Having been born and raised on Long Island, New York a great deal of my leisure time was spent on water. This has greatly influenced my work - trying to capture its ever changing moods and inherent beauty, be it of a storm tossed ship, the human form, or an image of sea life.
I have enjoyed a successful career spanning over thirty years as a graphic artist following my formal education at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. My early adult years included spending time in the the U.S. Army Special Forces while stationed in Vietnam. I have been awarded a number of medals including the National Defense Service Metal, Combat Infantry Badge, Defense Service Metal, and Purple Heart to name those which are the most meaningful for me.
Influenced by Impressionists like Monet and Ce’zanne, Richard started painting water scenes in high school. His father, Richard Sr. already an accomplished artist, encouraged and taught him the finer points of perspective and color theory. After graduating with a 60 hour major/minor in Fine Art from Western Michigan University, Richard embarked on a 36 year career in sales and marketing. During this time, including several business start ups, art played a role in things like ad campaigns and marketing stratetegies.
After retiring in 2005, Richard picked up the brush again and joined the Sebastian River Art Club. Still active in the club, Richard has served as chair of Art in Public Places, Vice President, and President of the club. Talking about his motivation the artist says, “The interplay of light and reflection on the water remains fascinating to me. 30 years of living in the Florida Keys and traveling through the Caribbean has given me a huge store of visual memories, and I enjoy putting them down on canvas.” For the last few years Richard has been displaying and selling his “Kinetic Sculptures” as well as his paintings at venues like Art By The Sea, and Art on the Island in Vero Beach, and the Cultural Alliance in Brevard County. And finally, Richard published his first book, God’s Bar & Grill, in January of 2018.
Married and raised three boys on 100 acre farm in rural Wisconsin. Restored a log house built in 1851 – my painting in those days was on walls and furniture – I started a cottage industry business by accident designing and sewing ladies quilted and appliqued jackets – the word spread and I ended up spending 15 years as Ellen Miklas.
After retiring in 1994 I moved to the Florida Keys for a life style change. I remarried and we moved up to Rockledge. I was bored and decided to take a water color painting class in Cocoa Village. I was hooked! I loved the flow of the medium. I’m a member of both the Barefoot Bay Art Guild and the Sebastian River Art Club. I have recently branched off into acrylic painting. The Sebastian River Art Club has monthly shows in Riverside Park which I participate in. Love to hear the comments and get feed back from the public. My aim is to add some color and joy in the “eye of the beholder”.
Art has intrigued me since I was young. I have spent long periods of my life creating watercolors, drawings, batiks, oils, stained glass, and clay and bronze sculpture and I enjoy them all. But, once I laid my first pastel stick to paper, I knew that I have discovered my true creative spirit. The fresh spontaneous color on paper, applied with what, at first, seems to be a careless stroke made with rainbow-dusted fingers, always kept me coming back. One stroke follows another with no drying time or palette work; nothing to interrupt the creative process. It is seamless and it suits me.
My experiences define my creative expression. I have taken advantage of opportunities throughout my life to see and do what I can. I have had the good fortune to be able to travel internationally and am happy when I can take part and understand other cultures. Each of these experiences have given me a new perspective and a new emotion to pursue through my art.
I like each painting to define its own style. The emotion, the experience, or the subject itself demands a different approach. I would be happy if each of my works were recognized individually, my signature alone.
Growing up in South Florida, I learned to appreciate all the natural beauty Florida has to offer. I have been interested in art since childhood occasionally taking classes in acrylic painting, drawing and mixed-medium. I followed a path of nursing as an occupation caring for all ages in various fields of nursing. My art allows me to balance the stresses of the nursing field with the energy and wonders found in nature.
Fortunately, my wife shares my adventurous spirit and passion for the beauty of nature, this led us to travel nursing. This job experience allowed me to explore diverse cultures and art forms. These encounters would expand my artistic vision. Also, we were fortunate to travel internationally. These travels exposed me to different environments, climates and wildlife which would influence my art.
As a certified diver, I have been face-to-face with manatees, sea turtles, manta rays, and spectacular creatures of the sea represented in my art. These experiences provide much of my inspiration.
I continue to challenge my skills and creativity with new mediums, always seeking to reflect the splendor of the natural environment.
I create art for my own self expression. Just as the beauty of Haiku poetry is in the essence of personal interpretation, my art is open to your interpretation. I paint an eclectic range of subject matter in a colorful painterly/expressionistic style. Some pieces are paint on canvas and others are on watercolor paper overlaid with Japanese rice paper to make a fine art collage.
