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Sketch of Two Cities

Martha DD Brumbaugh's sketches on display.

At the Loft Gallery in Occoquan, two of the world's most famous cities come to life with clean lines and bright colors in an exhibit by Martha DD Brumbaugh. "Sketches of London and Paris in Winter" runs until March 4 at gallery, 313 Mill St., Occoquan, with an opening reception on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 1-4 p.m. The Alexandria resident draws her inspiration from the people around her and from artists such as Joan Miro and Marc Chagall, and hopes in her exhibit to convey quieter moments in the two bright, lively cities.

Who are your major influences? My father who taught me laughter and friendliness to all, my uncle Carl who taught me to appreciate all that is beautiful and my husband who is my strength, support and love.

Who are your major art influences? Years of classes at the Torpedo Factory, my teachers Pamela Sarah and Joe Mayer; Monet, Picasso, Miro, Kandinsky, Manet, Chagall and the cave painters of Altimira, Lascaux, Pech Merle, Font de Gaume.

When did you first begin creating art? I first became inspired to create art in graduate school at UCLA in geography, out in the field. The spouse of one of the other students was an artist and accompanied us with sketchpad and colored pencils. Did I always know that I wanted to be an artist? No.

What is the motif of the show? The motif of the show is "Sketches of London and Paris in Winter." It is my intent to portray the more intimate experiences of London and Paris in a season that is less glamorous, so to speak. For me, London and Paris are alive with life and art and beauty with or without leaves on the trees and tourists and a multitude of outdoor events. They are favorite cities whose vitality are a stimulus to life and living.

Where do you do most of your work? I do most of my work at my studio at the Loft Art Center in Occoquan or while participating in an art show. I prefer outdoor light. I usually listen to classical music or Tibetan meditative chants or silence. I like both the stillness of silence and meditative chants and the beauty and inspiration of classical music.

What is your favorite medium? My favorite medium is watercolor because of its transparency, its color energy, its flow.

What do you hope viewers get out of the show? What I hope viewers get out of the art show is an appreciation of the simple, of the everyday and perhaps be motivated to enjoy the scenes of winter in London and Paris for themselves.

What is your favorite work? My favorite artwork are the watercolor sketches of major landscape painters such as Turner and Winslow Homer, and the cave art of Lasscaux France and Altamira, Spain.

— Lea Mae Rice