Artists’ exhibits capture nature’s beauty

By Esther Hammer
The Tampa Tribune
October 10, 2013

Water flows, rushes, and seems to sway in
Taylor Ikin's "Hidden Creek"

Local artists Taylor Ikin and Laura Waller are at it again - exhibiting together at Nuance Galleries.

The long-time friends enjoy extolling nature’s beauty in their paintings.  An environmentalist, Ikin continues to focus on the woodlands, waterways and winged critters of Central Florida in her watercolors.

Waller, on the other hand, seeks waters beyond Florida.  Using water-mixable oil, she depicts and contrasts coastal scenes of Maine with those on the continent’s West Coast.

“On the West Coast there are these magnificent cliffs, and so you always experience the beach from a distance,” she said.  “The expanse makes you feel how insignificant man is.”

In Maine, she found easily accessible working harbors, where old dinghies and larger working boats provided inspiration.

Approaching the Harbor
by Laura Waller

Her painting “Approaching the Harbor” was done in the harbor at Camden, Maine.

“It’s you and I, the artist, approaching the harbor,” she said.  “As I looked at this boat, I thought, ‘What do I actually see?’ ”

Ikin was one of the first artists in the country to use the synthetic, slippery paper called YUPO as a surface for her watercolor paintings.  Now she has found a new surface: It’s called Terra Skin, and is made from stone.  Although both papers are synthetic - no trees were cut down to make them - they respond very differently to the brush.

“The YUPO surface doesn’t hold the paint; it’s very slippery, and it produces a painting that has flow and sparkle,” Ikin explained.  “The Terra Skin grabs the paint a little more.  There are no hard edges when you weave the paints together.  It gives the paintings a little richer look.  You can’t tell from a distance, but there’s a texture when you touch it.”

The exhibit features paintings by Ikin on both surfaces.  And don’t forget to look for Ikin’s patented creation, “Taylor’s Flamingo Pink,” a color that shows up in one way or another in all her paintings.

Meet Ikin and Waller and see their works at a free opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, October 13, 2013 at Nuance Galleries, 804 S. Dale Mabry Highway. Call (813) 875-0511.

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