Simon Cherkasski’s Artworks Bring Metal Sculptures Alive Through Texture, Color, And Subject. Meet Him At Hotworks Show In Boca Raton Saturday, November 6 And Sunday, November 7

Simon Cherkasski‘s artwork offers metal sculptures that evoke Mother Nature, the general life of ordinary people, Old World scenes, and cultural scenes from around the world.  He is one of the Featured Artists at the Hotworks Show in Boca Raton on Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November, 7, 2021.  Admission is FREE. While some artists are easy to classify in terms of subjects or styles, what we love about Simon’s artistry is that he is continually evolving and brings us along on his journey.  The Rickie Report shares some sneak peeks, videos, and an interview with the artist.










10  am  –  5  pm Daily

Free Admission

590 Plaza Real    Boca Raton, FL 33432










 Click   Here  To  See  Simon  working




TRR:  Were you always creative?


I was artistic and stubborn from day one! Although my love was for Ancient history and my dream was to become to be an archeologist, drawing and painting was big part of my life and made up most of my classes. During Middle School, I took local classes from Eliad, a local artist. My father, a mechanic and welder, made metal arrangements and figurines as a side hobby, so creativity was a large part of my family life.  My school advisor encouraged me, so I took the exams to enter one of the best art schools at the time, in Haifa. I was willing to commute 1.5 hours a day to attend the Professional Art School of ORT Hana Senesh.



TRR: What kind of art medium did you initially work in ?


I painted with oils in the beginning and continued to push myself to try other mediums as well, including pottery, China ink, wood carving, and more.  My favorite was creating etched gravures.





TRR: What made you decide to try metal work?


In 2006, my primary creative medium was synthetic fabric collages, which I learned from Smadar Livne. I suffered a tragic electrical fire in  my studio which destroyed nearly 5 years of my work. As with most artists, I had no insurance.  I had been working on collection for prestigious solo show and all of my fabric collages had been stored in the studio. After that, I found mentally challenging to keep painting. The tragedy triggered my swing of media. For distraction, I started working with metal and was grateful when a friend who was a historic copper roof contractor offered me some leftovers from his job site.







TRR:  Your style is distinctive !  What inspires you to try new sculptures?


I just can’t stop creating and exploring.  New ideas are typically born as I work on a project and I can’t wait to finish current work to start a new one!  Anything probably can trigger a new design to appear in my mind, only one thing I never do is to copy anyone else – this is taboo for me.  Honestly I have no need to grab other people’s ideas – I hope to live long enough to finish half of mine.





TRR: You have a depth of knowledge that speaks to your creativity.  Tell us more about being an illustrator, graphic designer, art director, radio jingle writer, and program director.


I would have never survived a static occupation, even with the promise of a bright future because I was always looking for innovational ways to feed my creative hunger. Graphic design is a form of art both visually and subconsciously. While it is commercial, it is still art. I worked as illustrator, graphic designer and eventually Art Director at a weekly newspaper (with about 200 pages every week). But as everything became routine, I eventually left for a radio job and enjoyed years of Jingle writing and program directing, securing myself a piece of all the visual advertisement go through my design studio at the time.





TRR:  What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?


I usually read about 3 books a week in Hebrew, Russian and English. I enjoy the Classics like Emil Zola and Victor Hugo as well as memoirs and history.  Science Fiction continues to be a favorite in my heart, because of unlimited fantasy and creativity.







TRR: Tell us more about your inventive cooking!


My father was an amazing cook (my mother was good, too) and he constantly experimented with dishes, sharing with family and friends, same way as I do now. Cooking is art in itself. Mixing and matching a spice bouquet is no different from color matching in a way. I love to trigger my taste buds and take pleasure in eating good food. It can be as simple as a baked potato with a feta or farmer cheese filling, to marinating lamb for 4 days with wine and roasted greens. I do have a special place in my heart for filled French/ Greek/Balkan (both sweet and savory puff pastry – guilty as charged).






TRR: Do you prefer any one type of metal or stone to work with ?


I love copper for its natural amazing and surprising color shades and flexibility. I am intrigued with the idea that it’s a core natural mineral from nature. Stones are my second love and I love them all, naturally pretty and different. Marble and granite have less of my admiration because they have been used so much commercially and they can be monotonous in small sizes. Give me limestones or flagstone which are colorful and unique in their patterns.  I can spend hours in local landscape yards to hand pick each piece.




TRR: Tell us more about your classes


There has been a demand for classes for some time, but I still struggle with liability insurance issues because I work with an open flame and smoldering metal. I am focusing on offering online classes on my YouTube channel, which is in the process of completion.


TRR:  Each creation is one-of-a-kind.  Do you offer commissions?


I am always open to creating a special piece of artwork for a client.  My creativity thrives on their enthusiasm!








For more information about Simon’s artistry:






For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Anita Lovitt Offers Special Color Temperature Workshop Sponsored By Palm Beach Watercolor Society. Open To Members And Non-Members On April 17. Register Now As Reservations Are Being Filled

Anita Lovitt‘s watercolor teaching combines years of professional experience with a facility for imparting information and a subtle wit. Her desire is to help a student understand techniques “but not be contented with the technique itself.” She challenges both the most tentative students and those already skilled to bring out their best and develop their own unique style.  Because so many of her students have struggled to understand which colors are “warm”, which are “cool” and why, Anita created this workshop to explain it.  The Palm Beach Watercolor Society is offering Anita Lovitt’s Color Temperature Workshop on Saturday, April 17 and has opened it to non-members as well as members.  If you’ve never been clear on this topic, or would like to know how considering it can improve your work, this is the workshop to sign up for! The Rickie Report shares the details of the workshop and focuses on Anita’s own award winning artistry while giving you a glimpse at her students’ work as well.  Our interview with Anita follows the workshop details.






Saturday,  April 17, 2021

10 am – 3:30 pm

Includes 1/2 hour break for lunch and small breaks

$110 for members PBWS $125 for non-members

REGISTRATION closes Thursday, April 15



For more details please visit:

To pay by credit card: call Adrienne Walker (516) 885-4199
To use PayPal: Go to PayPal and ask to pay

Or mail check payable to PBWS and send application to:   Adrienne Walker  6442 Emerald Breeze Way  Boynton Beach, FL 33437


What is a warm blue? A cold red?  Why does it matter?  Color “temperature” is about relationships.  Learn how to mix colors fearlessly and avoid mud.


You will complete a number of meaningful exercises and create several small paintings incorporating what you have learned. Attendees will receive a number of handouts to secure their learning. The handouts will go out a week or two beforehand. Call Anita at 561.706.3653 for details and materials list. 





