Marita Steinmetz Cheney, who serves on the Smith Mountain Arts Council Board for the SMAC Art Show, has her paintings available for viewing at the MOarts Gallery at Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library until Jan. 29.

They may be viewed during library hours at 13641 Moneta Road, Moneta.

Cheney found her passion in the art world in 2009. She was first introduced to oil painting while living in western Tennessee. There she learned how to oil paint using a palette knife. When she and her family moved to the Washington, D.C., area, Marita took the opportunity to learn from highly acclaimed artists. It was also during this time that she was introduced to plein air painting, or painting outdoors.

Marita embraced the world of fine art. She took art classes and participated in workshops. She also read books and magazines, browsed art galleries and talked with artists. While working at a fine art gallery in Annapolis, Maryland, she would mentally deconstruct the artwork on display. She explored the world of art on many levels. Most importantly, she had the time to put brush to canvas, and there she found joy in painting.

Marita’s favorite subject to paint is the ocean. She never tires of observing the tumbling waves and painting seascapes. She says that watching the light play on the water is mesmerizing, and that trying to capture a moment in time with pigment is quite challenging.

These days, with her husband retired from the Navy and settled at Smith Mountain Lake, Marita can be found painting plein air.

“My husband loves to take me out on our boat, and I paint local scenes from the water, most often the mountains,” she said. “I am captivated by the light at sunset and the cloud formations over the lake. I have a deep appreciation for nature, and I feel very blessed to view life with the eyes of an artist.”

Marita has found joy embracing the Smith Mountain Lake community and also displays her artwork at her space in Fabulous Finds on Scruggs Road. She can be reached via her website at

The Moneta/Smith Mountain Lake Library is a branch of the Bedford Public Library System. Call 540-425-7004 for hours and directions.

Read more stories in the upcoming issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at to view articles in the print and/or e-edition version.

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