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Art & Life with Rita Spiegel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rita Spiegel .

Rita, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve always was creating art. As a child, I l could be found with a brush in my hand, creating watercolor paintings or drawing in my sketchbooks. Color was and still is my friend.

I was told, that’s a child learning to write. I had a paintbrush in my hand before a pencil. From drawing to photography to watercolor painting, I was always doing created work.

When I was getting ready for college, I was stumped for a major. I was thinking “practical.” Thinking about getting a “job.” When my father said “You’re always playing with color and always painting … Why don’t you be an Art Major”. With his encouragement, I did. In 1988, I graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Art.

I still needed to pay the rent. So as most artists, I got a day job and creatives my art on the side. Throughout my life, I never stopped painting for myself. Watercolor painting is my favorite medium. I find the process of creating a piece calming almost a meditation for me. To just watch the water and paint come together. And the colors. There are so many.

In 2006, I had a major health issue, a big one. I had a mini-stroke. I was concerned I lost find my creativity. I didn’t, but I had to refocus and to some extent, retrain my brain. I was less focused. Brain fog still often affects me. To get my health back and my creative spark back, I started with yoga and meditation. It brought me back to my painting. It also helped me realizes how important every day is.

Now I paint and meditate. Painting is a meditation for me.

I’ve had my work displayed in several coffee shops. Currently, my paintings are on display at the Vista Chamber of Commerce and this fall, they will be a show at Oside Wellness Workshops.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Watercolor painting is my main medium. It’s magic. Water breaths. When I put it on paper and touch it with a brush, the paint flows and the colors mix together. They come together in harmony.

Growing up in San Diego and now living in Oceanside for ten years, nature and animals are my sources of inspiration. From trees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to dogs or elephants, I’m at home with them all, and so they are in my paintings.

I’ve been asked “why” before. Words don’t often describe how I’m feeling. But with paint, I can express myself. With painting, I feel calm and peaceful. With painting, I feel I’m contributing to the beauty of our world. With my paintings,

What I hope people see and feel from my paintings is a smile and that my work touches an emotion in them. And that they feel inspired to paint or be created themselves.

Giving back is equally important to me. To support the survivors of the Campfire in Paradise, CA, I had a solo show and auction to raise funds for them. I often create and donate a piece to organizations, such as the Buena Vista Nature Center and Backfence Society / Denim Art Show to raise funds and awareness for Sexual Assult Awareness.

I love sharing my both my work and to help other people find their own creativity inside themselves. That’s the Yogi in me coming through. Starting on April 18 and continuing through August, I’m teaching Beginning Watercolor Painting at the Backfence Society Gallery in Vista, CA.

My classes will focus on both the fundamentals of watercolor. But they will have a meditation element to it, which will help people reduce stress and come away feeling calm. Painting helps me so much. I’m excited to share that with others.

Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities, and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
As with many artists, I have a day job to pay the rent. I worked for many non-profits as a program manager and volunteer director, as well as being a certified yoga teacher. Through each job, I brought my Art into the job, through creating brochures or flyers.

Even today, I still have a day job. With my paintings and classes, I continue to work towards making a financial living solely on my artwork. But I never give up. I’m always moving forward.

My advice to anyone (and to myself) is to always create. Keep painting, drawing or whatever medium you choose. And keep putting your work on display. Through social media or walking into a coffee shop and asking if you can display your work. Do something.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I want to help people discover their own creative spirit. I love for you to attend one of my classes. You can enroll at

To help support my work, originals are for sale, and I take commissions for new work. You can also purchase prints and other items at Society6 post “I am Rita Spiegel” (@ritaspiegelphotography).

Several of my pieces are available as prints, canvas, metal and items like cell phone cases. Even yoga pants. Check them out at

You can see my work at

You can reach me at or 858-361.6373

Social Media: follow me on Instagram @IamRitaSpiegel

Facebook Page: Watercolors by Rita @

Join my Facebook Group to learn about upcoming events and watercolor painting.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rita Spiegel

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