Ink Art Gallery

O how I miss art studios, art galleries, art museums, and monthly art walks. COVID-19 drove everyone indoors and our social society had to find other ways to enjoy the arts. With America slowly opening back up again, we can finally (and safely) return to the places we love, like, art galleries.

My insanity jumped out of the window after days of being indoors. My iPhone recorded me spending more time on Pinterest than any other social media app. I couldn’t help myself. All I wanted to do every single day was make something from scratch. I developed an interest in building Fairy Gardens, creating vintage postcards from scratch,  pastel coloring, and even making soap. Now I’m trying to take on mixed media art journaling. I’m BORED, sue me!

I snuck out of the house to Fernandina for a taste of outdoors and window shopping. It felt good to be a couple miles in one direction from Fernandina Beach and a couple of miles in the other direction from the Fernandina Marina. A lot of the stores (and restaurants) were closed, but the art studios were open. Thank God! I usually go to Art on Centre, they display some of the best local art. Expensive, but well worth the price. I make sure to bring my Nikon on days when I visit.

This time though ,I fell upon Ink Art Gallery. It is a small studio with a few local artists who create and sell their works right on the main street. Along with selling watercolor and oil paintings, the gallery also takes part in selling items created by other locals. For example, they sell soaps, clay jewelry, bracelets, stones, sage, photography prints, candles, and other things all made by other creatives in the area.

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My favorite part is the boho-themed atmosphere. The colorful carpets, wooden chairs, the hanging greenhouse plants, bean-bag chairs, and the magnificent floral-garland wall. Of course, it’s something you would definitely see on Pinterest. I don’t know how I missed that.

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I didn’t spend much time in the studio because I was running out of time to get a jump on beating traffic to get home. I can’t wait to revisit the gallery to take more photos of their beautiful workspace. Hopefully, COVID-19 will move on to another planet so that I can get back to immerse myself in the world of art once again.

Grace Bio, Living in History

The downtown library in Jacksonville, FL recently won Library of the Year for their extreme involvement in local art and culture. I haven’t been there in forever (because I hate downtown parking and one-way streets) so I thought it would be good to be in a new environment while I worked on my screenplays, travel blog, and photoshop projects. I could barely get through the main lobby before I whipped out my Nikon and started snapping.

The library presented a new collection of local artwork called, “Living in History.” Local artists created works that represented anything in history. Most of the work was fantastic, but one took me away. Grace Bio, a local painter whose work seems to stand above the rest with the smooth, bold colors splashed on the canvas creating an image symbolizing the beauty of American History.

My favorite of hers (hard to choose) was the “Offering,” piece. It was as if she painted the Native American woman straight from life. Every detail of the woman’s age, wisdom and grace are right on the canvas for all the world to see. Looking at the woman, it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite Disney films, Pocahontas.

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What I love most is her ability to draw you in not just because of her use of bright colors, but her ability to create an image of something that makes you curious about what other underlying messages she may have hidden in her work. For example, the painting, “Family Tree” would probably mean just that, a family tree, but what other message is hidden? Could it be a plea for African American families to get back to the days of strong family ties? Is it a message of stating that without family, we are lost?

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O, the possibilities!

Regardless of what is obvious or hidden, the fact remains, Grace Bio is talented. Her artwork is a reflection of her passion and her eye to see things in a different light.

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For more on her, check out her Facebook page.

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Grace Bio – Painter, Lightworker