Painting The View

Painting The View
Magazine View

JUPITER, FL – August 30, 2017 – In order for individuals to be recognized for their work, they must not only be talented, but consistent. This is due to the fact that by being consistent, one becomes reliable. And when one is reliable, that is when all hard work becomes recognizable, and word is spread. 

April Davis is consistent as both a person and in her work as an artist. For one, her admirations reflect her work, and vice versa. These interests and methods of working have been the same for years, and unwavering. This is evident in her 40-year career, which consists of nature’s panoramic landscapes, as well as large-scale work.

Another example: Take, for instance, the style of her painting and the artists she favors. Davis describes her style as an impressionistic painter, stating “I paint what I see as well as what I feel using nature as my inspiration. The impressionistic style gives me the freedom to do that.” 

Additionally, the artist points out that her paintings can closely resemble a photo (such as with her tropical series) or fluctuate to be “more abstract and painterly”, as exhibited in her sunrise and sunset series. 

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that her favorite artists are both the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. “I love that they interpreted what they saw using vibrant color and energetic brush strokes,” says Davis. “I am still drawn to their colorful dynamic paintings.”

Davis moved to Florida 20 years ago after previously living in Pittsburgh and New York. Emphasizing that the Sunshine State has “amazing light all year round”, she mentions that featuring light in her work is the most important aspect of her paintings. This is something that Florida easily assists with.

“The skies are always so dramatic,” explains Davis. “From the water to the foliage, the color all around us is so intense. It’s truly an artist’s paradise.”

Nonetheless, there is a chance of the aforementioned consistency that Davis so embodies. Prior to her move, Davis described her work as more abstract in her technique and not as colorful. “When I lived in Pittsburgh, I painted outside on location,” she says. “I would start a sunny painting and it would sometimes take weeks before I could get back to it because it was so cloudy. Creating a mood through your work is an important element of any work of art. Since moving here, one of the best comments I received when doing art festivals is that my paintings make people feel happy.”

The town of Jupiter can be credited as contributing to this effort. Upon first moving to Florida, Davis lived in Boca Raton where she worked out of her home, encompassed by a “lush tropical garden.” This setting proved to be inspiration for her tropical series. Seven years ago from today, she moved to Jupiter and opened her gallery and art studio. Appropriately, it is located by the scenic Jupiter Inlet and Lighthouse.

Yet, her love of the ocean started when Davis lived up north. Again, it is one of Davis’ interests that remained consistent throughout the years. “Since growing up in Whitestone, NY and boating on the Long Island Sound, I have always loved the water and now I am surrounded by it again. How can I not be inspired by the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the ocean, and the Loxahatchee River?”

Of course, Davis’ favorite subject to paint is water. Stating that she is “drawn to it”, she also explains that her favorite subject to paint is “anything that I can find beauty in and am inspired by. A landscape scene that takes my breath away has always given me the most inspiration.”

So it’s no wonder that her “Gateway to Paradise—The Jupiter Inlet” series of paintings are one of her most popular here in Jupiter with originals sizing at eight feet wide. Dubbing the town as an “artist’s paradise”, Davis’ portfolio includes numerous paintings of the Loxahatchee River, Juno Pier, and ocean scenes. A few of her most well-known pieces of work are ones she has painted of the Lighthouse from the US-1 Bridge. Stating that she is excited to paint more of these pieces, Davis says of Jupiter, “We are surrounded by beauty.”

Aside from her aesthetically pleasing surroundings, Davis’s formal education helped shape her career. At Queens College, she received a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture the summer of her junior year and through Indiana University, earned her Masters through a teaching assistantship award.

“I actually didn’t start to do art seriously until college,” admits Davis. “I started out as a Bio major thinking I should do something practical so I could make a living when I graduated. My high school club art teacher suggested I take some art electives at Queens since they had such an excellent art department. My professors were very encouraging so I took more and more classes. Then they gave me a scholarship to The Skowhegan School of Painting in Maine and that sealed my fate. I painted outside all summer and fell in love with landscape painting. I did earn my Masters through a teaching assistantship which was really the only way I could have afforded to get my Masters at the time. If not for the scholarships and encouragement of my teachers, I would not be able to do what I love and am passionate about for a living. I would encourage anyone who is interested in the arts to study. Having formal training makes it much easier to express your vision.”

It should also be noted that her work was not limited to just collegiate pieces. After completing her Masters, Davis relocated to Pittsburgh. Her work must have been well known, because the Rooney Corporation, owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers, obtained a large painting, specifically an adiptych. This was inserted in the owner’s box of Three River Stadium.

Also in Pittsburgh was Davis’ teaching career at the University of Pittsburgh. Here, she received a teaching excellence award. She was also offered a full-time position there, but did not accept because her husband at the time had been transferred to Maryland. Other adjunct professor stints were at Indiana University and Montgomery Community College in Rockville, MD, teaching classes on oil painting, watercolor, drawing, and design.

Alas, there is another source that supports her talent, aside from her career and environment. When asked what particular process or vision does she channel for each painting, Davis responds with three letters: G-O-D. 

“When we are inspired, in spirit, it is easiest to connect to that power. The simplest way for me to do that is to look at something beautiful,” she explains. “Painting is a form of meditation for me. The process is what is important. When my mind is clear of noise and unrelated thoughts, I do my best work. That is when I can connect and move someone with my work.”

She continues, “When someone is nice enough to tell me how gifted I am as an artist, I like to tell them we are all equally gifted. An artist’s gift is just a little easier to see. I believe we are all here to create beauty for ourselves and those around us in whatever form that takes.”

A few accolades that Davis has received include awards in art shows such as Under the Oaks Art Fair in Vero Beach, Pigeon Key Arts Festival in Marathon, Coconut Grove Art Festival and South Miami Art Festival in Miami, Sunfest in West Palm Beach, Old Island Days in Key West, and more. The talented artist was also invited by the Disney Corporation to exhibit at Epcot Center in Disney World for their Art in the Garden Festival.

To see Davis’ schedule, visit her website at You can also visit her gallery this summer, which is located at 1630 N. U.S. Hwy 1, Suite C in Jupiter. Here, you will be able to view her brand new work. But, be sure to call (561) 302-3280 before you visit.

“I might be out painting!” says Davis. Spoken like a true artist.  

Magazine View
By: Natalya Jones on Aug 22, 2017
Tags: Jupiter, art, April Davis, Landscape, impressionistic, painter, September/October 2017
Issue: September/October2017
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