Sun City resident Lee Fidrych is spending his first winter in Huntley after leaving California and its warmer climate.
One good thing for him about moving to the snowier state of Illinois, though, is that he got to make his first watercolor painting of a snow scene in Huntley.
The masterpiece features the frozen lake outside Sun City's Prairie Lodge, with the overlooking bridge and some imaginary ice skaters.
It would seem he finished just in time, considering a few days later warmer weather arrived - the snow melted and hasn't returned.
The snowy scene has been on display in the Prairie Lodge outside the painting room, along with works by other Sun City residents who are in the community's new watercolor club.
The club has been meeting weekly at the Prairie Lodge and has about a half dozen members participating so far.
The members include beginners, intermediate and advanced painters.
Fidrych and Sun City resident Peggy Barrowclift are both pretty advanced painters. They both have displayed their works at shows and sold some paintings professionally.
Fidrych's been doing watercolors for almost seven years, starting after retirement.
He also has done oil painting but prefers watercolors because they are "freer, looser and brighter."
Since the club doesn't have a teacher, advanced painters like Fidrych and Barrowclift help out beginners by offering pointers and suggestions.
"It's a very friendly group of people, and we all get along really well," Fidrych said. "We don't have very many members so far, but we expect it to build up after winter and as more people move in."
The group members have worked on a few colorful projects so far, and they are gearing up to take their weekly painting time outside to paint scenes around Sun City as spring starts to spring.
The group meets from 9 a.m. to noon Thursdays in the Prairie Lodge's painting room.
Residents interested in signing up or asking questions about the group can stop by any weekly session.
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