Remember those GIANT boxes of Crayola crayons you loved as a child? There was nothing like opening that box of 64 brand new colors – with the built-in sharpener, no less –to feel like you had truly won the coloring book artist’s jackpot. 

Now imagine having almost 500 different colors to work with, but instead of crayons, each piece is just pure vibrant pigment, and you will get an idea of why Cabell Gallery chose Maria Reardon’s stunning pastel works to feature this November.  

 

Maria's Plein Air Pastel Kit

Maria's Plein Air Pastel Kit

Because Maria uses her pastel palette in a manner that yields strokes similar to brush marks, she calls her pieces “paintings” and not “drawings”.  She has now been working exclusively with pastels for almost 15 years, after re-discovering a passion for fine art. Although she had always painted, Maria majored in illustration at VCU’s arts program in college. 

Maria lives between Richmond and her farm in Goshen (just over the line in Augusta County), but her connections to Lexington extend to the fact her husband, Kevin, and her twin sons all graduated from VMI.  Kevin often joins Maria as she scouts locations for her plein air pieces – he drives while she finds that perfect view.  Her sons also help, once suggesting she check out the sweeping vista they saw on their runs as “rats” from a property called “The Vue”, which resulted in the oil painting below titled “The View Towards VMI”.

Plein air and studio paintings of The View Towards VMI

Plein air and studio paintings of The View Towards VMI

For Maria, nothing is better than having the opportunity to work on location and especially en plein air because it affords her, “that one on one experience, where you also get a lot of the other sensory experiences such as the time of day, whether it is hot or cold, how the wind is blowing and all of that resonates with how I’m painting.” 

Come and see her beautiful work at Cabell Gallery throughout the month of November -  we sold two already at our First Friday opening reception on November 3rd!

 

 

The Spirit of VMI by Maria Reardon

The Spirit of VMI by Maria Reardon

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