Members’ Gallery: March 2014

Charlotte Richards

Am I Blue by Charlotte Richards (MG: March 2014)

Artist's Statement—A year or so ago, you might say I fell down the rabbit hole. Previously, I had painted still-lifes of rabbits in a Matisse mode. Then I turned to painting large shore birds in a similar style. Still restless, I recalled my photos of rabbits in the wild. Opting for a more playful approach, I reimagined them alive in their natural habitat and painted away.

My canvas showed a totally new approach. Gone were my usual bright colors. My palette was replaced with subdued, experimental colors that captured the essence of the living rabbit. I started using thin and thick washes that began and ended inside and outside the rabbit. In this series I experimented with leaving some of the canvas white. I let the paint drip and run on the canvas, searching for the spirit of the animal. Taking from the photograph what I needed, I painted my interpretation of the animal with loose, bold paint strokes. The whole time I was painting, I was so involved in the process that I was unaware of how I was painting. I was just having fun.

When I looked at the finished work, I was very excited about what I had done and knew that I had found my new way of painting and my next series. I paint what I am passionate about; something inside me has to say, "I want to paint that!" I have always desired to color outside the lines. Falling down the rabbit hole has let me do just that.

Amanda Lee

Big Fish by Amanda Lee (MG: March 2014)

Artist's Statement—A signature member of the Virginia Watercolor Society, from which I received the Judith Perry Memorial Award of Excellence in 2011, my work also has been accepted by the Southern Watercolor Society and the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild.

I have had a solo artist show at Jarrett-Thor Fine Arts Gallery, Colonial Beach, and have exhibited in numerous juried shows nationwide, including: Art Speaks on the Bay, Potomac River Regional Art Show, Rehoboth Beach Plein Air Art Walk, Art in (Alexandria) City Hall, Mattawoman Creek Arts Center , Art at Aldie Mill, and James Madison University's Ten-year-Commemorative Exhibition in Harrisonburg. A work was also accepted for a national exhibition of work of southern women at Soho Gallery, Pensacola FL, entitled "Steel Magnolias." Before relocating to Colonial Beach, I had an independent studio at the Lorton Arts Workhouse Center. Locally, my work can be seen at The Art of Coffee, in Montross , as well as The Tides Inn Market, Colonial Beach. Recent abstract work is showcased here.

Carousel by Amanda Lee (MG: March 2014)