Joanna Maria Morales Miarrostami: Artist

Written by: Frank Iacono

Joanna Maria Morales Miarrostami

Joanna Maria Morales Miarrostami, a NYS Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker and Artist at Pinot’s Palette Staten Island, was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. When Joanna was 2 years old, she boarded a ship and moved to Florida with her family to escape the revolution of her homeland.

Joanna grew up on a ranch home, built by her father, in Miami, Florida with her parents and 2 sisters. The home featured an in ground pool, a riding track, and a barn. She had 2 horses, 6 goats, 12 chickens, roosters, hamsters, gerbils, and a dog. Her love for animals and in turn drawing them became her favorite pass time. Her family returned to Santo Domingo where she continued to live until she got married and moved back to the United States residing in Colorado.

At the age of 30, Joanna once again picked up drawing and painting. However, this time she started painting with oils and tried other mediums such as acrylic, watercolor, clay sculpting, scratchboard, and oil pastel. From her upbringing, animals were naturally her first subject but since then she’s evolved into flowers, landscapes, and portraits. Now, for more than 20 years, she’s been working nonstop at developing her craft. She’s continuously challenging herself and working toward reaching new heights. Her dream is to one day be able to render a portrait of someone and have the person in portrait be recognized by his/her family and friends. Her background and extraordinary talent holds all the characteristics of a true artist. By practicing, taking online classes, and studying the works of professional artists I strongly believe she will achieve all of her personal goals and ambitions.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna Maria Morales Miarrostami and asking her a few questions about her early influences, her specific style of art, her favorite artists and painting, and her passion for teaching art.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: When did you first become interested in painting? And, who or what influenced you to become an artist?

Joanna Maria Morales Miarrostami: A drawing of a horse and an Indian was done for me at the early age of six. It was magical to see this appear on my father’s sheet of paper. I was fascinated by my Dad’s drawing. Around the same time, my brother showed me how to make, give color, and add various scents to all sorts of candles. Ever since then I’ve been creating art.

Freedom-Watercolor

TCS: Can you remember one of the first things you drew, sculpted, or painted? If so, what makes it memorable?

JMMM: My mom can tell you that when I became an artist at age 6, I painted a bull on a square piece of fabric I cut from my father’s briefs. I had become so excited about drawing that I started a sketchbook of all the animals I could think of. On Father’s Day, I wanted to make something special and I chose the bull. I’m not sure why but I do remember it was challenging and it came out really nice. He was very pleased with it and gifting this painting to him was the best feeling a kid could ever have.

TCS: For those not too familiar with your work, please describe your specific style of art?

JMMM: I’ve always heard mention of developing a style of your own. I wish I knew what descriptive name to distinguish my style. If I could describe with words, I’d say that I strive to bring life to an image. It’s a feeling of being and existing within. I put a lot of love into each piece. I strive for my image to come to life. I put myself into each piece by just loving the process.

Koi-Fish

TCS: What did you do to gain so much knowledge about art?

JMMM: When the time came to choose between Anatomy and Math, I chose Anatomy for the opportunity to draw the human body. I loved the subject and I put together a clay model of the human heart separating the colors and I Aced the class. Upon realizing I wasn’t very good with cadavers, I switched career paths and started working with computers and programming. Graphic Arts and working with programs that allow you to create art from scratch got my attention and still keeps my attention till the wee hours of the night. Learning different ways to create to be expressive and to communicate love and life is what I do. Sharing is a big part of it all too. The feeling received from sharing is the same if not greater than creating; just quicker. Teaching is very rewarding and being appreciated is priceless.

TCS: Why do you think painting is so important to you?

JMMM: That’s a great question! Finding something in our short lifetime that creates happiness for us that is only dependent on ourselves and our desire to have it is a gift. For me, art fills my empty space and by this I surround myself with love and happiness. It’s more than a hobby. It’s part of my life. I hunger for it. It’s my breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Dragnap-and-Marilyn

TCS: Do you have a favorite artist? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?

JMMM: I love so many and I often visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY to sketch the statues. I love to study and Paint after the Masters. I learn and visit their time by recreating their work. It’s almost like reading a book with no images and letting your mind travel there. I haven’t travelled much but I almost feel like I’ve been to many places through art. Leonardo D’Vinci, Michael Angelo, and Alberto Vargas.

TCS: What is the most exciting art project that you have worked on to date?

