Art has pulled me out of bed almost every morning since 1996 when, about to retire from teaching, I bought some paints and brushes and began to paint watercolors. I pored through stacks of watercolor books, scrutinized every watercolor painting I could find, and joined a bunch of art associations, societies, groups, guilds, and alliances.*
Resistant to being pegged a painter of a certain type, I wander from realistic to a vaguely abstract styles, and have evolved into what I call a “visionary realist,” which means that my paintings are typically a little visionary and a little realistic. I’m hardly avant garde, but I often see and do what others don’t. My paintings push no boundaries. Instead, they soothe the spirit, satisfy the eye, and often encourage viewers to look deeper. Not long ago, I was out painting on the Moraga-Lafayette Trail. A passerby stopped and said, “Oh, wow! I never realized the trail was that pretty.” It made my day.
Watercolor is so unpredictable that I’m often surprised by the results—both good and bad. I often do the same painting two or three times, until I either get sick of it or get it right. Half of them end up in the trash.
I am overjoyed at the public’s response to my paintings. Many people who are not my mother say nice things about them. My works have appeared in numerous solo exhibits and group shows. Some have been awarded prizes. Hundreds hang on walls across America. Dozens more have found their way to Canada, Australia, and countries in western Europe.
Please visit my website to see what I’ve been up to: www.mesart.com/gehrenhaft.
George Ehrenhaft Moraga, CA 94556 925/377-9315
*West Coast Affiliations: Oakland Art Association, Lamorinda Arts Alliance, East Bay Plein Air Painters, ProArts, California Watercolor Association, Moraga Art Gallery.