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By St. Mary’s Arts Council

Our Monday Spotlight is shining brightly on Spencer Riddile!

We had the pleasure of connecting with Spencer some time ago on Instagram, he had created and posted a beautiful drawing of Enso Kitchen in St. Mary’s City which caught our eye very quickly! Down the road we had the pleasure of meeting him in person and learning more about his adventures in art.

Viewing the details and techniques in his creations we imagined Spencer to be a life-long artist, experimenting and fine-tuning his craftsmanship from a very young age. We were surprised to learn that his endeavors started just five years ago and have flourished since!

As he was completing his graduate degree in Geographic Information Systems, Spencer realized that spending so much time staring at a computer screen was far less appealing than what he envisioned his original career goals to be. His studies came to a screeching halt, and while trying to figure out what to do next he opened a watercolor kit that had been gifted to him years earlier.

Little did Spencer know at the time that this set of brushes and paints, sidelined by his studies and life in general, would be the start of something amazing! With a new passion in his life Spencer found inspirations in all things beautiful, intriguing, or with a perceived story to tell. Captured in the moment and translated to paper via vivid colors, bold brush strokes, and limitless imagination have been local lighthouses, landscape scenes, nautical notions, and much more.

Painting various historical locations in St. Mary’s County has been a favorite focus and a way of celebrating the different places and their relationships to people who have either lived or visited there. Manmade and natural landmarks, often including a map of the spot and handwritten notes about the subject, create a fusion of Spencer’s unique perspectives and often representative of a captain’s journey log or a botanist’s journal.

Spencer primarily creates with transparent watercolors, sometimes in the style of line (ink) and wash (paint). Each piece has its own story to tell, which he relates to an “idea of empathic reflection through art”.

A few of his interests outside of art include learning about and offering modalities that support people to lead more purpose driven lives. Spencer enjoys helping to facilitate groups learning about Compassionate Communication (aka non-violent communication), recently finished training to lead people through a process that can help them clarify their life purpose, and is currently enrolled in a Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) Provider training program. Spencer also enjoys growing an array of fruits and vegetables and helping with a garden that supplies the food pantry at SMILE (Middleham & St. Peter’s Church), a much-needed service at this time due to job losses and financial hardships given the current COVID-19 crisis.

Shine on Spencer, we appreciate all of the beautiful art that you create and your many contributions to our community!

To learn more about our featured artist visit “Spencer Riddile Art” on Facebook and @spencerriddileart on Instagram!