Joe Gyurcsak, an artist who works in research and development and demonstrates artist materials for Utrecht, loves one painting spot partly because of the way the sun travels over it in the course of the day. Why?

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Main Avenue in Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Because the streets of Ocean Grove, New Jersey, the Jersey Shore vacation destination for the Gyurcsak family, are set on an East-West axis, creating dramatic light on the historic Victorian homes in the morning and, quite differently, in the evening. “There’s not too many trees, so the sunlight really shows off the structure of the houses in a distinct fashion,” says Gyurcsak. “The architecture is really revealed in a very dramatic way.”

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“Ocean Pathway,” by Joe Gyurcsak, acrylic, 12 x 12 in.

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“Collecting Shells,” by Joe Gyurcsak, acrylic on panel, 18 x 24 in.

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The pathway to the ocean in Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Gyurcsak is skilled at painting anything, but he favors buildings. The buildings in Ocean Grove are charming and ornate with much fancy trimwork, and when a new building is erected, it is expected to fit in with this trend. “There’s a tremendous amount of material for anyone who likes to paint architecture,” the artist says. “And there’s beach scenes — last year I started painting figures on the beach, and really enjoyed that.”

Ocean Grove is small enough that Gyurcsak can park the family car once and get around the rest of the vacation on foot or bicycle. “I get more and more attention on the street when I paint, and get a lot of interesting conversations with people, because there’s a lot of getting around on bikes there,” he remarks.

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“Jersey Shore,” by Joe Gyurcsak, acrylic, 12 x 12 in.

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“Summer Day,” by Joe Gyurcsak, acrylic, 8 x 12 in.

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“Magnificent Rise,” by Joe Gyurcsak, oil, 24 x 24 in.

The artist also likes the seaside weather Ocean Grove gets. “There’s a lot of drama with the weather,” Gyurcsak explains. “A lot of passing storms with dramatic skies that you can easily see because there are not a lot of trees near the water. That provides a lot of interest for the background.”

The weather got a little too interesting last fall, of course. Gyurcsak says Ocean Grove fared pretty well through Hurricane Sandy, at least compared to neighboring communities. He expects the boardwalk to be repaired and open when his family visits later this summer.

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