‘Southern Charm’ exhibit open

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 8, 2012

Anyone who knows art in Opp knows the name Colleen Guy, and for those who don’t now’s the perfect opportunity to get to know her art.

Guy, who is from Hartford, is this month’s gallery exhibitor at the Opp Cultural Arts Council.

Guy has two separate collections on exhibit, including “Southern Charm,” which is a collection of old barns she’s painted and collected through the years.

“If you have nothing to say, don’t pick up a brush,” Guy said.

This is the idea behind this exhibit, according to Guy, who has endeavored to recreate and capture on canvas some fast-disappearing aspects of life in the South.

“Particularly the barns we see along our highways that are left to die a slow death of neglect,” Guy said.

Guy has used photos taken over the years to help create her works.

Although, she admits, she has just scratched the surface of many motifs she could have done, but said she’s proud of the work that had been brewing in the back of her mind for the past several years.

One painting, called Red Barn, White Oak, was very interesting to Guy.

“This barn no longer exists,” she said. “It was torn down and burned about two years ago, but I can remember playing in the loft as a child as it was in my family. I remember the sweet smell of the cow feed that was stored there and playing in the loft with my brothers and cousins.”

Guy said she is thankful that she had a photo of the barn.

“And I plan to do another sometime later with the barn as the prominent feature,” she said.

Additionally, Guy has a collection of memories called “Favorite Memories” that includes different painting reminiscent of her life.

Guy teaches painting weekly and when she’s not painting, she’s a wife, mother, and grandmother.

“My favorite subjects are my garden and I like to paint ‘en plein air’ as often as I can with the garden as my subject, often making small studies that I can later use to paint larger works in my studio,” she said.

Her preferred medium is oil, but sh also does an occasional watercolor, pastel or acrylic work.

Guy describes her style as “painterly realism.”

“I try to simplify shapes and leave out unnecessary details whenever I can getting a stronger painting,” she said. “It is also a good-time saver. That is a bonus with a busy and demanding lifestyle.”

Her work will be on exhibit through the middle of October. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.