Matlacha-based artist Leoma Lovegrove is the latest draw at the Blue Mangrove Gallery in Marco’s Town Center.
A specialist in local wildlife and scenery depictions, she also has the versatility to create whimsical caricature-like paintings as well as serious “passion” art — particularly renditions of Christ.
Describing herself as a “product of middle America upbringing,” Lovegrove has work on display all over the United States and internationally.
Among her best placings are a portrait of President Jimmy Carter that hangs in the Presidential Library in Atlanta, and also a painting she did for Virgin Chairman Richard Branson for placement at Virgin headquarters in London.
A highlight, she says, is a patriotic canvas presented to President George W. Bush on the second anniversary of Sept. 11.
A graduate of Sarasota’s Ringling School of Art, Lovegrove rekindles her enthusiasm for the medium by painting around Europe in the spring while on tour with her author husband, Micheal J. Silberg.
On opening night at the Blue Mangrove Gallery, the bubbly and vivacious Lovegrove spoke about attending President Bush’s most recent Christmas party at the White House.
About 250 fellow artists were present, each having been recommended by their local congressmen and women. Lovegrove’s touch this time was an ornament which hung on the White House Christmas tree.
Recalling the invite to the White House, Lovegrove said she was busy with a client at her gallery when her assistant interrupted her and said she had a call.
“She never interrupts,” Lovegrove said. “So I asked her to ask who was on the line.”
The assistant replied, wide-eyed: “It’s the White House.”
“I said to my client ‘exx-cuu-sse me,’ ” Lovegrove said. “I really need to take this call.”
Upon arrival at the White House party, Lovegrove had one more Kodak moment.
“I had an outfit that had metallic sparkles on it,” she said. “It set off the alarm.”