Ardella Swanberg has been painting on the Central Coast for 16 years. She visited the San Luis Obispo area for many years before that. After growing up in Garden Grove, CA and attending the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, she has lived in many states and visited countries throughout the world.
Ardella loves to paint outside. The advantages of painting on site are that you notice things you don’t when you use photographs. For instance, all the television antennas in old towns in Italy, the people walking their dogs in France and the cats with short tails in Malaysia. Ardella has many watercolor sketchbooks that she filled with small paintings and stories about the places she has seen. Still, one of her favorite tools is the camera. She takes a thousand photographs a year. Ardella often paints from photos when she can’t go outside.
About ten years ago she took photos of a young horse that was kicking up his heels because he was so glad to be out of the barn. It took all those years to figure out how to express the energy, power and excitement of that horse. Leaving out everything, except the horse and the dust he was raising, was the solution.
Virginia Mack is a native Californian. She grew up in the Bay Area. She has been exploring and savoring the wild lands of the state throughout her life and has been living on the Central Coast for over 12 years. She is a part-time instructor at both Allan Hancock College and Cuesta College in the Fine Arts departments.
Virginia works primarily in watercolors and mixed media and is a colorist at heart. She builds most of her pieces in a wet-on-wet process (wet watercolor paints on wet watercolor paper) resolving the pieces as the paper slowly dries. She creates the forms with rich colors playing those against contrasting colors thereby subduing them while preserving their presence in layers of color. She often mixes the watercolor process with the use of colored pencils, pastel, charcoal, and pencil.