The works of Coast artist Elizabeth Huffmaster will be exhibited in the show "Something Old, Something New" from Nov. 16 to Dec. 11 at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Jefferson Davis Fine Art Gallery on the campus in Gulfport. The exhibit is free and open to all.
Huffmaster, of Saucier, dreamed of becoming an artist at a very early age. Watercolor, gouache and acrylics are her works' main media. She paints on traditional heavyweight watercolor paper and recently introduced watercolor canvas and Yupo paper to her body of work. The bold use of color and whimsical subject matter are what appeals to most collectors, as well as her signature white lines in each piece.
The subjects of Huffmaster's art include just about everything from formal, elegant florals to whimsical, Coastal animals to funky wine bottles and crazy musical instruments. Just for a change from the norm, she has even produced some abstract art that proved to be just as fun.
Her venture into abstraction is the subject of her "Something Old, Something New" exhibit, which will feature pieces from her new style along with her traditional works.
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"As an artist, my style is always evolving," she said of her inspiration for the new series. "I find myself wanting to explore new subjects constantly. I recently ventured out of my box by putting aside my beloved watercolors to do some totally different work in the form of acrylic abstracts.
"However, I did not abandon my traditional bold colors and whimsy. I still managed to gravitate back to nature in the form of trees and flowers, which have always been a staple of my work.
"I think any serious artist is always growing and challenging herself to prevent boredom. Life lessons and maturity influence my style as well as my children, world events and my daily mood. I believe that as long as an artist paints from the heart, anything goes and your best work will shine through."
Huffmaster maintains a steady workflow of commissions and gallery work, in addition to participating in several local annual art festivals. She has illustrated children's books for local authors, supplied artwork for posters for Coast events and produced a calendar featuring her artwork for the last eight years.
"Art is my way of self-expression. I want to make you smile or laugh when you look at my work. I paint every day and I never grow tired or bored with it. I am very passionate about my work and it seems each piece spurs me on to the next one; they are all connected in a way," she said. "They tell a story. Each person has a talent and it is a gift from God. We should each recognize our individual gift and always use it to benefit others. I hope my artwork puts happiness in the observer's heart."
The Jefferson Davis campus Fine Art Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Friday.