PERSIMMONS IN GREEN GLASS © Anita Lovitt, Watercolor



STUDENT WORK from Anita Lovitt’s watercolor classes

“Ms. Lovitt’s artwork demonstrates an extraordinary and wide ranging understanding of graphic design and painting.She possesses a unique personal vision and demonstrates it with skill and intelligence.”—Milton Glaser, Dean, Yale School of Art


What Anita’s students have to say:

“One look at my work today and you can see a working process that employs a series of techniques that I could not have imagined before Anita’s teaching.  Still “my” style, just better! “
 — Linda Hurley

“Anita Lovitt has helped me to understand the mysteries of watercolor painting. Her warmth and caring comes through her presentations.” — Helen Weisberg

“I could go on and on about how Anita has helped me become a better painter. She is very patient, encouraging and supportive and gives us critiques of our work in a non judgemental way.   I have had other teachers but Anita is the BEST.”— Carol Hirsch
“I love Anita’s classes because of the variety of subjects and painting style challenges that she incorporates. Because she is flexible in presenting each lesson, it doesn’t matter how much painting experience you have. In addition, Anita’s positive teaching and coaching style creates a welcoming community of artists in which the work of all participants is appreciated.”
—Mary Martinez



TRR: You are a multi-discipline artist and visionary. Can you tell us more about your background?


I was born and raised in Philadelphia and went to Penn State University to major in chemistry. I had always wanted to be a scientist. After taking a summer art class I decided to transfer to Philadelphia College of Art, where I majored in illustration. After graduating, I was hired by Hallmark and moved to Kansas City, MO.


I was assigned to an innovative department called “Special Projects.” It was exciting to meet artists from all over the country and get any supplies we wanted for free (a great way to learn about supplies), plus we got our work printed! In color! right after graduating, which could be challenging back then before digital printing. Also, while I was living in the Midwest, I got interested in quilts as an art form. In the 70’s, Hallmark was very conservative, so I did not get a real chance to shine. After a few years I left and went to study theater arts in nearby Lawrence, Kansas.




A CHRISTMAS CAROL Pop-up Stocking stuffer book. Illustrations ©Anita Lovitt




TRR: There is a theme in your life of being on a certain path and yet being open to exploring and following a new offshoot. Please tell us more!


At the University of Kansas, my primary instructor was James Gohl, who had been Master Painter for Boris Aronson, the designer of such Broadway hits as Zorba, Follies, Pacific Overtures, and many others. Jim had extremely high standards. For each project, we had to consider the script, costumes, props, history, set design, scene painting, lighting and more. He made us work hard, and I learned a lot about many different arts.


In 1976, I moved to New York City intending to seek theater work or illustration. One of my motives was to take Milton Glaser’s “Design and Personality” class at the School of Visual Arts. Milton had been a hero of mine since art school. I wish I could convey to you the magical sound of his voice, almost like a stringed instrument. He was brilliant and witty. After his class I thought of myself as not only an illustrator but a designer—someone capable of many types of projects. Milton particularly admired my quilted pieces—maybe because that was one thing he didn’t do!  




BEE PANIC ©Anita Lovitt. Cotton, fusible interfacing



Illustration was a difficult, freelance business, not as open to women in those days as it is now. Theater work usually required “paying your dues” (i.e. working for free) and had a union that was hard to get into. So in 1988, I became Graphic Design Coordinator for the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival in New York City under Joseph Papp. Joe did not consider 3D art as exciting as 4D, i.e., theater. And I got to see a lot of theater. My ideas became more extra-dimensional. I was trained on a Mac Classic, and my digital career began.



With the stability of a regular art job, I was able to take classes in digital media, illumination, calligraphy, puppet making, lettering, photography, quilting, not so much painting at this time. Around then, a fellow puppeteer gave me a bunch of jewelry parts that his sister, who had passed away, had left. These little enameled metal pieces were like candy. I began constructing mobile jewelry and from the very beginning it was popular and sold in many museum shops. My gift for the small complimentary statement had translated over from greeting cards.




SPIRAL EARRINGS ©Anita Lovitt. Commercially baked enamel over metal




TRR: How did your move to Delray Beach lead you to become involved in Art In Public Places?


In 2001, I sublet my Manhattan apartment and moved to Delray Beach to spend more time with my mother. Two weeks later came 9/11. I couldn’t find work in publishing, so I stayed and started teaching watercolor painting. I started working on a calendar idea with the late Susan Keleher, program manager for Pineapple Grove Main Street, Inc. Sue had heard about a competition for a grant to do a mural at the south entrance to the Grove and persuaded me to enter. And I won!




DANCING PINEAPPLES ©Anita Lovitt. Mural, looking south




TRR: The mural is hard to miss at 137 East Atlantic and has become a destination for selfies. Its large- scale patterns, vivid colors and vibrant imagery of dancing pineapples announce to visitors that this part of town is serious about the arts. The challenge was to make the painting visible from a distance but also appreciable from close up. Using your knowledge of set design, you took a picture of the site and laid in the images with Photoshop before beginning. It was completed in October 2008 with the assistance of Benjamin Moore, who donated the paint. “It’s like a landmark,” you said. “I’m honored and happy that people like it.”



I had never done a mural. Nor did I have the needed equipment. My mother had recently died, and I thank my art-loving therapist Dan Lobovits who believed I could and should do this project, using my theater arts experience. Part of this mural’s appeal is that I approached it like a watercolorist: I put the light yellow down first and painted everything over it. If I had painted the darker orange first and then tried to put the yellow over it, it would not glow like it does!




PRAYERS FOR LAKE O. Handwritten prayers on cotton. Designed by Anita Lovitt



TRR: Following a devastating hurricane season in 2005-6, you worked as a hurricane crisis counselor with Project Hope, supervising teams to create large legacy quilts documenting the effects of the hurricane experience on communities in Palm Beach County. One of the quilts you did with your team is called “Prayers for Lake O.” You tied the lake down with knotted threads and prayers so “it wouldn’t overflow.” The therapeutic effect of creating something new, after having lost one’s possessions is deeply empowering.  Once people can realize that despite their loss they still have a creative spark within them, they are reassured that life will go on.



These quilts now hang in public buildings in Palm Beach County, including the Emergency Operations Center.


I served on the Public Art Advisory Board of Delray Beach for 4 years. My “ArtFans” marketing campaign featured the artwork of other Delray Beach public artists. The wood and paper fans were wildly popular and were distributed at free events to promote good will and offer information about art in Delray Beach and the PAAB. They were biodegradable so I wasn’t creating more trash, but we never saw one thrown away.




“ARTFANS” Marketing campaign for PublicArt Advisory Board of Delray Beach




TRR : And you also produced a coloring book?



