Artist Members

Interested in becoming an ACV Artist Member?

  Julia Merkel    Keezletown, VA    Oil Paint     Website    Merkel is a figurative abstract expressionist oil painter of primarily four legged subjects, but her background in sculpture and book arts occasionally lead her toward large drawing installations and artists’ books.

Julia Merkel

Keezletown, VA

Oil Paint

Website

Merkel is a figurative abstract expressionist oil painter of primarily four legged subjects, but her background in sculpture and book arts occasionally lead her toward large drawing installations and artists’ books.

  Peg Sheridan    Staunton, VA    Watercolor     Member since October 2018      Website    I work mostly with watercolors. I have been painting with watercolors for about 30 years, and teaching watercolor painting for about 20 years. I have a few different ways of working. I love to paint outside, so many of my landscape paintings were completed on site. It combines my love of painting and observing nature. I also work in my studio from my own photos of landscapes, city scenes, etc. A third method is more difficult but also more exciting. For this, I start out with abstract compositions. I turn my paper every direction, until I "see" something in the shapes. Then I work to add and subtract paint. Some of these remain as abstract paintings, and others become city scenes, seascapes, or landscapes.

Peg Sheridan

Staunton, VA

Watercolor

Member since October 2018

Website

I work mostly with watercolors. I have been painting with watercolors for about 30 years, and teaching watercolor painting for about 20 years. I have a few different ways of working. I love to paint outside, so many of my landscape paintings were completed on site. It combines my love of painting and observing nature. I also work in my studio from my own photos of landscapes, city scenes, etc. A third method is more difficult but also more exciting. For this, I start out with abstract compositions. I turn my paper every direction, until I "see" something in the shapes. Then I work to add and subtract paint. Some of these remain as abstract paintings, and others become city scenes, seascapes, or landscapes.


  John Rose    Harrisonburg, VA    Cartoonist     Member since September 2018      Website    John Rose is the cartoonist of the popular, long-running  Barney Google and Snuffy Smith  comic strip which is syndicated by King Features Syndicate to hundreds of newspapers worldwide. He began working on the comic strip as an inking assistant to cartoonist Fred Lasswell in 1998 and became the strip's cartoonist in 2001. He has authored three  Snuffy Smith  comic strip book collections. He and his wife Karen are graduates of James Madison University and live in Harrisonburg.

John Rose

Harrisonburg, VA

Cartoonist

Member since September 2018

Website

John Rose is the cartoonist of the popular, long-running Barney Google and Snuffy Smith comic strip which is syndicated by King Features Syndicate to hundreds of newspapers worldwide. He began working on the comic strip as an inking assistant to cartoonist Fred Lasswell in 1998 and became the strip's cartoonist in 2001. He has authored three Snuffy Smith comic strip book collections. He and his wife Karen are graduates of James Madison University and live in Harrisonburg.


  Ann Janine Morey (AJ)    Timberville, VA    Photography     Member since September 2018    I'm a late life photographer, specializing in documenting horses, and horse-human interactions in equine therapies, and anything else that catches my eye. My book,  Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves: American Vintage Photographs  ( Penn State UP, 2014) is based on my collection of antique and vintage postcards of people with their dogs, and I have a similar collection focused on women and horses. I'm still pondering what do to with those and my own photos of women with horses. I'm completing a book about equine therapy with horse specialist Michelle Holling-Brooks that will feature my photographs (forthcoming, Trafalgar Square, Spring 2019). My first show, "Defy the Machine," was a First Friday event at the Wilson Downtown Gallery, August 3-September 28, 2018.

Ann Janine Morey (AJ)

Timberville, VA

Photography

Member since September 2018

I'm a late life photographer, specializing in documenting horses, and horse-human interactions in equine therapies, and anything else that catches my eye. My book, Picturing Dogs, Seeing Ourselves: American Vintage Photographs ( Penn State UP, 2014) is based on my collection of antique and vintage postcards of people with their dogs, and I have a similar collection focused on women and horses. I'm still pondering what do to with those and my own photos of women with horses. I'm completing a book about equine therapy with horse specialist Michelle Holling-Brooks that will feature my photographs (forthcoming, Trafalgar Square, Spring 2019). My first show, "Defy the Machine," was a First Friday event at the Wilson Downtown Gallery, August 3-September 28, 2018.


