Illuminating the Natural World by Rosemarie Forsythe

Carol Nahorniak Art & Culture

Featured Exhibition at Reston Art Gallery and Studios, June 1 – June 30

Internationally recognized artist Rosemarie Forsythe presents her new exhibition, Illuminating the Natural World, on display from June 1 through June 30 in a featured show at Reston Art Gallery and Studios. 

Forsythe’s distinctive paintings portray the magic of nature, science, and learning. Stars and Jewel-toned planets illuminate inky night skies. Colorful birds, fish, and animals wander through her imaginative compositions that are often inspired by 15th century illuminated manuscripts. Symbols, math and science equations, ornaments, or intellectual puzzles are embedded in the paintings. Reminiscent of Byzantine icons or centuries-old, illuminated manuscripts, she uses acrylic or flashe paint and sometimes 23k gold leaf to mix combinations of gem tones and soothing neutrals on canvas. The show also includes a few joyful celebrations of rich, jewel-toned pattern and form, highlighted with her signature textural flourishes in gold beads. Inspired by living and working around the world, Forsythe paints in a style that celebrates the power of ideas that have influenced the course of history or changed the way we think about the world. 

Before she became a full-time artist, Forsythe lived in seven countries and visited more than 60 countries in the course of her past careers as a U.S. diplomat, policymaker, and international business executive. Self-taught in art, she found a way to combine her intellectual and prior work interests with her artistic sense and cultural influences to create a unique style of painting. From 2020-2024, the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies Program selected several of Forsythe’s works to be displayed in U.S. Embassies in Austria, Jordan, and Bolivia. U.S. Ambassadors and diplomats own many of her paintings. Her art was also chosen for the Brussels office of Rose Gottemoeller, then the Deputy Secretary General of NATO. Forsythe’s works are in private collections in Qatar, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Togo, the U.K., and the U.S.  Forsythe is a member of the Advisory Board and Director’s Circle of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She is a juried member of Reston Art Gallery and Studios and her work has been featured in dozens of solo and group shows around the world. Learn more about Forsythe and her art on Instagram, @rosemarieforsythefineart, or at her website,

Gallery visitors can meet Forsythe during her reception on Sunday, June 2 from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m.  Illuminating the Natural World can be viewed during the gallery’s open hours – Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sundays 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – or any time by appointment by emailing or through Instagram @RestonArtGallery. Visitors can also enjoy works by all seven artists at Reston Art Gallery and Studios, 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190, located on the lakeside by the orange “ART” sign at historic Lake Anne Plaza. Neighboring the gallery are local restaurants with outdoor seating, and it is just steps away from Lake Anne’s Saturday morning Farmers Market. Follow @RestonArtGallery on Instagram, and find more information at

Pictured at top:

Five Laureates by Rosemarie Forsythe

30.5” x 54” acrylic on canvas

Honors the five women who are Nobel Laureates in physics. The horses contain references to the groundbreaking work of these scientists.  Gold laurel leaves, a symbol of achievement, adorn the scarlet sky.  

About Reston Art Gallery and Studios (RAGS) 

This artists’ collective is an inspiring source of beauty and creativity with new shows each month featuring the latest works created by the seven artists of RAGS – Pat Macintyre, Jennifer Duncan, Sandra Dovberg, Rosemarie Forsythe, Julia Tova Malakoff, Marthe McGrath, and Wayne Schiffelbein. On weekdays the artists are preparing commissions, new works, and their next special exhibits, and those working on site can be viewed through the gallery’s expansive glass façade. The unique variety of works displayed at RAGS – paintings in watercolor, acrylic and oil, mixed media collage, mobiles, photography, original prints, art objects, artist-made jewelry, and more – are available for purchase. Furthering its nurture of art, RAGS offers free, themed Crafts for Kids every Saturday morning at the gallery, April through December, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. RAGS is open to the public every weekend afternoon from 12:00 until 5:00 p.m. and also by appointment. The orange “ART” sign at historic, scenic Lake Anne Plaza leads to the entrance of Reston Art Gallery and Studios, a Reston landmark established in 1987, located on the lakeside of 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, VA 20190. GPS: “Lake Anne Plaza” for directions to the parking area. Follow @RAGSReston on Facebook, @RestonArtGallery on Instagram, and see more information at