A life of art

Friday, February 4, 2011

Interests and hobbies often change. They can be influenced by fads or dropped because people simply lose interest.

Lou Varro is not one of those people. Varro has been drawing, painting and taking pictures for nearly 80 years. He just turned 94 and just completed another painting for his February show at the Aartful Rose. Varro displayed several pieces there in December 2009 as well.

His passion for art runs so deep that it compelled him to walk about 100 miles to get to an art school in Calgary, Alberta, when he was younger. He has somehow made room for art in his life no matter where he ends up, whether it was photography during World War II or taking painting classes while doing odd jobs in Los Angeles.

His health faltered in 2010 and an uncertain Varro thought he would not be able to practice art anymore. He was wrong, and I am thankful. Varro's sketches -- some of which can be seen on the walls at Cain -- reflect a romantic stroke. They're like looking at the subject through the most flattering, adoring lens.

Varro has been feeling better and has done some more sketches. He also recently completed an oil painting, which will be in the show. These new works and several old ones will be on display. You can see another glimpse of this artist's life's work from 5 to 10 p.m. today and by appointment through February. If you missed buying a piece at the last show, I suggest showing up early. They go quickly.

The show at the end of 2009 was supposed to clear out space in Varro's home, but it is still full of pieces. I guess 70-odd years' worth of work would be hard to clear out.

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