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July 2022 First Friday: “Journey with Art” by Tenley Raithel

July 1, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

July 2022 First Friday
“Journey with Art” by Tenley Raithel
Friday, July 1

First Friday sponsored by Martha Matthews

Exhibit sponsored by Commonwealth Energy Systems



Journey with Art 

The experiences of her life influence her journey with art. They are the connections that stimulate her thoughts and are reflected in the colors that emerge in her art.

Art reminds Tenley of her connections with the world and the need to respect and care for this beautiful planet and its people. She sees the struggles in our current world, and desires to be a force of healing. Science demonstrates that color is a valid source when seeking balance. The clear colors within her paintings provide a venue for contemplation leading viewers towards focus, clarity, and balance.

As an artist, she brings mindfulness into her studio. When she paints, she is mindful of not only the design, but the healing values of colors. She juxtaposes complementary colors in some paintings to bring a strong interplay of balancing forces. In most paintings she uses colors in their brightest forms to allow the viewer the opportunity to explore colors and find where their focus is most attracted for contemplation, connection, and healing.

Growing up in California, she developed a casual attitude and appreciation of nature: family gardens, days at the beach, camping in the Sierra Nevada’s, and early opportunities experimenting with a variety of artistic mediums. Musical and dance taught her that hard work develops confidence. She experienced the joy of art emerging from within her as she grew up. Art energizes her, and it became a connection with her world.

Her college years were spent in Florida and California with an early marriage to a U.S. Naval Officer and years traveling with his military career. She graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Creative Arts, an interdisciplinary degree exploring the links between history, music, visual arts, and literature. She shared this knowledge and understanding with her four children and many other children while teaching elementary school for many years. She brings that knowledge into her art.

Tenley lived internationally and traveled extensively to explore new cultures and nature’s diversity: jungles and architecture of Singapore, fields of yellow rapeseed and thatched roof cottages of England, beaches in Mozambique, waterfalls in Zimbabwe, landscapes of Italy, lavender fields of Provence, chateaus in the Loire Valley, halls of historic monasteries, the way light falls through the redwoods in California, the farms and rivers in the Shenandoah’s, gardens in local venues, and…. their natural beauty and the people living in each area inspire her.

Art and creativity have been her partners throughout her life. She has listened to her inner voice when seeking expression. As her art skills have developed and changed over time, color and nature have always been dominant themes, and currently she focuses on color and its healing properties.

In this day of minimalism, she hopes that beauty does not lose its significance. Our needs can be met in an instant and hard work can oftentimes buy us exactly what we want. But do we know what we need and what will elevate our culture? Can we find beauty within the turmoil? She hopes that her art will allow viewers a place to contemplate, allow colors to work their magic, and will lead them to a life with more kindness, more connection, more peace, and more beauty.



Tenley creates her artworks using oil and watercolor in a style that reflects a modern approach to color theory.

Tenley’s recent series of oil paintings use bright and clear colors that allow contemplation. In these recent paintings, she has veered in a new direction with abstraction and bright oil colors.

According to Tenley, she seeks an avenue of balance and focus through her paintings.

“Our current culture is looking for not only beautiful art, but art that speaks to them in a way that moves them. My paints are the tools I use to create that possibility.”

Tenley lives with her husband, border collie, and rescue cat, working in her upstairs studio, in their 1890’s home in Historic Yorktown, Virginia.

She has raised a family and lived internationally with her husband’s naval career, always finding a place in her life for creativity.

After retiring from a teaching career, she began to focus on art full-time. She has been determined to find an engaging and uplifting way to express herself through her art.

Tenley has recently observed the impact colors can have to bring balance into lives that are searching. The colors in her paintings connect with the viewers and create a subliminal response that can be felt.

Her paintings combine both spontaneous gestural strokes as well as reflective, cerebral approaches; some images based on visual reality and others in a distinctly abstract mode.

Tenley usually has a cup of tea in her hand as she stands back and contemplates her ongoing work, with a palette of paints and brushes ready when her inner voice feels an urge. Her strongly spiritual nature leads her to rely heavily on God’s voice to direct her images and she shares credit for her creative expression.

“I believe art is a connection, like passing on a flame.”

Wangechi Mutu


“Arranging to Art”
Sogetsu School of the Middle Peninsula


Join us at our July 1st First Friday for this wonderful display of floral arrangements interpreted by the students of the Sogetsu School of the Middle Peninsula.


Live music will be provided by singer and songwriter, Grayson Torrence

First Friday is on July 1 from 6:00pm-8:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Thank you to our First Friday Sponsor, Martha Matthews, and our Exhibit Sponsor, Commonwealth Energy Systems!


July 1, 2022
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Arts on Main
6580 Main Street
Gloucester, VA 23061
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