Public invited to Botsford Commons art show

By: Maria Allard | Farmington Press | Published October 31, 2012

 Botsford Commons Senior Community’s third annual Watercolor Exhibit and Sale will be Nov. 2-3 in Farmington Hills. Artists in the watercolor class include, left to right,  Marilyn Lynch, Bill Waddell, Betty Williams, Betty Gilbert, teacher and group leader Karen Phillips, Florence Ptak, Berta Villarreal and Jane Langa.

Botsford Commons Senior Community’s third annual Watercolor Exhibit and Sale will be Nov. 2-3 in Farmington Hills. Artists in the watercolor class include, left to right, Marilyn Lynch, Bill Waddell, Betty Williams, Betty Gilbert, teacher and group leader Karen Phillips, Florence Ptak, Berta Villarreal and Jane Langa.

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FARMINGTON HILLS —  Sitting in a rocking chair with nothing to do doesn’t appeal to Botsford Commons Senior Community resident Bill Waddell.

So in 2009, he picked up a paintbrush and joined several residents on a particular Monday afternoon for a watercolor class held right at the living center.

“I thought it might be a fun thing to do,” the 85-year-old said. “I really enjoy it.”

Waddell and several other Botsford Commons residents will hold their third annual Watercolor Exhibit and Sale 2-6 p.m. Nov. 2 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 3. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend.

More than 200 paintings from Waddell, Berta Villarreal, Jane Langa, Betty Gilbert, Tom Burnowsky, Joe Thomas and Florence Ptak will be on display.

Other residents will exhibit work, too, as will visiting artists Karin Phillips, Marilyn Lynch and Doreen Buier. Visitors also can view the work of Farmington retailers Framery One and Miller’s Art Supply, scheduled to have displays with donated door prizes. The artwork is for sale.

“They will be very affordable,” Villarreal said.

The Botsford Commons watercolor painting class began as an informal weekly get-together. Villarreal, 85, came up with the idea and asked well-known local artist Phillips for assistance.

“We’re all friends. It has grown to where we are having shows. I hope people do come,” said Villarreal, who like some in the group is a former schoolteacher. “There is a lot of variety now. We have different ideas. People have different topics and subjects.

“I am so impressed with how everyone has progressed,” she said. “Everyone should be proud of what they accomplished.”

Villarreal majored in art when attending the University of Texas-Pan American in Texas. Floral and landscape pieces are what she most enjoys creating. She sold “every one” of her paintings during the first Botsford Commons art show.

“It gives me peace,” she said of creating on canvas. “I’m not worried about concerns. I’m painting and I’m relaxing. It takes your mind away from everything.”

Waddell, whose wife is Carolee, echoed that same thought.

“I really enjoy losing myself over an easel. It takes your mind off your pain and your aches by being able to create something really special,” Waddell said. “I enjoy people seeing what I have done. Sometimes I get some really nice praise.”

Waddell paints anything from realistic pieces to the “wild abstract.” Since beginning his new adventure, he has sold about 15-20 paintings. Portraits of man’s best friend also are in his collection.

“I enjoy painting dogs,” he said.

The senior art show will be held in the Botsford Town Commons, 21300 Archwood Circle. The facility is located between Middlebelt and Orchard Lake roads, north of Eight Mile Road, south of M-5 and Grand River.

For further information on Botsford Commons, visit www.botsfordcommons.org.

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