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The worlds of visual arts and real estate go hand in hand in the eyes of Griffith's' Brenda Haley Spitz.

"I can do stagings for homes and incorporate my art into them," she said.

"My saying is 'I can find art for your home, and I can find a home for your art.' "

Currently exhibiting a series of recent paintings at Munster's Active Art Salon and Gallery, Spitz began mixing art with homes for Chicagoland's Walter E. Smithe furniture stores, where she worked as an interior designer for approximately 15 years.

In 2006, Spitz began her first formal art training, taking courses at Tree Studios in Chicago. There, she was taken under the wing of its instructors, who she credits for fueling her artistic passion.

"I was just hooked from the moment I started working with them," she said.

"I knew that I would continue to paint, and I really had no idea of how it would infuse my life."

Spitz also took a weeklong art workshop in Guadalajara, Mexico, and also has studied under the tutelage of Tom Torluemke, cofounder of Highland's Uncle Freddy's Gallery.

While Spitz said she hopes to try her hand at abstract works in the future, she currently creates primarily impressionistic paintings.

"I think (I have a passion for impressionistic) color and texture," she said.

"I like the fact that you don't have to be such an accurate, perfect drawer. The style (in impressionistic art) comes from you."

Last year, Spitz left Walter E. Smithe to start a career in real estate, selling houses throughout the region.

"I decided I wanted to try something new in my life," she said. "I wanted to feel more self-employed and to try something new, and it's working out great."

The pieces currently on display at Active Art were created by Spitz over the last six months. Her subjects include everything from chandeliers and palm trees to region and Windy City landmarks.

"I like to think that I'm inspired by things that are fun and colorful," she said.

For more information on Spitz, brendyart.com.

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