The Lompoc Valley Art Association held its semiannual/occasional Studio Tour on Saturday and the turnout of visitors making the rounds to the artists' workplaces exceeded our expectations.

Thank you to all who attended. I hope you enjoyed seeing where your favorite painters, photographers and artisan crafters create their pieces. Perhaps you even bought something to adorn your home or to give for a gift, as there were a lot of irresistible items for sale. It was a fun day with beautiful late summer weather and friendly art lovers to meet at every stop.

When you visit the Cypress Gallery this month, you will see the bright, colorful works of featured artist Judith Grames-Lyra, who paints in watercolor and acrylics. Her show, titled "Family Tree," is inspired by a recent train trip to the East Coast and Canada to search out some of her family genealogy. Most of the works displayed are florals, which the artist does so well. She includes some family photos and background, as well. My favorite painting is a cheerful still life titled "Protea." Join Grames-Lyra at a reception Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. to enjoy some refreshment and pleasurable viewing. The show runs through Sept. 25.

The People's Choice award for August was given to Jane Kametani for her beautiful photograph "Heading Out to Sea." Congratulations, Jane.

The main gallery has a lot to view this month, including some great photography by Tom Chrones. His large print, titled "Briode Church," gave me the feeling that the pipe organ was about to play a loud, echoing hymn to welcome in the congregants.

Mary Whittemore's colored pencil drawing, "On the Road," is an exciting depiction of a shiny motorcycle, and her precision and attention to detail really are stunning.

Penny Lee, one of our foremost painters of dogs and other pets, has brought in an acrylic painting of a dog called "Benji," and it is adorable.

A couple other favorites of mine are Gil Andersen's four-piece tile plaque, "Goleta Depot," and Edward Heinitz's watercolor, "Weber's Farm."

Cypress Gallery has many gift items made by member artists and artisan craftspersons. You'll find a multitude of handcrafted items priced affordably: small original paintings and prints, featuring La Purisima Mission, Lompoc scenes, animals and florals, as well as jewelry, glass pieces, pottery, gourds, textile items and Lompoc souvenirs. In addition, there is an extensive selection of greeting cards for all occasions.

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Please join us at the Lompoc Valley Art Association's monthly general meeting (open to the public), which is held usually on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Stone Pine Hall, 210 South H St. in Lompoc. After refreshments and a short business meeting, there will be an art presentation and/or demonstration by a local artist, which I know you'll find interesting.

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Cypress Gallery is operated by the members of the LVAA and is located at 119 E. Cypress Ave. in Lompoc. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For information, call 737-1129 or visit lompocart.com.

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