By Karen Thompson
June 28, 2017 03:52 p.m.
Under the shade of a 400-year-old oak tree, five Amelia Island artists depict coastal life in a variety of media and styles. The art studio is called Shady Ladies, its goal is to grow creativity.
I’m not an artist, far from it. But I do often get the urge to do something artistically creative…. besides writing. I recently indulged myself in silk scarf-making at Shady Ladies, a fun, funky, comfortable place to “make things.”
Four of us, seated around a large table were given a white silk, hemmed and pre-washed piece of silk to begin the process. I’m not going to give away the ins and outs of this class because you must try it for yourself. Let’s just say it involved tjops (stamps) depicting palm trees, flowers, turtles, birds, butterflies. We also “got our creative on” using melted wax, ink, plastic bags, and salt. My masterpiece was much less elaborate than my fellow scarf-makers works of art.
This class was more fun and creatively challenging than I expected but the 2-3 hours spent in this art studio beg for a return visit. According to the Shady Ladies web site, it’s a fairytale that goes something like this: Once upon a time, five different women with five different backgrounds, and five different ages, spanning 40 years, fell in love with the same little island on the coast of northeast Florida, a place called Amelia Island. They loved the beaches, marshes, big blue skies with beautiful changing clouds, the islands diversity and charm. They each had a secret wish for a place to make things.
The five women met through very serendipitous circumstances much like many of us that live on this island. They are water colorist Mary Becker Libby, textile artist Amy Baker, photographer and painter Susan Ryan, furniture restorer, painter and art teacher Lisa Inglis and pastel and alcohol ink artist Linda Hart Green. Mary and Linda orchestrated the scarf-making session.
Shady Ladies Art Studio is located under the big oak tree at 432B South 8th St., a space that was once old, dark and dingy. The Studio hosted its grand opening in October of last year. The artists and family and friends have worked their magic transforming the gallery into a welcoming place with easels and tables, girly chandeliers and sofas, brushes and papers, and paints and plants. Other classes are offered as well as open studio hours. Art Shows are open to all and have featured monthly themes like “For the Love of Trees,” “As Time Goes By,” and “Instruments and Musicians.”
To find out more about Shady Ladies, go to www.shadyladiesart.com. Or just stop in to look around and chat. It’s a great place to hang out!
Editor’s Note: Karen moved to Fernandina Beach seven years ago after working in Chicago as a senior public relations specialist for the Midwestern regional office of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to that, she was an editor, columnist and writer for a chain of Chicago newspapers , an account executive for several Chicago public relations agencies and proprietor of her own pr/marketing business. She grew up and earned her journalism degree in Wisconsin.