“First Steps,” an exhibit of oil paintings by Jeff Shula, will be on display in the Kramer Gallery of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., through Feb. 28.

A former English Teacher at Searsport District High School, Shula took up painting in earnest upon retirement in 2015. Classes at Waterfall Arts and the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center helped to hone his skills; he began painting still lifes and soon found inspiration in the landscape around him.

“I bought a plein air easel and had a great time on Belfast's many hiking trails (thanks, Skip Pendleton!). I settle on a spot that I find interesting, even inspirational, for is shapes and lines, light and shadow, and totally immerse myself in it for the next two-plus hours,” Shula said.

The results of his forays in and around Belfast can be seen in this exhibit. Prior to teaching, Shula worked for The Republican Journal and Waldo Independent for 10 years. He moved to Waldo County in 1980 with his wife, Kris.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.