Artist Gay Roche loves painting Benicia. She portrays its people, its streets, its buildings and its history.
She has painted Benicia street musicians, such as the women’s group “Fiddle Around. She created a 2017 calendar of “The Women of Benicia” featuring the mayor and other women active around town.
Whimsical describes some of her paintings, such as small pictures of farm and wild animals, with actual eyeglasses attached to their faces on the canvas. Live models have been some of her favorite subjects, especially belly dancers.
A 20-year Benicia resident, Gay has occupied studio space in the in the historic Washington House for the last 15 years. She had to move out temporarily and work in her garage after the 2015 fire, but she is back in a beautiful, sunny room where she is right above the HQ Gallery space.
Gay studied art for several years at the University of Alabama and the Parson School of Design in New York City and she studied printmaking at Fort Mason. She has done sketches for fashion illustration, even going to local museums and doing studies from exhibits of famous designers. She has won many awards in cities across the country.