The Artists by the Lake club has chosen Shirley Petro as its January artist of the month.
Born in Canton, Ohio and raised in Sayreville, New Jersey, Ms. Petro married her childhood sweetheart, Joe Petro, in 1975. Together, they raised two boys. In 2000 they moved the family to Phoenix to help her father after her mother passed. They lost him in 2012.
During this time, Ms. Petro worked in retail and in 2010 she purchased a small store in downtown Phoenix and operated it for six years selling convenience items, gifts, lottery and shipping FedEx. In 2016, she retired early to take care of her husband who had early onset Alzheimer's. That is when they moved to Sun City.
After her husband’s passing in 2019, Ms. Petro continued with her life journey. She joined the clubs Billiard Bells, Dance for Fitness and the two Saturday night dance clubs. She was also looking forward to travelling on cruises. When the pandemic shutdown changed the world, she purchased acrylic paints and a canvas on a whim.
“I never painted before and didn't think I could,” stated Ms. Petro, “but I got hooked. I paint every day and I hope to keep improving and evolving.”
Ms. Petro joined Artist by the Lake when it reopened in September and signed up for painting classes with Bruce Cody. As a beginner, she is not intimidated by the challenges of creating a great composition and expresses herself in bright colors. She uses small dabs of complimentary colors next to each other that blend into beautiful landscapes and seascapes.
“I am just so glad I found art at this time in my life,” stated Ms. Petro. “The thing I like most about being an artist is when I finish a painting and I did something I never thought I could do. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Ms. Petro’s art is on view for the month of January in the showcase on the second floor of the Lakeview Recreation center, 10626 W. Thunderbird Road. To join Artists by the Lake, stop by the art room 9 a.m.-noon Monday through Wednesday. The club is open to Sun City residents with a valid RCSC card. The club room is located on the second floor at Lakeview Recreation Center. Any level of art experience can be accommodated in small classes for members. Social distancing and masks are required on the ramp outside the art room and in the art room at all times.