Bonny Zanardi: Watercolor highlights land’s light

“Light of the Landscape,” featuring watercolor paintings by Steve Curl, is on view at the Portola Art Gallery through May 31. A reception for the show will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Curl has been painting in watercolor for more than 30 years. He also has taught the art of the medium at the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto since 1991.

Travels in California and Colorado and local hikes along the coast or in the Santa Cruz Mountains inspire his paintings. He says he appreciates “the simplicity and freshness of watercolor.”

While it is portable and quick-drying, watercolor “is not particularly forgiving,” he said.

“You have to think ahead, be decisive and try to nail it on the first passes of color.” The Portola Art Gallery is at the Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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