By Rose Harrison Bowman
For the month of February, I will be the Beaufort Art Association Featured Artist and my exhibit will be called “Under the Spell of the Lowcountry.”
If you live in the area, you’ll probably recognize some of the scenes in my paintings, because most of them were inspired by views seen throughout the sea islands that dot the East Coast of the United States from North Carolina to Florida. The majority of the paintings in this show are based on views seen from St. Helena, Dataw, and Hunting islands.
I came to the Lowcountry on a sailboat in 2000, but soon had to leave to go back to my job in the Midwest, where I had lived most of my life. Soon I realized that I had left my heart here, where the beautiful Beaufort River meets the sea. I moved here as soon as I could, and that began a very exciting part of my life as an artist.
I love watercolor, especially the glow of the transparency of the medium. I also am fascinated with the unique quality of watercolor that allows the artist to use both soft and hard edges, which can give an impression of in-and-out of focus.
I am a third generation artist — my father attended the Chicago Art Institute and my grandmother enjoyed painting. When I was young, I liked to watch my dad paint, but only realized my passion for watercolors as an adult. I began to study art over 30 years ago, and have had many inspiring teachers, as well as encouragement from my fabulous husband and family and friends.
After teaching for many years, I became a clinical psychologist. I specialized in treatment of survivors of trauma, and I found that the classes I took regarding art therapy were very helpful to my clients. I began using art to help them process feelings, to make communication easier, and to promote healing. Soon I began doing “art for art’s sake.” The joy of painting was on the “back burner” for a long time. My family, home, and my work occupied most of my time. At last, I have time to paint almost everyday. I’m in love with the Lowcountry, and everywhere I look I see things I want to interpret in art! I’m also enveloped in an environment that is very supportive for artists.
I have been a BAA member for more than 10 years. I’m excited about being the Featured Artist at Beaufort Art Association Gallery on Bay Street from February 17 through March 29. All are welcome to attend my art reception on Friday, Feb. 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.