  Debra Sheffer    Mount Sidney, VA    Plein Air Paintings     Member Since June 2018      Website      Since I spend weekdays in a deadline-driven office, an environment without a view of the outside world, I crave time to absorb the beauty of quiet spaces out of doors. The practice of painting requires disciplined observation. Most of my paintings begin on location and the practice has changed the way I see the world. In my mind’s eye, I’m making paintings as I look around. While riding in the car I’m often transfixed by way light falls across the land and I think about how I’d lay the colors down.  My approach begins with tonal brush marks on the canvas. I distill my looking to a value study initially, balancing the darks and lights, sensibilities informed by years in graphic design. Some on-site sketches are used to inform larger studio works, but painting out of doors is always my preference.  Landscape painters who have influenced my work include California Impressionists Edgar Payne and William Wendt, also Fairfield Porter and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Increasingly I’m drawn to work with more abstracted shapes and a somewhat limited palette.  My work has been shown throughout the Shenandoah Valley region and is in private collections. Some pieces have been selected for juried shows including The American Landscape Show, Nelson Gallery and the annual Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community Show and is included in many local and regional shows. CoArt Gallery in Staunton and Reid Street Gallery in Chatham, Va. currently exhibit my work.

Debra Sheffer

Mount Sidney, VA

Plein Air Paintings

Member Since June 2018

Website

Since I spend weekdays in a deadline-driven office, an environment without a view of the outside world, I crave time to absorb the beauty of quiet spaces out of doors. The practice of painting requires disciplined observation. Most of my paintings begin on location and the practice has changed the way I see the world. In my mind’s eye, I’m making paintings as I look around. While riding in the car I’m often transfixed by way light falls across the land and I think about how I’d lay the colors down.

My approach begins with tonal brush marks on the canvas. I distill my looking to a value study initially, balancing the darks and lights, sensibilities informed by years in graphic design. Some on-site sketches are used to inform larger studio works, but painting out of doors is always my preference.

Landscape painters who have influenced my work include California Impressionists Edgar Payne and William Wendt, also Fairfield Porter and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Increasingly I’m drawn to work with more abstracted shapes and a somewhat limited palette.

My work has been shown throughout the Shenandoah Valley region and is in private collections. Some pieces have been selected for juried shows including The American Landscape Show, Nelson Gallery and the annual Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community Show and is included in many local and regional shows. CoArt Gallery in Staunton and Reid Street Gallery in Chatham, Va. currently exhibit my work.


  D.E. Holsinger    Edinburg, VA    Oil     Member Since January 2018      Website    Holsinger’s subjects reflect his interest in history, architecture, nature, the outdoors, and travel. He personalizes each painting with a mood captured in the present, reflected in memories, or often a combination of both. His work is inspired by artists such as Edward Hopper, Howard Pyle, and the three generations of Wyeth’s. Recently, the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods have become more significant in his work. Holsinger’s preferred medium is oil.

D.E. Holsinger

Edinburg, VA

Oil

Member Since January 2018

Website

Holsinger’s subjects reflect his interest in history, architecture, nature, the outdoors, and travel. He personalizes each painting with a mood captured in the present, reflected in memories, or often a combination of both. His work is inspired by artists such as Edward Hopper, Howard Pyle, and the three generations of Wyeth’s. Recently, the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods have become more significant in his work. Holsinger’s preferred medium is oil.


  Laurence Heine    Rockingham, VA    Photography     Member Since January 2018    I have been interested in photography since childhood and have amassed boxes of slides and photos, most of which have never been viewed. Since switching to digital cameras I have also generated many thousands of digital images (more than 2000 images on an 18 day trip to national parks in the West in 2015). I have long had a desire to be able to display my best images so others could appreciate them and I recently started mounting and matting my best (or favorite) images. My favorite subjects are objects and scenes of natural beauty.

Laurence Heine

Rockingham, VA

Photography

Member Since January 2018

I have been interested in photography since childhood and have amassed boxes of slides and photos, most of which have never been viewed. Since switching to digital cameras I have also generated many thousands of digital images (more than 2000 images on an 18 day trip to national parks in the West in 2015). I have long had a desire to be able to display my best images so others could appreciate them and I recently started mounting and matting my best (or favorite) images. My favorite subjects are objects and scenes of natural beauty.


