Keiko Tanabe – Biography
Keiko was born in Kyoto, Japan. As a child growing up in an art-loving family, she always enjoyed drawing and painting and won many awards in children’s art
contests. However, art was not her chosen field of study later on. She earned a B.A. in intercultural communication (International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan) and an M.A. in international education (UCLA, California). She then worked in international relations positions in a Japanese government trade organization in Tokyo, at a large law firm in San Francisco and at a private consulting firm in San Diego. In the last 30 years, she has traveled extensively, mainly in European countries, Asia and North America.
Through all these years, Keiko knew there was in her heart the growing desire to someday become an artist. That, fueled by her love of travel and strong interest in other cultures, eventually found its way out in 2003. After learning basic drawing and watercolor painting skills at a local community school in San Diego, she took on her first project as an artist together with her father, a renowned scholar of French literature in Japan. Through the Azure Sea and Sky of Provence: A Tribute to Her Joie de Vivre (Kosei Publishing, Osaka, Japan) was published in August, 2003, authored by her father and illustrated by Keiko. From then on, she intensely taught herself to be fluent in watercolor painting, just as one would do to master a foreign language.
Mostly self-taught, Keiko embarked on a professional art career in 2005 and started exhibiting publicly. In the same year she took a workshop from Alvaro Castagnet and discovered the joy of plein-air painting. Since that year her paintings have been juried into many exhibitions across Americas and in Asia and Europe. Her work has been purchased by private and corporate collectors from all around the world. She also had her paintings published in leading art magazines in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Additionally, she self-publishes her art books and six books have been completed by 2014 and will soon publish a movie.
She’s also a sought-after workshop instructor. Since 2011, she has been invited to and completed successfully more than 100 workshops and numerous live demonstrations around the world. In 2015 she was named an official Ambassador for Winsor & Newton. Keiko currently lives in San Diego, California.