The Staunton Augusta Art Center Presents Meditation on Nature, watercolors by Mary Margaret Pipkin. We invite you to join us for an opening reception on January 18 from 5-7 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy supper and a gallery talk with the artist on February 13 at 6 p.m. Supper will be catered by Eric Stamer. Pre-registration is required one week ahead (February 6) by calling the Staunton Augusta Art Center. Supper and the gallery talk are $20 per person. Learn more about Mary Margaret Pipkin by downloading her resume here, and you may read her artist’s statement below.
Reflections on the natural world
Both art and nature have the power to transform our lives and open us up to moments of pure transcendence. My time spent in the natural world informs and inspires my life and my art. Living in a society in which we have become so estranged from nature, I believe that art can play a transformative role in helping us reconnect with the natural world. Being in communion with nature can lift our hearts and spirits, provide physical renewal, take us out of our own heads and daily worries, and give us a chance to feel at peace and at home in the world.
As an artist, I have a unique role to play in being able to bridge the gap to nature. Sometimes we must seek out places of sanctuary, peace, or beauty. Often times we need only to look around and be aware of the beauty that surrounds us. To open our heart and mind to nature can fill us with a sense of gratitude to the wonders and riches that she has to offer.
There is a simple joy to being in nature, and whether Iʼm working in my garden, hiking in the woods, or gazing at the night sky, I feel much closer to the Creator and more mindful of the interconnectedness of all things. The time I have spent living in the country the last few years has brought me a deeper awareness of the rhythm of the seasons, a greater sense of awe in the mystery and miracle of all life, and an increased longing to be closer to it and share it through my art.
The silhouette of the mountain is imprinted on my mind. The early morning dew on the spider webs entrances me. I walk in the woods with heightened senses for my fellow creatures. Flowers from the garden that I have planted, tended, nurtured,
become evidence of the mystery which surrounds us. The challenge lies in finding the iconic image of a particular moment that resonates with a sense of place and human recognition, and then making it come alive in the studio.
As an artist in an age of instant digital images, instant entertainment and instant gratification on many levels, committing three months trying to convey the dance of light on foliage or the whisper of shadows on snow is an act of faith in the power of the human heart to see what technology never will, and of nature to give us gifts that only she can give. The painstaking process of painting is a contemplative experience for me, a meditation on the mystery of this world, and one which I hope will provide a source of joy and contemplation to the viewer of the work as well.