Noted artist finds her muse in Bethany Beach


There’s little that artist Marian Osher isn’t inspired by. When she begins a project, from her painted buffalos mounted on floor canvas to the hanging dreamcatcher mobiles against colorful backdrops, she finds a way to connect with the art. Not surprisingly, after moving to Ocean View with her husband last March, she quickly found some inspirational tones all around.

Coastal Point Submitted: CA local wetland pond inspired this work by Osher.Coastal Point • Submitted • "Wetland Pond" ©2009 Marian Osher
A local wetland pond inspired this work by Osher.

Bike rides past the Little Assawoman Bay, glimpses of the beach and strolls through nature preserves sparked an immediate adoration of sights that simply needed to be captured.

“I’ve been making art for years,” said Osher, “and I always have a direction I’m heading in. I just sort of go with the creative flow.”

The constant shifting of the waves, the movement of vacationers or the static poise of a cluster of umbrellas – there’s detail everywhere you look, as long as you’re willing to take the time to appreciate it.

“There is a beauty about the Delaware shore,” she said. “It’s fragile, and a lot of people overlook what’s really here.”

Though she’s dabbled with a number of different media, it’s her sketchbook that she has consistently returned to upon visiting the beaches.

“Sketching is a way to totally relax,” she said. “You can simplify what you see, but still capture it all.”

Her Bethany area-inspired works will be on display for the month of June in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Printmaker’s Gallery. The show, titled “eyetinerary: wonders of familiar pathways,” is Osher’s way of sharing the joy of being present in the moment.

“I’ve really learned how to take pleasure in what’s around me,” she said. “The sketches have allowed me to slow down time and really see things the way they are. You don’t realize how amazing things look, even the way a sand bucket and shovel are just left, laying on the sand.”

She refers to the scenes she finds as visual treasures, gifts that are worth taking the time to find.

Her monotype pieces, featured in the D.C. show, start with pencil sketches. Color is added with Prismacolor watercolors, which are activated with water on a brush, accentuating the vivid hues. Two sketchbooks, her dog Moe, a bicycle, a Maryland walking path and the Delaware shoreline emerge as catalysts for “eyetinerary.”

Classic rock is often playing in the background as she works in her Ocean View and Rockville, Md., studios. “It brings a new essence to the art,” she said, “and it’s a lot of fun.” It serves as a renewal for her art form.

“The cup is not half empty,” she noted, “because each of us has the power to enrich and re-energize simply by choosing to walk on the unhurried path that reveals the gifts of visual awareness.”

Her work has become well-known over the years throughout Washington, D.C., and New York City. From solo exhibitions and selected group shows to international shows, Osher’s work has managed to merge art with environmental issues and personal reflection. The research behind the issues, she noted, is often half the fun.

“I’ve learned to just go ahead and do what you want,” she said. “I’m making my dream come true with art. It’s a matter of connecting with what’s around you and flowing with it.”

Art lovers and beachcomers who stop by the Washington Printmakers Gallery, located in the DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C., can experience “eyetinerary” from June 2 through June 28. More information about Osher and glimpses of her art can also be found online at www.marianosher.com.