Artists of the Month - November 2017
by Judie Apablaza
Joseph (Pepe) Apablaza was our first place winner in the “Premier” category. He states that after seeing a photograph of a desert scene for the whole month of September in the kitchen calendar, the inspiration for “Desert Sentinel” was something he had to translate into a watercolor painting. The vibrant reddish hills contrasting with the greens in the foreground that connected with the majestic saguaro cactus was something he could not resist. The reddish mountains in this painting were an inspiration from the workshop of the late Tom Fong, a style that impressed Pepe with the wide brush strokes and fluid style that was unique to Tom's paintings.
Having worked in the Graphics field since the 70's in advertising agencies and corporate business, switching from the electronic graphic tools to the hands-on brush and paint of watercolor has been a delight. Going back to the basics of paper, brush and the freshness of working with direct color, has brought him full circle back to fine art.
His artistic capabilities were honed by attending LA Trade Tech and The Art Center College of Design, plus working along and being inspired by well known illustrators in the LA area. His watercolor chapter started and has continued to evolve by attending classes and workshops from impressive local artists such as Fealing Lin, Richard Scott, Tom Fong and others. Pepe enjoys acquiring the techniques and unique style that watercolor, as a transparent medium, offers the viewer.
Being a member of the Verdugo Hills Art Association, enjoying the camaraderie of fellow artists, and earning several awards and ribbons have all inspired him to keep challenging his abilities. His ability with technology and skills with photography have also allowed him to contribute to the club’s meetings and newsletters.
Our blue ribbon winner in the “Open” category was Jennifer Zapp. Her watercolor painting was titled “Pasadena Town Hall.” While participating in a recent drawing with Richard Scott on the grounds of the Pasadena City Hall, Jennifer took several photographs and completed her watercolor painting at home, in her studio. She stated that she paints mainly in watercolor and occasionally in acrylics.
Jennifer completed her education with a degree in Art Education from the University of Illinois. Her career choice allowed her to teach kindergarten level through high school.
As with most of our generation of the same era, the usual opportunities offered to women of being a nurse or librarian did not appeal to her. The field of art as a college major seemed like the most exciting choice. Jennifer's affinity for art had always been an interest which she then parlayed into a career in life-long learning through instructional design. Jennifer has taken her interest in fine and applied arts into multimedia design of on-line courses, teaching the “how, why and what” of learning software packages. She has continued to do consulting in the area of on-line multimedia design even after retirement. She has been very active in taking classes through the Brand Studios, the Huntington Library and other local art class offerings.
Our blue ribbon winner is highly discipled with her interest in art. She has set a recent challenge for herself to draw or paint every day for twenty-one days. Of course our instructors have recommended painting every day, but most of us sometimes find distractions and do not follow through with our best intentions. Not Jennifer! She states that she really did see improvement after her personal challenge. She is looking forward to a trip in the new year to Australia and New Zealand to spend a month of touring, sketching and painting. VHAA is very happy to welcome Jennifer back to our community as a returning and participating member.