After welcoming her to Cabell Gallery in the Fall of 2016, we are so pleased to have Bonnie Mason as our featured artist for July. From breathtaking mountain vistas to beguiling still life compositions, the common thread in Bonnie’s paintings is the depth of emotional connection she has with her subject matter. This connection begins with her deep roots in Virginia, especially the city of Salem, where she has lived her entire life.
Bonnie’s father, an avid hunter, shared his extensive knowledge of the woods and mountains by pointing Bonnie to many a spot to paint that she might never have found otherwise. Since his passing in 2016, Bonnie especially treasures memories of her father accompanying her in his later years while she painted plein air, he by then having traded his gun for a camera.
A full-time artist for almost a decade, Bonnie finds her smaller plein air pieces can sometimes inspire larger works. But, there is always a story beyond just what you see on the canvas. “Summer Breeze” (below), expands on a smaller commissioned work for one of her first collectors for whom memories of that particular view had a special meaning. Bonnie sought to capture what it would have been like to wander through those fields years ago and also how she felt when she saw it for herself on a beautiful, breezy summer’s day.
Bonnie also strives for meaning beyond aesthetics in her lovely still-life compositions. In “Ideal” (left), the blue mason jar is one of several that her parents have passed down to her. The blooming lilacs in the jar are from Bonnie’s garden, but they are especially precious to her because they were grown from a cutting Bonnie made from her mother’s lilacs, which in turn were cultivated from a cutting from her mother’s lilac.
If learning about a native Virginia treasure like artist Bonnie Mason and the story behind both “Summer Breeze” and“Ideal” has you interested in seeing more of her work, we hope you will make plans to come to Cabell Gallery – we have already sold half a dozen of her paintings as of this posting! We are always updating our inventory on the website, www.cabellgallery.com, or you may contact us directly with any questions or to make an appointment outside of gallery hours.