Local artist Rolando Barrero will be hosting a reception for his latest paintings on Saturday. The paintings will continue to be shown for the rest of the month.
Barrero has been painting watercolor portraits for over two decades, picking up several awards along the way. Most recently, he took second place in the Great Petaluma Paint Out competition on Sept. 26 for his painting “Across the Bridge.” Back in April, he won first place at the American Arts Foundation’s 23rd Annual Art Extravaganza for “Getting Ready,” a watercolor portrait of a sailboat being hoisted into the Berkeley Marina.
Barrero has become known for his paintings of street scenes and landmarks, which he feels have a simple charm to them.
“I like to capture the essence of a place and the beauty of its surrounding environment,” he said.
Many of his paintings have been of places in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Berkeley and Alameda. A lot of these paintings have been of Benicia, where he’s managed to capture the Farmer’s Market, the Yacht Club and the Capitol building with his brush and canvas.
“I like Benicia because it’s very historical,” he said. “Benicia’s also very supportive of the arts. They’re good people, and I’m glad to know a lot of them.”
He noted that most of his paintings of Benicia have sold.
Additionally, Barrero has done a lot of paintings and photographs in Europe, including places like Rome, Venice and Greece. Of these, Barrero says Venice is his favorite place.
“It’s the only place in the world where when you step on the bridge, you have four sides to paint,” he said. “I’ve been all over the world, but Venice is the most pictorial.”
Barrero says his favorite painting was one he did of the Southern Pacific Train Depot at the end of First Street, but it has since sold.
At his reception Saturday, Barrero will be featuring his newest paintings in an exhibit called “Street Scenes and Travel Sketches.” Among the newer Benicia paintings to be featured are those of the National Defense Reserve Fleet off the Carquinez and the gazebo in City Park. Additionally, he will be raffling off prints of his works.
The reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday at Plein Air Gallery to coincide with the Benicia Art Walk’s Day of the Dead event. The gallery is located at 307 First Street, and the event is free to the public. Barrero’s paintings will be on display until Nov. 1.