This page reveals twenty years of my life. A couple of my all time favorite fauve paintings are “The Table” and “Matanzas Creek Winery, Lavender, Sonoma.” Kathleen Elsey, California Fauve
My fauve paintings from the past twenty years are on this page, many of them California plein air paintings. I am an impressionist, with fauvist tendencies. I love color and paint bright and happy scenes. A plein air painter friend once said to me as we were painting on a super foggy California beach, "Kathleen, you see sunshine everywhere." She was seeing and painting the foggy beach and I was painting sunshine everywhere on that same foggy beach.
Old "Wood Truck" was made one hot summer morning and afternoon at Island View Nursery, just south of my home in Santa Barbara. Nestled in the foothills of the Carpinteria Valley, the nursery is a feast for the eyes. This old truck with a pile of wood was hidden amongst the avocado trees on the side of the nursery.
I am inspired by the famous French Fauve painters of the early 20th century, Maurice Vlaminck, Henri Matisse and my nine fellow New Fauves from around the world. I also find the Society of Six, from San Francisco during the early 20th century, especially Seldon Gile, a constant source of learning and inspiration. There is a beautifully written and well-printed book called “The Society of Six, California Colorists” by Nancy Boas full of the history of these six painters from the San Francisco area and it is chock full of their colorist paintings. I find it a wonderful source of inspiration and often discover solutions to my painting problems by looking to see what Seldon Gile would have done in my situation. And looking further back in history, Vincent Van Gogh has helped me with many of my paintngs.
Above is “The Porch, Sunday Morning” the first of my series of porch paintings. It was begun as plein air on location inside the screened in porch and later finished in my studio. “The Writers’ Garden,” above, is a plein air painting from Sonoma, California, on my favorite Sonoma mountain. I lived there and made many of the paintings below on this mountain for four years before moving to Santa Barbara.
The 120 paintings on this page have become a visual journal of the past twenty years of my life. Kathleen Elsey, Santa Barbara artist, California Fauve