By Aila Boyd
Editor’s note: This article is the 14th in a series of articles that will feature all 14 artists who will be participating in the 2019 Open Studios-Botetourt tour on October 26 and 27. Each week leading up to the two-day event, The Herald will feature one artist – highlighting their passion for their chosen artform.
Mark Woodie, a Troutville-based artist, has spent a lifetime perfecting his craft.
After numerous teaching stints and many volunteer positions, Woodie now has more time to spend at work on his art in his detached studio that was converted roughly 25 years ago from a horse barn.
“I really like what I do. If I didn’t like it, there wouldn’t be any point in doing it,” he said.
From an early age, drawing was one of Woodie’s favorite pastimes. He now primarily uses pastels to create his vivid scenic works.
While in high school, Woodie served as both the president of Lord Botetourt High School’s Art Club and as captain of the football team. After graduating in 1972, he made his way to Virginia Commonwealth University where he majored in painting and printmaking. He said that going from the relatively calm Botetourt County to the hustle and bustle of Richmond was quite a change. He graduated in 1976, then enrolled in a graduate program at Hollins College.
Woodie later started teaching. He taught a wide assortment of subjects, including art, physical education and science, throughout his years in the classroom. He retired from an art teacher position at Central Academy Middle School in 2016.
He also coached football and was heavily involved in the Boy Scouts.
Although he still substitute teaches on a regular basis, he still finds time to diligently work on his art, which he describes as being primarily realistic. Clouds are his absolute favorite things to depict because of how they change shapes and colors and the effect that they have on the ground. “My work is pretty straightforward,” he said. “I focus on what catches my eye.”
Woodie normally participates in three to four art shows per year. He recently took home a first-place ribbon at the 2019 Bath County Art Show.
He has been involved in Open Studios-Botetourt since the very beginning when Ed Bordett, another Open Studios participant, “talked me into it.” Woodie said that he’s currently in the process of finalizing his plans for the demonstration that he will do on the first day of the tour.
For more information on Open Studios-Botetourt, visit: https://openstudiosbotetourt.com/.