TAMPA — Many artists work with a paint brush, leaving finger painting to children.
But artist Francine Bauer, of Carrollwood, said she depended on her fingers to create “Winter is Coming.”
Her “grown-up finger painting” — and other works — will be on display through Aug. 9 at Bamboozle Cafe, 516 N. Tampa St., Tampa. The opening for her “Celebrate We Will” solo art show was Tuesday.
“My favorite new piece is called ‘Winter is Coming’ and is the newest piece done in cold wax,” Bauer said. “I actually painted the entire piece with my fingers, I just couldn’t get the paint to move the way I wanted any other way.”
Bauer said she gets her inspiration from everyday life as well as different facets of nature including beaches, rivers, stormy weather and the outdoors.
“I’m very honored to be showing at Bamboozle,” Bauer said. “I’ve been to three to four shows there and have seen some amazingly talented artists. There’s an energy downtown that’s exciting to be a part of.”
Bauer said the title of her exhibit is a line from a favorite song, “Two Step,” by the Dave Matthews Band, containing the lyrics, “celebrate we will for life is short but sweet for certain.”
“That pretty much sums up my life,” she said. “It’s important to celebrate every day and be thankful for family, friends and opportunities.
“Encouragement from family and friends makes exploring art possible.”
Bauer is a student at the Life Enrichment Center in the Carrollwood area. She attends an open studio class every Wednesday morning and some Wednesday evenings.
“The LEC is a warm and nurturing environment; they give encouragement and opportunity to show art in the community,” Bauer said. “I have made many important, lasting friendships there. We currently have a free open studio painting on Friday mornings that I go to as well.”
Married to Michael, Bauer has three grown children. Each of them displays his or her artistic talents in different ways.
Her oldest son, Stephen, 29, lives in Tallahassee and likes woodworking.
Eryn, 26, lives in Houston and is a classical musician. She graduated from Eastman School of Music and works for Young Audiences of Houston, a nonprofit organization that sends art professionals from all disciplines to work with students in under-served areas.
Josh, 24, is a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America. He lives and works in Tampa.
“While my kids were growing up, I really didn’t work on my art, but music was very important; they all play multiple instruments,” she said. “More interesting is the fact I’m actually adopted and when I found my birth family, they are all artists.”
She discovered her birth father, Bill, was a jazz musician. Her birth mother, Phyllis, was an artist.
“When she passed away last year, a neighbor was kind enough to send me all of her art supplies,” Bauer said.
Jayne Lisbeth, of Seminole Heights, who coordinates the art shows at Bamboozle Cafe, said Bauer is a self-taught artist who creates work that is bold, abstract and colorful.
“She is an amazing artist, and experiments in many different (media) — oil, watercolors, encaustic, hot and cold wax and yupo,” Lisbeth said.
Lisbeth said Bauer was recently named “Artist of the Month” at the Life Enrichment Center.
“Francine’s imagination influences her work, which also includes found objects, to tempt the viewer into the variety of her artistic world,” Lisbeth said.
Bamboozle Cafe is open Mondays through Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and is closed on Sundays. For information on becoming a featured artist, call (813) 231-2579.