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"High Altitude Marsh" by Kathleen Best Gillmann

Arches Gallery Artists: People’s Choice Award Winner for July

Arches Gallery at the Workhouse Arts Center (Lorton) announces the People’s Choice Awards for July, chosen during the monthly 2nd Saturday Art Walk on July 14.

Kathleen Best Gillmann is the featured artist this month. Her paintings fill the front of Arches Gallery, including these that took People’s Choice awards. “Illuminated ‘Scapes” is on display until Friday, Aug. 3. In conjunction with the exhibit, Ms. Gillmann will hold two Artist’s Talks on Saturday, July 28 at 11:30 a. m. and 6:00 p. m. in Arches Gallery.

Ms. Gillmann talks about the inspiration of these three pastels:

“Cloud Patterns” by Kathleen Best Gillmann

1st Place: “Cloud Patterns” pastel, 2018.
The fleeting beauty and drama of this sunset which I saw in Sarasota, Florida inspired my painting. Think about it: sunrise and sunset occur twice every single day – a simple fact of the physics of this planet – yet every day these events are unique. The colors may be subtle or saturated, the light may be subdued or brilliant, the clouds may be abundant or absent. Each day presents two rich displays and no two are precisely the same! In high school for a while I kept a sunset diary – a record of the colors I saw as the sun approached the horizon each evening. Perhaps it is that diary which nourished the skill of observing the sky that set me on the path to capturing this wondrous beauty in pastel. The Psalmist recounts “the heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Ps. 19:1) Here I interpret in pastel his handiwork for his glory and your pleasure. 

“Cloud Patterns” has sold and is no longer in the exhibit. Prints are available at the Gallery.

“New London” by Kathleen Best Gillmann

2nd Place: “New London Marsh” pastel, 2018.
Since I grew up in New England and still have relatives living there, I often travel back. We stayed overnight once in New London and before continuing our drive north the next morning, we decided to explore the city and found our way to the city beach. That November day, the air was crisp and cold, and I love the beach especially at quiet times like this. I took many photographs that morning of the beach, the jetty, and the marshy shore. This pastel is one of the results of that morning’s shoot.  When painting winter scenes I sometimes start out thinking “This should be easy, look how neutral it all looks.” Then as I look more closely the complexity in the textures and colors grows and grows! Sometimes what first appears to be simple or mundane is not.

3rd Place: “High Altitude Marsh” pastel, 2018.
Rich blue sky . . . beneath my feet? Our world never ceases to amaze me. I remember the hot day when my husband and I were traveling from New Hampshire to the western mountains of Maine. It was a brilliant August day and we stopped along the two-lane road to stretch our legs and survey the scenery. We stopped by an extensive boggy wetland offering views across scrubby brush to trees in the distance. Close to the road I captured photos of the water and plant life that became “High Altitude Marsh.”

Award-winning artist Kathleen Best Gillmann joined the Workhouse Arts Center in 2010 and currently exhibits her artwork every month at Arches Gallery. In recent years, Ms. Gillmann has built a reputation for painting waterscapes. To learn more about Ms. Gillmann’s art work and career, visit or her professional Face Book page at “Kathleen Best Gillmann – Very Best Fine Art.”


By Prince William Living

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