Wendy Yoshimura


Wendy Yoshimura writes, “The act of painting brings me to a meditative place where there is no sense of time and no concerns. I know the process so intuitively: how different pigments behave, how the water flows in or on top of the paper grain, what touch and brush movement is most likely to produce the tiny effect I want (no result is ever certain or fully controllable). The exercise absorbs all my attention, and I am physically and mentally focused almost like an athlete or dancer, alert to the smallest details but keeping the entire completed vision of the piece in mind.

“When I’m preparing to work on a painting, even before I pick the subject matter, all my senses are at their peak. I get such delight looking at a flower with its petals dappled in diamond sunlight and shadows of pale blues, lavenders, and darkest blues and violets. Colors and tone are heightened, rich; at times I see the air around my subject pulsate as if alive.

“Painting lets me experience the calm, vivid pleasure of being here now.”

Wendy was born during WWII at California’s Manzanar internment camp for Japanese Americans. When the war ended, the family moved to Japan to be near Wendy’s father’s family. It was on Eta Jima, a small island near Hiroshima, that the brilliant light and lush, varied vegetation inspired the young girl to paint and draw incessantly.

When the Yoshimuras returned to the United States, Wendy attended high school in Fresno, then moved to the Bay Area to attend the California College of the Arts. She has stayed mostly in Berkeley and Oakland since that time.

Wendy frequently exhibits her watercolors and fine art prints in the Bay Area. Some of her works are displayed at wendyyoshimura.com.

Wendy holds a watercolor class for all skill levels, beginner to expert, on Sundays, 10am–1pm. To join the class or be notified of upcoming exhibits and workshops, email Wendy at wendy@wendyyoshimura.com.

wendy lemon