Marcia Burtt

Forty years ago I painted figures and portraits from life, working as a typesetter while raising my kids and taking a weekly life-drawing class. One day when the model didn’t show up, I looked out the City College window and painted a view past the eucalyptus trees all the way to Montecito.

Gradually I devised an outdoor setup, moving my easel from place to place outdoors. Since I had only painted the human form from “real life,” I didn’t know how to use photos. So I continued to observe and paint directly from nature.

Necessity is the great teacher, and I rapidly changed into someone who loved being outside, standing quietly while attentively looking — “fishing for color,” as Arturo says.

Painting for hours on hills, coastlines, and fields threatened by development has turned me into a rabid environmentalist. I am dedicated to the Oak Group mission and proud to have been a member since the first meeting. I love what we are doing.

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