Watercolor artist Joanne Masias Gustilo uses her brush to catch the natural world’s ephemeral moments.  


“Nature is captured in suspension—the crashing of the waves on rocky shores, boats sailing to the distant horizon, the sky with its changing hues.” The artist says through her work she is “capturing the essence of time.”


Working in the en plein air tradition of outdoor painting, Joanne’s goal is to inspire viewers to appreciate the world around them. Her subjects include landscape, seascape and still life, but floral painting is her true obsession and joy. "I love plein air painting where I can capture my subjects’ movements, moods, and life,” she said.


Influenced by her painter father, Joanne discovered her love of painting at a very young age. As an architecture major at the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City, Philippines, technical architectural drawings were her focus, but in recent years she has returned to her first love. After exploring oils and mixed media, she settled on watercolor as her medium of choice because she enjoys its concomitant challenges. “With watercolor as my medium, everything is captured in spontaneous rhythm, as the brush and luminous pigment dance with the water and the paper. It is a sensuous interaction between me, my subject, and the medium."


Pigeon Pt Lighthouse by Joanne Masias


Joanne recently joined Benicia Plein Air Gallery, a member-run gallery that showcases local artists’ paintings of outdoor Bay Area scenes, often centering on Benicia and the Carquinez Strait. In March she presents her first featured-artist show at the gallery, Of Boats and Coastal Longings, with works depicting the beauty of Northern California coasts. The show opens March 7 and continues throughout the month. A reception will be held Saturday, March 16, from 3 to 5pm.


Benicia Plein Air Gallery is located at 307 First Street, and the website is beniciapleinair.com. More information about Joanne’s work can be found online at www.joannegustilo.com.