Artists who create together, stay together

The exhibit featured early works and studies from basic photography, pencil sketches and still lifes to bright, bold Matisse-inspired works and non-traditional photo-synthesis.

Paul grew up in Bronx, N.Y. Paul’s interest gravitated toward sports and history. After completing his education at New York University, he became a teacher in the New York City school system.

Paul’s mother exposed him to art as a child. Later, he developed an interest in photography, beginning with black and white photos he processed in a bathroom converted to a dark room.

Paul retired from teaching in 1998 and he and Delores relocated to Fluvanna County in 1999, settling in to Lake Monticello. Other than his passion for golf, Paul’s close friend, professional photographer William Lulow, inspired Paul and with the advent of the digital camera his interest in an art form was rekindled.

Paul’s current work is a departure from his earlier work which explored the basics of photography, angles, light and shadows. These days, he takes his photographs and creates symbolic meaning and depth through juxtaposition. This similar technique of Photo Synthesis, has been used by graphic artists and photographers for years, conveying certain messages.

His work varies from sublime to quirky to humorous. In his St. Stefano Chapel, he captures the deep religious meaning with an oversized carved cross featuring a crucified Christ bathed in a yellow glow, casting a long shadow on the opposite wall.

His Bloody Bride would make a great book cover, intriguing and mysterious with a darkened room, full of shadows and looming large above it all his the dark terrifying image of a bride covered in blood.

Maine Barn Sunrise takes a shot of the ocean at sunrise, planting it inside the door of a weathered old barn. Venetian Texting highlights wonderful angles and colors while the Cohasset Flower Lady is whimsical.

Loli grew up in New York City. Loli’s passion for art goes back to her early childhood. During her teens, Delores was accepted at the highly competitive High School for Art and Design, where she studied advertising and fashion illustration. This early learning is still seen in her current works including still life’s featuring bags, gloves and shoes.

After being widowed with two small children, she received her degree in Health Care Administration but art always remained an integral part of her life.
“After retirement and moving to Virginia, I decided to hone my fine art skills and enrolled in a drawing class at Piedmont Virginia Community College, studying with Chica Tenny, Rob Tarbell, Fenella Bell and others,” she stated. “Unfortunately a prolonged illness interrupted my studies.”

In the last few years, Delores picked up her pencils and paintbrushes, returning to her studies and doing what she is passionate about.

“Beryl Solla, the chair of the Art Department, was instrumental in directing me as she helped me to refine my visual and conceptual expressions,” she said.

In 2011, she joined Windy Payne’s painting group and this became another turning point in her artistic endeavors.

“The knowledge and support I have received has been immeasurable and led me to continue my studies under the tutelage of Karen Blair at the McGuffy Art Center in Charlottesville,” she said. Today, Loli continues to paint and draw and has started her own painting group which meets weekly. Loli’s work has been shown in New York City, and around Fluvanna, Albemarle and Henrico counties.

Loli’s early training is evident in the flawless details of clothing and accessories in some of her graphite still lifes. Her work is varied and her insight into her subject, such as the self-portrait Who Are you? The Face of Pain is stunning. This particular work was done with markers.

“Graphite is one of my favorite mediums,” said Loli who is not afraid to experiment with a variety of mediums and continues to challenge herself as an artist.

Their work together, Angry Skies, her painting of his photograph has given them ideas for future work.

Both recently joined the Fluvanna Art Association.

“Together we all share a love of art and offer each other honest feedback on the progress of individual projects,” said Loli.

Together, Paul sums it up by saying, “Loli and I share a love of art and discuss its many aspects. Our discussions and critiques of each others’ work has added a new dimension to our relationship as we share the future together.”

The Stams’ exhibit will be shown until July.

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