LIVING IN COLOR

BY TATYANA MURPHY

The world of art is always a world of adventure and discovery. The experience of art can be as exciting and all-consuming as falling in love. Such is the case for artist Cherie Giddens, whose lifelong artistic involvement encompasses many creative facets, from teaching to exhibiting to running a fine art gallery.

Giddens’ vibrant personality seems to shine through her paintings. “I’ve been passionate about watercolor since my first watercolor class in college. I love the way watercolor flows and mixes on paper. I use the surprises of shape and color to create the illusions of light and texture in my work. I love to work out a painting until it comes to life,” she says, excitement easily discernible in her voice as she describes her art.

There is something very magnetic about her pieces. They are timeless in their appeal, serene and beautiful, as if captured by magic. “I never get tired of the excitement that comes from the flow of paint on paper. Inspiration combined with skill form the process, but it’s always an enchantment to help bring something beautiful to life,” Giddens says.

An accomplished watercolorist, with numerous awards in The Trinity Arts League and Southwestern Watercolor Society, Giddens dedicated her life not only to the practice of her craft, but also to art education, teaching in private schools as well as adult classes and workshops. Giddens Gallery of Fine Art is yet another avenue to connect the public with her work and the creative world.

Located in Grapevine, Texas, the gallery welcomes all visitors to the area and is known for its warm and relaxed atmosphere. “Our goal is to make people comfortable to ask questions, learn about different artistic media, get excited by the variety and the scope of talent we represent,” Giddens says with pride. “In the last five years, we have made our gallery a local destination.”

From photo-realism to abstraction to sculpture, Giddens Gallery of Fine Art represents a sizable number of local artists who work in a variety of media. When asked how the gallery selects talent, Giddens says the main objective is to be able to showcase a unique style and presence of the artist as well as gather a well-rounded assortment of art. The collection features lots of color with some whimsy in sculptural pieces.

“The main purpose of such variety is to give people the ability to find a one-of-a-kind piece that speaks directly to them. The influx of digital reproductions and photo printing systems into the art world has made the value of owning original art skyrocket. We feel that art should be as unique as the individual artist who creates it and as unique as the person who purchases it. When you purchase something that you love it becomes a lifetime treasure,” Giddens says. “Our gallery not only caters to select connoisseurs, who seek specific pieces, but to the wider public, who are eager and interested to learn.”

Another appeal of Giddens Gallery are the regular artist receptions that are organized about once a month. The gallery presents new works of one of the resident artists and invites patrons to meet the artist in person, ask questions and mingle over wine and hors d’oeuvres. This intimate atmosphere allows people to get better acquainted with artists and their creations, develop relationships and establish followings for the new talent.

One of Giddens’ new endeavors is the expansion of her clientele through partnerships with interior designers and decorators. “We have had great success with several custom projects,” she says. “Our goal is to invite more designers to take our paintings directly to their clients’ environments, experiment with them, illustrate how they come to life in a home setting. I want to be able to build a network that connects our artists, designers and their customers to facilitate creation of exciting new custom art pieces—the ones that can only be born in collaboration.”

Tatyana Murphy is a Dallas-based creative professional, freelance writer and editor, who specializes in fashion, art and design.