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Mary Garwood & Helene Keefner

June artists Mary Garwood and Helene Keefner are great friends who often paint together in the plein aire style, observing the same scene but "seeing" it differently. Their show, Essence of Time and Place at the Blanche Ames Gallery opens with a reception and artists' talk on Sunday, June 4, 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m. The show runs through June 25. The Blanche Ames Gallery is located at 4880 Elmer Derr Road. Please call 301-473-7680 if planning to visit the gallery at times other than the opening.

Mary Garwood explains her love for painting outdoors as "an all encompassing experience, choosing the subject, zooming in, beginning the process and feeling surrounded by the place and the light." Her watercolors become the inspiration for her collages. Spending days adding, rearranging and deleting natural or familiar objects, Mary completes her work.

Mary received a BA in art from the University of Mary Washington and taught art for 3 years in Wilmington DE. For 25 years she has taken numerous watercolor classes that have included travels in the US and Europe. Mary is a past president of the Frederick Art Club, a member of the Frederick Plein Aire Painters and the Loudoun Sketch Club, Leesburg. Her work has been shown at the National Wildlife Federation, Frederick Artomatic, Barnes and Noble, Hillsborough Winery, the Delaplaine, the Weinberg, The Main Cup, Terressentials, FMH Crestwood and Roots in Leesburg, VA.

Helene Keefner's interest in the natural world inspires her art. "What better way to really 'see' the world than to illustrate, closely observe, and record its details and subtleties." She begins with black and white using pencil, pen and ink. Then she adds color to enhance the developing creation. "Watercolor paint has a mind of its own, but mistakes add to the quality and interest of the work. A few colors can create a spectrum of wonderful effects. Experimenting with new techniques improves the paintings, which, of course, is a never ending process."

Helene, originally from Queens, NY, received her Bachelor of Art Education from Hofstra University. She taught art for several years in Long Island, moved to this area and taught in Montgomery County for 20 years. She has taken local art classes including those taught by Linda Postel and Rebecca Pearl. She is a member of the Frederick County Plein Aire painters.

Cheers to these two comrades!

Left: Watercolor by Helene Keener

Right: Collage by Mary Garwood