By Kelly M. Gross, Director
An opening reception will be held for artist Billinda Brandli DeVillez at the David Strawn Art Gallery, 331 W. College Ave., Jacksonville, on Saturday, January 14 from 6–8 p.m. “Gallery Talk” by DeVillez will be held at 6:30 p.m. The opening reception and “Gallery Talk” are free and open to the public.
DeVillez is a self-taught artist originally from West Virginia. She moved to the Midwest after a 35-year residence in Florida. In 2008, she discovered her ability to draw after completing a simple flower with a pen. Afterwards, her husband Randy encouraged her to paint by supplying her with acrylic painting supplies.
Being self-taught, DeVillez relies on practice, casual advice, books and videos to help develop her paintings techniques. She often relies on real life experience to inspire her paintings and will often capture images with her camera or on her sketchpad to paint.
DeVillez has found inspiration in many things around her, including her family, nature and the wide-open landscape of the Midwest. Her biggest inspiration has been her husband, Randy, and his writing. After his untimely death in 2013, DeVillez found inspiration in one of his poems, “Cloudwalker”. The inspiration DeVillez found in her husband’s poem made DeVillez look out and up at the world around her instead of reflecting inwards with her grief. Each painting she completes helps her to deal with his loss.
DeVillez had her pen and ink drawing, “Blue Butterfly,” published in the Summer 2012 issue of “Fine Lines Journal.” The delicate and detailed butterfly drawing accompanies her late husband’s nonfiction piece about being an artist, entitled “Coloring Outside the Lines.” She also had a watercolor pen and ink drawing, “Abe Was Here,” appear in the January-February 2012 issue of “Art Times” in an article written by her husband entitled, “Art Roadie.”
DeVillez works with pen and ink, watercolor and acrylics and her artwork is in numerous area shows, and homes and businesses throughout America and internationally.