Like that oil painting? There's an app for that

Gwen Guidici of Bremerton in front of one of her oil paintings at Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery in Silverdale Monday. Sixteen of the Bremerton artist’s landscape paintings were recently turned into a jigsaw puzzle as a Mac App.  - Kristin Okinaka/staff photo
Gwen Guidici of Bremerton in front of one of her oil paintings at Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery in Silverdale Monday. Sixteen of the Bremerton artist’s landscape paintings were recently turned into a jigsaw puzzle as a Mac App.
— image credit: Kristin Okinaka/staff photo

Gwen Guidici draws inspiration from the beauty of her surroundings. Then she paints it. And then it’s turned into a Mac App.

But her work being turned into an interactive game was never the Bremerton artist’s intentions. And at present, she doesn’t have a way to play it herself.

“I don’t have a Mac, so I can’t download it,” Guidici, 54, said Monday.

Last month Guidici had 16 of her landscape oil paintings turned into a Mac App — one that is a jigsaw puzzle game that can be purchased and played on a Mac computer. A series of her paintings are also on display, including ones used for the game, at the gallery of Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery in Silverdale through April 9. The gallery will hold a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. March 20.

“What you’re heart is invested in is what you notice,” Guidici said of her landscapes, adding that she has a keen eye for light and color.

Guidici contacted Dave Peterson, the creator of her Mac App, about a month-and-a-half ago to see if he could fill-in as an organist at a service at Community of Christ Church in Bremerton where she is the music director. Peterson is originally from Bremerton and had met Guidici once. He’s been playing at the church a couple of times a year for the past 30 years. He ended up not being able to substitute this time and the gig went to his nephew, but he saw at the bottom of Guidici’s e-mail a link to her website.

“I thought her paintings looked nice,” Peterson said. “There’s a peacefulness about them.”

Peterson already had a jigsaw puzzle app written so all he had to do was make a few adjustments, including modifying the pictures so they could not be copied. He has 22 apps in the Mac App Store that are either educational or game-related through his Bothell-based company Users can indicate how challenging they want the puzzle to be, Guidici said. The game, “Landscapes,” was released Feb. 4 and 56 percent of the sales have been from the U.S. with the remainder being international, including Canada, Australia and Japan. The game can be played in 15 languages other than English.

And althought she receives royalties from the app, it’s not about the money.

“To me, it’s not so much creating marketable items, it’s about creating things that people can find solace in and be intrigued by,” Guidici said, adding that it all just worked out for her paintings to be turned into a jigsaw puzzle game.

Born in Bremerton, Guidici went to Central Kitsap High School and graduated from George Fox University in Newberg, Ore. in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on art, Christian ministries and physical education. As Guidici puts it, she’s always done something related to the arts throughout her life. She started playing the piano at age 8 and learned her numbers through painting them.

In high school, she decided to make a kiln in her backyard and fired a pot. She was taking a pottery class in school at the time and wanted to keep creating, she said. Of the 162 paintings she’s created in the approximately past 11 years, 65 are landscapes, 60 are abstracts, 22 are figurative and 15 are still life. A majority of her work is in oil painting but recently she has taken up pastel work as well.

And she does it while keeping others in mind.

“She has a huge heart,” said Maria Mackovjak, owner of Old Town Custom Framing and Gallery. “It really speaks volumes of her as a person and artist.”

In 2007, Guidici gave one of her original paintings to a Port Orchard woman who lived in a Habitat for Humanity-built house. She created a contest where people wrote about why original art is special to them, and the winner received an oil painting who otherwise probably would not have afforded it.

“She’s obviously a trend-setter,” Mackovjak said.

But above all, art has been an important part of Guidici’s life because it is how she expresses the beauty she sees — in clouds, in rocks and other aspects of nature that may be overlooked by the passerby.

“If you can’t see it yourself, maybe you can see it in my interpretation of what’s around,” she said.

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