Updated: Jan 24
ARTISTS Caroline and Laurie Hart hit the road to join Chef Jason Smith in Fort Lauderdale for the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival, bringing with them the official Chef Jason Smith Art Collection. Jason was there to judge the BBQ Battle as well as bringing his unique food demonstration to the The Grand Tasting.
The Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival is a spectacular event, with all the delicious food you could imagine and so much more than wine to drink. From copious amounts of the very best bbq, to endless cocktails and all the bourbon anyone could wish for. What makes this now annual event event more impressive is its commitment to donating proceeds to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
The weekend kicked of Friday night with Jason judging the BBQ Battle.
”What a fabulous way to start our weekend, sampling all the contestants delicacies, Jason sure had a hard job on his hands deciding who was the best.” Explains Caroline.
The BBQ Battle took place at the Hyatt Centric Las Olas and the place was buzzing.
“Not only did we get to feast on the smokingly delicious food we also got to dance the night away with great music provided by DJ MP 1914.” Says Laurie.
“We couldn’t have imagined a more picturesque spot to bring our artwork, right across from the Fort Lauderdale beach at the Las Olas Oceanside Park.” Says Caroline “It really was such an honor to be there and totally brilliant seeing all the fans reactions to the Chef Jason Smith Art Collection.”
“It was as hysterical when Jason was with us and fans suddenly realized it was actually him in person, they were so excited as he personally signed all their artwork.” Laurie explained “And all washed down with a bit of bourbon, it couldn’t have been better!”
”Everyone involved in the festival were so welcoming and helpful, even though it was obviously extremely busy, all the events were completely sold out, they always made time whenever we needed it.” Says Caroline.
This Saturday January 28th you can find Hart Art at The Winter Haven Saturday Market held at 469 W Central Ave, Winter Haven, Fl, 33881 ~ 9 AM - 3 PM
AS FEATURED IN HAVEN MAGAZINE!
What a terrific start to 2023, being featured in Haven Magazine! Haven Magazine holds a special place in the Hart’s hearts.
“We were given a copy by our lovely next door neighbor the day we moved into our home in Winter Haven.” Explains Caroline “We loved the cover so much, we framed it and it proudly sits on our wall alongside one of our pieces of art.”
Now the Hart’s have come full circle and were featured in the January 2023 issue of Haven. “We were interviewed by Tara Crutchfield and she did such an amazing job, we couldn’t be happier with how she told our story.” Says Laurie, “We want to give a big shout out to both Tara and Amy Sexson for taking the time to make this happen.”
HART ART ~ WORDS Tara Crutchfield PHOTOGRAPH Amy Sexson
The Hart Art story is one of international love, civil rights hard fought and won, shared creativity turned livelihood, and zany catchphrases come to life. Caroline and Laurie Hart, the artists behind Hart Art have carved out a niche of rustic wood paintings with inspirational themes. And it all started with a tiki bar. Read More
HART ART Celebrates Art Lovers ~ From Returning Customers To Celebrity Chef Jason Smith
As 2022 is swiftly coming to a close Hart Art duo Caroline and Laurie Hart celebrate their first calendar year as full time artists. “It has been absolutely wonderful being working artists, we truly appreciate just how lucky we are.” Says Caroline. “Our returning customers are everything to us and it really touches out hearts how much they love our work.” Adds Laurie.
Art At Hart
“Becoming successful as an artist is hard, I started out as a teen selling pop art but had to take a regular job to make ends meet. But now, as I’m fast approach my 60th birthday, it feels incredible having people fall in love with the pieces of art we create.” Explains Caroline “We pour every once of our creativity into our artwork and the reward comes from people who appreciate that effort.”
“I really enjoy talking to our customers when we take our pop up shop to markets and art shows, hearing why they love one of our pieces and where it will end up.” Says Laurie “Their stories really interest me, like recently, a woman bought a piece because her mother, who she had lost, loved fairies and it instantly brought her to mind the moment our fairy sitting on a mushroom caught her eye.”
“We especially love our returning customers, we are so lucky to have many regulars, who make a point of coming to find us at markets and shows, excited to see our latest work. Often people can’t decide on a piece so end up buying more than one which is fantastic.” Says Caroline.
