Saturday, May 26, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 12

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on April 3rd, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 4 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 4

Vibrancy of life

Local artist Erin Williams' bright, nature-inspired art is featured at Gallery Los Olivos


Watercolors enjoy wide popularity in the art world for their accessibility and malleability. The often-seen “washed out” style can subtly imply a subject, while a more pigment-heavy approach can yield a blooming field of color.

Water and light:
Erin Williams’ watercolors are a study in brightness and vibrancy on the subject of nature.

The floral connection:
Williams’ show, “Saturated with Joy” at Gallery Los Olivos, will feature many floral paintings.

Local watercolor artist Erin Williams—whose work tends to fall in the latter, vibrant category—is showcasing a full exhibit of her works at the co-op Gallery Los Olivos.

Williams adds plenty of pigment to each color she uses, making large puddles of deep, rich hues. Her inspiration comes entirely from nature—including the use of watercolors, as they’re the least toxic of paints, she explained.

“I work from life,” she said. “I go to the farmers market and get bouquets of flowers, or pick some wildflowers, or go out and paint a landscape so I have to have something from nature in front of me to work from.”

Williams’ work is showcased at Gallery Los Olivos, which features a wide array of fine art by local artists. The exhibit, “Erin Williams Watercolor: Saturated with Joy,” will include many floral and landscape paintings with a vivid color palette.

Local inspiration:
Williams’ love of natural subjects extends to both flora and landscapes.

Flora and fauna:
Williams includes animals—including butterflies and birds—in her floral paintings.

“With color, what I do is I exaggerate and intensify the color in order to get that stylized look,” she said. “I think it brings it into more of a different realm. I like to transcend reality to try and make an idealized state.”

The ideal she hopes to personify is joy, unbridled and as vibrant as the pigments she uses.

 “The reaction most people get when they see my art is that it is cheerful and they get happy looking at my art,” she said. “It’s a prayer for the positive.”

Dancing with light
Gallery Los Olivos presents Erin Williams—a new artist to the co-op gallery—and her watercolor paint show “Saturated with Joy” showing through April. An opening reception is April 14 from noon to 2 p.m. at the gallery at 2920 Grand Ave., Los Olivos. More info: 688-7517,, or

Arts Editor Joe Payne enjoys a palette of many pigments. Contact him at

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