ELKTON — Several artists and authors were featured at The Palette & The Page for the First Friday of 2022, exhibiting colorful paintings, intricate drawings and intense ceramics along with a collection of compelling books.
The Palette & The Page presented its 6th Annual Emerging Artist Show at the gallery at 120 East Main St. in Elkton.
Brooke LeBrun began her venture into acrylic painting as the Elkton woman was about to become an empty-nester. She joined her daughter, also a painter, and started to enjoy this new-found creative outlet. So did the public.
“I had to stop selling so I’d have something for the show,” LeBrun said. On the wall behind her were paintings of flowers.
“I like scenery and really enjoy painting flowers and things that are quirky and unusual,” she said. Her mother-in-law was the influence behind one canvas, where a piano keyboard winds its way around vibrant purple flowers.
“My mother-in-law is a piano teacher,” said LeBrun. “As I did the panting I said, ‘I’m going to add the flowers and make it more interesting.’” To connect with LeBrun find her on Facebook.
Another canvas shows flowers growing from the spaces between bricks in a wall. Still another was a simple cluster of hydrangea.
Allison Leftridge usually paints with acrylics and does some drawing but said here lately she has found a passion in graphic design. However for First Friday she brought out her ceramics.
“I do try to incorporate a lot of blue tones and cool colors,” Leftridge, from North East, said. “I like to add notes of humor and expression in my work.”
To see her graphic design work go to Facebook and search for Alli Left Studios.
Mary Jo Fitz is also a ceramics artist. The Port Deposit woman brought several pieces for the First Friday show including one that took hours to construct.
“This is hundreds and hundreds of tiny little coils,” she said of the pot with a knotted lid. “I saw a 1-by-1-inch picture in a magazine and I liked the texture.”
Fitz was happy with the results and the texture of the pot itself, made more so by the off-white and brown glazes.
“I’m a process person. I like bringing these ideas out, finding the technique that’ll work,” Fitz said.
Posted at a table holding stacks of his three paperback books, Kevin IJA Barnett Sr. is already working on #4. His first two titles — “Living My Shadows; Dreams Do Come True” and “Shadows of Emotions; Life After the Dream — are autobiographical. In them, Barnett talks about his life in foster care, being adopted, joining the military and finding his biological family.
“It’s based on me not knowing who I was,” Barnett said.
“What The Hell; Soldier Buddies 4 Life” is semi-autobiographical, based on real life experiences of him and his fellow soldiers in combat. That presented a different kind of challenge for the Newark, Del. resident.
“I had to come up with the characters. It’s based on real situations with information from different people in the military,” he said. All three are available on Amazon.
Book four will be even more of a challenge.
“This will definitely be all fiction,” he said of the book to be titled “Hurricane; The Ancestors Return.” It’s due to be released in 2024 or 2025.
Jessica Duncan, a Cecil College student from Newark, Del., is still exploring and growing as an artist. She likes working with charcoals and oils.
“I really enjoy doing wildlife,” Duncan said. Often a photograph she has taken will inspire her painting creativity. Her works on display at The Palette & The Page included a painting of a mallard duck preening itself on the water and a farm field with a stack of various colors of pumpkins. Also on display — but not for sale — was her re-creation of Van Gogh’s Pair of Shoes.
“It allowed me to get into the artist’s mindset and how he created,” she said.
Being a Fine Arts student gives her the opportunity to explore.
“I’m just using more of the tools available to express myself,” she said. Her work is getting attention. She’s been commissioned for animal portraiture. At the same time Duncan remains realistic.
“I would never not pursue furthering my skills or limiting myself,” she said, “But there’s no deadline set that I have to do this for a living.”
You can view her art at https://catalystsofconfluenceart.com/.