About the Artist
My painting is meant to be a personal celebration of the natural world. The impetus for my subject matter is to share the beauty of the Created order which inspires me.
A native West Virginian, I lived for a time in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. I have returned to the Appalachian region and culture which I love.
Although I received a degree in Fine Arts with the intention of becoming a museum curator as well as a practicing artist, I put the dream of being an artist aside when I became a mother. Instead I achieved a Master’s of Renaissance Literature degree and became a teacher of Literature and Rhetoric both in public and private education, serving later as an administrator as well as an educator. Somewhere along the way, I discovered I fell in love with teaching and never looked back! I came to know that teaching and working with young people was my true calling.
However, I always painted in spare moments while my daughter was at home, and when she entered college, I began to take workshops and practice my painting more seriously. I have studied under Tom Lynch, Linda Kemp, Janet Rogers, Sterling Edwards, and Marc Moon here in the States, and with James Flack and Anne Connor-Gordon in Ireland.
My love and appreciation of the landscape have been enhanced and nurtured by years of travel throughout Continental Europe and the United Kingdom, with extended stays in Ireland where I practice my special love, plein air landscape painting. Plein air is the perfect approach for me in that I am able to combine my love of nature and my love of painting in watercolor.
Although I do paint in oils and pastels, watercolor is my medium of choice because it is an exciting and joyous medium which matches my passion and sense of adventure. Painting in watercolor is always an adventure due to its unpredictable nature, often surprising the artist with something other or even better than what was intended when first touching the loaded brush to the dampened page. When it works its special magic, its spontaneity and serendipity create a freshness and a beauty which no other medium matches, at least for me.
I recently had the honor of winning the top prize in a painting competition presented by The Artist’s Magazine, an international art magazine. Although the challenge was open to artists working in all media, my entry was a watercolor landscape.
My paintings hang in private collections in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Dubai, as well as here in the United States.
I was fortunate to participate in a watercolor class at The Art Spirit by Ardoth Rutherford. Ardoth is an experienced and talented watercolorist and teacher and it shows! To begin with she has created an inspired art studio that you won’t want to leave. It’s perfect for the beginner who wants to learn from a pro and for the experienced artist who wants a haven to paint with other artists.
Ardoth organized our lesson for the beginners in our class with step by step procedures designed to guarantee everyone’s success. With careful attention to detail, she demonstrated and explained each step starting with color mixing using prepared slides to enhance each part of her lesson. She assists and encourages her students all along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and still have in my art studio the painting she helped me create. The other students were expressing their delight with watercolor and their own paintings.
I highly recommend Ardoth’s classes and open studio opportunities for everyone who wants to learn to paint with watercolor.
When you go into the Studio, you feel like you are on an oasis. The decor is calming and inspirational. You see Ardoth’s talent and interests all around you. She uses her art to capture the feelings and the beauty of her travels.
Her classes are well planned. She teaches according to your level of skill. I am a novice but have been so excited with my results. I could see growth from the first to the second class. Yes! I would take a class again and recommend it to anyone regardless of skill to learn and grow with your art.
- Valerie Roach
- Linda Childers