Many years ago when I first encountered the word "grisaille," without any context, I thought it was another word for grilling, as in cooking on a grill. True story!
Fortunately, an early art history class set me straight. I know you know what it is: using only monochromes, usually those between black and white, to paint or draw a picture. I love the technique's combined drama and subtlety. It was used a lot up until the 20th century but not so much anymore. Probably the most famous modern example is Pablo Picasso's Guernica.
A new show at the Dazzio Art Experience Gallery, 627 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, is made up only of paintings done in black and white by artist and teacher Judi Dazzio and others, both professionals and amateurs, who take her painting classes. I'm not comparing any of them to Picasso, of course, but you'll see the broad range of creativity within a color spectrum you would assume is limited. Shown is Dazzio's New Arrival.
Stop in through Aug. 13; the gallery's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and it's free. (dazzioart.com.)
But don't stop there. The 600 block of Central Avenue teems with small galleries and interesting shops.
Next door at 625 Central Ave., for example, is the Donna Gordon Gallery where Gordon exhibits her figurative bronze sculptures along with works by other artists. Through July 28, she features paintings by Curtis Sneary (donnagordongallery.com). And a few doors west is the Vitale Art Studio at 651 Central, mostly a commercial business for signs and murals, but frequently housing rotating exhibits in its storefront (vitalestudio.com). All the shops and galleries have generous street-side windows (and don't forget to pop down to the Crislip Arcade, which bisects the block and has another cluster of galleries) so you can peek in and see what's up.
Along the avenue, in close proximity, are a variety of restaurants, too. So it's all there, food for body and soul.
Everything from grisaille to grill, you might say.
Lennie Bennett can be reached at (727) 893-8293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.