April 2015 Newsletter

1379d9bb-a628-46cf-899a-b1a56339d587Spring, Bunnies and……..

It is that time of year again to give rabbits center stage!

Rabbits first appeared in my art in the 1970’s. I introduced them in a painting I did for a New Yorker cover. It was never published but the artwork evoked the longest note I ever received from the magazine in all the years they purchased my work. It could not have been more than three or four lines long and was signed by the then art director and terrific cartoonist, Lee Lorenz. Communication was minimal with The New Yorker!

ce6bc852-2d91-4989-9e18-8cb50beec344Rabbits began showing up as regulars in my whimsical animal paintings……..



As my work developed into another dimension in the 80’s I began fooling with my whimsical animals as sculptures. The first to get cut was “Walter”. Today “Walter” has multiplied into a series of brilliant orange rabbits. Just a year ago we installed “Walter’s Frolics” in celebration of this spring holiday.

17b3a8f7-e8f7-4b26-a219-877788f48639Last week the maquette of “Walter” was purchased by a delightful person who had been keeping an eye on him through the window of my studio for some time. Walter will take his place for the holiday on a coffee table alongside a bowl of traditional Easter fare. He will later have a permanent home in a private garden in the state of Maryland.


This Sunday “Walter Coming Up” will be the star of the day overseeing an egg hunt. Thanks to a very generous patron “Walter Coming Up” has his very own genuine City of Sarasota manhole and cover.


A documentary created by Marcia and Peter Christ about the
Petticoat Painters has been selected for screening at the
2015 Sarasota Film Festival

Sixty & Strong: The Petticoats

It is scheduled for 12:00 pm, Saturday, April 18, 2015
at the Regal 20 Hollywood Cinema, Theater 10.
Mark your calendars. Party info to follow.

For tickets call the Sarasota Film Festival at: (941) 366-6200

Or purchase at the Regal 20 box office day of screening

I’m delighted to have one of my New Yorker drawings selected for the cover of……
“Writing for The New Yorker” Critical Essays on an American Periodical
The book was published February 1, 2015 and is now available
from Oxford Press.

3e5792f5-9f64-499e-86d2-0183192144c2Happy Easter!
Copyright © 2015 d.a.gordon dart, All rights reserved. (941) 587-1952
50 s. palm avenue, sarasota, florida 34236


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February 2015 Update

Turning Point

I skipped my art classes one day to try my luck selling my paintings at a downtown Sarasota art show – The 1st Plaza Art Show. It was a doubly rewarding experience. I sold every painting that day and I was befriended by a highly talented and successful artist who was to become my guide and mentor. It was 1973.


Shirley Clement, A.W.S.
Shirley Clement was a truly professional artist. Earning membership in the prestigious American Watercolor Society in 1953, she became best known for her watercolors though she was just as accomplished with oils and acrylics. Her list of awards would knock your socks off! She rarely, and I do mean rarely was entered in a show she did not win the top award in. Those of us who showed with her were resigned to taking a lesser award. She was inspiring, dedicated, extremely hard-working, totally professional and thoughtful, always displaying a great sense of humor.


Taking Shirley’s advice I started my career doing the “sidewalk circuit” of juried art shows in the south. I placed third behind Shirley at my second show. It was an amazing beginning for me. I stayed with the sidewalk circuit for a few years but unlike Shirley I found it to be a very difficult way of life and chose instead to become a gallery artist.


Thanks to Shirley I was nominated for a vacancy in an exclusive 20-member group of professional painters. I became a member of the Petticoat Painters in 1976. Pictured with me at a reception for the new members are John D. MacDonald, Dorothy MacDonald, Judy Axe, John Dart and Ione Shriver.


This photo was a publicity shot for one of my first Petticoat Painter shows. With me are Irene Aikenhead, National Academy painter Helen Sawyer and Shirley Clement.


I love this photograph of Shirley in her studio. It was such a grand space especially when she was at work in it.

I resigned the Petticoat Painters in the 1980’s when I stopped painting to raise my children. Ten years later Shirley was resigning from the group in poor health and she again nominated me for membership to fill her place. I returned to the group for a few years.

Shirley was an extraordinary roll model for me. She was the epitome of an artist living each and every day to express herself through her work. In her final years, Shirley and I were represented in Sarasota by Brubaker Gallery. It felt wonderful to have my work hanging with hers once again.

John and I own one of Shirley’s watercolors. It hangs prominently in our home and is ever the reminder of how much she shaped my life….
A special character she was indeed
Shirley Clement, grand niece of Henri Matisse!



Samples of Shirley’s work

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868ca42a-0b9f-4735-9232-222c04a35845This February marks the 61st Anniversary of the Petticoat Painters. The organization is one of the oldest continuously exhibiting women’s art groups in the United States.

To Marty Hartman, founding member of this illustrious group……Congratulations and Best wishes!

Happy Valentines Day!
Copyright © 2015 d.a.gordon dart, All rights reserved. (941) 587-1952
50 s. palm avenue, sarasota, florida 34236


April 2014 – Update from the studio………….

Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 3.35.43 PMScreen shot 2014-04-02 at 3.35.59 PMScreen shot 2014-04-02 at 3.36.14 PMScreen shot 2014-04-02 at 3.36.46 PMScreen shot 2014-04-02 at 3.37.00 PMThe links in the update above do not work.  Click mangroves and mangoes to visit their shop and view the new products.

January 2014 – Update from the studio………

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December 2013 – Update from the studio……….

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