“Commission work is extremely important to us and this year has seen us creating a diverse collection of commissions, from mermaids and fishing, to lakes on pie crust tables and 16 foot woodland mural.” Explains Caroline.
“We are always interested in hearing peoples requests and coming up with something special for them.” Adds Laurie.
Well Butter My Butt & Call Me A Biscuit ~ Hart Art Featured on TV by Chef Jason Smith!
“Working with celebrity Chef and TV personality Jason Smith this year has been awesome, bringing to life his “Jasonism’s” by creating his art collection, from roosters in socks to hogs in tutu’s there’s a crazy animal to catch anyones heart.” Laurie says.
“We are so excited, in January we will be bringing Jason’s art collection to Fort Lauderdale for the Visit Lauderdale Food & Wine Festival, where Jason will be demonstrating his culinary skills.” Caroline explains “We will be there from the 13th-15th If you want to come and see us and Jason, it’s going to be a fabulous start to 2023!”
LORD HONEY himself, Chef Jason Smith, was on Lex18 Best of the Bluegrass not only demonstrating his Sausage Dip Puffs but also showing off his Lord Honey Art Collection by Hart Art.
The Chef Jason Smith Lord Honey Art Collection has now officially launched, its more excitin than a goat wearing a bikini eatin a pineapple and it’ll make ya happier than a hog in a tutu.
“It’s been so hard keeping these pieces of art under wraps.” Says Laurie, one half of the Hart Art duo. “We’ve been working secretly with Jason bringing his zany sayings, known as “Jasonisms”, to life through our artwork.”
“If anyone had’ve told us a year ago that we would be painting for Mr Country Bling himself, we would not have believed
them.” Says Caroline. “We absolutely love what we do and our style of art worked so perfectly with his Jasonisms.”
LIMITED EDITION PRINTS
As well as the one-of-a-kind pieces of art, Hart Art are also adding limited edition prints to the Chef Jason Smith Lord Honey Collection. “The prints are something unique to Jason’s collection.” Laurie says, “Each print is based upon the original piece of art on wood and digitally hand painted, adding a different element to the painting.”
Limited Edition Print
HART ART Celebrates Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee
"Being a British and American duo of course we were excited about celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 70 years on the throne. We both fell in love with the Queen and Paddington having tea and were inspired to paint a homage to both that, and the jubilant celebrations from the Buckingham Palace balcony. The Queen has celebrated so many momentous occasions from this stand point so we wanted to capture that." Explains Caroline, the British half of Hart Art.
"Laurie and I have been lucky enough to have spent many happy times in London together and, although we couldn't be there for the jubilee, we enjoyed it from afar in Florida." Caroline continued "It also made us recall the time we toured Buckingham Palace and our visit to Balmoral Castle, which we loved."
"We titled this piece "Thank You Ma'am" and it sold immediately we shared a sneak peek." Laurie explained "And we couldn't be happier that it's flying to its forever home in England."
HART ART IN THE PARK
"June will see us round out this seasons Winter Haven Saturday Markets, We've really enjoyed being a part of these, we've got to know lots of wonderful people who have come to love our artwork, some have bought 7 or eight pieces." Caroline says.
"We must give a special shout out to Sergio Cruz, who runs the Winter Haven market, he has made us feel so welcome and part of what feels like a family of vendors." Laurie explains "We are already looking forward to the next season!"
The Winter Haven Saturday Market is held at 469 W Central Ave, Winter Haven, Fl, 33881
9 AM - 3 PM
Hart Art has now arrived on The Big Island of Hawaii! "This means so much to us" says Laurie "We created this piece especially for Flocking Fabulous Elizabeth, AKA Izzy, as an extra special gift and she absolutely LOVED it!"
Art Honoring Life ~ HART ART Creates A Mural To Capture A Beautiful Nature Loving Spirit
When our friend and neighbor approached us about painting a mural on her lanai back wall we immediately said YES! She explained she wanted a woodland walk that gave a sense of escape and peacefulness. "It must have lots of trees, a deer and possibly some other woodland creatures" Anita said. As the artwork progressed we realized this was more than just a painting, this was a tribute to honor a loving daughters life cut short by cancer. We brought everything we had to make it a vision of nature and tranquility, befitting this hiking and nature loving spirit.
