Grafica Fine Art Gallery and Framing. The corner of Big Bend and Laclede Station. St. Louis. Webster Groves to be specific. Any other gallery, I would be driving around and around trying to find it but not Grafica. I know it well.
|Judy Stroup. Fall Blush. Oil on Canvas Board, 10"x8".|
A quaint little house on the South side of Big Bend. It’s rainy. A tad cold. I wind my way through each room taking note of the hardwood floors (I believe they’re oak and original to the building.); the fireplace; its mantel. I spot Larry. Larry Bozzay. Owner. All around good guy. We chat.
The mantle catches my eye yet again. A perfect place to display a gorgeous oil on canvas. A landscape filled with a mustard sky and olive foliage. I sense a peace. A glance to my left and I’m hit with Judy Stroup’s work. A small piece. A stunning flower that jumps out at me. Yet again, I sense a peace.
A quick scan of the room. It’s artwork of all sizes. Bordered by a variety of frames. Mostly landscapes. All beautiful. All peaceful. All women artists. It’s an all-woman show. “Through Her Eyes.” Twelve St. Louis area women who paint together outside and in.
Margaret von Kaenel
Most are former art teachers. Retired from teaching, but not from making art and sharing their passion. All creating beautiful paintings of all sizes and colors that blend magically. Similar subject matter as in one gender, yet each creating a beauty all its own.
“The true beauty in a women is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows.” - Audrey Hepburn
|Judy Stroup. Iris Time. Oil on Canvas Board, 8"x6".|
“Through Her Eyes” a show with works by twelve different women. Each framed piece is like looking through the eyes of the artist. Each piece reflects the beauty of the artist’s soul. Eyes are, after all, the window to the soul.
Again, I go back to the work on the mantle, it’s by Sandy Haynes. Her mission…”to paint the world around [her] with paint and canvas. [She] attempts to find beauty in the commonplace by demonstrating the power of light on a subject.” The mustard sky. The light glowing behind the the trees brings tranquility. I feel its warmth.
|Mary Drastal. Just Around the Corner. Oil on Canvas Board, 11"x14".|
The clock chimes. Suddenly I realize I’m late for an appointment. As I leave, I notice the sidewalk is brick. Has it always been? The sun is out. I swear it’s twenty degrees warmer.
Was I in there that long?
“Through Her Eyes” remains on view through May 24, 2019. Grafica Fine Art Gallery is located at 7884 Big Bend Boulevard in Webster Groves, MO. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 314/961-4020.
Natalie Avondet is a St. Louis-based artist. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism/Advertising with a Minor in Psychology from University of Missouri's School of Journalism. Natalie's early career was in commercial advertising in the Midwest and Los Angeles. Art is a lifelong passion and she began seriously painting and exhibiting in galleries while in Los Angeles. Determined to pursue her artistic career, she returned to the Midwest and since then has exhibited in Kansas City, Los Angeles and Saint Louis. Her work is represented locally by Grafica Fine Art Gallery. You can reach out to Natalie through her blog.