As an artist for nearly thirty years, life experiences create stories, and Cheri Fry’s art reflects the depth of a story which began with a loss six years ago. Her art awakened and became less about the obvious and exact, and more about feeling the story; she now experiences the balance between the delicate and bold in both her landscape and figure paintings.
Urban and rural influences of South Louisiana gave rise to her interest in art. Born in New Orleans, but spending much time in the woods and farmlands on horseback, Fry walked miles of city streets and traveled miles of dirt roads in a saddle. Capturing these experiences began at age 14. Fry’s work evolved from safe, predictable watercolors or oils, and became an intuitive expression of what is felt.
Although never far from her paintbrushes, Fry pursued a graduate degree in Speech, Language Pathology. Through this she realized that expression of self is the highest degree of achievement, verbally or visually. She became fascinated with people and their stories and ventured to create those people-journey stories on paper and canvas.
Cheri has a collection of her art installed at the University Medical Center in New Orleans; an oil painting added to the permanent collection of the Louisiana State Archives; was published painting a Watercolor book, Splash 19, the Illusion of Light; achieved signature status with the Louisiana Watercolor Society; and became an exhibiting member of the Oil Painters of America. Always a student at heart, Fry studies with local and national artists, has honed her skills in both watercolor and oil, and has had pieces accepted in both mediums in national and international competitions.
Cheri teaches and shares her passion and knowledge of art with young people and adults. She is also the founder of the Krewe of Camille, an art organization that takes paint parties to children in hospitals. She sees her work growing through plein air pieces and still life composition study. Fry is about trying, learning, not following; about staring down difficulties and daring to discover.
Cheri lives and works in Denham Springs, enjoying the good people and unique culture of South Louisiana.
Working equally in watercolor and oil, my work is an examination of art that is representational and creatively interesting; a painterly embrace of simplification and an exploration of space and tones in both landscape and figures. Figure work is my people-journey with characters filling canvases with the simplicity of being human.
Creativity thrives in choices, which in turn provide thought-provoking options. Considering choices allows me to pluck the unnecessary from my art, allow for simplification in motifs, palette, design, and brush work to reveal an inspired truth.
In the past few years, my work has expanded exponentially as I continue to ‘paint people’. These characters are an outpouring of my love of story. Inspired by the classic story, The Princess Bride, the author develops characters that are true-to-self whether in whimsy, seriousness, pride, doubt, beauty, strength, or pain. I feel charged to represent my characters accordingly, but through creative intuition and prerogative.
My most current watercolor finds a man walking his bicycle down a rain soaked road. Muted atmospheric tones are arranged creating an interesting, yet irregular ‘S’ shape composition. Simplified spaces adjacent to ‘Joe’ make his figure important, a story begins. Likewise, choosing to unify masses of trees in my most recent landscape, I push the golden filtered light to transform an ordinary field into one of intrigue. The painterly, almost silhouetted foreground trees interrupt horizontals creating interesting spaces. My recent oil piece is true to nature, using warmth and transparent tones to depict a spiraling patio staircase laden with pots of stately white geraniums. The potential for chaos is quieted through thoughtful consideration, and once again, success through the art of omission.
Connecting to my clients at a gut level is my goal, while guarding the common ground of respect for nature and for the people that grace my canvases. Reacting to life’s experiences in a way that is straightforward and true, my intent is to render the familiar in a painterly, recognizable, yet captivating manner.
National and International Exhibitions
- Southern Watercolor Society Annual Juried ExhibitionArtCenter Manatee, Bradenton, FL 2018
- Brush With Burden National ShowLSU Burden Center, Baton Rouge, LA 2014-2015, 2017-2018
- International Watermedia ExhibitionWAS-H Gallery, Houston, TX 2017, 2018
- Louisiana Watercolor Society International ExhibitionGarden District Gallery, New Orleans, LA 2013, 2014
New Orleans Fine Art Academy, New Orleans, LA 2015
Place St. Charles, New Orleans, LA 2016, 2018
- Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional ExhibitionEisele Gallery of Fine Art, Cincinnati, OH 2014
- River Road ShowLouisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge, LA 2012-2014, 2017
- 1st PlaceBrush with Burden 2018
- Honorable MentionLouisiana Watercolor Society International Exhibition 2016
- Honorable Mention, Award of MeritBrush with Burden 2015
- 1st PlaceBrush with Burden 2015
- Judges ChoiceBrush with Burden 2014
- Honorable MentionRiver Road Show 2014
- Award of MeritRiver Road Show 2013
- University Medical CenterNew Orleans, LA
- Louisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge Art LeagueBaton Rouge, LA
- Splash, The Illusion of Light2017