Original Exhibit Dates: February 14 to March 10, 2012

Our twenty-third exhibit featured the work of acclaimed painter and native Floridian Hollis Jeffcoat.

After leaving New York and returning to Sanibel in 2008, Jeffcoat immediately began to express her deep love for the nature of Southwest Florida with paintings of sunsets, mangrove islands and the Gulf of Mexico, pieces which were shown in the gallery in 2009. In 2011, Jeffcoat explored her visions and childhood memories of swimming in the gulf waters, and she presented us with her elegant “Grande Meduse” series.

A dedicated artist to whom “painting is like breathing,” as she describes it, Jeffcoat underwent major heart surgery in the summer of 2011 and could not get into her studio. This exhibition presented the work she created before her operation, while confined to her bed, and through the months of recovery that followed. During this ordeal, oils were too strenuous, so Jeffcoat used mediums she could manage more easily, such as colored pencils, watercolor and gouache, in order to continue creating – to continue breathing. She measured her improvement by the size of her work.

The medium, supports and size changed during this time, while the imagery stayed constant – underwater creatures and exploration. There is, however, another change that is less tangible in this body of work; through this trial, Jeffcoat has gone deeper into the creative spirit, presenting us with her experiences there.

“Aqua Journey” was not just a display of beautiful paintings; it was a look into the process, the dedication, and the heart of an extraordinary painter, Hollis Jeffcoat.