Three years ago, Jary Sell was searching for a place to sketch. Somewhere quiet. A place where he could sit for hours and rediscover wherever his imagination would take him in his drawings.
Sell, who is also known as J.P., masters the fine details in everything he does from landscape drawing, portraiture and wildlife scenes, just to name a few of his intricately hand-drawn pencil and charcoal projects.
So while many artists would choose a secluded artist studio, or even a makeshift studio in their home garage, Sell chose the Collier County Headquarters Library as his place to create his masterpieces.
Inside the library’s, near the non-fiction section, and sometimes in the study area, Sell can be found sketching and mentoring others in the joys of drawing. Sketching and designing since childhood, Sell now happily shares his talents with community children and adults who stop by and ask him questions.
“I’ve only been teaching here for three years. I kept having parents stop by and ask if I could tutor children in drawing,” said Sell, who now teaches all ages at the library and at local nursing homes. “It’s been a blast and I’m loving it.”
But Sell isn’t merely sketching and teaching. He is sharing his tips for success to anyone who asks him a question. He is outgoing and friendly to everyone who stops by his desk.
“If I was reading a book, no one would say anything to me, but when I draw, people stop by and ask questions,” said Sell following a tutoring session with Isabella Wilson, a student at Pelican Marsh Elementary School.
Like her art tutor, Wilson discovered her spark for drawing when she was very young.
“As a child in preschool, I was a stage ahead of the other kids and when the kids were drawing scribbles, I was drawing stick figures,” she said, picking up a sanguine charcoal pencil to shade in a mountain scene.
“Sanguine charcoal dates back to the Renaissance period, where artists would use it to shade with,” Sell explained as he tutored Wilson.
“My youngest student is 6 years old, and they all have different abilities,” Sell said.
When it comes to expert advice to new pencil and charcoal artists, Sell reminds everyone about employing the 3 H’s in guaranteeing creative success in drawing.
“The three H’s are the head, as you think about the composition first, then the hands, used in the technical aspect of the drawing, and the heart, which is the passion you put into it.... If all those three things come together, it will work for you,” said Sell, adding that getting as many books on drawing techniques also helps.
Aside from teaching and sketching at the library, Sell works full time in a press printing and graphic design firm, and raised three grown children who are all artistically inclined with his wife Barbara.
“They’re all artistic in different ways. My son plays guitar, and is leaning toward designing websites, and our oldest daughter is at FSU. I have two grown daughters and one son,” Sell said.
The Sell family also makes room in their home to rescue and rehabilitate feral cats with a local feral cat rescue group in Naples, when he is not spending hundreds of hours on his drawings and commissioned pieces.
“We have a Springer Spaniel, and three cats from the feral cat program, so at anytime the cats may bite me,” he said with a laugh.
For Sell, drawing is a passion he embraces each day, which he credits directly to the heavens. “It is a blessing that God has given me, a gift. And I try to share that every day.”
For more information about Sell, contact him via e-mail at email@example.com or on his website, jpsell.50webs.com.