When I entered the current exhibit at Anna Bier Gallery, my initial thought was, “I didn’t think that Quinci Woodall was a photographer.” Well, she’s not. Quinci is a colored pencil artist, whose amazingly realistic work brings her subjects to life through thoughtfully well-placed strokes that capture not only the image but also the spirit of whatever she decides to re-create. Quinci’s animal portraits and other striking studies which lift spirits and delight souls will be on display at the Gallery through November 27.
The artist, who is just 18 years old, has been making art ever since she was two or three years old; perhaps the fact that although still a teen she’s spent at least 15 years honing her craft explains the astounding skill on display. “Sweet Swallow,” a strikingly beautiful rendering that I first mistook for a photo, epitomizes Quinci’s ability to magically bring her subjects to vibrant life; but that is far from the only piece that can be so described.
When asked to choose favorites from the displayed works, Quinci picked “Prairie Prancer,” her elegant portrait of a horse, standing in a meadow. Although her subject is white, many colors create the realistic rendering. Hanging beside the charismatic steed is “Wool and Warmth,” an apt description of the smiling wooly sheep so charmingly depicted.
Although the local resident says that she finds inspiration “everywhere,” the fact that she lives on a farm motivates her desire to create work that “brings a sense of peace to others.” Quinci was home-schooled by her parents, Heidi and Jeremy Woodall, and lives with them and her younger brother, Copeland; Jeremy makes all the frames for his daughter’s art.
Before returning to Darke County in April 2021, Quinci’s family lived in Oregon for 10 years where she enrolled in Masters School of Art, a Christian trade school whose stated goal is “to teach the secrets of the old masters bringing back the craft of the Renaissance.” Although Renaissance masters did not come to my mind while viewing this exhibit, the intrinsic attention to detail found in each impressive depiction does emulate that found in the work of globally renowned colored pencil artist Bonny Snowdon, known as a master of realism, whose work Quinci intensely admires.
Several portraits of birds can be seen in this exhibit, including the delicately colored “Delight of the Woods,” in which a happy bird significantly demonstrates delight. An owl with that look of wisdom known to its species peers back at the viewer in “Secrets of the Wise.” In other beautiful realistic avian portraits, a curious bluebird peers into the mist in “Fog Watch,” while a perky white-breasted bird poses before a sunny yellow background in “Morning Pose.”
“Nutmeg,” a floppy-eared rabbit, is so cute one wants to rub its fluffy head; “Fresh Calf” depicts a sweet-faced newborn vulnerably facing the world. “Highlander,” a realistic rendering of a friendly horned bovine with long bangs, evokes the desire to reach out and touch, as does “Musing Moment,” in which an appealing burro stands thoughtfully in a meadow.
The almost monochrome “Misty Meadow” warmly depicts a beautiful horse sweetly grazing in the misty meadow of the title, while “Summer Drink” provides a closeup portrait of a roan, white mane flowing, delicately sipping from a shimmering puddle of water. Two framed works entitled “Sketches” demonstrate the artist’s remarkable ability to depict humans as well as other members of the animal kingdom, while in another departure from animal portraits, “Fungi Collection” provides a multi-faceted group of mushrooms looking good enough to eat.
Anna Bier Gallery Director CeCelia Rice says that she is thrilled to share the work of Quinci Woodall at the very beginning of what will undoubtedly be a long and successful career for the artist. “These vibrant drawings spark feelings of joy and amazement; I look forward to sharing them with others who love art,” Ms. Rice stated. The Anna Bier Gallery, located within Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville, is open every Sunday from noon until 2 p.m. and at other times by appointment.