Inspired by the beauty she finds along her daily commute, Cecily Corcoran paints the iconic landscape of Washington, DC from sunrise to sunset. Views of the National Mall, Georgetown, and the Potomac River populate “Genius Loci,” Corcoran’s solo exhibit of oil paintings at The Art League Gallery, July 6 – August 6, 2012.
“Genius Loci,” Latin for “a sense of place,” is the unifying factor in Corcoran’s work. A lifelong resident of the region, Corcoran aims to capture the elegance of the city from the viewpoint of a commuter, artist, and native through vivid colors, painterly brushwork, and simplification of form. Drawing scenes from familiar spots along the George Washington Parkway and Columbia Pike, Corcoran captures specific moments of time and place in her work.
While working on this series, Corcoran was struck by the different characteristics the city takes on with changes in light. “I want my viewers to remember to take a moment to view the environs and see the beauty that I see. I want them to notice that Washington is a dynamic city on clear, blue days, and it softens to a hush on monochromatic, overcast days,” she says. From the dome of the Capitol outlined against a cerulean sky, to the ghost-like silhouette of the Key Bridge on a foggy night, the recognizable structures of the Washington area come to life in Corcoran’s paintings.
A recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Interdisciplinary Art from VCU, Cecily Corcoran has been a practicing art instructor, in both public and private capacities, since 1996. She has attended George Mason University (where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Art), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Lyme Academy of the Fine Arts, and Bratislava Academy of the Fine Arts. Corcoran’s connection to The Art League reaches back to her teen years, when she began taking classes with instructors Danni Dawson and Lisa Semerad; she currently teaches Art Fundamentals at The Art League School.