Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Day of Networking, Culture, and Culinary Fun

Glenn Gunderson "Cypress Swamp #2" painted on wood

It’s always fun to try a new restaurant. Christof’s on McGregor has renovated one of the older homes in Fort Myers and turned it into a fine dining experience. They’ve modified the huge wraparound porch adding tables and chairs for an outdoor dining area. The front lawn and spreading oak trees provide shade for a new outdoor patio with tables.

Inside, wood floors and a classy interior create a sophisticated ambiance. Separate dining areas promote privacy, and a well-stocked inviting bar welcomes diners and encourages mingling and conversation. The food is excellent.

I met some women friends and we gathered in a separate dining area where we could actually hear one another. We discussed among other things portraits. People are always curious about my art and what kind of paintings I create

Deborah Mitchell, "Bearing Witness" mixed media

I had completed a drawing of one of the women’s two grandchildren a few years ago. She showed me their pictures and how they had grown. It was amazing that these teens still resembled the children I drew so long ago. The drawings seemed to come to life. It was a great networking lunch, and several women expressed interest in having a portrait done of a favorite pet or spouse.

"Day Dreams" (my granddaughter)

I love doing portraits. I enjoy including people in all of my paintings. Somehow, the canvas seems empty without them. I do want to do more landscapes, but I know I will always want to paint people or pets; living and breathing things that have a life of their own.

"Blonde Boy" (my grandson)

"Dainty Diva" (another granddaughter 'ballerina' )

After our luncheon, I popped into the Alliance for the Arts to see their latest sculpture exhibition. Again, the focus of the competition was to use either recycled materials or items from nature that could be incorporated into the artist’s work.