ROSWELL, Ga. – Local artist Loretta Paraguassu has had the artistic touch for a long time. And now, 11 of her pieces of artwork are featured in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center for the month of September.
“I’ve been doing it all my life,” she said. “I can’t stop painting.”
Her pieces are a combination of oil on canvas and watercolor, and now decorate the entrance way of the Cultural Arts Center, which is frequently used to highlight the works of local artists.
She said the outcome of a painting is as much a surprise for her as her audience.
“I usually don’t start with subjects, I start with a color and a feeling and it develops as I work.
There’s a lot of natural and botanical subjects,” she said. “I love the outdoors.”
With flowers and plants, figures and shapes, many of the pieces have an ethereal, wispy feel to them, whether they are oil or watercolor.
“Both have their surprises,” she said. “Watercolors are often a surprise – they dry a different color than when they are wet. You find things you didn’t know were there.”
Her piece, “Low Flying Cactus,” is bright and colorful and reflects her time spent in Mexico.
“I can feel the desert air in that one,” she said.
The lone triptych of the group, “Feminine and Free,” is heavily layered and full of motion.
“I like to think of women from all parts of the world in different costumes and colors,” she said. “There is a lot of scratching and digging into the surface to reveal the colors beneath. I like the effect.”
A student of English at UCLA, Paraguassu said her parents were not fond of her choice in career.
“My parents didn’t want me to be a starving artist and they would not pay for art school.”
They wished her to become a teacher; however she had the last laugh.
“I still frustrated them when I became a journalist,” she laughed.
After university, she worked for papers and magazines throughout the country.
Paraguassu’s artwork has been shown throughout Georgia and as far afield as Philadelphia. She is currently also featured in the One Twelve Gallery downtown, on display until Oct. 12.
For more on Paraguassu’s art, visit her online at lorettaparaguassu.blogspot.com.