The September pairing of two area artists, Anne Rauton Smith and Judy Adamick, in the Aiken Artist Guild gallery inside the Aiken Art Center should come as no surprise.
Not only does the work of each artist complement that of the other, but the two are good friends who paint together weekly.
Both of them live on the Ridge – Adamick near Ward and Smith near Johnston – and both draw inspiration from the countryside around them. However, that countryside manifests itself in different ways in their paintings.
Smith is a Johnston native who, with her husband Clyde, returned to the family homestead, remodeling what was once a tenant house on her family's farm and then building a studio behind.
Smith is well known in her own community and beyond for pen and ink drawings that sometimes remain black and white, but often become the basis for her watercolor paintings.
She has pictured a variety of buildings over the years and has drawn and painted residences on commission, but when you look at her work as a whole, it is clear that old barns and other farm buildings are a favorite.
Her work expresses admiration for them as they weather old age, and it becomes a memorial to their past lives when the buildings crumble.
Adamick is a Connecticut native who grew up on a dairy farm. She moved to Ridge Spring with her husband to open a bed and breakfast, Southwood Manor, which included a fly-in facility for pilots.
Upon her husband's death, she sold the house and found a country place: 12 acres on a pond with a Ward address that just happens to be across the road from her daughter and her family. There she established a menagerie: chickens of several varieties, English Southdown Babydoll Black Sheep, and ducks who waddle through the gate and up the walk in picturesque formation for a morning visit when they hear her put the kettle on for her morning cup of tea.
Not only do these animals provide companionship, but they also provide models for many of Adamick's paintings. She had painted in oils and acrylics before moving to South Carolina and, once here, added watercolor to her repertoire of media.
She continues to work in all three, depending on the subject and the effect for which she is looking.
Besides the exhibit in Aiken, both artists have another project afoot for September.
The Edgefield County Theatre Company will present “Nightwatch,” a suspense thriller by Louise Fletcher in which local artists will adorn the set with paintings reflecting the masterworks of well known artists.
For Adamick, it's an easy choice. Since she has painted in Monet's garden at Giverny, she plans a painting in that artist's style, of water lilies, one of his favorite subjects.
Smith has not yet decided what artist she will imitate, but she knows she will have fun doing it. Though her ink and watercolor pictures offer a distinct style, she occasionally strays from it just for relaxation, painting abstracts and experimenting with different techniques. This will be one more opportunity to try something new.
The Aiken Artist Guild exhibit will provide a large sampling of the work of both artists.
Their work is on display in a variety of other venues, but favorites of both artists are Neighbors Café on 133 North Oak St. in Batesburg and Juniper on 640 East Main in Ridge Spring.
Both are members of the South Carolina Watermedia Society and both have served the Aiken Artist Guild in a variety of capacities.
Their work in the Aiken Art Center at 122 Laurens St. S.W. will be on display from Tuesday through Sept. 26.
A reception on Sept. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. will honor them as well as the 15 artists of Cedar Creek whose work will be in the main gallery. The public is invited.
Photo by Warren Westcott A drafting board works better than an easel for Anne Rauton Smith’s well executed buildings. The painting of the barn in the background won first place in landscape in the recent Aiken Artist Guild annual show.×