Picture-perfect Annapolis

Tonight's Art Walk shows off the picturesque state capital and some of its artists


Cynthia McBride thinks Annapolis is the perfect city for art to flourish.

"It's a beautiful small city on the water," she said. "Artists are attracted to beautiful cities, they want to come paint here." With this in mind, the McBride Gallery and 19 other galleries in downtown Annapolis are coming together for the 16th Annapolis Art Walk tonight.

Not only will the 20 galleries host unique exhibits for the night, many with live music, but many artists will also be in attendance, giving demonstrations in a variety of techniques and disciplines.

At Natalie Silitch Crafts & Antiques, Silitch will walk through the various stages her sculptures go through. ARTFX Gallery will have several artists throwing pottery on a wheel. The American Craftworks Collection will have a wood-turning demonstration. Other galleries will feature abstract and realist painters, photographers, oil painters and clay painters.

The McBride Gallery will have two plein-air impressionist painters demonstrating their outdoor painting technique.

Sherrill Cooper, an oil painter, paints kids in various environments and situations.

"I love kids," she said. "I love their posture, their attitude when you catch them off-guard, most especially when they think they're by themselves. You can really study them then." She is intrigued by the proportions of their bodies.

She tries to capture children's playfulness. Rather than having her subjects pose, she observes them in action and uses her brush strokes to convey their movement.

"My main goal," she said, "when people look at my paintings, is to feel the joy. ... I just want to make people happy."

Robert Barber, the other painter giving a demonstration at the McBride Gallery, paints scenes - landscapes, interiors, towns and cities. He enjoys the contrast between landscapes and city paintings.

"In cities, the environment is very man-made, so in the landscape, it's not," he said, "and you sort of get to contemplate the forces of nature that are much bigger than us." Even in these scenic paintings, he said, he tries to capture movement by paying careful attention to the colors and forms that are present.

"I try to capture a little bit of that sense of things are on the move, life is happening," he said. "I try not to paint frozen moments."

Kathleen Daywalt will give a relief-printing demonstration at the Main Street Gallery. She carves patterns into a block, places ink on the block and presses it to paper. She will be demonstrating the cutting method. Her favorite things to carve are mermaids, playing cards and musicians - she has a series of creations of each. She said she loves making these prints because her only limit is her imagination.

"It's nice because whatever strikes me, I can try to interpret in my own way," she said. "I think that's one of the main reasons most people get into art."

The Annapolis Art Walk is tonight from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Parking is available at the Hillman Garage, with entrances on Duke of Gloucester Street and Main Street, and the Gotts Court Garage, with entrances on Calvert Street or Northwest Street. Call 410-267-7077 or go to artinannapolis.com.


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