Fine art from more than seventy Villages artists filled all the rooms at the Savannah Center on Saturday and attracted both buyers and leisurely strollers all day.
The Villages Art League’s 17th Annual Artist Showcase was yet another way this accomplished artists group celebrated its 2014 Silver Anniversary.
Village of Charlotte residents of less than one year, Lloyd and Kriste Strasburg, from Wisconsin, were in awe of the talent among Villagers as they left the Savannah Center with a wine-bottle lithograph they purchased from VAL member, Wendy S. Lahey. “I didn’t expect this,” Lloyd said, “but our art is numbered ‘1 of 100,’ so we’re pleased its a limited edition.” They brought Kriste’s mother, who is visiting from Michigan, to see the show, and went home with an unexpected painting. Wearing flip-flops, Kriste thought the cool afternoon weather was warm and was going home to swim after the show.
Diana Crow, who paints a lot of commissioned scenes of clients’ favorite places and golf views around The Villages, was doing a good business selling her smaller works and note cards. “This time of year, a lot of folks are looking for small, lightweight holiday gifts to ship to family,” Crow said. “I’m always inspired to paint the beauty I see around me in The Villages. It’s everywhere you look.” She also had a selection of Christmas cards with Villages scenes available. The Villages purchased Crow’s oil painting of the Barnstorm Multiplex Theater at Brownwood Paddock Square to use on the front cover of their telephone directory.
Village of Santiago resident, Bill Main, displayed a large selection of his watercolors, including striking sunset landscapes and some abstract designs. He first learned to paint eight years ago when he moved to The Villages full time, and enjoys the relaxation his art brings him. Pennecamp resident for four years, Judy Kimmel showed her collection of travel-themed textured watercolor creations and collages. They included wild animals, African patterns and ocean waves. Paula C. Lapp’s unusual landscapes, including a sailboat and mountain scenes at sunset, attracted interest from browsers.
La Zamora Village resident, Joal Litavsky, tanned from her recent trip to Spain, was explaining her silk painting technique to visitors. Using a method that dates back to ancient China, Litavsky begins her designs on fine silk using ‘gutta’, a water-repellant blocking agent. Making sure there are no gaps in her gutta outlines, where color could leak out and ruin her design, she then applies brilliant dye hues to bring her paintings to life. “Painting on silk is painstaking and expensive,” she explained, “so I also photograph my finished creations and print them digitally on canvas. Those are the ones most of my customers buy, because they are less costly. One person bought a number of my most colorful ones to group together, to make a bright ‘art wall’ as a focal point in her home.”
Another unusual art technique is used by Village of Summerhill resident, Bill Hewitt. Inspired by a magazine photo of an old workshop, he recreated the scene in original artwork using different strengths of brewed coffee as his paint. He has gotten such positive feedback about his finished product, he’s thinking of doing more ‘coffee art.’ “It’s very time consuming, and difficult to brew just the right coffee strength to get the colors you want,” his wife Betty revealed.
For more information about the Villages Art League meetings, art instruction, upcoming shows and exhibitions, visit the website villagesartleague.org or contact VAL president, Nancy Dias, at 352 750-6084 .