Wanda in Black Robe

Wanda Westberg

Growing up in the midwest, with the changing seasons and weather,  I developed a strong connection with nature . Those were different times. We lived in a suburb of Minneapolis on an unpaved street with plenty of undeveloped land around us. We were allowed to run free, as long as we returned home before dark. I spent many happy hours sitting on a large rock on top of a grassy hill just across the street from our house watching the clouds go by. There was a marsh nearby where we could find salamanders and frogs. In the summers, we found relief from the heat at the many beautiful lakes.  We rode bikes, climbed trees, and had lemonade stands. In the winters, we skated on the frozen ponds and rivers, built snow forts and went sledding.

My first oil painting, at age 12, was a landscape of birch trees in our front yard.

I attended UCLA and, discouraged from majoring in art, obtained a degree in English. But, I continued to paint. I first studied oil painting with Arnold Schifrin, a flamboyant expressionist artist who chronicled Topanga Canyon, Mexico and California beaches and championed the status of Los Angeles artists. I have worked with many fine artists, both in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

I paint on site and  in the studio and my work covers a variety of subject matter, including landscapes, still life objects, figures, animals, and urban scenes of San Francisco and the East Bay. I have recently begun a series of paintings of skies over Berkeley. This work explores my continued affinity for nature and is inspired by the views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Mt. Tamalpais from our living room and deck.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” –  Henry David Thoreau

Paintings currently available at Shoh Gallery, Berkeley, California

See “Events” for past and upcoming shows