For the month of March, the paintings of Clarissa Jan Ward will be on display in the F.W. Gallery at Woolworth Walk in an exhibit titled Finding My Way. Ward not only enjoys using a variety of materials, including oil, watercolor and ink, but also tackles different subjects in her art, from literal landscapes to the fantastic and surreal.
The show’s title applies to both the way Ward discovers the subject of her landscape paintings as well as the artistic process for her surreal paintings. “I love setting off for a new location, finding new views at the top of each trail and around every bend,” she says. “I get lost in my own world while painting and hiking. When I create my surreal or fantasy paintings, I begin by marbling on paper or canvas and find inspiration for imagery in the abstract lines and shapes left by the marbling process. The paintings evolve as I work on them, so it is truly a process of finding my way.”
A native of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Ward has a master’s in art education from Georgia State University and a master’s in painting from Marywood University. Before moving to Weaverville in 2013, the artist had a 20-year career as a painting and art teacher in Georgia and Pennsylvania. She first started showing her paintings professionally in 1999, and has since received several awards for her mixed media, watercolors and oil paintings. Ward has been represented at Woolworth Walk since 2016, and she is excited to be able to branch out of her small space and display some larger pieces in the F.W. Gallery. “I have some newly completed oil paintings of some of my favorite spots in our region,” she says, “and I will also include a few of my larger watercolors and marbled fantasy artworks. There will also be some wooden boxes that I paint with landscape scenes.”
Ward’s paintings are available for purchase at Woolworth Walk and the artist also participates in the Weaverville Art Safari and accepts commissions. There will be an opening reception for her F.W. Gallery show on Friday, March 2, from 4–6 p.m.
F.W. Gallery at Woolworth Walk is located at 25 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828.254.9234 or visit woolworthwalk.com.