"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 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 around the world. She also had her paintings published in leading art magazines in the U.S., Europe 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 80 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
- Immagini dell'Acqua Grande manifestazione all'Acquario Civico di Milano per i primi 40 anni dell'AIA ( by Michelangelo Canzi), L'ACQUERELLO, Associazione Italiana Acquerellisti (January 2015)
- Brushing Up (by Beth Williams), Watercolor Artist, F+W Media, Inc. (October, 2014)
- Talking Techniques with Keiko Tanabe , Artists & Illustrators, The Chealsea Magazine Company Ltd. (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
- Zhongyung Art Museum, Guilin, China
- Museu de Arte Contemporânea MAC Bahia, Senhor do Bonfim, Brazil
Upcoming Events and Exhibits
Art of the Park, 100 Years of Art in Balboa Park (1915-2015) Marston House Museum & Gardens, Balboa Park 4/17/2015-9/21/2015 Reception: ()
Printemps des Aquarelles 2015 Centre Culturel de Libramont 5/14/2015-5/25/2015 Reception: ()
Trienal Internacional de la Acuarela 2015 Museo Bolivariano, Santa Marta, Colombia 5/20/2015-7/20/2015 Reception: 5/20/2015 ()
La Trienal Internacional de la Acuarela es un reconocimiento que cada tres años realiza el Museo Bolivariano de Arte Contemporáneo Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino a esta milenaria técnica, que en cada versión cuenta con la asistencia de artistas, críticos de artes e invitados especiales; agrupadas en cerca de 27 asociaciones de más de 15 países.
70th Anniversary: 21st Century Watercolor, A Vision of Future Agrupacion de Acuarelistas Vascos 6/1/2015-6/30/2015 Reception: ()
Xème Aquarelle Reims Evénement Conservatoire de la ville de Reims 9/11/2015-9/25/2015 Reception: ()
2015 Invités: Odette Feller, Roland Palmaerts, Keiko Tanabé
Exposition entrée gratuite
Démonstration le 11 septembre 2015 à 14h30 entrée payante
14ème Festival "Couleur Automne 2015" Orleat, France 9/19/2015-9/20/2015 Reception: 9/18/2015 (19h)
Entrée gratuite de 10h à 12h et de 14h à 19h.
Association SLO – «Couleur Automne»
14, allée des Rossignols 63190 ORLEAT
Tél : 06 95 29 12 08 – Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
É na Quinta do Freixo, situada em plena Reserva Ecológica do Concelho de Mafra e a apenas 25 Km de Lisboa, que Keiko Tanabe sediará o seu atelier. Se o tempo o permitir, muitas saídas se adivinham!
Para Programa Internacional completo, incluindo alojamento, meia pensão e primeiro dia de formação com Carlos Santos Marques, consultar http://paintingholidaysinportugal.blogspot.pt/
Preço especial para portugueses, só workshop com Keiko Tanabe: 380€ (possibilidade de fazer piquenique no local, aquecer refeições, restaurante e cafetaria a cerca de 1Km)
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.
Capter la lumière et l’atmosphère en aquarelle(0) Bezannes, France 9/12/2015-9/13/2015
• Cet atelier est destiné aux stagiaires qui aimeraient gagner une meilleure compréhension des méthodes et techniques pour créer une aquarelle emplie de lumière et d'atmosphère. • Nous commencerons avec les fondamentaux et discuterons sur l'importance d'un bon dessin, la compréhension des valeurs tonales, la variété des techniques d'application de peinture et de maniement du pinceau, comment simplifier une scène complexe, etc. • Nous peindrons chaque jour différents sujets, en plein air si le temps le permet, et essaierons différentes approches pour découvrir ce qui est efficace pour créer le type d'atmosphère que nous désirons. • Keiko fera chaque jour une ou deux démonstrations. Il y aura des phases quotidiennes de conseils individuels et de questions-réponses. • Un bilan critique sera fait par les stagiaires à la fin de l'atelier.
Lieu: Foyer social et culturel Espace de Bezannes (dans le même bâtiment que la nouvelle Mairie) 1, rue Source de Muire 51430 BEZANNES
Horaires: samedi 12 Septembre 2015 de 13 h à 18 h dimanche 13 Septembre 2015 de 9 h 30 à 16 h 30 cafe (pause d’1 h le midi)
Prix : 140 € les 2 jours
Renseignements complémentaires, veuillez contacter par email :email@example.com
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, Freya Middleton, 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.
*Special Early Bird offer: Book before 31 December 2014 for a £ (GBP) 75 discount.
Bill & Lois Breckon(firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)
Plein-Air Watercolor Workshop(0) Northeast Art Workshops & Retreats LLC 10/12/2015-10/16/2015
Designed for those who would like to gain a better understanding of methods and techniques create paintings with strong impact. The goal is to capture the essence of the subject through the simplification process. The ability to do so and quicky is especially useful when painting en plein air.
The process of simplification begins with visualization. In representational art, this ability to see the result of a painting is instrumental in realizing an artist’s vision. Through various exercises and step-by-step demonstrations, Keiko shows how you can take the initial inspiration through the simplification process to an expressive painting that is strong in composition and content.
Seeing things with an artist’s eye: include the preliminary drawing, editing a complex subject, what makes a good design, relationship of tonal values and colors, and a variety of techniques in paint application and brush handling. We will paint different subject(s) every day, en plein-air weather permitting . Each day there will be an exercise which will then be applied to a painting later in the day. Keiko will do two demonstrations a day. There will be plenty of one-on-one guidance and a question-and-answer session on a daily basis. A constructive class critique will be conducted at the end of each day.
Capturing Light and Atmosphere of Landscape(0) Minnesota Watercolor Society (MNWS) 10/22/2015-10/25/2015
Dates: October 22-25, 2015 from 9am to 4pm Thurs-Sat and Sun 12-5p at the Ames Center in Burnsville
Cost: $360 Members, $395 for Non-Members
This workshop is designed for those who would like to gain a better understanding of methods and techniques to capture light and atmosphere of the subject. Through various exercises and step-by-step demonstrations, Keiko will show you how to take the initial inspiration through the simplification process to an expressive painting that is strong in composition and content. Subject matters include landscape, cityscape, waterscape and interior composition, which will be demonstrated in a manner that is more representational and impressionistic rather than abstract.
Mary Axelson, Clare Ritter, MNWS Workshop Chairs()
Watercolor Workshop with Keiko Tanabe(350) Willowbrush Studio + Gallery, Tulsa, Oklahoma 11/5/2015-11/7/2015
Watercolor Workshop (Studio)(0) Folsom, California 3/7/2016-3/9/2016
More information coming soon.
Watercolor Workshop (Studio)(0) Catalyst, Westminter, California 3/18/2016-3/20/2016
More information coming soon.
Kanuga Watermedia Workshop(0) Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA 4/3/2016-4/7/2016
More information coming soon.
Watercolor Painting Workshop in Suzhou, China(0) Various locations, Suzhou, China 4/15/2016-4/25/2016
This workshop is a unique and rare opportunity to paint en plein air (outdoor) in and around Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Particularly known for its criss-crossing canals and classical gardens, Suzhou has many sites with natural beauty and historical significance, several of which we will have a chance to visit and paint. It is said that, if Shanghai represents the future of China, Suzhou is where one can experience the nation's past and present between sipping green tea and munching on rice cakes. The waterside city's history dates back 2,500 years to the Spring and Autumn Period and is often dubbed the "Venice of the East."