Dolores Dominick-Noll is shown with her current project which she is painting for her daughter. Dolores favors a primitive style of painting as shown in this example.
By Dolores Dominick-Noll
This is the largest painting I’ve ever attempted. It originated because my daughter has a frame this size and she asked me to paint something to fit it.
The subject came mostly from my imagination and, if it looks slightly “busy,” it’s because I keep adding to it.
Other artists have told me that my style is “primitive,” and I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I’ll keep at it and hope that it evolves.
I joined the Dunmore Senior Center Art class about seven years ago and, although I have a degree in music therapy, I find art to be very therapeutic as well, I realize that I’m no Renoir, but when I’m painting, my mind is free from all other thoughts,
Our class consists of a friendly, supportive group of seasoned painters, as well as those who are beginning to explore their ability. We are very fortunate to have Jill Swersie –- a very gifted artist herself –- sharing her talent as our instructor.
We meet weekly at the Center at 1414 Monroe Avenue in Dunmore. Come join us!
Elaine Blaine is shown in this collage with examples of her varied watercolors and sculpture.
Ellen Blaine, a watercolor painter and sculptor, recently relocated to the area from New Jersey and Florida. She first started painting when she took an art elective in college but raising her son plus her professional career as a registered nurse took precedence and put her artwork on hold.
During that time–which included years of teaching anatomy to nurses–she became interested in figurative painting and sculpture. Then, when her son went away to college, she began studying sculpture and painting, which led to opening an art school, gallery and art camp in New Jersey. Since then she has exhibited in numerous states and has garnered placement and awards in numerous juried shows. Her work is represented in private collections, colleges and foundations.
She gets her inspiration for painting and sculpture from anything and everything, whether it be physical reality or in her mind’s eye. She favors working from live models but also does interpretive images from memory, including something compelling seen in nature or from life experience.
“The fun is taking what I know to be the commonalities of the human form and interpreting it however my mind sees it at that moment,” Ellen explains. “There are limitless possibilities in creating art.”
Ellen favors painting loose colorful skies, trees, vivid florals and contemplative figurative poses, but is also known for an avant-garde and sometimes unconventional view in both mediums featuring elongated, quirky figures combining the human form with elements of nature.
“I love the vibrancy of color, the boundless beauty in nature, and the gracefulness of the human gesture and form” she points out. “But experience has taught me to embrace creativity that springs from the more somber realities of life as well.”
A sculpture of a gloved surgeon’s hands holding a heart and a surgical instrument, called ‘His Heart in Your Hands’ was done in response to her late husband’s numerous open-heart operations.
Another, done after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York is entitled ‘Earthquake’ and shows hands beckoning out of broken glass, twisted steel and debris from the fallen towers. This work was exhibited by the Mayor’s Office.
A watercolor painting of her son as a child, attempting to play his father’s then overwhelmingly large saxophone is called ‘Determination’ and is one of her favorites as her son now plays professionally in New Orleans among other national venues, using the same treasured instrument.
She describes one of her greatest joys as an artist as teaching quadriplegic children to paint holding the brush in their mouths. She teaches her students that there are no mistakes, only opportunities, and begins classes with relaxation exercises in which students become loose and free with watercolors, allowing the medium to obey its own nature and principles.
If using a model, she often has her students begin by assuming the pose to connect with the model’s gesture. During wellness workshops Ellen uses clay in a therapeutic modality and plans to begin doing workshops and classes once she is settled in the area.
Ellen lives with her little Westie, Lilly Roget. She was introduced to the Dunmore art group by a friend just a few months ago and enjoys it tremendously.
“There’s a wonderful sense of creative energy and level of talent present in the class. The people are so welcoming and friendly to me as a newcomer and the teacher is awesome! The Dunmore activity hub is a vital part of the new community I’m happy to be a part of.”
Hopkins is shown with a variety of her old and new paintings. The painting over her right shoulder, entitled “Trees at Nay Aug,” was her first painting back in 1982.
By Dolly Michalczyk
As a long- time member of the Dunmore Senior Citizen’s Center painting class, Mary Kay Hopkins has served as a mentor to many people, including this writer. She is welcoming and encouraging, offering many fine ideas to the other artists and to the class. She has exhibited her wonderful work at our art shows and has sold several pieces.
Mary Kay herself says, “I am so very proud to be an art student for 12 years studying under Jill Swersie, at the Dunmore Community Center. I have learned more than I ever thought I could have.
“I am inspired by Jill, our teacher, who continues year after year to bring out the artist in all of us. She is not only our teacher, but also a friend. The Center is a wonderfully warm place largely because of Allison Boga, our director. She is a warm and engaging professional who makes us feel so special.”
Mary Kay notes that some of the pictures displayed in her photo are new, while some are old. She explains, “The one over my right shoulder I named Trees at Nay Aug. It was my very first attempt back in 1982. I am inspired by nature and the human form.
“Much has happened in my life over the past few years. I am honored to have all of my friends in class to lean on. I have returned to my beloved profession as a transcriptionist. Life is good!”