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THIS PAGE CONTAINS ANNOUNCEMENTS, NEWS AND ARTICLES FEATURING THE SWEET ART GALLERY, ITS CURATORS, ARTISTS, EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS.

 

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Sweet Art hosting ‘Mixed Media Event’ in April (03-30-17)

Sweet Art AprilThe Sweet Art Gallery is hosting a mixed media event for the Naples Art District’s next 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! The exhibition will feature work by Armand Verrier, Bonny Hawley, Patricia Mayhew, Barbara Z. Lipman, Caryl Gordon and Phyllis Heller. The opening reception is from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5. The Mixed Media Event will remain on display through April 22.

For more information on Armand Verrier, Patricia Mayhew, Barbara Lipman, Caryl Gordon and Phyllis Heller, continue reading.

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More on ‘Mixed Media Event’ participant Armand Verrier (03-30-17)

Sweet Art April 3One of the artists taking part in The Sweet Art Gallery’s upcoming Mixed Media Event is Rhode Island transplant Armand Verrier. Verrier works in mixed media, using woods, acrylics, hand-painted rice papers and high gloss resins – although he has worked over the years in a number of other media, including clay, granite and marble. His art has been purchased by collectors in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Verrier is not only an artist, but a collector as well.

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More on ‘Mixed Media Event’ participant Patty Mayhew (03-30-17)

Mayhew 01Opening on Wednesday, April 5, at The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District is Mixed Media Event, a contemporary art show featuring work by six of the gallery’s artists. Among them Patty Mayhew.

Mayhew is a multi-media abstract artist. He compositions incorporate a combination of collage, metallic pigments and three-dimensional modeling medium that uniquely enable her to create highly textural, energetic expressions of movement and color. Full of impasto and dynamic swirls of hue and value, they express the joy and love of life Patty feels Mayhew 02as she creates the work.

Patty received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University. “From my fist set of pastels and the wonderful smell of a box of crayons, I knew that I loved to create,” muses Patty. “While my friends played sports, I was president of my school’s art club. I loved the early Saturday morning classes at the nearby Carnegie Museum Young Artist League, and attended every year from 5th to 12th grade. I have an insatiable creative appetite. I love painting. It’s my favorite, but not my only creative interest. I also work in ceramics, fibers, fimo clay and jewelry. The hours I spend in my studio in Naples, FL and Harbor Springs, MI. are my happiest times.”

Sweet Art AprilWork by Armand Verrier, Bonnie Hawley, Barbara Z. Lipman, Caryl Gordon and Phyllis Heller will also be on display. The opening is from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Colorist Barbara Lipman one of six artists featured in new Sweet Art gallery show (03-30-17)

Sweet Art AprilOpening on Wednesday, April 5, at the Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District is a contemporary art show featuring work by six of the gallery’s artists. Among them is Barbara Z. Lipman.

If one word could describe Lipman, it would probably be colorist. Her compositions evince a Lipman 01range of bold, primary hues, multiple highly-textured patterns, and numerous vignettes that combine synergistically to elicit a visceral, almost instinctive, response from viewers. “My paintings incorporate strokes of frenetic energy and lyrical movement,” Barbara offers. “There is something of the feel of my studio in my art. It is bright and music-filled, and I work quickly, as if to the tempo of the music.”

Lipman works in mixed media, preferring a combination of acrylics, oil sticks, pastels and gold paint. Her brushstrokes are strong and gestural. Her supports are typically large scale. “Lately, I have been fascinated with decorative borders and have Lipman 03begun surrounding my paintings with them,” Barbara notes. “These borders seem to add a festive touch to the overall composition.”

Lipman has enjoyed more than a dozen solo shows and nine two-artist shows and participated in more than 30 group exhibitions dating back to 1984. Barbara holds a Master of Liberal Arts degree from John Hopkins University and a Master of Fine Arts (Painting) from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

The opening of the Mixed Media Event is from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Once Texas printmaker Carly Gordon started doing encaustics, she never looked back (03-30-17)

Caryl Gordon 02Caryl Gordon was a printmaker for some 15 years. She had a print shop set up in the garage with a thousand-pound etching press. Her prints were shown in universities, galleries and museums around the country. Then one day she tired of printmaking. That’s when encaustics popped into Caryl’s mind.

“I had visited a museum in Sante Fe, which had several encaustic paintings on display. They had texture, luminosity and qualities you just don’t see Caryl Gordon Painting 01in other mediums,” Caryl recounts. “I did not really know what it was or how to do it, but it stuck in my mind and when I got tired of printmaking and was looking for a change of pace, I Googled encaustic just to see what it was. There was an encaustic artist in the next town over. What are the chances of that? I took a few workshops and haven’t touched my printing press since.”

That was nine years ago.

Printmaking and encaustics do share several Caryl Gordon Painting 03attributes that endeared them to Gordon. “Both are both heavily process-oriented,” Caryl explained at the opening of an abstract show that The Sweet Art Gallery hosted last year in the Naples Art District. There’s a great deal of technique and a lot you have to know.

“For example, in encaustics your support cannot be flexible. It has to be rigid, so you work on wood or panel.” The wax goes down first, but if the encaustic artist wants a bright composition, she might put down an encaustic gesso. “The wax sticks to it really well because it has a little grit in Nature Beckoning 02it.”

Gordon adds color in a number of ways. Sometimes she grinds pastels into the gesso. She also mixes pigments into the wax or applies them to the surface. Gordon also likes oil sticks, which she uses to draw on the wood or the wax just like a large crayon. “I also use ink or an ink gun, and then blow the ink around with a blow dryer to achieve an almost calligraphic effect.” But regardless of choice, the light eventually shows through the layers of color and wax, creating that Caryl Dishes on Painting 02luminosity that captured Caryl’s eye and imagination in that Sante Fe museum nine years ago.

Printmaking also involves numerous layers, one engrafted on top of the other, because each color is added separately, layer upon layer upon layer. “That’s true with encaustics as well,” Caryl observes. “For example in this work, there’s a photo transfer,” she says pointing to a colorful piece reminiscent of an underwater reef. “I Caryl Gordon Painting 08photographed some vegetation, changed it on the computer, and then there’s a technique where I can transfer the ink from the photograph (as opposed to the photograph itself) into the wax.”

There’s also a sculptural aspect to encaustics. “Like clay, you can apply the wax in thin or thick layers, and you can carve it as well. This allows me to put a lot of wax on the wood and then scrap away at it Caryl Gordon Painting 06using clay utensils.”

Besides photo transfers, she also incorporates collage into her compositions. “This painting has Indian cotton in it.” She also uses silk fabrics and fiber paper.

All of her paintings have multiple layers; some could have as many as forty or more. “A heat gun is always close by.”

The wax does eventually harden at some point in time. And it cures, as well. “It gets harder and harder so that over time it becomes very durable,” she explains. “Assuming you buy and use quality paints, the colors remain intact and do not seem to either yellow or fade.”

Encaustics dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Archaeologists have dug Caryl Gordon Painting 12up encaustic works that were totally intact.

Although she does have a series called If Children Could Build Our Cities that is very urban, the compositions exhibited by Sweet Art are predominantly abstract in nature. “I’d call them abstract landscapes, which I create intuitively or subliminally. While they do not represent any particular, recognizable place, when you look at them, they remind you of places you might have visited or seen, although others are more cosmic and imaginary.” She quotes Emile Zola, who once said, “A work of art is a detail of nature seen through a temperament.”

“My paintings are abstract landscapes which I create intuitively or Caryl Gordon Painting 10subliminally and do not represent any particular, recognizable place,” tells Gordon. I imagine places not easily seen, such as areas underground, underwater, in outer space or even in cyberspace.”

Some people make their own wax, but Caryl purchases medium in ready-to-melt pellets. “I buy it by the pound and I have pounds and pounds of it Caryl Gordon 02on hand at any given time.”

She melts the pellets in a container, which allows her to apply it to the wood or a previous layer by pouring it, spooning it or using a brush or sponge. “Once I have some texture on the wood, I can brush over it,” as she did with the chalky white surface of the detail to the right.

Gordon likes to experiment with new media and technique. “Every time I do a painting I learn something new.”

Caryl Gordon 06She tries to work every single day. “I’m very prolific. I have lots of paintings in my studio and back at home.” She wakes up in the morning and can’t wait to get to the studio. “You lose yourself. I work for six or seven hours at a time, and am completely in the moment while I’m working.”

Her husband, who is an attorney, confirms that she often loses track of time. “Sometimes I’ll come home from the office and will call her at the studio, and she has no idea that it’s six, seven, even eight at night.” Time simply stands still when she’s at work.

Caryl Gordon and Maggie DeMarco 02Caryl credits Jasper Johns with reviving the art of encaustics. “From there, it’s really taken off.” Caryl claims that many artists are doing encaustics, but in Southwest Florida artists doing encaustics are still relatively rare. As chance would have it, there is another encaustic artist in the Naples Art District – Deborah Martin.

