Artist of the Month: Marilyn Hope

Artist Marilyn Hope

Marilyn Hope is shown with two of her favorite paintings of a boat and a cat.

Marilyn Hope of Clarks Summit is the March Artist of the Month at the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Mrs. Hope, who started coming to the art class approximately seven years ago, explains that she was looking for a hobby and saw an article about the class in the newspaper.

“I thought I would try painting, although I had no previous experience,” she recalls.

Mrs. Hope gets her ideas mostly from pictures and searching magazines. Her two featured pieces this month include a cat painting, which reminds her of her cat who passed away a few years ago.

“My cat was huge and this picture resembles him quite a bit,” she says.

Her boat painting was inspired by her favorite place to visit in Portugal.

“That is Nazare, which is a fishing village, and in the summer, a tourist attraction,” she explains. “My late husband and I always visited in the off-season when there were not many people there. I wish I could have captured the view from the mountain above looking down–it was spectacular!”

Marilyn enjoys coming to art class each week. “Our instructor, Jill Swierse, always demonstrates new ideas in these classes, and shows us how to obtain our goals. I’ve also made new friends, which has made the class very enjoyable.

The artist reveals that the center is a nice place to visit every week. “There are many activities that can be explored and the staff is very helpful,” she notes. “And Allison, the director, is one of the center’s assets!”


Artist of the Month: Rosemarie Quinn

Artist of the Month - Rosemarie Quinn

Rosemarie Quinn of Scranton has been named Artist of the Month for February at the Dunmore Activity Hub.

Ms. Quinn began painting six or seven years ago with the class at the Hub. Her featured painting is Princess Angelina–Daughter of Chief Seattle.

She was inspired to paint the picture after reading about Indians in the Southwest.

She has been inspired in general by her mother, who was a wonderful painter. Rosemarie finds ideas for her paintings “everywhere.”

Regarding the painting class, she says, “I love the class. Everyone helps everyone and the atmosphere is wonderful. Jill Swersie is a wonderful teacher. She never criticises, she only helps us.”

As far as the Dunmore center itself, Rosemarie finds it, “Very warm and welcoming. Alison Boga, the director, is so friendly and a very welcome addition.”


Quinn is shown above, holding a painting of old shoes. At bottom left is her featured painting, Princess Angeline–Daughter of Chief Seattle, inspired by her reading about Indians in the Southwest.

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.



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.