View the artistic ‘Lay of the Land’ at The West Woods Nature Center: Valley Views

CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio — Before the spring vistas fully awaken from their late winter pallor, you can get your nature fix — as depicted by two artists — beginning with a gallery reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday (May 12) at the West Woods Nature Center in Russell Township.

The exhibit, which runs through July 28, is titled “Lay of the Land.” It features nature-inspired plein air watercolors, large studio landscapes and oil-on-canvas paintings.

In the Oak Room, Melissa Harris presents the plein air watercolor paintings she calls her land- and waterscapes, painted on the spot in nature, capturing the scene and fleeting lighting conditions as they are in the moment. She calls this her purest connection to nature.

Her larger representational works created indoors are extensions of the plein air paintings, giving her time for a more studied and abstract approach.

“One form of painting informs the other,” she explained.

The subjects of her art include area parks, including Cuyahoga Valley National Park and South Chagrin Reservation, and extend out to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park on Lake Michigan and as far as California’s Death Valley.

The adjoining hallway gallery features paintings by artist Daria Nosova. After arriving in the United States in 2018 from Kharkiv, Ukraine, Nosova began painting by utilizing free YouTube lessons, followed by taking paid classes online.

She paints animals, flowers and seaside landscapes rendered in oil paint on canvas. She describes her style as hyperrealism.

The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. It is located at 9465 Kinsman Road.

Attend a ‘bird sit’: Celebrate Migratory Bird Day by joining naturalist Linda Gilbert anytime between 6:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday (May 13) at the observation deck at Sunnybrook Preserve in Chester Township.

Signs will be posted to guide you to the assigned location. All you have to do is stay in one spot and record all the birds you see and hear.

Dress for the weather and bring a chair, binoculars, a camera and whatever you need to be comfortable. Registration is not needed.

In the event of heavy rain or storms, check the website for possible cancellation. Contact geaugaparkdistrict.org.

Bereavement support group: Park Synagogue is sponsoring a support group for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, including a family member or friend.

The group meets from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on six Wednesdays — May 17 through June 28, excluding June 21 — at the synagogue, 27500 Shaker Blvd. in Pepper Pike. It is free and open to the community.

Facilitated by Anita Minkin, participants will learn about the stages of mourning and normal feelings of grief, as well as find support, strength, friendship and hope from each other.

It is advised to wait at least three months after the death of a loved one before joining a support group. Register by contacting Ellen Petler at [email protected] or 216-371-2244, extension 122.

Flowers for mothers: If you need a last-minute Mother’s Day gift, drop by the Perennial Gardeners of Chesterland’s plant sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (May 13) for hanging baskets, house plants and perennial garden plants at The Chester Township Town Hall parking lot, 12701 Chillicothe Road.

A garden shed will have other items related to the home and garden.

Proceeds help fund maintenance for the bandstand and corner park at the intersection of Chillicothe and Mayfield roads, along with student scholarships.

Membership in the club is open to all Geauga County residents. Contact 440-313-8018 or [email protected].

Keep a log on nature: The Geauga Park District hosts a nature journaling series from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday (May 14) at The Rookery, drawing inspiration from migrating warblers, and from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. June 18 at Swine Creek Reservation, to reflect on pond and stream fish.

Participants will write about their observations or sketch or take photos for their personal journal.

Register by phone at 440-286-9516. The cost is $20 to $24 for your first meeting, which includes a new journal, pen and other supplies. Naturalist host Renell Roebuck welcomes beginners and continuing participants.

Harvesting and preserving food: Volunteer Master Gardeners Mirko Antloga and Deb Miller offer a class from 10 a.m. to noon May 20 on harvesting and preserving food from your garden.

Topics include how to determine optimum ripeness of fruits and vegetables, and how to preserve flavor and nutritious value for both short- and long-term storage.

The class is free, but registration is appreciated at 440-834-4656 or [email protected]. The class will be held at the Geauga County Extension Office, Patterson Center, 14269 Claridon-Troy Road in Burton.

To post your news and events, contact Rusek at [email protected].

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