Three Generations of Painters

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By Linda Cicoira — Three generations of painters from a local family are showing their art at the Red Queen Gallery, in Onancock, through October. 

The youngest, Violet Monroe Clark, has been painting for about a year. She loves picking her own colors and using many different sized brushes to make her abstract work. 

Violet started painting when she was 18 months old. At 2 1/2, she has already sold three paintings from the show, which started last Friday. “I will be putting the money straight into her college fund,” said Sarah Brown Clark, her mother.

Clark, is a visual arts instructor at Nandua Middle School, in Onley. Her paintings are also on display at the gallery. 

“I get my inspiration from the fish and shellfish I catch and harvest, mostly from Folly’s Creek in Accomac, where my husband is from,” said Clark. “I love studying the patterns and colors in the local fish and oysters.”

Clark also started painting at a young age. “My favorite photo is of me as a three year old holding one of my dad’s paint brushes. He always let me use his supplies just like I let Violet use all of my painting supplies. It was only natural for me to give her my canvases and acrylics rather than buy her kid paint or finger paints. She just skipped those.”

Her dad, Todd Brown, “is more inspired by the history of the Shore and the way of life here,” Clark said. “He tries to capture moments on the Shore around the water.” 

His specialty is realistic landscapes. They are perfect.

“It is fascinating to see their art,” said gallery owner MaryAnn Connelly. “Todd’s is traditional with great detail and a sense of calm. Sarah’s work runs the gamut from realistic to imaginary with subtle movement. And Violet is a riot of color and motion.”

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