Connie Athman's latest show at the Spiral Gallery takes its inspiration from nature.
"Seasonal Sanctuary" features 20 watercolor paintings of flowers, birds and other elements found outdoors. It will hang in the gallery at 341 S. Broadway St. Tuesday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Sept. 27.
Athman began working on the pieces featured in the show last winter.
"I wanted to capture the seasons as they went by," she said, noting that her appreciation of nature grew while working on the project. "It eventually became more than just capturing seasons. I felt the sanctuary part strongly. I think the natural world is becoming that for a lot of people."
While in her garden, Athman took photos of plants and birds to document in watercolor. In the spring, she painted lilacs and crocuses, and in the summer, she painted lilies, poppies and birds. Throughout the seasons, there were a variety of birds present, including herons, loons and owls.
One of Athman's favorite pieces is titled "Sunflower Rays."
"I really like a sunflower that has warm colors and a drippy feel. The sun is radiating through it," she said.
Athman noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced her art in several ways.
"I've been delving more into the idea that I want to paint what's around me in the natural world, and getting solace from that," she said.
She has enjoyed spending this increased time in nature.
"It's provided me with more of an appreciation of what's around us," she said. "I've never really appreciated the natural world, and our earthly cycle, as much as I have these past few months."
Though the Spiral Gallery isn't hosting its typical First Friday gatherings because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Athman is still looking forward to sharing her work.
"I'm excited about people living through the same feelings I [had] as I painted," she said. "Hopefully they take a piece of the natural world with them."
The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and visitors are asked to wear face masks. For more information, visit thespiralgallery.com.
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