Retired art teacher Rose Schultz enjoys leisurely days of kayaking, birdwatching, traveling and painting. And now she has something else to enjoy — her first major solo exhibit. Twenty-eight paintings are a result of those activities, and now others can get vicarious enjoyment from her travels by viewing the paintings at the Fifth Third Center this month.
“My favorite spot is the Greek Isles. In Santorini, we were told this story about how during the Turkish occupation, Greeks couldn’t fly their blue and white flag,” said Schultz. “But there was no objection to painting the buildings blue and white. That’s why there are so many of them over there.”
“Loyal to the Blue and White,” a mixed-media watercolor with rice paper, is one of her works resulting from that trip. It’s one of her more subtle paintings combining beige, light browns, medium blues and whites. The Oia, Santorini, landscape features a meandering pathway around buildings and a picturesque windmill on a hill by the sea.
“I hand-stain the rice paper so the colors are varied and subtle. I try very hard to use the watercolor and paper so that it looks unified,” said Schultz, who lives in Miamisburg with her husband George. “It adds a texture and richness you can’t get with just paint alone. The rice papers are transparent, so the color you see is from the layering.”
Another way she paints with watercolor is on Yupo, a slick, plastic paper, so the pigments sit on the surface and don’t soak in as much. “Three’s Company,” a group of pelicans grooming themselves by the water, has a deeper, richer tone as a result of this choice.
“Skimming Stones,” one of the four works on the mezzanine level of Fifth Third Center, is a pastel piece. Schultz likes to work on sanded paper when she uses pastels to get deeper hues. The image shows two Hawaiian kids at a black sand beach playing in the shallow blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.
When she travels, sometimes she comes upon the best scenes on the way to her destination. In “Remembrance,” a mixed-media work, the colors of France come alive.
“We had stopped at a little French village just momentarily because the traffic was bad,” said Schultz. “The scene outside the bus window was just breathtaking, so I started snapping pictures.”
Of course she has the destination pieces, as well. Chartres Cathedral and St. Peter’s Cathedral in France are represented well in “Time Standing Still” and “Seeing is Believing.” The first, a mixed-media, is a large-scale work showing a statue holding a sundial in a curious vertical fashion. The second is a rich pastel painted from an image inside the cavernous church.
“The scale of the building was enormous. I was very interested in the arches,” said Schultz. “So I painted a series of the curves, and I liked the odd angle of the image.”
Some of her best works are here in the states. “At the Dock” won the Most Creative Use of Paper at the “Works on Paper” exhibit in 2009 at the Rosewood Arts Centre in Kettering. She likes to kayak and sail, and a scene at the Chicago Harbor inspired the work. The focus of the composition are the ripples in the water that reflect the red and yellow colors of two sailboats. Here, her use of rice paper with watercolor is shown off with great effect.
“Three Kayaks and a Canoe” will make the viewer want to move to Fort Myers, Fla. She rendered the idyllic setting of palm trees and homes by the dock in watercolor. Another one is located near the Miami Valley. “On the Dock Between Races” was inspired by noticing Miami students between sails at Hueston Woods.
“I started doing my own artwork to a much greater degree after retiring,” said Schultz. “My career has been facilitating children to do their artwork. To concentrate on your own is a very different perspective.
In addition to Schultz’s paintings, the functional ceramics of Keba Mileen Hitzeman of Pleasant Hill is being shown in two display cases at Fifth Third Center.
Schultz has a degree from Edgecliff College and a master’s in art education from Miami University. She taught middle schoolers the nuances of visual art in the Edgewood School District for 33 years. She’s won several awards for her work these past few years, including an Award of Excellence for “Works in Paper” at Rosewood, and Best of Show in a Fairborn Art Association Member Show.