SHOEFIRMATIONS ©Anita Lovitt 2015 Coloring book




Yes, in 2015, I self-published my first book, “Shoefirmations,” an inspirational coloring book. Each page featured a drawing of a shoe to color and an affirmation that was somehow related. I was just ahead of the surge of adult coloring books!




RADICAL JEWELRY MAKEOVER  Recycled Jewelry by Anita Lovitt



Last year I participated in the Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM) project at the Lighthouse ArtCenter. This is a movement to recycle old broken and discarded jewelry—right up my alley, as my motto is “Straw into Gold”! While the opening was canceled due to COVID last March, the RJM show went up late this winter. I am honored to have some of my designs included! The show is up until March 20.




WATER LEAF DREAM ©Anita Lovitt, Watercolor




TRR: Your watercolor classes taking place on Zoom are very popular and the Palm Beach Watercolor Society just hired you to offer a Workshop in April. Tell us about your classes.




Since 2002, I have taught watercolor painting in Florida. I developed my skills in workshops with with Charles Reid, Mel Stabin, Skip Lawrence and others. My classes typically consist of a demo, followed by personal attention during the class time, followed by a supportive critique by the class. I also created a Facebook page, Anita Lovitt’s Watercolor Class Student Gallery, where current and former students can interact and comment on each other’s work. This has been a welcome addition, especially during COVID.



My involvement with the Palm Beach Watercolor Society (PBWS) includes service as Publicity Coordinator, Recording Secretary, and organizer of annual Paint-Arounds. At the Member Luncheon last March, I gave a presentation comparing taste in food with taste in art which was well-received. I am a Signature Member and recently won a second-place prize at the group’s show in Patch Reef Park. For me, it is not about the competition but more about the camaraderie of spending time creating with others. The process of creating while networking professionally helps everyone involved grow.


Camera shot of Zoom Class Student artworks with Anita Lovitt


Pre-COVID, I taught at local communities and cultural centers. The pandemic forced me to begin teaching on ZOOM. Surprisingly, I found that I liked it a lot and could deliver a great class to more people, some of them living as far away as Vermont and California. Many students have told me the class was the high point of their week, providing encouragement and socialization along with instruction during a challenging period. A number of students had some trouble understanding color temperature, which resulted in this workshop designed to explain it. My current classes include retired teachers (through the United Federation of Teachers). It is deeply gratifying that these teachers enjoy my classes so much, since I was not trained to be a teacher.



TRR: We can see the depth of your knowledge and have a sense of your multiple abilities!  What else should our readers know about you?



I offer original and custom paintings, prints, surface design, mini-murals, workshops and classes in painting and drawing, as well as consultation and speaking about art.





For more information about Anita’s artwork, classes and availability for commissions:












For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Craig McInnis Is Featured Artist With A Demonstration At Wellington Art Society Meeting On January 10th. Open To The Public

The Wellington Art Society will present well known artist, Craig McInnis as their featured demonstrator for their January 10th member meeting. The meeting will be held at the Wellington Community Center on Forest Hill Boulevard just east of City Hall. There will be a Meet and Greet followed by a member spotlight and brief meeting. The evening will conclude with Craig’s painting demonstration and a wonderful art raffle. The meeting is open to all members and guests.  The Rickie Report shares the details and some sneak peeks.



January 10, 2018


6:30 pm

12150 Forest Hill Blvd.   Wellington, FL




This is event is open to members and non-members

“Piggy” by Craig McInnis



Craig McInnis is a prolific artist, who knew he wanted to be an artist since his early childhood.  He tells The Rickie Report, “I am thrilled to be able to make my living doing creative work and I am grateful for the opportunities that have arisen in my life. To make art is a gift, and to share it, even better”.  


“Fascination” by Craig McInnis




When we say that Craig is busy, we mean it! Craig has many projects underway as the 2018 Art Season goes into full swing. CONTINUUM takes place January 18 – 27 with its pop-up gallery in City Place (former space of Restoration Hardware) . He co-produces the show with Anthony Burks Sr. and Trina Slade Burks bringing the freshest art and multimedia events for ARTWEEK. In addition, Craig is working on interior and exterior murals in West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach and Lake Park.


Here is a list of where you can find his artwork, take classes (group or private), or hire him for a commission piece or a mural:


CONTINUUMCo-creator / producer / curator / artist / host

Currently showing artwork at:

Contemporary Living Downtown at the Gardens

 Brewhouse Gallery

Cafe Centro-Northwood Village 

Lot 23 Studio- Northwood Village

Ongoing projects:

Back Alley Mural Project – Lake Park with AJ Brockman

Creative Director for Fright Nights at The South Florida Fairgrounds

Designer – South Florida Fair

Curator – Cafe Centro

Mobile Murals

Artist in Residence for Lot 23

Art Teacher:

Lot 23- Drawing and Painting

Center for Creative Education- C4 Digital Art Program

LEAP Program with The Benjamin School

Easel Art- Drawing and Painting  Lake Park

Armory Art Center – Cartoon Workshop

Private Instruction




“Fluffy Knuckles Coin Operated Emporium” by Craig McInnis



What are his goals for the coming year?  He’ll be an active member of the Board of Directors for No More Starving Artists while working on producing his own Pop-Up Gallery which will include an incubator space for new ideas.  Craig will have new artwork on his easel and will continue to foster his fine art career.  We know his goal to find new clients and strengthen relationships with existing clients will come to fruition….Craig MAKES THINGS HAPPEN!


 “What’s The Hub Bub Bub?” Mural by Craig McInnis

For more information about Craig’s artwork, murals or classes:

Craig McInnis




The Wellington Art Society is a non-profit charitable organization in its 37th year. It is open to artists of all mediums and patrons of the arts, allowing both local and regional artists to display their art work in local galleries, interact with other artists and serve the community through their art.

For further information please visit





For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Maria Paz’s SOLO Exhibit At Hatch 1121 Features “Divas & Drag Queens” Painted On Canvas And Found Objects

This SOLO exhibition of work created by Maria Paz at Hatch 1121 includes 1500 square feet of DIVAS !!  “Divas & Drag Queens”  are painted on large and small canvases plus tote bags, jewelry, small gift items and more! Perfect for holiday gift giving and art collectors, the Free Public Opening Reception takes place on Friday, December 1st.  There will be closing Reception on Friday, December 29th as well.  The Rickie Report shares the details and some sneak peeks of this fun and glamorous show. In the meantime, stop by and visit Maria’s working studio and art gallery, ART Studio Cafe in Lake Worth.




