"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 five books have been completed by 2013. She's also a sought-after workshop instructor. Since 2011, she has been invited to and completed successfully more than 50 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
- Le Hors Série Tour du Monde de l'Aquarelle Portfolio Asie et Australie , Practique 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
I Exposición Internacional de Acuarela Roquetas de Mar (Almería), Spain 10/11/2013-1/5/2014 Reception: 10/11/2013 (8pm)
Shenzhen Watercolour Biennial Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, China 12/10/2013-1/10/2014 Reception: 12/10/2013 (3-5pm)
3e Biennale d'Aquarelle du Bassin d'Arcachon Le Teich, France 8/19/2014-8/31/2014 Reception: ()
I will participate as one of the invited guests of honor.
I will also teach a workshop, August 21-23, 2014. Visit this link for more information.
Plein Air Painting Demonstration(0) San Diego, California 1/11/2014-1/11/2014
Please contact the person in charge for Saturday Paint-Out at the San Diego Watercolor Society for more details (location, time, directions).
San Diego Watercolor Society()
Watercolor Demonstration(0) Coachella Valley Watercolor Society 1/13/2014-1/13/2014
Place: Joslyn Center, 73-750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert, CA 92260
Capturing Light and Atmosphere in California(249) Westminster, California, U.S.A. 2/21/2014-2/23/2014
This workshop is designed to help students create watercolor paintings full of light and atmosphere. Focusing on the California landscape Keiko will begin with fundamentals (materials, drawing, design and color choices) and move to different approaches to create atmosphere. During this weekend workshop there will be demonstrations each day, one-on-one guidance, and question-and-answer sessions.
Book before the end of 2013 for a discount of £ (GBP) 75. Contact Bill and Lois Breckon for more information and registration.
Bill & Lois Breckon(firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)
France Painting Holiday at Bandouille(0) Bandouille, 79350 Chiche, France 7/27/2014-8/2/2014
Price: £945 (includes full board accommodation, all materials, full use of studio, trips out to plein air locations)
Stage Aquarelle(0) Hôtel Les Roses, Libin, Belgium 8/11/2014-8/15/2014
For registration and information, contact: Micheline HAYEZ (tel 0032477 359 528) or Monique DEPRET (tel 0032474 300 451).
Stage d'Aquarelle(0) L'Association "Art et Loisirs" 8/21/2014-8/23/2014
Thème du stage : capter la lumière et l’atmosphère en aquarelle.
Expérience recommandée : tous les niveaux (connaissances de base fortement recommandées).
Cet atelier est destiné aux stagiaires qui aimeraient gagner une meilleure compréhension des méthodes et techniques pour créer une aquarelle emplie de lumière.
Reprise des fondamentaux, nécessité d'un bon dessin, les perspectives, compréhension des valeurs tonales, variété des touches du pinceau, création d'une atmosphère...seront les points forts de ce stage ponctués de démonstrations journalières et de phases quotidiennes de conseils individuels et de question-réponses.
Chaque jour différents sujets seront proposés en atelier ou sur le motif.
Un bilan critique sera fait par les stagiaires à la fin de l’atelier.
Workshop in Brittany / Stage Aquarelle en Bretagne(0) Le Clos Saint Cadreuc, Ploubalay, France 10/12/2014-10/18/2014
Instruction begins on Monday and ends on Friday (5 days). Plein-air and studio. Includes 3 day trips to wonderful locations nearby.
The arrival of the trainees will be Sunday, October 12 in the late afternoon with a welcome dinner. They leave Clos Saint Cadreuc Saturday, October 18 after breakfast. Accommodation for students includes nights, breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Contact Brigitte Noel at Le Clos Saint Cadreuc for the price quote for accomodation.
Brigitte et Patrick NOEL(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/waterscapes 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.
Our price will include tuition, air, hotel (double occupancy), breakfasts, some meals, and transportation within Japan (Final price will be announced in 2014). 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.
For more information, please contact Flying Colors Art Workshops: Johanna Morrell, Owner 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)