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on just three colors: a blue, a red and a yellow. “I like to mix all my colors,” she says, “but using the same colors keeps everything unified.” Part of her process involves lots of layering, sometimes up to 20 layers when painting something like water, and working with diffe ent width brushes. She explains, “You get a lot more luminosity when you layer it.” Gail loves natural subjects—her husband sometimes drives her around in their dinghy so she can get good seascape angles, and she hikes in estuaries to view egrets and herons. However, plein air painting isn’t usually her way. “I’m more comfortable in the studio, I can take my time,” she says. “Watercolors in the great outdoors is a chal- lenge—it can dry really quickly, especially on a warm Santa Barbara day. Plus the light changes so fast that I find it hard to find my shadows.” Instead, she’s an inveterate photographer and works from those to create her work. “I’ll keep a photo in mind and think, ‘It’s time to do that one now,’” she says. But she’s not after slavish realism. “There’s a point in a painting where I’ll use the pho- tos quite a bit, but then I have to put the photos away. You have to paint a good painting at that point.” Th se good paintings should have a charge, she thinks. “I always hope people have an emotional connection to them,” she admits. “I have an emo- tional relationship with a lot of things I paint, like my egrets—they live in proximity to man but are free, they don’t live off us like seagulls. I want to get what that emotion is and pass that on.” “My work is not at all political,” she asserts, “but at least subtly there’s an undertone of preserv- ing nature and being aware of the natural world around us.” u Gail McBride Kenny’s work can be seen at Gallery Los Olivos, 2920 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, (805) 688–7517, GalleryLosOlivos.com Contact Gail directly at gmcbridekenny@cox.net Call us for a free consultation 805-962-4646 www.HelpUnlimited.com We select compassionate and experienced Caregivers to FIT YOUR NEEDS for… Companionship / Personal Care Household Chores / Errands Medication Supervision / Exercise HCO License #424700003 Care at Home Making Life’s Transitions Easier 48 Montecito Magazine Spring–Summer 2018 Painting © Gail McBride Kenny