Friends' Styles Complementary

Lifelong friends exhibit together for the first time.
By Esther Hammer, Tribune Correspondent
The Tampa Tribune
Published May 16, 2007

Taylor Ikin's "Gusty Magnolia" is a watercolor on Yupo, a product with a shiny surface. Her pieces are generally large; her co-exhibitor, Laura Waller, paints on traditional watercolor Paper.

"The Bar at Cappy's Place," a watercolor by Laura Waller, is an interpretation of the artist's favorite spot in Maine. It is one of the paintings in a show featuring the works of two friends.

   Tampa - Two South Tampa artists and longtime friends are exhibiting their art together for the first time.
   Taylor Ikin and Laura Waller have known each other for more than a decade.
   "We just enjoy each other's company," Ikin said.  "And when she wanted to focus more on her painting six or seven years ago, that's when we got together and made art together."
   The exhibit, which runs through June 11 at Nuance Galleries, tends to highlight the differences between the two artists.
   "It's beneficial if you are not very similar in style," Ikin said.  "We complement each other."
   A longtime painter, Ikin now does all her watercolors using Yupo, a plastic product with a shiny, slippery surface.  Her paintings, which are usually large, celebrate Florida's vanishing rivers and woodlands.
   "I made some smaller paintings for this show as a transition between Laura's little gems and my large vistas," Ikin said.  "It also was a good discipline for me. It added a little kick to the painting."
   Waller paints on traditional watercolor paper and describes her style as between realism and impressionism.
   "Because our role as an artist is to interpret what we see, I like to put enough on the paper that someone can get a sense of what I'm showing, but they have to join with me to get the complete picture," she said.
   Several paintings in the show depict places in Camden, Maine, where Waller spends five weeks each year.  A few are of everyday things such as dump trucks and construction workers.
   "The way the light was hitting [the dump truck] and the colors that were reflected from it made it such a fun picture to paint," she said.
   The full-time financial planner with her own company, Waller & Wax Advisors, started painting 15 years ago.
   "It's a wonderful escape from thinking about business," she said.  "What I love about watercolors is that there's no preparation.  With my crazy lifestyle, when I get some time free I can easily go into watercolors."

Correspondent Esther Hammer can be reached at (813) 835-2108 or ehammer@tampatrib.com.

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