Carmel Valley resident Annette Paquet has shared her passion for painting with the region’s up-and-coming artists for decades.
And though she planned on retiring this year, the 79-year-old’s love of art pulled her back into teaching at San Diego Community College District for at least another year.
“I love the people,” said Paquet, who turns 80 in February. “It’s wonderful to see so many of my students doing so well.”
Born in Brooklyn, Paquet’s love of art came about when she was a child.
In high school, she received a scholarship to the Brooklyn Museum in New York, which she enjoyed visiting on the weekends. She remembered the strong oil and turpentine scents.
“That was it,” she said. “I wanted to go to art school, and I wanted to be a fine artist for the rest of my life.”
Paquet earned her bachelor of fine arts degree from New York’s Pratt Institute and went on to Queens College for her graduate studies.
Then a member of the Arts Students League in New York, Paquet devoted her early career to teaching art to children in New York. She worked with first, second and third graders in Long Island.
“It was just one year,” she said. “It was fun, but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to really go into art.”
After living with her late husband in Florida, the pair relocated to the West Coast. The couple settled in what would become Carmel Valley 45 years ago.
Ever since then, the painter has made a living by sharing her love of art with budding artists. Paquet served as an art teacher at MiraCosta College, San Diego Community College and a La Jolla art studio for years.
“Teaching was the next best thing, but teaching what I like and what I want do do,” she said. “And I’ve been teaching ever since.”
Paquet used to teach several college courses at one time. Since semi-retiring from MiraCosta and the local studio about five years ago, she continues to teach two classes through San Diego Community College District’s San Diego Continuing Education program.
She said she enjoys serving students who cannot afford to attend expensive art classes.
“It’s fun to see so many people do so well — even if they have never drawn or painted,” she said.
Watercolor artist Susan Wormsley was one of Paquet’s students for about six years.
“Annette brings tons of energy to every day and place she teaches,” said Wormsley, who now serves as a board member of San Diego Watercolor Society, a nonprofit art organization that promotes the appreciation of and involvement in watermedia painting.
Though she still dedicates much of her time to teaching, Paquet has always found time for creating.
“When I’m not teaching I get out and practice what I preach,” she said.
For most of her life Paquet worked exclusively with oils. She has favored watercolors since taking a watercolor class at MiraCosta.
Inspired by nature, she most enjoys painting landscapes, especially of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
“The environment is so beautiful,” Paquet said. “Everything is just so exquisitely beautiful. Painting is like being one with nature.”
Paquet’s work is in collections across the United States. She has been exhibited locally in a variety of juried competitions. She has also held solo and group exhibitions, juried art shows and been featured in a variety of publications.
Paquet has received a number of awards, including prizes from the San Diego Watercolor Society, where she has been a member for many years. Among her accomplishments, she was one of six citywide winners in the UltraStar San Diego Art Contest of 2010. Her enlarged winning painting is on permanent display at Cinépolis Del Mar.
The longtime artist sometimes holds art shows out of her Carmel Valley home, where she has a studio. To inquire about a viewing, call 858-755-8378.
To view her art, visit alpfineart.blogspot.com.