JMMM: Painting the statue of David has been very exciting and challenging. I started him off with an under painting in oil and I’ve fixed that layer to continue onto the next layer where I will give him more of a statue color. The piece is quite large to give justice to the magnitude of the subject. I allowed myself some artistic license on this piece.

TCS: What do you feel separates you from other artists?

JMMM: I feel that we have more in common than we are different. As an individual, I am different because of how I perceive or feel as an artist how I express these. I’m different only by what the beholder of my work can tell, feel, and see.

Mixed-Art

TCS: In your opinion, what do you feel makes a good artist?

JMMM: A good artist will be patient, diligent, focused, and love what they do. Having an open mind to learn more and explore outside the comfort zone. To look for the challenge and learn from it makes a great artist.

TCS: Is there anybody or anything that you would love to paint?

JMMM: I am constantly seeing what I want to paint. A photograph of what I’d like to paint is now a folder full of images that inspire me. If I could paint everything in that folder I would need more than a lifetime.

TCS: If you weren’t an artist what do you think you would be doing?

JMMM: I can’t think of anything else except a teacher.

sophia-amy

TCS: What is the best and worst part of being an artist?

JMMM: The best is the feeling of accomplishment upon getting to a new level by completing a challenging piece. Being appreciated tops that off. The worst part is not being appreciated.

TCS: How do you currently market your painting?

JMMM: I’ve found a few online sites that allow me to showcase my work. I also participate in outdoor exhibitions locally in the Staten Island, New York area. Thus far, I’ve exhibited at Conference House Park and at the Snug Harbor Fence show. My plans are to exhibit more and expand to New York City and New Jersey for future shows.

Additionally, I market my art on the following websites:

TCS: How exciting was it to paint the The Aragonese Castle on the Island of Ischia in Italy?

JMMM: I enjoyed this painting and placing myself there. It was almost like traveling to Italy and exploring every nook and cranny I could see. If I were to travel there it would definitely feel like I’d been there before. It’s a beautiful place. I’m sure in person it’s breathtaking.

Castello-Aragonese-Ischia

TCS: Tell us about the art class that you teach at Pinot’s Palette Staten Island?

JMMM: My second job is probably the most fun job out there. Every night is a party with new people exploring art most often for the first time. The motto at Pinot’s Palette Staten Island is “Paint. Drink. Have Fun.” They come in unsure and nervous about how they will do. The music is on the wine is pouring the colors are flowing. By the end of the night, the same people are walking out with great confidence, happy and a feeling of accomplishment.

TCS: What provides you with ideas and inspires you to create such beautiful imagery?

JMMM: I love researching the work of historical artists. Conducting Google searches has been helpful and of course the museum. I have a particular fondness to statues.

TCS: What is your most favorite painting that you’ve created? And, can you describe its creation in regards to inspiration, location, lighting, composition, and detail, etc.?

JMMM: I especially love my painting of the Amorino Angel. I was inspired by Bartolomeo Schedoni’s oil painting from 1610.

angel

Here are a couple of my other favorites:

New-York-Mona-Lisa

For more, please visit my Fine Art America website.

Additionally, I created a Facebook page called Metro City Murals where more of my favorites can be found. This site is based on the Zodiac to cover all people throughout the year in wishing them a happy birthday with all my specific zodiac drawings.

TCS: Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art? If so, how did it turn out?

JMMM: I love stepping out and exploring new ways of creating art. It’s exciting and motivating to keep learning and growing. I always come back to portraits and the human form which is my favorite. I’ve explored ink, watercolor, charcoal, oil, acrylic, scratchboard, clay, and mixed media. I would like to combine sculpture into my art for portraits more.

TCS: Tell us about the South Shore Artists Group, a forty member strong group of professionally educated and self-taught artists, located in Staten Island, New York?

JMMM: Our group meets weekly at a local church where we share our work, work on our art and enjoy coffee and cake together. We plan exhibits and ways to expose our work through exhibitions and on the web.

You can visit us on Facebook at South Shore Artists Group.

Mixed-Art-Pics

TCS: Every artist has at least one important tool that they can’t live without, so what’s the most indispensable item in your studio?

JMMM: Quality materials are a must. A number 2 pencil is a must. A kneadable erasure and the one you can’t buy in a store is patience.

TCS: Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your artwork?

