Escondido, CA

All the colors of grayscale

Artist Steven Faver and two of his paintings, including his prize-winning “Bonzai Tree.”

I simmered in the summer sun watching my sons frolic through Felicita park. Their excitement at play symbolized my enthusiasm for art.

I would soon realize the symbolic strength of trees upon entering the Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery. The theme of the art contest and exhibition was grayscale. Upon entering the doors, I was immediately awestruck by the enthusiasm of the attendees. Seconds later, I can see why with such pieces as Lucy Helle’s “Smile and a Beehive” and Alyson Butterfield’s “Known Unknown.”

If art is the reflection of the imagination, then it is possible for grayscale art to be more colorful than reality. Gazing into art pieces one at a time, you can become engulfed peripherally by the brilliance of those throughout the gallery. Compared to firework spectacles which fade, art continuously keeps your mind alight.

“And first place goes to Steven Faver’s Bonsai Tree!” the announcer exclaimed.

A few minutes after the announcement, I observed as Steven explained to a lady that his watercolor paintings weren’t photographs. An artist for 40 years, Steven wasn’t fond of painting watercolors. He expressed a great dislike for the them until one of his teachers showed him a watercolor painting that inspired him to embrace the medium.

In contrast to the grayscale theme, Steven is colorful and vivid in person using his hands to express his punctuations. It became clear to me what his winning “Bonsai Tree” watercolor symbolized to me. In the piece, the bonsai tree grows perched upon the edge of a cliff. Its dark silhouette is surrounded by moonlike landscapes which appear to melt onto the unseen land below.

Aside from being an accomplished artist, Steven is also the founder of Art for All Ages. The organization offers classes for all age ranges including retirement communities. Through the program, Steven teaches students how to paint with a sponge. He showed me several stunning pieces by students. Learning more about Art for All Ages extended my symbolic appreciation for the bonsai tree.

“Bonsai Tree” watercolor by Steven Faver.

Reflecting upon the piece, I applaud the jury for selecting it for immeasurable reasons. In my eyes and through my mind, I end with this. The world as we know it is decorated in art. Malls, street signs, landscapes vehicles and fashion all owe their existence to the inspiring inspiration of thee inspired. The landscape amid which the bonsai tree sits represents the world before art. The bonsai tree personifies mentors like Steve Faver watching over the students below. Soon the landscape shall flourish with the art of tomorrow.

You can learn more about Steven Faver at

One response to “All the colors of grayscale”

  1. patricia peterson says:

    A wonderful tribute to a very fine artist and well deserved humanitarian.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *