5/23/2013 2:29:00 PM Artist reception for Brenda Strom June 1 at Jerona Java Café
Brenda Strom began painting in Virginia over 20 years ago and says that the friendship and support of other artists is very important to her.
Maybe it was the personal connection, but the photos of waterfalls emailed to Brenda Strom by her daughter and son-in-law as they hiked a trail in northern Pennsylvania called to her in a way that few subjects had.
She painted one, and then another; finally, she painted them all. This Saturday she invites the public in for a chat, a snack, and a chance to learn more about her work at her new show in Cottonwood's Jerona Java Café on June 1, from noon to 2 p.m.
Strom, a self-described "representational-impressionist," says that she picks her subjects by the feelings they invoke. It's unusual, she says, for her to paint one subject for a long time, but somehow the waterfalls were different. She's moved by color, natural beauty, the play of light and meaningful ideas, and is always open to a challenge - she painted "Broken Arm Beach" left-handed while her right arm healed after a bad break.
She began painting in Virginia over 20 years ago and says that the friendship and support of other artists is very important to her. "We paint, learn from each other, laugh and joke a lot, become better artists and dare I say, happier individuals."
Her "waterfall" paintings are not the only ones with a story behind them. Several years ago, Strom painted her husband as he stood looking out over the Grand Canyon while her mother and father sat nearby enjoying the view, working from photographs taken before her mother died of lung cancer. She called the finished piece "Times Remembered," and entered in the Verde Valley Fair.
A friend noticed a woman standing before the painting with tears in her eyes. When she told the viewer what she knew about the painting the woman replied, "I thought it was something like that. I understand exactly how she felt." And that, says Strom, was the greatest complement she has ever received.
Jerona Java Cafe, at 677 E. Mingus Ave. in Cottonwood, is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The show runs through July 21, 2013. Call 928-639-1234 for more information.