ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rhea earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in interior design from Syracuse University's College of Fine Arts in 1949. Following several years of professional interior design practice, she has focused her creative energies since 1980 predominantly on drawing, painting and cultivation of her garden in Cooperstown, N.Y. Through Studio 15 in Davenport, Iowa, she studied with Egon Weiner of the Art Institute of Chicago and James Lechay of the University of Iowa. Her early mastery of watercolor continues to influence her use of oils and mixed oil crayon and watercolor.
An ebullient colorist, Rhea characteristically composes with areas of watercolor-like transparency contrasted with expanses of flat opaqueness-- combining to mirror perceived qualities of light. Her aim is predomination of color, light and shadow over subject. In all of her work she seeks a subtle balance between nature and abstraction, achieved through juxtaposition of clear, flat planes of color and the dynamic interplay of shapes. Her portraiture understatedly evinces a graceful and uplifting aura of feminine beauty and strength.
A native of Syracuse, Rhea grew up in New Jersey and upstate New York. She has lived and painted in locations ranging from Delaware County, N.Y., to Denver; from Davenport, Iowa to South Bend, Indiana and Detroit; and from Mexico City to Paris. Rhea and her husband, Mace, make their home in Stuart, Florida, and summer in Cooperstown, where Rhea regularly exhibits her work at the Cooperstown Art Association and Smithy-Pioneer galleries.