Smith House Galleries features virtual exhibition of watercolors by Brenda Hounshell, Kristen Colebank

Arts Council of the ValleyArts Council of the Valley announces a virtual Smith House Galleries exhibition in September, titled Reflections: Watercolors by Brenda Hounshell and Kristen Colebank.

To allow more time for virtual visits, Reflections will open in the late afternoon of Aug. 31 at

A West Virginia native, Colebank said she is drawn to watercolor because of its luminous and transparent qualities. A signature member of the WV Watercolor Society and a juried member of Tamarack, she has exhibited in regional watercolor and multimedia shows in the mid-Atlantic and has been featured in a number of solo exhibitions.

“A great watercolor painting literally takes my breath away,” Colebank said. “There is a visceral energy and vitality that I can feel, and it’s usually a result of pigment, paper and water reacting organically.”

Hounshell began studying watercolor with internationally-recognized water media instructors nine years ago, participating in local and regional exhibitions – and earning awards – since then.

She has attained Signature Status in Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Baltimore Watercolor Society, Southern Watercolor Society and Virginia Watercolor Society.

“Who puts water on paper on purpose?” Hounshell asked.

“It seems counterintuitive,” she continued, “but as soon as the artist realizes the beauty of transparent watercolor washes it is easy to get hooked. Each painting teaches something about the subject matter, tools being used and the medium itself.

“Whether we choose music, gardening, cooking, baking, knitting or any of the many choices for creative outlets,” she added, “we should indulge ourselves to pursue these treasured moments. Life is too short not to give ourselves the gift of time to create something beautiful to share with others. In doing so, perhaps we help them to somewhat calm and heal themselves.”

The online exhibition will be available through Friday, Sept. 25.

To inquire about purchasing exhibited works, email

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