By Angela Romeo

Just like tales in the naked city, of which there are many, Esther Shaw’s tale brings her to the high desert.

Esther Shaw was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated Massachusetts College of Art. “Along the way to the high desert I have been a teacher in the Santa Ana Public Schools, Rancho Santiago Community College and Copper Mountain Community College. I have been an owner, curator, and exhibiting artist of The Spezzano Gallery in Long Beach. I am an exhibiting artist and member of the SCA Project Gallery in Pomona. I have been an exhibitor and studio holder of the Santora Arts Building, Santa Ana, CA. In 2004, I was selected for the Envisioning the Future Project, under the direction of Judy Chicago. Now, in addition to other things, I am a member of the Morongo Basin Studio Artists. We are preparing for the upcoming Highway 62 Open Artists Studio Tour. That event kicks off in October.”

But what does Esther do? She paints. She paints color – not painting with color, but painting color. The brush strokes are efficiently determined. The color is the focus and any resemblance to anything more is coincidental. “I am most interested in developing an interesting surface with color and form,” noted Esther. Her work is evocative and inviting. It allows both the artist and viewer to breathe. The lack of artifice allows this to happen


For the upcoming Highway 62 Artists Open Studio Tour Esther has selected work that is a response to her interaction with the high desert environment. “The paintings that I have selected to exhibit are not trying for photo-realistic imagery. Rather the works are images of the endless variation of mood and light which define the characteristics of this life sustaining desert.”

The work often starts from Esther’s plein-air paintings. “These paintings provided a visual log. They are the studies to which I refer to when in the studio and working on larger paintings, “continued Esther. “For me, the very act of painting is as important as its content. I value the essentials of the painting process, yet I must also work in an improvisational way to try to create another view in which we can examine the world.”

“After living on the California Coast for many years, the desert has given me a whole new environment to explore, study, and express my inner self through. This is a great arts community and I’m happy to be part of it. Being an MBCAC member and exhibiting artist during The Highway 62 Artist Studio Tours has given me a sense of community.”

“I love the great escape from life’s issues that painting and sculpture offers to me. Being completely involved in a painting or sculpture is my idea of fun. I enjoy the challenge of a work that is lacking and the experimentation as well as the learned skills needed to bring it to completion. In addition to the Highway 62 Tour I am presently working on a SMOKE TREE series that I will be exhibiting in Feb.,2018, at the 29 Palms Gallery in Twenty-nine Palms, CA.”

“The only other thing that I might add is that I enjoy having people visits my studio and seeing how they respond to my work. I find this can be very enlightening because they often see things that I had never noticed,” continued Esther.

Esther’s tale has many chapters left to tell.

For more information on Esther Shaw visit

For more information on the upcoming Highway 62 Artists Open Studio Tour visit