Watercolor artist Uma Kelkar is featured in her first exhibit at Gallery House. "Four Elements" opens Tuesday and will continue through March 30. A reception for the show will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. March 8.

The show takes its name from the elements behind every painting: perspective, design, color and values. Kelkar uses spontaneous brush strokes in her colorful paintings.

Kelkar, a principal design engineer, is an electrical engineering graduate of Stanford University. Her career in engineering, with its challenges and creativity, offers a balance to her watercolor practice.

When she was young, art lessons were not affordable, but she eventually had an opportunity to paint with plein-air students from an art school. After a long break, during which education, career and family were central, she found the opportunity to return to painting. Master painter Jerry Stitt offered her a scholarship in 2010, and her work has blossomed since then.

Gallery House is at 320 California Ave., Palo Alto. (Enter through Printer's Cafe.) Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Call 650-326-1668 or visit www.galleryhouse2.com.

Complex layers


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Paintings by Dominique Caron are featured in "Modern Primitive," which opens with a reception from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday at The Studio Shop in Burlingame. The show will be on view through March 16.

Caron, who now lives in San Francisco, was born in France. She received her MFA from the École des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux. For several years she lived in Morocco, Rwanda and the Ivory Coast, developing an interest in tribal art from those African nations.

For her mixed media paintings in "Modern Primitive," Caron notes she "combines dream-state beauty with gritty archaeology." Under the surface might be found "layers of scrap cloth, old drawings and bits of calligraphy, possibly memories of an individual or fragments from a forgotten source."

The Studio Shop is at 244 Primrose Road, Burlingame. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Call 650-344-1378 or visit www.thestudioshop.com.

Show and workshop

Impressionist landscapes in oil by Kristen Olson are featured in the exhibition "Classic California," on view at the Portola Art Gallery through March 31. A reception will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. March 9.

Olson also will offer a one-day workshop "Paint the Garden, Spring" at Allied Arts. Students will paint the beautiful outdoor environment, focusing on seeing and interpreting the subject using loose and expressive brushwork. The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 15, including a gourmet lunch at the center's Blue Garden Cafe.

The Portola Art Gallery is at the Allied Arts Guild, 75 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Call 650-321-0220 or visit www.portolaartgallery.com.

Lucy Coleman exhibit

Plein-air paintings by Lucy Coleman are presented in the City Arts of San Mateo Gallery at Peninsula Ballet Theater through the end of March. Coleman is presenting some of the paintings she created "Side by Side" with her close friend, artist Mya Bruno. A reception, with poetry by her daughter Sharon Coleman, will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. March 10.

Peninsula Ballet Theater is at 1880 S. Grant St., San Mateo. Hours are 1 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Call Coleman at 650-341-7978 or visit www.cityartsofsanmateo.org.

Travels in Asia

Photographs by Los Altos artist Roy Harrington are featured in "Asian Travels" at Gallery 9. The exhibit, which includes works from Harrington's recent travels in Asia, will be on view through March 30.

Gallery 9 is at 143 Main St., Los Altos. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Call 650-941-7969 or visit www.gallery9losaltos.com.

Information on visual and literary arts can be sent to Bonny Zanardi at Bzanardi@aol.com.