LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch resident Darlene Stewart pulls a framed watercolor painting from the trunk of her car and smiles as at the scene before her.
The image is reminiscent of a cluster of coral but has no distinctive features, per se.
“This is my happy accident,” she says.
The piece, titled “Under the Sea,” is a watercolor and collage piece, combining traditional water coloring painting techniques with the application of handmade paper pieces. It’s one of Stewart’s personal favorites — and one she soon will share publicly with the rest of the community.
The work is one of three paintings Stewart is showcasing in a group exhibit with other members of the Lakewood Ranch Art Club through April 8 at ArtCenter Manatee, 209 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. An opening reception will be held from 5-7 p.m., March 24.
More than a dozen members of the club are participating in the show. Featured in the Reid-Hodges Gallery, the exhibition will mark the first time members of the group collectively have displayed their work.
“It’s kind of exciting,” said Stewart, who is making her show debut. “You can walk among the crowd and listen to what people say. It’s very hard to be objective about your own work. It’s good to hear the good and the bad.”
Some club members participating in the exhibit are seasoned artists, having earned awards at juried competitions. Others, including Stewart, are newer to the art of watercolor painting.
Stewart joined the Lakewood Ranch Art Club in 2008 with a background in ceramics but no experience in watercolor painting.
“(All) the gals (in the club) were eager to help,” Stewart said. “It was such a pleasant experience.”
“In the beginning, it’s hard to understand how the color moves on the paper,” she said. “It’s tricky. Keeping the color distinct takes time, and you have to do a lot of little things before you’re happy with the result.”
After three years with the club, Stewart said she still has much to learn in regard to watercolor painting, but has enjoyed growing as an artist and developing friendships with fellow club members.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lakewood Ranch Art Club Exhibit
WHEN: March 19 through April 8
WHERE: ArtCenter Manatee, 209 Ninth St. W., Bradenton
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. Opening reception will be from 5-7 p.m., March 24.
INFO: The work of more than a dozen club members will be on display in the Reid-Hodges Gallery.
11th Annual Art At The Ranch Fine Arts Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 19-20
WHERE: Lakewood Ranch Main Street
INFO: The juried show will feature original work of painters, photographers, jewelers, sculptors, graphic artists, potters and textile artists coming from as far away as California to Maine.
CONTACT: 746-2862 or www.artcentermanatee.org
Palm-Aire Art Show
WHEN: Artists reception from 4-6 p.m., March 22
WHERE: Palm-Aire Country Club, 5601 Country Club Way.
INFO: The Art Association of Palm-Aire Country Club will eature work in painting mediums, sculpture, ceramics, needlework, woodworking and quilting. The exhibit is open to the public.
CONTACT:Donna Vasko, 358-5065
University Park Art in the Park
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 2-3
WHERE: University Park Country Club, 7671 The Park Blvd.
INFO: University Park Country Club members and residents will showcase their work in this show.