CALEXICO – The Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center in Calexico opened its doors Monday night hosting a gallery to display the work of local artist of the month, Jean Stroud.
Stroud is a Yuma native who moved to Imperial Valley and began teaching nursing at Imperial Valley College. After retiring five years ago, Stroud found she had more time to experiment with the arts and began taking drawing, oil colors, and design classes.
“My mother was an oils artist and taught me how to do oils when I was very young, but I only started taking water color lessons about ten years ago,” Stroud said. “So I guess you could say I’m pretty new to this.”
Grapes, crackers, cheese and wine were available to tickle the pallets of the guests as they observed the portraits, landscapes, and water colors that decorated the walls.
Utilizing a neo-impressionist painting technique composed of tiny dots that blend together before the viewer’s eye called Pointillism, Stroud showed off her diversity in her piece entitled Tia.
“I really enjoy experimenting with different genres like the pointillism piece I did of my granddaughter. I wish I could do more of that style,” explained Stroud.
The texture-abundant mixed media pieces Exotic Cat and Tree with Blue Sky appeared two dimensional at first, then gradually climbed off the canvas as the viewer realized the three-dimensional detail.
“I Just started experimenting with texture pieces this year,” Stroud explained. “They are acrylic, mixed with different mediums to help build up the texture. The cat background is glued on with a paper toning over it.”
Her water color, El Centro Alley, was originally intended for gallery viewing, but was spoken for and purchased by collectors shortly after she initially posted it on Facebook. The idea spawned from a power line painting project.
“I was taking pictures of alleys and transformers when I came across this shot, and created a water color picture out of it,” Stroud said.
”Bigger cities have more of a variety to select from, so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for, but the local and international talent here in the Valley also produces wonderful art shows,” added Stroud.