Alex Wilks/ Special to the Langley Advance Times
Painting with watercolours, designing quilts, and crafting both wooden and stone carvings are just a few of the artistic avenues that Lora Armbruster has tried throughout her 70-year career as an artist.
“Painting is the one thing that I prefer. It gets the old juices flowing,” she noted.
The 88-year-old handicrafter is the newest of 18 local artists who were selected to be a part of the 10th annual West Fine Art Show being held during the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.
“All of our show’s featured artists [will be] producing representational art that depicts our Western Canada homeland, surroundings and lifestyle,” said Brian Croft, president of the West Fine Art Show Society.
“Lora, by virtue of her life-long commitment to art, [can fill] all of these requirements many times over,” he said.
Armbruster, a long-time Langley resident, will be contributing 25 personalized oil paintings to the exhibition, featuring imagery of horses, sunsets, and even one of North Delta’s Burns Bog.
Following the show, a portion of the proceeds from any art sold will be donated to one of the art society’s connected charity groups, including Langley Hospice Society, CHILD Foundation, and the Langley School District Foundation.
“The last month to six weeks I have been painting over four hours a day to prepare for the show,” she shared.
While Armbruster has dedicated most of her life to learning new artisan skills. Even in her senior years, she has continued to mentor, teach, and sell her artwork across the Fraser Valley and as far away as South Africa.
“People have bought my paintings and taken them to Europe, Japan, and South America,” she said with great pride. “Seeing my artwork at a show or in magazines is what inspired them to buy.”
The exuberant senior is “incredibly inspired” by her surroundings, creating artwork that contains seascapes, gardens, mountains, and farmland.
“Some of my paintings tell a story, and the ideas I come up with are endless,” she explained.
“I think I would have to be 200 years old for me to ever run out.”
Having taught art workshops over the span of five decades, Armbruster has helped budding artists as young as 10 years old and as old as 80-plus learn how to use paint, colours, and techniques to create a sense of realism across their canvases.
“I’m very realistic, so when you paint something, even the shadows need to go in the right direction,” she explained. “Almost everything is an art form, and the more you practise, the more you learn.”
Having taken many workshops through the years, Armbruster is an advocate for any opportunity for artists to collaborate.
“Get yourself some paints, because there’s always paper to practise on,” she noted. “It’s just about getting involved. You’ll do what you want to do, but a group setting has great companionship.”
West Fine Art, running from May 17 to 21, is held inside the Alice MacKay building at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. Admission is free with a ticket to the fair and rodeo.
“Come out and learn. There are so many people who just don’t do anything, and it’s not that hard to get started,” Armbruster noted with encouragement.
“The more you do, the more you become relaxed with it, because busy hands create busy minds.”