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Jeff Abbott decorates with his creations

May 17, 2017
By ED FRANKS (efranks@breezenewspapers.com) , Pine Island Eagle

Approaching Jeff Abbott's house in Bokeelia, it appears like there's a big party going on. But when you get closer, what seems to be a big party is really "figure art."

In front of the house, there's a putting green with golfing figures lining up and making shots. Around the bar, there are several figures in various stages of smoking, drinking and "bar talk." On the deck' there's a bikini clad woman fishing in the canal and nearby a figure examines his cell phone with an Uzi slung around his shoulder.

Abbott is an artist that adds "something new'" to the Pine Island / Matlacha art community of painters, jewelers, photographers and wood carvers. His most recent art form is "figure art."

Article Photos

Jeff Abbott with his golf cart creations.

ED FRANKS

Abbott was born on Long Island, New York, but moved to Florida when he was 1 year old and considers Naples, Fla., his hometown. Abbott attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where he studied art under Bob Gelinas and Harrison Covington. His favorite artists include Francis Bacon, Philip Pearlstein, David Hockney and Lynn Davison.

"I was encouraged by my high school teacher to paint and was an art major in college," Abbott said. "Then I was in the boat repair business for 30 years using Gelcoat and fiberglass to repair boats, so I'm used to working with those types of materials. The materials are similar to what I used repairing boats so making art figures comes easy to me.

"The first art figure I did was a figure of my dad after he passed away in Naples 20 years ago," Abbott said. "The figure was of my dad fishing on the dock. I put my dad's clothes on him and he looked so real neighbors would call to tell me to check on my dad because he hasn't moved in a while."

Abbott has probably created about two dozen figures.

"It takes about a month to make a single figure," Abbott said.

First Abbott creates a frame out of PVC tubing.

"I glue that together and then if I need to I can bend those to shape with a heat gun - that gives me the structure to start from. Then I spray foam on that until I get enough bulk to carve it with a hacksaw blade. Finally I put on a coat of paintable silicone just like skin. Whatever you can imagine, you can create."

Abbott created two art figures for Mel Meo's studio - one bending over getting mail and another on a ladder reaching up towards the roofline.

"I hope it draws customers into her studio," Abbott said.

"Tim Heitz introduced me to Heather at Olde Florida Outpost in St. James City," Abbott said. "I recognized they had a memorabilia kind of theme going on down there and it made me think of Marilyn Monroe. I asked Heather what she thought of a Marilyn Monroe figure art and she liked the idea. Tim came up with the motion detector as a trigger to make the skirt blow up, like in the movie the 'Seven Year Itch.' So I made her, Tim installed the motion detector, and I think it will help them bring in a little business. The figure has created some Facebook interest and Heather at Olde Florida Outpost is planning a "Marilyn Monroe' event in June."

 
 

 

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