Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis has a new show of oils by nationally-acclaimed, award-winning plein air painter Monique Carr. “Textures of Nature” is hanging now through October 13, and it can be previewed on the gallery’s Facebook page.
On Saturday, September 22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the public is invited to drop in at Alta Vista to enjoy the new show and to hear Carr discuss her art. Refreshments will be served. Art-lovers like to hear from Carr, who has a story to tell about each painting and is also generous in sharing painting advice. There will also be a reception.
Carr has a long list of awards from juried competitions nationwide. Her most recent honor was being selected into the prestigious “Best of America” exhibition hanging now in Ohio, hosted by the National Oil and Acrylic Painting Society. More than 900 painters competed for this honor, and Carr is one of only 130 selected to be in the exhibition.
Carr is a Contemporary Impressionist who is unafraid of color and seeks to capture the abstract qualities in nature by using a variety of unusual tools. As a plein air painter, she often finds a twig or leaf to use to scratch into the wet paint.
This year, Carr’s new work features wax mixed into her oil paints to add body. Her process builds up layers to create interesting textural effects, such as the scratching with a leaf or other items, hence the show’s name, “Textures of Nature.”
“This technique, ‘sgraffito,’ gives me great freedom of expression and potential for discovery,” Carr said. “As I carve into the paint, my underpainting shows through, luminescent. The end result evokes a sense of mystery. I’m hoping to preserve the fickle moments of passing light and also feelings that catch my breath.”
Carr’s show includes 22 framed oils in a variety of sizes and a variety of subjects, such as rivers, pastures, forests, lakes and flowers.
Alta Vista Gallery hosts a new show monthly, and the public is invited to attend the opening receptions on the fourth Saturday of each month, as part of the “Tour de Art.”
In its 28th year, the gallery shows over 100 artists in all media, specializing in landscapes. The gallery also shows bronze sculptures by Rusty Gray; Mangum and New Day Pottery; stained glass; Craftsman-style fine art tiles; and prints, notecards and puzzles by Will Moses, great-grandson of Grandma Moses.
The gallery also sells He Gave Me Barn Cats, a novel by gallery owner, Maria Santomasso-Hyde.
Housed in a National Register historic farmhouse, the gallery is located at 2839 Broadstone Road, Valle Crucis, between Mast Farm Inn and Mast Store Annex, only 10 minutes from Boone or Banner Elk. For more information, call 828-963-5247, visit www.AltaVistaGallery.com or the gallery’s page on Facebook.
Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except for Sundays, which are open by request.