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May 18, 2024

Artist Raney Watters

Work to be displayed in the Cotton House Hotel October 6 – December 31

By Faith Strong

The Bolivar Bullet

Raney Watters is inspired by connectivity, and so is her painting. Bringing a blend of nature, music, and emotion into each piece she creates displays the passion that she feels deep inside about her work. Watters uses oil, watercolor, aerosol, and pastels, whatever moves her at the time when she paints.

“Art creates a safe place to explore the depths of our being, find connection, and enable expression beyond the confines of verbal language,” said Watters. “I am very intuitive when I start painting, so I try to let whatever needs to come out do that. Whether it’s an abstract or a landscape, whatever inspiration I’m feeling at the moment.”

The Mississippi native, who grew up in Grenada and Greenwood, and now lives in Madison, feels most at home hiking on the west coast, enveloped by the forest. The healing properties of nature and art are grounding principles in her work. Unbound boldness and ineffability can describe her style. 

“Working across mediums, I hope my creations encourage introspection and imagination, express strength amidst relatable vulnerability, thereby increasing connectivity amongst viewers,” she said. “My heart just leaps out of my chest and my very busy mind tends to get super-quiet. Painting seems to put me into this meditative state; it’s amazing.”

A speech therapist by trade, Watters has been painting since she was a child.

“I went to a summer camp when I was around five or six-years-old,” she said. “I’ve sort of been painting ever since. And I’ve taken some art classes here and there, but within the last year I’ve decided to try and turn my happy hobby into a business. I’ll always keep my therapist’s license active, I’ve been doing it for over a decade and I really do love it, but my overall goal now is to paint. If I could work some rehab type therapy into my painting, that would be amazing.” 

Watters has taken over a couple of rooms at her home right now for painting, where she and her two beagles spend a great deal of their time. She paints more and more these days, doing six to eight hours per day, while she’s been working less and less as a therapist. Watters and her husband, Dr. Carter Watters, a hospitalist in Jackson, have been married since 2017. 

October 6 from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Watters will be showing some of her artwork at the Cotton House in downtown Cleveland. It will be displayed from October 6 throughout the month of December and all pieces are available for purchase. 

“There will be a meet and greet beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Cotton House on October 6,” said Watters. “I’ll have several different types of artwork there and they’ll range across mediums, watercolor and acrylics. It’s free to come by and check out what I have. Following the very casual meet and greet, attendees are welcomed to stay for dinner at the Delta Meat Market or head up to the rooftop for a cocktail at Bar Fontaine.”