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Soaking up summer at Colonial Beach
BY LIANA BAYNE
Visitors to the Colonial Beach art scene can catch an exhibit of beachy-themed paintings during “Summertime” by Cindy Packard Richmond at JarrettThor Fine Arts through July 8.
Packard Richmond said her paintings revolve around a summery feel, with subjects including boats, beach scenes and summer foods such as blueberries, strawberries, crabs and ice cream.
Her last exhibit in Colonial Beach was about two years ago, also at JarrettThor, she said.
“Everybody loved her art,” gallery owner Joyce Thor said. She said many regular visitors had specifically requested another showing by Packard Richmond, and many purchased her paintings.
Packard Richmond took a somewhat unconventional route to becoming an artist. She was a writer for 20 years, focusing mainly on novels and food writing. After her mother, who had been a painter, died 12 years ago, Packard Richmond enrolled in painting classes to feel closer to her mother’s memory.
“It was a shock,” she said. “I was shocked to discover that I could paint.”
Packard Richmond left her writing career to focus on painting after that.
“I switched gears at 52 years old,” she said. “It was a huge change in direction.”
She described her painting style as realistic but using vibrant color.
She lives in Annandale and is a resident artist at the Torpedo Factory Artist Association in Old Town Alexandria.
Thor has also been involved with the Torpedo Factory for some time. She met Packard Richmond while serving on the association’s board of directors.
“I’ve always admired her art,” Thor said.
Packard Richmond said she loves art because of the instant gratification associated with creating a painting and being able to immediately show it to someone, as opposed to waiting for an agent to approve a manuscript.
She said she likes hearing back from viewers about her art.
“Some feedback makes me see a painting in a different light,” she said.
Packard Richmond said she likes visiting Colonial Beach.
“It’s very funky and it’s a great mix of people and it’s very relaxed,” she said.
One of the paintings in her exhibit is of a crab boat from Colonial Beach she saw when she had an art display at JarrettThor.
As Packard Richmond has showed, it’s never too late to get started painting.
“It was very liberating,” she said.
JarrettThor Fine Arts, a 2,000-square-foot gallery, is home to between 12 and 20 exhibits per year.
“We’re getting to be well-known,” Thor said, “and that’s wonderful.”
What: “Summertime” by Cindy Packard Richmond
Where: JarrettThor Fine Arts, 100 Taylor St., No. 101, Colonial Beach
When: Through July 8; gallery is normally open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Info: 804/224-7200; jarretthor.com
Liana Bayne: 540/374-5444