By Elizabeth Brannon
Southern Denton County is blessed to have several artists living and working here. One of the visual artists is Yvonne Gambino, a Flower Mound resident whose vivid and bold work, ‘Woman of Color’ is now featured on the signal box at the intersection of Morriss Road and Dixon Lane in Flower Mound.
Yvonne was born and raised in Germany. Memories of her childhood include her grandmother who was a watercolor artist. Yvonne learned the basics of art as a young child and was encouraged to create handmade gifts. Yvonne learned early in life that she loved to paint and started with watercolors, like her grandmother.
As her artistry matured, Yvonne eventually settled on water-based oils as her favorite medium. Water-based oils are popular because they are easy to clean up, allow for blending of the paints, offer the best of both oil and acrylic paints and produce the bold and vivid colors that are a hallmark of Yvonne’s work.
Yvonne was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe and her first attempt at oil painting was to try to create poppies that looked like a Georgia O’Keeffe work. To this day, O’Keeffe’s work still resonates with Yvonne.
In addition to her early work with water colors, oils and acrylics, Yvonne found she had a talent for and love of creating pottery. In fact, Yvonne says she has a shelf full of her pottery in her home today.
Yvonne has been painting for more than 30 years, but only started to take her art more seriously in the last 15–20 years. Yvonne is a self-taught artist and says her greatest inspiration comes from nature itself. Yvonne takes long nature walks, bikes, hikes and is an avid gardener.
Yvonne lived in California before moving to Texas and her location in California provided access to the ocean, which is another source of inspiration and creativity. From domestic and international travel to her immersion in nature, Yvonne says she loves to sketch images of life, interpreting the beauty of nature in vibrant colors and organic shapes, and translating those colorful images onto canvas. You can read more about Yvonne and see samples of her work at this website: www.yvonnegambinoart.com.
While taking classes at Art House, Yvonne met two other local artists and the three of them now work together collaboratively to create triptychs under the name “It’s Pink not Purple,” the name inspired by a “rowdy” discussion of the actual color of a beautyberry plant. Their collaborative work can be seen at their website: www.itspinknotpurple.com.
Yvonne came to the USA in 1986. She has a BA degree in liberal arts and initially wanted to be a teacher. She works in healthcare currently, in multiple roles as a trainer, access service rep, IT resource and patient intake representative. Her business work is part time at night and she’s often on call, but the flexible schedule allows her to follow her passion – creating bold and vivid art.
She often takes photos of what she wants to paint and then creates from that. Using a photo is also the way the It’s Pink not Purple collaboration works… they take a photo and then each of the three artists create a third of the photo in their section of the actual painting. Yvonne and the It’s Pink not Purple artists can and do accept commissions and they exhibit at local art shows and events.
We celebrate Yvonne and the wonderful artists who reside in and create in Flower Mound.
“I found I could say things with colors that I couldn’t say in any other way – things that I had no words for.”
– Georgia O’Keeffe
Elizabeth Brannon serves on the Flower Mound Cultural Arts Commission.