A new art exhibit is on display at Alton Library. "It's exciting to see something new grow on the canvas," said exhibiting artist Ramona Roll.
Roll, an Alton area resident, was born in Zittau, a small city in the extreme southeast portion of the former East Germany. Six months before the fall of the Berlin Wall her family moved to Stuttgart, Germany. Roll has been moving west ever since. During her hotel management internship in North Carolina, she met Mike Roll, a Couch High School graduate. When his job took him to Hawaii she visited him there and they were soon married.
"Our apartment had bare walls. We went to many museums and art shows and I decided I could paint something for our home," said Roll. She went to an art store, bought some acrylic paint and brushes and began her career as an artist.
Roll has no formal art training and is self-taught. "I just tried it and it worked," she said. Her first painting was a rendering of her grandmother's garden in the Mecklenburg area of Germany. Then she moved on to express her love of snorkeling and what she saw and experienced in the waters off the Hawaiian islands.
The nine paintings on display were first exhibited at the exclusive Lahaina Arts Society on Maui. Spinner dolphins frolicking, a humpback whale emerging from the sea, the Hawaiian state fish humuhumu-nukunuku-apua'a, lava cave scenes with colorful, bright whimsical fish and a serene beach scene are among the collection.
Each painting is framed in Koa wood, a tree that grows only in Hawaii.
Signed reproduction prints are available. The exhibit will run through the month of November.