M A R I A      P A Z




Opening Reception:

Friday, December 1st

6 – 10 PM


Closing Reception:

Friday, December 29th

6 – 10 PM

Hatch 1121

1121 Lucerne Avenue    Lake Worth, FL








Maria Paz shares one of her favorite quotes with The Rickie Report, ” True art is not a gimmick, it is a creative process where what is created evokes an emotion …. if I can do that through my work, I would have done my job”.  Born in Manila, Philippines, Maria came to Boston, MA at age 8. At age 11, Maria took “Perspective Architectural Drawing” where “outdoor field work” was involved at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts every Saturday morning. At age 14, she studied Acrylic & Oil Painting during the summer months at Massachusetts College of Art(MASSART). Cable vision hired Maria to design & build their backdrop while she was still a high school student!

Handpainted furniture by Maria Paz


Wanting to be an Art Major, Maria began building her portfolio in high school & was awarded scholarships, including the Bergfors Rice Award.  With offers from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Parsons NY, Maria chose the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York to study Fine Arts as it had many “working artists” as professors.


Artwork by Maria Paz




Maria also lived in Paris, France for 6 months and studied Fine Art at Parsons in Paris. Her “Reclining Nude” was exhibited at a Paris gallery.  Upon returning to NY & living in Manhattan, Maria worked while studying nude figurative drawing at The Arts Student’s League.  She was often commissioned to paint portraits, which can be found in numerous private collections internationally.


Portrait by Maria Paz



Maria’s work has been seen at many exhibitions including: NUDENite in Orlando, ARTUndressed in Miami, WPB Waterfront, Fatsvillage Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach, Manalapan, and Evening on The Avenue in Lake Worth. Local Murals in Lake Worth include: Brick Oven Pizza, Awe Flowers, North L St Building, Chicks With Kicks, Dixie Highway, CarriElle’s Closet plus private commissioned murals in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton. 

Mural by Maria Paz


Maria offers private lessons and small classes at ART Studio Cafe.  Visitors can enjoy a fresh cup of  Cafe Con Leche while they watch her and other artists paint.  Her custom art includes portraits, furniture and murals.  Artists interested in renting studio space should contact her.  Don’t miss the upcoming events: Sip & Paint Classes, Figurative Study with a Live Model,and “Drag & Draw”.


For more information contact:

Maria Paz  561.667.3923  (text or call)

ART Studio Cafe
410 2nd Avenue North  Lake Worth, FL 33460
561 667 3923







For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986


Art In Public Places: “Body Graphix Mural Project”, An Interview With Sharon Koskoff

The Rickie Report has shared Calls for Art in Public Places before and has written about Public Art Projects in Hobe Sound, Palm Beach County, Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale and more.  This article takes our readers behind the scenes, as we interview award winning mural artist and art educator, Sharon Koskoff, who oversaw the “Body Graphix Mural Project”. We hope that art lovers, art patrons and artists get a better understanding and appreciation of these Public Art Projects.














Body Graphix Mural Project




TRR:How did the Body Graphix Mural Project Begin?


As one of several Center for Creative Education teaching artists I was eligible to apply for this project, and happily my proposal was accepted. The project was sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs in partnership with Palm Beach County Art in Public Places and the Solid Waste Authority’s Recycled Paint Program.


The mural spans 80’ and is hung high. It is meant to be seen driving by in a car or as a pedestrian from a distance. We also wanted to introduce the students to three area professional artists from Belle Glade who would also serve as role models for mentorship.





TRR:How was the project formulated?


There are several ways to approach this group mural project….




• An artist makes a design in color and everyone paints different parts of it. The previous mural was painted on 4’ x 8’ wood panels and created a large scale single concept, which was a landscape.




• Everyone gets an individual wood panel and paints anything they want or follows a theme but creates 20 different ideas and colors. Balance is only created in the installation through repetition of similar scale and size.




• My Concept: Combine the two ideas! Each student gets their own panel, the theme is their individual portrait of their ‘physical presence” and chosen images of their “personal essence”. The mural is created in an abstract style of warm and cool colors with overlapping chosen images. The students all use the same selected paint colors and use outlining to create one harmonious mural of 20 individual panels that has a dynamic view from afar.





I have used this concept serval times before at public venues as Lake Worth Middle School, Toussaint L’Overture High School, Home Safe youth affected by violence and other locations. I knew it would adapt well to the scrutiny of exterior public art maintenance and longevity, as well as it being age appropriate for the young adult teens.






TRR: Where do you begin?


Organization is the key to success in an Artist in Residence atmosphere where education and learning is as important as the process of making art and the finished product. Project outlines and lesson plans made it possible to create Body Graphix in eight hands-on workshops.





Materials were gathered loaded and unloaded onto the site. Safety, drop cloths, painting attire, rules and “getting to know you” takes place in the first session. I was going to use a projector to create the personal student silhouettes, so on the first class, I used to the projector to create “head” shots of each student on paper.






They got to know me, see my tools, how I operate, learn what to expect, what we were going to do next class, what they needed to prepare and plan for their personal individual “full body portrait – body graphic”.





TRR:How did Body Graphix come into being?



We jump right in and begin to paint! We primed the heavy wood panels front and back and the high energy begins to flow… everyone has a job to do with no time to waste!






By the second workshop, we built a “stage” for the panels and the projector light box and the students took turns making their “pose”. Then their inner emotions dictated what symbols to add to the silhouette as the sun, the moon, flowers, sports, animals, planets, rain, lightning, flora, architecture, music …. All symbols that had meaning to each student alone. Theatrically, I hand drew all 20 panels while each student participated posed for their silhouette individually.







Students also started a journal book where they wrote their feelings, impressions and ideas of what was going on around them. Some added collage elements to their notebook journals and created artistic book covers.





Third Workshop
Warm Colors of Red, Orange, Yellow and Pink were introduced. Teens made a choice to paint the background in warm colors, or their body portrait.




Fourth Workshop
Cool Colors of Blues, Greens and Purple were introduced. If the portrait was warm colors, the background would now be in the cools colors to “pop” out in contrast.




Fifth, Sixth & Seventh Workshops
In the remaining workshops students worked with each other, alone, other with adult volunteers who came by to be part of the high energetic act of creativity!




Three local artists born in Belle Glade, came by to show their work and tell the kids how they became professional artists. Featured in the TV video was Donald Neal.






When the warm and cool panels were completed, a dark brown outline color was mixed to symbolize the “soil” in Belle Glade, as the motto goes, “her soil is her fortune”. The panels were then sealed front and back for exterior longevity and protection from the sun.





All students signed a large ball that could be bounced around the gymnasium as a reminder of the project. Also everyone who was associated with the project dipped their hands in paint and made colorful imprints on a panel to be hung indoors in the recreation room!



