Cotswolds Watercolors

A. Jarrell Custom Art:
The Costwolds Watercolors Collection

August 19, 2022 by Cassandra G. Dean

Anna Jarrell at her home studio in Winston-Salem, NC

Nestled among the rolling meadows of the Thames lies a designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,’ The Cotswolds. Here you find idyllic fields of sheep, alleyways of traditional stone cottages, and the inspiration for local artist Anna Jarrell’s latest collection. Back home, you can find Anna at her studio situated between the local beauty of Reynolda Gardens and Graylyn Estates in our very own Winston-Salem, NC. This is where The Scout Guide Triad met up to talk about her recent trip and how it inspired her latest work, currently available on her website.

When Anna and her book club sat down to pick their girl’s trip destination they wanted a special place that reflected one of their recent book selections. With the words of Jane Austen in mind, a light bulb went off and six months later they arrived in England. As she took me through her journey I learned all about The Cotswold’s through an artist’s eyes. Once an area known for its wool trade, the sheep still dot the countryside. I wanted to know what else she discovered about The Cotswolds that I could not read online. Anna giggled as she told me about the dopey pheasants that run amok through the town like North Carolina squirrels in the fall. With great fondness, she recalled the locally inspired farm to table cuisine, comparing the sticky toffee puddings from different restaurants, and hiking with her friends. Her Cotswold Collection of work exudes this sense of joy and appreciation for the allure of the landscape.

Photo courtesy of A.Jarrell Custom Art

Equipped with a petite watercolor palette, a tiny cup of water and her notebook, Anna stopped on her travels to paint what spoke to her. She recounted being lost in her work on the top of a hill when she looked up to notice small snowflakes dappling her paper, a happy mid-March surprise! She filled notebooks with the lines of famous Cotswold stone-built pubs and inns with rich royal history. And back home, in the light of her sunroom studio, she transformed photographs of her journey into brilliant works of fine art, creating pieces that leapt off the page of a photograph and on to her canvases. 

My final question to Anna was to ask what she wanted others to know about this body of work. She thought for a moment before answering and just like her art, put her heart and soul into her response. Anna says “ It’s nice when art is meaningful and each piece is special to me.” She loves how being a local artist allows her to see her work appreciated in the homes of family and friends. Somewhere nearby there is a space on a wall waiting to be filled with the true expression of an artist. Find Anna’s Cotswold collection and more available on her website HERE

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UPDATE: In 2020, we did a ‘Voices of the Triad’ piece on Anna Jarrell, available to read HERE. During this time she was embarking on a new project painting 100 oil paintings in 100 days, all depicting members of her Winston-Salem community. Since the completion of this project, Jarrell has successfully raised significant funds for Wake Forest Baptist Health COVID-19 Response Fund. She has also met and exceeded her other goals. She grew her craft as an artist becoming more proficient with oil paint. And she grew as an individual coming out of her shell to interview the people in the paintings; individuals often nominated by members of the community. In addition, she learned how the pandemic truly impacted members of Winston-Salem, from the exhausted medical worker to the homeless shelter director navigating the winter weather needs of those experiencing homelessness. Faces and interviews of the collections will now be permanent installations in the mayor’s office and Wake Forest Baptist Health. Some are still available online at her website with purchases going toward donations to the WFBH COVID-19 Response Fund.

Cassandra G. Dean is a Greensboro, North Carolina native raised by Yankees. This means she prefers unsweet tea with her grits and can parallel park like a pro. She comes from an extensive background in childhood development and a degree in Public Health that she uses to promote positive changes within her community.

Most often called Cassie, you can find her spending time with her husband and two children restoring their mid-century home or on the playground at the local parks.

She can be reached at The Scout Guide Triad at [email protected].