Gordon’s studio is at Pfamily Arts, a non-profit visual and performing arts center in Plano, Texas. Caryl is the resident artist there. But if you want to check out her encaustic work in person, you’ll need to make a trip to The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District. She is part of the Mixed Media Event that opens Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

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Focus on ‘Mixed Media Event’ participant Phyllis Heller (03-30-17)

Sweet Art AprilOne of the artists taking part in the Mixed Media Event that opens April 5 at The Sweet Art Gallery is Phyllis Heller.

“Art is, to me, about expressing what is inside,” states Heller. “My pieces begin with color and form, and unfold into unique creations. At times a dream affects the outcome of my efforts. Other times I Sweet Art April 5am motivated by a value or goal I have, or a memory.”

Sometimes Heller’s concerns for the future also appear in her work.

Phyllis relishes the pure pleasure that painting, collaging and constructing entails. In fact, she often finds the process deeply meditative. At the root of her approach are the colors and textures offered by the mediums in which she works.

“My pieces are primarily abstract expressionistic,” she notes. “I employ symbols and forms in my art and strive to accomplish the challenges of balancing them. Sometimes there are impressions of nature, or a fantastic reality appears. It is my hope that my work will elicit an emotional response on the part of the viewer and satisfy the communication of the art.”

 

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Sweet Art brings ‘Art of Abstraction’ to Southwest Florida in March (02-28-17)

March Sweet ArtSweet Art is bringing The Art of Abstraction to Southwest Florida for March. It will open an exhibition of work by Gisela Miller, Shirley Wilson Blake, Mary Ann Flynn and Nancy Seibert coextensively with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! on March 1 with a reception from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Focus on artist Gisela Miller on eve of opening of Sweet Art March show (02-28-17)

March Sweet Art 5Opening on Wednesday, March 1 at The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District is The Art of Abstraction. The show features work by four of the gallery’s artists. Among them is Gisela Miller.

“As an artist, I have to trust the process. There is no other way to create,” states Miller. “Creativity is an ecology in which all of the senses enrich one another – listening to music, being aware of different movement patterns and their vibrations directly affects rhythm, movement, and brushstrokes in a painting. I paint with my whole body, always standing in front of the canvas, moving back and forth to view each new application of paint: it is almost a March Sweet Art 6dance.”

Gisela loves acrylic because it allows her to paint quickly. She also utilizes a number of other media into her work, including charcoal, oil, pastel, and collage.

Most of Miller’s paintings are pure abstractions – of nature, the figure, or meditative visions. “My paintings are varied, because each creation evolves as I evolve.”

Born in Hanover, Germany, Gisela has taught at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Her work can be found in both March Sweet Art 3corporate and private collections in the United States, Germany, Spain and Italy. She is represented by galleries in Washington,D.C., Nantucket, MA and The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District.

Work by Shirley Wilson Blake, Mary Ann Flynn and Nancy Seibert will also be on display. The opening is from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Focus on Sweet Art abstract artist Shirley Wilson Blake (02-28-17)

March Sweet Art Blake 1The Naples Art District’s Sweet Art Gallery is exhibiting new work by four abstract artists in March. The exhibition opens concurrently with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! on March 1, with an opening reception from 5-8 p.m. One of the artists being featured in the show is Shirley Blake.

Shirley works both realistically as well as abstractly. Although she prefers acrylics on canvas, she also works in watercolor, mixed media and collage. In her abstract work, she conveys both emotion and concept to her viewers via the selective use of design elements, color and composition. Composition is something she gives thought to before she gets very far with a painting. In fact, she typically makes March Sweet Art Blake 4little studies beforehand on 4×6-inch cards, working with three colors and black and white.

Blake began painting in the late 1970s. Her skills have grown over time through a combination of  trial and error, taking myriad local, regional, and national workshops, and teaching others. Since 1985, Shirley has received over 50 awards of merit, honor or excellence in local and national art shows, including Best of Show at Art Focus in Bonita Springs, second place in the “Oddities” show at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, and Best March Sweet Art Blake 3of Shows at the Minnesota Watercolor Society and Northstar Watercolor Society. Her work hangs in multiple locations in Minnesota, such as the Uptown Art Gallery in Minneapolis, Art Holdings in Wayzata and Up North Gallery in Lindstrom.

Shirley is a Signature Member of the International Society of Experimental Artists and International Society of Acrylic Painters. Blake has a B.A. from the University March Sweet Art Blake 7of Iowa with graduate work in Art and Adult Education.

Work by Shirley Wilson Blake, Mary Ann Flynn and Nancy Seibert will also be on display. The opening is from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Focus on Art of Abstraction’ artist Nancy Seibert (02-28-17)

March Sweet Art See 1Work by Nancy Seibert will be exhibited by Sweet Art in March’s The Art of Abstraction show.

Seibert works in oils, pastels and acrylics, on paper, canvas and wood. Her philosophy of art has evolved synergistically though both paint and the energy created through her brush marks. Nature is her inspiration and all images created by her stem from Ohio’s woodlands, lakes and meadows and Florida’s sea, sky and inland lakes. Nancy began her art studies in Washington in 1956. She lived in Japan from 1961 to 1963, where she taught art and gained valuable experience in Japanese calligraphy. It was during this learning experience that she began to sense a feeling for space and mark-making in her artwork.

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Work from Clemente’s ‘Y’ Series to be featured December 7 (11-30-16)

miss-101On Wednesday, December 7, The Sweet Art Gallery will feature an exhibition of work by internationally-acclaimed artist Clemente Mimun from his Y Series of compositions.

Mimun’s Y Series emerged from his Mediterranean culture and was crystallized by Claude Debussy’s music. His compositions are a harmonious miss-102juxtaposition of free flowing forms with geometric shapes, mingled with primary colors contained in their natural borders. “The movement of the painting is the base for launching the viewer’s imagination to create his or her own interpretation,” states Clemente. “The title is generic; merely a clue, not a finality.”

Clemente credits existentialism and an abiding sense of self-responsibility as motivation for his work. A self-proclaimed observer, his work evolves as a synergy between memory and miss-103imagination. He uses no models or muses, no pictures, no still life arrangements. Rather, he communicates not through the complexity of words, but through the simplicity of symbolism. His universal language is spoken through art.

Clemente sees what he’s doing as a progression from classical representational painting through Impressionism to abstraction. In so doing, he is reacting to the age of digital photography which, in dennis-elliott-dede-and-clemente-02his estimation, renders realism obsolete. “If you need something perfect, take a picture,” he reiterates in his richly palatable French accent. Hence, Clemente strives to produce works that supply a seamless connection of traditional motif and contemporary style.

You can experience work from Clemente’s Y Series as well as other works at The Sweet Art Gallery during 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Harris, O’Connor, Razza and Wild to be featured in season-opening 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE (10-20-16)

sweetie-01The first full-blown 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! takes place in the Naples Art District on Wednesday, November 2 and The Sweet Art Gallery will use the occasion to present new work by four artists, Jolie Harris, Windy O’Connor, Al Razza and Beau Wild.

Jolie Harris is an expressionist process painter sweetie-02exploring chance patterns and visual effects in the natural world. Built layer by layer, the works draw the viewer into intricate, richly textured surfaces executed with such materials as hand-painted papers, acrylic paints and gels, and modeling paste which are carved and incised using tools and brushes. “An avowed colorist, I draw in paint, vibrant or subdued, to create visceral and lyrical all-over compositions comprised of organic and biomorphic shapes,” Jolie says. “My paintings are best approached not in a search for their intended sweetie-03meaning, but with openness to the emotions they can stir. Jolie attended the Boca Raton Museum of Art school and resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Windy O’Connor is an abstract painter who utilizes multiple mediums in her work. “Painting and creating is an intuitive process for me,” says Windy. “I trust that when I stand in front of my easel, I will find my destination without a map.” Her work is void of subject. Relying on visual memories to set a tone, a simple emotion of an event or time period transforms into color and sweetie-053composition. Windy’s latest work is inspired by her travels to Paris. “The multitudes of mediums and paints calls me to constantly research and play with new materials,” O’Connor adds. “It is only when the emotion is stirred inside of my soul that I find the finished work in front of me. In this body of work, I am seeking to find Paris within me.” Windy’s art studies included Any Braitman studios in North Carolina, where she resides.

Al Razza has enjoyed a career as a contemporary fine artist that spans more than 40 years. Winner of the South Florida Consortium Fellowship awarded for artistic excellence, his work is exhibited in museums and galleries, and is collected throughout the world. A resident of Coral sweetie-05Springs, Razza explores many styles including abstract, color field and minimalism. He is known for developing the paint skin process. Simply stated, paint skin is just dried acrylic paint. The paint is processed into sheets of color and then applied into the construction of each artwork. Some artworks use shredded pieces to accentuate the surface. These are added to each work at sweetie-06various stages of development. Still others use paint skin to build up a heavy surface with corrugated layers that swirl across the surface in a very robust fashion.

Beau Wild is an abstract expressionist whose non-objective paintings explore observations of the human spirit. “While I explore the purely non-objective, my fundamental attraction to the psychology of people cannot be denied,” remarks Beau. Her work is exhibited in galleries and museums and is in many private and public collections. Beau resides in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. The gallery is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, please telephone 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Sweet Art to exhibit work of late Jerry A. Taylor beginning June 1 (05-20-16)

Sweet Taylor 1The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District will be exhibiting work on June 1 by the late Jerry A. Taylor.

