John Brennan – Featured Artist of the Month

Portrait of Artist John Brennan

By Betsy Hecht Cramb

John Brennan finds new challenges in painting the nuances of nature. He feels it is extremely rewarding when he can successfully breathe life into his work.

He believes that every aspect counts and he tries his best to capture the details in each painting. He plans his work carefully and spends time thinking about composition, form and color, so that each image sparks a feeling or memory in the viewer so they might relate it to their own experience.

Federal Duck Stamp Entry by John Brennan

Federal Duck Stamp Entry by John Brennan

​John feels that each artist’s work is unique, even when influenced or inspired by others. He says his work is an amalgamation of all his life experiences, which formed the lens through which he views the world.

Brennan's Tangled Treats

Brennan’s Tangled Treats

John is proud of the fact that each piece he creates seems to be a stepping stone to the next and that he can take previous mistakes as well as successes and apply those lessons to his next piece. He is happy that his work’s evolution and momentum hasn’t slowed down nor plateaued and that he continues to grow as an artist.

John said he started drawing and painting as a child when he was growing up on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. “Being surrounded by art and nature has greatly influenced and inspired me to become an artist. I was always encouraged to explore nature and take in my surroundings, and that has allowed me to see the world with an artist’s eye.”

Brennan's Bathed in Light

Brennan’s Bathed in Light

John describes himself as curious, and he likes to take care in exploring the details that are often overlooked.Brennan-Image 5

John says he has had no formal training, but he’d become friends and painted with several artists who have inspired him. His most influential mentor, John says, is Ernest C. Simmons, a wildlife artist from Dunedin. Please see Vista Galleries’ blog on Ernie from December 4, 2014. John became friends with Ernie when he was starting college and Ernie invited him to paint with him in his studio, which John did off and on for more than four years. He says, “The kind of education I received from painting with him is far superior to anything I could have learned in art school.”

To see more of John Brennan’s work, please visit JohnBrennanart.com or you can e-mail the artist directly at: johnbrennanart@gmail.com.Brennan-Image 2

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these articles about local artists and their art. Please let the artists you see here know that you read about them on Vista Galleries Webpage. To find out more about framing and display techniques, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.

Come in or call Vista Galleries today.

 

This Week’s New Featured Art

This week’s new featured art for your enjoyment.

Please stop by our huge gallery/showroom at 1620 N. Hercules, Suites A and B to see these and many other pre-framed pieces of art plus thousands of prints ready for framing.

"Natural Highlights" 1 T-018473 Price: $110  Size: 21" x 21"

“Natural Highlights” 1
T-018473
Price: $110
Size: 21″ x 21″

"Natural Highlights"  2 T-018473 Price: $110 Size: 21" x 21"

“Natural Highlights” 2
T-018473
Price: $110
Size: 21″ x 21″

"Natural Highlights" 3 T-018473 Price: $110 Size: 21" x 21"

“Natural Highlights” 3
T-018473
Price: $110
Size: 21″ x 21″

Pop Liberty T-018269 Price: $320 Size; 38 3/4 square

Pop Liberty
T-018269
Price: $320
Size; 38 3/4″ square

 Three Ladies in Hats T-018286 Price: $240 Size:


Three Ladies in Hats
T-018286
Price: $240

"Backtracking Marilyn" T-018284 Price: $163 Size: 22 1/2 x 34 ½

“Backtracking Marilyn”
T-018284
Price: $163
Size: 22 1/2″ x 34 ½”

Portrait of Watercolor Artist – Margaret Modjeski

Margaret Modjeski with Sunflowers

Portrait of Watercolor Artist – Margaret Modjeski

By Betsy Hecht Cramb
Margaret Modjeski says she had fallen in love with watercolor art as a teenager in Chicago, where she babysat for several artists’ children. She saved up much of her babysitting money and bought her first watercolor painting with some of her savings. She knew then she wanted to learn how to paint with watercolors.

Palm TreeAfter retiring as an educator, Margaret had time to pursue her dream to become a watercolor artist.  Margaret describes herself as determined.  In the pictures she paints, you can see some of her determination. Margaret’s paintings are meant to be uplifting and positive. People tell her they feel happy when they see her work.

She paints her floral paintings from real flowers rather than from photographs of flowers whenever she can. She likes to paint from her heart and Margaret says she feels a real sense of peace when she is painting.

Bird of Paradise II

​As far as what makes her work unique, Margaret feels it is her pure and bright color choices. She says that people who have her paintings tell her that looking at them brightens their day.Sunflower

 

 

 

 

 

Margaret has had watercolor training at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center where she continues to take classes from Carol Rosefelt, an instructor who is Margaret’s  mentor. Carol inspires her to explore her creativity.

Vase with flowers

She also reads art books, watches art videos and loves to see talented watercolorists, such as Sterling Edwards. Margaret is a member of the Tarpon Springs Art Association, the Creative Artist Guild and the Crystal Beach Art Group.

Water color flowers

You can enjoy Margaret’s pictures here, or write her a personal e-mail at: mmodjeski@tampabay.rr.com and at “Watercolors by Margaret Modjeski” on Facebook.

