FOR award-winning local artist and long-time Santa Clarita Valley resident Zony Velasco Gordon, there is always a great abundance of beautiful scenery in Southern California where she can always draw artistic inspiration from.
“There’s always a great abundance of beautiful scenery, gardens and wildlife in Santa Clarita which provide inspiration in and zest for my art,” Gordon wrote in in her artist profile.
Although Gordon did not start out as an artist in her career, her fascination with art is deeply-rooted since her youth.
“I have always been fascinated with art even as a little girl,” Gordon told the Asian Journal via email correspondence.
Through the years, her interest in art revolved around expressing her ideas through sketches, appreciating other artists, and exploring art history.
Gordon decided to focus strongly on her craft six years ago, while still working as a Project Manager at a telecommunications firm.
She then decided to shift gears and switch to a different career path and took formal studies at a private Watercolor studio, including various workshops to enrich her skill and artistic acumen.
Gordon, who considers impressionist art as her artistic focus, said that her works draw inspiration from beautiful sceneries, fresh wild flowers, sunsets, or even just a good mood.
Tragedies and trying moments in her life are also sources for inspiration, she added.
She prefers using watercolor as a medium and describes her art as contemporary, “but strongly exploratory in colors and styles.”
“My art varies depending on the mood at the moment, or the inspiration at that particular time,” Gordon said.
She considers great artists like Monet, Manet, Renoir, and Picasso as her “visual mentors.” Gordon confessed that she likes the impressionist works of the first three artists, as well as the “impressionist portraits” of Picasso.
“The first three showed a lot of moods thru changes of vibrant colors expressing their joys and frustrations thru lights and hues, while Picasso presented us with wild, striking colors and odd shapes that came out beautifully,” Gordon said.
An artist of the community
While art is a field that requires one to devote much time to its production, Gordon never isolates herself in solitude. She always finds time to give back to the community, through art and other means.
Gordon was the president of the Santa Clarita Artists’ Association (SCAA) in 2011, and is currently a Board member and Co-Chair for the SCAA Summer Art Festival.
In her SCAA work., Gordon was able to serve as many as 200 local artists in Santa Clarita Valley.
She served the Association in many different capacities: 2011 president, vice president and chairperson for the annual Art Classic Fundraiser and SCAA gallery adviser.
Gordon is also an active community volunteer as an art educator in Santa Clarita. She was previously a judge for elementary and middle school PTA art programs, as well as for the Annual Congressional Art District competition for high school students, and other community art competitions.
Presently, Gordon is an art teacher for a local private senior care facility. She also teaches art enrichment programs at various elementary schools in Santa Clarita, as well as in the Newhall Community Center. Gordon passed the California Basic Educational Skills Test, and earned her certification recently.
Her artworks can be found on display at local galleries and exhibits, at the SCV Chamber lobby, the SCAA Art Gallery, and mostly at the Valencia Art & Framing Gallery, Providence Holy Cross, and Elite Smiles.
Gordon has previously held art shows at the Simi Art Gallery, among others. Every year, her art is also featured at the SCAA Art Classic competition at the historic Hart Hall in Santa Clarita.
Success starts at home
For Gordon, her success as an artist starts with being accepted and patronized by fellow Filipinos, whether they’re here in America or back home in the Philippines.
“Success and milestones start at home. Once you have succeeded there, the rest is easy,” Gordon explained.
It can also be said that success at home literally came easy for Gordon, who never got any objections from her mother in her pursuit of art.
“She did not really discourage me from certain objectives of mine that were not material-driven. I guess it was enough [for her] that I was passionate in what I did, and that it gave me a sense of accomplishment along the way,” Gordon recalled.
She received a recent invitation at a Philippine Consul General event , where her art was featured during the recent Independence Day celebration at the home of Consul General Hellen Barber-De La Vega. Gordon regards Consul General De La Vega’s supportiveness as a ‘great motivation’ to keep working on her craft.
As an artist, Gordon also considers evoking strong feelings from the audience towards her art as a form of success.
“I like it when an art patron associates my painting with a previous memorable experience, whether it’s one of his or her travels, or a favorite place, or something that evoked a feeling for that person,” Gordon said.
Gordon is married to Joe, with whom she has two children.
(LA Midweek July 17, 2013 MDWK pg.2)