The following comes from a Dec. 16 story by Frank Perez on

Tucked between pages of a hardbound book shelved in the family home or filling a sketchbook stored in the attic, the watercolor paintings of Central Coast missions remained hidden from public view, their location only known to the artist, the late Nancy Burtch Hauk of Pacific Grove. A new exhibition at Mission San Juan Bautista starting this weekend marks their coming out party.

“Loving Watercolor: Paintings of the California Missions by Nancy Burtch Hauk (1944-2016)” will debut at the mission’s museum beginning on Sunday, Dec. 17 and run through March 2018. The exhibit features scenes from missions San Juan Bautista, Carmel, Soledad, and San Antonio.

Few outside of her immediate family and close circle of friends knew of Hauk’s artistic abilities, though she had painted for decades.

“There’s was nothing she couldn’t paint,” said Steve Hauk of his late wife in a telephone interview with BenitoLink, adding that she had an affinity for California missions.

“She loved the beauty of the mission, both its design and architecture,” he said.

After his wife’s death in July 2016, Hauk explained that he and the couple’s daughters spent hours going through the family home, discovering “great watercolor after great watercolor” of Nancy’s artwork. Among the finds was her mission series of paintings.

Hauk said Nancy counted Mission San Juan Bautista as one of her favorites, drawn to the complex’s size and the interior designs found throughout each building.