Nationally recognized watercolor artist Catherine Hillis will have her work on display at the Crary Art Gallery. Beginning Sunday, March 6. Hillis' water color series, entitled "Urban Country," will be open to the public through April 3.
Hillis, a native of the Virginia Mountains, holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater and theater design. Her preference to paint using bright, rich colors reflects her previous involvement in acting and costume design.
"I like to paint scenes that tell a story, that tell a narrative," Hillis said. "I like to paint light because watercolor is a great medium for painting dramatic light."
Hillis said she often paints outdoors in the spring and summer and using watercolors affords a certain degree of immediacy and transparency not available in other painting mediums. Since painting outdoors is difficult in the winter, Hillis said she often paints from photographs, a process she will utilize while in Warren.
In the spring her work will be featured in the book SPLASH12, which is a selection of the top 100 paintings in the country. Ms. Hillis' paintings have been shown in galleries in Ohio, Virginia and Maryland and in May she will lead a workshop in Tuscany with the Tuscan Renaissance Center.
"I'm excited I will be working with people in Warren," Hillis added. "I can hardly wait to get there."
Ms. Hillis is a signature member of the Southern Watercolor Society, the Potomac Valley Watercolor Society, the Baltimore Watercolor Society and the Virginia Watercolor Society and is a member of the National Watercolor Society and a signature member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society.
Crary Art Gallery board member Tom Paquette said Hillis had been in the 31st Annual Juried Exhibition of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society this past fall. After the exhibition Hillis had sent in a proposal for a display at the gallery, the board members and the exhibition committee agreed to select her work for an exhibition.
Paquette said Hillis will also be teaching a workshop, a first for an artist on display at the Crary Art Gallery. The response to the workshop was so positive that a waiting list had to be established for enrollment.
"We're very happy and pleased she's not only offering to do it here in Warren, but it's filled up," Paquette said.
On Sunday, March 6, the free public opening reception of Urban Country will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Hillis will allow a sneak peak into her painting process with a watercolor demonstration at 2 p.m. on the same day.
For more information on Catherine Hillis and her wartercolor paintings visit www.catherinehillis.com.
Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; and evening hours on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery is closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.