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A sentimental journey

Flying through clouds as her husband pilots a small plane and swirling through the confounding reality of her late mother-in-law’s hoarding were the inspirations that found Lia Bonagura-Transue putting to paint a surreal collection called “Can’t Take It With You.”

The intriguing paintings depict such images as a red, remote-controlled toy car zooming through the sky and a brown box full of Hallmark collectible Christmas ornaments being emptied into oblivion, all almost life-sized in oil on 36-by-48-inch canvases.

Lia began painting these images last year, just as Blaine was learning to fly a plane and his mother was struggling with a terminal illness.

When her husband traveled to the Midwest to comfort his mother, and, following her passing, to deal with dispersing with four houses, multiple storage sheds and a mobile home full of “collections,” Lia was at her studio in Sonoma grappling with the situation.

“I had no intention when I started other than to deal with these feelings I had and finding a way to express them. My husband was dealing with all this and I felt like there wasn’t anything I could do,” Lia said.


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