I met this charming fellow last year at the Festival.Very confident and photogenic. He definitely knows he is special (although I’m not certain he is a he).
Never mind. He got me thinking about my favorite “animal” artists from the region.
Marsha Heatwole lives near Lexington, Virginia, with a small menagerie of domesticated animals, many of whom populate her art work. And I do mean populate. Her rather frenetic-kinetic-style really conveys humor and joy, and she manages to capture each animal’s personality even in “group” portraits.
|Audience of Sheep by Marsha Heatwole|
Various forms of etching;
|Father's Day by Marsha Heatwole|
|Rabbit with Iris by Marsha Heatwole|
|Maurice by Marsha Heatwole|
|Proud Cheetah by Marsha Heatwole|
Earlier this spring, several artists in the Rockbridge County area, including Marsha, held an open studio tour. They are hoping to host another tour in 2013, so you could visit Marsha and her furry subjects.
Cynthia Burke is based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and predominately paints in oil on panel or canvas. Sometimes she uses small, almost book-size, copper “canvases” to create these luminous studies of local birds.
|Goldfinch by Cynthia Burke|
|Blue Jay by Cynthia Burke|
|Opposum by Cynthia Burke|
|Groundhog by Cynthia Burke|
|Snowy Egret by Cynthia Burke|
|Flamingo by Cynthia Burke|
And amazingly priced. You can visit Cynthia in her studio at the McGuffey Art Center in downtown Charlottesville.
Okay, okay. I recognize that Catherine Ledner is hardly a local artist. Born and bred in New Orleans, she now lives in Southern California with her family and a pint-size clan of animals.Catherine’s photographs of animals (whether the subjects are pets or wild beings) manage to communicate what she sees and what she wants us to imagine. These animals are both individuals and icons.
|It's hard to resist this shaggy sweetheart.|
|Flamingo by Catherine Ledner|
|Fox by Catherine Ledner|
|Llama by Catherine Ledner|
|Sheep by Catherine Ledner|