Swing by Town Center’s Olympus Caffé this month and you’ll likely notice something new: An easel and canvas set up in the south corner of the coffee shop and, if you’re lucky enough, Fair Oaks-based artist Ana Rincon hard at work on one of her brilliantly colored renditions.
The oil on canvas painter has been using the independently owned shop as her studio for the past month and will continue to paint live on location throughout December, displaying her works as she completes them.
Rincon paints exclusively with oils. But her subjects vary from landscapes to portraits, both human and animal, and scenes of dance and music. Her liberal use of brilliant colors blur the lines between abstract, impressionism and realism.
“I can paint anything,” the Mexican-American artist said in an interview with Village Life. “The subject doesn’t matter as much to me because I focus mostly on colors.”
The nearly completed painting sitting near her easel as a testament to her affinity for colors. The subject is the keys of a piano, based on a photograph she discovered (most of her ideas for paintings come from photos she’s taken or found). But instead of bearing the basic ebony and ivory contrast that comes to mind, shadows cast on the keys and other parts of the piano are varying shades of blue. The entire piece evokes a sense of longing. She explains that her boyfriend is a talented piano player, but he recently traveled out of state on an extended trip to spend time with family. Even though she stops short of pointing out the connection herself, it’s hard not to see.
Rincon is a true nomad. She was born and raised in Mexico City and immigrated to the United States in the early ’90s, settling in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area of Texas. There she studied hard to become a fluent English speaker while working odd jobs to support herself. She went on to study art at Austin’s University of Texas, earning her bachelor’s degree. She worked abroad in Paris, studied dance in San Francisco, attended graduate school in Tucson, Ariz. where she studied digital media and established and ran a groundbreaking gallery in nearby Tubac.
In addition to her art business pursuits, Rincon helped start a dance troop to augment the famed Tucson samba group, Batucaxé. The group continues to perform its brand of Brazilian samba with the accompanying dancers.
Rincon has since moved back to Northern California where she’s spent the past year traveling and creating art wherever she can. She currently lives in Fair Oaks and shows her work at Roseville’s Blue Line Gallery in addition to Olympus.
Rincon owned and operated a gallery in Arizona for two years before succumbing to a down economy. Named “Rinconart,” the gallery was housed in a large, adobe-themed shopping center alongside other art galleries (which she says sold mostly “wild west” themed art), independent retail shops and restaurants. The shopping center, called “La Entrada de Tubac,” bears a striking resemblance to Town Center.
“Many of us (artists) are intimidated by the art business,” Rincon said. “I wanted to de-mistify it. What we did was very unique for that community,” Rincon said. “Tubac was a very spiritual place with a lot of Native American and Hispanic energy. I wanted to capture some of that in my gallery.”
Rinconart featured works by herself and several other artists working in photography, painting, drawing and mixed media.
“We made a lot of noise … I was very proud of that,” she said, with a smile. “But galleries were suffering because of the economy. And when the oldest gallery in town closed after being opened 17 years, I knew it wasn’t going to last. If I could have stayed there, I would have. I really loved the desert with its wide-open spaces.”
Rincon began painting live in restaurants and retail locations while living in Tucson, and has continued the practice since returning to California. Being “on display,” so to speak, might not seem like ideal conditions to foster creativity. But Rincon says it forces her to be more disciplined, in addition to giving her the opportunity to interact with people — which she does openly and enthusiastically.
While she doesn’t have set hours at Olympus, Rincon welcomes curious visitors to chat with her while she paints. She can be found at the coffee shop, located at 4364 Town Center Blvd., Suite No. 110, during both daylight and evening hours. She will soon have a small number of paintings on display, but to check out the extent of her painting, drawing and photography visit Rinconart.com.