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Whimsy and wildlife

Jody Bergsma will meet fans and sign her artwork, which show creatures of nature and from her dreams.

By JORGE SANCHEZ, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 11, 2003

Artist Jody Bergsma, whose childhood scary dreams led to her career in art, will be making a personal appearance Saturday at Vanishing Breeds art gallery on the Courthouse Square in Inverness.

Bergsma will be autographing her works and meeting fans who have been collecting her Dream Keepers and Natural Elements of framed prints, greeting cards, T-shirts, magnets, bookmarks and journals.

She developed her passion for art when her mother encouraged her to draw the scary images that appeared from time to time in her nightmares. She credits that early training with developing her imaginative style. By the time she was 15, she was already a successful artist, selling her works at local art shows.

"I found I could make more money in one weekend than I ever believed possible," Bergsma said.

"I break my year into halves," she said. "From February through April, I paint Dream Keepers and from July to October I paint Natural Elements."

Her Natural Elements are wildlife art, while her Dream Keepers are more whimsical, with elves, butterflies and fairies, leaning toward children's art. Each painting is accompanied by a caption that helps capture the emotion behind the artwork.

Bergsma's last visit in 2001 drew a crowd to Vanishing Breeds.

"She's very friendly," said Darla Lewis, owner of Vanishing Breeds. "She'll be glad to autograph anything of hers."

Vanishing Breeds art gallery also carries a selection of sculpted glass, wall paintings, meditation tapes and jewelry, all with a wildlife theme.

Bergsma will be at the gallery from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Vanishing Breeds is at 105 W Main St. in Inverness, on the Courthouse Square. Call 726-6614.

-- Jorge Sanchez can be reached at 860-7313 or .

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