Wanda Westberg

“Berkeley artist Wanda Westberg  has established a reputation as one of the Bay Area’s fine contemporary oil painters.”

After growing up in the Midwest, I knew that I wanted to come to California to look for colleges. I loved the weather and the landscape and, when I saw the ocean, I never looked back. Enrolling at UCLA, hoping to study art, I was discouraged after a counselor advised that it was not a good career for a woman. After obtaining a degree in English, I took every art extension class offered at UCLA, including classes in watercolor, sculpture, life drawing,  and acrylic painting. When I discovered oil painting, I found my calling.

I have studied with many respected artists, including Arnold Shifrin, a flamboyant expressionist who chronicled Topanga Canyon, Mexico and California beaches, and championed the status of Los Angeles artists. He was my greatest inspiration and encouraged me to follow my path.

For me, painting is meditation in action. When problems come up or something does not seem to be working, I use that to go deeper into the painting to see what is. That may mean wiping things down to discover the potential under that layer of paint, or starting over. Success depends on clearly seeing the situation and dealing with it skillfully without fear or doubt. Fear and self doubt are always present, but to be an artist is to not listen to those voices and simply be present and alert. I am always surprised and grateful when a good painting happens.

Current work is inspired by music I enjoy playing on the piano and listening to in the studio.

Paintings in private collections and corporate offices internationally.

Represented by  Shoh Gallery, Berkeley, California

See “Events” for summary of past and current shows.