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The Role of Shadows

Spartanburg Artist Exhibits Oil Paintings at Art Co-op

Spartanburg artist Carol Story will exhibit some of her latest oil-on-canvas works — The Role of Shadows — at West Main Artists Co-op Feb. 15-March 11. The some-20 pieces will be mostly landscapes from locations around the world, and they will explore the influence of shadows in her compositions and imagery.

A reception for the exhibit will be held Thursday, Feb. 15, 5-9 p.m. during Spartanburg’s monthly ArtWalk. It will be free and open to the public. The exhibit will be available for regular and free public viewing Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at WMAC, which is an all-volunteer and nonprofit arts agency of studios and galleries at 578 West Main Street, Spartanburg.

“I am exploring the role of darks and shadows in paintings because I seem to be drawn to scenes that have distinct shadow patterns,” said the retired school teacher. “When I translate these onto canvas, I find they serve various purposes: to contrast and set up the lighter colors, to create interest or drama, to direct the eye through the painting, or to merely create a void for the viewer’s imagination to take rein.”

All of the paintings in this collection were created during the past two years, with most of them having been done during the past year. Although most of the paintings are landscapes in Upstate South Carolina, some are from international locations, such as Italy and New York. They will be available for purchase and will range in price $150 to $350.

“I would describe my work as realistic impressionist,” the WMAC member said. “I am wired to capture a scene as realistically as possible, duplicating what is actual in shape, relationship, and color. However, my heart desires to paint more loosely, so that the impression leaves more for the viewer’s input. This is always the tension when I paint.”

Professionally, Story taught elementary and junior high school. She began painting as a hobby about 11 years ago and has taken art instruction locally from Claire Miller Hopkins and Jim Carson. She has lived in Spartanburg for about 35 years. She has been a WMAC member for the past two years. Membership to WMAC is a juried process.

“Joining the Co-op and being able to display my work was a bucket list item for me, an irregular painter,” the Georgia native said. “Being in this group with constant exposure to so many types and techniques of art is very tempting. However, as I come to this hobby late in life — I first picked up a brush when I was 60 — I want to improve my drawing and continue to study under painters whose style is similar. I have much left to learn.

“I am inspired by the beauty of nature, especially the play of light and shadow,” she continued. “I am intrigued and challenged to duplicate color and to combine them in a pleasing representation of the real. That’s why a large portion of my paintings are of landscapes.”