Issue: February 2002
Guest Artist

Deltaville watercolorist featured on PBS show.

 

     From family trips to Ocean City, Md., as a child, to excursions out of Middle River with her husband and in-laws 30 years ago, Kathleen Noffsinger can’t remember a time when she wasn’t enthralled with the water. That remains the case for the Deltaville, Va., artist whose watercolors of the Bay reflect years of admiring, studying and boating its waters.

     Keeping her Minolta camera and a sketchbook within reach aboard the couple’s restored 1973 Mako center-console, Miss Kathleen, Noffsinger and her husband Tom explore the Bay, the Rappahannock River and shallower waterways around Deltaville. She’s often inspired by nature-a wading egret or a rockfish in its element-but she has an eye for subtler subjects as well, such as a group of crab pot buoys hanging on a shed wall.

     Her work and familiarity with the Bay have now landed her a nationwide appearance on public television as well. The PBS show “Vacations on the Fly” will devote an episode next month to fly-fishing the Chesapeake Bay, including an interview with Noffsinger about her work. (Consult local PBS affiliates for broadcast dates.)

     Not that Noffsinger’s paintings have escaped notice before now. Her watercolors have appeared in national publications, reside in private and corporate collections, and grace everything from stationery to T-shirts. She also exhibits at Urbanna’s Art on the Half Shell Festival in June.

     Husband Tom introduced her to the pleasures, and occasional perils, of boating. “I learned about navigating in fog heading in one night sitting on the bow with a spotlight,” Kathleen says. He’s also the one who helps her get close to her subjects. “Tom seems to have a knack for searching out the abundant wildlife here,” she says. “He will turn the motor off and drift in the headwaters of Sturgeon Creek, where the only sounds we hear are the calls of osprey, little green herons and great blue herons.”

     Samples of Noffsinger’s work can be found online at www.kathleennoffsinger.com.