What could be better than a Sunday afternoon featuring local art by Bethanne Hill and chocolates by Michelle’s Chocolate Laboratory? Nothing! It’s the perfect combination and where you need to be Sunday February 9th, 12-2pm. Join Bethanne and Michelle for art and chocolates!
We are thrilled to feature Bethanne’s work in our upstairs Gallery Loft for the month of February.
I have always been drawn to rural landscapes. Growing up in Alabama with my family meant long, hot car trips, spent looking out the window as my parents pointed at the scenes which reminded them of their childhood homes in the farmland of southern Ohio. They told their stories and I half-listened with a child’s short attention span. As an adult, these memories hold strong emotion for me, and they represent a time that is lost. I would give most anything to hear my parents’ stories now.
In the 1990’s, I had a job that had me driving southern back roads for years. Along the way, I stopped to sketch old barns, churches, houses, cemeteries, and animals…whatever caught my eye. I am haunted by these places, thinking of the stories that must exist, all of the untold memories. When you drive back roads in the South, you see many strange and beautiful things, and these are my starting points as I work.
In the South, we enjoy a “gracious plenty”, as you hear folks say. There are plenty of stories, plenty of legends, plenty of moments in lives long gone. Through time, Southerners have spun their lives into tall tales and songs that burst with the lushness of life. In my paintings, I invite the viewer to look at the details, to pay attention to these stories and small moments. Often they are familiar…things we’ve seen ourselves, legends we’ve heard others tell. They always change a bit with each retelling. These paintings are my stories, embellished in that great, Southern tradition. My hope is that they convey a sense of place-our home here in the South.
When I begin a painting, I have a general idea of the type of scene I’m creating, though many changes occur as I work. Much of the initial “under drawing” in black, is visible in each completed painting, almost like a big coloring book. Once I complete the compositional drawing, however, most folks would be hard- pressed to color it in, as there are usually so many lines and forms crashing together. A scene with crows, for instance, may be virtually indecipherable, until I paint the sky color in on top of and around the crow, creating its silhouette as I move the paint along. This drawing with paint, “cutting” the shapes and cleaning up the lines as I go is different every time and there’s always room for change and the occasional accident. If you look closely at the paintings, you can see the layering of tinted colors, each lighter than the last, that gives the work some of its visual tension.