Second Friday features the art of resident Elizabeth Rhoades
By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Mon., May. 20, 2013
Three Graces Vintage Clothing and Art Gallery hosted a reception of Elizabeth Rhoades’ pastoral paintings in the gallery’s usual elegant style. It was the perfect setting for paintings which elicited a feeling of peace and tranquility characteristic of an earlier time. Few art galleries have the ambience of Three Graces, and Rhoades’ paintings of quiet Stafford landscapes have a perfect home for the coming month.
“This show is all Stafford. I live here, and there is so much untouched natural beauty here,” said Rhoades. In support of her community she is offering Stafford residents a 10 percent discount. “I love and support this community and I thought it would be a good way to give back,” she explained.
Rhoades has been an artist since childhood, inspired by her mother, and has been actively painting since the ’70s when she began her career as a watercolorist. She earned art degrees from Southern Connecticut State University and Wesleyan and has been a professional art educator for many years.
In 2001, while doing more graduate work, she changed her medium to pastels. “The pastels are so immediate; they are pure pigment, so velvety and soft, tactile. ... They sparkle,” she said.
When weather permits. Rhoades is a plein air painter and is president of the Connecticut Plein Air Society. “Landscape is about light and there is only one light source outside which influences everything you see. There is a window of about two hours before the light changes,” she explained.
“It is important to plan the painting when using pastels because the medium does not adhere if you use too much of it. I block in the composition using a technique called underpainting, and then I go back and refine it. Sometimes I use watercolors for this,” Rhoades said.
New this Second Friday was the opening of Studio 4 above the Middle Ground Café, where Kevin Pearson, Teresa Rogers, Eric Jeffcoat and Dave Mercier have pooled their talent in comic illustration, painting, silk screening and photography to open a studio /gallery to work and sell their creations. “We have three rooms and it is a collaborative, creative environment,” Mercier said.