When Strada announced it was holding a 31-day plein air painting challenge in January, 2017, watercolor artist Barbara Tapp thought it would be a great way to push herself to paint more — and maybe win an easel in the process! She found inspiration for her watercolor painting a day in a suburb adjacent to hers that she’d driven through for years. A neighborhood undergoing gentrification, Ocean View in West Berkley, California, had seen its steelworks and factories make way for high-end development projects.
Barbara Tapp was an instructor at the Plein Air Convention and Expo in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2018.
Over the course of the month, Tapp found herself bonding with the neighborhood and its residents. “What was for 30 years an area I avoided become familiar and welcoming,” she says. “This is an area less traveled by the public but frequented by the people of the streets, some of whom I met. I shared so many interesting conversations. It is an honor to have been brought to a moment in time where I was fortunate enough to have signed up to do the 31-Day Strada Challenge, at the same time this area was experiencing unbridled change. I was lucky to be there at the right time, inspired, and loving painting outdoors.”
Barbara Tapp is an award-winning watercolor painter who continues to paint daily, exhibit, and compete in plein air events throughout the year.