Here's my final and bittersweet reminder about my Featured Artist Exhibit at the Workhouse Arts Center in W-16. This has been a blast!

10 MILE RADIUS: Landscapes Near the Workhouse closes on July 4. Perfect timing, perhaps you can squeeze some celebrating, food, and music, plus art, in your schedule for the Patriotic Picnic July 3 at the Workhouse.

The galleries and 100 studios are open Wednesday through Saturday from 11am to 7pm and on Sunday from noon until 5pm. Come see it all!


Daniel Wise Demo

I've been a fan of Daniel Wise since I first became acquainted with his work. He was primarily a pastelist until he took up oils last year. My son and I were lucky enough to take in a demo over the weekend during an Old Town schedule of demos through The Art League in Alexandria, Virginia. According to my 12 year old son, it wasn't nearly as boring as he thought it would be. Kudos to Daniel, an entertaining and lively person.

Here's the selected scene from Waterfront Park. For this demo, Daniel used about a half sheet of 12x18 Wallis in Belgian Mist.
First, Daniel begins with a quick thumbnail sketch using three values. After deciding on composition, he uses a hard pastel to block in the structure. For this he uses a darker value and considers it to be establishing his darkest value for the overall painting. With a brush and turpenoid, which he likes because it dries quickly, he spreads the pastel around, leaving some places darker, some lighter. If it gets too dilute, he applies more pastel for additional value and says it gives a more substantial dark then. An additional purpose is to lay down pastel in this method so he doesn't have to go back over it with pastel later.
The upper left was a potential sail boat painted out. This shows the top half almost finished. When asked, he said his focal point was the boat, then laughed saying he was first drawn to the lightness of the cabin and later switching to the boom. He changed the boom's color several times and demonstrated for the crowd how flexible pastels are and how well they layer. In his travel box, he preferred Ludwigs and Unisons, saving the very soft brands like Schminke for the studio.

Daniel uses his fingers and the side of his thumb to smudge  his sky and to soften distant edges.

For painting surfaces, he likes Wallis and Gessoboard covered in a Golden's pumice mix combined with additional marble dust. With regards to the latter, he likes how the brush marks create tooth just as the pumice and marble dust.

Daniel's pastel box, the All-In-One Easel, was made in Maine and has a heavy duty camera tripod underneath. It holds pastels on one side and papers, paintings, and supplies on  the other.

Although Daniel wasn't crazy about his work, the crowd encouraged him to continue, so he painted the water, too. He switched from long strokes to smaller, detailed ones.

He was not satisfied with the angle of the boat, but I was in awe of his technique. He has a marvelous ability to convey mood.
As always, a gratuitous palette picture...  


Clouds Among the Lily Pads

Although Mason Neck State Park is close to home, I don't go there as often as I should. Let this be my reminder to do better.

Along the Bayview Trail next to Belmont Bay, one comes upon a beautiful wetlands, on the left, as the Potomac River feeds it from the right. Arrive at the wrong time and the view is obliterated by the changing tide!

This work comes from a picture taken from the boardwalk.It qualifies as my own "Landscape as Still Life" Award with the extra detail and careful positioning of the elements.

Clouds Among the Lily Pads
pastel with watercolor underpainting on Pastelbord

Photography Prints


Day Ends

Looking to the west for my 10 MILE RADIUS show, I decided to use a picture I took off Henderson Road near Henderson Court. A link between Fairfax and Prince William Counties, it is a very heavily traveled rural commute route and I feel sure few have paused to admire this field like me.

In this painting, I caught this vista near sunset, making it a more profound westernmost piece. Pumping up the color even more, it is at the beginning of the fall foliage turn, so there are extra hints of color in the trees and bold slashes of color in the grasses.
Day Ends
soft pastel with watercolor underpainting

Photography Prints


Newington Agriculture

Some would say this is an odd vista to paint.

However, with my Workhouse theme of 10 MILE RADIUS, it fits perfectly. Thousands pass by these oil storage tanks daily and they are a distinct part of our reality in Northern Virginia. If I can perhaps lend them some geometric, value-driven, and individualized beauty, then I have succeeded as a landscape artist who tends to make the mundane less ordinary.

As I mentioned before, I enjoy that the petroleum experts like it, so I have thusly passed muster with it. Add to that, the piece was the unexpected star of the Opening this weekend. It's been fun.

Newington Agriculture
pastel on 400 UArt, watercolor underpainting



What fun!

I feel like I gave birth to this beautiful child. The Opening is going to be a blast. I've been accosting strangers and telling them it's as if my birthday is for a month and I'm a Fairy Princess.

Friends call it good marketing.

Here are some of the 10 MILE RADIUS pieces:
Newington Agriculture
Central Green
Pohick Loop
Chicory and Queen Anne's Lace
Lake Ridge Point
Behind the Scenes
Maryland Meets Virginia Riverside
Quarry Dock
Day Ends
Clouds Among the Lily Pads


Kelly's Art & Frame

Be sure to visit Kelly's at 510 N. Washington Street in Alexandria for her current show.

Each month, she has some of the best and brightest from the area displayed salon-style in her beautiful old Victorian and I am in awe to be included among them.

This show runs through June 24. Go early for the best selection.


Central Green

Because Barrett House Meadow was shipped off to Michigan for the summer, I decided to use that small, 8x10 pastel created en plein air on white Wallis as a study for a larger piece using completely different methods for pastels. If it had been around, Barrett House Meadow would have been a part of my 10 MILE RADIUS show, so it made sense to honor it with something based on it.

Instead of white Wallis quickly and with no underpainting outdoors, I used a 16x20 foam board with a broad acrylic underpainting.

On top of that I created a surface with Colorfix Primer. A clear sanded preparation for tooth, this provided a lot of extra texture in marked contrast to the smoothness of the Wallis paper. In addition to providing tooth in general and specific texture for the large masses, the prepared surface's striations also mimicked the feel of the passing hurricane winds, breezes in some places and gusts in others.

Central Green is an area of the old Federal Prison land in Lorton on the back side of the Workhouse that has walking paths going to and from Giles Run. Of course, this section of Central Green is synonymous in name with the meadow next to the Barrett House.

Central Green
soft pastel on prepared surface and foam board with acrylic underpainting


Pohick Loop

Another piece which is from within a 10 MILE RADIUS of the Workhouse, Pohick Loop is a paved walking circuit which is wheelchair friendly and on the edge of Ft. Belvoir at the Tulley Gate. It borders on wetlands and is interactive with labeled trees and signage for children.

Water is naturally filtered here, heads to Accotink Bay, then Gunston Cove, and on the Potomac River. In past years, this area was more of a lake than mud flats, despite a year so far with a lot of precipitation. To be sure, mud flats are more fun to paint.

Pohick Loop
soft pastel on UArt 600 with watercolor underpainting