Skip to main content

Style El Dorado County Foothills

Calvin Canepa: Scene Stealer

11/22/2017 01:18PM

Placerville resident Calvin Canepa had his first art show when he was just five years old. Though currently showing his beautiful sceneries and still life pieces locally, as well as in the Bay Area, his next focus is on teaching others and sharing his skill. “I really want to shift gears into teaching, as I’ve pretty much done everything else I wanted to achieve in the art world,” Canepa says. “It’s time for me to start teaching and pass along the knowledge I’ve gained.” You can view Canepa’s work at Placerville’s Well Hung Artist Collective, as well as the Gold Country Artists’ Gallery. 

HLB: What Were some of your earliest influences?

CC: The Lake Tahoe Unified School District gave me my very first one-man art show, which was quite an honor. As a kid [growing up in Lake Tahoe], I always enjoyed the area’s beautiful landscapes, mountains and nature; as a result, I tend to paint a lot of nature scenes. I’ve also been influenced greatly by working with the artist Stefan Baumann, who starred in PBS’ The Grand View series, where he painted on location in several of our country’s national parks. He taught me oil painting, and we’ve since done a lot of painting together. 

HLB: When did you begin to consider yourself a professional?

CC: I earned a full scholarship to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and held my first professional one-man art gallery show at age 18, where I painted a six-by-eight-foot landscape that ended up being placed in the Bank of America collection and earning their Achievement Award. 

HLB: What do you love about living in this area?

CC: The wonderful thing about Placerville is it’s so close to Lake Tahoe, as well as Sequoia, Yosemite and the ocean. It’s an amazing location as an artist; no matter what direction you go, within 200 miles you’ll come across diverse and beautiful landscapes. 

HLB: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists? 

CC: As an artist, you always have to be observant…absorbing everything you see and storing it in your mind. When I see something that interests me, such as a tree with fall colors, I actually try to break down the colors in my mind by naming the specific tubes of paint. By familiarizing yourself with your paint, you break down how you’d paint it, which is very helpful. For someone who really wants to be an artist, I’d emphasize that it’s about more than making a living. It’s a lifestyle that’s truly rewarding, however, and the best way to approach it is having the support of your spouse and family. I knew back in high school that I wanted to be a painter; I feel like I was born to do it.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to the Style - El Dorado County free newsletter to stay informed