Red Tulips is Gary Bukovnik s first sculpture.
The skies may be November gray, the brisk winds suggestive of snow, and the air hinting at frost, but inside the Paula Brown Gallery, spring and summer rule.
Such seasonal transformation is the work of artist Gary Bukovnik, whose exquisite floral portraits - along with a new sculpture - are on view in the downtown gallery.
Bukovnik has loved flowers since childhood, when he was captivated by a neighbor s garden in East Cleveland. They were the first subjects of his early efforts at painting and drawing and ultimately became the defining theme of his artistic career.
The California transplant often finds his subject matter at a market near his San Francisco home and studio. He buys bundled bouquets and paints them as they are, sometimes with the rubber bands or tie-wraps still holding them together.
Most often, he depicts a single variety, capturing the unique beauty of a spray of eucalyptus or lily of the valley or a cluster of dahlias, irises, sunflowers, or tulips, both in and out of vases and clay pots.
But he also has been known to paint mixed bouquets, as in Bountiful Dahlias, a diptych in the Paula Brown show in which several kinds and colors of dahlias spill out of vases set amid a random array of blooms.
Also as part of the Paula Brown exhibition, Bukovnik is introducing his first sculpture, Red Tulips, a 26-inch high work created from two fused sections of aluminum plate and done in collaboration with Cut-Rite EDM, a Michigan electrical-discharge machining company.
Bukovnik created the fabricated-metal sculpture, which signals a new direction in his work, using a line drawing done from a tulip painting. The drawing was then scanned into a computer so it could guide the cutting of the metal.
“Gary Bukovnik: Sculpture, Paintings, Prints, and Monoprints” will be on view at the Paula Brown Gallery, 911 Jefferson Ave., rear, through Dec. 31. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Free parking is available. During the first week of the exhibit, 10 percent of sales from the show will be donated to the Toledo Symphony.