BUCKHANNON – The M.I.B. Gallery of the Colonial Arts Center is filled with the creations of a West Virginia artist, and on Friday evening Lydia Grimm herself had the opportunity to unveil her exhibit, ‘Reflection of Creation’, during an artist’s reception.
ART26201 founding member Bryson VanNostrand introduced Grimm, saying she grew up in Butler, Pennsylvania but now lives in Moundsville, West Virginia.
“We have a West Virginia artist in our midst, and we always feel good when we can promote female artists,” VanNostrand said. “And we are especially happy to feature an up-and-coming artist.”
Grimm said she was happy for the opportunity to show her work in the M.I.B. Gallery.
“I have done craft shows, but this is big,” Grimm said, adding that she got started about four years ago when her son was born. “I had post-partum depression, and I was having a really hard time with it, but thankfully, I had a piece from the 1970s that my father did in copper of a steel mill in Pittsburgh.”
Grimm said when she started, she did copper relief or repousse. She said each of the metalwork pieces she completes take several months to finish – especially those made from copper.
“It is one of those timeless things that you see in a lot of antique shops these days,” she said. “I do seal these pieces so they slowly age. The patina is natural. I use a salt and vinegar mixture and polish away.”
Next, Grimm explained how she transitioned from metalwork to acrylic paints.
“I liked painting, and I felt I was never good at it,” Grimm said. “I started with pen and ink, and that is why there are so many areas with lots of brush strokes, stippling and lines. It has been a long, fun journey learning how to paint, and I hope to keep going with it and to grow. As you can see, my paintings are a lot of nature scenes; I hope that reflects my past. My dad took us out looking for fairy mounds when I was young. I try to get the layers in and see them pop off the canvas.”
Grimm said in her acrylic paintings, she feels the main subject is “full and in your face.”
“They have a full background with lots of details, and I hope that reflects their environment,” she said. “I hope that brings you in with the animal or the creature, and I hope it makes you feel like you came upon it yourself — like you were out in the woods yourself and just stopped to see the fox who is staring directly at you. Then you blink and he is gone. That is how these things happen, and I want to capture the fleeting and precious moments that you do not expect.”
Grimm is a Christian who always enjoys observing the intricacies of creation.
“I am always looking for details,” Grimm said. “I like to research the depth in the eyes and the shapes and different colors – all of the different things in this world. I hope to keep going with that and share that with you.”
In her artist’s statement, Grimm said her works feature natural subjects, such as plants, insects, trees and animals, which she hopes convey the joy that nature brings into the home.
‘Reflection of Creation’ is free and open to the public Friday and Saturdays from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 9-10, Sept. 16- 17, and Sept. 23-24 in the M.I.B. Gallery inside the CAC.