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Sanibel artist donates Ozzie paintings for CROW Golf Classic

By Staff | Sep 16, 2015

Sanibel artist Myra Roberts. MEGHAN McCOY

In kindergarten, all Myra Roberts wanted to do was draw. After visiting with her neighbor, who was a professional painter and sculptor in 1956, the smells of paint and clay captivated her, eventually leading the Sanibel resident to a fulfilling career.

Formally an art teacher of 25 years, Roberts dove into her craft as a full-time painter once she retired.

“I’m dedicated to the act of creating as much paintings as I can,” she said. “I feel lucky because I’m getting to do what I love.”

At the beginning of her career, Roberts used watercolors before primarily working with oils due to the paint blending easily with a softer appearance. When she begins working on a painting a raw sketch is created before a color study is developed, so a specific pallet can be incorporated into the painting.

“There’s a method to my madness,” Roberts said smiling.

Sanibel artist Myra Roberts has donated the painting “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” to CROW for its Golf Classic auction Saturday, Oct. 10. PHOTO PROVIDED

The artist, who moved to Sanibel 20 years ago from the Chicago area, draws inspiration from her surroundings. Old maps, postcards depicting old lettering, photographs from the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, are located on various surfaces of her studio within her Sanibel home.

She said she loves working on wildlife paintings because it provides her with the opportunity to connect with nature, wildlife and conservation. Many of Roberts paintings depicting CROW wildlife are often times used as fundraisers to generate money for the clinic.

“It’s gratifying knowing my artwork (helps in purchasing) equipment to help a turtle or a bird,” Roberts said.

Another source of inspiration stems from studying Buddha philosophy and taking yoga classes, which are beginning to reflect in her paintings through mermaid scenes. Roberts said she tries to stay healthy while building her strength because there is a tremendous amount of energy that goes into creating.

Recently CROW Executive Director Dr. Linda Estep called Roberts asking if she would be interested in painting a rather well-known animal that CROW helped in rehabilitating that would benefit their fundraiser, CROW Golf Classic. That phone call could not have come at a better time.

The story of Ozzie, the bald eagle that was rehabilitated at CROW, inspired artist Myra Roberts to create a painting sharing his story. PHOTO PROVIDED

Roberts said she has been working on her series “Hidden in the Traces and Under the Sea” for a show in 2016 that covers a “heavy duty depressing subject.” She has been working on WWII and Anne Frank paintings on and off for 10 years.

Roberts became inspired after reading Ozzie’s story and instantly found a release in creating a painting that shares the story of an injured eagle recovering and being released back into the wild. She created five or six sketches of Ozzie after studying and learning the structure of an eagle. During the process, the artist was in awe of its beak and talons.

“I think they do unbelievable work,” Roberts said of CROW. “I feel lucky that I am able to help them through my artwork. I was happy to be asked.”

Two paintings were created exclusively for CROW to be used for an auction during the CROW Golf Classic, at the Sanctuary Golf Club Saturday, Oct. 10. Through the creative process, Roberts painted two canvases.

One painting includes Ozzie and Harriet perched on beach chairs with three clouds in the sky. The first cloud appeared by mistake as Roberts was answering the phone as a brush stroke continued. After spotting the heart in the cloud, she decided to paint two more. The painting also includes the logo from “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” because she loves to incorporate lettering in her paintings.

The second painting has an old Florida pallet of colors depicting Ozzie flying with an outline of Sanibel near the bottom. Roberts said she wanted to include Ozzie’s wingspan to share the story of his release.

Roberts said she will donate some prints and cards that CROW can place in their gift shop.

“Ozzie will be exclusively for them,” she said.

For more information, visit www.myraroberts.com.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.