Inside the Artist Studio with Naples Art Association – Lynda Fay Braun

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Lynda Fay Braun will tell you right away, though she loves what modern technology has brought to the creative world, she is a painter at heart. The tactile feel of the brush against the painting surface moves and inspires her. She works from a garage studio off Taylor Road in Naples. Natural light pours in from roll up doors at either end.

Always inspired by her surroundings, Braun has lived in beautiful locations. She moved from New York to Southwest Florida in 1998 and to New Mexico in 2005. She spent eight years in Santa Fe, absorbing the stunning natural surroundings and taking thousands of photos. Living in Naples now, she keeps her camera nearby. She’s been fascinated by images of water. When she works with them in Photoshop, she simplifies the image, looking for the basic outlines and patterns on the surface. The finished result often has a topographical, outlined appearance.

“I’m reducing the image to the primary elements to find composition, balance and logic in nature. I see it as the beauty and truth in nature that the computer is distilling. Just as there is an endless pattern on the earth’s surface, that pattern is for me, a way into endless, meaningful abstract possibilities.”

Raised in upstate New York, Lynda Braun spent her early years between the rugged environment of the Adirondacks and the museums of New York City. A natural attraction toward the ineffable combined with an affinity for nature and an independent spirit compelled Braun to seek a life in art.

Braun attended Boston Museum School of Art and Cooper Union School of Art, New York City; receiving an MFA in Painting from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in 1973. As part of her assistantship at Cornell, she hosted a visit from Agnes Martin, a relationship which began a mentorship that lasted over 25 years until Martin’s death.

Her work has been exhibited in Santa Fe at the Center for Contemporary Art; Zane-Bennet and Linda Durham Contemporary Art Gallery.

Museum exhibitions that Braun’s work has been included in are the Tabik Museum, Vienna, Austria; Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, NY, and the Empire State Museum in Albany, NY. University exhibits include a one-person show at FGCU and the Sibley Gallery at Cornell University. Brawn also has mentored art majors with the FGCU Internship program and continues to teach on occasion at the von Liebig Art Center in Naples, Florida.

Braun is active with the Naples Art Association as an instructor and exhibiting artist. Braun will also share a free workshop presentation on Facebook Marketing for artists as part of ART Connects in the fall. She is the featured artist for the Edison State College Collier Campus exhibition, on view through Apr. 30, 2014.

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Naples Art Association: Mary Mariner

Mary Mariner 2013 Inside the Artists Studio

Artist Mary Mariner remembers the Naples Art Association from earlier days. When she and her husband began travelling here as seasonal residents in 1992, one of the first things she did was to seek out the art community. She wanted a place to learn and create art and a place to meet others with similar passions. She found the Naples Art Association, and has been a member ever since.

With her newfound dedicated community of fellow artists she explored new creative territory, and just two years later, she decided she’d like to live here permanently. When she shopping for a home in Naples, she sought one with great studio space.

Mary Mariner stores beautiful finished canvases alongside one wall of her studio.

Mary Mariner stores beautiful finished canvases alongside one wall of her studio.

Her townhome in Naples includes a 500 sq. ft. working art studio, which is flooded with natural light and filled with her artwork. A couch and chair with a coffee table full of magazines sits on one side and bins of collage materials and finished paintings behind her easel and paints are set up on the other side. A closet across the way holds books by artists who inspire her. The walls of her home in every room are filled with artwork. “Art makes me happy,” she said.

Mary Mariner’s home is filled with her artwork even from the entrance. This gorgeous piece wows guests at the top of the stairs. Her studio is at the end of the hallway shown here.

Mary Mariner’s home is filled with her artwork even from the entrance. This gorgeous piece wows guests at the top of the stairs. Her studio is at the end of the hallway shown here.

Mary Mariner helped to bring in inspirational travelling artists to teach workshops and also personally taught classes for the Naples Art Association. She remembers Carol Barnes, Charles Movalli, Wolfe Kahn and especially Mary Todd Beam for the lessons and tips they shared.

Mariner taught art classes and helped arrange special guest artist workshops with the Naples Art Association at the Naples Depot. She still has the paper attendance records.

Mariner taught art classes and helped arrange special guest artist workshops with the Naples Art Association at the Naples Depot. She still has the paper attendance records.

