Feature Article in the May/June Where When How Magazine
Turks & Caicos Islands, Providenciales
Liz Zahara’s paintings are luminous and so true to life that at first glance some could be mistaken for photographs. With closer inspection her style reveals the paintings for what they are, her interpretation and finely detailed rendition of what she sees around her.
Fortunately, what the mother of two sees around her (at least three times a year) is the Turks and Caicos Islands. A friend invited her for a ten day visit in 2009 and “ I fell in love with the place. I had seen and enjoyed many beaches but had never seen any as beautiful as these. The white sand and turquoise water is sheer perfection and I was hooked. I felt like I belonged here for some strange reason. Everything about Turks and Caicos reaches right into my heart.” She returns each year and the results are her gorgeous island series of work.
Liz enjoys the challenge of intricate work. She has won several awards and has sold her work internationally. She paints landscapes, still life, automobiles, motorcycles, and commissioned themes. An ardent animal lover, she has also done many pet portraits. Liz works mainly in acrylic but also in oil, watercolour, pastel, pencil, hot wax and stained glass.
She was born in Toronto, Canada to parents who had just emigrated from Scotland. As a four year old she won a colouring contest at a local department store and launched into oil painting lessons when just eight. By high school she was choosing special classes to further her art and she continued on to get a Fine Arts Degree at University of Toronto and Education at Sheridan College. She continues to participate in workshops and visits many exhibits to absorb new techniques.
Today she lives in a small town northwest of the city, with a studio in her home. She works full time on her art while raising her two daughters, Courtney and Heather, who are in high school and university. Her paintings have been shown in numerous galleries and exhibits in Ontario and her commissioned works grace corporate offices and homes in many other countries. Liz is also regularly commissioned to design and execute commercial and residential murals.
On Providenciales, she is one of Art Provo’s star artists. Owner Mary O’Neill held a ‘Meet the Ar tist’ event last November which featured Liz and several of her new works. It was standing room only in the gallery as art-lovers nibbled hors d’oeuvres and purchased paintings.
This attractive, vibrant mother, artist, animal lover and beach aficionado cherishes her time on Providenciales and vows that she will live here some day. She says that the warmth of the island is not only in the sun, sand and the sea but in the people she has met. She explained that island friendships radiate like rays of the sun. “I meet people in the smallest, out of the way places who know mutual friends in Provo, and then they become my friends as well. They add to my feeling of connection to Providenciales.”