The raccoon, which is Tennessee’s official state wild animal, breaking through the ‘paper’ in Camille Engel’s painting called “Little Rascal” looks so realistic, you want to make sure it gets home safely. Her work is currently on display in the rotunda at Murfreesboro City Hall. Engle has been honored by many arts magazines for her hyperrealism. Her attention to detail has been labeled ‘exquisite’ by fellow artist Harold Roe.
Paintings and prints of her work, called “When Paint Flies”, will be available for viewing in the City Hall Rotunda through February 24, 2020. The show features a collection of her bird paintings, as well as other creatures and items captured from nature. The artist’s reception will take place during the annual February ‘Boro Art Crawl on the second Friday of the month.
*photos from Camille Engel Facebook Page
Several of the paintings in this collection capture animals and things special to the state, like the raccoon. With each painting, she offerings a glimpse into details you probably didn’t know – like how the raccoon was hunted so heavily during the late 1700s for their water repellant fur that it almost became extinct. Limestone, designated as the official stone of Tennessee in 1979, hangs by a string in another of her paintings. It has been known as Tennessee marble for almost 200 years.
Besides these Tennessee related paintings, her subject matter ranges from adorable puppies to still-lives you feel you could reach out and touch. From a beautiful blue and white tea set awaiting a special guest, to the burst of a sunflower, Engel captures moments in time with attention to color, detail, and story.
Recently, Ms. Engel was chosen as one of the best wildlife artists in the country. Her painting, “Patient Observer,” is one of 100 paintings from 4,300 entries going on display in Barcelona, Spain in the European Museum of Modern Art. It will then go on to be displayed at Sotheby’s in New York. A print of the original can be seen in this exhibit.
Essentially self-taught beginning in 2000, in just 20 years she has become one of the most heralded modern realists. She was noted in Southwest Art magazine as one of the country’s top “Artists to Watch.”
Engel’s exhibition can be seen Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The rotunda is located at 111 West Vine Street.