Pair’s art inspired by nature One paints Florida, the other Canada
NewspaperJune 23, 2004 | Florida Times-Union, The (Jacksonville, FL)
Author: TIM GILMORE, Times-Union correspondent | Page: K-1 | Section: Arlington
670 Words | Readability: Lexile: 1110, grade level(s): 9 10 11-12 e
“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.
Both artists are influenced by Impressionism and post-Impressionism.
Lauderdale is attracted primarily to Sabourin’s and Szeles’ techniques.
Both artists use brilliant colors, capturing seasonal foliage and reflecting light. Several of Sabourin’s paintings incorporate “impasto,” in which paint is laid on thickly and brush strokes are easily visible.
“It’s all about the application of paint, the sense of surface. Both of these artists know how to manipulate the medium,” Lauderdale said.
Both artists actively participate in what they feel is a growing local art scene.
Sabourin’s biggest recent project, in collaboration with Lauderdale, was a 120-foot mural on the City Rescue Mission on McDuff Avenue.
Szeles has offered painting classes, currently exhibits in Chao Framing and Gallery at Jacksonville Beach and participates in the Beaches Fine Art Series.
Sabourin and Szeles have known each other for three years and have painted together for two years. Both said their friendship has aided their artistic growth.
“We have been able to overcome language and cultural differences because of a desire to learn from each other. Ferenc and I will always be friends,” Sabourin said.
A dual exhibition of colorful landscape paintings featuring Canadian artist Pierre Sabourin and Hungarian artist Ferenc Szeles, titled “North and South,” runs through Friday, Aug. 6, at the Alexander Brest Museum and Gallery, 2800 University Blvd. N., at Jacksonville University. The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 to 11 a.m. Fridays. For more information, call 256-7345.
from the memoirs of Pierre AJ Sabourin