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Avian Art

Giglia Sherman hops right into explaining why she’s been painting pictures of crows.

"They really are noisy, messy and irritating — like me," she says. "I just sort of identify with them."

Sherman’s exhibit at Linnaea’s Café, "Something to Crow About," features acrylic paintings as lively as the subjects. And the titles are a giggle. Since she started the series, friends and acquaintances keep adding to the list of possibilities: "In Escrow," "Acrownym," "Crows Feet" — the list goes on.

She makes no bones about blatantly ripping off some ideas from other artists such as Edward

Hopper. "They say the art of originality is concealing your sources," she notes. "Oh well, the heck with that."

It just takes a minute of conversation with Sherman to realize that humor is her driving force. Sherman works with computers at Cal Poly in her day job, but she leaves that sedate side of herself behind during her free time. As she describes her home studio in Los Osos, where she’s lived for eight or so years, she says, "My kitchen looks like Carmen Miranda exploded in it." This is followed by a whoop of laughter.

Sherman says she’s always painted and doodled, but she put her art on hold for 20 years as a single mom raising her son. Since he’s become independent, "I just came back with a vengeance," she says.

Two years ago Sherman got involved with the San Luis Obispo Arts Council’s open studio tour but says she was too chicken to use her own home, so she partnered up with another artist. Last year, she finally got brave enough to open her studio during the tour, but she’s still feeling squeamish about this change in her personality.

"I’ve been into hiding forever," she says, "and now I’m into this shameless self-promotion."

She’s still learning to walk that fine line of making art and marketing it. About selling her work from her home studio, she says, "This is a ‘make-me-an-offer gallery.’ "

Her paintings at Linnaea’s may or may not bear price tags, but her assistants will be priceless. After she asked a couple of friends to serve refreshments, they said, ‘Oh good, we’ll wear our crow costumes.’ " Sherman was flabbergasted that they owned any such thing. "Is this serendipitous or what?" she says.

IF YOU GO...

What: Acrylic paintings by Giglia Sherman: "Something to Crow About"

Where: Linnaea’s Café,

1110 Garden St.,

San Luis Obispo

When: Through April 1.

Reception: 3 to 5 p.m. today

Contact: 528-4593 or 541-5888

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