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Man has been fascinated with portrait drawing since he first scratched images on cave walls.  Today, portrait drawings and paintings are the bread and butter of many artists.  Leila Shuffler, a well-known Florida artist, is bringing a portrait drawing workshop to Black Mountain Monday-Tuesday, June 27-28.

The workshops, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day with lunch break, will be at Black Mountain United Methodist Church, 101 Church St. There is a $25 non-refundable reservation fee to hold a spot in the workshop. The class is limited to seven students. The cost to attend one day is $65 with a $10 additional supply fee.  The two-day workshop cost $125 and includes a supply kit and allows the students to work on drawing a  portrait of their choice.

Shuffler has held several interesting jobs during her career.  She was a successful event planner, property manager and real estate broker.  She worked at the Governors Club in Tallahassee, Florida as the catering coordinator and special events planner for some 800 members. From 1987-91, she was the general manager of the Florida Governor’s Mansion. She ended her pubic working career as a contract manager for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

“I decided on an early retirement in 2010 to begin an entirely different phase of life - art,” Shuffler said.  “I’ve always been ‘artsy-craftsy,’ and in 2004 I pulled out a photo of my late husband and drew a pencil portrait of him. It was my first portrait drawing.  I had many request for a print of it.  That was the beginning of (her business) Portraits by Leila.  My specialty is pencil, watercolor wash and oil portraits, and I love painting beach scenes.”

Shuffler works on commission  throughout the United States and as far away as Australia.

“Usually the requests are for paintings of children, families, wedding couples, pets and critters, and even homes,” Shuffler said.  “My work is in several galleries, and I have produced two book covers which are now in the Florida Governor’s Mansion library and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.  I’ve also traveled to El Salvador with a couple of Florida Rotary Clubs to teach art to children.”

Anne Gail Campbell, a local resident and member of the Black Mountain United Methodist Church, is a cousin of Shuffler and helped her find the  location for the portrait drawing workshop.

“I think artists and especially those who want to learn how to draw a portrait will enjoy Leila’s knowledge, talent and energy that shows in her work,” Campbell said. “She does beautiful work and others can learn to do the same.”

To sign up for the portrait drawing workshop call  Campbell at 298-3623 or Shuffler at (850) 212-3855.  Her email address is wayla143@me.com.

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