Emerging Artists | Rita Pacheco

Manmade and natural wonders

Rita Pacheco, Nine Thirty at the Clock Tower, oil, 24 x 36.

Rita Pacheco, Nine Thirty at the Clock Tower, oil, 24 x 36.

This story was featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Rita Pacheco lives less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean in the Southern California coastal town of Carlsbad. So it seems natural that some of her favorite subject matter is what surrounds her on a daily basis—beaches, cliffs, rocks, sand, and surf. “Here in Carlsbad we have everything,” Pacheco says. “We have sweet old homes, fabulous lagoons, old farm equipment, a pier, and a boat harbor nearby.”

Although Pacheco paints still lifes, figures, and landscapes, she tends to narrow her focus most often on landscapes that incorporate manmade structures, whether it’s a pier, beach bungalow, or storefront. In NINE THIRTY AT THE CLOCK TOWER, Pacheco captures not only the mighty ocean and its crashing waves but also a landmark clock tower in the nearby town of San Clemente. Recently the painting won a Best of Show award at an annual San Clemente paint-out and sale.

Pacheco’s interest in structures and buildings stems in part from her previous career doing drafting and architectural rendering for hotels and restaurants. Although she studied briefly at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, she considers her years as a renderer to have been excellent drawing and painting instruction. Along the way, Pacheco supplemented this on-the-job education by taking classes with Southern California artists Jeff Yeomans and Jeffrey and Robert Watts.

As this story was going to press, Pacheco was preparing works for this month’s Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational in Laguna Beach, CA. This year each participating artist can bring 10 already-completed paintings to display in the show, in addition to the three works they create on location during the event. Pacheco is enthusiastic about participating in plein-air shows like this one because they offer artists fresh, new scenes to paint. “When I look at the world around me through the lens of an artist, I can’t wait to respond to it,” she says. “Sometimes I can hardly contain myself when I see something I think will make a great painting—the morning or afternoon light falling on a building, the shape of a structure, the illumination on the pilings of an old pier.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff

Mission Fine Art, San Juan Capistrano, CA; Slusser Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT; Crystal Cove Interpretive Store and Gallery, Newport Coast, CA.

Featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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