“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”     -Émile Zola


It is the unspoken stories that interest me the most. There is something I revere in the silence of a painting. Trying to capture what I see around me, be it a face, a flower, a building, is what drives my work. What I happen to rest my gaze upon is no less beautiful than the paintings I admire in a gallery or museum. I choose various subjects because they call to me like unknown books on a shelf that I simply must read. Every single person, every single organism, and even every single inanimate object has a life - a secret world of adventures and heartbreaks. As we live our increasingly busy lives, and as technology fills up every moment and distracts us endlessly, we start to forget little things. But it is those little things and little moments that define what is most worthy of our time. I sometimes fear forgetting what it felt like as a child, when I could stare at what looked like an entire galaxy in a single toy glass marble. I never want to forget that feeling, and I want my viewers to remember that feeling, too, no matter what they're observing. By noticing the everyday people and objects we normally pass by, and elevating each of them onto a metaphorical pedestal or into an actual gilded frame, I invite viewers to stop and discover the stories hiding there. Behind that pair of eyes, or lost in wilting petals, there is a whole world lived that we might otherwise have never known or appreciated. 

Rowena has been making art since she was old enough to hold a crayon. She graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and minor in Art History. Over the years she worked a myriad of promising but unfulfilling jobs before realizing she should never have left off making art at all. It took far too long to come to that conclusion, but now that her children are a little older, she's been able to concentrate on honing her skills in her home studio and hanging out with the many talented artists throughout Hampton Roads. Rowena resides in Virginia Beach with her talented, loving, supportive husband and three cool, clever, and silly kids.


Exhibitions (Selection)

2021     Leaves & Petals, Fusion Art International Online Juried Exhibition

2021     Questions, Martha’s Vineyard Drawing Prize 2021, Online Exhibition, Juror Prize
2021     Virginia Artists, Charles Taylor Center, Hampton, VA

2021     Practice What You Teach, Virginia Art Education Association Conference, Virginia Beach, VA

2021     Awash in Color, Chesapeake Bay Watercolorists Fall Members Show, Norfolk, VA

2021     Virginia Watercolor Society Members Show, Art & Cultural Center, Portsmouth, VA

2020      Garden of Life, The Artists Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA

2020      Artists Who Teach, Charles Taylor Center, Hampton, VA

2019      Chesapeake Bay Watercolorists Fall Members Show, Norfolk, VA

2019      Virginia Artists, Charles Taylor Center, Hampton, VA

2019      Governor's School for the Arts Faculty Show, Origins Gallery, Norfolk, VA

2018      Virginia Artists, Charles Taylor Center, Hampton, VA
2017      The Graceful Envelope, Washington, D.C.
2014      A Taste of Art, Philippine Cultural Center, Virginia Beach, VA
2008      Free Spirit, Center for Cultural Arts, Suffolk, VA
2008      Dare to Dream, One Eleven Gallery & Studios, Norfolk, VA
2007      Tiny Treasures, The Hermitage Museum, Norfolk, VA
2007      Quotes & Adages, Pembroke 4 Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA
2007      Group Show, Phillips Art Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA
2007      One Foot Square, The Artists Gallery, Virginia Beach, VA


2021      "Lifeline" Juror Prize, Questions Exhibition, Martha's Vineyard Drawing Prize 

2021      "On the Brink of Becoming Acquainted" Second Place, CBW Fall Members Show

2021      "On the Brink of Becoming Acquainted" Honorable Mention, VWS Members Show

2020      "On the Brink of Becoming Acquainted" Garden of Life Exhibition, Best in Show

2019      "Apple Blossoms" Honorable Mention, CBW Fall Members Show

2017      "The Graceful Envelope" Honorable Mention

2008      "Pattern Pieces" Award of Merit, Free Spirit Exhibition

2006      "Poppin' Poppies" Honorable Mention

Professional Experience

2021                    Panelist, Beneath the Surface: Conversations About Race in Hampton Roads

2021                    Virginia Watercolor Society Creasy/Johnson Grant & Scholarship Committee
2021-24              Contributing Writer, Cecilia Beaux Literature Committee, Portrait Society of America
2021                   Chair, Virginia Watercolor Society Workshop, Portsmouth, VA
2020-21              Instructor, Roadstead Montessori High School, Norfolk, VA
2019-Present      Recurring Workshop Instructor, Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
2019                    Juror, 57th Annual Ocean View Art Show, Norfolk, VA
2019                    Juror, Boys & Girls Club SEVA, National Fine Arts Exhibit, TCC, Virginia Beach, VA
2018-Present      Instructor, Governor's School for the Arts, Norfolk, VA
2018                    Curator, The Artist’s Muse Exhibition, Art Studio on the Boulevard, Virginia Beach, VA
2018                    Guest Instructor, Norfolk Public Schools Visual Arts Faculty, Norfolk, VA
2012-Present      Instructor, Private Classes & Workshops

James Madison University, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Minor in Art History, 1999


Chesapeake Bay Watercolorist (president), Virginia Watercolor Society, Portrait Society of America, National Art Education Association, Virginia Art Education Association, Norfolk Society of Arts, Mensa