My lifelong pursuit of painting deepened when I retired from a career of teaching high school science. I am a water media artist painting an eclectic range of subjects. My genre is abstract/impressionism and my work includes mixed media collages using rice papers over my watercolor art. Prior to becoming a permanent resident of Vero Beach my art work was exhibited in the Glen Lake Community Gallery, Glen Arbor, Michigan and the Bella Galleria, Old Mission Peninsula, Traverse City, Michigan. In Vero Beach I have shown at the Emerson Center, Main Street Vero Beach Gallery and Gallery14.
I have participated in Daily Painters, a Plein Air painting group and two weekly open studios. My works are in private collections and all works are one of a kind original art pieces. I served on the board of the Vero Beach Art Club as Vice President (2010-2012) and as President (2012-2014).
I have been an Artist my entire life, but I have had no formal training until recently. I knew I had so much to say and had no idea how to transfer my thoughts onto canvas. There was a time when I viewed photographic and detailed production as the epitome of artistry. Gratefully that is no longer the case. My New York upbringing is especially present in my cityscapes, and I've discovered how to communicate my ideas emotionally through textures, color choice and subject. I've yet to travel the world, however my paintings have created a world for me.
Sheila's earliest memory of painting was when she was two years old. Her dad had bought his first house in Danbury, CT. Sheila found some red paint, and set to work gleefully painting anything she could: the garage, the dog, the barn. She wondered why her dad did not share her enthusiasm.
In second grade of Catholic school, Sheila and her classmates were told to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up. While most of the students drew pictures of nuns and priests, Sheila drew a picture of a cartoonist for Mad Magazine. Her mother got a concerned call from The Mother Superior.
Still, she was not dissuaded. Her ebullient paintings reflect the influence of O'Keeffe's erotic rhythm and Pollack's spontaneity and application of layers.
Since moving to Florida, Sheila has been working closely with world renowned artist, Frits van Eeden. His influence has greatly impacted her work.
A Miami native, photographer Alex Melo, first discovered her passion for photography back in high school while using a Polaroid camera on anything that captured her eyes. Her fifteen plus years experience in photography and graphics has made her not only a photographer, but also an “electronic imaging artist” which is a combination of photography and creative graphic design. Today, she is a well known, as an award winning photographer, earning Multiple State, Regional and National Gold Medals. She has also received First Place for the Tampa Area Professional Photographers Association (TAPPA) 2011 Electronic Imaging Artist of the Year. Most of Ms. Melo’s images are registered as fine art prints in an international registry. The most awarded image, earning her national recognition with seventeen awards is the limited edition, photographical art piece, “Carousel of Dreams”. Ms. Melo believes in giving back to the community and supporting the arts. One of her passions is to help future photographers and designers of all ages to learn more about the photography field no matter where she is at. To Ms. Melo’s credit, she has taught photography, Photoshop, and graphic design to students who were unable to afford proper schooling all over the United States. Ms. Melo offers once a month an event that is called “Stike a Pose” in which she offers all types of subjects whom can’t afford professional portraits a complementary session and some edited images at no cost. When we asked why photography is so important to Ms. Melo she stated “I believe in capturing moments in life and turning them into ART that could last a lifetime.”
Faces have always interested me. As a child, I found faces in wood grain and in the clouds. I was enrolled in private art classes in seventh grade, worked on my art portfolio at the New York Art Student League. Following high school I graduated from the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts and Tuft’s University. I started my teaching career in New Jersey and then moved to Vero Beach in 1982 to teach art at Saint Edward’s School. Retirement four years ago has given me the luxury of time and space to explore my own work.
I have been lucky enough to have taken art workshops with several well known teachers such as Daniel Greene, Ellen Eagle, Margaret Dyer, and Albert Handell. It is such an inspiration to work with a good teacher in a community of artists. I have continued to take advantage of the open studios run by the Vero Beach Art Club and other private artists’ groups. So, as you look through the show, see if you can find the personality and character I’ve tried to express in each face or landscape.
World renowned and beloved artist Frits Van Eeden grew up on the beaches in Holland where solitude often was broken only by the horses that now gallop through his paintings. A prolific abstract painter and sculptor, Van Eeden was schooled in Amsterdam and invited to membership in the Pulchri Studio, home of the famous Hague School. He then received a stipendium from the Ministry of Culture to study the work of Henry Moore in England. Moore’s influence on Van Eeden is still evident in his work today. Frits is a well respected, internationally known artist with numerous single and group exhibitions throughout Europe, USA, and Asia. He was chosen for Artist in Residence at the Brevard Art Museum, now the Foosaner Museum, and became their major instructor for forty years. Although traditionally trained, Frits’ work is mostly intuitive, with a sophisticated perspective. He has always been driven, and is a reputed force for the museum and with students in his studio. A study in dichotomy, he is a humble soul yet a learned man. He is a compassionate, reserved gentleman, yet his brushstrokes are fearless and daring. His quiet presence is engulfed in saturated vibrant color, and his energy is contagious. Although his subject matter is often refined, his spirited interpretation explodes.