Artist of the Month: Maria Augelli Grudeski

Dr. Maria Augelli Grudeski, shown here with a painting entitled Holiday Door, which leaves a legacy timeline.

By Maria Augelli Grudeski

Most of us “featured artists” now are on our second profile here at The Hub. Kudos to Dolly Michalczyk for making this happen, as her organizational skills and goodwill are responsible for this monthly feature in The Dunmorean.

My array of paintings in the photo are centered around holidays, including a fall pumpkin, Christmas tree, Easter egg, a flag representing patriotic days, my featured painting of a Holiday door, and Valentine hearts which represent my favorite holiday.

In the fall of 2014 I realized a beautifully ornate Christmas card and went with it as my holiday painting. What a dream! Fast forward to spring of 2015–I will still painting “the door.”

Jill Swersie, our supportive art instructor, motivated me to complete the door. Her famous saying is “There are no mistakes in art–you can paint over oils.” Her words still resonate with me.

Summer 2015 saw the final completion of the painting, although sometimes I still wonder. How about painting snow in 95 degree weather? The painting would be ready for our Fall Art Show that year, one of many social gatherings we have as an art class. They are so much fun. We are “Astro Artists.”

Together, we celebrate Christmas/December holidays with superb entertainment, since we are talented musicians and vocalists as well. Jill is also kind enough to open her inviting Pocono home, letting us gather at her domain for our annual barbeque. We are also “Astro Chefs.”

Some of our paintings are available for purchase by contacting the Dunmore Activity Hub directed by Allison Boga. The price is right to buy one of our paintings! We also thank Allison for her dedication!

My classmate and friend Marie Barbuti has been a support in my artistry, giving so many helpful art tips.

Attending oil painting classes at the Hub has many dimensions. We have realized great friendships and social circles. The hub offers myriad activities year-round, including winter walking in the gym, yoga, knitting, sketching, ballroom dancing, and bus trips.

So I say, :Stop by, audit a class or two, and maybe you will join us. You will be so glad you did.

Artist of the Month: Mary K. White

Artist Mary White

Mary K. White is shown with her painting Fox vs Hawk, which evolved from a simple picture of a fox into something more complex.

By Mary K. White

You never know when something will touch you and inspire you to put it on canvas.  The Fox vs Hawk started out very differently. It was going to be a simple picture of a fox, but I found myself thinking of a family member who was fighting a severe illness and had a ferocious determination to never give up, to get well, and recover completely.  

As I thought more and more about this person, a simple painting of a fox turned into a battle between a fox and a hawk.

I started coming to the Activity Hub about 10 years ago to take an oil painting class.  It was a wonderful class taught by Jill Swersie.   

Jill started everyone with the basics.  She suggested brushes that are best for oils, but inexpensive. She recommended several oil colors I would need for a basic oil pallet and she told me to start with a canvas no smaller than 16 x 20 inches. 

Everyone in her class is working on their own painting, so Jill during a class sits with each student helping them and recommending ways the painting can be improved.

The  Dunmore Activity Hub offers more than art classes.  Alison Boga, the director, has scheduled classes that members have requested and enjoy.  I have taken  knitting classes (taught by Bonnie Strohl), meditation classes, and Tai Chi, among others.  While the center is closed during this pandemic, Alison has scheduled many online classes through Zoom, which I have also participated in. At the Dunmore Hub, there is a little something for everyone.

Artist of the Month: Beverly Petrini

2020 5 Bev Petrini Pix

Beverly Petrini shows three of her still life paintings, as well as two portraits.

By Beverly Petrini

I have been a member of Jill Swerzie’s painting class at the Dunmore Community Center for the past five years. Jill is a skilled artist who brings not only her talents to our group, but positive reinforcement, friendship, and endless patience. 

The paintings I am showcasing here reflect a few pieces of work I’ve completed in the past two years.  I have been attempting to paint subjects that I’ve been drawn to and that stretch my skills. 

Sometimes I’m drawn to a painting for the challenge, the perspective, or simply a color palette that peaks my interest. I am very proud of the three still life paintings showcased today. The two female paintings reflect my love of the arts and spirituality. I’ve also painted works for two of my seven grandchildren, as well as, for my four great grandchildren.

Being a member of this class has been a wonderful experience and I have gained so many new friends along the way. Everyone is working at different levels of experience, with different media such as: oil, acrylic, and watercolor. My fellow artists are quick to offer help if someone asks for assistance or simply needs a missing color of media. Only positive reinforcement exists within our group. Everyone appreciates the fellowship we share on our individual artistic journeys. 

Once again, I have to thank my fellow artist and dear friend Dolly Michalczyk for asking me, “Bev, why don’t you come to art class with me, it will be fun?” I’m so happy I accepted the challenge.