For Immediate Release
February 12, 2020
The Byrne Gallery is proud to present Spring Bouquet, an exhibition by three local artists who are all new to the Gallery. Each uses a different medium in their floral paintings and expresses color in their own unique way. Margaret Farr uses the medium of watercolor on paper to render her sometimes delicate, sometimes bold floral and botanical compositions. Cathleen Lawless turns to oil on canvas to convey her delight in the new season while Carolyn Marshall Wright chooses water based media to convey the energy of Spring. The exhibit will begin on March 4th and continue through Sunday, March 29th. There will be a reception for the artists on Saturday, March 14th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The exhibition and reception are both open to the public and everyone is cordially invited to attend.
Margaret Farr received classical studio training, which resulted for some years in the production of large nudes in oil. Married to a Foreign Service officer stationed in Greece in the 1980’s, she began to keep a watercolor record of the astounding variety of wildflowers native to the mountains overlooking Athens. She discovered an inclination for watercolor, and a lively interest in the observing of things that grow. The combination of producing art, and of actively seeking out and observing the beauty of nature became a new vocation, and she has not looked back for 25-plus years. From the cultivated garden to native woods and meadows, the challenge for the botanical artist is to render the subject with scientific accuracy, mastery of medium, and an artistic presentation, for all of which Margaret strives for in each painting.
Margaret has botanical works in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University, the State University of New York, the Denver and Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (where she is a fellow of the Brooklyn Florilegium), and of the preeminent collector of contemporary botanical art worldwide, Dr. Shirley Sherwood, whose collection is housed at Kew Gardens. Her work has been shown in Edinburgh, London, and Berlin, and widely in the U.S. It has been featured regularly in juried international exhibitions mounted by the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), and in various publications. She is active and prominent in the field of contemporary botanical art.
Cathleen Lawless’s still life oil paintings harken back to themes from her childhood, often incorporating family heirlooms that impart a sense of nostalgia. In her most recent florals she uses diffuse cool light to illuminate her subjects, creating a soft atmospheric quality and subtle shadows. Cathleen says, “I am inspired to capture the character of flowers, which in life are so fleeting, as a way of preserving their loveliness for others to behold. One of the delights of being an artist is that by necessity I spend hour upon hour contemplating beauty.”
Carolyn Marshall Wright
After over twenty years of working with watercolor, Carolyn remains fascinated by this medium that conveys such luminosity and light. As she grew as an artist, she became intrigued by abstract images, and began working with acrylics and collage as she further explored color and structure. Still, for a number of years, her abstract acrylic work remained separate and distinct from her representational watercolors.
This quote from painter George de Groat captures much of how Carolyn works: “Paint from the inside out”. Her painting is an emotional response to the world around her. When she is astonished by beauty, she wants to respond--not to copy that precise beauty, but to create more beauty that will, in its turn, evoke an emotional response in the viewer.
Carolyn is a signature member of the Virginia Watercolor Society, a member and past president of Potomac Valley Watercolorists and a frequent exhibitor in juried exhibitions in the Mid-Atlantic region. Her work has hung in the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, in the World Bank, and is in numerous private collections around the world.
Please come visit the Byrne Gallery to see and enjoy Spring Bouquet on exhibit for March 2020. The Byrne Gallery is located at 7 West Washington Street in Middleburg, Virginia. Gallery hours are Monday and Tuesday by appointment only, Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Contact the Byrne Gallery for more information at (540) 687-6986.