At the Crozet Artisan Depot, Mae Stoll of Staunton shows paintings and jewelry inspired by nature. In a show that runs through April, her acrylics and soft pastels as well as her wire-wrapped precious stone jewelry reflect her interest in both realism and abstract imagery.
Stoll’s artistic journey began a few years ago when she began painting with acrylics, and then she discovered working with soft pastels. She found inspiration everywhere: moods, photographs and her rural surroundings. She also discovered a talent for the artisanal side of art: “I love introducing a pretty stone to some wire and watching what happens,” she said. I’m particularly drawn to the antiqued look of partially tarnished copper and silver, and even though the process is quite labor intensive, I think the finished ‘heirloom-like’ result is worth it!”
Two Crozet artists. who also find endless inspiration in the beauty of the rural landscape, exhibited at the Greencroft Club in March. Both are self-taught. Greta Stearns said she kept trying to satisfy her artistic bent with tangential careers—art education or landscape architecture—and sometimes avoiding it with office jobs or massage therapy.
“Finally, she said, “I have allowed myself to focus on painting.” Despite her strong background in design, she’s largely a self-taught oil painter.
Stearns has a huge range of subject matter, most of it (there are some flamingos in there) very familiar to local residents, from tiny studies, to still lifes, to sweeping landscapes, treating them all with affection, reverence and whimsy. Find her gallery online and learn of upcoming exhibits at gretamstearnsart.com.
Eric Allen also had an interest in art through elementary and high school, finding his spiritual connection in the woods and fields of his childhood here. He grew up, serving in the Marine Corps Reserve and Army National Guard as he successfully worked his way up in various regional media. Like Stearns, he satisfied his artistic passion with the design elements of his profession, and later graduated from film school. When he retired, he turned to painting, seeking out unspoiled landscape scenes. His solemn, sometimes stunning, paintings reflect back to his childhood reverence for nature. Find Allen’s work at www.erictallen.com.