The RAL Art Center gallery windows at 19 North Main Street, Kilmarnock, for January will feature watercolors by a longtime member of the Rappahannock Art League (RAL) as well as a “newcomer.”
Barbara Kershner served as RAL secretary for four years, as vice president for a year and is currently the nominee for president of the board of directors for 2020. She also is editor of the Artmail newsletter and the leader of the gallery and communications/marketing teams.
Kershner also is a talented artist who works in watercolor, and she will have some choice samples of her work displayed in her series of winter landscapes, reported communications team member Ellen Huddy.
Kershner likes to work from the photos she takes and often combines elements from several views to create her own vision. Such is the case with Barbara’s watercolor rendition of “Heron in the Snow,” which will be exhibited in the windows, said Huddy.
The great blue herons stay in the area in the winter, near rivers and marshes and wherever their favorite food, fish, can be found. As “coastal lows” sometimes bring snow, folks can see the herons muddling through, she said.
Through her studies at RAL workshops and with other established watercolor artists, as well as her own private study and practice, Kershner has become an award-winning artist. Her work hangs in the RAL co-op gallery, monthly exhibits and the Labor Day shows, said Huddy.
Deanna Williford has recently moved to Virginia from Maryland and is enjoying her retirement by immersing herself in her art. Her favorite medium is watercolor and rendering animals is a favorite subject, continued Huddy.
While living on her farm in Maryland, Williford conducted a training program to rescue ex-race horses and rehabilitate them into show horses and pleasure riding horses. Depicting her beloved horses and riders in watercolor showcases some of her happiest moments trail riding her horse, Lincoln, and she marvels at her horses’ beauty, strength and willingness to partner with humans, she said.
Painting her animals is a way for her to really “know them,” and she has always enjoyed studying all land and marine animals especially their traits and idiosyncrasies, said Huddy.
Williford’s painting of a “Cheetah and her son,” exhibited in the window, is a blend of realism and pattern and was inspired by the famous artist, Gustav Klimt. Klimt is probably best known for the painting featured in the movie, “Woman in Gold,” where he paints her face with great realism and then creates fantastic patterns in her dress, enhanced with gold leaf. This inspiration can be observed in Williford’s works, she said.
Throughout her life, she has pursued “arty” endeavors, from fiber arts to stained glass, from painting to basketmaking. Since moving to Virginia earlier this year, she has had two solo exhibits in the Richmond area.
She received signature status in the Baltimore Watercolor Society and has also been juried as an exhibitor at the James River Art League, the Tuckahoe Artists Assoc and the Bon Air Artists Association.
“We are happy to also have her join the Rappahannock Art League,” said Huddy.