During the month of November, the Portola Art Gallery presents “Kind of Shy,” expressive oil paintings by award-winning artist Marsha Heimbecker of San Mateo. Marsha’s paintings are known for their bold brushwork and color, resulting in a unique vitality.

This latest collection of work, inspired by the orphaned elephants of Tsavo, hopes to capture the essence of these magnificent creatures.

Originally a bio-engineer with degrees from UC Berkeley and MIT, Marsha underwent a heart transplant in 2001. She had always shown an aptitude for art in addition to science, and after her surgery, she found art to be “very helpful in the healing process.”

She credits many years of classical training in life drawing, portraiture, and anatomy for her distinctive style. Using a harmonious palette of colors, she enjoys stretching her imagination to express the beauty, color, and energy in what she sees.

In 2009, Marsha won First Place, the Los Gatan Award, at the Los Gatos Art Association Open. She also has shown her work in Paint Allied Arts events, the Sanchez Art Center, Horizon Art Gallery, Triton Museum, and a one-woman show at Thomas Moser.

Her paintings can be found in private collections around the country, as well as online.

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