Beverly Rhoads Artist's Statement

Beverly Rhoads in her studio.Tuesday, February 10 - Friday, April 30, 2004

Throughout my career as a figurative artist I have always focused in part on my personal relationship to the natural environment. Even when working with landscape devoid of a literal human presence, I place myself within the image. The immediacy of my experience is my encounter with the overwhelming chaos of the natural environment. 

Since my move to Virginia six years ago, my exploration of natural environs has led me to seek out the most protected natural areas of our state. Having lived and worked previously in West Virginia, where almost everything outside my front door qualified as a natural area, I have found that in Virginia wildlife sanctuaries provide me with the sort of "privacy" and disorderliness that my work demands. For the past three years I have divided my time between painting in Briery Creek Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, located within ten miles of my studio, and Long Pond, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. I have found that these two sites give me a view where I can locate myself as an artist. 

In this work I am ultimately concerned with the struggle between the subjective and the objective. What to leave in? What to leave out? How much art? How much non-art? This "straddling the fence" between representation and abstraction is an uncomfortable pleasure. How can I bring a landscape painting inside, explore color, push space, manipulate form and still end up with a convincing container of experience? Ultimately, my goal is to communicate the most real experience I can-my kinetic and visual sense of the world around me.