Artist of the Month: Bill Graziano

Artist of the Month - Bill GrazianoBill Graziano is the December Artist of the Month at Dunmore Senior Center. Graziano decided to tackle his “bucket list” after retiring 10 years ago.

“Since oil painting was far down on the list, I didn’t get to it until several years ago,” Bill explains. “Dolly Michalczyk suggested the Dunmore Senior Center, known as HUB, to me. She told me just to bring a canvas and some brushes.” At that time, the paints were supplied.

“To my surprise, Dolly was absent upon my initial visit,” Bill remembers. “Still, I found everyone to be most welcoming and friendly. I was also happy to find other men in the class.”

Bill says the instructor, Jill Swersie, is “the BEST!” He says she is helpful and encouraging.

“Jill often tells us that if you don’t put paint on the canvas, we can’t correct it.,” Bill says. More experienced fellow students often offer helpful suggestions as well.

Recalling his first attempt, a Tuscan scene, Bill says, “My nickname for it is ‘beginner’s luck,’ as it actually turned out pleasing to the eye. Others that followed were not as lucky, but each painting became an exercise in painting techniques for me.”

Graziano has tried different styles and subjects while seeking his comfort zone—landscapes, nostalgic scenes, romantic, modern, and even abstract. He enjoys them all, but favors landscapes.

“But as far as completing a picture, I don’t think an artist ever thinks he is finally done,” he confesses.

His class has participated in art shows, both at the center and in the local community at First Friday events. At shows, he not only exhibits, but offers paintings for sale.

Bill still considers himself “an art student,” and does not plan to sign any of his paintings until he feels he has graduated to “artist.” He looks forward to continued growth.

Graziano says the HUB is a great community center, offering many different programs and opportunities for fun and new friendships.

“We are very lucky to have such a new and beautiful facility right here in Dunmore,” he says.

 

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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.

Artist of the Month: Linda Norton

Artist of the MonthLinda Norton of Scott Township is the October Artist of the Month at Dunmore Activity Hub. Linda joined the center’s painting class six years ago, after being invited to an art show by her friend’s father, Leo Olivetti.

“I was inspired because the talent and scope of the show was amazing and I wanted to try it,” Linda explains. “I came and learned that you are always welcome, and there’s no pressure. I also attend a knitting class here that is so much fun.”

Her featured painting is entitled “Sheep.” Linda explains how it came about. “I found this adorable picture in a magazine and enlarged it from a 1-1/2 inch square to a 3×3 inch painting. It was the first animal painting I ever did, but not the last!”

Linda finds inspiration in many places — flowers in her garden, pets, scenes on the television, places where she has traveled. “All of this, and more, is my inspiration,” she says. “Once you start, you become more attuned to your surroundings, and appreciate the simple things like an acorn among the leaves or the sun casting shadows off a fence.

The artist gives lots of credit to the class instructor, Jill Swersie, saying, “Jill is talented and patient. She knows when to let you do your own thing, and when you might need a little help. What you get at the end is your idea, your vision — only better!”

Linda can’t say enough about the Dunmore Activity Hub. “This is more than a building that serves a hot meal and teaches a class. It’s a place where acquaintances become friends and friends become family.”

Artist of the Month: Jack Reilly

Artist of Month pic Reilly

John Reilly is shown with his featured painting entitled “Coal Train.”

Jack F. Reilly of Bangor, who is the September Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub, worked on the railroad for 42 years.

“After retiring in 2003, I needed to do something constructive,” Jack explains.  “My wife encouraged me to go to oil painting class with her.  Although I’ve never painted before, it seemed like a good idea that we could do something together. In the six years I have painted pictures of each of my children’s houses along with mine, and a few still lifes.”

Because there are only a few men in the class, Jack says that the ladies, along with their teacher, Jill Swersie, have given him the confidence to continue.

“The Dunmore Activity Hub has offered me the opportunity to make everlasting friendships that I hold dear in my heart,” he relates.

Jack’s very talented wife was featured as the July Dunmorean Artist of the Month, and their equally talented Dunmore relative, Maria Ragnacci was featured in August.  They, along with friends and family, can be seen sampling local restaurants after art class on Monday evenings.

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Upcoming:  Please plan to attend the Dunmore Activity HUB’s Community Arts Show, Oct 6 and 7. Show and activities will take place at 1414 Monroe Ave # B, Scranton, PA 18509.  For further information call: (570) 207-2662.

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