  Brenda Hounshell    Harrisonburg, VA    Water Media     Member Since December 2017      Website    Brenda Hounshell is a water media artist who resides in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art. Her concentration of study was in drawing and design. In recent years she has adopted watercolor as her primary medium. Brenda is a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the Baltimore Watercolor Society and the Virginia Watercolor Society.

Brenda Hounshell

Harrisonburg, VA

Water Media

Member Since December 2017

Website

Brenda Hounshell is a water media artist who resides in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art. Her concentration of study was in drawing and design. In recent years she has adopted watercolor as her primary medium. Brenda is a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the Baltimore Watercolor Society and the Virginia Watercolor Society.


  Mauricio Esperon    Staunton, VA    Acrylic     Member Since October 2017    Mauricio Esperon has been located in Staunton VA with his family since 2006. He is an abstract and expressionist painter who has been inspired by early 20th-century painters. He has displayed some painting throughout the area, including a show at the Arts Council in July 2017.

Mauricio Esperon

Staunton, VA

Acrylic

Member Since October 2017

Mauricio Esperon has been located in Staunton VA with his family since 2006. He is an abstract and expressionist painter who has been inspired by early 20th-century painters. He has displayed some painting throughout the area, including a show at the Arts Council in July 2017.


  Jerry Coulter    Harrisonburg, VA    Oil and Drawing Media     Member Since September 2017     Website   My task as an artist is to fit feeling to form.  I have always been interested in the expressive potential of the human form and how to use that form to get the expression in the painting as opposed to letting the figure merely stand for or symbolize something. That is why I generally work with figurative and non-objective imagery at the same time. My studio is often filled with figurative and non-objective paintings at various stages of development. I see no difference in the basic task of fitting feeling to form regardless of which type of painting I am working on at the time. I enjoy the freedom from realistic imagery in non-objective painting while at the same time facing the daunting task of bringing order out of chaos in the search of the perfect fit of form to feeling.  My task is to make the form expressive not descriptive.

Jerry Coulter

Harrisonburg, VA

Oil and Drawing Media

Member Since September 2017

Website

My task as an artist is to fit feeling to form.

I have always been interested in the expressive potential of the human form and how to use that form to get the expression in the painting as opposed to letting the figure merely stand for or symbolize something. That is why I generally work with figurative and non-objective imagery at the same time. My studio is often filled with figurative and non-objective paintings at various stages of development. I see no difference in the basic task of fitting feeling to form regardless of which type of painting I am working on at the time. I enjoy the freedom from realistic imagery in non-objective painting while at the same time facing the daunting task of bringing order out of chaos in the search of the perfect fit of form to feeling.

My task is to make the form expressive not descriptive.


  Linda Baughan Norton    Broadway, VA    Watercolor, Pastel Painting, Drawing Media     Member Since July 2017      Website    Linda has had a life-long love of the arts. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she graduated from Lynchburg College with a B.A Degree in Art and Secondary Education and went on to teach art at all levels of public school. Her love of working with color has always been important to her. For over twenty-five years she has worked as an Interior designer and paint color consultant specializing in small space design.  Over the last fifteen years she has returned to her love of watercolor, drawing and pastel painting on a full time basis. She is a part of the Wednesday Studio in Washington, DC, The Deer Isle Artists' Association in Maine, The Baltimore Watercolor Society and The Gallery at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA as well as Valley Arts/ Arts Council of the Valley.  She really enjoys the sometimes hectic and rewarding life of a successful exhibiting artist.

Linda Baughan Norton

Broadway, VA

Watercolor, Pastel Painting, Drawing Media

Member Since July 2017

Website

Linda has had a life-long love of the arts. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she graduated from Lynchburg College with a B.A Degree in Art and Secondary Education and went on to teach art at all levels of public school. Her love of working with color has always been important to her. For over twenty-five years she has worked as an Interior designer and paint color consultant specializing in small space design.

