Villages artists show off their work which was ‘Inspired by the Masters’

Newlyweds Ted and Clotilde Miller had eyes for each other, and also for Leroy Pettis' 'Lily Pond' digitalized photo.
Newlyweds Ted and Clotilde Miller had eyes for each other, and also for Leroy Pettis’ ‘Lily Pond’ digitalized photo.

An opening reception for a truly inspirational new art exhibit entitled ‘Inspired by the Masters’ was held this weekend  at ‘La Galleria’ inside La Hacienda Recreation Center. Exhibit chairperson, Catherine Sullivan, was very pleased at the turnout and visitors described the exhibit as extraordinary.

“We invited members of The Villages Art League to think about their favorite recognizable art masters, Catherine Sullivan said. “We challenged them to create a new piece of artwork inspired by that master. We asked the question ‘If the great artists of history were painting today, what would their artwork look like?’ We did not ask for copies of famous art,” Sullivan continued, “but rather, for our Villages artists to express themselves through their talent — to paint whatever their chosen piece of ‘old master’s’ art evoked in their minds.”

“While creating their own original art, participants sought to

Tierra del Sol South resident Peggy Taylor was especially taken by Nancy Divinis' 'Sleepless Gypsy,' inspired by Henri Rousseau's 'Sleeping Gypsy.' 
Tierra del Sol South resident Peggy Taylor was especially taken by Nancy Divinis’ ‘Sleepless Gypsy,’ inspired by Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy.’

capture the thought process of the inspiring master and/or his/her technique,” Sullivan continued. “This was a judged show, with ribbons awarded to the judge’s choice of paintings. But judging for shows like this is very subjective, and most of this art is extremely well done. This is the second time we’re doing this, and plans are for this to be an annual event.”

Some of the new Villages art looked strikingly similar in appearance, in color scheme and in mood, to the masterpieces; but for a small number, the resemblance wasn’t really that close. But it was easy in most cases to trace the thread of inspiration from the ‘master work’ to the new work,

John Sullivan, Dan Harlan and Tom Murray enjoyed viewing and discussing the paintings. Tom Murray’s wife Lizette Murray, had an abstract painting in the show, inspired by Wessely Kandinsky’s ‘Yellow, Red and Blue — 1923.” Sullivan’s wife, Catherine was also in the show —  entering an oil portrait of their daughter entitled ‘Here’s looking at you, Kid.”

Newlyweds Ted and Clotilde Miller had eyes for each other and for some of the special paintings. “We’re almost newlyweds,” Ted said, beaming at his wife. “We’re married just about one year,” Clothilde said. “These paintings are amazing. There is so much awesome talent in The Villages — not only in art, but in music and other areas.”

 Artist Leroy Pettis discusses his Monet-inspired 'Lily Pond' digitalized photograph with exhibit chairperson, Catherine Sullivan, and Gail Park.
Artist Leroy Pettis discusses his Monet-inspired ‘Lily Pond’ digitalized photograph with exhibit chairperson, Catherine Sullivan, and Gail Park.

Artist Leroy Pettis’ ‘Lily Pond,’ a digitalized photograph inspired by Claude Monet’s impressionist oil painting “Water Lily Pond and Bridge — 1905” drew raves. Pettis explained to onlookers how he takes his specially chosen photographs and, using various software programs like Photo Shop, enhances and changes them for an entirely new creation. “These programs are very complex, and it’s hard to say how much time it takes to complete each composition,” Pettis said. “There are so many steps, and when you finally get the result you want, you usually forget how you achieved it. It would be nearly impossible to replicate a composition.”

Village of Tierra del Sol South resident, Peggy Taylor loves art, and paints watercolors herself from time to time. She was especially drawn to Nancy Divinis’ acrylic painting ‘The Sleepless Gypsy,’ inspired by Henri Rousseau’s ‘The Sleeping Gypsy.” The unusual semi-abstract painting featured swirling colors and iconic symbols.

The Villages Art League provides meeting times and painting sessions for members to work together on their art projects. The club has donated art supplies to several local elementary schools which did not have the funds for their art departments. In addition, members have volunteered time and resources at many of the schools.

The current ‘Inspired by the Masters’ exhibit will hang at La Hacienda Recreation Center through Dec. 6. There is also a continuous display of VAL artists’ work at the Eisenhower Recreation Center, which will be changed out every two months through 2015.

For more information, contact VAL president, Nancy Dias, at (352) 751-1033. Artists and aspiring artists of all skill levels are encouraged to join the group.

Art admirers turned out for the show.
Art admirers turned out for the show.

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