There is a striped cat camouflaged in a cluster of birch trees and a vintage truck in a field of tall grass. Two empty deck chairs enjoy the view of a fall sunset in Montana. Poppies and hydrangeas bloom brightly while a young boy, “Jake,” sits on a dock examining a tiny find clasped in his hands. “Danielle’s Flower Girl” studies the flowers stitched into the gauze of her white dress, dragonflies dance on water lilies, horses converse, a cougar hunts in winter, and koi swim in clear waters.
And Jeannine Marx Fruci has captured them all with her brush dipped in watercolors.
“I have always believed that being an artist is a gift one is blessed to be born with. And according to my wise husband, Dave Fruci, when one is fortunate enough to be given such a gift, the only option is to nurture and share it,” she explained in her artist’s statement.
Currently, Marx Fruci is working on a piece illustrating a swan fluttering its wings on the water’s surface. “I like a challenge,” she said, “like, how do I get the water to look like it’s ‘ruffling’ under the swan’s feathers and wings? I know there’s a process that uses saran wrap with water colors. I’ll experiment.”
Experimenting and figuring things out are part of the fun for Marx Fruci, who began her artistic endeavors in elementary school when she drew caricatures with large eyes. At Holy Names Academy, she did graphics for her yearbook and the cover design her senior year.
She started dating her husband in 1969 during the summer of eighth grade. They attended the University of Washington, where Marx Fruci majored in art but later switched to business. The couple went their separate ways at the urging of her parents but reconnected and ended up marrying in 1984.
Marx Fruci began working in business recruiting, had two daughters, and then started her own “head-hunting” company as she continued to paint. She made a promise to herself that when her youngest daughter graduated from high school, she would exhibit her work. She displayed 55 paintings at Peters and Sons in downtown Spokane in 2007.
Since then, she has shown at Barrister Winery, the William Grant Gallery, at art shows in the University District in Spokane, and in Ritzville, had a private showing at Arbor Crest Winery, and will participate in the winery’s Art and Glass Fest next weekend. Currently, her work hangs on the walls of Wild Sage, a bistro in downtown Spokane.
She has sold half a dozen originals and more than 50 prints, and has been commissioned to complete four originals. She divides her time recruiting, caring for her parents, painting and traveling with her husband, always on the lookout for subjects for her next paintings, which she hopes will serve as a spark of positive memories and emotions for people who see or purchase her work.
“I believe that my art can play an important role in the lives of others as a healing tool, serving as a reminder of the positive things in life.”