July Windows

Boat lovers will not want to miss this month's RAL Art Center Gallery Windows Display, with the works of two talented watercolor artists, Carol Vaughn and Ralph Higgins, on exhibit.


Carol Vaughn has a graphic design degree from Temple University, and has worked as a designer and production manager in the D.C, area. Carol began watercolor painting in 2014, about the same time she began racing on her and her husband’s 36’ sailboat. Her watercolors combine her love of painting and sailing and strive to show the sparkle of the light on the water, the motion of the waves and boats, and the excitement of the sailing crew while racing. Carol’s painting, Down the Bay, will be featured in the Gallery windows and is painted from a photo taken of Carol and her husband while racing on a J24 sailboat during the popular overnight race from Annapolis MD to Hampton VA. Her painting captures the feeling of freedom that sailors can feel while moving in harmony with the wind and water.

Since becoming a member of the RAL she has won awards in the Labor Day Show 2019 and 2021, the Art in Transit Show in 2021, and other numerous monthly exhibits. She is one of three artists painting a commissioned piece in the Great Art Heist raffle on June 25th. She has entered pieces and won awards at Bay School Art Speaks Gallery, and most recently she exhibited in the Art in Travel Show this year. Carol has been juried into the Virginia Watercolor Society Annual Exhibition in 2019 and 2022.


Ralph Higgins is a Richmond native whose family has lived there for many generations and who now has his foot solidly planted on Carters Creek. When Ralph completed his degree in Environmental Design at the University of Georgia, he went to work in his father’s business, a well-known landscape architect. Ralph became intrigued with the idea that Landscape Architects had maybe a larger role to play in designing places for people and thus pursued the business in his own style and was one of the first to implement what we now call “sustainable design”. As a professional whose work evolves almost entirely around the client’s needs, it becomes important to involve himself in creative pursuit. He therefore found great release in engaging in his watercolor compositions which gives him the freedom to create in his own “space”, and enjoy the process as much as the result.

Ralph's long-term interest and ability in art drew him to his watercolors, and he finds his inspiration in boat scenes, landscapes and streetscapes. Finding "escape" in the process of applying paint to paper, he has achieved many thoughtful and creative boat scenes and quiet landscapes, which seem to capture moments and places in time. Often working from photos which he shoots in local boat yards and nearby docks, you may feel in his paintings the reflective mood that is so "Northern Neck". In the Gallery Windows there will be a variety of NNK scenes for your enjoyment.