JMMM: I was intrigued with Mona Lisa and the mystery about her, who she was, her stare, and the obsession over her. I felt I would be very happy having a painting of her. She was quite challenging to paint. It was the first time I heard in my head as I painted guidance as to how big to make the chin. “My chin isn’t that big” was a constant nag until I got it right. Mona wasn’t easy to paint as she was demanding her beauty. I too in the process became obsessed and for this reason it is a piece that I can’t part with.

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.

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Sheila Brown: Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

Written by: Frank Iacono

Sheila Brown Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

Located in Cape May County New Jersey, the Wildwoods — North Wildwood, West Wildwood, Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and Diamond Beach — is a treasure trove of beaches, parks, playgrounds, bars, happy hour specials, breakfast favorites, traditional family-style restaurants, specialty seafood, games, rides, tram cars, and relaxing resorts. With over 8,000 hotel, motel, and bed and breakfast rooms finding a great place to stay can be quite daunting.

The bed and breakfast world is full of husband and wife teams escaping the rat race of traditional careers to make a living together doing something they love. The Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast, located in a quiet residential area of North Wildwood, homestead is no exception with Sheila Brown, once in human resources at an Atlantic City casino, and her husband Rick a general contractor — skills that came in handy when extensive renovations were needed and guests started arriving.

Sheila and Rick have transformed a beautiful mid 1900’s home and created a building reminiscent of one back in the 1950’s. Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast has all of the modern amenities enjoyed in a modern lodging while retaining and capturing the excitement and uniqueness of the early days of Rock-and-Roll. Guests can choose from the Elvis Suite, 60´s Suite, Marilyn Room, 50´s TV Room, 50´s Music Room, 50´s Movie Room, 70’s Disco Room, and “Life´s a Beach” Room. A stay at Summer Nites is like a step back into the 1950’s.

In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sheila Brown and asking her a few questions about her role as innkeeper of Summer Nites, her inspiration for opening up the inn, her motivation behind the 1950’s furnishings and décor, and her love for Elvis.

Q&A Session

The Creative Spotlight: What sparked your interest in running a bed and breakfast?

Sheila Brown: My husband saw the building and said “Let’s open a Bed and Breakfast.” I said “OK, I’ll try anything once” and thus Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast was born.

Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

TCS: Where exactly is the Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast located?

SB: The Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast is located in a quiet residential area of North Wildwood, New Jersey, at the Jersey Shore. The bustling night life of both Wildwood and Anglesea are within one mile in either direction.

TCS: Did it take long for you to find the right house for your Bed and Breakfast in North Wildwood? And, what year did you open the Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast?

SB: When we bought the house in 1995, it was a rundown single family home, and the bank had control of it. It was in really bad condition. My husband is a general contractor. He was the one with the vision. The Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast officially opened in May of 2003.

TCS: Were you always looking to start from scratch, or did you look at some existing Bed and Breakfast locations? And, what led you to the decision to start from scratch?


SB: When we first bought the house we fixed it up and rented out rooms for the summer. Then we made 3 year around apartments and rented the other rooms for the summer. In September of 2002, at the end of the summer he started the renovations.

TCS: How did you prepare yourself for becoming innkeepers?

SB: We had no knowledge of how to run a Bed and Breakfast. The first thing we did was setup a meeting with a couple who were Innkeepers in town. They were very supportive and very helpful and thrilled that another B&B was opening in North Wildwood.

TCS: Can you share with us the dining experience a guest would have while staying at Summer Nites?

SB: While at Summer Nites you will dine in a unique box car diner complete with 1953 Seeburg Jukebox, neon lighting, diner booths and more. Or you may choose to dine on one of the outdoor decks. Breakfast is served from the diner kitchen where you can watch as the cook prepares breakfast.

Kitchen Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

TCS: Describe for us the overall theme of Summer Nites?

SB: Summer Nites is a 50’s theme Bed & Breakfast. When we decided to open a B&B I said to my husband, “Let’s open an Elvis B&B,” since I am a huge Elvis Presley fan and would have been easily able to decorate the entire house with my Elvis collection. Rick said “I don’t think so. But, you can make one of the rooms Elvis.” So, then we decided if we are going to have Elvis, we then need a Marilyn Monroe room too and the idea for the B&B grow from there.

TCS: Can you describe the 8 theme-based rooms at Summer Nites?

