The artistic duo of Bonnie and Chris Hunter are displaying their artwork at 806 Arendell St. in Morehead City, the outreach location for the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center.
The exhibit will remain on display until May.
Ms. Hunter’s work is a collection of paintings inspired by the waters and marshes of Down East Carteret County and Down East Maine. All of the work is created with oil, but there is a mixture of convoluted and flat canvasses.
“Bonnie and Chris Hunter have been valued members of our community since they first moved to Otway and came to the museum to just ‘volunteer’ and get to know folks,” said Karen Amspacher, Core Sound Museum executive director. “Oh my - the folks they have met and learned to love ... But for us, getting to know them has been the best outcome of all. Their hard work, their patience with all us Core Sounders and their commitment to the people Down East have all made them part of our family, but their talents with a camera and a brush set them apart as true artists.
“This exhibition is a reflection of that appreciation for the place and the traditions we hold sacred. Bonnie and Chris, in their unassuming, humble way, are now part of this place and our community and we are the better for it,” she continued.
Ms. Hunter is a fine arts painter. She lives in Otway with Mr. Hunter and uses her surroundings for inspiration for her work.
“Our house borders a creek and a marsh, which provide beautiful vistas that change constantly with the season, the light, the wind, the weather, the time of day, and the wildlife,” she said.
The couple also has a summer home in Maine.
“The vistas there are equally varied and beautiful, but very different with the rocky coast, deep blue water, and crystal clear atmosphere – until the fog rolls in,” Ms. Hunter said.
Ms. Hunter said she appreciates a variety of art forms and has practiced several during her time as a social worker. She has tried drawing, painting, weaving, pottery, stained glass and quilting, which is something she does as a volunteer at the museum.
“Painting, however, is the art form I most enjoy and where I always seem to return,” Ms. Hunter said. “Mediums have included watercolors, acrylics and oils. My watercolors had been mostly contemporary botanicals, but more recently I have been experimenting with seascape and landscape abstracts.”
Some of her work included acrylics with barn quilts and floorcloths, oil paintings of still lifes, landscapes, seascapes and abstracts.
More recently, she has practiced with sewn convoluted canvases, which create angles and shadows which add more interest to the flat painting, according to Ms. Hunter.
She has taken several classes to enhance her skills as an artist.
“I am fascinated by the interplay of colors in my paintings,” she sad. “One color next to another, or over another, or blended into another, will change the overall effect of an entire canvas. Often I find myself smoothing and blending for hours, enjoying the process, but with an eye towards the final result.
“The colors I choose for my palette tend to be intense, so this blending helps create restful areas and a feeling of balance,” she continued.
As for Mr. Hunter, his work includes painting, photography and written works.
“When I retired in 2005 I discovered there was time for creativity, or at least to indulge the urge to be creative,” he said. “I began with my essays, short attempts I shared with family and a growing number of friends. The intent was to stay in touch while adding a scooch of levity to the world. All of my essays are lighthearted. Photography was added to the essays initially to illustrate some point or topic, but then I began to include other pictures simply because I thought they were interesting,” he continued.
In 2014, Ms. Hunter convinced Mr. Hunter to take a painting lesson.
“Finally, I had landed in a medium that consumed the hours I had available and sated the urge,” he said. “Painting added balance, right side for painting, left side for writing, and whatever side technology resides in for photography. I was set for indoors and out, sunshine and rain.”
Mr. Hunter said he likes the challenge of problem solving in creative works.
“I like losing myself for hours doing something that harms no one and has no other purpose than relieving my need to express,” he said. “I don’t paint to market (although some have sold to my utter astonishment), I just paint what I feel like painting, what I think I can paint… and sometimes, just sometimes, I like to see if I can exceed my expectations.”