'Home sweet home'

If California were not already home to most of our readers, Christine Anderson’s current show of oil paintings could make them want to move here. "California: My Home Sweet Home" runs through Saturday at Gallery at Marina Square in Morro Bay.

Anderson’s large canvasses are rich with color. She attributes this to her early exposure to San Francisco’s Chinatown, which she visited frequently. "I just absolutely loved all of the art and all of the textures," she said.

Selecting the title for her current show — "California: My Home Sweet Home" — wasn’t just a casual decision for Anderson. The Bay Area native truly loves her home state. "I just can’t imagine living anywhere else," Anderson said, and she believes she’s seen nearly every nook and cranny of it during her childhood.

"Dad took us camping at least once a month," she commented, "so I feel like I’ve camped in just about every section of California." Those experiences have given her many mental images to draw on, she said. Or paint on, as the case may be.

Although she works in oils, her paintings look like watercolors.

The reason: After serious illnesses brought on by chemicals and fearing she’d never be able to paint again, Anderson switched from oil-based paints to water-based oils.

The Paso Robles-based artist has been painting for nearly four decades but jumped into it full time after her mother died. Anderson realized life is short, and the importance of doing what you love hit her. Teaching English at Cal State Stanislaus was her career, but art was her passion.

While living in Turlock, where she and her husband raised their two children, the couple opened a gallery in Modesto. Her husband managed the business as she continued to paint. She only sold her own paintings and did well, but when their lease wasn’t renewed, the Andersons moved to this area in 2005 to be closer to their children.

They were no strangers to the coast, as her husband attended school at Cal Poly 35 years ago and Anderson sold her first painting while a member of the art association in South County. Now that they’ve retired here, they’ve come full circle, she said.

Christine Anderson

What: "California: My Home Sweet Home" exhibit

Where: Gallery at Marina Square, 601 Embarcadero, No. 10, Morro Bay

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, through Saturday

Contact: 772-1068.