Our Artists

The Backdoor Gallery strives to support the Fredericksburg community of artists and artisans, especially younger and up and coming artists, in their pursuit of creativity, whether it be through production of their art or artwork exhibition.

Resident Artists

Carolyn Bookout

Carolyn Bookout (Resident Artist)

Beckie Willows

Beckie WillowsBorn from a love of playing with fire I began to design and create my own unique jewelry. My company, Spiral Fire Studios, was born from this love of glass. Melting and shaping hot glass allows me to recreate an idea or image of beauty and capture it in glass.

I am fascinated with creating personal, wearable works of art. By dyeing fabric, sewing and creating glass buttons and other glass adornments I am able to combine my two passions into a new art form.

Kristi T. Zerull

Kristi Terry Zerull has been creating art (of sorts) since early childhood…like many of us. Eyes were seen throughout the house; luckily, she eventually found paper to be just as satisfying a surface for her creations. Those crayon eyes evolved into faces brightened by life-like eyes of great depth and emotion.

“I love seeing my work bring such joy to people. A part of myself is given away with each piece and it is nice to see how much they appreciate the hard work and passion I put into my art. Seeing the light in their eyes and knowing that THIS is why I create, why I push myself to achieve new heights with each piece.”

Jennifer Talbot

Jennifer Talbot


Associated Artists

Asya Baldwin

Asya Baldwin

Carol Iglesias

As an Artist, I try to create paintings that speak to the viewer about a specific place, the light and its color. I am inspired by capturing anything colorful with the sunlight upon it! I see so many colors in what I look at.

After working with various mediums, Soft Pastels or Oils are my favorite choices.When working with Oil, I like to paint wet on wet to achieve the depth of color. I enjoy the brush work and the shapes that can be made.

When I work with Pastels, I use a combination of Hard, Medium and Soft Pastels with a minimal amount of drawing. I really enjoy the brilliant colors and the tactile softness that pastel sticks offer. I work primarily on a heavy sanded paper which enables me to build up a thick texture with multiple layers of color. I think this adds to the richness of the pastels.

Nancy Brittle

It’s the certain slant of line, depth of color, on forms that often compel Nancy to pull out her brushes and canvas. Certain artists interested in line, pattern, texture, and color such as Degas and Cezanne, Vuillard and Bonnard, Diebenkorn and Milton Avery inspire her now as much as decades ago.
Beginning study with Julien Binford and Dorothy Van Winckel at the University of Mary Washington, Nancy a lifelong student, has continued over the years to work with various painters in various programs from the artists at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Ecoles de Beaux Arts in Paris, and the Marchutz School in Aix, to Ben Sumerford and Robert D’Arista at American University, and Michael Drought, and Don Crow from Virginia Commonwealth University.
She has taken workshops with Susan Abbott, Lori Putnam, and Anne Blair Brown. In the summer of 2015, Nancy worked alongside 100 other artist in Plein Air Magazine’s week long Adirondack painting adventure. In February 2016 she worked as a painter in residence at the Anne Marie Sculpture and Art Center. In the summer of 2017, she was awarded an Honorable Mention by Valerie Craig in Floyd’s Plein Air Event.

Saeed Ordoubadi

Once upon a time, there was no light, no shadow, and no color. There was nothing but darkness. Then Soul spoke: not in words, but in light and color and the image came into being. “Soul speaks in the language of images,” a wise man said a long time ago and I have been striving to learn that language to understand her when she speaks and to share my dreams with her.

Everywhere I worked, there were lots of lights, day and night. The lights, however, were all artificial, the colors unreal, and the images appeared fake. The Soul language was not spoken. I felt Rumi’s frustration with every cell of my being: In the world of the blind and the deaf, I had a dream to share, but I was dumb. Then my retirement came, and with that came my rebirth and learning of a new language.

Elena Broach

Elena Broach’s work is a reflection of our beautiful world, where everything is created in a Godly perfection. Growing up in a Russian family with an architect father and artistically talented mother, Elena has been exposed to visual arts as long as she can remember. She began formally studying art at the age of six at a children’s art school. Elena says, “That was when my love for colors with its endless possibilities in the variation of light started.”

She is inspired by the beautiful paintings of the old masters and the movement and fluidity of the impressionists. Elena says, “I am grateful for the talent God gave me and the ability to be creative every day. I love what I do and hope that this passion will inspire many others.”

Rachel Hicks

My art is largely focused on the female figure, choosing no particular medium over the other. All of my female based pieces I consider self portraits. Each woman is drawn or painted with her own style, her unique “jazz”, something that realistic art does not capture. She is in a space of her own.
You should also know that my color choices are sometimes bizarre and oddly bright for their setting. If you must know I like that bizarre tension. Color is expression. There can never be too much color.
And lastly, I have no particular style. Still in search of it I guess. Until then I will keep painting, printing, and pasting.

Karen Merkin

As a child growing up at the New Jersey shore, art was always an important part of Karen’s life. She loved copying detailed pictures from books. When she got married, her husband encouraged her to try oil painting and she was hooked.

“I have always been fascinated with color and the subtlety of light and shadow on those colors. I especially like to focus on the details of everyday objects. I sometimes work from still lifes that I set up in my studio. But more often I prefer to observe a scene while wandering along a city street or a farmers market or even a store window display. The highest praise comes when someone tells me an image in my painting looks so real they feel they can reach out and touch it.”

Rita & Rae Rose

We are twin sisters who have pushed artful expression into a new area of twinship. We decided to combine our talents and skills to produce a single painting and see what happens. This approach has produced new and exciting creativity in color, form, space, texture and expression.

As watercolor and mixed media artists, painting is another link in our twin lives and it gives us a great deal of pleasure. We let the type of paper influence the end result. For example, our use of Yupo paper lends itself to a fluid and free flow of the paint. This media enables us to interpret our art in a form which is truly free.
We capture different moods through texture in our mixed media paintings and we like to experiment with unusual materials.

Ruth Ann Loving

“One thing remains consistent in my painting no matter how much I change. I can’t escape it nor do I want to. Color is what motivates and energizes me no matter how I express it. I find that I respond to color; need color, and surround myself with it. As I experiment with brush stroke and texture, color is a constant. I believe my painting has more movement and surface excitement than ever before and I use these qualities to accentuate color. My subject matter may change but it remains a vehicle to express what is important to me: color”.

Mary Lynne Wolfe

Mary Lynn Wolfe“Mary Lynne Wolfe’s love of photography began when she was 15. Living in Rochester, New York–home to Kodak–on Sunday afternoons she would ride her bike to the George Eastman House and take in displays on the progression of technology, color theory, focus, and camera function. She began shooting and developing her own film in high school. She stayed interested through the years, and with the purchase of a digital camera in 2006, was finally able to seriously pursue her lifelong passion.
After serving in the Army and then supporting her husband’s military career, she settled in Spotsylvania. She is a member of the Professional Photographer’s Association and is best known for her landscapes and portraits”

Cat Samples

I have always had an active imagination with an interest in drawing, especially animals and fantasy subjects, from the time I was young. My parents fostered my art, and their love and support allowed me to explore and grow my interest into a passion. After High school, I worked with animals and took classes at Community College. It was here I discovered a particular love for drawing from life, and working in a Illustrative representational style. I found my calling and transferred to V C U school of the Arts. In 2015 I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree. Today, my lifelong love for nature and animals continue to be the focus and center of my subject matter. Although I work in a contemporary style, I gravitate towards and pull inspiration from Asian methodology in much of my work.

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