Sunday, March 18, 2012

Keiko Tanabe

Watercolor artist, Keiko Tanabe, was in Dallas this past week to do a workshop and demo for the Southwestern Watercolor Society. Her technical skills impressed the crowd, both in her ability to mentally edit and merge scenes and to accurately draw on-the-spot without aids other than a pencil. Her palette, too, was minimal - both in size and quantity of colors. Observing her extraordinary talent of developing the painting from white paper to wonderful in less than the 60 minutes or so allotted for the demo, my conclusion was solidified that this humble, young artist is the real deal!
I first read about Keiko Tanabe in the December 2010 Watercolor Artist Magazine. It arrived at the end of October, and my mother and I chatted by phone from TX to CA about the article, both of us struck by the emotional quality of her scenes.  Unlike many artists' bland landscape or architectural paintings, Keiko infuses such a rich diversity with soft and hard edges, detailed and suggested form, and judicious selection of color and grays that the viewer is lured into the scene to imagine walking the streets, feeling the mist, smelling the wafting coffee, or hearing the sounds of the train rolling into the station.  To further enhance the enjoyment, Keiko writes a wonderful blog that gives stories of her experiences and interesting tidbits about the locations for her paintings.  The WA magazine article highlighted an example of her 4/1/2010 blog entry about the emergence of cherry blossoms in Japan.
Just a few days after reading the article, my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Keiko and her son at the 2010 National Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition Luncheon in California where she received her NWS Signature status. She has continued to receive numerous accolades in the United States and internationally.
Here is a link to some of her amazing works, Belgian Landscapes, but don't fall in love with Ghent Belgium II  (featured left with the artist's permission), because we fell in love with it, too, and purchased it to proudly hang in our home. Links to other paintings of various locations are provided on the side menu of her blog so that you can own your very own Keiko Tanabe masterpiece!


  1. you are so very lucky to have seen keiko painting cheryl .... enjoy your new painting

  2. I love Keiko Tanabe paintings. I would really like to attend one of her workshops. I'm glad to see a new post from you. Hope all is well with you and your family Cheryl.

  3. I think Keiko's work is amazing! I would love to take one of her workshops one of these days! Thanks for sharing!