Our Artists

Maurice Ashby

A little about me: I was born in Williamsburg, Va. I have lived here all my life. I have always been an artsy kid. Coming up, drawing was my thing: pen and ink, charcoal, colored pencils drawing anything from portraits to landscapes. Life happened and I put away the drawing pad.

So, on the path of rediscovery. A friend talked with me about photography. It peaked my interest, so the purchase of my first Dslr came thereafter. I haven’t looked back since. Now my medium is digital media in lieu of the drawing pads.

I have come to really enjoy photography. Sharing moments with families as I photograph them.

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Wayne Rhodes

Wayne Rhodes is a native of West Texas who now lives and works in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Wayne produces fine photographs that capture the inner life of the external world—its creatures, objects, and landscapes, the beautiful and the strange.

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George MacDonald

Quotes on the back of Dreifa™ cards come from the works of George MacDonald. When C.S. Lewis read MacDonald’s work Phantastes, George MacDonald became C.S. Lewis’ master. And, as written in Lewis’ book, George MacDonald, An Anthology, C.S. Lewis remarks that everything he had written had been influenced by George MacDonald. Anyone who has read both MacDonald and Lewis easily see why Lewis made the remark.

This brief biography of or introduction to George MacDonald comes from the Anthology (Lewis, 1947, 1974, MacMillan), from which we immediately learn that the most important thing about MacDonald is that his relationship with his own father could not have been better. Indeed, MacDonald remarked once that he had never asked his father for anything that he did not receive.

He was born in 1824 at Huntly in Aberdeenshire and in 1840 began his college work at King’s College in Aberdeen. He became a minister of a dissenting congregation in 1850 but about two years later he was dismissed on the basis of charges of being a heretic: he had expressed belief in a future state of probation for heathens. MacDonald always illustrated, “not the doubtful maxim that to know all is to forgive all, but the unshakeable truth that to forgive is to know. He who loves, sees.”

Physically, he was not hearty and financially, his whole life was poverty ridden. Starvation was not infrequently avoided by “Divine Intervention.” He was not ever anxious but wishful thinking was not part of his paradigm. His peace of mind came from building on “the holy Present.” He was not stoic but, rather, sun shiny, playful and “deeply appreciative of really beautiful and delicious things that money could buy, and no less deeply content to do without them.”

His great gift was fantasy “that hovers between the allegorical and the mythopoetic: stories that stay with you as a presence: delightful, probing, inviting. George MacDonald’s writings “go beyond the expression of things we have already felt…arouses in us sensations we have never had before, never anticipated having, as though we had broken out of our normal mode of consciousness and ‘possessed joys not promised to our birth.’ [His writing] gets under our skin, hits us at a level deeper than our thoughts or even our passions, troubles oldest certainties till all questions are reopened, and in general shocks us more fully awake than we are for most of our lives…”


Born in High Point NC, Tom Barnes grew up in the pine forests and coastal plains of South Georgia. In the early fifties, raised amongst the gators, mosquitoes, and bourbon of South Georgia, Tom was dutifully packed off each summer, traveling by train to Savannah where he spent two weeks with the twins, Lila and Bess… may they rest in peace…

The two sisters insisted on taking the bus downtown every Thursday to shop, dine out, and maybe see a movie. Completely coordinated in salmons, pinks, baby blues, mint greens, or lemon yellow, the two ladies set out toting bus tokens in their purses, and sporting hats with gloves and pumps matching their outfits. The fragrances exuded were thick with magnolia, lilac, and oleander. Stores like Adler’s, Fine’s, and Levy’s preceded lunch at Morrison’s, always topped off with hot coffee and coconut custard pie. Roaming around the “city of parks,” the three often ended up in Telfair Academy, the only art museum Tom ever saw until he was 16.

In 1990, Tom retired from the corporate business world and began to paint. Self-taught, he works primarily in watercolors. His orals almost always are abstracted forms with the same intense color rendering…but the added motion of a passing breeze adds yet another element of excitement. Likewise, his landscapes capture the techniques of the Fauvists and are stylized with mountains, hills, plains and lush foliage. His still life subject matter usually captures a chair, a table, a window, a jar and simple pieces of fruit…they always capture a moment of repose and reaction, interrupted by something unknown.

In His Words…

I am a watercolorist with a strong sense of color, color theory and saturation of pigments. I layer several colors of transparent washes in different hues to give a depth and strength to the work. I use techniques such as lifting, salting, and rag rolling to achieve the different effects on my papers. I have a palette of 13 colors that helps develop a theme in my paintings. I add splashes of 14 K Liquid Gold Leaf to the finished product to give a special touch that is most eye-catching at evening and in candlelight.

As to the creativity expressed in the paintings you see, I suggest that only the Creator is creative; that is, only He can bring forth something from nothing. It is therefore my opinion that I am, as Tennyson explains, “a part of all that I have met.” It seems that we as artists are simply taking what is already created and rearranging the elements to come up with a line, a color, a theme that is unique to our natures and personalities.

The expressions you observe are tell-tale snippets of my temperament: delight in the earth’s abundant glories, peace with the life process, and excitement over what is yet to come. There is not a lot of angst in my life and I hope that comes through in my paintings. My most coveted response is when someone comes into my display and says, “This stuff makes me happy!”