“Art in the Library”, a rotating art display at the Sonora main library on Greenley Rd., will feature the oil paintings of area artist Beth Little for the months of August and September. “My theme for the August exhibit is my love of people with an emphasis on color. Painting people and portraits is my first love and passion. People are my inspiration, and the reason I began painting,” said Little.
For September, Little will be showing landscapes. “It has been a joy to experiment with
color and shape while painting landscapes,” explained Little, who described herself as a “mainly self-taught artist.”
Included in the August exhibit are two paintings, “Lady with Red Hair” and “Reclining Woman with Dark Hair.” “Both these works are of models that I painted over this summer, having fun with composition and color,” said Little.
Little finds the colors and freedom in the paintings of the Impressionists - especially Van Gogh, Cézanne, and the self-portraits of Rembrandt - to be a major influence in her work. She loves to go to museums to see the Old Masters’ paintings and reads as much as she can about other artists. “I was encouraged to paint ‘bold and large’ by my first art teacher. Those ideas are now reflected in my works, which show a love of color and subjects that are bigger than life.”
According to Little, “I always wanted to draw, and spent time as a child doodling and drawing fashions for my Barbie paper doll. My first art class in high school was a disaster – the boy sitting next to me was a genius at drawing so I quit!” After marrying and raising two sons, she decided to try again when she was in her 40’s. While living in England she picked up some watercolors and books at the library and started painting on her own.
After returning to California, she took a class from Laurel Paley who she describes as a “major reason I have continued to paint.” This last spring, Little had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Arizona at the Scottsdale Artists’ School. “I had a great time learning from Milt Kobayashi,” said Little. Little is also currently exhibiting at the Ventana Gallery in Sonora.
The art exhibit now has expanded display space in the library, with the completion of the recent remodel and new carpet installation in the library. The public is invited to visit the library at 480 Greenley Rd. in Sonora to view the art on display each month. Call 533-5507 for more information.