Color and Form: Then and Now
After painting rabbits in various forms for years, Charlotte turns to a gestural approach with free-flowing strokes in her current series. Flying colors, drips, washes, spatters and the animal form all create energy and movement that set the rabbits free. They grow highly mobile through abstract spheres of blues, whites, and ambers which they nonchalantly don or discard. Her work represents a combination between painting and drawing, stroke and line color that is transparent and opaque.
This current work is inspired by the artwork of two abstract expressionists, Emil Schumacher and Elaine De Kooning. By looking at their paintings, Charlotte was able to see a new way of painting, a freer application of paint and nonrepresentational mark-making. Her paintings became more abstract. She then began to notice a similarity between her artwork and the cave paintings of Lascaux, which further influenced her work.
Unlike the earlier series of rabbits, Charlotte’s current work is filled with rabbits that are running, jumping, hopping. Some seem to be jumping off the canvas. Drawing with thick and thin lines, scraping paint, fresh brushstrokes of swirling colors, pressing plant life into the painting—all contribute to the texture and the total effect. By freeing her rabbits, she freed her painting style.
Charlotte Richards graduated with a BS from Appalachian State University and holds a MIS degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She taught high school art in Spotsylvania for 39 years. She won High School Art Teacher of the Year in Virginia. She lives in the Fredericksburg area where she exhibits her artwork. She is an award winning artist at the FCCA and serves as a docent there.
“Pregnant Pause” was the title of this show until recently. It began as a very candid conversation with a very pregnant pal who said, “I don’t want to waste this body.” She regretted not documenting her metamorphosis during her first pregnancy. I photographed her in her home (actually my daughter and her husband took the best pictures for me to work from.) As sketching her from life wasn’t an option due to the taxing nature of being with child in the third trimester. This series explores the female form and the emotional roller coaster women ride when they are expecting. With gestural lines, abstracted forms, and color I was telling a birth story.
Then I got a call that suddenly my grandmother was being moved into hospice care. I flew to Florida to be with my mother and grandmother. Being with both of them during those last few days for some reason brought me right back to when I was in labor with my children. I was witnessing the full circle of life. My grandmother was transitioning from this life to the next, much like how a baby arrives to this world. I was so moved by all the love and tears and waiting that I’ve created abstract works to include that experience. I’ve renamed the show and think “Transitions” is the most perfect way to describe all the imagery.
MG Stout is a native of Philadelphia, Penn. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Philosophy from Rosemont College in 1996. In the summer of 2007, she was a graduate resident at Virginia Commonwealth University. Stout creates custom pet portraits for Uncommon Goods Catalog and Website. Her career as a fine artist has flourished over the last decade. When not participating in a group show or solo show, she is giving back to the artist community - curating and jurying shows and exhibits for various venues in the D.C.-metro area. Mary’s work is part of many private and government collections including the Securities Exchange Commission and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. You can also find her work in offices and restaurants throughout the D.C. Metro Area.
As an engineer I was exposed to simplicity, functionality, and production efficiencies. The only thing missing in my professional
development was art-design. The search for art-design eventually routed me to review the Bauhaus School of Design craft and artistic work. I liked it very much and try to incorporate the ideas into my designs as shown in this exhibition.
Learning basic tool handling and material forming is goes back to my apprenticeship as Millwright. My training in assembling machine components and my working with tight tolerances helped with my ceramic designs. My engineering studies helped me to identify
stress points and to minimize stress cracks.
I had drawing classes at technical and engineering colleges and learned how to sketch free-hand and to draw with pencil and ink, learned from local artists and took a painting class at University of
Wisconsin to improve skill levels. I used pencil sketches and drawings for design of paintings and sculptures.
During the last two years, I worked mainly with clay. Forming 3-D hand-built sculptures is very interesting. My focus is on designing simple clay-constructed sculptures. My scope of work included
tiles, single vases, curious figures, upward pointed arches supporting a sphere, extruded forms, large slabs to form multi-vases, conical bowls, and of course beer steins, especially for the celebration
of the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot (Purity Law) April 23, 1516.
I showed my work at the following galleries and exhibitions: Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts, Pons Shop; Fredericksburg Woman’s Club Art Shows, Studio a 1011, Art Works Studio in Richmond, Sunken Well Tavern, and at Brushstroke Gallery in Fredericksburg.