Artist Statement and Bio

Unusual shadow shapes and intriguing light patterns usually drive my choice of subject matter.  I love plein air landscape painting both when travelling and near my home in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Bringing that same image back to the studio, I try to recapture the light and corresponding mood in a more controlled environment.  Using a sketch or photograph as a springboard for inspiration, I create my own unique landscapes that suggest a story or emotion. I also enjoy painting still lifes of fresh fruits and vegetables where I can emphasize the contrasts of their individual textures, colors, and shapes.  Whether landscapes or still lifes, I’m constantly looking for interesting patterns of lights and darks, mood-evoking color combinations, and better ways to create depth and form.  My style of painting uses rich darks, juicy layered colors, and granulating atmospheric washes.  Although primarily focused on watercolor, I have begun exploring other mediums including acrylic, oil, and mixed media as I continue to strive for new ways to share my view of the world. 

My original education was in electrical engineering. After a 15 year career with HP/Agilent, I chose to be a stay-at-home mom. For the past ten years, I have focused my energies on creating art.   I have been fortunate to learn from some excellent watercolor instructors including Mike Bailey, Karen Frey, Michael Reardon and Frank Eber.   My paintings have been selected for national and international shows including: Watercolor West International Exhibition, California Watercolor Association's National Exhibition, and Triton Museum's Statewide Watercolor Competition. I also have won awards in several local shows including University Art Open Exhibition for Northern California and Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society's Annual Show.  My work is currently on display and for sale at Gallery 24 in Los Gatos and at Lisa Lisa Hair Salon and Fast Frame, both in Los Altos, CA.

Shows and Awards

(bold/italic indicates juried shows and awards)

  • Sponsor’s Award, Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society’s Annual Show, Spring 2019

  • John O'Lague Galleria, Allied Artists West Show, Hayward, 2018

  • JCC in Los Gatos, Allied Artists West Show, Los Gatos, 2018

  • Olive Hyde Art Gallery, Allied Artists West Show, Fremont, 2018

  • Sponsor’s Award, Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society’s 50th Annual Show, Spring 2018

  • Triton Museum's Annual 2D Competition and Exhibition, Triton Museum, Santa Clara, Nov 2017 to Feb 2018

  • "Small Treasures Show", SCVWS Member Show, Nov 2017- Jan 2018

  • Greater Bay Area Open Exhibition, New Museum of Los Gatos, Summer 2017

  • "Fresh Works VII", Harrington Gallery, Pleasanton, CA May 2017

  • Sponsor’s Award, Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society’s Annual Show, Spring 2017

  • Watercolor West International Juried Exhibition, Brea, CA, Oct-Dec, 2016

  • "H20 Show", SCVWS Member Show, Presentation Center, Los Gatos, 2016

  • Sebastopol Center for the Arts Juried Watermedia Show, Sebastopol, 2016

  • 1st Place Award, “No Limits”, SCVWS Juried Member’s Show, 2015

  • People’s Choice Award, SCVWS Annual Show, 2014

  • “Fast, Fresh, and Friendly” Show, SCVWS Member Show, 2014

  •  People’s Choice Award, Café Olé Show, Main Street Café, Los Altos, Mar 2013

  • California Watercolor Association’s  National Exhibition, Pleasanton, CA, Jan-Feb, 2013

  • Statewide Watercolor Exhibition, Triton Museum of Art, Dec-Feb 2012/13

  • Sponsor’s Award, Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society’s Annual Show, Oct 2012

  • Watercolor West International Juried Exhibition, Brea, CA, Oct 13- Dec 16, 2012

  • 1st Place Watercolor - University Art Open Exhibition for Northern California, Sept 2012

  • Rengstorff House Arts Festival, August 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015

  • “Think Large, Paint Small” Juried SCVWS Members’ Show, Palo Alto, July 2012

  • People’s Choice Award, SCVWS Members’ Annual Show 2011

  • 1st Place Flower Painting Competition, SCVWS Members’ Event 2011

  • Los Altos Town Hall Art Exhibit “Environment and Conservation”,  Fall 2011

  • Gamble Garden’s “Art in the Garden”, July 2011

  • Midsummer’s Art Festival, Triton Museum June 2010, 2011

  • Silicon Valley Open Studios, May 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018

  • Stanford’s Arrillaga Family Sports Center, Jan-Mar 2011

  • Statewide Watercolor Exhibition, Triton Museum of Art, Dec-Feb 2010/11

  • California Watercolor Association’s 41st National Exhibition,  Presidio, SF  2010

  • People’s Choice Award, “Red, White, Or Blue” SCVWS Juried Show, 2010

  • “Fresh StART” SCVWS Members’ Exhibit at Sunnyvale Art Gallery, 2010

  • University Arts Sponsor Award, “Linear Visions” SCVWS Members’ Annual Show 2009

  • Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society Annual Shows, yearly 2008 though 2017

All images © Kaaren Marquez.  All rights reserved worldwide.