Monday, February 28, 2011

Taking Flight

The very talented artist known as Han has been teaching Photo Reference Watercolor, Oil, or Acrylic Painting at A Unique Art Gallery in Jupiter for the past few months. I met Han in July when he joined the art collective, and the two of us became friends. He began teaching his class on Saturday mornings, which is the day I mostly cover the gallery.
Originally on the first Saturday but more recently on the third Saturday of the month, I run an Unleashing Creativity workshop. Han took part in a couple of workshops, so I decided to take his class. We figured that way neither one of us would have to pay. We would just exchange services. My sister, Jan, was studying watercolor with him, and I decided to try it myself.
A hundred years ago when I was in college, watercolor was a medium I did not enjoy. I’ve been oil painting since my early twenties, and I’ve always thought that oils are much easier to use than watercolors. After all, you can correct mistakes in oils but with watercolor you have to get it right from the start. So I was nervous when I started taking Han’s class.

I teach in my creativity workshops not to worry about the product and instead to enjoy the process of creating. If the process (the creative experience) is good, it will more likely result in a meaningful, worthwhile finished product. Though I try to practice what I preach, I’m not immune from an internal judge, who can be very critical of my work. Still I didn’t allow my self-criticism to inhibit me from trying to paint with watercolor, and the result has been a new love.

Next Wednesday, March 9, 2011, A Unique Art Gallery and our neighbor Unique Glass Art, are benefiting the Audubon Society of the Everglades on our Second Wednesday open house from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The theme is “Taking Flight,” which is the feeling I get working with watercolors.

Jan and I have been bird lovers our entire lives. Our mother was not a dog or cat lover, so our
childhood pet was a brilliant parakeet. We are convinced that Skippy, who had a huge vocabulary and spoke in sentences, was a reincarnated human. He was a bird who flew away from home and found his way back.

Ten years ago when I started painting again after not painting for nearly twenty years, I began with a painting of Baby, my parakeet at that time, in a hibiscus tree. So I suppose it’s not surprising that the Audubon fundraiser inspired me to spend the last month using watercolors to paint birds. I’m hoping that the fundraiser is a huge success and that people will want to buy my new watercolors.

A Unique Art Gallery and Unique Glass Art are located at 226 Center St., one block west of Alt A1A, next to the Jupiter Ale House. Learn more about the organization, its artists and programs on the Association’s website, For more information on this event call Susan Lorenti at (954) 588-7275 or Carolyn Austin at (561) 747-2024.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time is passing

Season is here, and life is busy. Too busy sometimes. Last week the Women in the Visual Arts exhibit opened at 110 East Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. The office complex on four floors with a lot of wall space and an open atrium that can accommodate paintings up to 72 inches high and 60 inches wide is an exciting new venue for WITVA. This exhibition was open to non-members, all Florida artists, both males and females over the age of 18. I was thrilled to receive an Invitational Award to show six of my oil paintings in another exhibition in the building. I’ll have to decide which pieces to put in.

Meantime, I’ve been so preoccupied with A Unique Art Gallery and the Small Spaces: Big Ideas, Small Works Show that I haven’t been painting as much as I like. The show is opening on February 3rd, and though it was time consuming, it’s amazing how easy it went. A lot is involved putting on an exhibition. We had to put out a call for artists, organize the submissions, get them to JB Berkow, the juror, then notify the artists, receive the accepted works, and finally hang the forty-four wall pieces and set up pedestals for the six 3-dimensional works. The opening is next week 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2011. Everyone is invited to 226 Center Street just west of Alternate A1A in Jupiter for wine, refreshments, socializing, and viewing and purchasing art.

Next week will be especially busy since Wednesday is the gallery open house and Thursday night is the Pink Cocktail Party and Fashion Show at the Lighthouse Art Center, 373 Tequesta Drive in Tequesta where the ArtyBras will be auctioned. Last year $5,000 was raised for breast cancer research, and this year the art bras will benefit the Ella Milbank Foshay Cancer Center at the Jupiter Medical Center and the Lighthouse ArtCenter. I have AlgeBra in the show, which I will be modeling.

Saturday, February 12 is Everglades Day. I volunteered to sell T-shirts at the annual event that begins in the morning, but I will have to leave early because Rare Earth Gallery, 41 S.W. Flagler Avenue in Stuart is having its 2nd annual fundraising event to benefit Treasure Coast Hospice. They entitled this special day: "HEARTS for HOSPICE." I donated an item for the auction and also volunteered to participate at the event. So I will have to leave Everglades Day by noon and head up to Stuart. On the way home, I plan to stop at my friend David Willison’s solo exhibit opening in the Art on Park Gallery, 800 Park Avenue in Lake Park. The exhibit began on February 6th and runs until March 3rd, but the 12th is the big night from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. I imagine I’ll be exhausted by the time I get home, but it should be fun.