Marilyn Haber’s watercolor "Ole"
Marilyn Haber's watercolor "Ole"

Marilyn Haber's destiny was sealed in the second grade, when she entered a drawing contest and won the grand prize of 25 cents. That early victory instilled in her the love of art and its infinite possibilities. "Nothing of interest," she says, "is safe from my paintbrush."

Largely self-taught, Haber doesn't hesitate to experiment with new materials and textures. She laughingly recalls turning to the medium of collage to repair a failed watercolor painting-a trick she later used to create the stunning work titled "Olé." Haber fashioned the dancer's shawl from a scrap of textured tissue paper and a dress from a nylon mesh citrus bag to salvage a questionable still-life painting of-of all things-a pile of turkey bones.

Haber has lived in the San Fernando Valley for more than six decades, moving to Southern California with her new husband and her parents to escape the bitter winters in her native Ohio. She remains active in the Valley's arts community-"Artists are really nice people"- taking classes and exhibiting her art at the VIVA Gallery. "I'm inspired by beautiful colors," she says. "I just want to record them so I can see them again and again."

— Barbara Jones