Life experiences shape work of Point Loma artists
by Patricia Walsh
Jul 25, 2012 | 92586 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Potter Dixon E. Johnson, right, talks ceramics with Sheri Roonan, on vacation from Connecticut to visit her mother, Mary Nuffer, a Point Loma artist.                      Photo by Patricia Walsh I The Beacon
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Point Loma artists filled the space and time of summer with life’s more leisurely luxuries on July 21 by hosting an art and ice cream event at the Hervey/Point Loma Branch Library.

Members of the Point Loma Artists Association exhibited watercolors, acrylics, prints, ceramics, cards and jewelry, donating 20 percent of their proceeds to the library. Visitors enjoyed free ice cream while they browsed, chatted with artists and found that perfect piece of art.

“Art is something you can enjoy and that will enrich your life,” said Beverly Brady, who uses acrylic for her realism on canvas.

Watercolor artist Julie Anderson said many people do appreciate and own original art.

“But most are looking for affordable art,” she said.

Anderson and Dixon E. Johnson, a potter, blossomed into their talents later in life. Both take inspiration from their life experiences and apply it to their creative process.

“I paint what I know and love,” said Anderson, who picked up a brush nine years ago. Her specialty is painting from pictures. Her original works, prints and cards capture the drifting moments of her canoe trips and unbridled innocence of her toddler grandchildren. Her sailing scenes are commissioned and used as trophies for regattas.

Johnson, a dialysis nurse at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, started working in earnest with clay six years ago.

“I thought I’d go crazy if I didn’t do something creative,” he said. “The clay is centering. When I’m in the moment I’m not thinking about the mortgage, problems at work, or conflict at home. It’s a sacred place to meditate and not think — just be. Working with clay is my meditation.”

Johnson’s ceramics, a varied collection of bowls and vases, are notable for their varied circular patterns from suns to Celtic knots. His display didn’t showcase the urns he makes for cremated ashes. Those are turned on request and require hands-on involvement from those who want them. It’s a technique he learned from an instructor.

“When my mother died, family and friends sat around and passed clay for her urn and shared memories about her,” he said. “After the session, the clay was turned into an urn. It is infused with loving thoughts and feelings. Our DNA became part of the vessel, so she is surrounded by the ones she loves.”

Georgia Hoopes is a lifelong artist who combines Eastern and Western techniques in her watercolors. For Hoopes, whose son died unexpectedly in 2004, art isn’t what she does for a living or hobby, but what she does for life itself.

Hoopes said that while she pours emotion into her work, she never tells people what her works mean to her. Because art is interpretative and different for each person, she only shares her process for arriving at a finished piece.

On exhibit was one of her favorite watercolors, “Prayers of Our Mothers.” It was inspired by the “Flags of Our Fathers,” a book-turned-movie about the Marines and Navy corpsman who raised the flag on Iwo Jima during World War II.

The ethereal red-and-blue-hued painting is of a woman wearing a statue of liberty crown in front of an American flag. At the bottom of the painting is an excerpt from a poem by Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet.

Hoopes prices her art not by the time it takes to complete, but by its size. She is selling “Prayers of Our Mothers” for $600.

“Everybody’s asking about it today,” she said. “But no one is buying.”

But that’s OK for now, Hoopes said.

“If somebody wanted to buy it, I’d have to figure out how to let it go.”
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