Gallery 'N' Gifts will feature Tehachapi resident and painter Louise Saunders for First Friday, May 3, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Saunders was born in Phoenix, Ariz., as the youngest daughter of an Arizona ranching family. She attended the Colorado Women's College in Denver, Colo., where she studied business and psychology, but spent much of her time in the study of color and design.

She began her oil painting experience when she walked into a gallery in Phoenix in 1968 and observed a class being held. Thinking this would be fun, she enrolled in the class. After only a few sessions using a pallet knife only, the gallery closed and she was on her own. By that time, she was hooked and began looking for other art instructors she could work with.

Saunders attended workshops by several well-known Arizona artists including Adrain Hansen, Joan Bruder and John Loo. She is a past member of art associations in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Nev., and Laguna Niguel where her work has been displayed and awarded. Her love of bright color is evident in all of her paintings.

In 1976, she moved to California and began a career in real estate sales and management, and her art work took second place until her retirement in 2007. She and her husband, Jim, moved to Bear Valley Springs in 2011 where she again could devote her time to painting.

In addition to oil painting, Saunders enjoys designing jewelry and quilting. She is a member of the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters and she claims she is not a traditional quilter, and instead likes to design her own creations. For her, it's all about color and design whether with jewelry, quilting or painting.

Come join us at Gallery 'N' Gifts, located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd., for the First Friday event and enjoy the lovely creations of Louise Saunders. For more information, call 822-6062.

Michelle Miller writes publicity for Gallery 'N' Gifts Fine Arts Room.