“The object is to explore the diverse and complex nature of images and to capture and mirror back light and vision,” said Taylor about his body of work. “My art experience comes from a lifelong Sweet Art Exterior 01quest to create. Creativity heightens my sense of purpose and awareness of, and for the world. The macrocosm in which we live is a realm of fantastic images and materials for the creative thinker. The abundance challenges my mind and thrusts me into discovering new associations with images, materials and execution of technique. My goal is to Mancini 03Sexcite, provoke and transport the viewing participant.”

This exhibit opens in conjunction with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! with an opening reception from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on June 1. The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. For more information, please telephone 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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New show at The Sweet Art Gallery in Naples Art District features work by five superlative artists (03-31-16)

Sweet April 01Sweet Art’s April show will feature new work by five superlative artists, Trent Altman, Fidel Aguiar, Mary Ann Flynn Fouse, Patricia Zalisko and Armand Verrier.

Trent Altman is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed abstract expressionist who takes viewers through a tour of his Sweet April 02metaphysical world with the comforts of timelessness and patterns from objects of nature. In 2012, Altman’s art was chosen for the United Nations Autism Awareness Stamp, with one million stamps being made and sold around the world.

After a 40-year love affair with stone, granite and quartzite, sculptor Fidel Aguair now throws acrylic paint on panel and canvas. In the tradition of abstract expressionism, his paintings are a repository for the emotions he is experiencing at the time he begins and works on each painting.Sweet April 03 “When I start painting, I have no idea of the outcome, but as paint is applied, colorful images begin to evolve,” states the artist. His compositions contain both architectural and cartographical elements, reflecting his architectural and sculptural influences.

Mary Ann Flynn Fouse describes her half-century Sweet April 04body of work as “splashy gestural coloramas.” “I love the uniqueness, learning this new language of art and expressing the colors and shapes in my own individual way … moving textural dramas that are immediate but self-contained,” Mary Ann explains.

Patricia Zalisko’s acrylic-on-canvas works capture fleeting moments senses rather than seen. They are flashes of distant and faded recollections. “As I Sweet April 06paint, I shift back and forth between intuitive and cognitive states. It is visceral: pure sensation, emotion and memory.”

Armand Verrier enjoys creating unique images working in mixed media using wood, acrylics and high gloss resin that focus on contemporary themes. He finds the possibilities to be endless. His art has been purchased by collectors in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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Erbe’s ‘Havana Nights’ delicous staccato study in juxtaposition and contrast (03-23-16)

Havana Nights ALast Friday, The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District introduced a new series of work by Sharon Erbe, whose dynamic compositions reflect a lifelong love of music, dance and theatrical flamboyance. Titled Havana Nights, Erbe’s Cuba-inspired paintings are a delicious, delightful staccato study in juxtaposition and contrast.

The series is the outgrowth of a weeklong trip that Havana Nights FErbe took to Cuba four months ago. Like her new paintings, that experience was characterized by sharp contrasts and riveting juxtapositions. “In one sense, I was kind of devastated by the waste of this beautiful architecture crumbling to the ground because it has not been maintained for years,” Sharon observed during the exhibition’s opening. “On the other hand, I could see the grandeur of Havana Nights Bpast times and what it could be again once Americans start investing in the island.”

Most of the people Erbe saw and met during her time on the island lead hard, unhappy and unfulfilling lives mired in poverty and subject to numerous government restrictions. While they are hopeful that the thawing relations between the United States and Cuba will result in Sharon Erbe Eimprovements to their economy, opportunities and lifestyles, they remain skeptical and guarded.

“They live off $25 week, which has to go to feed between one and five people, and although they do get free hospitalization, retirement and schooling, the normal person, the everyday Jose or Pedro, has very little,” reports Erbe, echoing themes presented by filmmaker Lucy Mulloy in her Tropicana Nights Aindependent film, Una Noche, which contrasts the nervous desperation of the Cuban people against the tropical beauty of their surroundings (which Mulloy augmented by filming the entire movie in 35mm).

But while life on the island juxtaposes beauty with decay, hope with despair, color and music remain benchmarks of Cuban life. “Everyone dresses brightly,” Sharon noted. “The bright colors make me smile. That’s part of their Spanish heritage. There was so much color, that I was bursting at the seams.”

And just as music is important to Erbe, it’s important to the Cuban people. Havana Nights E“You hear music everywhere, from the little corner band to a guy sitting on a curb playing the trombone. I love the impromptu nature of music in Cuba.”

Since there wasn’t time to sketch or paint during the trip, Erbe recorded her impressions with a digital camera. Back in the studio, she used music to set the tone as she translated the shots she selected into the expressive compositions included in Havana Nights. “The music lifts me up,” says Sharon. For this series, it was salsa that inspired Erbe, who took a Zumba class and learned salsa, merengue and a number of other Latin dance moves.

Havana Nights GBut the salsa does more than uplift and inspire. It manifests itself on Erbe’s canvas in the patterned fabric you see everywhere. “It’s like the staccato music you hear in the background. Like salsa. Like the beat of salsa.”

Another theme Erbe likes to express is interaction between and among the subjects who populate her paintings. “I like to create something that people will say, ‘What’s going on there? What is she saying to him?’ I like to include puzzles or surprises.” There are all kinds of interactions that touch the viewer, and this keeps people coming back to her compositions. There is always something new to see, something else to discover, some new Bongo Salsa Aperspective to explore. Not surprisingly, many of her collectors acquire multiple canvases. “I have some collectors who have as many as six or seven of my paintings,” she says with a mixture of pride and wonderment.

Erbe also likes to employ the power of juxtaposition. “One subject goes this way, and another goes that way,” she says, pointing to one of the many compositions that include dancers and musicians. Their twisting torsos and oddly-positioned extremities conjure the movement and melody of musical notes. And to convey this vibrancy and fluidity, Erbe is not bashful about breaking rules. Subjects are rarely centered in her compositions. Body parts, hats, musical instruments and other Havana Nights Cobjects often disappear outside of the frame. Hands are given primacy in most of her compositions, and it’s not always entirely clear whose hands are being portrayed.

“I had a wonderful teacher back when I was in art school,” Sharon recalls. That was back in the halycion days of abstract expressionism. “She told me not to do that. She told me I have my own unique style. And she gave me permission to be and express myself. So I started breaking rules early. Sometimes I get away with it, and sometimes it doesn’t work out as well.”

If any of her Havana Nights offerings didn’t work out as well as Tallulah Sells Her Tropical Fruit AErbe may have liked, then they’re probably still ensconced back home in her studio. The two dozen or so oils on view at Sweet Art present a rich, fascinating tour of Havana that, while bright, vibrant and frenetically dynamic also possess a surprising degree of subtlety and reflection. Oh, you probably won’t see that aspect of her work if, like so many of us, you only give each composition a cursory glance while dashing through the show. No, the subtlety lives and resides in the eyes of Erbe’s subjects and the expressions on their faces, Viewer 02which are almost serene, pensive and reflective in contradistinction to their movements as they sing, dance, play music or interact with each other in the market or on the street. It’s another level of juxtaposition, and that’s the trademark of a painting by quasi-Expressionist Sharon Erbe.

Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in the Naples Art District. For more Sharon Erbe Ginformation, please telephone the gallery at 239-272-6272 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

[N.B.: Una Noche was the film chosen to lead off the inaugural Bontia Springs International Film Festival. Lucy Mulloy wrote, shot and edited the film in 2013, long before President Obama eased travel restrictions to the country.]

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Sharon Erbe’s ‘Havana Nights’ solo show opens at Sweet Art on Friday, March 18 (03-18-16)

Sweet Art Erbe 01The Sweet Art Gallery is presenting a solo show of new work by Sharon Erbe tonight. Titled Havana Nights, the exhibition opens with a reception for the artist from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

A loose Expressionist, Erbe is a colorist who prefers oil on canvas. Her dynamic compositions reflect a lifelong love of music, dance and Sweet Art Erbe 06theatrical flamboyant affinity. “My true nature expresses itself in my art,” Erbe states. “Being in the moment, celebrating the freedom of explosive color, and jubilance of dancing figures affirming a positive life force” are the recurring themes she explores.

Sharon looks for repetitive shapes to articulate her larger-than-life energy and emotions. “The Caribbean motif is the exemplar of a free-spirit approach to life, even in the face of adversity,” Sharon expounds. “I try to capture an essence of humor and dignity as a statement about the indomitable human spirit.”

Erbe’s Sweet Art Erbe 07work reflects the same joie de vivre and romanticized world view that Gauguin expressed in his work upon his arrival in Tahiti. In Noa Noa, the book he wrote describing his life on that Polynesian island, Gauguin wrote, “I have escaped everything that is artificial and conventional. Here, I enter into Truth, become one with nature.” There is nothing artificial or conventional in Erbe’s paintings. Evocative, visceral, her compositions powerfully reflect what it means to become one with nature.

Although they did not venture to Tahiti, Sharon and her husband experienced a dream come true when they traveled recently to Cuba. With journal and camera in hand, Sharon met the people Sweet Art Erbe 08and saw the places that gave expression to her latest collection, Havana Nights. As Sharon’s special guest, Alana Newton of Stewart Travel will be on hand with brochures and advice for your own adventure to Cuba.

Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in the Naples Art District. For more information, please telephone the gallery at 239-272-6272 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Focus on artist Gisela Miller on eve of opening of Sweet Art March show (02-29-16)

Miller 01Opening on Wednesday, March 2 at The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District is a contemporary art show featuring work by six of the gallery’s artists. Among them Gisela Miller.

“As an artist, I have to trust the process. There is no other way to create,” states Miller. “Creativity is an ecology in which all of the senses enrich one another-Listening to music, being aware of different movement patterns and their vibrations directly affects rhythm, movement, and brushstrokes in a painting. I paint with my whole body, always standing in front of the canvas, moving back and forth to view each new application of paint: it is almost a dance.”

Miller 04Gisela loves acrylic because it allows her to paint quickly. She also utilizes a number of other media into her work, including charcoal, oil, pastel, and collage.

Most of Miller’s paintings are pure abstractions – of nature, the figure, or meditative visions. “My paintings are varied, because each creation evolves as I evolve.”

Born in Hanover, Germany, Gisela has taught at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Miller 02Washington, D.C., and studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Her work can be found in both corporate and private collections in the United States, Germany, Spain and Italy. She is represented by galleries in Washington,D.C., Nantucket, MA and The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District.

Work by Barbara Z. Lipman, Mary Mariner, Patty Mayhew, Nancy Seibert and Nancy Wood Woltz will also be on display. The opening is from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Abstract artist Mary Mariner one of six artists being featured by The Sweet Art Gallery in March (02-28-16) 

Sweet Art March 2016  01Opening on Wednesday, March 2 at The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District is a contemporary art show featuring work by six of the gallery’s artists. Among them Mary Mariner.

Mariner describes her painting as experimental art. She started out working in oil painting, then later with watercolor and charcoal techniques. No Mariner 01matter which medium, she lets herself get absorbed by the colors and emotions of her art.

“My art is a reflection of the passion and curiosity that I have for life,” states Mariner. “Color and texture comprise the language I use to express this passion.  I continually explore new tools and ways of achieving a dance of harmony and accent. The possibilities are endless……like a dream that never ends.”

Work by Barbara Z. Lipman, Gisela Miller, Patty Mayhew, Nancy Seibert and Nancy Wood Woltz will also be on display. The opening is from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Sculptor-turned-painter Fidel Aguiar turns tragedy into art (02-09-16)

Fidel 02Havana-born artist Fidel Aguiar came to the United States in 1968 in one of the Freedom Flights taking place at that time. He was just nine. A few years later when he was in the seventh grade, he began working with his uncle in his Miami-based  marble business. That was the start of a 40-year love affair with stone. But injuries suffered in a recent automobile accident make it impossible for him to sculpt stone, granite and Fidel Aguiar The Dance Marble with Granite Standquartzite like he once did, so to give voice to the creative spirit that continues to bubble up from deep within his psyche, Aguiar now throws acrylic paint on panel and canvas.

“I still consider myself as an abstractionist,” Aguiar says. And in the tradition of abstract expressionism, his paintings are a repository for the emotions he is experiencing at the time he begins and works on each painting. He confesses to not having a clue how his compositions are going to turn out. He just follows the process to its ultimate conclusion, and that’s quite a change for Aguiar, who is accustomed to imposing his will on his stone sculptures rather than taking his cues from his medium.

Fidel Aguiar Time Frame“I didn’t go to school for this. I’m entirely self-taught. It’s sort of a crash course by force,” he demurs sardonically.

But that’s not to say his abstracts are without thematic content or message. Where his granite and marble sculptures contained strong figurative elements that built intrigue and enigmatic storylines into every work, his paintings have a definite rustic feel.

“I see things in a very rustic way,” he confesses. “When it comes to sculpture, I am more … polished. But in painting, I love rustic.” Toward that end, many of his compositions incorporate patterns and imagery that is suggestive of beehives and chicken wire – Fidel 07although that’s not the actual material he uses to imprint the pattern on his gesso underlayment. (Of course, Fidel will share his creative secrets when you purchase one of his paintings.)

While Aguiar is admittedly at just the beginning of the learning curve in his newfound career as a painter, his work already reflect the influence of his experience working with natural stone (he operated a successful granite and marble business Fidel 03in Naples for a decade) and in the construction industry. His compositions contain both architectural and cartographical elements.

It remains to be seen how Aguiar grows and develops as a painter over the years to come. But Fidel 05there’s no quit in this artist, even though he finds it both physically taxing and painful to bend over his canvas for long stretches of time. But pain is no deterrent. Fidel Aguiar is, after all, an artist. And he subscribes to the sentiment once expressed by the late Kurt Cobain, who said “Thank you for the Fidel 10tragedy; I need it for my art.”

For more information about Fidel Aguiar and both his sculpture an paintings, please contact or visit The Sweet Art Gallery.

Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. You may reach the gallery by telephone at 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Focus on Sweet Art abstract artist Maggie DeMarco (01-31-16)

DeMarco 05The Naples Art District’s Sweet Art Gallery is exhibiting new work by four abstract artists in February. The exhibition opens concurrently with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! on February 3, with an opening reception from 5-8 p.m. One of the artists being featured in the show is Naples artist Maggie DeMarco.

DeMarco 03DeMarco has a diverse portfolio ranging from landscape, abstract, still life and reverse painting on glass.  She has studied several years at The Rhode Island School of Design and received a certificate from the Decorative Arts Program.  She has taken many workshops with prestigious artists in the United States and Europe.

Maggie’s work is derived from being totally in the present moment, like a dance with paint on canvas. “I love both acrylic and oil paint,” Maggie relates. “Using a variety of tools gives me freedom DeMarco 04to create uninhibitedly.”

Her goal is to bring the joy and serenity she achieves in her art to the viewer. “Creating art has been my focus for the past 15 years,” Maggie tells. “My work has evolved from landscapes to abstract. Sensual colors and shapes are influenced by my surroundings. From travels to Europe, coastal New England and tropical Florida, my paintings are alive and enduring.”

Maggie currently splits time between Naples, DeMarco 01Florida and Narragansett, Rhode Island.

The other artists participating in the show are Shirley Wilson Blake, Caryl Gordon and Sam Roth. The exhibition opens concurrently with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! on February 3 with a reception from 5-8 p.m. The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, in the heart of the Naples Art District.

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Focus on Sweet Art abstract artist Shirley Wilson Blake (01-28-16)

Blake 05The Naples Art District’s Sweet Art Gallery is exhibiting new work by four abstract artists in February. The exhibition opens concurrently with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! on February 3, with an opening reception from 5-8 p.m. One of the artists being featured in the show is Shirley Blake.

Blake began painting in the early 80’s, has grown in her skills via studying with local, regional, and Blake 04national workshop teachers, and has taught others since 1987. She works both realistically as well as abstractly in watercolor, mixed media, acrylic, and collage. Her painting style conveys to the viewer her concept via the selective use of design elements, color, and composition.

“My work represents 30 plus years of studying with local and national artists as well as personal Blake 03artistic growth,” states the artist. “Both private tutoring and group teaching in water color, acrylic, mixed media and collage have added to my painting concepts via selective use of design elements, color and composition.”

Blake also has a B.A. from the University of Iowa with graduate work in Art and Adult Education.

Shirley’s painting I Feel Happy was recently awarded 1st Place in the 6th Annual International Society of Acrylic Painter’s Signature Member’s Online Show. Shirley has also received over 50 awards of merit, honor or excellence over the past twenty years in local and national art shows, Blake 01including Best of Show at Art Focus in Bonita Springs, second place in the “Oddities” show at the Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, and Best of Shows at the Minnesota Watercolor Society and Northstar Watercolor Society.

Shirley is a Signature Member of the International Society of Experimental Artists and International Society of Acrylic Painters.

The other artists participating in the show are Maggie DeMarco, Caryl Gordon and Sam Roth. The exhibition opens concurrently with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! on February 3 with a reception from 5-8 p.m.

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Sweet Art’s February show includes Sam Roth atmospheric abstract expressionism (01-27-16)

Sweet Feb Abstracts 1Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District will be featuring new work by four abstract artists during the month of February. One of the artists included in the show is Sam Roth.

Sam has always been an artist, creating through photography, but mostly painting. Working in his studio, daily, the focus of his paintings are best Sam Roth 01represented as atmospheric abstract expressionism. The paintings have evolved from the influence of his spiritual studies and personal inner journey. The work has been described as poetic and mysterious. The subtle rich colors and elegant gestures leave it to the viewer’s imagination for interpretation, giving freedom to Sam Roth 02the abstract thought.

Roth was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1944.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Youngstown State University and his Master’s Degree from Cleveland State University. He started his career as an educator and later began working in the art and design industry. In 2009, Sam and his work were featured on Public Television and, as a result, one Sam Roth 03of his paintings was placed in the Cleveland headquarters of IdeaStream.

