or

Artist Keiko Tanabe


An example of fine art by Keiko Tanabe

Photo of Keiko Tanabe



The Artist Says:


"Watercolor painting is a language I have learned to speak to tell my stories of who we are and how we live.  It is a creative tool to capture the simple truth in our everyday life that may be overlooked but tugs at my heartstrings.  It is also a vehicle to communicate my artistic vision on the joy of living and the ingenuity of human creations.  I travel near and far and paint with enthusiasm to celebrate the beauty we all share at this time on this planet."
"When I am true to my inspiration, my brushstrokes sometimes surprise me by exposing something of my inner spirit I was not even aware of."
"I used to lay down several layers in order to increase the intensity of values.  But in doing that, I could lose freshness.  Now I mix my darks first thing, and put in the accurate tonal value of the darks right away.  My goal is to finish with fewer brushstrokes."
"What is important, is not what we capture in our photograph, but what inspired us to take that photo in the first place.  With this in mind, we can let our imagination lead us so our creativity won't become a prisoner of a photograph."




Collectors Say:


"The beauty, peace and joy you bring to others is constant, immeasurable and appreciated.  Just a few moments looking at one of your glorious paintings and I'm filled with peace as if I've been meditating." -- Judy Prince
"Occasionally in life some people are fortunate to meet with something that speaks without words to them - in my case your paintings do that.  It has given me a very special warm feeling to purchase a painting directly from you especially because we have direct personal contact.  For me it is a very important factor and adds value to you." -- Kenji Asano
"Each of your paintings tells its own story on its own, but I love what you write about your thoughts and feelings or connections to each painting.  They just come to life and are an extension of the love you paint into them!  What a marvelous gift to the lucky recipients!  It's as if very special places and moments in time are captured forever to be cherished or have special moments one can relive right in their own home!" -- Christine Krauss
"I received the painting today and am completely blown away.  It's so beautiful.  The computer image really doesn't do it justice.  I love your work and look forward to building a collection with you.  Thank you so much.  It has been such a pleasure.  I will send you a picture as soon as I can get it framed and decide where to hang it." -- Reneé Gantz
"We are new to the art of Keiko, but there is no question that if I could afford it, I would have her under exclusive contract to paint everything just for us.  Her work is unbelievably good and we are honored to have just one small piece.  PS. Great website and blog!"  -- A. Lasnover
"Keiko is an exceptional human being, not only does it show in her work, but it is exemplified in the quality of customer care she gives to you.  I was astounded by the Chino's painting, I used to have a restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe, and bought produce there regularly.  The series of Chino's paintings brought back many wonderful memories in an instant.  I am so taken with her work and her apparent attitude about art that I can hardly wait to get another painting from her in the future." -- Mike Downing, Quimby's Restaurant
"I stumbled across this painting (on the Internet), and it struck me.  It's a beautiful painting, with lots of intrinsic emotion.  It's true; I did get that feeling of "I've been here before" when I first looked at it.  I also want to mention that I think your business instincts are right-on.  You are most gracious, and handled this deal perfectly.  Good luck in your future business inspirations and artistic endeavors.  We'll check your website now and then to see What's new?" -- Tom and Isabel Abbott
"I'm not typically a fan of watercolor but your art has certainly turned me around.  The depth, vibrancy and life you bring to your paintings has certainly made me look at watercolor art differently - thank you!  We look forward to collecting more pieces in the future." -- Tanya Llera
"You have a wonderful sense of color, space, proportion and environment, and you are doing wonderful, wonderful work.""It's very nice and I am very happy I bought it... it will have a privileged place in my home.  Thanks, Keiko!" -- Johanne Zenga, Pebeo
"We are so happy with your beautiful work and knowing what a gracious person you are just makes them more special... We will look forward to staying in touch and following your promising career."
"I am so enjoying the little painting (of Venice) I bought.  My late husband and I used to visit Venice every year... Thank you for painting it."



Dealers Say:


"Keiko Tanabe translates what might be otherwise sentimental, emotional poignant personal subjects to objective and highly controlled subtle composition." -- Harriet Lesser, Curator, Strathmore Gallery, for "Stepping Over The Line" Exhibition of the North American Watercolor Artists (NAWA), January 2012.



Other Artists Say:


"I am taking the opportunity to encourage everyone to attend a workshop with Keiko.  She is such a wonderful artist, and shares so well her passion!" -- Philippe Marty
 
"Keiko Tanabe captures a sense of atmosphere and place as few artists can.  You can see the light and feel the air in her paintings.  This is watercolor at its best.  Keiko takes full advantage of the fluid and organic feel of the medium.  Her lovely evocations of street scenes, towns and villages, cafes and waterways are little gems that continue to reward you every time you see them. "  -- Richard Hawk "Keiko handles watercolor with a magical touch which produces an ethereal and dreamlike quality that portrays her subject with lightness and simplicity."  "Keiko's soft luscious colors, along with her spontaneous handling of the brush bring illumination to her work.  Through Keiko's world travels, the artist has been exposed to the landscapes and city scenes of Italy, France, Spain, and the United States where through her passion for watercolor, Tanabe captures the beauty that she's experienced in each location." -- Joann Wells Greenbaum "Your fluidity, simplification and dramatic license inspires and confounds me at the same time.  Your dynamic values just amaze me.  Keep on amazing us!" -- Carole Mayne "I have always loved grays, and you have perfected what I mean by grays.  Your paintings are so beautiful, peaceful and so meaningful.  Your use of colours is at such an expertise level.  Thanks for the inspiration."  -- Joanne Contant 



Biography


Keiko was born in Kyoto, Japan.  As a child growing up in an art-loving family, she always enjoyed drawing and painting and won many awards in children's art contests.  However, art was not her chosen field of study later on.  She earned a B.A. in intercultural communication (International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan) and an M.A. in international education (UCLA, California).  She then worked in international relations positions in a Japanese government trade organization in Tokyo, at a large law firm in San Francisco and at a private consulting firm in San Diego.  In the last 30 years, she has traveled extensively, mainly in European countries, Asia and North America.Through all these years, Keiko knew there was in her heart the growing desire to someday become an artist.  That, fueled by her love of travel and strong interest in other cultures, eventually found its way out in 2003.  After learning basic drawing and watercolor painting skills at a local community school in San Diego, she took on her first project as an artist together with her father, a renowned scholar of French literature in Japan.  Through the Azure Sea and Sky of Provence: A Tribute to Her Joie de Vivre (Kosei Publishing, Osaka, Japan) was published in August, 2003, authored by her father and illustrated by Keiko.  From then on, she intensely taught herself to be fluent in watercolor painting, just as one would do to master a foreign language.Mostly self-taught, Keiko embarked on a professional art career in 2005 and started exhibiting publicly.  In the same year she took a workshop from Alvaro Castagnet and discovered the joy of plein-air painting.  Since that year her paintings have been juried into many exhibitions across Americas and in Asia and Europe.  Her work has been purchased by private and corporate collectors from all [...]

Read the rest of this bio on the artist's website >>




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