Graziano is trying to continue his artwork at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work in progress is called “The Artist.”
By Bill Graziano
After the Dunmore Senior Center had to close due to the pandemic, I found it necessary to seek other diversions to fill my time. It made me realize how much I missed the comaraderie of my fellow painters in Jill Swersie’s art class.
Having been a member of her class for over three years, its members have become like an extended family to me.
To fill the downtime, I began to work on overdue chores, such as downsizing basement storage. Upon completion of that task, I asked myself, “Now what can I do to fill the empty hours of confinement?” So, I decided to venture on a painting working from home.
I began by sketching my subject with chalk, then called upon my memory to aid me with all of Jill’s previous instructions. I have entitled it “The Artist,” and as you can see, it is still a work in progress.
The temporary closing of the Dunmore Senior Center has reminded me and fellow members how important its services are to the local seniors, and how it fulfills a void in our lives.
Jean Mountford is shown with one of her favorite paintings, “Lighthouse and Shallows.”
Jean Mountford of Scranton is the February, 2020, Artist of the Month at Dunmore Activity Hub. Her “Lighthouse and Shallows” painting, pictured here, is one of her favorites.
She states, “I love lighthouses and water scenes, finding them so tranquil and serene.”
Jean started painting decades ago, but transitioned into oil painting around nine years ago, when she started going to the Dunmore Senior Center art classes with her sister, Jan, last month’s Artist of the Month.
She enthusiastically commented: “The class is great fun! There is so much talent there. It is great inspiration just to see what everyone is working on, and the support is wonderful. Plus, Jill Swersie, our wonderful instructor, keeps a wide library of pictures on hand to help us with ideas.”
Jean says she finds inspiration in photos, cards, and just about anywhere. She enjoys painting, her class, and classmates and thanks instructor Jill Swersie as well as Allison Boga, the Center’s Director, for this valuable and fun opportunity.
Dunmore Senior Center’s art teacher, Jill Swersie, is featured as Artist of the Years this month.
We are proud to feature the Dunmore Senior Center’s art teacher, Jill Swersie, this month and as our favorite Artist of the Years! Jill teaches weekly oil painting classes at the Dunmore Senior Citizen Center.
In addition to her talent and artistic credits, Jill is a very special person. She comes to class early and stays late and provides an additional drawing class, at no charge. She is constantly offering the Center exposure to additional media like charcoal, watercolor, sculpture, scratchboard, etc.
Jill personally connects to all of the students and is well aware of the trials and tribulations in their lives. She reaches out to her students in need with personal phone calls, handmade cards and greetings signed by class members, and follows up on their progress.
In class, Jill meets with us individually and offers us artistic advice in order to improve our pieces. She instinctively knows when a “dab of Alizarin Crimson” or ”highlights of Cadmium Yellow” are needed and passes along those techniques and that knowledge. Jill is our #1 cheerleader, encouraging us, promoting the arts, and arranging at least two art shows a year for us to exhibit our works.
She and her charming husband, Jack, even host an annual class picnic at her lovely home in the Poconos, and has provided en plein air classes for us in her area.
Professionally, Jill has been oil painting for over 35 years. Her work has been exhibited in art galleries and at shows in New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Colorado.
Her paintings have been seen at almost every local art venue, and her exhibition awards are numerous. Her first mural, “Art of the Dance”, can be seen in downtown Stroudsburg, and her latest mural greets patrons as they enter East Stroudsburg’s Pocono Cinema and Cultural Center.
As one of five artists selected for Adams Outdoor Advertising’s ArtPop Exhibition, a larger-than-life copy of her oil painting “Man’s Best Friend” was seen on billboards throughout the Pocono region in 2016.