TRR: Let’s talk about the Outcomes


I led and coordinated the “Body Graphix Mural Project” for the Bill Bailey Center Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County participants and extended community, through the educational and artistic process of public mural painting. Participants learned about art, painting, color, design, and scale, as well as teamwork, group effort and social history. Tremendous positive energy was shared while working together, formulating ideas, planning, and problem solving. It was extremely exciting to be connected to the process of a blank canvas that evolves into a successful and significant work of art. Each participant created their own individual “identity” work of art, that installed together, created a beautiful vision of 4’ x 8’ connecting mural panels on the newly painted building!




The following process was implemented: community invited/ stake holders / local guest artist mentors etc., create connections, collaborations and introductions, slide presentations of previous public murals, rules and safety, expectations, questions and answers, create artworks to take home as a silhouette self-portrait on paper, prime mural panels, interactive team projection of full body portrait ”Graphix” onto mural panels using a projector, add individual “identity” designs elements relating to personal participants, learn about warm and cool colors, paint the mural panels, encourage open dialogue of expression in Recap, learn painting techniques, top coat murals with exterior sealer, supervise install of mural panels and then celebrate accomplishments with an all invited Award Certificate Ceremony. The mural project was documented individually through daily “journaling books” with writings, sketches, and thoughts, as well as publicly, through photographs / video and media press releases.







• After the County installed the panels measuring 80’ wide by 8’ tall onto the exterior façade of the Bill Bailey Community Center,a Body Graphix Award Luncheon and presentation was held and everyone celebrated!

  • The Sun wrote a front page story on the Body Graphix mural project. 
  • A half hour TV show featuring the Body Graphix project and it’s aired on the County Connection program since April 2016. 
  • Sharon Koskoff received an accommodation from Congressional Representative Alcee Hastings.
  • Palm Beach Post featured an article on Art in Public Places of PBC with Elayna Toby Singer and the Sharon Koskoff Body Graphix residency.






TV Segment Overview

In the latest episode of County Connection, meet the teens, adults and organizations who helped create the “Body Graphix“ murals at the Bill Bailey Community Center in Belle Glade.  Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places program partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County’s teen after-school program and the Solid Waste Authority’s recycled paint program to design and paint the new murals which recently replaced murals created in 2002 by Glades area students and teachers.



TRR:  Tell us more about yourself and your own art.


I graduated from Brooklyn College with Honors (Fine Arts Major and Education Minor), Honor Photography and Sculpture, New York School of Interior Design (Masters Color Theory), School of Visual Arts  (Printing).  I’m involved in numerous Associations, including: Florida Humanities Council Speakers Bureau, Arcadia Publications / Author Art Deco of the Palm Beaches / Local History, Founding President Art Deco Society of the Palm Beaches 1987 – present, Public Art Advisory Board of Delray Beach / PAAB Chairperson, School of Creative Arts at the Old School Square Arts Complex / Youth & Adult Art Instructor, Society of Four Arts / Museum Leader of Group Tours, Very Special Arts /VSA Florida / Artist in Residence, Armory Art Center / Historic Preservation / Art & Architectural Lecture Series.


TRR: Sharon’s accomplishments and mentorship include collaborations, commissions, workshops, projects and grants on behalf of numerous local non-profit organizations: 

Recent Collaborations/ Commissions / Workshops / Grants / Projects
Cornell Museum at Center for the Arts / Children’s Wing Murals
City of Westgate / Public Sculpture / Ceramic Tile / Community Youth
FIU Wolfsonian Museum / Key Note Speaker
Florida Humanities Council / Amory Art Center Art Deco Lecture Series Grant
Osborne Center/ For the Children / Lake Worth Murals Interior & Exterior
Nine Arch Murals / LULA Lake Worth CRA
Palm Beach County Gov/TV Chanel 20– Inside History / Three Documentaries
Pine Grove Elementary School / Artist in Residence
Plumosa School of the Arts / Artist in Residence
Roosevelt Middle School / Artist in Residence
Safety Net Program / Home Safe A Place for Children / Artist in Residence
Butterfly Installation at Cultural Council
Stage Left Theatre / Boynton Beach

Her recent Awards:
2014-15 Winner Ellen Liman Arts Educator Award of Excellence; Muse Awards Palm Beach County Cultural Council; 2013 International Coalition of Art Deco Societies / Havana, Cuba; Arts & Cultural Exchange Program
2008 / 2010 Finalist Arts Educator of the Year Muse Awards Cultural Council; 2009 / 2015 Women in Executive Leadership.


Sharon Koskoff Public Commissions include:

