Carolyn Land – Nature as Muse


“My art reflects who I am and I am nature. – Carolyn Land

On a cool day in January, the Sandra Lloyd Gallery warmly welcomed 30 community members to The Hub’s monthly Talk Art series. Carolyn Land, whose been with The Hub for six months, began by answering questions most often asked of the artist who dabbles in both the real and the abstract.

Integrating Art Forms

Often people wonder why she pursues both art forms. “For me, they are both part of me. They are totally integrated within me.”

While she doesn’t prefer one form over the other, abstract expression excites her. If she wants to escape, she goes to her studio to enter another world. “I can choose the realistic world or an abstract world.”

Realistic painters “have a road map. They know where they’re going. When you’re doing an abstract, you have to get off the road. You have to take the back roads.”

Land explains it’s more like putting a puzzle together. With abstract expression, “You don’t have that map. You don’t know where you’re going. It’s exciting. Because each thing you put down is dependent on the other thing that’s there.”

Following the Rules

“The rules of composition that you have for realism and abstract art are exactly the same. You’re using the same four elements: line, form, color and texture. And you’re going to achieve the same principals: balance, variety, rhythm.”

While the abstract excites her, the real is grounding. “When I’m doing a realistic painting, I get so into it I obsess about one spot. I take myself to that spot. I am not looking at the whole. I am a plane on a rock. The bark on a tree. I am feeling the wind, the grass, the ground.”

Finding the nuances in the now helps her later. “I am actually feeling where I was and I am feeling those little things that I want to take and put into an abstract later on.”

Nature as Muse

“My creative expression comes from the earth. I am anchored in the earth. I am anchored in Mother Nature. It is my muse. I can’t say that anything else motivates me like earth does.”

Land relayed a tidbit a lot of gardeners can relate to. “I have two passions: one is gardening and the second is painting. If I am upset, if I’m having a bad day all I have to do is go out and pull weeds for 10 minutes. It’s like the earth sucks all the bad stuff out of me.”

Tools of the trade - Carolyn is a big fan of using handmade dyed paper and Golden brand products in her art.
Tools of the trade – Carolyn is a big fan of using handmade dyed paper and Golden brand products in her art.

Written by Tonya West, Hub volunteer



Frank Ferrante, Hub Landscape and Seascape Painter, Creates Painting for City of NSB 250th Anniversary

Frank Ferrante has many interests, but he has always been passionate about the sea and about oil painting.  As a landscape and seascape oil painter and teacher at The Hub on Canal, Frank is able to combine his loves and his talents, creating bold intense images of life near or on the sea.  New Smyrna Beach provides an endless array of subjects; through its rich colorful history, its beautiful beaches, and the many stories about life in an old Florida beach town.

In 2011 Frank moved from New Jersey to Volusia County where he found The Hub on Canal, and became a Hub studio painter and teacher.  To this day visitors can find Frank Ferrante painting in his studio near the front door, creating his bold beautiful paintings every day of the week.

Last summer Frank learned of the city’s upcoming 250th birthday and resolved to commemorate this momentous event in his only style of celebration- an oil painting that he and The Hub on Canal would present to the City of New Smyrna Beach as a gift.  As Frank sought potential subjects for his painting, a historical New Smyrna Beach landmark came up again and again: Feger’s Seafood.  Many fondly remembered the landmark as the only place to buy fresh-off-the-boat seafood in New Smyrna Beach.

After conducting research on the landmark itself, Frank began painting the large 48” x 60” canvas in his studio.  During the subsequent three-month period, locals and visitors stopped by to watch its progress.  “I spoke with so many people who remembered the sight and in almost all cases, were very sad that it no longer exists,” said Ferrante.  “I became more and more aware of the impact that this location had on so many residents… fascinated and anxious to hear of their recollection and personal story regarding Fegers.”

The painting will be presented to the City of New Smyrna Beach as part of its 250th Anniversary on January 9, 2018 at the regular City Commission meeting at City Hall in New Smyrna Beach.  It will be displayed in the City Hall Commission Chambers, 210 Sams Avenue, New Smyrna Beach.  The Hub on Canal will also be producing 50 limited edition prints that will be for sale after its presentation to the City of New Smyrna Beach.

Frank Ferrante Oil Painting
Feger’s Seafood Market (circa 1960), Frank Ferrante Oil Painting, depicts iconic New Smyrna Beach landmark.

Written by Vicki White