Man with the golden touch

“...I thank God for the opportunity to be able to enjoy His creations and feel lucky to just be able to paint those experiences in my own humble way.”

     Everyone born into this miraculous world brings with them a special talent.  Be it a voice so richly toned that birds stop singing in midair or hands that, with a light and soothing touch, coax otherwise wilted flowers to soar toward the sun.  Grasping your God-given skill can sometimes take a lifetime, ignoring the obvious hints, trying to be something that we’re not, only to return to our intended purpose, sometimes with very little time left.

     Larry Golba of Toledo, Ohio was born a natural artist, intelligent enough not to waste one precious day when his talent was revealed to him at a very early age.

     Somewhere around the third grade, Larry was drawn to landscapes, snow scenes in particular, fascinated by the breathtaking beauty that could be created on canvas.  His hands started moving.  By the age of twelve, he had earned the reputation as the class artist, drawing entertaining cartoon characters and even winning a drawing/coloring contest sponsored by the Toledo Blade.

     “I chose to attend Central Catholic High School because of the excellent Art program offered there. . . two hours of art class daily for four years,” recalls Golba.

     Next came four years at Bowling Green State University where the liberal art and art education classes were difficult and demanding.  Countless hours were spent learning to not only draw and paint using oil and watercolor mediums, but also sculpting, design, creating ceramics, jewelry and aesthetics.

     Larry took a teaching job at Bedford Junior High in Temperance, Michigan as an art teacher upon graduating, but continued his education at Eastern Michigan University, earning a Master of Art Degree in 1976.

     His work magically captures reality in the scene of “Lynn and Murphy” as if one could step right into the red and orange covered autumn woods and stroke the golden Irish sitter while dizzily inhaling the crispness of falling leaves.

     “On The Road to Story, Indiana” recently won the Reuben Counts Award at the 49th Annual June Art Exhibit at the Wassenberg Art Center in Van Wert, Ohio, a display of country as it is, and as it was, with weathered buildings hoarding past secrets and rolls of musky smelling rolls of hay celebrating the present.

     Golba met his mentors through books written by John Pike, Ted Kautzky, Elliot O’Hara, and Rex Brandt.  Artists such as Winshow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Andrew Wyeth provoked him into watercolor painting.

     In 1973, Larry began joining local art organizations and entering shows.  Joining the Toledo Artists Club helped lead him to his first award.  Other awards followed and in1974, he was introduced into the Northwestern Ohio Watercolor Society at the age of 25.  In 1975, Golba was named the Toledo Artist Club “Outstanding Painter,” and since has won roughly 60 awards in watercolor and oil painting, including two Grumbacher Gold Medals for Excellence in Painting, as well as a number of Firsts and Best in Shows.

     “Bushel Basket” was one of Larry’s paintings exhibited in the first Ohio Watercolor Society Exhibit in 1978 at the Canton Art Institute and the same piece was shown in the Toledo Area Artists Exhibit the following year at the Toledo Museum of Art.

     Golba is currently serving as President of the Northwestern Ohio Watercolor Society and a member of the Toledo Artists Club, The Toledo Tile Club, the second oldest art organization in the State of Ohio, the Monday Morning Painters, a local plein air group of oil, watercolor and pastel painters, and is listed in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”

     His love of the outdoors and joy of plein air painting while being able to enjoy both makes Larry feel exuberant.  “The atmosphere, the light and color, the sounds and smells of the outdoors are all things that can inspire and add something to a painting,” said Golba.  “Nature puts it all out there for you to be inspired and to translate onto paper or canvas.  I thank God for the opportunity to be able to enjoy His creations and feel lucky to just be able to paint those experiences in my own humble way.”  

     Retired after thirty years of teaching at Bedford Junior High School, Larry is anything but finished teaching.  He continues to hold painting classes in his home studio, the Toledo Artists Club and plein air groups in the summer and fall.  His wife and best friend, Lynn, is a Special Education teacher and manages the business aspects of exhibiting and selling Larry’s work.

     Together the Golbas have reared two children, both with artistic abilities.  Daughter Tara, a Valedictorian of Boston University in Mechanical Engineering, is currently working toward her Doctorate in French Literature at Yale University. Son Brad, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Master of Architecture, works as an architect for Brand and Allen Architects in San Francisco.

     This world is truly made up of miraculous people, willing to present and share their wealth of abilities. Larry Golba is living proof that finding and utilizing your skill will ultimately be your reward, in more ways than one. “Not many other endeavors give me such a great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Artists are truly blessed,” he said of his lifetime of painting.

     For an appointment or more information about personally commissioned artwork or painting classes, please call 419.841.1988.

Originally print published, 2005-06 Fall-Winter Art-to-Art Palette Journal. Some timed related portions have been omitted and only selected works shown in this electronic republishing.

Published by on November 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Cover Section, Paint Box Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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