If you’ve seen a woman on the sidewalks of Marietta, intently painting the scene in front of her, you have probably witnessed Marita Hines at work. Hines is out in all kinds of weather, working with fast forceful strokes to capture her subject first hand. She prefers this direct approach to what she calls “the poor substitute of a photo reference.” The artist is showing a selection of her watercolors through December at Marietta’s Heart Café, at 17 East Market Street. Many of the pieces in this collection feature Marietta subjects.
Her first mentor, the late Paul Herr of Lititz, introduced her to “Plein Air” – a French term for painting outdoors, right on the spot. The Impressionists come to mind as practitioners of this approach, as they also braved the elements to capture the light and atmosphere. Hines wondered at first “why anyone would risk frostbite when they could paint in a cozy, warm studio?” She continues to muse that “more than 20 years later, all I remember was what a thrilling experience it was to witness the beauty first hand.”
Upon retirement, Hines seized the opportunity to paint full time. She joined a Monday Night Plein Air group that meets in locations across Lancaster County. She recently won First Place for overall work at the 2017 Landis Woods Art Show.
During the last two years she painted the Maine coast in workshops with nationally- known watercolor artists Mike Baile and Andy Evansen. Hines is especially drawn to small town street scenes like those she encounters daily here in historic Marietta. Several of these town paintings are included in the Heart Café exhibit.
Hines says “I love art that is loose, painterly or impressionistic and strive to paint in such a style.” She hopes someday to have her own unique style that will inspire others, but, in the meantime, she is enjoying the journey.
Marita Hines will be at Heart Cafe to chat with viewers and show additional work during Marietta’s Candlelight Tour on December 3rd. Her work and information on future shows can also be viewed online at www.artspell.info.