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The Flying Colors of Canvas CREATIONS By Brenda Eggert Brader | Photos by Andrea Cruz

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veryone can be an artist if painting in the creative classes taught by Sheila Vertoli of Canvas Creations in Winter Haven. “It is like traditional painting but way more fun, with canvas and cocktails, that kind of thing,” says Vertoli who has been teaching wet on wet acrylic painting for party groups since April 2012. “It was in Louisiana that I started because a friend, who gives conferences for writers, wanted to do something fun as an activity so she asked me to do something like this because she knew I had wanted to draw and paint for years,” she says. Suggesting Vertoli drive to the conference site, the friend purchased all the supplies making a starter kit for Vertoli to begin her hobby and eventual path for income. Since then Vertoli gives classes at a couple local businesses and many a home party setting or retirement community

clubhouse. “I go into churches and personal homes that open up for parties,” Vertoli says. “So I travel and bring all the supplies to their site and set it up and break it down. I have regulars that I visit and many over the age of 55 retirement residences invite me to come for a party.” Because she wants all those attending to have a great experience, she keeps her class size to around 20 participants and prefers at least eight people minimum to do a party. The cost is $35 per person including the canvass 16 by 20 inches. “I will pick out something and get the party started asking the people what they are interested in,” Vertoli says. “Most of the time clients tell me what they want to paint and I get it ready for them ahead of time. I have to be sure to create it because it has to work to completion in two to three hours. If I can paint it in an hour, then classes can paint it in two or three.” The parties are fun and casual with

Sheila Vertoli, owner of Canvas Creations, teaches acylic painting classes where students follow along to create their own versions of an original image.

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March / April 2017

participants bringing what they would like to snack on and drink. Acrylic paints are used because they dry faster. But sometimes the paint runs because people are getting used to how much paint to use. “People have never used paints before so they have to be told how much to use,” Vertoli adds. “We use blow dryers, if needed, on the canvas before they go home.” “People are having a great time being together,” Vertoli says. “That is my passion to draw people in so they have that great Continued on page 10

The 863 Magazine - March & April 2017  

Hollis Garden's History; Volunteerism in Polk; Canvas Creations; The 5 A's for Restoring Integrity; Non-Profit Spotlight: Talbot House. The...

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