In the past decade, the word “Travel” ignited the imagery of beautiful beaches, exotic forests, and the City of Lights, Paris. With the world at a standstill due to COVID-19, the new norm is “boredom.” Any form of travel for me is freedom. From a hike on Cumberland island to a four day trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina was what I lived for in my free time. Now, for the sake of preventing the spread of the deadly virus, I have had to dive deep into my favorite past time hobby, watercolor painting. With so much time on my hands, I could do more than just paint for a hobby. I can find a way to let it benefit me financially.
I recently went to the Riverside Arts Market in my home city, Jacksonville. I bought two pieces of watercolor art from a painter and fashion designer named Teresa Cook. Her work was original and fun to me. I envied her technique and the confidence she has in her work. It didn’t hit me until I got home that I might have the talent to make a little money on it myself. I only use to paint when I became too stressed out or my bad days with depression would take hold of me. I never wanted my hobby to become work, and it would take away the therapy I received from it.
Until I can get myself together with how I will come to make watercolor art financially beneficial for me, I will enjoy my thoughtless doodles and splashes of imaginary wonders on paper. I can’t wait for the moment when we could all get back to traveling and appreciating this gorgeous Earth.
Check out Teresa Cook’s instagram page, @teresacookartanddesigns.
Every month, the Downtown Jacksonville Public Library changes up their exhibitions on local art. This month brought awareness of poverty. Local artists of Jacksonville have the opportunity to display their vision of homelessness and people living in poverty through their artwork. The best part about this particular display is that one it gives attention and recognition to artists who are trying to make a name for themselves. Two, it educates visitors on the issues over poverty that is heavy in our city.
The cardboard info art was a nice touch to the collection because it gave facts to homelessness that is evident not only in our city but in other cities just as significant as Jacksonville. The facts touch upon LGBT teens, Veterans, and ordinary citizens who are driven into homelessness.
Keith Doles’ paintings were my favorite because of the realism. I don’t know much about artwork and I couldn’t write a art piece critique even if I tried, but his work is astounding. He paintings reflect the livelihood of living in Jacksonville whether good or bad. He is one artist we should definitely look into. Check out his portfolio on his personal website.
I recall a project that was starting at Jacksonville’s downtown library project with little squares given to children to decorate and design. At first, I thought it was just another little fun thing the library does to involve children more into the world of art. It wasn’t until I walked into the entrance door and looked up at this masterpiece.
The Squares of Imagination project had evolved into something more than a summer camp project. It was now the centerpiece of the four-story building. Each square tells its own story with its own unique design. The artist could use any medium necessary to make their message clear. Because the boxes scaled several feet up the wall, I was unable to capture some excellent ones that were also high up. Being 5’4″ will do that to you. Ha. Ha.
The squares are decorative and beautiful. It’s amazing what lives in the mind, isn’t it?
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.
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?
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.
Tonight was a shining night for the small city of Fernandina, Amelia Island area. Tonight downtown hosted their Art Walk where museums and artist homes opened their doors to the public and allowed us into their work and their world. The styles ranged everywhere from impressions to abstract to wood work to glass and mixed media paintings. As you went around, you got to meet the actual artist and even drank wine with cookies. How sweet is that?
I visited large office home building and two actual art museums. The work was fantastic. Each piece stealing pieces of your soul and replacing it with curiosity and wonder. By the time you’re done viewing the pieces, you’re ready to head to JoAnn and pick up your own painting set. Granted some of the prices on the work seem a bit much especially on simple landscape paintings. Who hasn’t painted a picture of a beach before? But you have to give them a thumbs up for their artistry and originality.
After a browse through the world of art, citizens departed into the nightlife of Fernandina which consisted of late night conversations over fancy dining and romantic (or drunken) strolls down main street past all the old time buildings and shops.