Sam is represented in Cleveland by the Bonfoey Gallery & Art Source, TRA Art Group in Detroit, Addington Gallery in Chicago, Hal Katzen Gallery in New York City and The Sweet Art Gallery in Naples, Florida. His most recent solo exhibition was in the Humphrey Gallery at University Sam Roth 04Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.  This summer Sam’s work will be featured alongside daughter and glass artist Shayna Roth Pentecost at Still Point Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio.  He currently resides in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. His studio is in the Murray Hill School House in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood.

Sweet Art Exterior 01The other artists participating in the show are Maggie DeMarco, Shirley Wilson Blake and Caryl Gordon. The exhibition opens concurrently with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! on February 3 with a reception from 5-8 p.m.

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Encaustics by abstract artist Caryl Gordon part of four-artist exhbition at The Sweet Art Gallery opening February 3 (01-26-16)

Sweet Feb Abstracts 1Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District will be featuring new work by four abstract artists during the month of February. One of the artists included in the show is Caryl Gordon.

“My paintings are abstract landscapes which I create intuitively or subliminally and do not represent any particular, recognizable place,” Caryl Gordon 01tells Gordon. ‘It was Emile Zola who once said, ‘A work of art is a detail of nature seen through a temperament.’ I imagine places not easily seen, such as areas underground, underwater, in outer space or even in cyberspace.”

Gordon’s work has a distinctive, musical quality. “Although I am frequently too intimidated to show rhythm by actually dancing or singing, I do have rhythm within me that I am not afraid to express in my paintings,” Caryl reveals. “Color, texture, Caryl Gordon 04movement, resonance … and ultimately drama … that is what I am after!”

Gordon prefers encaustics as her medium of choice. “I paint with hot wax as well as use the wax as an adherent collaging handmade fiber paper, silk fabrics and Indian cottons into my compositions,” Caryl explains. “Sometimes I photograph various surfaces and transfer bits and pieces of the photographs into my paintings.”

The ancient art of encaustic dates back to the Caryl Gordon 05ancient Greeks and Romans. Today, it is admired for its texture, luminosity and archival qualities.

Gordon’s studio is at Pfamily Arts, a non-profit visual and performing arts center in Plano, Texas. Cartk us the resident artist there. Her work has been exhibited all over the country in galleries, museums and universities and can be currently seen at Galatea Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts and, beginning February 3, at The Sweet Art Gallery in Naples, Florida. The other artists participating in the show are Maggie DeMarco, Sam Roth and Shirley Wilson Blake. The exhibition opens concurrently with 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! on February 3 with a reception from 5-8 p.m.

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Sweet Art to present work by three abstract expressionists at January, 2016 ‘1st Wednesday ART ALIVE!’ (12-29-15)

Sweet January 01The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District will be presenting work by three abstract expressionist artists during 1st Wednesday Art Alive on January 6. The artists being featured during the 5-8 p.m. opening are Brenda Belfield, Phyllis Heller and E. Lee Wilson, Jr.

Belfield is an abstract painter and designer of Sweet January 02architectural stained glass. Her major commissions include 60 windows at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.  Her walls of glass can be found throughout the United States as well as in the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the former NATO base in Sicily, Italy. Belfield’s paintings have been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, and the Washington D.C. area. With paint, as with glass, Brenda’s artworks evoke the illusion of light in a structure that juxtaposes order with spontaneity.

Sweet January 05“Art is, to me, about expressing what is inside,” states Phyllis Heller. “My pieces begin with color and form, and unfold into unique creations.” At times, dreams affect the outcome of Heller’s efforts. Other times, she is motivated by a value or goal she has or a memory. And sometimes her concerns about the future appear in Heller’s work. “The process of painting is a meditation for me,” continues Heller. “I enjoy the pure pleasure of painting, collaging and constructing. I love the colors and textures offered by the mediums. My pieces are primarily abstract expressionistic. I employ symbols and forms in my art and strive to accomplish the challenges of balancing Sweet January 06them. Sometimes there are impressions of nature, or a fantastic reality appears. It is my hope that my work will elicit an emotional response on the part of the viewer and satisfy the communication of the art.”

E. Lee Wilson Jr.’s paintings portray the essence of Sweet January 07joy and freedom he experiences when he is immersed in nature. “A fresh drizzle technique adds organic energy and feelings of serendipity reminiscent of an ocean breeze,” Wilson claims. “Using rich textures, saturated colors and bold strokes, I celebrate the freshness and transformative energy of nature and actually integrate remnants of the natural world into most of my paintings.”

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‘Collector’s Legacy’ opens at Sweet Art on October 23 (10-21-15)

SweetA Collector’s Legacy opens this Friday at The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District. The exhibition contains 55 original paintings from the Richard Tooke/Charles Marshall Collection.

Tooke and Marshall have a prodigious private collection. Tooke is the former president of the Baker Museum of Art’s Friends of Art and the Sweetyretired Director of Rights and Reproduction at New York’s renowned Museum of Modern Art. Each of the 55 paintings in the show is for sale, including works by Jonathan Green, Michael St. Amand, Cesar Aguilera, Buscanto Salidas and Ranier Llanes. Preview is available through Thursday, October 22, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The opening will be marked by a reception from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 23, with the show continuing through October 30.

Sweet Art is located at 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. For more information, please telephone 239-597-2110 or visit http://www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Sweet Art collecting dresses for Pace  Center for Girls during next Wednesday’s ART ALIVE! (06-26-15)

sweet paceThe next 1st Wednesday ART ALIVE! takes place in the Naples Art District on Wednesday, July 2. In conjunction with ART ALIVE! The Sweet Art Gallery is hosting its 2nd Annual  “She’s All That” Love That Dress! Collection Party. Donate new or gently worn dresses for a chance to participate in a silent auction. All donations and proceeds benefit Sweet Art Exterior 01the Pace Center for Girls, which is a non-profit intervention and prevention program for girls at risk in Collier County.

The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Sweet Art unveils ’50 Shades of Blue’ on Wednesday, April 1 (03-28-15)

Sweet 50 ShadesOn the big screen now is Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Gray, but Sweet Art in the Naples Art District turns “50 Shades of Blue” on Wednesday, April 1. The exhibition features work by artists Nancy Iannitelli, Teodora Guererra, Fabienne Vieryes-Sanchez and E. Lee Wilson, and opens with a reception from 5-8 p.m.

Sweet NancyNancy Iannitelli creates mixed media using oils and acrylic paints. Her portfolio is influenced by Abstract Impressionism, motivated by a new found artistic freedom. “I hope that upon seeing my latest works, viewers are drawn to let their own minds wander, using their imaginations to discover what they may or may not see,” states Nancy. “There is an energy guides and connects me to create a statement which can only come from within.”

Teodora Guererra’s work explores the tides of joy, failure, humor, adventure, and the euphoria of it Sweet Teoall.  Guererra uses layers of paint, one color over another, sometimes adding other materials like sand and bees wax to the paint. “I use different palette knives, making some of the layers very thick in areas, some scraped down to the color beneath,” Teodora expounds. “Then I pour thin layers of pigment mixed with turpentine and other products, controlling the flow down the canvas usually from the top, letting gravity help. Chance Sweet Guererraplays a role when you pour and drip paint over thick textured surfaces, merging with the paint underneath.  I like layering emotive colors to achieve striking textural and dense paintings that are at times exuberant, playful and joyful, and at other moments fraught with tension and brooding.  The color can be monochromatic in execution but other hues seep through, revealing the complexities of all the multi-layers.  My hope is that the work will stop the viewer and make them smile, maybe even for the rest of the day.”

Sweet FabienneAs the owner of Fabs Faux Finishes, Fabienne Vieryes-Sanchez developed an interest in working on canvas, using different products rather than the traditional oil paint and acrylics. She started using different plasters, metallics and other products used in decorative painting. “I feel so blessed to have found the way to express myself doing what I love most; projecting an image on a canvas or a wall, letting the universe taking control of my hands,” shares Fabienne, who now makes her home in Cape Coral.

“My paintings portray the essence of joy and freedom experienced when I am immersed in nature,” proclaims painter E. Lee Wilson. “A fresh drizzle technique adds organic energy and feelings of Sweet Wilsonserendipity reminiscent of an ocean breeze. Using rich textures, saturated colors and bold strokes, I celebrate the freshness and transformative energy of nature and actually integrate remnants of the natural world into most of my paintings.”

The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Salop’s expressive Fauve portraits on view now at The Sweet Art Gallery (03-07-15)

Salop 07Painted Ladies opened Wednesday (March 3)at The Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District. It includes work by Colorist Barbara Z. Lipman, Mary Mariner, Nancy Wood-Woltz and Ed Ryman, who paints under the pseudonym of Salop.

Salop’s contribution to the show is a U-shaped gallery of paintings depicting women the artist has known over the years. But to call them portraits is problematic as the ever-discrete Salop claims he uses neither muse nor photograph. Rather, his Salop 10renderings are composites based on a lifetime of interactions with and observations of women he’s met and known.

“I have painted my niece,” Salop demurs, affectionately squeezing the arm of the comely woman at his side. “But none of these are of her.”

While he may not have captured the essence of an actual individual on his canvases, he has deftly Salop and Niece 01encapsulated recognizable and relatable personality traits and idiosyncratic expressions that make you feel certain that you know exactly what each pictured woman is feeling at the moment Salop painted her – even if her personality remains something of a mystery if not outright enigma.