Over the last fifteen years she has returned to her love of watercolor, drawing and pastel painting on a full time basis. She is a part of the Wednesday Studio in Washington, DC, The Deer Isle Artists' Association in Maine, The Baltimore Watercolor Society and The Gallery at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA as well as Valley Arts/ Arts Council of the Valley.

She really enjoys the sometimes hectic and rewarding life of a successful exhibiting artist.


  john ros    Harrisonburg, VA    Mixed Media Installation     Member Since July 2017      Website    i create durational, site-responsive interventions that involve a process of taking up residence within a place to fully engage with the location, its surroundings and every element within it. my exploration begins without parameters, allowing for the possible and impossible. delving into the idiosyncratic elements of each space, assembling and disassembling, shifting, accumulating and rearranging material, subtle dynamics and possibilities are emphasized. all components are sourced on site and can include building materials, refuse and discarded objects, light sources, natural light and sound, as well as data, research materials and objects from collections and archives. over time, in creating spatial tensions and contradictions within these subtle, often minimal environments, the viewer’s sensitivity is intensified. potential for agency and new opportunities become apparent as the inconspicuous moments that surround us are amplified, and the quiet sounds within our larger systems of operation may be sensed.

john ros

Harrisonburg, VA

Mixed Media Installation

Member Since July 2017

Website

i create durational, site-responsive interventions that involve a process of taking up residence within a place to fully engage with the location, its surroundings and every element within it. my exploration begins without parameters, allowing for the possible and impossible. delving into the idiosyncratic elements of each space, assembling and disassembling, shifting, accumulating and rearranging material, subtle dynamics and possibilities are emphasized. all components are sourced on site and can include building materials, refuse and discarded objects, light sources, natural light and sound, as well as data, research materials and objects from collections and archives. over time, in creating spatial tensions and contradictions within these subtle, often minimal environments, the viewer’s sensitivity is intensified. potential for agency and new opportunities become apparent as the inconspicuous moments that surround us are amplified, and the quiet sounds within our larger systems of operation may be sensed.


  Claudia Furlow    Shenandoah, VA    Oil Paint     Member since October 2018      Website    Exploring themes of memory, transcendence, and Time as The Leviathan, my current research investigates subject matter in a state of "betweenness," using blurred oil paint technique and glazes.

Claudia Furlow

Shenandoah, VA

Oil Paint

Member since October 2018

Website

Exploring themes of memory, transcendence, and Time as The Leviathan, my current research investigates subject matter in a state of "betweenness," using blurred oil paint technique and glazes.


  Lyndi Angermeier    Staunton, VA    Acrylic and Oil     Member since September 2018      Website     I  spent my childhood on the beaches of Florida and 20 years painting in northern California, where the Big Sur coast captured my attention. Living in the Shenandoah Valley has rekindled my interest in landscape painting and exploring the effects of sunlight. My work reveals my fascination with the abstract qualities of water and the beautiful pageantry of colors that appear in the sky and mountains.  Making art allows me to focus on the beauty that surrounds us, connecting me to a profound joy. It’s my way of serving others with purpose and passion. I turn to nature to be nurtured and to have a sense of being grounded. I believe we all need the embrace of place, the memory of a sweeter time. It’s my hope that my paintings will transport you there, again and again.

Lyndi Angermeier

Staunton, VA

Acrylic and Oil

Member since September 2018

Website

I spent my childhood on the beaches of Florida and 20 years painting in northern California, where the Big Sur coast captured my attention. Living in the Shenandoah Valley has rekindled my interest in landscape painting and exploring the effects of sunlight. My work reveals my fascination with the abstract qualities of water and the beautiful pageantry of colors that appear in the sky and mountains.

Making art allows me to focus on the beauty that surrounds us, connecting me to a profound joy. It’s my way of serving others with purpose and passion. I turn to nature to be nurtured and to have a sense of being grounded. I believe we all need the embrace of place, the memory of a sweeter time. It’s my hope that my paintings will transport you there, again and again.


  Doris M. Martin    Mount Solon, VA    Acrylic     Member since June 2018    Most of my paintings are done in acrylic and can be described as abstract. I am primarily an intuitive painter depending a great deal on color to express myself. The process of creating a painting sometimes requires many iterations before being resolved; at other times, a finished painting may evolve quite quickly. I find great satisfaction in exploring and experimenting which has led to a “style” that varies with my muses. The world around me, particularly the natural scenes and experiences near our country home, provide many initial inspirations.

