The Naples Art District enjoys highlighting member artists and their work via their Artist Spotlight! series. This week, the Naples Art District proudly presents Dora Knuteson and Jill Gordon.
Dora Knuteson is a professional painter. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she grew up dabbling in a wide variety of creative disciplines from ceramic sculpture to computer animation. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Dora has been a graphic designer for over 15 years. She excelled early in her career at brand and logo design, a passion she retains today. She began painting in 2017 shortly after moving to Florida, her earliest work inspired by the pristine beaches and local wildlife. Today, her painting style is influenced by her design background and includes collections focused on beach umbrellas, florals, and sea life. Thinking back to her childhood, she recalls some of her inspirations from the art world. “Two of my favorite artists growing up were Van Gogh and M.C. Escher. Van Gogh, for his vibrant palette and expressive style. And M.C. Escher is, of course, a graphic artist,” she notes. “Looking back on it now, it seems I have always been trying to balance these two worlds – art and design,” Dora explains. She enjoys using acrylic paints as she explores color in her work. She reveals that she was drawn to acrylics for the versatility and immediacy they offer. “It was easy to just dabble in,” Dora says. “And the fast-drying time allows me to quickly build up layers and explore different approaches to my subject.” Dora loves discovering new tools to use as she paints, noting that while big brushes are fun to use, she more often uses palette knives and squeegees; she says she discovered her favorite tool in a pinch: an old credit card. Besides art and design, Dora also loves to travel and to spend as much time she possibly can at the beach; she’s also an avid reader. Check out Dora’s great art online at her website, or in her Shirley Street studio in the Naples Art District.
Jill Gordon has been studying art and painting for many years. Born in New York City, she is a graduate of the University of Connecticut. Jill has been fortunate to study at The School of Visual Arts in New York; The Silvermine Art Guild in New Canaan, CT; Great River Arts in Vermont; and with Arlene Skutch and Claudia Mengel, both prominent Westport artists and teachers. Jill says that the abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell has been a great inspiration to her on her journey as an artist. She is also inspired by her travels. Jill works with acrylic paint; she says it is her medium of choice because “it dries fast and I have no patience, and I like to keep changing things.” She says, “[My] favorite art tool to use is a rubber scraper because it can make all kinds of marks.” Jill enjoyed a corporate career in New York as a TV producer for international advertising agencies, and in Westport, CT as Director of Sales and Marketing for a luxury hotel; she had interesting opportunities along the way (like working on feature films, including THE GODFATHER), but now devotes most of her time to her art. She exhibits her art regularly and has work in private collections throughout New England, New York, and Florida. Jill and her husband now live in Westport, CT and Naples, FL. When Jill is not in her Naples Art District studio creating her colorful landscapes and abstract paintings, she spends her time traveling, cooking, and cycling. Visit her in the studio or check out her work via her website any time.
The Naples Art District (NAD) provides a place for professional artists to create and share their work with the public and is home to the largest concentration of working artists in the Southwest Florida area. NAD member artists exhibit their art in studios and galleries throughout the District and offer several educational opportunities and special events to interested visitors. Look for more information on the NAD website, including a calendar of events, classes, and workshops offered by the artists. Or contact the Naples Art District online or by phone at 239-249-1977 for more information.