Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Artist Keeps His Eye on Scenery

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Artist Keeps His Eye on Scenery

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Faulkner, Shorelines correspondent

Every time a Ponte Vedra Beach resident lets his fingers do the walking, chances are the trip starts with a look at one of Ed Kitzis' paintings.

For the past two years, the Intracoastal West resident's works have graced the community's phone book covers. During October, art aficionados can witness the results of Kitzis' true love --touring the country and painting what he sees.

Each summer, Kitzis hits the road like a rock star and produces works like Thomas Kinkade. He's the featured artist this month at the Beaches Arts Center, and his show, "The Mysterious Impression of the Pacific Northwest," is culled from paintings he created during a summer trek from Jacksonville to Alaska and back. He and his wife drove the entire way.

"I'm no youngster, but it's a whole new career," Kitzis said. "For this summer trip, my wife and I traveled 11,000 miles by car through Arkansas, Colorado, Washington, British Columbia, on up the inside passage to Alaska on the ferry system, then back down on the Alaska highway. I came home with about 40 paintings, all done on location."

Kitzis works almost exclusively in watercolors and paints in an impressionistic style. He's worked with oils, acrylics and pastels, but finds the "happy accidents" working in watercolors inevitably lead his art in new directions.

Most of his inspiration comes from communities that spring up near water. The New Jersey native has spent most of his life that way. He spent a lot of his free time fishing before the fine arts bug bit him. Kitzis' last show at the Beaches Arts Center displayed the paintings he created during an East Coast adventure, depicting sea towns and waterfront areas from Maine to the Florida Keys.

You still have to wonder: Wouldn't a camera be easier?

"I take my camera also, I took 25 roles of film on this last trip and have a whole shoebox full of photos," Kitzis said. …

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