"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."
"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."
"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
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 25 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 around the world. She also had her paintings published in leading art magazines in the U.S., France and Japan. Additionally, she self-publishes her art books and six books have been completed by 2014. She's also a sought-after workshop instructor. Since 2011, she has been invited to and completed successfully more than 70 workshops around the world. Keiko currently lives in San Diego, California.
outdoor demo (Brioude, France) NAWA exhibition (Maryland, USA)
- National Watercolor Society, signature member
- American Watercolor Society
- North American Watercolor Artists (NAWA), founding member
- Japan Watercolor Society
- Brushing Up (by Beth Williams), Watercolor Artist, F+W Media, Inc. (October, 2014)
- Artists & Illustrators (March, 2014)
- ??????? , Guangming Daily (January 19, 2014)
- Le Hors Série Aquarelle: Aquarelliste globe-trotteuse , Pratique des Arts (December, 2013)
- Le Hors Série: Tour du Monde de l'Aquarelle Portfolio Asie et Australie , Pratique des Arts (November, 2012)
- ???????????? (Transparent watercolor works and lessons), Graphicsha (November, 2012)
- Awash in Watercolor - meet 10 artists who capture the world in a demanding medium , Southwest Art (April, 2012)
- The American Artist Series (by Gail. M. Weber), Exploring TOSCA, (Winter, 2012)
- David Gale Memorial award (Second Place) and People's Choice Award (2009), Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Annual Exhibition
- Da Vinci Paint Award (2009); Atlanta Artists Center Award (2008); Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus Fine Art Watercolor Award (2006), Georgia Watercolor Society National Exhibition
- Polly Howerton Transparent Watercolor Award (2009), Texas Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition
- Best of Show (2008, 2007, 2006); Best Theme Painting Award (2008); Best of Miniatures (2009, 2007, 2006, 2005), San Diego Watercolor Society Juried Member Exhibit
- Sam Black Award for Excellence in Transparent Watercolour (2008), Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour Open Juried Art Exhibition
- First Place in the watercolor category (2008), Affaire in the Gardens Art Show, Beverly Hills, California
- Third Place, Travel Show Award (2008); Winsor & Newton Award, Artist & Craftsman Supply Co. Award, Travel Show Award (2006), Kentucky Watercolor Society National Aqueous USA
- North Light Books Award (2008); Cheap Joe's Art Stuff Award (2007), Pittsburgh Watercolor Society Aqueous Open Annual International Exhibition
- Honorable Mention (2008), Louisiana Watercolor Society 38th International Exhibition
- Merit Award (2008), Society of Watercolor Artists 27th Annual Juried Art Exhibition
- Merit Award (2008), Watercolor Art Society - Houston 31st Annual International Exhibition
- Second Place (2007), The Richeson 75: Landscape & Exteriors Competition
- Third Place (2007); Honorable Mention (2005), Wyoming Watercolor Society Annual National Exhibition
- Jack Richeson & Co., Inc. Award (2007), Red River Watercolor Society National Watermedia Exhibition
- Grand Prize (2005); Honorable Mention (2006), Learning & Product Expo Juried Art Show
- Third Place and Vernon Council of the Arts Award (2006), Red River Valley Museum National Juried Art Exhibition
- Robert Reynolds Founder's Award (2006), Central Coast Watercolor Society Aquarius Pacific Regional Exhibition
- First Place (2007); Second Place (2006, 2005); Honorable Mention (2008), San Diego County Fair Art Show
- First Place (2007), La Jolla Art Association Open Juried Exhibition of Plein-Air Artwork
- Second Place (2007), Southwestern Artists' Association Annual Juried Art Show
- Juror's Commendation (2007), Brandon Gallery "Small Treasures" Fine Art Show
- Honorable Mention (2007, 2006), Studio Art & Design Open Juried Watermedia Exhibit
- Third Place (2007, 2006), The Olde Ramona Hotel Gallery Annual Fine Arts Show
- Honorable Mention (2007), San Dieguito Art Guild "Small Image: Annual Southern California Art Show"
- First Place (2006), Carlsbad-Oceanside Art League Annual Open Juried Fine Arts Show
- Certificate of Merit (2007), La Jolla Art Association's Annual San Diego County Awards Show
- Ye Qiangyu Art Museum, Tonglu County, Zhejiang, China
- Museu de Arte Contemporânea MAC Bahia, Senhor do Bonfim, Brazil
Upcoming Events and Exhibits
International Contemporary Watercolour Exhibition Zhujiajiao Int'l Watercolor Biennial Center 11/8/2014-12/30/2014 Reception: ()
The exhibition is organized by Shanghai Yaoyi Art & Communication Ltd., Co.; co-organized by the Suzhou Art Museum, the Vienna Contemporary Asian Art Center, the Singapore Watercolor Association, the Shandong Watercolor Association.
Exhibition curator: Kong Yaw LOH, Founder, Contemporary Asian Art Center, Vienna
XI Bienal Internacional de la Acuarela Museo Nacional de Acuarela Alfredo Guati Rojo 12/7/2014-2/8/2015 Reception: ()
Mexico City 1st International Watercolor Exhibition
2/26/2015-3/22/2015 Reception: ()
70th Anniversary: 21st Century Watercolor, A Vision of Future Agrupacion de Acuarelistas Vascos 6/1/2015-6/30/2015 Reception: ()
Watercolor Workshop in Kyoto, Japan(0) Kyoto, Japan 11/29/2014-11/29/2014
Registration will open at 9:30am on 26 August (Japan Time).
