I love visiting artists in their working and living spaces! You can learn so much about what shapes their art from their environment. What’s in their personal collections? What inspirational objects and materials do they have lying about? What are their hobbies, and passions – it’s all revealed!
Artist Veronica Gross and Olive enjoying the winter sun on my recent studio visit. You can visit her website: veronicagrossart.com
Sentinel Snow watercolor 20″ x 14″
Los Gatos artist Veronica Gross is known for her beautiful watercolor florals and landscapes. I know Veronica from the Los Gatos Museums Gallery and the Los Gatos Art Association, but she also belongs to the Viewpoints Gallery where her show, Westlands is currently on exhibit through January 5, 2014.
Mt. Carmel Evening watercolor 20″ x 28″
Palo Alto Baylands #3 watercolor 14 x 20″
Just Picked watercolor 20″ x 28″
Above is a watercolor that Veronica is applying the final touches to. It’s a plein air painting of our friend Sam Pearson painting the Shoreline Bridge. I’m intrigued to see how his piece turned out too!
Magic…. here it is, Sam Pearson’s gorgeous pastel, Water Under the Bridge – Thanks Sam! It’s currently on exhibit at the Los Gatos Museums Gallery.
You can see in her studio how all those big windows not only let the light come in but nature too!
I love how you can see lots of different projects Veronica has on the go, and see all those lesson plans from years of teaching high school hiding under the table? They’ve come in handy as weights! Veronica’s sister, Jill Rowney is glazing some of Veronica’s tiles for her own kitchen – oh the perks of being a sister!
One can usually find lots of treasure in studio clutter. In this case, it’s a ceramic figure done as a demonstration for Veronica’s high school students by Randy Shiroma who was doing some student teaching in her classroom many years ago.
Upon visiting her home and her studio I find, as with so many artists, that she’s no one trick watercolor pony!
For instance, she has this great kiln and I was taken with the series of tiles she was making which are based on her love of California natives (as is her landscaping).
Here are some of the tiles glazed and ready for the kiln. If you haven’t glazed before, the heat of the firing brings out the color in the glaze and sets the desired finish. I’m partial to the lupines!
Here you can see the color after firing.
Here are some samples of finished tiles set into Veronica’s backsplash. So lovely, they remind me of the arts crafts movement of the 20’s Don’t go looking for these in galleries or Etsy though! Veronica has no plans of mass production. When I ‘d asked her about it she confessed, “I can’t stand the feel of clay on my hands!” – too funny! I mean, you won’t cathc me warking with charcoal or pastels for the same reason! What about licensing deals? Well, we’ll have to twist her arm!
Balloon Girl, Mr Bonz, Mid-Century Bambi – they all speak to a love of color, form and careful observation.
With a fence like that you can tell that an artist lives here!
The garden is also filled with Veronica’s personality, A Karen Van Galder statue, a bent willow chair among the bamboo, her naturally weathered fence and wheelbarrow – it’a all her color palette, including her gorgeous calico!
Olive is a fan of California natives as well and all the little critters that dwell therein.
Disclosure: I’m sure Veronica doesn’t normally lug Olive all over the studio but I woke her up from under the Christmas tree where she was curled up for a nap because I wanted her to be in the photo shoot – what a sweet trooper!