We started the creative process by measuring the wall and providing a sketch before cleaning and prepping the wall for painting. From start to finish it took us 9 full days to complete, each day a new element taking on a life of its own. It was a very moving experience for us, especially painting the memory stone, it had to be perfect. We are extremely proud of our work, titled "A Walk To Remember", and the best part is we exceeded our friends expectations, each day she walks out into her lanai with coffee in hand and remembers her daughter with a heartfelt smile.
Here you can see the progression of our work from sketch to completion.
Hart Art was included in a feature on CNN Business News about how the pandemic's effect on the US economy has been unmistakable: America suffered the starkest job losses since the Great Depression, supply chains ruptured, and lives were devastated by immense personal and financial hardship.
Bringing HART ART To Life
"Coming up with new ideas for our artwork is such a fun part of our creative process, and we love thinking of those extra special details that evoke memories of magical moments in time by coming up with stories for each of our pieces. This VW camper stopped along the way to enjoy the view, before heading off to one of the most momentous musical events of all time." Explains Caroline.
"When people come up to us and say our artwork makes them happy, that is the very best compliment we can receive, and so many people have told us that. We pour our hearts into creating pieces of art that are bright, cheerful and a mix of fun, cute and the best of life's adventures and experiences." Says Laurie, the other half of the Hart Art creative duo.
"Since the launch of Hart Art in June, we are blown away by how many people have embraced our one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces of art. Our artwork is now hanging on the walls of homes on 3 continents and we have had such wonderful feedback from customers who love what we do and they are coming back for more!" Explains Caroline Hart.
"These two cheeky mice depict Laurie and I at work, we do get a bit of paint on us while working, we had to create something that captures us doing what we love and it's fun having these two looking down on us as we work. All our artwork says something about us and we wanted to bring some humor and light through our work, it's a powerful thing seeing our pieces bring an emotional response to people. It really is so rewarding." Caroline continues, "It has always been my dream to be a fulltime artist and I absolutely love what I do."
"Fearless" was a commission piece for underwater photographer Kristiana by her friend Pat. Pat told us that Kristiana had a tear in her eye when she opened it and said it was the best gift she'd received and immediately hung it on the wall. She made a point of saying the attention to detail was incredible." Says Caroline.
COMMISSION ~ GODDESS AT SUNSET
Watch this hyperspeed video of Caroline painting the details of this commissioned mermaid, painting measures 4' x 11.5".
"We are thrilled by the number of commissions we've received and totally love the challenge of coming up with our spin on someone's request, we've had some really out of the box ideas." Laurie says, "From cute cats in a boat, a nurse alligator, to Alice in Wonderland watching the sisters from Hocus Pocus at the movies. The furthest one of our pieces has traveled is to Australia, a mother in England wanted a painting of her sons camper, surfboard and 2 dogs, he was absolutely delighted with his surprise delivery and they enjoyed the unwrapping together on Facetime. People have certainly found it is such a creative way give a thoughtful and unique gift."
"They loved it! James FaceTimed us this morning so we could watch them open the parcel, we could see straight away how much they loved it. Thank you for your artistic work, creating this amazing art, so pleased with their reactions. ~ Many, many thanks. Liz"
"As well as our paintings on wood, we also specialize in our crossovers, which are canvas paintings on handcrafted wooden mount. This piece measures 24" x 31", what makes it a unique is the painting on the canvas spills over onto the wooden mount, all finished off with a dusting of sand to give this fishing piece extra depth and detail. This was another mother to son gift." Caroline explains.
Commission pieces start at only $65.00 for a 12" x 5.5" and they come ready for hanging with a protective coating so they can be hung either indoors or outdoors.
This commission piece was a surprise for Andrew and Gill on their wedding day from Gill's sister Jacqui. Jacqui, who lives in England, wanted to give something extra special to the happy couple, who reside in Florida, she provided a photo of their house and Hart Art created this one-of-a-kind wedding gift. "They Love it!" Jacqui said.
"Since our first market in September people have been loving our artwork, some people buying more than one piece at a time. In fact Bill, pictured above, bought 2 pieces, then came back and bought another 5!" Says Caroline.