Viewers can spend mere minutes or an entire evening contemplating the faces staring back from the framed paintings that Dede Sweet and her staff carefully curated into this enticing exhibition. Through a combination of bold, unrestrained brushstrokes and Salop 04unapologetically vibrant colors, Salop infuses each composite with such expressiveness that you will find yourself leaning in, waiting for them to open their pursed lips to utter something unforgettably profound. But Salop leaves it up to each viewer to imagine what that might be.

“Salop’s work has a sophisticated use of color, pattern and composition,” says Sweet. But equally remarkable is the artist’s adamant refusal to dim the purity of his luminous color work through devices such as shading, shadowing and chiaroscuro. Here, you can sense the influence of van Gogh, Gauguin and Matisse with flat swaths of pigment, simple outlines and open disregard for natural form.

Salop 03“He lived most of his life in Europe, where he became influenced by Matisse, Derain, Dufy and Vlaminick,” supplies Sweet.

Indeed. Matisse, Derain and Vlaminick were the first to break with Impressionism and the older, more traditional methods of perception. Working together in the small fishing port of Collioure on the Mediterranean coast in the summer of 1905, Matisse and Derain began introducing unnaturalistic color and vivid brushstrokes into their paintings. When their pictures were exhibited later that year at the Salon d’Automne in Paris, they inspired witty critic Louis Vauxcelles to call them fauves (“wild beasts”) in his review for the magazine Gil Blas. This term was later applied to the artists themselves.

Fauve LadyMatisse arrived at the Fauve style after experimenting with the Post-Impressionist styles of van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cézanne, and the Neo-Impressionism of Seurat, Cross, and Signac. These influences inspired him to reject traditional three-dimensional space and seek instead a new picture space defined by the movement of color planes.Vlaminck embraced the Fauve style after seeing the second large retrospective exhibition of van Gogh’s work at the Salon des Indépendants in the spring of 1905, and the Fauve paintings produced by Matisse and Derain in Collioure.

The Fauvist movement has been compared to German Expressionism, both projecting brilliant colors and spontaneous brushwork, and Salop 06indebted to the same late nineteenth-century sources, especially Van Gogh. The French were more concerned with the formal aspects of pictorial organization, while the German Expressionists were more emotionally involved in their subjects. Salop’s composite women show elements of both of these schools, combining emotional involvement with compositional Salop 05maturity. And yet, it is color reminiscent of medieval stained glass that dominate these paintings. And that being the case, you really have to experience them for yourself. With color like this, mere photos, even digital photos, simply don’t do the paintings justice.

The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Clemente Mimun’s truly commanding equestrian abstracts on view now at Naples Art District’s Sweet Art (03-04-15)

Clemente 11On view in the front showing room at The Sweet Art Gallery is a series of vibrant contemporary equestrian paintings by Clemente Mimun. Clemente employs a minimalist approach and pop art palette to inject a refined modernity into the time-honored motif of the horse.

“The history of the representation of this animal in its relationship with human beings was written by our ancestors on the wall of caves thousands of years ago,” writes noted artist Royo in his tome, Clemente 01Equus y Momentos. “Since then, it has exercised a special type of magic. Later came Velazquez and a period when horse and man had to be portrayed together. Then came Picasso with his Guernica, with its shared suffering – the same way as the shared life between man and animal.”

“It is the horse that lies at the root of my equestrian series,” remarks Clemente. “In polo, the horse is pushed to its limits. The quick starts, stops, turnarounds are very strenuous, very difficult. Few creatures possess the grace, beauty, power and strength that horses convey.”

For the GoalFor Clemente, it’s not about producing a realistic rendering of horse and rider. “If you want to capture an actual horse and rider playing polo, take a digital picture. That’s not what I do. I’m trying to give an impression. That’s all.”

But make no mistake. Clemente is not an Impressionist. Whereas an Impressionist is concerned with presenting only what the eye can Rodeo Red Horsetake in or focus on in a split second in time – and no more – Clemente’s purpose is to provide just enough line and color to suggest his subject’s form, movement, direction and speed. “If it’s too representational, if it isn’t truly abstract, then I didn’t succeed.”

Clemente sees what he’s doing as a progression from classical representational painting through Impressionism to abstraction. In so doing, he is reacting to the age of digital photography which, in his estimation, renders realism obsolete. “If you Don Quixote 2need something perfect, take a picture,” he reiterates in his richly palatable French accent. Hence, Clemente strives to produce works that supply a seamless connection of traditional motif and contemporary style. And as an artist who has hit his stride, he has in this series of paintings really captured something that is expressive yet alluringly contemplative. His horses and riders powerfully convey agility, elegance and dignity, while simultaneously expressing an abstract concept rather than concrete nature-based images.

And what is that concept? It can be power or energy or fragility or pageantry. It all depends on the viewer and the Clemente 09unique experiences and biases he or she brings to the painting.

“I read somewhere that polo started with the Turks, who used to play polo with the skulls of their enemies,” Clemente observes, injecting a bit or reality into the conversation. The sport’s reputed origins dovetail nicely with the artist’s expressive process. He doesn’t work on location. In fact, he doesn’t own and has never rode a horse in his life. Nor does he work from photographs. The horse and rider’s forms and figures are beside the point.

“When I go into my studio I start with a sketch – a very explosive, impulsive, intuitive black line drawing that he quickly transforms Clemente 02with brash bold cadmium yellows and oranges that infuse his composition with the energy of the moment. You, too, can experience these truly commanding horseplay portraits at The Sweet Art Gallery. The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Spotlight on ‘Two For One Man Show’ painter Clemente Mimun (02-24-15)

Sweet FlierThe Sweet Art Gallery presents Two For One Man Show on Friday, February 27. The exhibition combines the lathe-turned wall sculptures, vessels and free-standing works of wood sculptor and former Foreigner drummer Dennis Elliott and work by internationally-acclaimed oil painter Clemente Mimun.

122 (2)Born in 1937 in Italian Tripoli, North Africa, artist Clemente Mimun lived his childhood years in the ex-French colony of Tunisia.  Raised between three cultures, Clemente immersed himself in the museums of LeBardo and Carthage, abundant with Roman and Phoenician art, all of which left an indelible impression. At the age of 16, Clemente moved to Paris, where he spent countless hours in the coffeehouses absorbing the philosophical conversations of elder artists. To this day, Clemente acknowledges these experiences in the Clemente 01development of his own personal philosophies on existentialism and self-responsibility – all of which translate into his artwork.

By 1962, Clemente settled in the United States. In spite of his strong European viewpoints, Clemente reveled in American culture. Today, his universal language is spoken through his art.

The vibrant expressionistic work of Clemente Fidel Aguiar Sinners Novona TravertineMimun possesses an unbridled brilliance reminiscent of the Fauvist style of the early 20th Century. A short-lived movement that burst on the Paris art scene in 1905, Fauvism paved the way to both Cubism and Modern Expressionism in its disregard for natural forms and innovation use of color.

Influenced by the works of Henri Matisse and surrealist, Georges Henri Rouault, Clemente’s art embodies a personal, intellectual and philosophical content unique to his work. Amidst Sweetthe artist’s vast repertoire of figurative, abstract and floral images lies a collective genius with regard to his use of color, shape, form and narrative.

Clemente explains that his work is born of a synergy between memory and imagination.  He uses no models, pictures or still life arrangements when creating a new work of art.  A self-proclaimed “observer,” Clemente chooses to elicit Sweet Art After Darkan intellectual formula for his subject matter that he describes through a hierarchy of interpersonal understanding:

On the first level, Clemente strives to expose one’s isolation from the rest of the world and the inevitable “antagonistic possession” that lies in our relationships therein.  The second level involves an attempt to communicate to resolve this Sweet Art Exterior 01antagonism – not through the complexity of words, but through the simplicity of symbolism.  The third level is reconciliation – a resolution to consume and accept a peaceful coexistence.

Clemente’s obsession with floral subject matter reflects his philosophy, in that the flower is Dennis Elliott Dishes on His Art 06notoriously one of the purest forms of symbolism and seems to possess the power to communicate truth and beauty in some of the simplest ways. Additionally, the seemingly endless varieties, colors, and shapes never cease to fascinate him. The artist has found a veritable playground amidst the garden of his mind. Or in the artist’s own words, “Why not say it with flowers?”

The embodiment of Clemente’s keen observation of attitudes and simple acts suggests a departure from the norm and thus becomes the unique narrative of his work. The evolution of the artist, as well as his ideas, are apparent in his artwork through his vivid and repetitive, almost obsessive, style.

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Sweet Art’s ‘Two for One Man Show’ features painter Clemente Mimun and sculptor Dennis Elliott (02-18-15)

Sweet FlierThe Sweet Art Gallery presents Two For One Man Show on Friday, February 27. The exhibition combines work by internationally-acclaimed oil painter Clemente Mimun and lathe-turned wall sculptures, vessels and free-standing works by wood sculptor and former Foreigner drummer Dennis Elliott.

