Teresa Silvestri’s animal portraits featured in July at Portola Art Gallery

by Frances Freyberg on July 8, 2016

“Peaceable Kingdom,” an exhibit of animal watercolor paintings by Belmont resident Teresa Silvestri is in July  at the Portola Art Gallery in Menlo Park. The artist’s love of animals and nature has inspired these new works, from the realistic to the whimsical, featuring domestic, wildlife and farm animals.

While Teresa’s representational painting style is characterized by its softness, 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 complementary colors to create the soft texture of fur. Much of her work has a simplified or no background, placing all the focus on the animal.

Explains Teresa: “It all begins with the eyes of an animal. I’m looking for an expression that emotionally touches me. From the time I was a child, I was drawn to the pure, unconditional love in an animal’s eyes. That emotional connection is what I strive to capture and share with others who feel that same kindred spirit with animals.”

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.

While all creatures in the animal kingdom are important to Teresa, her favorite subject matter remains rabbits. She enjoys partnering with local 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.”

Recently, Teresa’s artwork was selected to hang in the new addition of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and will remain in their permanent collection. “I am truly grateful for this honor and hope that my animals will bring a smile and joy to the patients and their families.”

A reception for the artist will take place on Saturday, July 23, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Portola Art Gallery is located in the Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park.

“Jack” (11×14″, watercolor, 2016)

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