SB: We have 2 themed suites and 6 themed rooms:

  • Elvis Suite – 2 room suite with Elvis memorabilia, king bed, large black Jacuzzi tub, gold sofa, loveseat & ottoman, Elvis slot machine(for amusement purposes only), fire place, private entrance, mini refrigerator & wet bar, and a full bath with shower and tub. Beautiful hand painted murals.
  • Elvis Suite Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

  • 60’s Suite – Large suite with 60’s memorabilia including Beatles, Motown, Woodstock and JFK. King bed, large whirlpool tub, large private bath with shower, mini refrigerator, wet bar, fireplace, love seat & chair, private entrance, and beautiful hand painted murals. HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE.
  • 60s Suite Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

  • Marilyn Room – Large room with Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, king bed, Jacuzzi tub, private bath with shower, beautiful hand painted murals. This room is located on the 2nd floor.
  • Marilyn Monroe Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

  • 50’s TV Room – Large room with 1950’s TV memorabilia, king bed, Jacuzzi tub, private bath with shower, and beautiful hand painted murals. This room is located on the 2nd floor.
  • 50s TV Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

  • 50’s Music Room – Queen bed with 50’s Music memorabilia, large private bath with large shower, and beautiful hand painted murals. This room is located on the 2nd floor.
  • Music Room Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

  • 50’s Movie Room – Queen bed, with 50’s Movie memorabilia, private bath with large shower, and beautiful hand painted murals. This room is located on the 2nd floor.
  • 50s Movie Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

  • 70’s Disco Room – Large room with 70’s memorabilia, including working disco ball above the large hot tub with mirror ceiling. King bed, private bath with shower, comfortable chair, mini refrigerator, private entrance, and beautiful hand painted murals.
  • 70s Disco Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

  • Life’s a Beach Room – Large room with beach memorabilia, king bed, large whirlpool tub, private bath with shower, mini refrigerator, Adirondack chair, beach umbrella, private entrance, beautiful hand painted murals.
  • Lifes A Beach Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

TCS: Tell us about the beautiful hand painted murals in each room?

SB: Our hand painted murals were done by a gentlemen by the name of Mike Curry. Mike and I worked together at AC Coin & Slot. We had many artists there and Mike, at that time was an airbrush artist & illustrator. We sat with him and went over our ideas for the rooms and we finally decided on the murals for the rooms. The first one that Mike did here was the Marilyn Monroe mural and as you can see it came out fabulous, which was a great incentive to work on the others.

Marilyn Monroe Muriel Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

TCS: Describe for us the modern amenities and lodging offered at Summer Nites?

SB: Summer Nites has all of the modern amenities enjoyed in a modern lodging while retaining and capturing the excitement and uniqueness of the early days of Rock-N-Roll. Wireless internet is available throughout the premises. A pool table and game room with vintage pinball games are available for those who care to step back to the “good old days.” Bicycles are available for those who might enjoy a morning ride on the Wildwood boardwalk or around the island. There is a hot tub on the outside back deck along with a sundeck and beach towels. The entire premises is air conditioned with separate, modern, individual climate controls for each room. All rooms have private baths, some with Jacuzzi tubs. The rooms at Summer Nites each come complete with televisions, CD and VCR/DVD players. Guests can enjoy viewing, listening to, and reading the many interesting vintage and repro 1950’s tapes, CD’s, and books provided in each room.

TCS: What are the room rates? And, are there any minimum stay requirements?

SB: Rates vary depending on time of year and your room selection. Rates are for one or two persons in a room and do not include New Jersey sales tax.

In season, a two-day minimum weekend reservation and a three-day minimum reservation for holiday weekends is required. 50% deposit is required for all reservations with balance due on arrival. We accept all major credits cards. Well behaved children 16 and over are welcome with parents. Sorry no pets.

For reservations, updated room rates, and specials, please visit our website.

No Vacancy Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

TCS: What is the specific check-in and check-out time?

SB: The check-in time is between 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM. If you plan to check-in after 9:00 pm, please make special arrangements. Check-out time is 11:00 AM.

TCS: Can you share with us your cancellation policy?

SB: Should it become necessary to change or cancel your reservation, a two (2) week notice is required. Summer Nites is not responsible for illness or inclement weather. If you cancel after that date you will receive a refund of the deposit only if the room can be re-rented. All refunds are subject to a $25.00 processing fee.

Contact Summer Nites Bed and Breakfast

Sheila and Rick Brown
2110 Atlantic Avenue
North Wildwood, NJ 08260
Phone: (609) 846-1955
Toll-Free: (866) ROC-1950
Website: http://www.summernites.com

About Frank Iacono

Frank Iacono - The Creative Spotlight

Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.

Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.