Betts Gallery at the Belfast Framer, 96 Main St., is featuring an exhibition of graphite drawings by local Belfast artist Susan A. Cooney. The show will formally open Friday, May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. during the city’s First Friday art walk.

In describing her work, Cooney said there are four components she needs for the composition of a drawing — she looks for rock, tree, water and sky to be in a balanced relationship with one another. When she finds this balance, she tries to accurately depict the specific location — the trees and rocks of the island or land —but takes liberty with clouds in the sky, wave patterns on the water and the quality of light reflecting off the four components. She uses graphite for its versatile qualities.

“The medium is useful in rendering the different textures of the four components, and this contrast of texture is appealing to me. Graphite has an infinite range of tonal value, which I use to emphasize the light in defining the texture and depth in the drawings,” she said.

In addition, the use of graphite eliminates the distraction of color and allows the subtleties of light and texture to become more apparent, she said.

“Maine, in Shades of Gray” will be on view through May 27. Gallery hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to