Bonnie Mandoe

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I knew I would be a painter when I was a teenager, but waited until my 50’s to paint seriously so I could devote myself fulltime. By then, my children were grown and my responsibilities fulfilled, so I dove in headfirst and I’m still in over my head. There are many things I love about painting — color and texture, shapes and patterns, designs in nature, and especially the mystery of seeing something emerge from nothing. I like to paint outdoors, also from ideas, from my imagination, and from my subconscious. I love water soluble oil paint, which behaves like traditional oils but is free of noxious vapors. I developed a techinque for using this relatively new medium that fits my requirements exactly. I studied art at UC Berkeley and thirty years later at WNMU in Silver City. The real learning occurs outside the institutions in the studio and on location, though, and you have to paint a lot for good things to happen. I like to have numerous pieces going at once, moving between them, staying detached so I can see each one more clearly. In earlier life I owned a natural foods catering company; I also wrote for newspapers and magazines; published a couple cookbooks, and more recently restored old adobe houses. The one I live in was an elegant farmhouse in its day, and makes a comfortable home/studio/gallery. I have two incredible children and three remarkable grandchildren and friends far and wide who make life worth living. It’s with enormous gratitude that I pick up paints and palette to explore the unknown.

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