"Paper Canvas" is a rather general name for an exhibit, but that was the point. Sun City Hilton Head artist Mary Ann Putzier didn't want to limit it, and what resulted is a collection of watercolor scenes reflecting her travels to exotic cultures, both locally and overseas.
Putzier thinks of herself as a teacher first and an artist second. She taught professionally, her students ranging in age from preschoolers to adults. Now, that she's retired, she still teaches, holding art classes locally and in Wisconsin, where she spends the summer.
Putzier explains what she learned from her recent travels.
Question. What's in the exhibit?
Answer. It's called "Paper Canvas." All of the paintings are done on paper with watercolor. A lot of them reflect my recent trip to Italy.
The trip was with a watercolor group. We went on location and painted. But it wasn't conducive to just do outdoor painting. We took a lot of photos. I came home with a ton of reference material. That's basically what I worked from.
Q. Do you tend to paint strictly what's in the photo or do you elaborate?
A. I tried to stay true to the photo. I have done composites before. But some material wouldn't work like that. I have a series of 12 different chimney pots. The Italians are very creative when it comes to their individual chimneys. There's also a lot of alleys ways, statuary. Italy is so much fun.
Q. I also saw a painting of yours with a Native American. Where did the inspiration come for that?
A. Hardeeville has a powwow every spring. The photo of this fellow was taken at this powwow several years ago. They have a circle dance with drums. I was snapping lots of photos. And he came up in one of them. He turned out to be a great subject for this particular painting.
Q. I understand you also teach.
A. I have classes in Sun City, and I've got a class in April at Society of Bluffton Artists on watercolor. I summer in Wisconsin and I teach workshops there. Not that I'm a fabulous artist, but I feel that it's important to pass along whatever expertise I might have. It's good to know that people can benefit from whatever knowledge I can pass on.