The Painting Sisters of Rio Nido
Beverly and Patty Bird love to paint gorgeous Sonoma county landscapes. While both work directly from the scene, Beverly also uses photographs, she says, so she can recall what inspired her. Patty enjoys painting the scenery that she once drove through while she worked as a rural carrier for the Guerneville Post Office.
Beverly enjoys working in acrylics and oils. She loves acrylics because “they are versatile and allow for a lot of spontaneity.” Since she uses glazing in her work, acrylics dry quickly. She uses oil for alla prima work and her figurative painting. She describes her work as “realistic, leaning toward impressionistic,” and her focus is “capturing color created by the light.” Beverly loves doing landscapes because, “how can one live in this beautiful area and not be inspired.” Presently, (2015), she is studying portraiture with Pam Powell, a local artist. She says, “This has always been a great interest of mine, but it takes years of study and experience to capture likeness and personality.”
Patty enjoys working with pastels. She says they “suit both the rapidly changing conditions of outdoor painting and my spontaneous nature. The dry pure pigment can be layered thickly and stroked softly, almost simultaneously. The vibrancy of the pigment reflects the sparkle of the air and the nuances of the changing seasons.” I’ve recently been exploring mixed media.” She says. “ Several of my most recent pieces are oil pastel and colored pencil applied to paper collages. Currently I am studying acrylics in preparation for a workshop and paintout on the Oregon coast in July 2015.
Art has been a significant part of their lives since childhood. Their parents, particularly their mother, encouraged them to draw and paint. Beverly says she was supported early on in her art work by compliments from teachers and other students. In junior high she thought she wanted to be a fashion designer (she made her own clothes) and in high school she continued to study art and she received a prize for a painting at the LA County Fair. She graduated from CSU Long Beach with a BA in Art, thinking that she’d become an art teacher, but instead she went to work as a county social worker and ended her public service career as a staffer for the State Legislature.
Patty can’t remember when she didn’t love art. She painted horses from a very early age. She won a library contest in jr. high for three dimensional illustrations. She studied art in high school. She didn’t major in art like Beverly but with her math and science background, she attended the University of California at Davis to become a veterinarian. She didn’t finish her degree but instead went to work for the post office and continued to paint.
Besides getting her art degree, Beverly has taken classes at Santa Rosa Jr. College, participated in various workshops including Frank Gannon, Kathryn Cerasoli, Tesia Blackburn, Craig Nelson, Kathleen Dunphy, Erik Sandgren,. Her paintings have been exhibited at Art at the Source, Cloverdale Art Center, Sonoma County Fair, the Rio Nido Annual Art festival, the Finley Center, and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts Life Drawing Show. Her work may be viewed at the Glass Images Gallery, 16369 Main St, Guerneville, CA and on her website. Her bird series is being exhibited at Quercia Gallery in Duncan Mills.
Patty has also taken art classes at Santa Rosa Jr. College. She attended Golden West and Orange Coast Colleges in Southern California and participated in workshops with artists Frank Gannon, Camille Przewodek and Marsha Connell. She has had exhibitions at River Images, the Mermaid Festival in Monte Rio, the Russian River Food and Wine Fest, 4 years of the Rio Nido Art and Crafts Festival, SCA Shows in Sebastopol, including En Plein Air. The Café Bazaar and West America Bank in Guerneville have also exhibited her work. She currently is involved with the Russian River Art Gallery, an artist cooperative on Main street in Guerneville.
Both artists will be displaying and selling their beautiful art at the 11th Annual Rio Nido Art and Crafts Festival on Sunday, August 2nd 2015, from 10 AM to 2 PM in the Rio Nido Homeowners Park. Admission is free. At the same time and place the Homeowners will be serving a delicious pancake breakfast from 9 AM to 12 PM.