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February 10, 2012 > 'Floral Explosion' exhibit

'Floral Explosion' exhibit

By Mekala Neelakantan

The Milpitas Phantom Art Gallery is currently featuring "Floral Explosion," a watercolor exhibit by local artist Gloria Souza. Souza, originally from Iowa, has been producing watercolor pieces for over 25 years. In addition to the showcase at the Phantom Art Gallery, Souza has shown her paintings at Open Studio, bookstores, and restaurants such as Rivas (Santa Cruz). Currently, her paintings can be found at Caspian Village Restaurant (Evergreen) as well as through her website, Souza's paintings are most known for their saturated colors and use of negative space, a technique she describes as "most rewarding and satisfying."

Souza's introduction to art started at a young age, but she began painting with watercolors after taking an adult art class at Silver Creek High School. She went on to study art at West Valley College, and soon discovered that watercolor painting was her passion. Today, she paints primarily in negative space, a technique in which the artist finds the subject of the painting after the water and color pigments have been applied to the paper. Through this method of discovering images through the flowing color and water, Souza brings out the resulting shapes and designs. To Souza, the most important aspect of watercolor art is "the way the colors just seem to blend into each other, creating yet another feeling of movement with the pigments and water. The colors...complement each other and flow so beautifully together." And, while many see watercolor painting as a very difficult art form, Souza finds this "unforgiving medium" most satisfying and challenging. "I think everyone should just pick up a brush and start the color flow," she says. "It is so rewarding and brings me such pleasure."

The inspiration for Souza's "Floral Explosion" exhibit stems from photographs of flowers and scenery taken during her many travels throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. Souza specifically chose flowers as the theme of her exhibit because "I felt the display of flowers was so dramatic; I simply felt an explosion of color, movement, and inspiration."

Souza's exhibit at the Milpitas Phantom Art Gallery will run through March 16. The gallery is located at the Milpitas Community Center on 457 E. Calaveras Boulevard. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.

"Floral Explosion" Gallery Exhibit by Gloria Souza
Through March 16
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Milpitas Phantom Art Gallery
457 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-3409

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