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HOME SWEET STUDIO

For the annual Studio Waltz, Pinellas artists open up their homes, which double as workplaces, to visitors.

Lorraine Potocki dabbled in painting as a hobby for years while working her way through the corporate world.

A job transfer brought her to the Tampa Bay area in 2006. Getting laid off from her marketing job in 2008 changed her life.

Tired of the corporate setting, and now living where she always wanted to, Potocki decided to pursue painting full time.

"I had this God-given talent and now I feel like I'm doing what I've always meant to be doing," Potocki said. "It's a whole different world and a great place to be."

She paints Florida seascapes but hopes to show another side of her talents as one of nine Studio Waltz artists participating in the 22nd annual event Saturday.

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Studio Waltz is a close-knit group of artists in north Pinellas who open their homes, which serve as their studios, to the public once a year. The group is not for beginners. The artists are accomplished in their respective disciplines.

The Studio Waltz artist enclave is mostly spread by word of mouth, Potocki said, andthat's how she found out about it in 2009. A friend mentioned the show to her and Potocki has been part of the group since.

It is not a typical gallery showing or outdoor art fair. It is a unique opportunity for artists to showcase, demonstrate and potentially sell their work from their home studios.

Participating artists include painter Ernest C. Simmons; Barbara Grazul Hubbard, who makes etchings and linoleum prints; and photographer David Lawrence.

It often is an intimate setting, with a few patrons and the artists, Potocki said. The nine Studio Waltz locations also feature different art disciplines, including painting, ceramics and silversmithing. The tour is free, and art enthusiasts can start at any location and visit as many of the studios as they want.

"We make sure there is a variety," Potocki said. "We want to make sure they don't see the same thing twice. I think that a lot of people don't realize how much art talent there is in a short distance."

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Potocki paints idyllic Florida images. She has a Sunrise Sunset Series. Natural Florida and Boats are other themes for paintings she has available.

But Potocki plans to show another side of her painting skill set during the Studio Waltz tour. She will demonstrate her palette knife technique with acrylics to showcase an abstract painting style.

"I'd love for them to come away with "here's somebody making a living doing art,'" Potocki said. "'Isn't that cool?'"

Selling some paintings wouldn't be too bad either.

Contact Jared Leone at jared.leone@gmail.com. Follow @jared_leone.

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If you go

What: 22nd annual Studio Waltz

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Various north Pinellas artists studios.

Participating artists include

Location 1

Lorraine Potocki (pastel painting) 1412 Treetop Drive, Palm Harborlorrainepotocki.com

Location 2

Jennifer S. Weaver and Lee Anderson (burnished and smoke fired ceramics) 320 Lagoon Drive, Ozona

Location 3

Amy Wiley (silversmith) 373 N. Carolina Ave., Palm Harborozonatreasures.com

Location 4

Connie Parkinson (lampworking) 2830 Deer Hound Way, Palm Harbor

Location 5

David Lawrence (photography art, murals) 2 Eagle Lane, Palm Harboriwanttobethere.com

Location 6

Barbara Grazul Hubbard (linoleum prints, etchings and print collages) 1802 Harvard Ave., Dunedin

Location 7

Carol Sackman and Blake White (mosaic, fiber art, mixed media) carolblakesedgyart.com

Jenna Star Friedman (painting) artofjenna.blogspot.com 1524 Alamo Lane, Dunedin

Location 8

Debra Weible (watercolor) 421 Grant St, Dunedin

Location 9

Ernest C. Simmons (painting) 602 Douglas Ave, Dunedin studiowaltz.com

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