SNELLVILLE — A former Snellville police officer and an art instructor are currently showing their art in Snellville City Hall.
Watercolor artist and instructor John R. Duke and former Snellville police officer Linda Nixon will have a reception to show their art from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 23 at Snellville City Hall, 2342 Oak Road. The Snellville City Hall Art Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at City Hall.
By the time she was 12, Nixon said she was painting with oils on canvas and during her senior year of high school, she enrolled in commercial art and advertising at a local technical college. She said she knew she “wanted a future in art, but also knew I had to pay the bills.”
After graduation, she took a job in the art department of a printing company and later worked for several advertising agencies.
In 1993, she started her 23-year law enforcement career.
“Throughout my working years I had to put most of my artwork on hold,” said Nixon. “During this time I took a lot of photos of everything I wanted to draw or paint one day. After a few lessons I was painting with ink-based watercolors and I’m still exploring their brilliant color and contrast. You will see in my paintings that I have a love for nature and southern relics.”
Nixon is a Member of the Southern Heartland Art Guild and a Master Gardener extension volunteer at the University of Georgia.
In 2005, after being on dialysis and having a kidney transplant, Duke, a 1981 graduate of the Atlanta College of Art, said he now has a new perspective on life and his art.
“I hope it shows in the way I paint and teach others to see the world's natural beauty portraying it through bright transparent flowing colors,” he said.
Through the years of creating artwork in many different mediums, he now works primarily in watercolors, but he also does commission works in oil, acrylic and graphite. With watercolors he likes to start with light pale colors, building up layers to achieve more depth, brightness giving the artwork a realistic look, but yet in a painterly fashion, he said.
Duke teaches watercolor on Tuesday through Thursday at Cobble Creek Studios Art Academy in Snellville, founded by Deborah Kepes, and on Saturday mornings at Expressions Fine Art Gallery & Studios in Lawrenceville.
Duke has won numerous awards in art shows and festivals and is a member of the Southern Heartland Art Guild, the North Georgia Arts Guild and the North Gwinnett Arts Association.