Katrina Vanderlip, who grew up in Villa Narcissa on the Hill, often returns to the gardens and scenic views of her childhood for inspiration in creating her watercolor paintings. This Friday, Nov. 15, she’ll host a show of her watercolors at Terranea, and the community is invited to attend.
This will be Vanderlip’s second show at Terranea. Last year, when she did her first show, she was just emerging from a successful career as an art conservator to begin a new one as a watercolor artist. She has since hosted successful shows in the Bahamas and in the Hamptons.
“Even if I don’t sell my paintings, it’s so fun to get reactions,” Vanderlip said. “I enjoy painting things people like and making people happy.”
She paints the sunrises she sees from her Sagaponack, N.Y., home, but there’s nowhere like PV for sunsets.
“The sunsets have sometimes fantastically violent colors, and on the Hill, they last forever,” she said. “At sea level, you don’t get as long a sunset.”
Vanderlip’s son, Eric de Carbonnel, has made a lot of the frames for his mother’s watercolors out of weathered wood. In a painting of a rural scene, “the natural wood looks good,” she says.
As an art conservator, Vanderlip spent her career painstakingly restoring paintings, but now she’s enjoying the freedom of letting the process take over.
“I’m going from being precise to letting accidents happen and working with them,” she said, “and from a 000 brush to one as big as 1 ½ inches.”
She likes watercolors because she can finish one in a matter of days, allowing her to explore many ideas and many ways to express light and shadow.
“Watercolors are probably the best medium to capture the changes of colors in the sky, and I love bleeding the wet colors together,” she said.
When she visits the Peninsula, she takes plenty of photographs that she can use later. They serve as starting points for new paintings, allowing her to remember the captured moment as she applies color to paper.
“I let my eye and mind imagine all the rest,” Vanderlip said. “Everything’s got a memory and a meaning.”
Katrina Vanderlip’s watercolors show will take place on Friday, Nov. 15, at 4 p.m. at Terranea Resort, located at 100 Terranea Way, in Rancho Palos Verdes. For more information about Katrina Vanderlip, visit http://aquarelles.us/.