The Spirit of Art Resides in Englewood by Rita Schwab, MFA – When I randomly stopped in Englewood on my way to Miami in 2010, I sensed a feeling of calmness and nostalgia in this little old Florida town. I was inspired by the scenic waterscapes, abundant sea life and birds, and the long sandy beaches. Englewood was on the verge of recuperating from the economic crash of 2008 and many small homes were unoccupied and for sale. I jumped at the opportunity.
As I settled into my new home, I found many opportunities for art expression not only through nature but also through several local organizations.
The Open Studio was in the early stages of making space for art classes. The Englewood Art Center, an extension of the Ringling Art School in Sarasota hired me to teach Fresco Painting. With my background as an educator and a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts I found it easy to attract teaching opportunities. I became a member of the Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay where I met many local artisans and craftspeople. I also joined The North Port Art Center and became a member of the Venice Art Center.
As an abstract painter, I’m sensitive to the energies in the natural environment. As an art instructor, I promote and enhance these sensitivities within my students. My art classes ‘Art with Spirit from Spirit’ are about authentic self-expression through contemporary techniques. As we free our inhibitions through color, movement and composition, we express ourselves from a depth of subconscious awareness.
Students of all ages are looking for a deeper meaning to life and the experiential arts offers a path for self-expression. My classes often begin with self-reflection. I encourage movement of wrist and painting with a flow that loosens and relaxes the body. The art classes are therapeutic and there are no mistakes. We don’t paint from pictures or examples; we paint from the heart.
I teach techniques such as frottage, texture painting, fresco, paper montage, painting with sand and more. Our tools are not just paint brushes but also non-traditional materials such as trowels, sponges, joint compound etc. We paint with passion and share insights to help each other find balance in composition and depth in our personal creations. We also build meaningful friendships as part of a larger art community.
Learn more at RitaSchwabFineArts.com and thank you for supporting organizations that support art in our growing community.