Sonja Bronson

One of Sonja Bronson's works.

Gallery 'N' Gifts' featured artist for June will be Sonja Bronson, one of our Tehachapi neighbors.

After a career as an actress and dancer in New York City, Bronson moved to California and began working in the educational world. Among her employers was the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where she immersed herself in visual arts programs.

She currently resides with her writer husband, Dan, on a mile-high ridge in Bear Valley Springs. Her neighbors? Virtually all the birds and animals of the Sierras, among them 14 condors that once descended upon her home and the black bear that decided to take a bath in her backyard pond while she was reading in the adjoining gazebo.

"Whether at home or on the road, I see compositions everywhere. It drives my husband crazy. I'll jump up from dinner to grab a shot or when we're on a drive, shout out, 'Stop the car! Stop the car!'" Bronson said. "He grumbles a lot, but he puts up with me, almost always turning around and giving me the chance to get the shot I'm after."

Bronson is clearly a photographer of opportunity, seizing moments that present themselves rather than working in the slower, more methodical Ansel Adams style, which calls for patience and fortitude she does not possess.

"I get so excited by the possibilities that I see all around me. It comes from my desire to share with others the things I see before me, and that, for me at lease, is what photography is all about: a great medium of human communication," Bronson said.

Her passion for birds, animals and landscapes remains undiminished, but in recent years, she's begun to explore the possibilities of discovering abstract shapes and colors in natural objects. This has resulted in a series of watercolors and other nature-based photos that take on the character of Abstract Expressionism.

"As a dancer, I have always loved line, color and movement. These are the essential elements of the natural wonders that surround us here in Tehachapi and in California in general. They are the things I am trying to capture in the lens," Bronson said.

Come join us at Gallery 'N' Gifts, from 5 to 8 p.m. June 7, on First Friday.

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