By Mary Karr
There is a very different chill in our glorious fall November and its invigoration makes us want to go outside and enjoy our garden’s last hurrah of the season. If you appreciate the outdoors that inspired our impressionist painters to pursue their experiments in painting to lighten their palettes and bring painting out in the open air, you will enjoy a two hour drive to one of my favorite artistic cities – Winston-Salem, NC. “I’m well aware”, said Renoir, “that it’s difficult to acknowledge that a painting can be both great and yet full of fun, but art in formal dress, whether it’s painting, music, or literature will always impress us.” Monet was another artist who is known for his paintings of his garden. He was known to acknowledge that painting his flowers soothed his soul and replenished his spirits.
There is a wonderful chance to admire their works at the Reynolds House Museum of Art in Winston-Salem. The museum is adjacent to Wake Forest University on the grounds of Reynolda Village. The exhibit is called “The Artist’s Gardens”, American Impressionism and the Gardens Movement, 1887-1920. Today we think it normal to paint outdoors, to experiment with light and color, to apply the paint in dabs without blending it, but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries these things were revolutionary in their concept of painting.
The parallel growth of gardening and impressionism is what has inspired this exhibition. You will be able to view this exhibition at the moment when impressionism and gardening grew together as important American movements. There is something basic and restorative about being outside and feeling the sunshine and breezes.
“The Artist’s Gardens” is organized by themes that include American artists’ visits to European gardens, the enthusiasm for gardening among women, the urban gardens, the artist’s garden, and the garden in winter. They were painting very modern moments. You see women out in public areas and parks, which was a new aspect of American Impressionism. The Reynolda House, built in 1917 as the home of Katherine and R. J. Reynolds, was made into a museum in 1967, and it also has beautiful extensive gardens. This exhibit runs from October 3 – January 3, 2016. The location is 2250 Reynolda Road. There are lovely shops and restaurants in Reynolda Village that you will enjoy for a delightful day not far from home.
Here in the Hickory Nut Gorge, artists from the area are inviting you to a special show of crafts and art at the Church of the Transfiguration in Bat Cave on December 3rd. Please try to come and support our local artists.