WAKE FOREST — Those hoping for some time on the coast this month don’t have to look farther than downtown.
Painter Drew Hoover’s exhibition, “Just Add Water,” features landscapes that capture the permutations of land, sea and sky that can be found in North Carolina, the Caribbean and Hawaii.
“There’s nothing more beautiful than seeing the land and the huge expanse of sky and water and the way they interact,” said Hoover, who grew up in eastern North Carolina. “It resonates with me.”
The show opens at the Sunflower Studio & Gallery, 214 E. Jones Ave., on Friday during Art After Hours.
Hoover said she strives to capture the conditions of a place, such as the time of day or the weather and how nature responds to those changes – a goal that requires her to think carefully about textures. In one scene, the sea and sky may be calm, while the land looks choppy in comparison; in the next, the opposite may be true.
Hoover has enjoyed art since she was a girl, but for most of her adult life she pursued drawing and painting as a side project. Then, in 2002, she decided to attend Meredith College to earn a second major in fine art, a process that took several years.
“That was a big step for me,” she said.
Afterward, sidetracked by family illness, Hoover, 50, says she lost some of her momentum. But when she retired this March, she was finally able to pick up her brushes again in earnest. Just a short time later, she got the call about putting together an exhibition.
While Hoover’s journey has had some twists and turns, she said she’s excited about how it all turned out. Next up, she hopes to work more with figures in her work, whether it’s painting pet portraits or incorporating figures into her landscapes.
Hoover, who has lived in Wake Forest for 18 years, said it’s a good place to be while she pursues her art, with lots of other artists to meet and discuss ideas.
“I think it’s a really vibrant community,” she said. “It’s very encouraging.”