About Our Founding Members and Board
Once Upon a Canvas was created by a group of local artists who came together to provide a place to show their work, as well as the work of other artists within the community, to share their knowledge and experiences, and to have fun while doing it.
Original owner/Teacher Artist
I come from a long line of artists in my family and had never thought I would actually join their ranks. But one day I finally put paint to a canvas and found the passion to express myself that had always been missing. I had long dreamed of having a place where I could pursue this passion, share my knowledge and learn from others. Once Upon a Canvas is that dream come true.
Artist Associate and Teacher
Fifty years as an artist and thirty as an art teacher. I know what an amazing leap it is for my students to understand color and materials. But when I teach, I see the possibilities open up for them as they realize they too can create some incredible pieces of art. If you are thinking to yourself: "I wish I could paint, but each time I try I just become frustrated," then my class is the place to begin. Come in and explore your creative side, have fun, relax and see what is possible.
Artist Member and Teacher
As an elementary school teacher, I enjoyed creating my own visuals and illustrating books for my students. In the evening I taught tole painting and loved the stroke work and whimsical design. Now that I'm retired, I am painting with oils, acrylics and watercolors. I am still learning new techniques, and the subtleties of composition, color and perspective. How much fun it is to create and express myself through art.
Original Owner/Board Member
Forever In Our Thoughts!
Rejina Christopher – multi-media artist, was born creative and can transform anything she touches. After raising numerous horses and 3 children she and her husband, a fellow artist, moved to California. The real adventure began as she now had the time to dedicate herself fully to her art. Photography, graphics, drawing, assemblage, mixed media, glass work, pottery and video are only some of the media she has explored in her years on this planet.
- Twice on the cover of The Horseman’s Voice Numerous illustrations for magazine articles
- Photography for the Colorado State Forestry publication
- Videography ads: Teen Challenge, Tramway Community, TCC Women’s Retreat, The Mission
- Featured Artist in “In My Dreams” show at Lawler House Gallery
- Owner and artist at “The Little Art Shop” Benicia, California.
Beth Grimm is a self taught artist, with the help of many workshops and training over the last 30 years. Her specialty is putting things together to make art. She takes photography and art forms and combines them in this class into incredible images. Her extensive training in photography, watercooler, abstract, mixed media, and various miscellaneous art classes and workshops all over the country gives her unique perspective.
As an artist my goals are to create paintings that have the ability to bring energy, life, open up eyes and minds as one sees the different values of each landscape. The world is a beautiful place! I have been drawn to landscapes for 6 years! Having the ability to travel the world with bright colors and a brush is pretty amazing without leaving the comfort of my home. I hope that as you look upon these landscapes they will personally take you on your own individual journey. Discovering that each one of my paintings has it's own destiny and was designed to start a conversation and take one into their own personal feelings of serenity and placidity. We all know not all journeys are perfect, but it's yours and it will stick with you until the end. In my landscapes it is important for me to capture beauty not always from places I have been, but places I have seen in my own expression and ideas to capture different ways to bring a peaceful message into homes of many. The luminous beauty of nature.
Artist Member and Teacher
Born and raised in New Orleans in a family of artists, Mary began painting at an early age. By the time she was a teenager she was teaching in her own art school for children. She has won numerous awards and was a very popular demonstrator for art clubs in Silicon Valley, CA. It was there that she taught painting in elementary schools and at Adult Education for years, as well as privately. She always held high respect for Paul Cezanne's still life paintings and began painting full time in 1995 when her youngest child began kindergarten. Those fond of her work have expressed they get a feeling of romanticism when viewing her art. Her renderings are also influenced by the early California Impressionists, especially Edgar Payne and Armin Hansen. What Mary says about this work: "The reason I paint is to capture and convey to others what I see as beauty in my subjects, often bringing out hidden charm in everyday scenes.” In recent months, she has developed a taste for creating abstracts, sometimes adding mixed media and collage papers to them. Some convey tender emotions, others a sense of passion. Mary has previously shown her paintings in galleries & businesses in Carmel, Carmel Valley, Saratoga Sunnyvale and Los Altos, CA, as well as her own gallery in Benicia in 2012. Having had many great teachers such as renowned artists Robert Burridge and Michael Linstrom, she recalls gathering very valuable information from every single one of them. She completed the art program at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA and studied art additionally in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. From there she went on to get her teaching credential in Fine Arts and Crafts at San Jose State University.