Art that just comes natural

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cam Walker, left, and Sister Judy Kaiser, right, flip through prints of Sarita Gish’s artwork. Gish is the September artist of the month at the Selma Art Guild. The opening reception for the show will be Sunday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the gallery, 508 Selma Ave. --Laura Fenton photo

The first stroke of oil paint on her canvas is not permanent.

“If I start off with a watermelon, and I want to change it in the midst of it, I can turn it into a landscape or into a portrait,” said Sarita Gish, September artist of the month with the Selma Art Guild. “It moves. It’s like butter to me.”

Gish paints whatever moves her soul, whether that is an apple, bail of hay or abstract piece. Oil paints dry slowly, allowing her time to blend colors and manipulate the image, but most of her work is traditional or representational art.

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“An apple is going to look like an apple,” Gish said.

Cam Walker, member of the Art Guild, helped hang the paintings earlier this month for the show.

“She’s got a really good use of color,” Walker said.

Walker prefers the paintings with bright tones, such as the flowers in “Turquoise and Tulips” and the apples in “Royal Flush.”

Gish is a self-taught artist. She began drawing in high school and has explored art for more than 40 years, although only showcasing her art in galleries in the last three years.

“I started out with drawing and realized that it was a gift that was in me,” Gish said. “Then I kept pursuing and pursing.”

She paints at least one hour each day to exercise her talent.

“The more you get into it, and the more you work at it, then the more it will come natural for me,” Gish said.

Gish lives in Montgomery. When she is not painting, she works in prison ministry to help people acclimate to life after prison.

“I’m rediscovering my life right now,” Gish said. “I’m going forward and I feel like the gift God has given me is the arts and ministry.”

The Art Guild will hold an opening reception for Gish on Sunday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the gallery, 508 Selma Ave., where visitors will also have a chance to meet Gish.

The Art Guild Gallery will be open for viewing every Friday and Saturday in September from noon until 4 p.m. Admission is free.