1928 – 2009

Charles Vavrina, an internationally respected artist whose works have included oils, acrylics, block prints, charcoal, pencils, watercolors and sculpture, found inspiration for his imaginative creations everywhere – in the clouds, on the lake, in the work of the masters, in a face, or the classical music he loved.

In 1961 When Vavrina and family moved to SW Florida he could find little true artwork to view. As a result, his wife Mary gave him a set of oil paints for Christmas, and challenged him to do something about it. While taking art classes he realized his true love of expression and abandoned the world of business to pursue his art. He continued his studies in Hong Kong at the Academy of Fine Arts and ultimately launched his first one man show there. Born Charles Ronald Laurel in Sugar Camp, not far from Rhinelander, Wisconsin, he adopted his father's old family name of Vavrina as his professional signature.

Shortly, Vavrina and Mary found themselves touring the world's finest art galleries where the defining moment of Vavrina’s artistic career came when he attended the Van Gogh Centennial in Amsterdam. Van Gogh became his Muse. He said that Vincent sat on his shoulder and told him what to do. Over the years he expanded his style. His paintings reflect his love of flowers, his passion for color, and his ability to give his artwork an edge with creative composition. Vavrina's seascapes show his early days of sailboat racing, and the play of sunlight on the water. His world trips are evidenced in the variety of landscape scenes.

Vavrina has had many shows in different parts of the world, including a one-man show in Hong Kong, plus shows in France, Corsica and the United States in Birmingham, Dallas, Houston and New Orleans and of course Florida.

Vavrina finally succumbed to diabetes in June 2009, but his legacy lives on.

See Vavrina's Friends and Collectors