My name is Telagio Baptista. I presently reside in Marysville, California; a bit of country tucked away in a quiet setting from the concrete jungle. In my early youth, it became apparent to me and my family that my talents were God-given. I fell in love with a toy violin given to me by my parents at the age of four.
My parents quickly realized that I needed private lessons since my squeaky toy violin had become my childhood passion. Hence, I studied the violin at the age of five for nine years.
During the rest of my teens, I was giving personal concerts up and down Northern California and was also performing as a member of a string quartet. By age 17, I became a Concert Master of a symphony.
Progressing through my teenage years, I realized my future most definitely was in the Arts, (violin and painting.) Looking back, I had begun winning national awards throughout high school. I had so many avenues from which to choose. My talents continued unfolding in the artistic field and by the time I was ready for college, I had been granted a scholarship to the California School of Fine Arts (now called the San Franciso Art Institute) and finished my education at California College of Arts and Crafts.
After high school, I laid down my violin to another passion to study several avenues of paths while in art college. Although talented in many areas of the arts, I chose painting in watercolor as my creative path.
As the years passed, it became apparent that my other skill in graphic design needed to come forward to gain financial stability for the future. My brushes were laid aside to work full-time as a graphic designer for the majority of my adult life, owning a design studio in Hawaii. I also worked in numerous leading advertising agencies as an Art Director while in Hawaii and in California.
In addition, both in Hawaii and in California, I had become intensely interested in golf, so I enthusiastically embraced another wonderful 20-year career as a golf professional (South Pacific PGA Tour), and teaching.
Now a senior, after years of being content where I was in life, I felt a change coming with interests. My close friends picked up on my old desire to paint and suggested that I may be at the stage in my life where my previous passion just might be something to explore again.
Shortly after, I found myself down at the local art store purchasing brushes and paints and more. I enrolled in a few watercolor workshops by renowned instructors and was told to paint a color wheel by the instructor.
Excitement built inside me again and skills splashed forward in the paper as if to say, “I’ve been here all along, waiting for you to come forward with the God-given talent you were blessed as a child.” The other students in the workshop came over to view my painting and exclaimed, “You should be teaching watercolor, not being a student!”
What a wonderful concept!” With that encouragement, I was off to the races with a vengeance! Watercolor painting full time, along with demos and teaching watercolor, is now my calling, and I am embracing the present and future with joyful expectations.
I now focus on watercolor, using color harmony, a limited palette, simplicity, and restful space without distracting backgrounds. I believe that watercolor is a magical and exotic medium with no creative boundaries. This is reflected in my diversified work.
I specialize in portraits, cityscapes, and various atmospheric painting techniques.
My paintings are strongly influenced by the use of negative space, allowing the painting to “breathe”, depending on the subject matter. Telling a story through my paintings is similar to telling a story with words. I’m interested more in human moods and feeling, not prettiness.
Both my life and art are processes that require my attention, understanding, truth, and vision. In addition, each work of art, each painting, requires its own sentiment of expression gleaned from my sense of nature at the moment of inspiration. It is this challenge that continues to inspire me. My artistic challenge remains unfinished, uncompleted, and open to new ways of perceiving and understanding so that I might aspire always to the best of what is yet to come.
The primary watercolor paper of choice is Arches 140-300lb. Cold Press. I also enjoy using the watercolor block which has fewer peaks and valley when painting and a smoother finish (paint, tear, mat, and frame.) Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour is my primary choice of paint, although I’m not married to any particular brand, especially when a specific color calls out to me.
I like working and interpreting photographs furnished by my traveling students, professional photographers, friends and occasionally make a visit to used bookstores to seek out old books as possible reference.
I have been blessed and am grateful for the recognition of numerous award-winning diversified watercolor paintings honored to me at International, National, and Regional juried art shows.
I also conduct a number of private and group watercolor workshops throughout Northern California. For further information regarding paintings, commission work or watercolor workshops visit my website!