Meet the Artist: Bobbye West-Thomspon

Bobbye’s passion for color is apparent as you explore her watercolor and pastel work. She uses several glazes (layers) in watercolor and, at times, uses pure pigment. Her vibrant pastels also reflect her love of intense color,  patterns and shapes.  

Although a fairly new painter and essentially self-taught, she has been accepted into juried shows throughout California and Oregon. She currently exhibits her work in several venues in San Luis Obispo County, where she recently moved with her husband and their four-legged critters.  

A fourth-generation Californian, she has lived along the coast most of her life. She enjoys exploring the area where she finds a world of inspiration for her work, whether  at the beach, driving along country roads,  discovering blooming fields of wildflowers, old barns, or simply observing the enchanting newness of spring in its glory of green - all of which she photographs and then develops into paintings  in her studio.  She also paints, weekly, en plein air, with a group who have the privilege of painting on location throughout Luis Obispo County - including many historic ranches, old Victorians and farmland, private homes and beaches along the central coast. 

Bobbye earned a BA from Cal State Northridge and an MA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her career as an educator includes classroom teacher, curriculum design and development and teacher trainer for several school districts, in California, Project Director for the children's television program, "Big Blue Marble"; recruiter/trainer for hotels including Trusthouse Forte, and the last 12 years prior to retirement, owner of California Learning Center, an after-school tutoring program for K-12 students which included developing a writing portion for SAT testing for her high school students. She is the author of "Art Aardvark" an art idea book for teachers, published by The Learning Works, Santa Barbara, and is currently writing/illustrating a children's book about various jobs we have and interests we pursue. 

She feels extremely fortunate that her lifetime home has always been along the California coast - providing a wonderful opportunity to pursue other activities including photography, water skiing, SCUBA diving in places all along the Pacific Coast, gardening, hiking, and finally, the pursuit of art, a lifelong passion. 

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