“Animals in Art,” an exhibit of animal watercolor paintings, pen and pencil drawings by Belmont resident Teresa Silvestri is on display at the Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park during the month of June. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, June 6, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
Teresa’s love of animals and nature has inspired these new works, from the realistic to the whimsical, featuring domestic, wildlife and farm animals. Her passion is capturing the expression, personality and essence of her subjects within their eyes. She has developed her unique painting style utilizing many layers of paint and bright colors to create the soft texture of fur.
Teresa learned to paint late in life and began painting full-time in 2008 as a pet portrait artist, completing more than 100 watercolor portraits. The demands of commission work soon gave way to her desire to paint works reflecting her love of all animals, in real and imagined settings.
Thanks to several recent experiences, Teresa began exploring drawing as a new medium and direction for her artwork. She was recently commissioned to draw animals inside the book covers of children’s books for a special library collection. In addition, Olivier Dunrea, a best-selling author and illustrator of children’s books, began mentoring her in book illustration. Explains Teresa: “I found the pen and ink so freeing and joyful compared to the tight and controlled painting work I do. I love the simple, loose and fast process in drawing.”
In both mediums, Teresa’s favorite subject matter is rabbits. She enjoys partnering with various Rabbit Rescue agencies to paint from their photos of rescued rabbits, and in turn donate her artwork to benefit their cause. She describes this work as “deeply rewarding, and a chance for me to help raise awareness and funds for these rescued animals who need adopted homes.”
Inspired by the life and career of Beatrix Potter, Teresa’s dream is to live on a rural farm where she can rescue animals and paint them. Until then, she paints in her Belmont home studio, where she is inspired by her adopted dog and the surrounding wildlife.
The Portola Art Gallery is located at the Allied Arts Guild (Arbor Road) in Menlo Park.