Cheri Vilona’s artistic training began in Rockland, NY with an Associate’s degree in Graphic Arts, and has continued working artistically over the last 30 years as she moved from New Jersey, New York State to California, Oregon, Florida, and finally Colorado. Her extensive travels statewide as well as abroad have shown her the beauty and elegance of varied and beautiful terrains and color shifts within the countryside. It is from these journeys to the Caribbean, Italy, France, Germany, Thailand, and Bali where she draws inspiration in her selections of color, shapes and patterns. Skies cloud formations and sea and landscapes have held a particular joy for her, and have inspired her first oil painting and oil pastel series.
“Looking out the window for hours as a small child while driving across the country, through Pennsylvania and Ohio, towards Oregon and Washington, I sought the clouds and patterns of the sky as it dropped below the horizon line. Always evaluating the landscape light and colors of barns, atmospheric lines, trees and mountain and ocean vistas shapes, creating mental pictures for later use in my oil and oil pastel paintings. Oil paints allow such a wonderful painterly freedom, the colors are vibrant and blend so well on the canvas, allowing surprises in colors to appear and refresh my palette and give way to new and exciting directions. My color choices push me out of my comfort area, away from my mental photographs, away from details, towards more exciting abstract color interpretation. After an initial pass of color, I stand back, looking and and listening to what the colors in the beginning painting are saying, both in color vibrations and shapes/lines, and continue working from each stage onwards. Sometimes paintings take many many color passes, changing and re-directing, that’s the fun of working with oils!”
“I am extremely attracted and inspired by skies, in all their dynamic changing shapes and contrasting colors, along with the lines of the landscape, bringing a balance to each scene. My style of painting is one of discovery, laying colors and having the openness to watch a work unfold, thru a series of laying color notes and blending colors, with an overall vision of creating a landscape or sky study through my color choices. I enjoy abstracting the traditional landscape subject matter, searching for minimal color notes that will create the emotional attraction thru the finished work. I am always photographing skies, sunrises and sunsets, from wherever I travel, and draw from these scenes in my work. My goal is to push towards softly abstracting my images with the use of open colors.”
Cheri has also attended oil painting workshops at the Arts Students league in Denver, working with notable artists Don Sahli and Jordan Wolfson as well as private workshops with Ken Elliott of Castle Rock, Colorado, Judy Greenan of Boulder, Colorado, and Larisa Aukon of Santa Fe, N.M. During 2013 she has been invited as a Resident Artist for the Breckenridge Artist in Residence Program.
Her artwork has been exhibited at Parkside Gallery in Park City, Utah, Aspen Art Gallery in Aspen, Thornwood Gallery in Houston, TX, Dolce Gallery in Telluride CO, Smith-Klein Gallery in Boulder and Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Cheri resides in Berthoud, Colorado on an artist’s studio compound with her sculptor husband James Vilona. Together they have created art and family for over 30 years.