"We really enjoy being a part of the markets with our pop up shop, we love interacting with our customers, getting their reactions to our latest art additions and hearing about where their purchase is going to be hanging." Laurie explains.
"We are constantly coming up with new ideas for our creations and with this one we have added a finger of eight knot, for that extra boating related detail." Laurie says.
Work in progress. Watch this hyperspeed video of Caroline painting "Magic" the unicorn to see how this little cutie comes to colorful life.
"Magic" in progress
HOW HART ART BEGAN
Hart Art was born from the unusual combination of Caroline and Laurie's longtime love of the arts and building a tiki bar. Together they hit upon the idea of “HART ART” combining their talents to create unique, one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pieces of art, with wide ranging subjects, from nature to fantastic fantasy, each in their own distinctive artistic style.
Caroline studied art in England, taking many college courses from the history of art, portraiture, to graphic design, and photography. Her art skills have also included set design for theatrical productions, as well as carnival floats and murals.
“My first love was always art; from the youngest age I would spend hours engrossed in any form I could put my hands on. As I got older, I revered the impressionists, I especially admired the French artist, Claude Monet. I absolutely loved visiting his exquisite house and gardens in Giverny, France, and saw for myself why he was so inspired by their outstanding beauty.” Explains Caroline.
“When I was at school I would much prefer to be sketching in my rough book, rather than taking notes in the classroom. I started sketching famous people and then I found friends wanted to buy my drawings, I was only selling them for 10 pence but at that time I thought it was great. I even sent my drawings off to Princess Diana and singer/songwriter Kate Bush and, to my absolute delight, received personal replies of thanks. Now, all these years later, it is so wonderful to finally be fulfilling my dream of being a fulltime artist creating pieces of art people can fall in love with and hang in their homes.”
Laurie is an award-winning photographer and has always had an eye for detail, her outstanding work was featured on the BBC, after she was the official photographer for a humanitarian trip to India.
Faces of India - Photographs by Laurie Hart
“I believe life isn’t about the big picture, it’s all the little pieces along the way that tell the story. I love yard sales and thrift shops, finding that piece of wood that once lived a life elsewhere and give it a new lease on life”. The technique I use for de stressing the wood, begins with choosing the right grit of sandpaper and work it until I’m satisfied with the aging results.” Says Laurie.
The process starts with throwing ideas around for a concept, followed by Laurie sanding and prepping the wood. Before Caroline drafts the idea on wood, she hand carves each piece, giving it a very distinctive look. Next, Laurie chooses the color palette and paints the background, Back to Caroline, as she pours passion into each creation, bringing them to life.
In the final steps, Laurie destresses each piece of wood, giving it an aged look, followed by the perfect finishing touches of a protective coating and twisted sisal rope, ready for hanging. It truly is a labor of love from the Hart's.
“With every piece we aim to capture the atmospheric beauty in life that surrounds us, from nature and wildlife, depicting creatures in their own habitat, and, in some cases, putting them in fun or fantasy settings. With our scenic views we want to take you to almost feel the breeze from the ocean, or the warmth from the sun going down on the lake. Our artwork can bring back memories of good times shared, trigger the start of a dream yet to be lived, or just simply put a smile on your face.” Says Laurie.
“It has been heartwarming how much people have been enjoying our art, we've even had people wanting to buy pieces before they were finished. We're extremely grateful for the lovely feedback we have received from people happy with their latest purchase.” Explains Caroline.
Titled - Evening at the Lake
"Thank you Caroline and Laurie, your painting of Hartridge Landings brought new hope and lifetime peace to my heart . Forever grateful."
Titled - Peaceful One
Let us put a creative spin on your idea!
We have already taken an eclectic mix of commissions, from cats at the lake to hairdresser’s tools and sea turtles, to name just a few and we would be happy to consider
your idea for a commissioned piece of our one-of-a-kind creations.
Titled - Cat
Caroline with the completed Goddess At Sunset
Titled - Cats Gone Fishing
"Whether you are looking for a gift for a friend, family member, or the perfect addition to your home, you can be sure of its originality from us and we would greatly value your custom."
Come and Meet the Artists