Retired art teacher continues to learn about painting

By Ashley Mackin

An inquiry into La Jolla watercolorist Charlotte Zinn’s inspiration can yield an art lesson, which is no surprise considering she has been teaching art for most of her life. Her most recent painting, a landscape of the Scotland House in Balboa Park, acts as a vehicle for sharing several facts about art.

She said she painted “Scotland House” during a Wednesday Morning Painters session with the San Diego Watercolor Society.

La Jolla painter Charlotte Zinn holds her latest piece, a landscape of the Scotland House in Balboa Park. Zinn likes to paint on Wednesday mornings with a group of fellow artists in the San Diego Watercolor Society. Ashley Mackin

“Composition is the most important thing,” Zinn said, of beginning a painting. “So the first thing I do is determine the varying shades of color I will use. Known as ‘value,’ these lighter and darker colors determine the success of the piece. If a painting doesn’t have good lights and darks, the painting will fail.”

She said she learned this lesson after a workshop with artist Rex Brandt in 1970, who spoke of “saving the white shapes in watercolors.”

“I learned when not to paint and allow the paper itself to serve as the white in a painting. The white walls in my ‘Scotland House’ painting exemplify this. It’s easier to save more whites than you need because you can always paint them out.”

Zinn began to teach art in 1969 at Fallbrook High School, about 100 miles from where she went to high school in Pasadena. She said it was during her own high school years that her love of art began, and she still remembers her high school art teacher’s names.

After teaching across San Diego and Coronado, Zinn retired in 2008. She now paints landscapes of her favorite spots in San Diego, preferring warm colors and the light found during the spring, summer and fall months.

“There is really good light here, I think the best in the world,” she said.

In addition to being influenced by her fellow painters at the Watercolor Society, Zinn said artists Paul Cézanne and Rembrandt inspire her.

Among her 15 exhibitions were eight years of shows at the Georgeanna Lipe Gallery in La Jolla after it opened in 1995. Currently, Zinn has some of her pieces on display at the Biz Center, 6920 Miramar Road.

Zinn recently sold some work at Gallery 4311 at San Diego Hospice in downtown San Diego, where she considered the reception a personal highlight. “My work was next to the wine table, so it was very well seen,” she laughed.

“These days, I just want to continue to enjoy Wednesday Morning Painters and get out there now while the weather is good. Paintings fail every once in a while, but there’s always the other side of the paper and there’s always another day.”

Related posts:

  1. Volunteers step up for clean up at Children’s Pool
  2. Corky’s Corner: The tale of ‘Pink Bod’ lives on
  3. LJ Shores underwater photo contest takes off
  4. 3 cheers for Sally Thornton
  5. UCSD professor sees mural as statement on La Jolla's vitality

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=92640

Posted by Staff on Aug 1, 2012. Filed under La Jolla, Life, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Solana Beach water district moving to mandatory water use restrictions August 22, 2014
    Customers of the Santa Fe Irrigation District — including residents of Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach and part of Fairbanks Ranch — will face mandatory restrictions on water use starting Sept. 5, in an effort to save water due to an ongoing statewide drought. The restrictions include a three-day-per-week watering schedule for all homes and businesses, a prohi […]
  • West Coast FC Classic Champs August 22, 2014
    Congratulations to Coach Beto Villela and the San Diego Surf BU11 Academy (Villela) team. The boys won the West Coast FC Classic Tournament last weekend, held in Mission Viejo. […]
  • Surf GU9 team takes first place in Orange County Kickoff classic August 22, 2014
    The Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team took first place in the 2014 Orange County Kickoff Classic (Girls U9 flight 1) on Aug. 16-17. […]