Watercolor Workshop(0) Westminster, California, USA 2/20/2015-2/22/2015
More information coming soon.
For registration and questions, please contact:
6630 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683
Capturing Light and Atmosphere in Watercolor(0) Bonita Springs Center for the Arts 3/9/2015-3/13/2015
Workshop: March 9-13, 9am-4pm
Demo (open to the public): March 8, 1-3pm. $15 (no charge to those registered for my workshop)
Kelly Campbell, Education Director(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Watercolor Workshop in Kyoto, Japan(0) Several locations in Kyoto, Japan 4/7/2015-4/17/2015
JAPAN, exotic, traditional, wondrous sights, aromas and surprises: We will stay entirely in Kyoto because we will find all the elements we would want to paint, while in Japan. We will be showing you some main cultural sites in Kyoto and take you to the famous street of the geishas. They will surely yield many painting opportunities and inspirations.
One day we will take a trip to the unusual, small, harbor village of Ine, wherepicturesque landscape/waterscape will be just a step away - ready for us to paint any time we want. We also may have time to visit Miyama. Both are among the most beautiful villages of Japan. Miyama has many traditional, thatched-roof houses surrounded by rural landscapes. These houses are so rare nowadays and can be seen in only a few spots in Japan. Visit this link for price information.
We will only take 13 others besides our instructor, Keiko Tanabe, and Johanna Morrell, the director. If you get your name on the list now, you will have the opportunity of coming with us. We're asking for a refundable $500 now, to hold your place. If the final price, dates, or circumstances need you to cancel, you will get the whole deposit returned. This will be amended when it is announced in the Flying Colors Art Workshops yearly brochure, which will come out in May of 2014.
Gate 1 Travel will facilitate our air, hotel, and ground transportation. For those who may want to see more of Japan, they will put together an optional trip for visiting other towns and cultural sites. See the itinerary.
For more information, please contact Flying Colors Art Workshops: Johanna Morrell, Owner
Website: http://www.flyingcolorsart.com/ Address: 320 South Gaylord Street, Denver, Colorado 80209 U.S.A. Office Hours: 9am to 4pm, Monday - Thursday (Colorado/Mountain Time) Closed all Fridays, Weekends and Holidays (To contact us on off days, email is best)
Johanna Morrell, Flying Colors Art Workshops(FlyingColorsArt@me.com)
Printemps des Aquarelles 2015 - Invité(e) d'honneur: KEIKO TANABE, une artiste japonaise qui assurera un stage d'un jour le 14 mai, jour du vernissage, mais qu'elle fera suivre ce stage d'un autre de 2 jours les 15 et 16 mai, pour approfondir son enseignement (sa technique).
Pour plus d'infos, Renseignez-vous auprès de l'ASBL
Contact : E-mail :email@example.com
Watercolor Workshop in Portugal(0) Mafra, Portugal 5/26/2015-5/29/2015
INVENT’ARTE, the Portuguese Association of Watercolor is developing a Holiday Painting Watercolor Experience in Lisbon (Portugal), not far from the capital centre. It will take place at "Quinta do Freixo," a small farm located at the heart of a privileged Natural Protected Area (Mafra). This natural environment allows both artists and art lovers to create freely and in perfect contact with nature.
Aldeia da Mata Pequena is a small rural village, with a dozen houses, situated barely 30 minutes from the city of Lisbon. Close to the capital but so far from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is located within the Special Protection Area of Penedo do Lexim, an extinct volcano where there is an important archaeological site. Proud eagles and stealthy foxes inhabit an extremely rich and well-preserved natural landscape, inviting visitors to relax, to indulge in leisure activities and to be in contact with nature. Transportation will be provided between the airport and the hotel and from the hotel to "Quinta do Freixo" where the workshop will take place. Any other needs for displacement must be previously requested.
Sunday May 24 - Check in and accommodation in "Aldeia da Mata Pequena." Welcome Dinner
France Painting Holiday at Bandouille(0) Bandouille, 79350 Chiche, France 8/23/2015-8/29/2015
Price: £995 (British pounds)
includes expert tutoring, full board ensuite accommodation, some materials, full use of studio, trips out to plein air locations.
Watercolor Workshop in Tuscany, Italy(0) The Watermill at Posara 9/30/2015-10/10/2015
A special Tuscan painting adventure! A unique 10-day holiday: three days in glorious Florence, Italy, birthplace on the Renaissance (Wednesday 30 September to Saturday 3 October) , PLUS a week-long painting workshop in the Tuscany countryside (Saturday 3 October to Saturday 10 October; five full days of instruction).
* Workshop dates: Wednesday 30 September to Saturday 10 October,
* Location: Florence Tuscany, Italy and The Watermill at Posara, Fivizzano (Italy)
Experience Florence as you've never done before in a unique three-day cultural and artistic tour. You’ll stay in an historic hotel in a Renaissance square, and your exclusive professional guide will take you to the best museums and sights -- and also show you parts of the glorious city which are less familiar – and Keiko will show you how to see the sights with an artist’s eye.
Then it’s on to the peaceful surroundings of The Watermill at Posara for a week’s painting workshop with Keiko. You could find few better places to enjoy your art and improve your skills than the beautiful historic watermill, beside the curving banks of a river in a gentle, wooded valley. This is your base for forays into nearby unspoilt Tuscany, visiting castles, convents, medieval towns and hilltop villages. You’ll stay in stylish bedrooms in elegant buildings around the sunlit courtyard. The mill’s gardens, secluded millstream paths and riverside walks are all yours to enjoy, and you’ll savour mouth-watering authentic Italian cooking.