Brubaker’s charm is in telling stories through her watercolor art


Judy Berman

A singular flower emerging from a rock and a solitary figure making her way in a big city are subjects that capture watercolor artist Gloria Brubaker’s interest.

“It was powerful. The standing tall and alone. The strength of survival is very symbolic. Especially now,” said Brubaker, who originally is from the New York City area, and has lived in Titusville since 2003. 

Brubaker’s paintings are featured at the Art Gallery of Viera in The Avenue.

One morning, as she walked in lower Manhattan, she spotted a woman on a park bench. The woman had a map. Her legs were swollen and she wore orthopedic shoes. She has a hat and a shopping bag. The woman is gutsy and ready to face the world.

“I kind of imposed my own experience. What I saw, reminded me of my mother,” Brubaker said of the painting that she named “Planning Her Day.”

Gwen Fox, Brubaker’s art coach, said, “It’s a very inviting painting that you feel you could just sit down and talk to her.”

Fox, who is based in Taos, New Mexico, said Brubaker is “brilliant in her perception of what she wants her art to say. Her paintings tell a story. That is the charm she offers to the viewer.”

Another sighting, this time of an older man who stepped out of a cab and shuffled into a hotel, inspired her painting, “The Journey.”

“This man also symbolizes the life cycle, endurance, maybe faith, our journey. On another plane, I see my father in passing on his journey. 

“Maybe I see all of us, emotionally, taking that step into the light,” Brubaker said.

As she paints, she thinks about the color and the light, called “chasing the light.”

“The challenge (of watercolor) has me mesmerized. Water flows. It’s going to go where it wants to go. To let it be its own dynamic, it’s an awesome response,” Brubaker said. 

Her paintings of flowers, animals and people are whimsical, joyful and colorful.

Brubaker’s passion to portray stories will be emphasized during the next year as she plans for the 20th anniversary of 9/11. She aims to paint more of the figures of New York City, to have what she calls the voices of New York.