Doris M. Martin

Mount Solon, VA

Acrylic

Member since June 2018

Most of my paintings are done in acrylic and can be described as abstract. I am primarily an intuitive painter depending a great deal on color to express myself. The process of creating a painting sometimes requires many iterations before being resolved; at other times, a finished painting may evolve quite quickly. I find great satisfaction in exploring and experimenting which has led to a “style” that varies with my muses. The world around me, particularly the natural scenes and experiences near our country home, provide many initial inspirations.


  Stephen J. Flora    Harrisonburg, VA    Various media     Member since May 2018      Instagram    I paint fast because I can't wait to see how it's going to turn out. I work with, or play with acrylic, pastels, pencil and whatever else is there. I love to paint surfers because of the fluidity of the wave.

Stephen J. Flora

Harrisonburg, VA

Various media

Member since May 2018

Instagram

I paint fast because I can't wait to see how it's going to turn out. I work with, or play with acrylic, pastels, pencil and whatever else is there. I love to paint surfers because of the fluidity of the wave.


  Paul Zdepski    Strasburg, VA    Cartoons, Comics, Painting, Sculpture, Metal Work, Furniture Design, Wood Carving     Member Since February 2018      Website    |    Blog    |    YouTube    |    Facebook    “I’m doing work to make myself laugh.”  Paul is a cartoonist, illustrator and university professor who applies his skill and sense of humor to Editorial Cartoons, Comics and Paintings, as well as Sculpture, Metal Work, Furniture Design and Woodcarving.  The work begins in Paul's sketchbook. “I've been carrying a sketchbook since 1975, documenting my surroundings and writing down ideas. I prefer to use a Blackwing pencil on Strathmore paper, but lately I'll draw in my trusty sketchbook, scan it into the computer, and finalize the drawing on my Wacom Cintiq."  Regionally, Paul has shown at the WMRA Studios, Larkin Gallery and the Wooden Trout in Harrisonburg. His work has also been featured in the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley – Winchester, Edison Place Gallery – Washington DC, and the Society of Illustrators – New York.  Paul holds a BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and an MFA in Illustration from the University of Hartford. He is a member of the Society of Illustrators – NY, and the Illustrator’s Club of DC, MD and VA.  Paul is an Associate Professor of Graphic Communication at the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, MD. He also lectures locally at Shenandoah University, the Shenandoah Arts Council, and local schools.  He lives in Strasburg Virginia with his family, surrounded by some very nice neighbors that aren't put off by the occasional roar of chainsaw carving.

Paul Zdepski

Strasburg, VA

Cartoons, Comics, Painting, Sculpture, Metal Work, Furniture Design, Wood Carving

Member Since February 2018

Website | Blog | YouTube | Facebook

“I’m doing work to make myself laugh.”

Paul is a cartoonist, illustrator and university professor who applies his skill and sense of humor to Editorial Cartoons, Comics and Paintings, as well as Sculpture, Metal Work, Furniture Design and Woodcarving.

The work begins in Paul's sketchbook. “I've been carrying a sketchbook since 1975, documenting my surroundings and writing down ideas. I prefer to use a Blackwing pencil on Strathmore paper, but lately I'll draw in my trusty sketchbook, scan it into the computer, and finalize the drawing on my Wacom Cintiq."

Regionally, Paul has shown at the WMRA Studios, Larkin Gallery and the Wooden Trout in Harrisonburg. His work has also been featured in the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley – Winchester, Edison Place Gallery – Washington DC, and the Society of Illustrators – New York.

Paul holds a BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and an MFA in Illustration from the University of Hartford. He is a member of the Society of Illustrators – NY, and the Illustrator’s Club of DC, MD and VA.

Paul is an Associate Professor of Graphic Communication at the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, MD. He also lectures locally at Shenandoah University, the Shenandoah Arts Council, and local schools.

He lives in Strasburg Virginia with his family, surrounded by some very nice neighbors that aren't put off by the occasional roar of chainsaw carving.


