Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Art Association of Palm-Aire wraps up season with talk by artist couple

Along the Ice Floes, by John Seerey-Lester
Where Have They All Gone? by Suzie Seerey-Lester
The Art Association of Palm-Aire  has wrapped up its season, and will return in the fall.

John and Suzie Seerey-Lester, both artists, presented the final program of the season.

Here's a report by Audrey Wilkinson and Barb Saabye:

 John and Suzie Seerey-Lester  had many interesting stories about their travels and art. John was born in Manchester, England, and is a world-renowned wildlife artist who currently lives in Osprey, Florida. He started his career as a painter during his early years, receiving his first commission at 13. At first, he painted portraits and figurative works, which he still does on occasion. After traveling to East Africa in 1980 and painting wildlife there, he made a decision to paint only wildlife he has seen firsthand.

John is meticulous in his preparations for a painting. While on location, he paints the wildlife he observes in acrylic or oil on pieces of 8-by-10-inch Masonite. Back at his studio, he will set up the whole scene he intends to paint. He needed two hunters in one picture he was doing, so he found two people to go out on a golf course where there was an elevated green and had them pose on the hill with guns while he sketched them. Then he blended the two components into the final oil painting.

John’s work is in galleries and museums in the United States and Europe. He was recognized for his work in conservation by Prince Philip. He moved to the U.S. in the 1990s and has had many limited-edition prints published by Mill Pond Press.

While he was teaching a class in Guatemala he met his future wife, Suzie Zimos, who was a diving instructor before she became a serious painter. Some of her diving students were FBI and CIA agents.

While in the deep she was able to study marine life and transfer that knowledge to her paintings. Suzie paints primarily North American animals and rural scenes. Her work is displayed in galleries around the U.S. and Europe. At present, she works with researchers at the Mote Marine Laboratory doing research on turtles.

They each have a new book out: "Camp Fire Tales" by John Seerey-Lester; "My Painting is Done, Now What Do I Do?" by Suzie Seerey-Lester. Find more information at www.seerey-lester.com

The Palm Aire Art Association recently celebrated its 31st annual Art Show with a Gaugin-themed gala. Guests dressed to the theme, while table decorations featured pineapples and leis. With the proceeds from its activities, the Art Association gives a scholarship to a local Ringling College of Art+Design student. Shown above is Nancie Shellenbaum, Charleen Gorbet, and Gela Rozic.  Photo by Marilyn Nordby.

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