by Erika Maston
Cynthia was commissioned last year by members Jim and Pam Porter to paint pieces reflecting the view from their new home. They were introduced by Dallas based designer Deborah Lloyd Forrest, whose company, ForrestPerkins, is known for designing distinctive luxury hotels. After meeting Cynthia and falling in love with her work, the Porters wanted to share the beautiful horizons of Colleton River to inspire the artist. They took her to the Dye Clubhouse for a glass of wine, and then to the tip of the 13th hole to take photos and enjoy the view. While not a golfer herself, Cynthia has family who enjoy the game, and she commented she had never seen such a beautiful golf course. She loved all the unique lights and colors – very different from the Hamptons in New York. Before beginning the project for the Porters, Cynthia did her preliminary studies on the 13th hole of the Pete Dye Course, and says it is “the most beautiful spot (she’s) ever seen.”
Cynthia has been painting for about 30 years and describes her work as very “atmospheric.” The paintings are not site specific, but capture many evolving moments of light, weather and time. She is an en plein aire artist, painting in the space outside. Since the canvases for the project were too large for her own studio, she painted for over a year from the Porter’s “tree house” while their home was under construction. The paintings evolved as the house also evolved around her, and now hang on either side of the great room fireplace. They reflect the view from the Porter’s home as seen early in the morning and late in the afternoon. She also painted two canvases that will be applied to the wall on the great foyer window.
Cynthia says “the experience of being in Colleton River was magnificent, and the light and weather changes on the river were quite inspiring and peaceful to witness.” While she is known as a seascape artist and has never included land in her paintings, the changes in the horizon and tides were so beautiful that glimpses of land appeared in her work. She loves the changes in light and the combination of the view of river, land and ocean. She describes the project as lovely, fun and enchanting, crafted through getting to know the Porters, and says “it was such a gift to be at Colleton.”
Cynthia recently relocated to the area and now resides in Hilton Head Island with her daughter, Holly, who is also quite talented and will attend the SCAD architectural program next year. Although she has not gotten involved in the art world much since moving to the Lowcountry, she is considering teaching and would certainly entertain another commission on location in the area. Cynthia is represented by Heidi Lange of DC Moore Gallery in New York. The Gallery, now located in Chelsea, shows a mix of more than twenty contemporary artists and also offers the finest in twentieth-century American painting, sculpture and works on paper.
A showing of Cynthia’s work will be held in the Dye Clubhouse on June 7th from 5 to 7pm along with those of West Fraser.
West Fraser is a native of the Lowcountry whose work depicts richly painted vistas of cities, coasts and landscapes. Like Knott, Fraser captures the particular atmospheric conditions and nuances of light he finds very important to the poetry of painting, and the activity and energy of the surroundings charge the story with authenticity. Since childhood, his passion has been to capture a portrait of his homeland, drawing inspiration from the marshes and landscape of the Georgia and South Carolina Coast. He has strived to save in paint the natural places that are threatened by development throughout his 35 year career. West Fraser’s work can be found in countless private collections internationally, and in ten permanent museum collections in Bermuda and across the United States, including the White House, Washington, DC.