Travels in Africa and a year of living in Scotland inspired self-taught American artist Jay Burch to closely observe the world around her, particularly the flora and fauna near her home near Washington, DC. Her often large-scaled canvases are ablaze with color and warmth yet somehow shadowed and dreamlike—from full flower to withering bloom. Everyday objects also spark Burch’s imagination. Her still-life studies of puppets and marionettes, antique dolls and keepsake toys allow viewers a peek into an imaginary backstage prop closet, her vibrantly painted characters caught in a shaft of light, barely having had time to freeze and pretend to be lifeless. Burch’s work has garnered many awards, among them a grant for excellence in painting from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.