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Winter Park molds best artist

Winter Park artist Marcia Lain Herring shows off one of her sunflower paintings.

Winter Park artist Marcia Lain Herring shows off one of her sunflower paintings.

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Marcia Lain Herring is the definition of a true artist.

Her daily routine consists of 10-hour workdays where she works on four to five paintings at a time in addition to changing out her local art exhibits.

As Marcia Herring applies paint to canvas, she spends only a few hours on each painting and moves forward with the next piece of art to keep a fresh perspective on each. She goes to sleep thinking about which color group will work best for her new creations.

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Herring with one of her paintings.

This Winter Park artist’s long hours are paying off. In September, she was named the Best Artist in Florida by Florida Monthly Magazine in their “Best of Florida 2010” article.

“My thought… the whole state of Florida, what are the chances?” Herring said. “To be honored like that, it makes me feel good as an artist, and the work that I do… that there is a reason for it.”

FMM holds an annual contest where readers submit answers in an open-balled form, giving names of who they think should win the “Best of Florida” in each category given. This is the first year of the Best Artist in Florida category.

Herring is best known as a colorist, working with watercolors and acrylics, producing vibrant sunflowers, sailboats, sunsets and oceanic paintings with vivid colors.

When she paints, she gives the paintbrush a rest and uses her hand. She only picks up the paintbrush to make small alterations at the end of a painting.

“You can’t believe what you can do when you’re mushing in layers and using your fingers,” Herring said. “I use my hand to get different textures, and it’s just much more spontaneous that way, and I like to keep it as open as possible.”

Joy comes when she thinks of her painting, and this joy transcends to her collectors as Heathrow resident Laurel Dasher felt when she spotted one of Herring’s paintings at Dexter’s restaurant. The painting was sold, so Herring told Dasher that she wanted to paint her a new painting to represent the new life Dasher was beginning in Florida.

The result: a sunflower painting that Dasher modeled her entire apartment after. She said she identified her personality and being through the colors and images on the canvas.

“She sends through a lot of energy and love and life through her paintings,” Dasher said. “It had spoken to me, a new life and a new energy that I could relate to at the time and still can.”

Sarah Herring, Marcia Herring’s daughter, expected her mother to win the title of Best Artist in Florida.

“No one is as passionate with their work as my mother — this is her life, and this isn’t just something she does as a hobby,” Sarah Herring said. “The canvas … she just throws herself into it.”

Lauren Gibaldi, assistant managing editor of FMM, said Herring claiming the title of Best Artist in Florida means the readers of the magazine believe Herring is the best representative for the Florida art scene.

Herring’s recognition doesn’t stop there.

She is a listed artist in the Mayer International Auction Record, and her work is sold on Sotheby’s, an online art auction house. Herring’s work is hung locally at Dexter’s in Winter Park and Lake Mary, and it spans internationally to Swedish, Spanish and Venezuelan consulates.

What does the future hold for this Winter Park artist? Herring hopes to be painting until she’s 100 years old, and she wants to teach art to a small group of children who, in any other circumstance, may not be able to afford art classes.

“I know that if I quit painting, I would feel so empty.”

Check her out

Marcia Lain Herring’s artwork ranges from $500 to $5,000. To find out more about her, visit www.marcialainherring.com/index.stml.