NATURE: Up Close & Far Away at River District Arts from March 14 – April 30, 2015

Richard Young & Leslie Barham have a stunning exhibition in the Confluent Gallery at River District Arts in Sperryville

Richard Young & Leslie Barham have a stunning exhibition in the Confluent Gallery at River District Arts in Sperryville

Both artists are members of the Firnew Farm Artist Circle, a boisterous and talented group of artists based in Madison County, VA which come together once a week to be inspired and to critique each other at Trish and David Crowe’s Firnew Farm.
Leslie Barham is inspired by the bounty of beautiful objects offered up by Nature. She is drawn to natural forms, collecting seashells and feathers, butterflies and birds’ nests. Using a range of art media including colored pencil, paint, fabric and collage, she strives to share her love of nature’s details and to help others to see and appreciate the treasures that surround us all. She continues to explore new media and approaches that might present my observations of the natural world in an unexpected, yet somehow still familiar way.

For thirty years, she taught art in the Virginia Beach City Public and sought to help students develop their artistic talents and to appreciate the importance of the arts in our cultural heritage. After retiring in 2011, she relocated to Greene County where she has been dedicated to developing her own artistic voice.

Using oils-on-canvas, she carefully crafts each scene, each specific place, each season, each time-of-day. She strives to capture the drama, the mood, the details unique to the places she visits and the places where she has lived. Roads, rivers, and fences are both barriers and avenues, leading the eye to travel with her through each scene. Although she sometimes works plein air, she usually refers to her photos to finish works in the studio. Clean edges, details, heightened contrasts, often layers of tonal glazes, all work together to complete each finished piece. The intention is that each completed work will provide a pleasing sense of identification and connection.

Richard Young was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and grew up in the hills of West Virginia. He has lived the intervening years in the Alleghenies of Bath County and in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. So the hills and hollows, with their changing seasons, have always been a part of him. Following a career as a school art teacher, he is now busy painting, depicting the beautiful natural world of around him.

He is greatly influenced by time-honored landscape painters such as Frederick Church, Albert Bierstadt, and the Hudson River School of artists. Their abilities to depict distance and drama, light and shadow, the real and the mysterious, continue to inspire him.