Gilroy Today 2010 06 Summer - Page 10

Gilroy’s Got Talent JoAnne Perez Robinsen JoAnne Perez Robinson takes great delight in capturing the natural world around her in watercolor. “Fruit, vegetables, flowers… just the things that are around us that people just walk by. I love to zero in on it,” Robinson said. Robinson finds inspiration in nearby vegetable fields, the Gilroy foothills, garlic and other familiar places and themes that dot the landscape of the town she has called home for the past 31 years. A mainly self-taught artist, Robinson said her education is woven from a patchwork of classes, workshops and books. Robinson said she has always loved to sketch and paint, and that interest grew in 1994 when she enrolled in a watercolor class at Gavilan College. The same year she entered its art show and won. She started out painting miniature scenes on eggs and selling them. But the delicate eggs were hard to work with and Robinson switched to watercolor paper. Robinson has worked for Specialized Bike and later part-time for Goldsmith Seeds as she continued to study art and paint. “When I worked I was a good worker, but my mind was always here,” she said motioning to her sun-filled artist studio lined with shelves overflowing with her artwork. “I’m 51, I better do it or I’m never going to.” Robinson now paints exclusively and most days you can find the mom of two in a bedroom she converted into an artist studio. She tries to paint every day. Robinson said her children, 30-year-old son Sam and her 13-year-old daughter Kylie, tease her that she needs to go to her room to paint or she becomes “mean.” Kidding aside, Robinson said she tries to take her husband’s advice and treat her artwork like a job. “I really try to get in my room when Kylie is at school,” Robinson said. “I have to do that. You have the phone and other distractions. I have to say no. This is my time that I’m working.” She takes photos or sketches landscapes, scenery or people and later captures their likeness with watercolors. Her favorite scenes to paint are on small canvases – not more than 6 inches long and wide. She also has dabbled in oils and acrylics. “I love the way acrylics look,” she said. “They’re less transparent and more thick and opaque. It’s like playing a different instrument.” Robinson has entered the Gilroy Garlic Festival poster contest, earning a first place ribbon in 2006 and second place in 2008. She also entered her artwork in the Gilroy art show in 2006 and won Best of Show last year. “The art in it was really good so I was really proud,” Robinson said. “It’s those little things that make it worth it because it’s tough for every artist. You’re alone a lot. That’s the reason I like the art shows.” By Kelly Barbazette 10 G I L R O Y T O D A Y S P R I N G 2 0 1 0