90 Southeast 5th Ave/Exterior Art Murals◊505 Teen Center/Woman’s Club Mural◊American Heart Association/Signature Artist◊ARC/4 Murals◊Armory Art Center/ 1997- 2001 “Artists Ball Designer”◊Armory Art Center Gators Galore /“Gator Calculator”◊Art Deco Society of the Palm Beaches◊Art & Jazz on the Avenue/Official Poster Beach Art in Public Places◊Art in the Alley / Community Art 1 – 5◊Artigas/2 Community Murals◊Atlantic Community High School/3 Murals◊Banyan Creek Elementary Butterfly Mural◊Barton Elementary School/ 8 Murals◊Belvedere Elementary School/ 8 Murals◊Boca Raton Art in Public Places Photo Exhibition◊Boca Raton Elementary School/2 Murals◊Boca Raton Express Museum/Tile Train Depot◊Boys & Girls Club of PBC/Art in Public Places PBC Belle Glade, FL◊C.W. Gerstenberg Hospice, Children’s Bereavement◊Carver Middle School/2 Murals/Book Installation◊Center for Creative Education/Project LEAP◊Cezanne Jazz Club at Sheraton Hotel/Mural WPB ◊City of Aventura/3 Murals, Founders Day Festival◊City of Westgate/Community Ceramic Totem Pole ◊ Clematis Street Bench Project/Metropolitan Sponsor◊Coffee Gallery Café/3 Murals Lake Worth / 4 Murals◊Connor Moran Children’s Cancer Foundation, Mural◊Crosspointe Elementary School, Cafeteria Murals◊Del Prado Elementary School,Cafeteria Murals◊Delray Beach Cultural Loop, Open Door Project◊Delray Beach Cultural Loop, Community Chairs ◊Delray Beach Flower Festival,Millennium Project ◊Delray Beach Flower Festival,Toussaint L ‘Overture◊Delray Beach Multicultural Festival,Murals◊Delray Full Service Center (Old Carver Middle)◊Discovery Key Elementary School,3 Murals◊Eagles Landing Middle School, 7 Murals◊Environmental Resources Management Palm Beach◊First Night 2001 – 2014,10 Puppets on Wheels◊First Night 2004, Seven Hole Miniature Golf Murals◊Galilee Retirement Village, 7 Murals◊Good Samaritan Hospital Kids ER Lobby◊Greenacres Elementary School,3 Murals◊Gringle, Dougherty & Wheat – Have a Seat!◊Hamburger Heaven Clematis Murals◊Hidden Oaks Elementary,Mural◊Home Safe / A Place for Children 5 Murals◊Hotel Biba Showtel 2004,Flower Bed ◊HRS Lobby & HRS Pediatric AIDS ◊Indian Ridge School, 20 Murals ◊JCC Theatre Production Mural and 6 Sculptures ◊JCC, Wild Things: A Child’s Right to Read◊JCC, Hanukkah-fest,10 Pastel Murals – WPB ◊JCC 350 Years of Jewish History in America◊Jefferson Davis Middle School, Murals ◊ Jell-O Shots! Resource Depot Recycle Center ◊Juneteenth! Shady Museum Freedom Celebration ◊ Juvenile Justice of Port St. Lucie/ VSA Artist◊Juvenile Justice of Palm Beach County◊Keyes to the Cities/Kretzer Pianos Kravis Center◊Lincoln Elementary School, 8 Murals ◊ Loggers Run Middle School,4 Murals ◊ B Love’s Drug Building, 1/8 Community Mural NARP◊March of Dimes, 8 Murals ◊Mario’s Market West Atlantic,Exterior Murals◊ Morikami Park Elementary School ◊Native Sun, Have a Seat! Adirondack Chair ◊Nine Muses, Art Therapy Mural ◊Nine Arch Murals Lake Worth◊Norton Museum of Art,2 Murals◊Northmore Elementary School,2 Murals◊Odyssey Middle School,10 Murals◊Old School Square/Cornell Museum Murals ◊Orchard View Elementary School,2 Murals◊Office Depot Corporate Headquarters,3 Murals◊Open Door Project / Cultural Loop Delray◊Osborne Center,For the Children, 9 Murals◊Palm Beach County Millennium CouncilPalm Beach Gardens Hospital,10 Murals◊Palm Beach International Airport 2 Murals◊Palm Beach Public School,2 Murals◊Palm Beach Zoo Dreher Park,50 Mural Panels◊ Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park,Boo at the Zoo Live Animal Stage, Christmas in July◊Palm Springs Elementary School,2 Murals◊Palm Springs Middle School,30 Murals◊Palmetto Elementary School,Murals◊Parker’s Kitchen Building, 2 Murals◊PBICA, Palm Beach Institute Contemporary◊Pineapple Grove Archway, Ceramic Tile Bases◊Pine Grove School of the Arts,18 Murals◊Pine Grove/Paint Up Pine Grove, Lead Artist◊Plumosa School of the Arts/ Go Green Murals◊Port Salerno Elementary School◊Post Card Murals Sent to the US Troops◊Puppetry Art Center of the Palm Beaches◊Quest Theatre,Theatre Design and Murals◊Ranger Construction Corporate Office◊Robert Montgomery’s Home Safe Project◊Roosevelt Elementary School,10 Murals◊Roosevelt Middle School,3 Murals◊Rosemont Park,Ceramic Tiles/Words to Live By◊Royce Hotel,Murals ◊SD Spady Elementary School,11 Murals◊Solid Waste Authority PB County◊South Florida Science Museum◊St. Mary’s Hospital, Mural◊Stage Left Theatre / Boynton Murals◊Sugar Sand Science Playground◊Sunfest Banner Project◊Sunrise Park Elementary School, 3 Murals◊U. B Kinsey/Palmview School of the Arts◊United Way Day Care,5 Murals◊Very Special Arts/ VSA◊Washington Elementary School◊Westgate CRA,Totem Project◊ Westward Elementary School◊West Palm Beach Centennial◊Whispering Pines Elementary School◊Women’s Circle of Hope/Signature Artist◊YMCA of Boca Raton,Murals.


For more information about this article and to see more of Sharon’s artwork, please visit:

Sharon Koskoff websites include:

Art Deco Society of the Palm Beaches
325 SW 29th Avenue, Delray Beach, Florida 33445




For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


Dawn Evans’ Art Literally Can Fill A Room! You’re invited To A Special Reception At Cafe Toscano

Dawn Evans has transformed Cafe Toscano with five murals to make you feel like you are dining in Tuscany while enjoying a glass of wine and dinner!  As you enter, the “Wine Cellar” beckons you to sit and relax. The middle dining room is given special attention by a large golden mirror accented by two floral and vase murals. “The Vineyard” creates an ambiance, as you look out from a balcony onto an expansive vineyard, villa, then to the distant mountains and sky. These Impressionistic landscapes bring Italy to Cafe Toscano – and to you!  Cafe Toscano invites you to a Free Opening Reception to celebrate Dawn’s achievements.  The Rickie Report shares the details and urges you to RSVP. Free refreshments and food will be served.



D  A  W  N       E  V  A  N  S







C  A  F  E      T  O  S  C  A  N  O



Free, Opening Reception  

Wednesday, March 23rd

5 – 7 pm



Anna at Cafe Toscano    561-951-2550

or Dawn   561-762-2532



721 Village Boulevard  #107E  

    West Palm Beach, FL 33409



DawnEvans3 wine cellar

Wine Cellar” 23′ x10′, mural

In this wine, dessert and coffee cafe area it feels as if you are looking into a wine cellar in the next room. From viewing the wall straight on, in the center you will see the exact location of the wine barrels. The illusion created is that from entering from either side, the angle turns towards you …and you can walk right in!






An Impressionistic landscape artist, Dawn Evans has painted exteriors of buildings, interior walls, niches, ceilings and entire rooms for businesses and residences. Her passion to paint is to capture the crisp, bright colors and light of nature: from tropical beaches and oceans, to vineyards in Tuscany, to a field of flowers or to a mountain peak.


dawnevans4 wine cellar detail

Wine Cellar Detail



Over 20 years of education and experience enables Dawn to work in ANY style necessary to create custom designs for her clients. A professional creative service transforming a once blank space into a new personal environment. This is TRUE art from a conceptional sketch to a completed project.





“Toscano Vineyard”, 28′ x 10′ mural


The concept is to create an atmosphere that you are on a balcony overlooking a villa and vineyard. The distant mountains, the rolling hills, a villa, the contrast of the white balusters and red poppy fields are typical of Tuscany.



Dawn has brought everything from convincing faux finishing to whimsical murals for children’s rooms to trompe l’oeil murals nation-wide. Travel for on-site work or shipping art is always available . Many clients along the way have become great friends and the artist feels it is truly a blessing to share her gift.




DawnEvans5 duomo

“Duomo” 6′ x 3′, mural


The heart of the Florence,Italy is the largest marble church, the Duomo, shown here with a cloudy sky and distant mountains.