Beach and WaterRose

 

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these articles about local artists and their art. Please let the artists you see here know that you read about them on Vista Galleries Webpage. To find out more about  framing and display techniques, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.   Come in or call Vista Galleries today.

 

 

New Featured Art of The Week

Please see this week’s new featured art:

Seaglass 2 T-018445 Size: 35 1/4" x 41 1/4" Price: $220

Seaglass 2
T-018445
Size: 35 1/4″ x 41 1/4″
Price: $220

Shells T-T-018445 Size: 35 1/4" x 41 1/4" Price: $220

Shells
T-T-018445
Size: 35 1/4″ x 41 1/4″
Price: $220

"Beware of Pit Bulls" T-018502 34"x40" Price: $275

“Beware of Pit Bulls”
T-018502
34″x40″
Price: $275

"Spring Garden" T-018223 33 1/2" x 33 1/2" Price: $238

“Spring Garden”
T-018223
33 1/2″ x 33 1/2″
Price: $238

"Siempre 1" 31 1/4 x 31 1/4 T-018219 Price: $182 each

“Siempre 1″
31 1/4 x 31 1/4
T-018219
Price: $182

"Siempre 1 & 2" 31 1/4 x 31 1/4 T-018219 Price: $182 each

“Siempre 2″
31 1/4 x 31 1/4
T-018219
Price: $182

Stop by any time and see these latest featured pictures at Vista Galleries.

Click to enlarge any of these pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Art of the Week

Here is this week’s new featured art.

Sonata 1 T-018154  Size: 35" x 35" Price: $205

Sonata 1
T-018154
Size: 35″ x 35″
Price: $205

Sonata 2 T-018154 Size: 35" x35" Price: $205

Sonata 2
T-018154
Size: 35″ x35″
Price: $205

 

 

 

 

 

Please click on any of the images to enlarge.

Pug T-018449 Size: 43 1/2" x 37 1/2" Price: $220

Pug
T-018449
Size: 43 1/2″ x 37 1/2″
Price: $220

Birds on horizon in green T- 018183 Size: 28 1/4" x 28 1/4" Price: $208

Birds on horizon in green
T- 018183
Size: 28 1/4″ x 28 1/4″
Price: $208Please stop in at

Please stop in at Vista Galleries and see all of our pre-framed and ready-for-framing art.

 

 

You can visit our huge factory showroom at 1620 N. Hercules Ave., Suites A and B. Call ahead if you would like one of the featured framed pictures here: (727) 216-0798.

 

Unique Ways to Preserve Your Memories

How to Preserve Your Memories in a Unique Way

 By Betsy Hecht Cramb

 Mementos are reminders of something you did or a place you went that you would like to remember.

Keeping these items stored in a drawer or a shoebox will not give you the opportunity to share these souvenirs in an aesthetic way. However, by framing them or creating a unique shadow box for them, you can display these memories to share with people you want to see them.

Some very unique items have been brought in to Vista Galleries for us to create a display for them and their owners. We had a client bring her ukulele in for us to display in this amazing shadow box frame.

Ukulele Shadow Box

Ukulele Shadow Box

Another favorite are sports memorabilia items like these two baseball team shirts from the Phillies.

Phillies Baseball Jersey in frame

Phillies Baseball Jersey in frame

Phillies Baseball Jersey in frame

Phillies Baseball Jersey in frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Unique Items We’ve Seen

Very recently a gentleman brought in some of the most unique items we’ve seen accompanied by a fascinating and exceptional story. With his permission, here is a bit of his story: “Russell Gackenbach had not anticipated the notoriety he received for a single bombing mission,” his biography begins. This unassuming gentleman tells his story of being included in a bombing mission that forever changed the course of history and arguably brought World War II to an end.

After Russell completed his training in the United States Army Air Force in June of 1945, the 509th Composite Group of which he was a part was transferred to Tinian Island in the Mariana Islands chain. At the new base some additional training was completed before participating in conventional bombing raids on Japan. The secretive and specialized training finally culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

He (Russ) was the navigator in the photographic plane, Necessary Evil, on the Hiroshima mission and the weather plane over Kokura during the Nagasaki mission.  He received the Air Medal for participation in the Hiroshima mission. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force as a 1st lieutenant in April 1946.

His full story is told in a fascinating article which you can read here: http://www.godandcountry.co/gackanbach_biography.htm.

​Russ said what he liked the most about being able to put his mementos in a shadow box was “the ability to be able to put the military challenge coins on display at my apartment.  These coins are related to my military career.  Prior to having them framed they were all in a box together and no one ever could see them.”

The most memorable part of his role in WWII, he says was his participation as the navigator in the photographic plane on the Hiroshima mission and helping to end the war. These honorary coins help him to commemorate his career in the military.  “I acquired them over the last several years, Russ said.  “Most of them came from our annual 509th Composite Group reunions.”

Russ commented, “There is still a controversy whether or not we should have dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima. I do not regret my participation in the Hiroshima mission. Although many lives were lost, the dropping of the atomic bomb saved many more lives on both sides.”

Here is a picture of these unique commemorative coins that Russell Gackenbach has had mounted and beautifully displayed designed by Vista Galleries.

