Virginia Gould Early California Watercolorist


I’ve recently stumbled on an early California Watercolorist named Virginia Gould. She is also found under the name variants, Virginia Belle Gould McCray, Virginia Gould McCray, as well as V Kay. I’ve also seen signatures with each of these variants. From what I have found she was born in 1917, and is still alive as of this writing.

What initially turned me onto to her was her piece titled “Golden Gate Bridge” which is listed in the book American Scene Painting California 1930’s & 1940’s (ISBN-13: 978-0961052034) page 170.

watercolor by virginia gould
Golden Gate Bridge – Virginia Gould (1917 – )

Virginia studied at Alfred Frankenstein’s Berkeley School of Watercolorists in the late 30’s and early 40’s. It is said she and other students would take field trips with John Haley, their teacher, along the East Bay shoreline and Berkeley Hills. It was one of Virginia’s favorite spots in these hills where she painted the above watercolor.

I like her sense of light, colors and the simplistic intensity she achieves. Another example is below is a depiction of what appears to be Monument Valley. There’s a lot going on with minimal strokes, I like that.


From the little research I have done, her earlier works were signed “V Kay”, and later works most notably in the 1990’s are signed with “Virginia Gould…”


Here are two examples of her signatures.

virginia-belle-gould-signature virginia-gould-signature-v-kay






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