Opening of "essential ingredients" Painting Exhibit at Buenaventura Gallery on Sept 9th

Opening September 9 at the Buenaventura Gallery in downtown Ventura is "essential ingredients," an exhibition of paintings by Gail Pidduck.

“This show is different from my normal work,” said the longtime Santa Paula artist known for colorful plein-air California landscapes and her depictions of rural life and people in the Santa Clara River Valley. “I wanted to explore visually the things that are important to me in life, and have some fun.”

On display through October 4 will be 15 of Pidduck's oil-on-canvas works created over the past year. She will attend an opening reception 5-7 p.m. September 13 and be on hand from 5-8 p.m. on October 3 for Ventura’s First Friday gallery crawl.

A novel about eight students and their teacher at a cooking school led to this series. “After reading ‘The School of Essential Ingredients’ by Erica Bauermeister, I began to think about the essential ingredients in my life,” said Pidduck, who rendered her title in lowercase letters. “As I thought of what was important to me, I then thought about how I could portray these ‘ingredients’ visually."

“I’ve had an interesting year exploring these essentials and finding ways to paint them,” she said. “Working on these paintings has allowed me to touch some rather commonplace things and to find their place in my soul, so instead of me changing things, the things changed me.”

Pidduck added, “I invite people to come and see my paintings and perhaps consider what the essential ingredients in their lives are.”

The Buenaventura Gallery is located at 700 E. Santa Clara St., which is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For more about the show or the nonprofit Buenaventura Art Association, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary, visit or call 648-1235 during gallery hours.