Dennis Elliott 01Elliott is a lyricist. The genius of his compositions inheres in his ability to achieve a symbiotic balance between the beauty that nature embeds within a piece of burled maple and the physical and psychic truths that govern absolute reality. “Each piece has its own character,” Elliott explains, pointing to dark knots, deep dimples and irregular gauges that indent the surface of a nearby wall hanging. But he does not merely rely on these shapes to create interest or beauty in the work. “I manipulate the material to create something that nature didn’t intend.”

Blond in a Sculpted Wall MirrorLike highly buffed concentric circles, carefully-carved rows of lines that emanate like sunbursts to the outer edge of each wall piece, and intricate patterns burned into the maple’ surface. It is as if Elliott’s painstaking tool work lays bare the organelles, mitochondria and pure geometric forms that underlie all existence, thereby conveying a Mondrian-like sensibility of “absolute reality.” In this way, Elliott’s wall sculptures sing with the lyrics and musicality of new-Era Alcovegeometric abstraction, with viewers seeing new content and revelations each time they let their eyes caress the surface of each work.

Sounds simple, but Elliott acknowledges that he feels an abiding sense of responsibility as he approaches the creative process emanating around each new wall sculpture, vessel and free-standing interactive piece. “Unlike music, where it’s possible Dennis Elliott Dishes on His Art 07to just start over if you don’t like where a composition is going,” acknowledges Elliott, who was a founding member and drummer for the iconic rock band Foreigner from 1977 to 1993, “there are no second chances if you make a mistake turning wood. Since I’m uncovering what lies beneath the surface, if I go too deep, I can’t put back what I’ve just removed.”

As a consequence, Elliott is required to work slowly and deliberately, one cut at a time. His Dennis Elliot 11-15-13 Wall Sculpture on Big Leaf Maple Burlprocess demands both physical and mental stamina. Nodding toward a mirrored wall sculpture with intricate hand tooling, Elliott tosses his head back and allows himself to enjoy a self-deprecating belly laugh. “After I completed the first 2-inch square section of that, I took a step back and said to myself, ‘What did you get yourself Dennis Elliott Sculpture 01 2014Ainto, Dennis?’” And because many of his wall pieces are more than five feet across, the maple is heavy and requires the use of large, heavy lathes and special hydraulic lifts. On top of that, his workshop is not air-conditioned, so the work exacts a heavy physical toll during the summer months, when the latent temperature and high At Naples International 2humidity can sap him of energy in just a few scant hours, even when he starts before the sun has climbed very high in the Southwest Florida sky.

Not surprisingly, Elliott’s wall hangings, vessels and Gemini Series interactive sculptures are held by such prestigious institutions as the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, Yale University Art Museum in New Haven, Connecticut, the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts in Racine, Wisconsin, the University of Michigan Museum in Ann Arbor, and The American Decorative Arts & Dennis Elliott 02Sculpture Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, as well as major corporate collections including General Electric and Texas State Bank.

There will be an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Sweet Art present ‘You Drive Me to Abstraction’ group show (01-31-15)

next up at sweetOn Wednesday, February 4, the Sweet Art Gallery in the Naples Art District is presenting You Drive Me to Abstraction, a group show featuring work by four of the gallery’s artists, Shirley Blake, Gisela Miller, Sam Roth and Nancy Seibert.

Shirley Blake began painting in the early 80’s, has grown in her skills via studying with local, Blakeregional, and national workshop teachers and has taught others since 1987. She works both realistically as well as abstractly in watercolor, mixed media, acrylic, and collage.  Her painting style conveys to the viewer her concept via the selective use of design elements, color, and composition.

Born in Hanover, Germany, Gisela Miller has taught at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and studied Gisela 1at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, both in Washington, D.C. She is represented by galleries in Washington, D.C., Naples and Nantucket and her work is in private and corporate collections in the U.S., Germany, Spain, and Italy. “As an artist, I have to trust the process. There is no other way to create,” states Gisela. “Creativity is an ecology in which all of the senses enrich one another – listening to music, being aware of different Gisela 2movement patterns and their vibrations directly affects rhythm, movement, and brushstrokes in a painting. I paint with my whole body, always standing in front of the canvas, moving back and forth to view each new application of paint: it is almost a dance.”

With a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and a Master’s Degree from Cleveland State University, Sam Roth started his career as an educator and later began working in the art and Roth 1design industry. Working in his studio, daily, the focus of his paintings are best represented as atmospheric, abstract expressionism.  The paintings have evolved from the influence of his spiritual studies and personal inner journey.  The work has been described as poetic and mysterious, and his subtle rich colors and elegant gestures leave it to the viewer’s imagination for interpretation, giving freedom to the abstract thought. Sam and his work were featured in 2009 on Public Television. He is Roth 2represented in Cleveland by the Bonfoey Gallery & Art Source, TRA Art Group in Detroit, Addington Gallery in Chicago, Hal Katzen Gallery in New York City and Sweet Gallery in Naples, Florida. His most recent solo exhibition was in the Humphrey Gallery at University Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

Nancy Seibert works in oils, pastels and acrylics, Seibert 2on paper, canvas and wood. Her philosophy of art has evolved synergistically though both paint and the energy created through her brush marks. Nature is her inspiration and all images created by her stem from Ohio’s woodlands, lakes and meadows and Florida’s sea, sky and inland lakes. Nancy began her art studies in Washington in 1956. She lived in Japan from 1961 to 1963, where she taught art and gained valuable experience in Japanese calligraphy. It was during this learning experience that she began to sense a feeling for space and mark-making in her artwork.

There will be an opening reception from 5-8 p.m.  The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Painter Stephen Mancini employs new medium in quest to capture electronic age color (01-30-15)

Mancini 03SOn view now at Sweet Art Gallery is One Man/One Woman. The two-artist show features work by contemporary realist Stephen Mancini and Impressionist Joyce Norwood.

In his new compositions, Mancini continues to explore and experiment with color and translucency. “Color is by its nature opaque and therefore two-dimensional,” Mancini observed a year ago. For more than 30 years, Mancini has been triangulating color to achieve a more natural, On Exhibit 01transparent, translucent, three-dimensional result. But recently, he began adding resin as both an overlay and underlayment to the translucent layers of oil and acrylics that he has always applied as media in his paintings.

“It’s not an oil. It’s not an acrylic. It’s the only medium that allows the depth and nuance that I’m trying to achieve in my newer works,” Mancini said amid the boisterous enthusiasm that surrounded him at the opening night reception at Sweet Art. Part of the fun for Mancini is that even he doesn’t know and cannot predict the exact color he will get when he mixes the resin and Unnamedpours it out on his canvas. That builds in an element of randomness that enhances the metaphorical content of his works.

Mancini’s experiments with resin recognize that a new medium is necessary in order to artists to capture the electronically-generated colors which did not exist in the days of van Eyck, Bellini, Rembrandt or even van Gogh and Picasso. “You simply cannot get reds like the color of your taillights with oil or acrylic,” Mancini maintains. “You need a new medium, and that new medium has brought me into contact with the resin manufacturers and their chemists.” But since there is no art The Secret to Being Shymarket for resin at the moment, they aren’t willing to allocate a lot of time, manpower or other resources to Mancini’s questions and applications, so he has been left to his own devices to figure out how to infuse pigment into the resin mix without suspended particles or flakes.

“One of the challenges in working with resin is that there is a very narrow window of just 5-7 minutes (depending on the temperature) before it dries out too much to apply.” Plus, Mancini cannot use the usual tools of his trade such as brushes and palette The Artist 04knives. “It goes on with sticks and squirt bottles – and that’s part of the trial and error associated with the process,” Mancini notes.

Pointing to a recent composition titled Symphony, Mancini points out how in some areas of the canvas he applied a thin layer of resin, a top coat of translucent oil or acrylic and then another coat of resin on top of that. “It’s an unforgiving medium,” he remarks as he runs the pads of his fingertips over the surface of the painting. “You simply can’t Symphony Sknow what it’s going to do or the actual color you’re going to get. All you can do is make an educated guess. Even if I apply a layer that is clear, what happens to yellows is different from what happens to white or red or blue. It’s just not predictable.”

But Mancini rarely applies clear coats to his Symphony Resin Detail 02composition. In the vast majority of cases, he blends color into the resin before pouring the mixture on a surface that already has a color all its own. “That influences the final color that the eye perceives,” Mancini continues. “But if I can control the amount of refraction, reflection and reflectivity, it will make the light appear as if it is coming through the paint rather than light simply Symphony Resin Detail 01illuminating the surface. That’s what makes the struggle worth the risk [of ruining the underpainting]. The effect [of the resin] on color could end up being better than stained glass.”

Mancini has been experimenting with resin for a few years, but has only recently felt that the results merit exhibiting in public.

Symphony Texture DetailAnother new feature in several of his works is the addition of sculptural, three-dimensional fabric to his support. “Texture has long been an important part of my composition, but not in the sense of abstract art, where it is used for its own sake,” Mancini says, drawing attention to the lower left portion of Symphony. “What I’m doing with Muse 8 Stexture is playing with the process in a way that brings art and craft together in furtherance of the overall theme expressed by the painting.”

