Leah Coffman
Susan McLaren

The artists of the Gallery by the James have announced the addition of two new member artists – Leah Coffman and Susan McLaren. Both are watercolor artists and joined the gallery within the last few months.

Coffman began painting earnestly following her retirement in 2015. Coffman’s work includes paintings inspired by her love of horses and her love of rural country living. Her work ranges from color pencil drawings of horses and family pets to more advanced watercolor paintings of horses, people, and still life collections.

Coffman lives in Fincastle. Prior to retirement in 2015, she devoted much of her professional career to Workforce Development in Roanoke and the surrounding area at Virginia Western Community College and then part-time following retirement in the Continuing and Professional Education Division at Virginia Tech. She received her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford in 2000.

McLaren began painting after experiencing sudden adult onset hearing loss, which impacted her career as a nurse and her music. She’s rediscovered the joy of creating art using watercolors. Some of her most profound pieces are a simple rock-filled mountain stream and paintings and drawings of children at play on the beach. McLaren lives in Roanoke. She has taken numerous classes in watercolors, as well as pencil, pen and ink and acrylics with various artists including Artists on the Depot Studios in the Electric Company in Bedford and The Studio School in Roanoke. She has illustrated a children’s book and is inspired by the experience to seriously pursue creating art in this elusive and challenging medium.

Gallery by the James is an artist cooperative gallery located at 19827 Main Street, Buchanan. It offers an eclectic mix of fine art, hand-crafted jewelry, and unique gift items. All works are created by local and regional artists and include original watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, collage, pottery, photography, art glass mosaics, jewelry, framed and unframed prints, and quality note cards( www.gallerybythejames.net).