With over 20 years in the business, any style of art and any size can be created to meet the needs of the client. Dawn Evans Art specializes in large scenic murals. Painting an entire room or building has a massive effect on a once-blank space. Other popular murals styles include ocean, gardens, faux finishes, faux marble, children’ themes, to name a few. Custom canvas paintings may be also be commissioned.
DawnEvansVeniceVase6 flower

“Venice Vase and Floral” 3′ x 9′ mural

This is one of the two murals painted to accent the side areas of the large mirror. The vase itself is painted with scenery typical of Venice, including a gondola, the cathedral and a floral arrangement.





For more information please visit:





For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


Roxanne Lewis SOLO Exhibit at Lake Park Library

 Roxanne Lewis will be exhibiting for the second time in a SOLO show at the Lake Park Library. Her paintings take us from Hawaiian lushness to the innocence of childhood.  The Exhibit begins March 20th with a Public Reception and continues through April 30th.  The Rickie Report shares the details and gives you a sneak peek!


SOLO Exhibit

Reception, Music, Refreshments

Thursday, March 20th    

6 – 8 pm

Lake Park Library

529 Park Avenue      Lake Park, FL


Roxanne Lewis'

Roxanne Lewis’ “Small Town Sunset”


Roxanne Lewis will be exhibiting for the second time in a SOLO show at the Lake Park Library. Her paintings take us from Hawaiian lushness to the innocence of childhood.  The public is invited to a reception on Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  The Solo Art Show continues until April 30, 2014.  The Lake Park Public Library Gallery is located at 529 Park Avenue.  Take NorthLake Blvd., off I 95, right onto 10th Street, Left onto Park Avenue.



Roxanne Lewis

Roxanne Lewis’s “Hawaiian Lush”

Roxanne tells The Rickie Report, ‘This is my second Solo Art exhibit.  I am so excited to have been asked. I call my paintings:  Roxanne’s Wild and Exotic Art Exhibit.”  


Roxanne Lewis'

Roxanne Lewis’ “McCaw Flight”


Roxanne’s first experience with art was in high school.  Her nurturing teacher and her mother, who also painted in oils coached her in her love of art.  After graduation, marriage and raising a family, Roxanne reunited with her love of art under the tutelage of Lawrence Russo.  Russo is known for his sculpture and oil paintings, internationally.  Roxanne is honored to have worked with him on a large mural project in Scranton, PA.




Roxanne Lewis'

Roxanne Lewis’ “The Getaway”



Years later, Roxanne completed three scenes for a ballet company in Binghamton, NY as well as the New York City Ballet Company and the Robertson Ballet Company.  In addition to selling her work, she exhibited and painted commissions.  Roxanne also completed a mural in the Assembly of God Church (Trucksville,PA) with a friend as co-artist.


Roxanne Lewis

Roxanne Lewis


Roxanne is retired and back in her beloved creative element.  She is a member of the Boca Raton Art Gallery Guild and the Artists of  Palm Beach County.  “I believe gifts are meant to be shared.  I am pleased to share my gifts with all who love art”, she tells us.



For more information about Roxanne’s paintings, please contact her:  570-242-2386 or


For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420





Sheryl Hughes is Featured at 34th Annual Festival of Arts in Deerfield Beach

Sheryl Hughes has been taking photographs for many years and uses those pictures as inspiration for her art work.  You will find her at the 24th Annual Festival of the Arts in Deerfield Beach January 25 & 26th.  Sheryl’s colorful acrylic painting was chosen as the 2014 Festival Poster art! The Rickie Report is pleased to share the details in this article.




The Art of


Sheryl Hughes




hughes poster final-1




Sheryl Hughes’  favorite hobbies are scuba diving and photography. She especially enjoys taking pictures of Florida’s wildlife.  When you look at her paintings, what truly amazes are the small details…the eyelashes of the elephant,  the whisped veining of the egret feathers, the brightness of the birds and the eyes of the jungle cats.


Sheryl Hughes is a native Californian who has in recent years relocated to Florida. She has always had a creative side. After her daughters were grown she began concentrating on painting as an outlet for her creativity.   When Sheryl began painting, she focused on oceans and lighthouses. They were peaceful places where she enjoyed spending time and taking pictures. Then in taking more and more pictures at zoos, wetlands, rice fields, and even backyards she was drawn to birds and wildlife.






The birds in Florida are a wonderful treat to watch and take pictures of. Sheryl can spend hours walking through wetlands, refuges and all the areas we have here that give her a world of opportunities for amazing paintings. Sheryl started traveling to different areas to seek her inspiration. She has travel up and down both the east and west coasts of the US seeking more ideas.



Turtles and sea life are other wildlife themes close to her heart. As a scuba diver for the last 10 years, Sheryl has traveled around Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico taking underwater photos. The underwater world is so amazing to Sheryl, she loves to share what she experiences with everyone through her art. Her sea turtle paintings are some of her more requested paintings. 



She has donated paintings to the Florida Wildlife Hospital & Sanctuary to help in their fundraising efforts. Several of her painting are on display at the hospital as well. Her paintings can be found in private collections, businesses and schools. She has even been asked to put her art on mailboxes and on dive mask straps. She also created a mural of an underwater scene at a school in California. 




"Snowy Egret"

“Standing Egret”


Sheryl’s paintings have taken awards in numerous juried shows and exhibits. Locally, she placed 1st place at Friends of Okeeheelee Nature Center. December 2013.  “Standing Egret” was also part of the Fall National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) International Exhibition in 2013



"Bird and Beaks"

“Bird and Beaks”



“Birds and Beaks”  was an award winner at the Texas Wildlife Juried Art Show 2011 and has been seen at The Craft Gallery “The Art of Florida” juried exhibition.   Sheryl’s paintings are more than color.  It is the details…especially the eyes.  Sheryl’s ability to capture the essence of the bird or animal is through her canny talent in the eyes.  Sheryl found herself focusing on the eyes,  and says, “I  believe the eyes are the soul of the animal”.



As such the eyes became the focal point of her paintings. She also loves the colors you find in nature. Her painting “Birds and Beaks” came about because of both these loves. It combines the wonderful colors and eyes of all the birds. Another one of her paintings, “Red-Crested Turaco” was chosen as the cover of the European Studbook For Red-Crested Turaco, for Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens, in Cotswold England. This in turn brought it to the attention of people in Angola, Southern Africa. It was used in the campaign to make the Red-Crested Turaco their national bird. 


"Elephant Eye"

“Elephant Eye”


Sheryl’s “Elephant Eye” was part of the Art Basel “ENDANGERED” Exhibit 2013 and took an award at Texas Wildlife and Animal Juried Art Show the same year.  The Rickie Report is particularly thrilled about Sheryl’s involvement in the “Endangered” Exhibit, because she saw the Call to Artists in The Rickie Report!


