Don’t miss exhibit by Land O’ Lakes Artist Lionel Sanchez
From a distance, the watercolor paintings of Lionel Sanchez appear to be very detailed with intricate brushstrokes. But, according to the artist, his work only gives the appearance of detail because of his unique style and brushstrokes.
The end result of Sanchez’s art are stunning paintings of rural scenes from his native Colorado, old world urban settings in Germany, and natural Florida settings, including many from Tarpon Springs. Viewers find Sanchez’s artwork balanced, inviting and mesmerizing.
“It is my hope that each of my pieces will elicit an emotional response and a desire to investigate the painting further,” says Sanchez. “I strive to create an emotional connection that opens a dialogue between the artist and viewer.”
In addition to painting in watercolors, Sanchez works in graphite, acrylic, pen, and ink. He prefers to paint outside, which in the art world is called en plein air and made famous by French impressionists, such as Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
“It is easier to accomplish the mood when you paint outside. The light is pure, there is no distortion,” said Sanchez, who sketches an image before beginning to paint, and often adds creative elements not present in the scene.
An example of this is one of his favorite paintings on display in Wesley Chapel of a large commercial fishing boat in dry dock. Titled “Under Repair,” the boat and the Anclote River are real, but the docks and foreground were painted from his imagination.
“Under Repair” is one of more than 20 of the artist’s paintings on display at an exhibition Sanchez calls, “My World Through Watercolor.” The show runs through Feb. 10 at the Avalon Park Welcome Center on State Road 54, about five miles east of I-75. The show is being co-hosted by the Pasco Fine Arts Council, and is the fourth art show the Council has sponsored in the past six months at Avalon Park Wesley Chapel for East Pasco residents.
An artist reception to recognize Sanchez’s work is this Friday, Jan. 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Sanchez’s paintings are available for purchase, with prices beginning at $250.
Sanchez is 76 years old, and has loved art since an older brother entertained him as a young child by drawing him pictures.
“I was fascinated with what my brother could do with a pencil, and my fascination grew into a passion,” explains Sanchez. “My life experiences and challenges are evidenced in my paintings, and my passion for art has shaped how I view the world around us.”
Before retiring to Hudson in 2009, Sanchez worked as an industrial draftsman and project manager for 31 years. He gave up the mountains of Colorado for the prairies of Florida to be closer to his granddaughters in south Florida.
Through the years, Sanchez took many classes in painting and photography, but did not begin painting daily until he moved to Florida.
“I am a much stronger painter today than when I first retired, and continue to work on my technique almost daily,” he said.
When he first moved to Florida, Sanchez began teaching at Life Enrichment Center in Tampa, and still teaches there today. He joined the Pasco Fine Arts Council about five years ago, where he also teaches painting.
“I love to teach because it helps me reinforce and bring to the surface art techniques that I may have forgotten. I find it fun,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez and his wife, Carolyn, live off State Road 52, about a half mile from the Suncoast Parkway, where he regularly bicycles the Suncoast Trail to and from the Starkey Wilderness Park Trail. He also is a marathon runner.
The goal of the partnership between the Paso Fine Arts Council and Avalon Park Wesley Chapel is to bring arts and cultural events, exhibits and workshops to East Pasco County. This is the first time in the Council’s 40-plus year history that is has had a location in East Pasco to host its exhibits and art classes.
One of the main goals of this partnership is to introduce people to local artists like Sanchez, with monthly exhibits and demonstrations, and also to offer art classes for youngsters and adults.
Lionel Sanchez Artist Reception
“My World Through Watercolor”
Friday, Jan. 31, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Free – Refreshments Served
East Pasco Fine Arts Gallery
Avalon Park Information Center
33613 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel
Joye Moon Workshop: Feb. 4 at Avalon Park
Area residents have the rare opportunity to attend a free demonstration by renowned watercolorist Joye Moon on Feb. 4, at the master-planned community of Avalon Park Wesley Chapel.
The Wisconsin-based painter’s history in art and teaching is as rich as the color and texture of her masterfully executed watercolor paintings. She has taught hundreds of watercolor workshops throughout the country, and is currently touring Florida. She also is the author of the bestselling art book, “Exploring Textures in Watercolor” (2008).
Moon’s local demonstration is Tuesday, Feb. 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Avalon Park’s amenity center, 5060 River Glen Blvd. Seating is limited, and advance registration is requested by calling (813) 783-1515, or sending an email with your name and phone name to .
The demonstration is being co-hosted by the Pasco Fine Arts Council and the developer of Avalon Park Wesley Chapel. These organizations also work together on the new East Pasco Gallery of the Pasco Fine Arts Center, located on State Road 54 in Avalon Park’s Welcome Center.
“It is our goal to have art classes and workshops for our community, and a place to share artwork created by students and adults,” said Stephanie Lerret, senior vice president of marketing and community relations for the Avalon Park Group. “We are very excited to be hosting our first workshop with such an acclaimed artist as Joye Moon.”
Downtown Avalon Park Wesley Chapel is currently under construction and is designed to be the cultural and event center of East Pasco County. Lerret said Downtown Avalon’s first buildings are expected to open later this year.
Published January 29, 2020