They’ve all influenced her style in some way, she says. Mariner describes her painting as experimental art. She started out working in oil painting, then later with watercolor and charcoal techniques. No matter which medium, she lets herself get absorbed by the colors and emotions of her art. She builds on a piece, adding a fleck of light here and playing with texture. “Sometimes amazing things happen!” she said.

She still collects interesting paper from secondhand stores and other sources to be used in her work. She saves it in this bin in her studio.

She still collects interesting paper from secondhand stores and other sources to be used in her work. She saves it in this bin in her studio.

She recalls the time she participated in Art in the Park with the Naples Art Association. “I took about eight paintings or so with me. We leaned them against the trees for buyers to see. I sold five or six of them!”  She has also been a part of Naples Art Association Members’ Gallery shows and the Naples National Art Festival. Through her participation with the NAA, Mariner’s work was discovered by a curator for Gallery One (when it was located on 13th Street in Naples), and they were one of the first galleries to accept her work for representation.

Mariner talks about the golden accent that she used in this artwork to add an additional layer to her design. She’s also experimented with texture, using gesso and other materials to create a three-dimensional affect in her art.

Mariner talks about the golden accent that she used in this artwork to add an additional layer to her design. She’s also experimented with texture, using gesso and other materials to create a three-dimensional affect in her art.

Before moving to Naples, Mariner lived in Baltimore, Maryland. It was where she first fell in love with art. In high school, she had a Thursday class in art, and she anticipated it eagerly each week. She later studied fine art at Cantonsville Community College and Western Maryland College.

Fondly recalling trips to Italy and elsewhere with her late husband, Richard. She would take photos and paint scenes of the beautiful places she’d travelled. She’s worked within themes and has a full series of paintings that incorporate antique sheet music in collage with paint.

Fondly recalling trips to Italy and elsewhere with her late husband, Richard. She would take photos and paint scenes of the beautiful places she’d travelled. She’s worked within themes and has a full series of paintings that incorporate antique sheet music in collage with paint.

Art has always been a part of Mary’s life, though it hasn’t always taken a front seat. She took some time after college to focus on raising her three children. As soon as she could, she sought out art instructor Luigi “Gino” Manneli, who was known for his use of color and light, to get back into painting and to keep learning. Recently, she is coming off of a seven-year break, and is excited about getting back into her studio with more enthusiasm.

Become a member of the Naples Art Association and sign up for classes and workshops.

Hollingsworth to donate artwork to Naples Art Association collection

Kelly Hollingsworth in her Naples art studio.

Kelly Hollingsworth in her Naples art studio.

Meet Kelly Hollingsworth. Her artwork will soon be added to the Naples Art Association’s collection.

A dynamic artist and sought-after art teacher, Hollingsworth lives in Naples full-time and has for more than a decade. When she talks about her work, she lights up. “I am a constructionist. In my process, I collect objects, imagery and emotions. Some of my images have a familiar feel using important iconography, paying homage to my predecessors in art history,” Hollingsworth said.

On Tuesday, May 14, members of the Naples Art Association Collection Committee visited Kelly Hollingsworth in her Naples studio. Pictured here: Marilyn Crawford and Eve May

On Tuesday, May 14, members of the Naples Art Association Collection Committee visited Kelly Hollingsworth in her Naples studio. Pictured here: Marilyn Crawford and Eve May

The NAA Collection Committee visited her Naples’ studio to ask her about donating to the 60-year-old nonprofit’s holdings, which include art created after 1950 by artists who have lived in or had a connection to Florida. Hollingsworth heartily agreed.

Her piece, which will be completed soon, is a mixed media assemblage featuring her distinctive dress motif assembled with photographic images and a selection of her journal writings. Personal elements like this help Hollingsworth identify with her images, as they collectively serve as a representation of her ideas and emotions over the years. “I try to make the invisible visible and use parts of the self that would be viewed as distasteful into something beautiful. My work is a combination of visually provocative, still images, almost like a film clip,” said Hollingsworth.

Kelly Hollingsworth - 8 Dresses

8 Dresses by Kelly Hollingsworth. This piece is an example of her artistic style. She created it for a Naples Art Association outdoor art exhibit along Fifth Avenue South during the summer of 2012

Hollingsworth is a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and she has played an important role in the Naples Art Association’s education program over the years. She teaches two ARTScool classes this summer, Open Studio and Advanced Pop Art.

Coming this fall, she is beginning a new class with the Naples Art Association geared toward helping high school aged artists develop and organize their portfolio in preparation for growing their future creative careers.

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