If you recently purchased a painting from Art Off Clark, take a look at the signature on the bottom of the canvas. You may own an original work by Sarasota oil painter Dorothy Sherwood.
The artist donated 20 paintings this year to the art-only Goodwill store near the corner of Clark and McIntosh roads.
She taped her business card to the back of each one and hoped she might hear from her mystery patrons, but no word yet.
“I have no idea where they are,” Sherwood says of the hand-me-down paintings. “They’re somewhere.”
According to the store’s manager, Linda Inverso, only two paintings remain in inventory, a fact that delights and intrigues Sherwood, a Gulf Gate resident, who last fall headlined a solo show at the Venice Arts Center.
The exhibit consisted of 42 oil paintings — half still lifes and half landscapes.
The opportunity was thrilling for Sherwood, a Baltimore native who abandoned painting decades ago to raise four children. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, the artist had always dreamed of having her own art show.
She created so many pieces for the month-long show that, when it was over, she didn’t know what to do with the collection. So, she called Art Off Clark and told Inverso that she had “paintings coming out of her ears.”
Inverso happily accepted Sherwood’s donation and one week later called to tell the artist that the work had sold in one week.
“So I brought her 10 more,” Sherwood laughs, slapping her knee.
Sherwood is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the Portrait Society of America, in addition to Art Center Manatee, Art Center Sarasota, the Longboat Key Center for the Arts and the Venice Arts Center.
A playful artist and a prolific painter, she works on a converted screened porch with a steady north light. The space is filled top to bottom with finished and unfinished works.
The rest of her modest house resembles an art gallery. Frames of all shapes and colors line her walls. From landscapes to portraits, still lifes and abstracts, Sherwood has dabbled in almost every style and framed almost every piece herself.
“Framing can get very expensive,” Sherwood says, pulling a hammer from her china cabinet. “I just use my table here, lay out some towels and do it myself.”
Using her dining-room table as a drafting board and her china cabinet as a toolbox, she fastens the heavy frames with screw-eye hooks and wire. She’s fastidious about framing, but less so about hanging.
When she moved to Sarasota in 1990 with her husband, Don, a retired sailor, she figured the two of them would take up golfing.
“The golfing was a flop,” says Sherwood. “So I thought, ‘I’ll give painting another try.’”
If you go
Dorothy Sherwood is giving away one of her paintings. Sherwood will give a presentation on how to care for your paintings from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at Art Off Clark, 5831 Derek Ave. There will be free refreshments and door prizes, including a piece by Sherwood. All artwork will be priced at 25% off. For more information, call all 308-0118. All store proceeds benefit Goodwill Industries-Manasota.
Contact Heidi Kurpiela at [email protected].