Russ Gackenbach's Unique Commemorative Coin Collection

Russ Gackenbach’s Unique Commemorative Coin Collection

You should consider having Vista Galleries create a unique shadow box or display for your important items or souvenirs. Displaying these items in a very aesthetic frame and custom-made shadow box enhances their appearance and makes them easy to display.

It gives them a museum-quality and feel that demonstrates how special these items are to their owner.Cat Jewelry Collection

Cat Jewelry Collection

 

 

 

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these articles about up-to-date art and framing and display techniques. If you have questions about any technique related to art or framing, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.   Come in or call Vista Galleries today.

 

 

New Featured Art for this Week

Boundlessness in Bloom T-#018175, Size: 38 7/8" Square Price: $335

Boundlessness in Bloom
T-#018175,
Size: 38 7/8″  X 38 7/8″
Price: $335

"Tango"  T-018121 Size: 36.5" X 36.5"  Price: $275.

“Tango”
T-018121
Size: 36.5″ X 36.5″
Price: $275.

 (Click on images to enlarge.)

Birds on Horizon in Green Size: 28.25" X 28.25" Price: $208

Birds on Horizon in Green
Size: 28.25″ X 28.25″
Price: $208

Birds on Horizon in Blue Size: 28.25" X 28.25" Price: $208.

Birds on Horizon in Blue
Size: 28.25″ X 28.25″
Price: $208.

Please visit our Showroom to see our full selection of art and frames.

For a limited time only: Use Coupon below to Save 20% on your order.

 Save 20% on any pre-framed art in our factory showroom.Special Coupon for a limited time. For use at 1620 N. Hercules, in our Factory Showroom Only.  Expires 2/28/15. Print this out or tell us you saw this coupon on our website!

Featured Art – New This Week

We are pleased to introduce you to a new feature on our website. Every week or so we’ll show you some unique pieces of art which have been framed and designed to brighten up any home or office.

"Tango"  Actual Size: 36.5" X 36.5" framed

“Tango”
# T-018121 Actual Size: 36.5″ X 36.5″ framed, $275

Please visit our Showroom in person to see our full selection of art and frames.

Use Coupon below to Save 20% on your order.

 Save 20% on any pre-framed art in our factory showroom.Special Coupon for a limited time. For use at 1620 N. Hercules, in our Factory Showroom Only.  Expires 2/28/15. Print this out or tell us you saw this coupon on our website!

In Memory Of

Our Dear Friend – Glen St. Jean

It is with great sadness that we inform you that our dear friend and highly valued employee, Glen St. Jean, passed on peacefully at his home on December 19th, 2014. Glen was only 52 years old.

20150106_132306

Glen was a very valuable employee and trusted friend at Vista Galleries for several years. We all miss him and know that those of you who knew him will miss him as well.

Glen’s memorial service will be held at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens Funeral Home, 1750 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor on Saturday, January 17th, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

Glen was not just a talented installer, framer and all-around great guy, but also a very talented fine artist as well.

We wish his family and friends well and share in their loss at this time of sadness.

 

Meet the Artist: Clayton Hood

Meet the Artist:

Clayton Hood

 By Betsy Hecht Cramb

Clayton Hood says what he likes most about painting is the traditional qualities of the material and the freedom to create anything that his magic wands allow. As a painter, he tries to make an educated effort to pay homage to influential artists whom he admires while always being sure to add his own twist to the creation.

Model Citizen 42" X 50" Oil

Model Citizen
42″ X 50″ Oil

In his own words, it is his style which makes his work unique. What Clayton likes most is the type of life that his art has afforded him and that most people like what he creates.

Good Morning Moon,  36" X 72" Acrylic

Good Morning Moon,
36″ X 72″ Acrylic

Clayton studied art in high school as well as at the Atlanta College of Art. He studied independently with Cornel Rubino and Bill Nolan. And Clayton mentioned that he learned all the aspects of the art gallery business with Vista Galleries.

Three Vases and a Bowl Acrylic Diptych (two panels)

Three Vases and a Bowl
Acrylic Diptych (two panels)

It may not be obvious from these few examples but many of Clayton’s works are quite large in size, ranging from 36 X 72 to 42 X 50 inches or even larger.

You can see a few examples of Clayton Hood’s imposing works here and see many more through his agent, Alison West Brown. To get more information about his work, you may reach Alison at: AlisonWestBrown@yahoo.com.

Or call her at:  727-510-8572.

Prissy Chickens for Plumage not Eggs 42" X 50' Oil

Prissy Chickens for Plumage not Eggs
42″ X 50′ Oil

Optical Swirl Acrylic 48" X 48"

Optical Swirl
Acrylic 48″ X 48″

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Vista Galleries is pleased to bring you these profiles of some of our talented artists. If you would like more information about any one of our blogs, or to be included as an artist, please contact Peter at info@vistagalleries.com.

Vista Galleries can furnish your home, office or business with artwork, from design to installation. For estimates or questions, call (727) 216-0798 or email us at info@vistagalleries.com. See what Vista Galleries’ professional artists and designers can do for you.   Come in or call our Galleries today.