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Nature Center wild about art Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Feb 12 2011 12:00 PM

The Chula Vista Nature Center has partnered with 35-year veteran artist Cherry Sweig to hold a hands-on workshop to capture nature on canvas using live animal subjects.

On Saturday, "Nature Painting 101" is part of a series of art workshops in a 101-day art collaboration project.

"This is something the nature center has never done before," Sweig said. "It's very unusual for us to be able to paint from the animals lives. Chula Vista is so lucky to have this at their back door."

Beginning Dec. 1, Sweig, 54, started painting one nature center-inspired painting each day to benefit the nonprofit education center.

Sweig paints everything from ballerinas to wild flowers. "My Number 1 passion is painting a species of endangered Greek horses," she said. "I'm more passionate about painting a cause."

Sweig will provide a 30-minute art demonstration to students, who will observe live wildlife on a large format screen. Each will take home an acrylic or watercolor painting ready to frame in a small portfolio.

The next workshops are Feb. 12 and Mar. 12, the class will take go for a hike and paint nature in the field.

"The 101 pieces of art give students 101 reasons to come," Sweig said.

The art workshop is Saturday from 8 to 4 p.m. at Chula Vista Nature Center, 1000 Gunpowder Point Drive in Chula Vista. Tickets are $35 for each workshop. Space is limited. Call (619) 409-5900 for information.

Sweig received her degree from San Diego State University in painting and graphic design.

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