by Henry Lane Hull
The abundant pool of talent that we take for granted in the Northern Neck has been depleted this month with the move of one of our finest artists, Ginny Adair, to Northern Virginia to be near her son, Brian, and his family.
For over two decades Ginny has been a mainstay of the Rappahannock Art League, where her paintings have been focal points of the RAL’s exhibitions.
Ginny is a native of Erie, Pa., where she grew up and graduated from Mercyhurst University. She and her late husband, Bruce, came to the Northern Neck from Cape Cod where they owned and operated a seafood restaurant. Bruce was the quintessential chef, who enjoyed regaling his friends with descriptions of his manifold culinary wonders, all of which he made appear to be easy to produce.
Through the RAL, Ginny came to know another gifted artist, the late Marguerite Ajootian, who with her husband, Fred, each November hosted a spectacular oyster roast at Fred’s business, the Ocran Boat Shop in suburban White Stone.
In that venue Bruce would shine, offering pithy comments on far more than modern cuisine. No topic was beyond his purview. He found particular delight in discussing fishing, being a “professional amateur” when out on the water. He had dozens of rods and reels, each designated for a particular purpose and thousands of lures. Bruce never met a fish he did not like.
Ginny and Bruce decided some years ago to sell their large home overlooking Little Myers Creek in Upper Lancaster County and undertake the total reconstruction of a neighboring residence. They lifted the house in the air, put in a full basement under the first floor and landscaped the site with exquisite taste, typical of Ginny’s artistic bent. The plan came together harmoniously to the extent that visitors today do not realize the transformation has taken place.
As an artist, Ginny’s focus is on color. Her rooms are painted in bright shades often uniting seemingly disparate hues in dramatic and memorable patterns, augmented by beautiful pine flooring, with a ceiling fan in every room.
Ginny’s interior design is a reflection of her art. Her watercolors also demonstrate the use of bright colors in new and interesting patterns. She has a clear gift for being able to convey with a brush on paper flowers and landscapes in original compositions that have been as notable as her domestic painting throughout the rooms of her home.
The dominant painting in her home was not one of her watercolors, but an oil of conch shells in various shades of orange and tan against a nautical blue background. The painting is an impressionistic masterpiece that gives off greater depth and precision the farther one stands from it. The work also manifests that Ginny is as talented in oil as she is with watercolors.
Bruce died after a protracted illness seven years ago and now Ginny has left the scene where her creativity blossomed these last twenty-odd years. When not painting, she usually was playing bridge, whether in person with her friends or online with various masters of her own elevated level of proficiency. Not a card player myself, I have been fascinated watching her handle the cards on the screen. In cards Ginny is as adapt as she is with a brush. I also am not a gambler, but if I were, I should bet on her to win.
Ginny and Bruce were bright lights on our local scene for their time among us and her departure leaves a gap far wider than in that of the artistic community. As she leaves for new adventures, Bob Hope’s theme song comes to mind, “Thanks for the Memories,” Ginny.