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Artist Charlotte Severin's 'Watercolors' exhibit now on display at Firehouse Arts Center

Large 'Watercolors on Yupo Paper' paintings on 26x40-inch sheets plus even larger frames

Pleasanton artist Charlotte Severin's new one-person showing, "Watercolors on Yupo Paper," is at the Firehouse Arts Center now through Oct. 14.

"Yupa is actually a plastic printer's paper; it's waterproof," Severin said. "You paint on top of it, and when it dries, it stays."

"You also have the wonderful ability to lift back to white," she explained. "You can get such interesting textures. You can sculpt other flowers or designs onto it. I've had a lot of fun experimenting with it: What if I did this? What if I did that?"

"You can do this on regular paper, too," she added, "but Yupo is much more dramatic."

The painting has to be done with the paper flat, which can be a challenge when painting en plein air, which Severin often does.

"I was recently with friends in Monterey and I painted a seascape in Pacific Grove. It was awkward -- I had to use the hood of the car," she said with a laugh.

Her Yupo paper paintings will be on display on the Charlotte Severin Gallery Wall in the main corridor. The Yupo paper comes in 26-inch-by-40-inch sheets so the paintings are large, she noted, plus the frames add another eight inches.

Severin is known in Pleasanton for her Art Made Easy classes offered by the city, which she has been teaching for 23 years. She is also a signature member of the California Watercolor Association, charter member of the Pleasanton Art League, founding president of the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council and founder of its Arts in the Schools program. She was chairwoman of the Firehouse Arts Center Project, which is celebrating its fifth year, and she has had more than 40 one-person shows.

Painting is a celebration of life, Severin said, and she paints with joy and passion for color and texture.

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