Coming Clean Closing

Open through New Year's Eve, Coming Clean is still showing at The Loft Gallery in Occoquan. Go for a fabulous taste of Italy from Naples to Venice, laundry or no.

Find a map and gallery hours at the Virginia Tourism site, below. See you there!


Tuscan Harvest

The photographic reference for this pastel painting came during a train trip from Rome to Venice and I know it was from north of Florence, but I am not sure how far north. The entire trip was wonderful for seeing the lush fields and vendor carts. This is my homage to them.

This was the beginning of the piece, prior to a water floated underpainting.
Tuscan Harvest


San Michele

San Michele is another beautiful island near Venice. The brick walls makes one wonder what is within.

This is among my miniature collection for the exhibit.

San Michele


Valle a Campania

I took many reference photos out a bus, ferry, taxi, or train; often times it was out the other side of the transportation. This one was like that through a bus's window into a glowing Campania valley.There were so many levels and layers to the landscape that I chose to use a different style to show it. Call it elongated pointillism ... over a watercolor underpainting on UArt 500.

Okay, I did manufacture the cloud, so Naples Sun is not the only painting with a cloud, but it is the only genuine one.

Valle a Campania


Coming Clean Opening

The Virginia Tourism website has more details about today's opening of Coming Clean: Clotheslines in Italy.

Also find a map and gallery hours. See you there!

Naples Sun

A pair with Naples Fresh, Naples Sun depicts several buildings which could boast of laundry billowing in the breeze and drying in the heat. It also has the pleasure of having my only cloud in the whole series. Anyone looking at my blog knows how I love to paint a cloud!

Naples Sun


Naples Fresh

Naples is a port city. It reminded me of an old woman with beautiful bones, but past her time. The living accommodations also seemed to limit space for appliances ... to my benefit. There was laundry everywhere!

Naples Fresh


Linee Electriche

The reference photo for Linee Electriche was taken early one morning as we traveled by bus from Rome to Naples and Pompeii; it is from the Campania Region.

There are many sorts of lines, not all hold laundry. I especially like that this painting shows adjacent electric towers, one with lines closer to a mountain ridge and heading deep into a valley. Just like laundry lines, they run every which way.

Linee Electriche


Burano Colori

From a photo I took in Burano, Italy, a small island known for their lace industry, colorful houses, and fishermen, this pastel painting is a play on what colors you'll find in Burano. Instead of the emphasis being on a colorful house, the emphasis is on the colorful laundry I found there instead.

Burano Colori

Sell Art Online


Venezia Originale

All referencing my own photography from August 2011, some of my paintings for this exhibit are charming miniatures which have nothing or everything to do with laundry! The photo basis for this one came from our trip the airport, which is primarily accessible via water taxis, beautiful wooden powerboats which zoomed along within these structures as guidance.

The painting's title salutes Venice's origins, the marshes, which still exist at its edges.

Venice Originale


Coming Clean: Clothlines in Italy

My first Featured Artist exhibit at The Loft Gallery at 313 Mill St in Occoquan is called "Coming Clean: Clotheslines in Italy" and runs from December 6 through December 30.

You are invited to my opening, which will be officially from 1-4p on Saturday, December 10, and will feature Italy-inspired food and live violin music. Unofficially, the reception will begin before noon; come around 11:30 to get your free ticket in the Occoquan $1000 in gift certificates drawing at noon.

The exhibit marries my two loves: I use my own photographic references as the basis for pastel vignettes of this highly intimate subject, laundry, found hanging in southern, central, and northern Italy.  It's been a labor of love, so come out and see this collection of pastels.


Workhouse Small Works in Building 16

Come by the Workhouse in December for the continuing W-16 Associates Small Works ShowS. Yes, that "S" means the show will change over each month and the next time is on December 7.

Sales can walk, so we will back fill to keep the gallery freshly stocked. Come early, as these little pretties go fast. Check out the new gift shop in W-16, too, which also features small works as well as other gift items created by Workhouse artists!


Workhouse Arts Center Black Friday Schedule

Come out to see our Small Works Show in W-16. Sales have been great, so stop by early.


Small Works in Pastel at The Loft Gallery

Visit The Loft Gallery at 313 Mill Street in Occoquan for well priced Small Works decorating trees and table tops galore beginning November 15.

