Current Exhibition

Jean Hirons

A Colorist’s DC: Pastel Cityscapes

The exhibition opens on February 12, 2020, and will be on display in our Ballroom Gallery until May 6, 2020.

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 6:30-8:00pm (FREE)

Jean Hirons is a native of New England, who moved to the DC area in 1976. She majored in art but became a librarian, working her last twenty years at the Library of Congress. In 2003, she retired to pursue a career as a pastel painter. She has worked exclusively in this beautiful medium since 1994.

Jean is well known for her use of expressive color. She considers herself to be a .“color harmonist” and feels free to alter colors as she sees fit. A number of the paintings in the show were done from black and white photos, allowing her to more freely select a desired color palette.

Her subject of choice is the landscape, often focusing on buildings in the landscape. For many years, she painted New England houses and rural farms. For the past five years, she has been painting various aspects of Washington DC, beginning with a walk on the C&O canal in Georgetown on January 1, 2015. She chose six images and created a series that explores the buildings, bridges, and reflections from various angles. She went next to Capitol Hill, filming and painting the back alleys in all seasons. Alleys have always been an attraction for her, and those on the Hill have both history and beauty.

Jean next explored Chinatown, painting three scenes from a sunny day in February 2018. The variety of the building styles, the colorful light posts, and the red trash cans made for intriguing subject matter. These paintings are also significant as they are the first in which she has added larger figures. In June 2019, she visited Dupont Circle several times and created a new series of paintings of the lovely tree-lined streets. She also couldn’t resist doing a painting of the WNDC building with its colorful donkey peeking out from the bushes! She continues to search for new areas of inspiration for future paintings.

Jean is a member of Artists and Makers Studios in Rockville, where she paints and teaches. She published her book, Finding Your Style in Pastel, in 2012. Her work has won many awards and she has attained signature status in the Pastel Society of America and master circle status in the International Association of Pastel Societies. Her paintings can be seen at Chesapeake Frame in Kensington and on her website: