On Wednesday, I, and others were invited to watch a group of talented Harford County artists paint a floral arrangement. There were watercolorists, pastel artists and oil painters in attendance. Each artist’s creative freedoms and interpretation of what they were seeing resulted in something very different. One artist chose not to place his complete focus on the vase filled with colorful blooms. Instead, he painted the scene – artists at work in the living room of the beautiful historic mansion.
It was touching to have the portraits of the lordship and ladyship of the mansion, Dr, Howard and Mrs. Laetitia Kelly hanging in the same room observing the creative activity decades after their beautiful home became open to the public. Dr. Howard Atwood Kelly spent his entire life fostering the needs of community health and wellness. He was known as “a champion of women’s suffrage.”
I found a lot to like in each artist’s rendering – some were abstract, some more simple than others. Some with colors more muddled together and others very defined, with crisp clean lines. Artist Pamela Wilde said “she was attempting to channel Richard Schmid‘s style.” He is a grandly-admired contemporary master painter and teacher whose impressionistic realism is held in the highest reverence by artists worldwide as a winner of the prestigious John Singer Sargent Award for lifetime achievement.
As hard as it was to leave, I did so before the time was over. I wanted to leave myself an element of surprise by not seeing the paintings in their finished states. I have plans to return today to the gallery at Liriodendron Mansion when all the canvases from Wednesday’s session will be on display as a one-day accompaniment to Jonathan West’s fabulous floral exhibit which will be available for viewing until April 27th.
For more information on Jonathan West’s exhibit, please visit the website of Liriodendron.