  Bahir Badry    Bridgewater, VA    Mixed Media     Member Since December 2017      Facebook    This art deals with the idea of resolving the issues of mankind through the search for justice, freedom and our existence. To conceive this idea, I utilize both the elements and the symbols of the totem art. These feelings are brought about as a result of being deprived of the elements of humanity; peace, love and freedom from where I grew up. I belong to the ancient city of Ur ( Sumerian civilization), thus, the culture of one of the earliest civilizations in the world is engraved in me.

Bahir Badry

Bridgewater, VA

Mixed Media

Member Since December 2017

Facebook

This art deals with the idea of resolving the issues of mankind through the search for justice, freedom and our existence. To conceive this idea, I utilize both the elements and the symbols of the totem art. These feelings are brought about as a result of being deprived of the elements of humanity; peace, love and freedom from where I grew up. I belong to the ancient city of Ur ( Sumerian civilization), thus, the culture of one of the earliest civilizations in the world is engraved in me.


  Jo Ansah    Harrisonburg, VA    Mixed Media     Member Since November 2017    Jo Ansah is a mixed media artist from Harrisonburg, Virginia. She creates abstract, non- representational compositions by combining a variety of art supplies with discarded materials. She has exhibited her work in numerous group and juried shows around the state.

Jo Ansah

Harrisonburg, VA

Mixed Media

Member Since November 2017

Jo Ansah is a mixed media artist from Harrisonburg, Virginia. She creates abstract, non- representational compositions by combining a variety of art supplies with discarded materials. She has exhibited her work in numerous group and juried shows around the state.


  Gene Gibb    Port Republic, VA    Paintings     Member Since February 2016    I believe that the contemplation of beauty is good for one’s spirit. My love of art began in earnest in 1987 when I saw the Georgia O’keefe centennial retrospective in Washington, D.C. For the next five years, I went to art museums every chance I got. Being a truck driver, I was able to visit many art museums all over the country. In my early forties, I began making my first efforts at learning how to draw and later began studying painting also. In time, I began to see how well the effort to create beauty on paper and canvas harmonized with the simple act of contemplating beauty, each activity enhancing the other and together making life much better. The paths of art and beauty have no end. There is always more to learn, more to discover. The mysteries of beauty await always efforts at deeper understanding. I believe that anyone can seek and benefit from that deeper understanding.

Gene Gibb

Port Republic, VA

Paintings

Member Since February 2016

I believe that the contemplation of beauty is good for one’s spirit. My love of art began in earnest in 1987 when I saw the Georgia O’keefe centennial retrospective in Washington, D.C. For the next five years, I went to art museums every chance I got. Being a truck driver, I was able to visit many art museums all over the country. In my early forties, I began making my first efforts at learning how to draw and later began studying painting also. In time, I began to see how well the effort to create beauty on paper and canvas harmonized with the simple act of contemplating beauty, each activity enhancing the other and together making life much better. The paths of art and beauty have no end. There is always more to learn, more to discover. The mysteries of beauty await always efforts at deeper understanding. I believe that anyone can seek and benefit from that deeper understanding.


  Barbara Camph    Harrisonburg, VA    Stained Glass     Member Since January 2015      Website    I started learning the craft of stained glass in the early 1980’s in California, and only as a hobby. In 1995 we moved to Portugal for an adventure, but were too young not to work. We started our mini-businesses: my husband made furniture and I stained glass. So many people helped us, and we survived, learning so, so much along the way.  After 12 wonderful years in Portugal, we moved to Panama where we continued our trades. We stayed there for six years and then moved to the Shenandoah Valley, where we have family. All this adventure involved moving our furniture, art work, and clothes all over the world; I can’t face packing up all that glass again…sheet by sheet!  This well-travelled glass inspires me. I like to say that “glass talks to me”. There is nothing better than sitting at my work table, with the beautiful glass around me…all of it waiting to be cut and fashioned into something new. How fortunate am I?

Barbara Camph

Harrisonburg, VA

Stained Glass

Member Since January 2015

Website

I started learning the craft of stained glass in the early 1980’s in California, and only as a hobby. In 1995 we moved to Portugal for an adventure, but were too young not to work. We started our mini-businesses: my husband made furniture and I stained glass. So many people helped us, and we survived, learning so, so much along the way.

