Cheryl Ann Bearss – Nature and the Soul
February 23rd, 2023 – May 16th, 2023
I believe in the possibility of direct access to the divine through nature. Nature itself brings a kind of perfect spiritual state. I venture out into nature in search of the miraculous, something that touches my soul. I would like to share my experience of wonder through this series of oil paintings. – Cheryl Ann Bearss
It is an honor to be showing my paintings at the Woman’s National Democratic Club. In this exhibition, titled “Nature and the Soul,” my paintings reflect the lifelong love I have for hiking, plein air painting and just about anything that I can do outdoors.
When I began preparing for this show last year, I read many quotes from Thoreau and Emerson and found their sentiments about nature mirror my own. The titles of my paintings are inspired by the quotes that most resonate with me.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
I am lucky to live in an area with so many trees. I only need to step out my front door in any season to experience them. Washington, DC has been known as the “City of Trees” for more than 100 years. There are diverse native species that grow next to trees brought in from many parts of the world by DC’s international community.
Every day, I am presented with gifts of nature – a sunrise, a storm, a spring blossom, a falling leaf, the texture of bark. the light dappling through green leaves, the gentle swaying branches, a foggy morning. I revisit these subjects that are dear to me in my paintings.
When I take a walk, leaving behind my cell phone, computer, and tv, I feel a weight is lifted and my spirit is filled with peace. Simplifying and removing myself from everyday worries and material belongings opens my senses to absorb the natural world around me.
Strolling down a quiet path or even a city street, I am invited to inspect everything from a small leaf to a gentle giant. Alone and accepted, I sense the trees are nodding to me and I to them. And up through the branches and blossoms, a lovely breeze can transform my mood. In nature, I feel my soul is satisfied and repaired. I am home.
Cheryl Ann Bearss lives with her family in McLean, VA. She has lived, taught, and practiced art in the DC area for 30 years. She grew up in NW Indiana with her mom and four sisters. She has a passion for hiking, camping, kayaking, and all things outdoors and combines her love of family and nature with her art.
Cheryl has a BA in Art from Indiana State University, a MA in Art from Indiana University, and 80+ credit hours of additional studies in art at the University of California, University of Washington, University of Minnesota, and the Corcoran College of Art at GWU.