Haynes Galleries presents “The Masterful Pastels of Cindy House” Through Jan. 25, 2014 and extends “A Treasure Trove of Small Things”

NASHVILLE — Haynes Galleries is featuring the work of New England realist Cindy House, whose precise pastel landscapes are an ode to nature in its untouched state. “The Masterful Pastels of Cindy House” runs until January 25 along with the "A Treasure Trove of Small Things" exhibition, which has been extended to January 25.

“With so much of the American landscape being destroyed or under development today, it’s important for landscape painters to document the remnants of the natural world that still remain,” House writes in Art Journey America Landscapes: 89 Painters’ Perspectives. “To paint the beauty of the land...captures an image for the viewer to contemplate.”

A Rhode Island native, House spent much of her childhood accompanying her mother, a natural history teacher and photographer, on forays through the woods, fields and shores near their home in Bristol. House went on to study wildlife biology at the University of Maine, which informed her early career as an illustrator of bird guides and her current landscape work. Many pastels in the Haynes Galleries collection portray Maine subjects.

“Knowing the flora and fauna of the subject I’m depicting is very important to me,” she says. “To capture a moment in time means knowing which plants are in bloom and where they are to be found. For this reason, I paint the landscape I know and understand best.”

She renders that landscape in such exquisite detail that viewers can almost taste the salt spray, smell the seaweed and hear the cry of gulls as waves crash on the rocky Maine coast.

In Springtime Storm, ominous clouds provide a dramatic backdrop to a swollen stream. Bare trees are about to come back to life. In the foreground, the grass is a brilliant green. In a single work, House captures all of the promise of spring.

There is a sense of tranquility in her work, even amid the choppy waters of the Atlantic and the chilly gray winter skies. In Open Water, a family of ducks glides across a mirror-still marsh pond as the snow begins to thaw in the background. In Maine Islands, summer-calm waters lap at the rocky shore at low tide.

House’s work is included in museum and corporate collections across the Northeast. She is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Society of Animal Artists. Her honors include First Place, Landscape, Pastel 100 Competition, by The Pastel Journal; a Bronze Medal from the Guild of Boston Artists; and First Place, Director’s Choice from Francesca Anderson Fine Art in Lexington, Massachusetts.

This exhibition is the perfect fit for Haynes Galleries, which specializes in the finest of American Realism from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

“Cindy's work is incredible,” says gallery owner Gary R. Haynes. “It requires years of focused work to elevate the medium of pastel to the level of skill and talent that her work possesses. She is a landscape painter, basically self-taught, and so humble. When I asked her if she did anything other than landscapes, she said, ‘I occasionally do birds.’ What she didn’t say is that those birds are usually award-winning works.”

This exhibition is not only a chance for viewers to dive into House’s work, but also an invitation to look pause and reflect on the natural world around them. To stop and smell the rugosa roses. To hear the cry of gulls above. And to truly see the splendor of nature.