Avila Creek, 28" x 18"

Rosanne has consistently won awards for her work in regional and national art shows, and she has maintained a busy festival schedule, exhibiting in events from Los Angeles to the San Francisco area. She also participates in regional benefit shows, and she shares her love of painting by teaching workshops. She is co-owner of The Gallery at the Network in San Luis Obispo, which features her work and that of her co-owners, along with works from many other fine artists.

Coastal Colors II, 15" x 22"

Hollister Peak and Oaks, 18" x 28"

Please visit Rosanne's website to see more of her paintings and learn more about her activities.