In this case, Mancini’s composition is about a symphony. But rather than merely incorporate musical instruments, musicians and dancers in the artwork as a pop artist might do, for example, Mancini is aiming for a more metaphorical Kids 12 Sexpression. Toward that end, he has employed a glorious section of gently rolling canvas to symbolize the way that symphonic music can permeate the air with ripples of tone and treble before exploding into crescendos of sound and base. But Mancini wryly admits that his metaphor in Symphony is far from perfect since he felt compelled to depict a number of representational images as well as more metaphorical content. “But On Exhibit 02at least I avoided the temptation to use tin-pan-alley, clichéd images like clefts and musical notes,” he chuckles.

One Man/One Woman is definitely worth seeing, but you will need to hurry because the show’s over on February 2. The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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Norwood children at the beach evoke memories of carefree days of play and innocence (01-28-15)

Waiting for the WaveOn view now at Sweet Art Gallery is One Man/One Woman, a two-artist show featuring work by contemporary realist Stephen Mancini and Impressionist Joyce Norwood.

As an Impressionist, Norwood is preoccupied with color. “Drawing combined with painting in oils allows me to produce harmonious color combinations that appeal to the senses,” explained the artist at least Friday’s opening, surrounded by some of the children she has recently painted at local beaches. Her subjects include her daughter, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and the daughter of a Czechoslovakian friend with whom she plays tennis. “Anyone who crosses my path is pretty much fair game,” Norwood quips.

Children's Figures 02Once her muse is on board, Norwood dresses her for a photo shoot at the beach. “I keep a collection of dresses, beach hats, balloons and shovels and pails,” Joyce explains. Since children aren’t inclined to hold a pose long enough for her to complete a work en plein air, Norwood brings along a point-and-shoot digital camera and begins snapping away. “The sun and the lighting have to be right. The composition has to be right. The pose has to be natural.” Depending on the model, the day and the lighting, she may take anywhere from 150 to 250 images, which she then winnows down to a handful that she considers to be especially paintworthy. “On average, 15-20 percent of the photographs I take during a shoot connect with me. Obviously, I often render multiple paintings of the same model.”

At the Opening 02Norwood does most of the photo shoots for her children on the beach series in late afternoon, when the Florida sunlight casts long shadows on the girls, the sand and the gently lapping Gulf waves. “Backlighting, rim lighting, the golden rays of sunlight playing off my subject’s hair, neck and shoulders appeals to me a lot,” states the artist with appropriately muted enthusiasm.

She presents her subjects either in profile or with their backs to the viewer to facilitate their connection with the painting and engage their imaginations. “From the side or back, the child could be their child or grandchild. They can substitute into the painting anyone they want.” Of course, she makes an exception if she’s doing a commission for a collector.

The Artist 04SJoyce leaves no detail to chance. Toward that end, she’s spent copious amounts of time to observing children in motion, how sand gets wet and wave action, although she is quick to point out that she is not a landscape or seascape artist. “The waves and sand are merely backdrop. The subject is the child and the focus is how light and shadow affects color and composition.”

Thematically, the appeal of these paintings inheres in the way the evoke pleasurable memories of carefree days of play and innocence, when our toughest decision was whether to dig a moat around the castle we carved in the sand or raze the towers we just built and start all over again. Norwood’s loose, intimate Norwood Boats 01brushwork works to reinforce the innocent, playful aspect of the paintings in this series.

In addition to children at the beach, Norwood includes row boats on the water among her favorite motifs. “I paint the boats in Cape Cod. I generally get out before sunrise so that I’m there when the sun comes up,” Joyce explained, pointing to a composition hanging in Sweet Art’s welcoming foyer. “Early morning is kind of nice for this motif because morning light is a bit cooler.”

PoppiesTo indulge a somewhat more contemporary feel, Norwood also paints floral compositions. One of her more luminous florals is an arrangement of poppies in a blue-gray vase. “My daughter sent them to me, so I painted them,” she laughs, realizing that even floral arrangements that cross her path are fair game as motifs.

Joyce began her training at the New York Art Students League, studying with Robert Brackman and William Draper before furthering her studies at the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, The Artist 10where her eyes were opened to how “sunlight affects color.” She employs a radiant palette in her ongoing quest to interpret light, which includes luscious studies of the effects of backlighting and sidelighting. “I also use heavy texture to give surface interest and a more contemporary feel to my paintings.”

This is a very worthwhile exhibition, but if you want to see it, you will need to hurry because the show’s over on February 2.  The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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One Man/One Woman filled with delectable Impressionist oils and metaphorical realist resins (01-24-15)

On Exhibit 02Sweet Art Gallery’s One Man/One Woman opened with a well-attended reception last night in the Naples Art District. The two-artist show features work by contemporary realist Stephen Mancini and Impressionist Joyce Norwood.

In his new compositions, Mancini continues to explore and experiment with color and translucency. “Color is by its nature opaque and therefore two-dimensional,” Mancini observed a On Exhibit 01year ago. For more than 30 years, Mancini has been triangulating color to achieve a more natural, transparent, translucent, three-dimensional result. But recently, he began adding resin as both an overlay and underlayment to translucent layers of oil and acrylics that he has always applied as media in his paintings. “It’s not an oil. It’s not an acrylic. It’s the only medium that allows the depth and nuance that I’m trying to achieve in my newer works,” Mancini said amid the boisterous enthusiasm that surrounded him last night. Part of the fun for Mancini is that even he doesn’t know and cannot At the Opening 01predict the exact color he will get when he mixes the resin and pours it out on his canvas. That builds in an element of randomness that enhances the metaphorical content of his works.

As an Impressionist, Norwood is also preoccupied with color. “Drawing combined with painting in oils allows me to produce harmonious color combinations that appeal to the senses,” explained the artist last night, surrounded by some of the children she has recently painted at local beaches. Joyce began her training at the New York Art The Artist 09SStudents League, studying with Robert Brackman and William Draper before furthering her studies at the Cape Cod School of Art in Provincetown, where her eyes were opened to how “sunlight affects color.” She employs a radiant palette in her ongoing quest to interpret light, which includes luscious studies of the effects of backlighting and sidelighting. “I also use heavy texture to give surface interest and a more contemporary feel to my paintings,” Joyce told one guest, gesturing to show how she employs palette knives in addition to brushes in order to get that result.

This is a very worthwhile exhibition, but if you want to see it, you will need to hurry because the show’s over on February 2.  The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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‘One Man/One Woman’ opens at North Naples’ Sweet Art on Friday, January 23 (01-22-15)

Sweet Art ShowNorth Naples’ Sweet Art Gallery is presenting One Man/One Woman. The two-artist show features work by contemporary realist Stephen Mancini and Impressionist Joyce Norwood.

Mancini’s paintings make an important statement about the nature of human consciousness. Just as the Impressionists taught the world to rethink how Mancine and Sweetthe eye processes color, Mancini’s multi-layered compositions explore the method by which our brains simultaneously process concurrent streams of data and information. When we’re in a crowded room talking to someone, we are peripherally aware of the people, movement, colors, fragmented bits of conversation, laughter, music and other sounds that envelop us no matter how hard we try to focus on the person with whom we are speaking. “To leave out the opportunity to talk Baby Grandabout all the things going on around us does not fulfill the promise of the painting or the reality of what’s happening all around us,” Mancini asserts, expressing a profoundly humanist point of view.

Mancini’s Baby Grande is a case in point. In this semi-autobiographical piece, Mancini uses the eponymous Billy Joel/Ray Charles song to Mancini Discussing his Art 01exquisitely transform a Steinway into the love of a woman. But that love is not depicted at a single moment in time. Rather, by providing glimpses of his muse’s delicately-long fingers, outstretched hand, crouched and full figure and mysterious portraiture, Mancini gives the viewer an ephemeral sense of the total woman in contrast to the solid presentation of the piano and its keys. Everything going on in the room is gloriously on display, and it is left to the viewer to assess and sort out all the information, which is just what our Viewing Urn 1neurocomputers do every waking second of every single day.

In this effort, Mancini is not bound by the laws of physics. Instead, he employs evocatively-applied layers of translucent paint to magically portray his subjects at various points along the time-space continuum. By engrafting looser, more abstract elements over accurately painted details, he is able to express multi-faceted thoughts and feelings about nature and the human condition in a complex way few other artists have dared to attempt. And to underscore his message on a subliminal plane, the artist elicits color in a novel and unexpected way.

Mancini Discusses His Art Some More“Color is by its nature opaque and therefore two-dimensional,” Mancini observes. For more than 30 years, Mancini has been triangulating color to achieve a more natural, transparent, translucent, three-dimensional result. True, Mancini’s paintings break a lot of artistic rules, but that, after all, is what artists from van Eyck to van Gogh have been doing for centuries – forcing viewers and artists to look at the world in new and unconventional ways. And that’s why viewers cannot just glance at one of Mancini’s mixed media works and move on. His multi-layered, multi-dimensional approach to paint, color, composition and theme demand that viewers stop, sit awhile and reassess that which they thought they knew.

One Man/One Woman opens with a 6-8 p.m. reception on Friday, January 23 and runs through February 2. The Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2054 Trade Center Way in North Naples, Florida. For gallery hours and more information, please call 239-597-2110 or visit www.thesweetartgallery.com.

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