Artist of the Month: Beverly Petrini

Artist of MonthBy Beverly A. Petrini

I started painting at the Dunmore Activity Hub in March of 2015. My family gave me art supplies for Christmas of 2014 and shortly after, Dolly Michalczyk invited me to join her in the oil painting class at the Hub. I was hesitant because I am not a skilled sketcher and I doubted my ability to draw or paint anything “free hand.”

Now, after two years, I jokingly say,  “ I may not be able to draw, but I can sure move the paint around the canvas to create my art.”

Painting at the Hub has been a wonderful experience for me and I have met some truly gifted artists who, I believe, “have left their egos at the door.” Jill Swersie, our talented instructor, has eternal patience and gives individual instruction each class. Everyone is friendly, eager to help or offer suggestions. Oil painting is a forgiving media and many times we artists repaint and repaint until the finished composition pleases the eye and the soul.

The process of choosing a composition for painting has been somewhat easy for me because I paint what speaks to me. I am drawn to vivid color and I love the contrasts in some compositions, for example, the Magnolia on Red Velvet (my favorite to date). The soft shadows of the flowers petals and the deep red of the velvet are what drew me to want to paint this piece.

Of my other featured paintings, Oliver was painted for my grandson; The Antique Door satisfied my love for old doors, and Red Gladiola reminded me of my childhood flower garden.

The Dunmore Activity Hub is a wonderful resource for the community and the diversity of the activities speak to the social, emotional, artistic, physical, and nutritional needs of those who choose to become involved. I can see myself continuing to hone my skills from year to year alongside the many friends I have made at the Hub.

Thank you, Dolly, for introducing me to this artistic journey and my fellow travelers.

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Artist of the Month: Jean Mountford

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Jean Mountford is shown with her featured painting entitled “Punta Cana.” It is inspired by a photo of macaws she took when she was in the Dominican Republic for her niece’s wedding.

Jean Mountford of Scranton has been selected as Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Jean started painting decades ago in acrylics, garden painting, and then tole painting. She eventually progressed to landscapes. “I’ve been working with oil for just over six years,” she says. “I love the depth and richness you can attain with oil paint.

Jean has been painting with the class at the Dunmore Activity Hub since late 2010 when she started going to the art class with her sister, who is Jan Lauer, April’s Artist of the Month.

She finds her inspiration from photos, plus a huge assortment of pictures in the instructor’s storage library.

“Sometimes I drive by a scene and try to recreate it,” she explains. “Or I see a picture in a calendar or online and get inspired to put my touch on it.”

Her featured painting, entitled “Punta Cana,” was inspired by a photo of macaws Jean took when she was in the Dominican Republican for her niece’s wedding.

“I simplified the background a bit to highlight the macaws, who posed so beautifully on a wooden railing,” she says.

As for the painting class, Jean points out, “We have so much talent in the class. It’s great to get the support and inspiration from the other members. And, of course, Jill Swersie, our instructor, is a true talent and so helpful with her ideas and support.”

Jean also mentions, “The new director is great and very welcoming. There’s a lot of room for us to spread our wings.

“The music during class makes it relaxing, and I truly believe the art class is very therapeutic.”

The center occasionally hosts an art show, allowing artists to display and possibly sell their paintings. Many other programs are available at the center, including ballroom dancing and tai chi, which were presented at the art show held last October.

 

Artist of the Month: Jan Lauer

Artist of Month - Jan Lauer

The Artist of the Month for for April is Jan Lauer, shown with some of her works. The featured painting, titled “Hello Kitty,” was inspired by a cat wandering into a yard. Jan added the tulips to honor her mother-in-law.

Jan Lauer of Scranton, the April Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub, has been painting with the group since September of 2010. Jan notes that she did some watercolor painting in high school, and then had a long dormant period.

Sometime in the 1990s, her sister got Jan interested in painting with acrylics and doing craft shows. Her first work with oil paints began when she joined the painting class at the Dunmore Community Center.

Her featured painting, entitled “Hello Kitty,” is based on a picture that was taken years ago, when Jan’s daughter was excited to see a neighbor’s cat in her grandmother’s yard.

“She loved the cat, and it seemed that the feeling was mutual,” remembers Jan. “I added tulips in the background in memory of my mother-in-law, who always grew tulips.”

Most Jan gets her ideas from photographs she has taken, or from magazines and greeting cards.

“I like to mix it up and try different subjects,” she explains.

“I find it inspirational to see and discuss the work of the talented people in our class,” she continues. “Everyone is encouraging and willing to share. It’s a warm, supportive group, guided by our wonderful instructor, Jill Swersie.”

Mrs. Lauer finds the Dunmore center a comfortable facility, with lots of space to spread out and a lot of windows.

“We play music while we work, which creates a nice atmosphere,” she confides. “The director of welcoming and enthusiastic. She expanded our last art show into a larger event which showcased not just our art work, but the other programs available at the center. It was great!”

 

Art for Artists Gallery Features Work of DHS Graduate

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Loren Sykes of Dunmore, a fine arts major at Keystone College, will exhibit works as part of her capstone project at the AFA Gallery on April 7th. (Photo Credit: Lori Ryan Photography)

The Art for Artists (AFA) Gallery of Scranton will be presenting the work of Dunmore High School graduate Loren Sykes and her fellow peers of Keystone College in their senior exhibit Coalescence. This exhibit will be open on Friday, April 7 from 6-9pm and runs through till April 28. The show is free and open to the public.

Ms. Sykes’s body of work consists of four large formatted oil paintings that play on the relationship of light and color. The idea behind the work is derived from light bulbs that Miss Sykes had painted previously. With the help of modern technology, using an application on her IPad, she then deconstructs the simple object and transforms it into a more abstract entity with the use of light and color.

Ms. Sykes and the other artists will be giving presentations on their work on April 8 at the Art for Artists(AFA) Gallery. This is also free and all are welcome.

For further information and gallery hours, call (570)-969-1040 and/or visit 514 Lackawanna Ave Scranton, PA 18503.