Coakley Brown

Coakley Brown - Coastal VA Plein Air Artist

Coakley Brown’s passion for art emerged during early childhood. She recalls in her earliest art memory, literally questioning the lines and experimenting in that space outside them. She found joy in applying copious amounts of paint (and sometimes pasta) at Art Festivals in PA, and refuge in her school art program when her family moved to VA in the mid-1970s. She currently lives in Richmond, VA.

While Coakley never strayed from her artistic pursuits on a personal level, love of learning and nature led her to a first career as a successful and enthusiastic science teacher. Throughout her variety of roles, the importance of observation has been a constant; a valuable foundational skill that she intentionally nurtured in her students and her own children. Drawing upon this perspective in her creative process, she explores, both through formal training and experimentation, the interplay between observation and her own artistic vision.

Her favorite medium is oil. She enjoys painting from life, whether en plein air or in the studio. Often inspired by nature and the human stories that connect us to nature, her work has been described as imaginative with a bold playfulness that makes her style expressive while also impressionistic. Deeperthan that, however, her motivation comesfrom a place of gratefulness for the gift of life, a trueness toself, and a sense of wonder regarding the interaction of light within our natural world.

Coakley’s work can be found in institutional collections in central VA, including J Sargeant ReynoldsCommunity College and VCU Medical Center. Her work has been part of numerous exhibitions in VA, MD and DE. Her memberships include Oil Painters of America, Virginia Plein Air Painters, James River ArtLeague, Bon Air Artists Association, and the American Impressionist Society.

3rd Place Winner, Coastal VA Plein Air 2023.