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NCAL Artist of the Month

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The stunning oil on canvas painting “Rustic Workshop,” which Maritza Gutierrez created as the Nature Coast Art League’s February Artist of the Month, demonstrates that rustic can be radiant. Gutierrez displayed her print of Rustic Workshop at the January NCAL meeting, where members officially voted her Artist of the Month. The painting will be on display at the Spring Hill Library, 9220 Spring Hill Dr., Spring Hill, during February.

It is the mission of the Nature Coast Art League to promote the visual arts and support artists in Hernando County and surrounding areas.

“It was an unexpected surprise to receive this accolade from my peers since this was my first time joining the NCAL,” said Gutierrez. “I decided to join NCAL because of their good reputation, along with the encouragement of renowned artists and my art instructor, Diane Becker, along with other NCAL members.”

An avid oil painter, Gutierrez draws abundant inspiration from her natural surroundings. “The medium I prefer is oil on canvas,” she said. “I was inspired to do this painting after doing some countryside driving in my car. One of my favorite subjects to paint is rustic structures and landscapes.”

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After taking a lengthy break from the art world, this longtime art enthusiast and pupil reenters the scene as a student and creator. “In my early 20s, I graduated from a three-year art school in NJ,” she said. “Now, in my retirement, after decades of not painting, I decided to paint again with a renewed interest. Art instructor and artist Diane Becker has helped me improve my technique.”

Maritza Gutierrez’s work can also be seen on the walls of Gallery 201, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville, where her paintings “Precious Serenity” and “Precious Butterfly” are displayed as a part of the Precious Things exhibit.

In the future, Gutierrez plans to keep on painting and to keep on showing her art.
“My future plans are to constantly improve my painting technique,” she said, “and to submit my work to art shows.”

Regardless of her subject, this devoted artist has one goal in mind when creating one of her masterworks. “If my art evokes a smile, creates a pleasant thought, or leaves a nice memory when someone views my work,” she said, “that would justify the effort I took in painting the piece.”

The Nature Coast Art League will meet next Feb. 19, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at People Helping People, 1396 Kass Circle, Spring Hill. Following a brief meeting, Julie Komenda will present “An Artist Expedition: Technical and Clever Techniques.” Komenda creates art in a variety of media and was formerly Artist in Residence at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Her works include jewelry, painting and more. The Artist of the Month theme is open and includes 2D and 3D. NCAL Annual Membership costs $40 for a single membership and $50 for a family membership. Mail the check to Nature Coast Art League, P.O. Box 6284, Spring Hill, FL 34611.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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