"Bringing Art to the People and People to the Arts"

Visions of Southern Appalachia

Oil and Watercolor Painting by Cynthia Pollett and Joyce Clair

On View in the Members’ Gallery at Blue Ridge Arts Center
May 17 – June 26, 2021

“Visions of Southern Appalachia” is a two-person show highlighting works by Cynthia Jewell Pollett and Joyce Clair. Cynthia lives in Murphy, NC and has been painting professionally for over 32 years. In addition, she and her husband run Murphy Mountain Mission, an art and discipleship ministry. Joyce is a retired Nurse Practitioner living in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Blairsville, GA. She has been painting in watercolors for over 30 years. Joyce’s passion is plein air painting. We hope you can see their work in person at the gallery, but if you are not able to make it, we hope you’ll enjoy browsing our online gallery below.

"Basket Weavers" by Cynthia Pollett

Image 1 of 18

Oil on Canvas 16" x 20" $450

Artist Statements

Joyce Clair
Watercolor Artist
Joyce is a retired nurse practitioner who lives with her husband, Bob, in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Blairsville, Georgia. She is originally from western Pennsylvania and a former Maryland and Texas resident.
Joyce has painted with watercolors for over 30 years. She also enjoys teaching watercolor painting at regional art centers. Her classes are designed to be fun and easy for beginners.

“Plein Air” or outdoor painting is Joyce’s passion. She leads a group, “Plein Air Painters of Hiawassee Georgia”, to paint weekly at different sites if weather permits. Painting outdoors allows one to enjoy God’s creation in peaceful settings with fellow artists. Additionally, the artist is able to see nuances of color in extreme shadow and light that a camera cannot detect.

Joyce uses transparent watercolor pigments to express her representational impressionism style. Her paintings are completed mostly outdoors where she will first spend some time exploring the site and taking reference photos. Joyce looks for dramatic light, interesting colors, and a good composition. Once she settles on a scene, she makes a small preliminary sketch to work out major shapes, values (darks & lights), and colors. With a plan, she is ready to begin painting.

Joyce is influences by watercolor master, Ed Whitney (1891-1987) as well as watercolor workshops with Skip Lawrence, Tom Lynch, Zoltan Szabo and Frank Webb. She had weekly watercolor classes for 2 years with Dr. Morris Green, Maryland College of Art & Design. Joyce also took drawing and photography classes at the Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC.

Her works are displayed at Artworks Artisan Center in Hiwassee, GA; the Murphy Art Center in Murphy, NC; and the Blue Ridge Mountains Art Center in Blue Ridge, GA. Follow “Joyce Clair Art” on Facebook for recent works and upcoming classes. Visit her Facebook group “Plein Air Painters of Hiwassee Georgia” for notices of painting trips and to view paintings.



Cynthia Jewell Pollett
Oil Painter

Cynthia, a native of Aiken, South Carolina, has painted professionally for 32 years. She graduated from Atlanta College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1978.

Cynthia’s career has included being an art director, a muralist and she has owned a successful graphic design business for 20 years. Since 2006, Cynthia has returned to painting with oils full time.

Cynthia and her husband, George, have been married for 40 years. They have had the blessing of raising three children and now have six beautiful grandchildren.

After being missionaries in the coal mining hollers of Kentucky for three years and six years in China, George and Cynthia now run Murphy Mountain Mission, and art and discipleship ministry – www.murphymountainmission.org.

Cynthia and George live in Murphy, NC in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Cynthia serves as a member of the Valley River Arist Guild at the Murphy Art Center where she also shows her oil paintings. She is also the Chairperson for the Art Walk in downtown Murphy. Cynthia also serves as a board member on the Cherokee County Art Council.

“My objective is always to give glory to God through my art. I work hard at capturing a quality of light that supports the overall impression of each piece. In my figurative work I am interested in cultural activity that tells a story. I feel that it is important to express a message with each work of art; something that God is teaching me about His world.”

2020 Second Place – Hiawassee Plein Air Paint Out, Hiawassee, GA
2020 First Place – State Silver Arts Show, Raleigh, NC
2020 First Place – Silver Arts Show, Murphy Art Center
2020 Second Place – Silver Arts Show, Murphy Art Center
2011 Best in Show – Art Trail Gallery, Florence, SC
2011 First Place – Art Trail Gallery, Florence, SC
2009 Charleston Artist Guild Gallery Member
2009 Honorable Mention – Blackbaud Art Show, Daniel Island, SC
2009 Juried into Charleston Artist Guild Exhibiting Artist
2009 Juried into “Girl with a Gold Earring” Show and Competition
2008 Solo Show: Lynda English Studio and Gallery
1997 Solo Show: The Florence Art Museum
1996 Honorable Mention – Pee Dee Regional Art Competition
1991 ADDY Award – Freedom Florence Brochure
1987 Outstanding Young Women in America