“Do you ever have those moments where nature stops you in your tracks?” For Asheville-based painter Bronwen McCormick, it happens all of the time. Perhaps it’s because she lives a hop, skip, and a jump away from Bent Creek Experimental Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which inspires her to paint Western North Carolina’s mountains in all of their glory. In fact, she’s so intrigued by her local hiking spots that she works under the name Bent Creek Watercolor.
“My artwork explores the natural world and the beauty of our mountain landscapes,” Bronwen says. “When you look at my watercolors my hope is that you feel as if you are in nature, whether standing among the trees, or enjoying a view.” With the delicate, fluid essence of watercolors, Bronwen mimics the uninhibited fluidity of the natural world. Whether it’s the clouds swirling above the mountains or shadows dancing on a tree-lined trail, she masterfully captures movement.
In Artsville’s Interview with Bronwen McCormick...
She describes her experience working with the Collective for a three-month group exhibition that showed at Marquee Asheville. Scroll down to read more and to see a selection of her paintings.
You have been a supporter of us since we started as Sand Hill Artists Collective and then as we became Artsville Collective. How has this relationship impacted your art?
[Bronwen McCormick]: It is exciting to be recognized among other artists. There are so many talented artists in our small area—so much inspiration and creativity. The relationship added energy and purpose to my own art-making. SHAC’s advocacy and engagement with artists in our area highlights just how much is going on locally and how rich the art community really is. SHAC/Artsville serves as a connection point and community builder for those that create and those that enjoy art.
Artsville gave me the opportunity to put my art out in the real world (vs. online) by providing a venue and allowing it to be received and seen. There is the creative making process and then the viewing/reception process. It was interesting to see and hear how people responded to my work and helped complete the circle from creation to viewing.
How has working with Artsville impacted your studio commitment and career?
[BM]: Proof of concept. It provided the opportunity for people to see my work up close and in person. There are things that don’t translate through a screen such as texture and scale. Artsville provided a professional venue with a lower financial barrier—a huge opportunity for an emerging artist.
This opportunity also reminded me to continue to represent the landscape the way that I see it and people will respond.
Artsville is meant to build community and provide direction for artists, advancing opportunities and generating income as they build their future. What did you learn from your experience exhibiting with Artsville at Marquee?
[BM]: I was able to experiment a bit and remain true to my creative vision, creating work that has appeal to others. This is such a challenging tightrope to walk and the risk is to lose creative integrity for the sake of sales. It allowed me to “test the market” by displaying the work that is both meaningful to me and has value to others.
In addition, the process of exhibiting my work in a gallery space like Artsville allowed me to further hone methods of finishing and presenting work. The support that Artsville provided in both the venue of Marquee and through marketing/social media presence let me just do the art part, which is really every artist's dream.