The April RAL Art Center exhibit is blooming with new Spring life this month, with floral paintings that will inspire your inner gardener. Juli Schuszler and Patty Cunningham will be showing their visions of spring in the RAL Gallery Windows. Pat Lawler shows of beautiful jewelry in silver and stone.
Juli Schuszler is a Gloucester artist known for her vibrant and dramatic oil masterpieces showcasing the beauty of the natural world. A passion for color is evident in Juli's paintings, inspired by an ongoing love of nature and gardening, and her garden is where she finds much of her source material. Juli works from real life observations and her own reference photos, focusing on the play of light and shadow, creating drama and visual interest in her art. Often working on over-sized canvases, Juli paints carefully and slowly, creating numerous layers of paint, building as she goes. A number of her striking florals are displayed in the Gallery Windows this month, two of which are based on photos she took while strolling through the Naples Botanical Garden. Juli says, “I like to search for striking and dramatic light in the images that I collect for my references…. I want to transport the viewer in a beautiful world of color and light with my paintings, to take them into a garden of delight!”. Anyone can see that the common thread through all of her artwork is a love of color and light. Retired from careers in commercial art and then in teaching, Juli now pursues her own art in her home studio. Her artworks are featured in the Bay School for the Arts, The Charles H. Taylor Art Center, and the Crossroads Art Center as well as the RAL Art Center Gallery.
Patty Cunningham takes great delight in creating and sharing her art. She works in acrylics, in a wide variety of subjects and themes, and her works are known for her use of bold colors and highly focused details. “Nature never fails me”, says Patty, noting the abundance of subjects provided all around. The garden provides much inspiration as evidenced by her piece, A Tiger Swallowtail on a Wild Lupine. This beautiful acrylic painting is stunning in detail and overall calm hues. Patty is a native of Virginia, having been born in Ft. Lee, and raised in her military family in various parts of the US and overseas. Largely self-taught, she was able to cultivate and refine her artistic talent throughout her lifetime and is a regular exhibitor at the RAL Art Center Gallery.
Pat Lawler never intended to be a jewelry maker but instead came into this art by way of floral design. She was a horticulturist and florist who couldn’t find jewelry that she would like to wear. So, with some basic tools and adult education instruction, she began to learn silversmithing. She fell in love with working with metal and currently designs applique pieces that depict the creatures in nature – animals, birds, insects- and plants. She says, “My art is a little bit like working in batik but created from silver instead of fabric. Through simple designs, I try to capture the essential character and beauty of favorite creatures and plants.”