Like my fellow vendors, the folks at Defense Logistics Agency HQ at Ft. Belvoir are real gems. They're mostly a bunch of military geeks, but they certainly appreciate Fine Art. I was an Army Wife for 17 years, so I had a feel for their lingo, but I loved that they had a feel for mine.
Plus they made purchases, which was very helpful for my new status as a vendor there. In fact, I have a new week added, June 21-25, to my established schedule of November 1-5 and December 6-10.
Soon I'll be showing off the completed painting I almost finished while there; below is a middle stage. Created for my 10 MILE RADIUS show, it's an offbeat vision of the nearby oil storage tank facility, the petroleum guy's dream and the defense guy's nightmare, and I certainly heard from both. One petroleum geek, um, specialist said his artist wife would never let him buy this painting. I countered that because it is Fine Art, she would embrace it, that it would be the perfect compromise for them both.
Of course, I think it would be lovely in his office.
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.