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AGA Highlights Watercolorists with a Passion for Travel

Blue Ridge Parkway. Claire Simpson Jones, artist

Claire Simpson Jones and Donny Luke will be featured at Asheville Gallery of Art (AGA) in Oh The Places We’ve Been & The Places We’ll Go, on display through May 31.

The two artists are members of Western North Carolina Plein Air Painters and often meet up to paint together. They both joined AGA in November of 2020 and, because of their love of traveling and their shared medium, decided to have a joint show. “Claire and I both paint similarly and enjoy similar influences even though our painting styles express our individuality,” says Donny. “Because we are influenced by many of the same artists, our paintings have a number of similarities that can be recognized in our work.”

This show will include paintings developed from reference photos based on each artist’s individual experiences and separate travels, as well as plein air paintings they’ve done side by side locally. For Claire, that includes paintings inspired by hiking in the Cotswolds and driving the Great Ocean Road in Australia. Donny’s paintings depict locations in the US, Alaska, Canada and Mexico. “Our watercolors are similar enough that guests who visit here go back and forth looking at our paintings to decide what to purchase,” Claire says. “What makes our paintings more unique to each of us possibly has to do with our backgrounds. As a retired architect, Donny’s subject matter often includes architectural elements with strong compositions and subtle colors. As a retired high school teacher, I had to be a jack of all trades in the arts so my tendency is to always try out many different subjects and an extremely varied color palette. This creates a juxtaposition that will entice audiences.”

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