Sheryl at work

Sheryl at work



If you miss Sheryl at the Deerfield Beach Show, here is a list of her upcoming shows through July, 2014.    Sheryl enjoys doing art shows around Florida. It gives people a chance to see her art and watch her create some of her pieces. She loves to talk about what she does and the wildlife and marine life that are close to heart. 



January 25-26, 2014 Deerfield Beach Art Festival Deerfield Beach
January 25–February 28, 2014 Flamingo Fest Juried Exhibit Flamingo Gardens
February 2014 Great Spaces Interior Design Pompano Beach
February 8-9, 2014 11th Annual Locals Art Sow Marathon Keys
February 15-17, 2014 St. Stephens Art Show Coconut Grove
March 1-2, 2014 Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival Sarasota
March 22-23, 2014 26th Annual Festival of the Arts Downtown Naples
April 19-20, 2014 Spring Show Cape Canaveral
May 21 – July 21, 2014 Glass Gallery Pembroke Pines





For more information please Contact , email or visit  (under construction)



For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


Turtles of Sunrise-The Creation Of A Work Of Art by Guest Writer Vandy

Terry Molina, the artist also known as “Vandy”, is a Rickie Report reader who has been accepted to many of the Calls to Artists we publish.  When The Rickie Report sends out Calls to Artists, we always ask you to let us know when you’ve been accepted.  We ask for a lot of reasons.  We really want to share in your success!  That is why we asked Terry Molina, the artist known as “Vandy”, to write about her experience.


We first met Vandy at a Palm Beach International Airport during the artists’ reception. The excitement at these events is palpable as artists, relatives, and friends come to celebrate their acceptance to these shows. Did you know that a large portion of the artwork shown at the airport venue is sold?  Vandy became a subscriber to The Rickie Report and when we sent out the call to artists for the City of Sunrise, she applied. Vandy emailed us when she was accepted and we were excited to share in her accomplishment.  We want to share how this turtle emerged from Vandy’s initial drawings to the finished product.

The Turtles Are Coming!  Turtles waiting to be delivered to the artists


 A Turtle’s Journey thru My Studio


A truck arrived with a large white turtle standing tall in the bed. It took two men to get it into the house.  We sat it on a movers’ dolly so it could be rotated for easier access. I set up my 600 watt work light, and that evening when I turned it on, the light radiated out through the windows as if aliens had landed in the house.


I sat looking at it for a while, the approved design in hand. As I studied the turtles patterns and shapes I could already begin to see the finished piece. There would be a lot of work between the vision and the reality! The edges of the back shell will be painted in the colors of the rainbow with a silhouette on each of a life form the earth supports.

Vandy working on the turtle

When it arrived I was in the middle of a large project in Miami Beach. I told myself it would have to wait until that job was done. That decision didn’t last long!  No artist can be around a great white canvas (regardless of size or composition) and not be drawn to add color. By the end of the first day I was working on the body.  Surrounded by art, the process of creation is made easier! 

The project regulations wanted us to use heavy body acrylic paint. I had always used soft body paint, but was not about to ignore a challenge. Opening a jar, I dipped the brush in. Letting go of the handle, the brush stood upright by itself!   This paint was going to require using the brush like a miniature shovel. So I dug in and transferred a healthy blob onto the turtle’s arm. It takes a lot of brushwork to get a smooth, even finish with this paint. Good thing I have all the patience in the world for my art (not that I can always say the same about people!)


Turtle’s Underbelly

I worked out the skin colors to my satisfaction.  It was a process of elimination to get exactly what I wanted, but with heavy body paint, coverage of a mistake is easy!  Here you can see some of the life represented in silhouette.  From the top is a deer, horse, bird, star fish, woman, man and young boy.


In between trips to Miami Beach, I have been painting the turtle and watching the creature I envisioned emerge. The chest was done in a molted dark blue so the addition of stars would make it look like the galaxy. The Universe is filled with countless stars- and when I started painting them- dot by dot- I began to get a real feeling for the term countless. It took about ten hours of dots to make it look right. But in the end, with the addition of some color and Paynes gray, I had the feeling of depth and vastness I sought.  Paynes Gray is the name of a shade of gray that is the best to use for mixing with other colors to gray them down without deadening their brightness. If you mix in black with paint, you can achieve the same greying down but the color looses all its glow. This turtle indeed carries our spiral galaxy on its chest.

She is emerging!

I had great fun, and increased my geographic knowledge as I did the back. Making the land masses recognizable was a challenge. When it was done, with the passing from day to night across the land, it gave me a peaceful feeling about this blue-green orb. With her heart glowing on her chest, I start on the back of the shell, leaving the eyes for last. It is a tradition from my days as a puppeteer- the eyes are the last thing to be painted as they give life to the creation.


The edges of the back shell are painted in the colors of the rainbow, the spectrum of light. On each, in Lumiere Metallic Bronze, are silhouettes 0f the various life forms supported on our planet. Since I had only 24 spaces, it was impossible to delineate them all. So I chose a random sampling. I even included the humble ragweed- because so many are keenly aware of its existence!


Stepping back and viewing the turtle as a whole, I was very happy to see it had met, and even surpassed, my initial vision. She is a marvelous creature and, I believe, a good representation of the Native American legend.


Turtle Front

The chest is a spiral galaxy, like the one in which our solar system resides.  She will soon be wrapped in blankets, picked up, and taken to a place where she will be thoroughly clear coated to help her retain her intensity of color as she sits on display on the streets of the City of Sunrise. It is a project I am glad to have had the opportunity to do!



Turtle Back


Bright sun shines on our planet and the daylight darkens to night as we look east. The back of the turtle shows the Earth as it passes from day to night. The Native Americans view the turtle as keeper of the Earth who gives living beings a safe place to ride on as they journey through the stars. The scalloped edges surrounding the back shell are colored in rainbow colors and each features a silhouette of the many kinds of life our planet supports. The turtle itself is a blend of water and earthen colors, as this creature functions in both realms.  Standing on swirling cosmic color, she looks upward as she carries the world on her back. 

The front of the shell features the spiral galaxy in which our small blue-green planet spins. All the elements that form our world come from the stars and we will always share connection with our Universe.


The Rickie Report appreciates Vandy sharing her experience with us.  She is a multi-talented artist.  Recently, at a boutique, we saw her fun and colorful wind chimes made of all natural materials she found in her yard. Her paintings have been seen in juried shows at Lighthouse ArtCenter, Local Treasures, Palm Beach International Airport Competition, and more. She is well known for her commissioned wall decor pieces. For more information about her work and to reach   or call:561-478-8928 .


For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420