My family and friends tend to make requests for art. I have learned to barter with them. If they shell out for a workshop or class, they'll get a painting, but they must wait until I exhibit it at least once. It's a pretty good system. They get a lot of added value for their expenditure and I get a lot of new experience.
This piece is for my mother, who gave it up for the framing costs of other pieces. Sincere thanks to stephie20at WetCanvas for the image.
Soft pastel on white Pastelboard
As I drove home from an event this summer, I took the long way home. Have camera, will detour. This day, I wound up seeking vistas of the Potomac from the Prince William County section of Virginia. The drive reminded me of how rural Virginia is, even a few dozen miles from DC.
This painting is from a picture that day. It's a park named Patawomeck, which was hosting little athletes and large family reunions.
I sought to paint big shapes in the vein of that style of landscape artists. Of course, I got in some extra details, but I primarily stayed true to my initial goal.
This painting is from a series of pictures I took near Nokesville, VA after I'd wrapped up painting in Aden. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I'd ever seen. In part due to its elaborate, stepped golden frame, this painting looks both classical and abstract in approaches. Lines are blurred. The fact that I do not like hard lines or boundaries is especially evident in this piece.
To help with a fundraiser for both Springfield Art Guild and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, I have been painting Nutcrackers for raffling beginning tomorrow at Springfield Mall. They began at Yard Art, but given the personalities involved they quickly evolved into Fine Yard Art.
I helped on Dolly and did Desert Nutcracker on my own. Please come by and support these fine organizations.
I was the only person at the recent Workhouse ceremony who was a member of both cherished organizations involved: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and Workhouse Arts Center. They came together in a marking to celebrate the suffragettes who were imprisoned on the grounds ninety years ago. A plaque now marks their history, which closely preceeded American women's right to vote, and is located on the buildings where the women were kept in solitary confinement for a period, a building that will house a museum dedicated to their bravery and fortitude.
It was a grand occassion attended by both a Congressman and the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Much of my work is done en plein air, French for "in the open air." People often associate it with the Impressionists, but the move to paint outside preceded them by a number of decades. The trend to appreciate landscapes as a genre at all was new for the time.
Several characteristics contribute to the distinctive beauty of en plein air painting. They are generally smaller in size in order to be able to capture a scene in a single sitting. Because of the time limit and environmental factors such as the sun and shadows moving, they often lack extensive details and might appear slightly fuzzy or unfinished. Lastly, they tend to have a freshness and spontaneity which makes them impossible to compare to traditional and methodological studio work. That said, my own studio work tends toward the same feel as en plein air, which then identifies my overall style: softness with an edge.
My aim when painting en plein air is for alla prima paintings, which roughly translates for me as "what happens outside, stays outside." It adds another level of difficulty to the work.
These are some local places for landscape painting; most are within an hour of the Beltway. Look here for the complete album, a couple hundred views from my photography collection, which are mapped here.