After 12 wonderful years in Portugal, we moved to Panama where we continued our trades. We stayed there for six years and then moved to the Shenandoah Valley, where we have family. All this adventure involved moving our furniture, art work, and clothes all over the world; I can’t face packing up all that glass again…sheet by sheet!

This well-travelled glass inspires me. I like to say that “glass talks to me”. There is nothing better than sitting at my work table, with the beautiful glass around me…all of it waiting to be cut and fashioned into something new. How fortunate am I?


  Mary Rouse    Harrisonburg, VA    Oil Paintings     Member Since March 2016    As a 71 year old widow, I have not been able to fully retire. Throughout my life, I have baby-sat, bagged groceries, taught school, taught workshops in art and music, sold earrings, and had private piano students for the past 53 years. With a Master's Degree in Education, plus 80+ hours of credit in art, I have worked part time, full time, and all the time to stay financially afloat while going through college, raising two children, being care giver to a husband with leukemia, then widowed at 52. Believe me, it is extremely difficult to get back into a full-time position with education, experience, and gray hair! During my late husband's illness he attempted to train me in business procedures which would enable me to be self-supporting while doing things I enjoyed. It was round the clock work but what he taught me saw me through until Medicare and a small retirement income kicked in.  Because fixed income does not consider inflation realistically, I am continuing to teach students in my tiny cottage and peddle some of my creations. There are still unexpected expenses, along with car maintenance, health and other insurances, eye care, dental care and increasing food costs to deal with in addition to housing. These costs all seem to grow as one ages. I have lost my dog, but cannot add that expense back into my budget.  I live a happy, simple but fulfilling, busy life but have to cut corners in many ways as I piece together my income to live these golden years some folks call "retirement". Ushering at Court Square Theater enables me to see top notch movies and shows free. Playing dinner music occasionally provides a free meal as payment. I do a variety of Volunteer Services with the Arts Council, Sunnyside Retirement Community (where my mother is in Health Care), and my church. This provides cheap entertainment, mental stimulation, interaction with varied age groups, and the feeling that I am helping in the community.  This story is not unique. Many others don't have the skills or health to pursue part time work. I don't know how they maintain mental health or a fulfilling life style. As long as my health holds, my car keeps going, and it is safe for me to drive, I plan to continue being an active participant in my church and community.

Mary Rouse

Harrisonburg, VA

Oil Paintings

Member Since March 2016

As a 71 year old widow, I have not been able to fully retire. Throughout my life, I have baby-sat, bagged groceries, taught school, taught workshops in art and music, sold earrings, and had private piano students for the past 53 years. With a Master's Degree in Education, plus 80+ hours of credit in art, I have worked part time, full time, and all the time to stay financially afloat while going through college, raising two children, being care giver to a husband with leukemia, then widowed at 52. Believe me, it is extremely difficult to get back into a full-time position with education, experience, and gray hair! During my late husband's illness he attempted to train me in business procedures which would enable me to be self-supporting while doing things I enjoyed. It was round the clock work but what he taught me saw me through until Medicare and a small retirement income kicked in.

Because fixed income does not consider inflation realistically, I am continuing to teach students in my tiny cottage and peddle some of my creations. There are still unexpected expenses, along with car maintenance, health and other insurances, eye care, dental care and increasing food costs to deal with in addition to housing. These costs all seem to grow as one ages. I have lost my dog, but cannot add that expense back into my budget.

I live a happy, simple but fulfilling, busy life but have to cut corners in many ways as I piece together my income to live these golden years some folks call "retirement". Ushering at Court Square Theater enables me to see top notch movies and shows free. Playing dinner music occasionally provides a free meal as payment. I do a variety of Volunteer Services with the Arts Council, Sunnyside Retirement Community (where my mother is in Health Care), and my church. This provides cheap entertainment, mental stimulation, interaction with varied age groups, and the feeling that I am helping in the community.

This story is not unique. Many others don't have the skills or health to pursue part time work. I don't know how they maintain mental health or a fulfilling life style. As long as my health holds, my car keeps going, and it is safe for me to drive, I plan to continue being an active participant in my church and community.