Upcoming Show October 24 in Kingstowne

Hold that date!
Kingstowne Area Artists Association will have over a dozen artists displaying their paintings and photography October 24 from noon until 5PM at the Snyder Center on Van Dorn. Please come by for some refreshments and stay for the fine art.


MPS and Richard McKinley

First off, let me say how grateful I am to both Maryland Pastel Society for hosting and to Richard McKinley for venturing east. I am thrilled to be a part of Richard's four day workshop next week in Leesburg, VA, where I experience pastels and plein air from a premier painter.

I consider it to be a life-altering experience.

(To the right, Oatlands Plantation is a popular Leesburg painting location.)

Richard juried the pieces in the MPS Shades of Pastel Show, too, and will judge for some major prizes.

The show opens on September 26, 2009 and runs through November 7, 2009. The opening and awards ceremony takes place on October 4 at the Strathmore in Bethesda, MD, from 1 to 3 pm. Best in show, $1,500. with other cash and merchandise awards totaling $5,000. For the first time, there is also a Member's Choice Award.

Because of time constraints, I did not enter, but fellow Workhouse Associate, Ariel Freeman, did and her piece, Flourishing Above the Surface, was accepted into this national show of 99 pieces.

I wish Ariel all the best and can't wait to see the show, as well as to meet Richard next week.


Selling Outside

I spent Sunday at the International Children's Festival at Wolf Trap. Only expecting to spend half the day, it was so much fun that I stayed until the end. Crowds were good and people were buying!

Doing shows always has me in a quandary, because I don't want to buy or store the equipment for display. Here's my modest set up, below, to include supplies for a pastel demo, and it all made it to the tent with only two trips from the car. Wolf Trap provided the large table, chair, and tent. I brought in 13 paintings of 8x10" or less, sizes I could carry and prices I felt the crowd could absorb. I was fortunate to have a portion of the table in a tent on the end of a "U", so my demo and display could spill outward.

Observations or suggestions for simple equipment would be greatly appreciated.

My thanks to NOVAL for including me and to Lorrie and Lou for making the day worth it.


Watercolor Demo

Through an outing sponsored by NOVAL, I was able to see a demo by watercolorist Bruce Handford at Belle Haven Marina on the Potomac in Alexandria this morning. Although I no longer work in watercolors, I find viewing any demo beneficial. I especially appreciate Bruce's loose style and ability to both edit out and add in.

This is approximately his first scene.

He painted the sailboats and made the morning, busy with sailing students and kayakers, look peaceful.

He included the dutiful marina dog, Hunter, for a lively composition.

This is a broader view of his second scene. Again, this is a cluttered place that he edits with ease.

Here's the basis for his second painting, sailboats in the distance.

The last two photographs are courtesy of William Kay.

Please feel free to join NOVAL for third Saturday Paint Outs, demos, and outings.


Workhouse Opening

Join us for a Wine and Cheese Reception at the Workhouse Arts Center featuring pieces from the Workhouse Artists Associates and the Workhouse Artists Guild.

Visit the Workhouse Gallery in W-16 from 2-4pm on Sunday, September 20. Also take some time to visit the Workhouse Artists Studios from noon until 5pm.

Wolf Trap's International Children's Festival

Last year, NOVAL participated as the sole prototype for exciting things to come. This year, the International Children's Festival will feature a beefed up visual arts section. Individuals and groups will have art available for sale; they will also be painting and doing demos in the meadow next to the main amphitheater.

I will be there and painting Sunday morning to early afternoon. Please look for NOVAL and SAG if you come out to this cherished annual event sponsored by the Arts Council of Fairfax. Also, look for the superbly cut concrete backing pieces for the mosaic mirrors, children's hands on art opportunities. They were created with love.


Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace

I love, respect, and appreciate wildflowers.

My recent oil, Across the Way, shows yellow wildflowers just outside my door. They're even fuller now.

The painting, below, is from a photograph I took over the summer as I played chauffeur to my son for his strings camp. Blue flowers littered the roadside, just as I'd noticed them in summers past, but this year I wanted to photograph them. I think these blue flowers and others were more prevalent this year, because the county decided to cut costs by limiting mowing. All the better for me.

The picture was taken in Fairfax, but it has a completely different feel than a place that is the governmental seat for this large, prosperous county. It is a reminder that there are more than McMansions in Fairfax County. Simple cottages are tucked around everywhere.

After painting, I decided to research these blue flowers. They are chicory and have a beautiful cornflower color. Around here, they are in bloom at least July through September. As much chicory as I've seen and photographed this summer, I should consider getting practical with some chicory salad or coffee! I know all the good spots.

Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace
Oil on board


An Honorable Week

Paint Herndon was a lot of fun. Encouraging plein air, but not limited to plein air, the competition accepted many of participating. Because the overall focus was Herndon, I chose to paint at Frying Pan Park on Friday evening, at home in this 1930's working farm my son and I have visited many times. To the left is a detail of my painting, Frying Pan Palace, which is an 11x14 oil on linen.

I got up early today to paint the beautiful yellow flowers right on the other side of my court. Neighbors came to visit as I painted and it was a lovely atmosphere. I had been drawn all week to the profusion of yellow flowers in this marshy area as well as the backdrop of shaded woods. This small painting has many layers through brush and knife, with plenty of scraping out, too. It shows the texture I wanted and, wonderfully enough, judge and plein air artist, David Diaz, agreed. He was one of those thorough judges who commented specifically on why he liked a piece as winners were announced and he was gracious enough to come by and elaborate, too. I remember thinking as he was explaining about the many colors, layers, and textures (nuances I wish the photograph has picked up better), "He gets it!," and it was a welcomed Zen moment after a long day. It was also my second Honorable Mention in a week, my Albert Handell in oil.

Across the Way
Oil on canvas

For anyone in Herndon on Labor Day, come see me. I am now qualified to paint at the Herndon Jazz and Wine Festival Monday. Find me around the area that afternoon. I will probably do pastels, as they are easier to haul and take up less space. Also, look in the ArtSpace booth for my work.

I must also suggest you make a special trip to Herndon in the coming weeks to see the impressive Washington Society of Landscape Painters exhibit at ArtSpace. A few of the heavy hitters represented, who I've met, are Sara Linda Poly, Barbara Nuss, and Daniel Wise, the latter an incredible pastelist. It represents the pinnacle of landscape painters in the area and the reception is September 12.


Paint Out in Herndon, Anyone?

I am interested in doing this on Saturday once I get more information. Have you done the Paint Herndon in the past or are you doing it this year? Give me a holler. For one thing, I am curious what constitutes 'in and around Herndon' to figure out how much of Northern Virginia is included. Be great to paint near and frame at home in lower Fairfax County, then deliver the works up to Herndon.

Hope to see you there!