Saturday, April 23, 2011


Gina Brown is one of two local artists participating in the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational. The other, Craig Reynolds, was Gina teacher and mentor as she developed her art career. Gina participated in the first two plein air events hosted by the Gadsden Museum of Art as a gifted amateur but she was ready to join the cadre of professionals for this year’s event.

Gina, like many of the professionals in the event, showed early talent by sketching and painting as a child. And, also like many, life put those inclinations on hold while she attended to the demands of education, career, marriage, and motherhood. In 2009 she began studying with Craig and reconnected with what had been missing, the desire to create and share her art. Because she had worked as a graphic designer, she already possessed an understanding of composition and color and now applied those skills to oil painting. She began to paint often, almost every day. That commitment led to a rapidly maturing and distinctive style featuring lush colors, bold brushwork, and a ‘juicy’ look that jumps off the canvas. Gina’s selection of subject matter is also distinctive—like most plein air painters she focuses on landscapes but sometimes switches to more of a still life aesthetic by painting an interesting garden feature or flower-filled container. More than technique or style, Gina seeks to make her work personal. As Gina says, “Every painting has a story that I must share.”

In just a few years Gina went from being a workshop participant to a professional affiliated with the Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, Women Painters of the Southeast, Alabama Plein Air Artists, and 10 Everyday Painters. Her work is represented by the Shelby Lee Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina and Renaissance Gallery in Northport, Alabama.

Thirteen artists come to the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational from other towns in Alabama or from other states. Craig and Gina know Gadsden and the surrounding county intimately—its history, ambience, light, and atmosphere. How will that connection become visible in the art they create during the event? See the artists on location (April 25-29) and enjoy their art in the galleries of the Gadsden Museum of Art through June 3.

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