gmhTODAY 11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016 - Page 81

The resist can also be dyed to create a visible outline of objects. The finished fabric is steamed in order to fix the colors, after which it can be mounted and framed as an art piece, or enjoyed as wearable art in the form of scarves, bags, jewelry and ties. “There are extra steps when compared to painting with water- colors, but for me the result is worth it.” Renee said. Her favorite art period is New Deal Art. During the Great Depression, the Federal Art Project provided funds to support artists as part of the New Deal program. She is particularly fond of Thomas Hart Benton, a painter and muralist whose work won acclaim during that era. Renee’s point of reference for paintings generally comes from photographs or sketches. Her Mediterranean-style scenes of cafés and plazas include small details of the table settings and shrubbery expressed in bright colors, without attention to exact replication. Her technique of outlining objects is reminiscent of post-Impressionist artists such as Paul Gaugin and Samuel Peploe. In these scenes, she leaves the seats empty. “I want people to feel like the table is waiting for them.” Renee’s varied subjects include seascapes, leisure scenes (inspired by her trips to the Mediterranean), area landscapes and her favorite, plants – perhaps inspired by the colorful natural environment of her rural upbringing. The middle child of three siblings, Renee was born and raised on an orchard farm in Gilroy to parents Ernie and Ann Filice. She was exposed to the arts at an early age as her mother is an accomplished artist in her own right. After graduating from Notre Dame High School in Salinas, Renee received her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University and her master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology from Stanford University, where she served as a counselor for several years. In 1983, Renee and her husband Ron Erskine moved to Morgan Hill, where they built a house and raised their two children. Ron’s locally known as a board member of the Pine Ridge Association and the Committee for Green Foothills, and an avid backcountry trekker whose column “Getting Out” appears in the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch. “We moved to Morgan Hill for Ron to start a new job in the building business and we thought it would be a good place to raise a family.” Renee once taught art at Morgan Hill Country School (now Oakwood School). When Ron co-founded Coast Range Brewery in Gilroy, she contributed to marketing and sales efforts, and even helped with the bottling on occasion. She also painted the mural on the outside wall of the brewery. These days, she teaches silk painting at Woodside’s Filoli Gardens, in Morgan Hill, and in Capitola. She has also conducted one-day silk painting workshops for the Valley Quilters Association. As a Valle del Sur Art Guild member, Renee participates in the guild’s Art Around Town program. Locally, her work is on exhibit at Solis Winery in Gilroy through December 2nd, 2016. Her works are also exhibited and sold through galleries in Morgan Hill, Los Olivos, Kenwood, Capitola, and Carmel, and are in collections throughout the U.S. and in Europe. Renee is one of the lucky ones who finds her work incredibly satisfying. Having recently returned from a vacation in Nova Scotia, the silk paintings inspired by her time there will surely be satisfying to viewers as well. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 Dan Craig is a local artist whose early works were in the Realism style. He now enjoys an Impressionistic style. He lives in Morgan Hill with his life partner, Kim. gmhtoday.com 81