Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pair's Art Inspired by Nature; One Paints Florida, the Other Canada

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pair's Art Inspired by Nature; One Paints Florida, the Other Canada

Article excerpt

Byline: TIM GILMORE, Times-Union correspondent

"North and South," a new dual art exhibit at the Alexander Brest Museum and Gallery of Jacksonville University, offers landscape painting with multicultural perspectives by Canadian Pierre Sabourin and Hungarian Ferenc Szeles.

Sabourin's paintings on display are Northern landscapes, while Szeles' are primarily Florida coastal. If there's any common theme, Alexander Brest Museum director and JU artist in residence David Lauderdale said it is "the edge of the water."

"A Sabourin painting titled Sunset on George's Lake takes the viewer to a magnificent spot in Canada. Fort George Pathway by Szeles brings us back here to Fort George Island," Lauderdale said.

Szeles, of Jacksonville Beach, said that while his initial Florida work was similar to his Hungarian work, living in Florida has changed his style.

"My technique has changed tremendously as I adapted to the local environment," Szeles said. "Give me swamps and marshes and interesting colors and humidity and mist. I also love the Florida color just before it rains."

Meanwhile, Sabourin's work represents the Northern half of the exhibit. Now living in Arlington, Sabourin studied fine arts at the University of Ottawa and University of Calgary. He grew up in rural Northern Ontario and said it's the natural landscape like that he grew up in which most influences him.

"There is a feeling you get when you are in the woods. It is like you are one with the universe or God. You bear the elements like every living creature and plant but somehow you are given the strength to feel the energy and the power and peace all around you and it begs you to create," Sabourin said.

For these reasons, he prefers to paint his landscapes on location. While usually he sketches at the site and finishes in the studio, he sometimes finishes a piece in the initial outing.

"There is nothing like painting on location. I love to paint in the elements, the rain and cold and wind," Sabourin said.

Szeles, who trained at the Repin School of Russian Impressionism in St. Petersburg, Russia, usually photographs his subject and uses it for inspiration for his studio work. …

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