'Good Enough to Eat' will be on display next month
By Deb Alberto
For Hometown News
BREVARD -- Local watercolor artist Frank Spino paints citrus fruits realistic enough to make a mouth water.
His watercolor exhibit, titled "Good Enough to Eat," will be featured in March at the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery for his first-ever solo show.
In 1971, Mr. Spino received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio University, but said his "real" education came from the famous painter Henry Hensche, who he studied under at the Cape School of Arts in Cape Cod, Mass.
"My understanding of color came from him," he said. "We painted outdoors every day, sunny or overcast."
Mr. Spino said that color excites him.
"Realism and rich, saturated color are what my art is all about," he said. " This show focuses on my fascination with painting citrus. I love the vibrant color and challenging textures: thick, dimpled rinds; thin, transparent slices, freshly cut and glistening, wet with juice."
Like many who have artistic pursuits, simple economics required him to pour his creative energy into other people's projects.
He painted signs and billboards until the emergence of graphics made hand-painted signs obsolete, so he bought a computer program and taught himself graphic art in order to remain competitive with his sign business.
Mr. Spino, now 72, said all of his hard work through the years honed his natural talent.
"I didn't realize it so much at the time, but my hand-eye coordination and skill as an artist was increasing without me even thinking about it."
When his mother died in 2010, after a bout with cancer, Mr. Spino said he had a revelation.
"Time became a factor," he said. "I knew I had talent, and I just decided it was time to give all my energy to art."
Mr. Spino's decision paid off. His watercolors have been selected for juried exhibitions in the Shanghai Zhujiajiao International Watercolour Exhibition in China, National Watercolor Society, Southern Watercolor Society, Florida Watercolor Society and the Brevard Watercolor Society. He has achieved signature status in the NWS and FWS.
His paintings have also been published in Watercolor Artist, American Artist Watercolor and Orlando Magazines.
His painting "Makin' OJ" was selected for the cover of "Splash 14, The Best of Watercolor," a hardbound book published annually, and he had the cover and a seven-page article in Watercolor Artist.
The Fifth Avenue Art Gallery is located in the Eau Gallie Arts District of Melbourne, across from the Foosaner Art Museum.
For more information, visit www.fifthavenueartgallery.com.