Hours are Tuesday-Friday 11-4, Saturday 11-5, and Sunday 12-5.

The Town of Occoquan will hold their Annual Tree Lighting at 8pm at the Town Hall on Friday, November 18. Begin across the street beforehand at The Loft for a special Open House from 4-8pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Here's a sampling of a few of my pastels which are on display:

These beautifully framed pastels are perfect for teacher's gifts and other small, but meaningful, occasions.


Pint-Sized Mixed Media

Don't miss the Annual Small Works Exhibit at The Loft Gallery at 313 Mill St in Occoquan!

Here are a few of my mixed media minis in their cuter than cute heart frames...

Watch for my pastel minis in a few days, plus look at the Workhouse for more!

At only $12 each, these mixed media minis make incredible gifts for friends, family, teachers, neighbors, and Secret Santas alike. The show begins on November 15 and runs through the holidays, plus there's a special holiday reception November 18 from 4-8pm.


Pastel Demo for Second Saturday, Workhouse

In preparation for my Featured Artist Exhibit at the Loft Gallery in Occoquan in December, I am doing a pastel demo at the Workhouse's Second Saturday from 6-8pm this weekend in Building W-16.

The upcoming theme will be Coming Clean: Clotheslines in Italy and I'll be working on a piece for hanging next month at the Loft.

Here's a nibble of something else that will be in the show, although it is one of the few things with lines and no laundry.

Valley Lines


Workhouse Small Works in Building 16

Come by the Workhouse in November and December for the W-16 Associates Small Works ShowS. Yes, that "S" means the show will change over each month, beginning November 9 and December 7. Black Friday, November 25, is another big date to remember with demos and children's activities.

Sales can walk, so we will back fill to keep the gallery freshly stocked. Come early, as these little pretties go fast.

Check out the new gift shop in W-16, too, which also features small works as well as other gift items created by Workhouse artists.My Lemon Duo (4x6, pastel), as well as Plein Air notecards, are found in the Workhouse Gift Shop.

Pastel Scarlet Marsh (4x6 on the new Richeson rust-colored pastel surface) is among my first submissions for the W-16 Associates Small Works Exhibit in November. I've had an obsession with marsh scenes lately:

For the first time, I have bin pieces in photography...
Lace Above (Bellagio, Las Vegas)
metallic ink photography
8x10 (larger available)

and I will feature photography minis from Italy for the Small Works show in December.

See you there! Everything pictured is under $100 and is great for gift giving or providing that je ne sais quoi.


Central Green at Shades of Pastel

It's time again for the Maryland Pastel Biennial National Show, Shades of Pastel. This year, it is at the Workhouse Arts Center. Talk about convenient!

Liz Haywood-Sullivan is the juror. She will host a demo Sunday morning, then the opening is from 2-5p on Sunday afternoon.

The exhibit runs through November 20. Stop by to see my entry, Central Green, which is of the area adjacent to the Workhouse. It's a real honor to be exhibiting among this talented group of pastelists.


Dying to Get In

Co-sponsored by the Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association and Springfield Art Guild, Dying to Get In is an artistic look at cemeteries for the sake of cemetery preservation. The exhibit is housed both in the SAG gallery and in the Springfield Mall hallway outside.

The Opening, a costume party, is in the SAG Community Room at Springfield Mall on Friday, October 28 from 6-9pm. The exhibit will be up through November 19.

Margaret's Zombies
St. George's Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, VA
Honorable Mention
metallic ink photograph


SAG October Featured Artist

This month, I am Featured Artist for Springfield Art Guild at their Springfield Mall location near JC Penney and the Information Booth. It's only appropriate to have a full show of photography, as I am now a juried Photographer at the Workhouse Arts Center! Gaining this exposure (ha!) had been a long journey and I am thrilled to be able to primarily focus on and show both pastels and photography, plus whatever else I might mix in.

My Featured Artist exhibit at the Loft in Occoquan will be pastels based on my photography in Italy and my Featured Artist exhibit at the Workhouse next June will have one wall of each medium. It has been a long time coming and I look forward to marrying the two media in my efforts to exhibit. Please look to my photo blog for more examples.

NOTE: The exhibit will continue throughout November as well.


Coming Clean: A Sneak Peek

In December, I will be Featured Artist at The Loft Gallery, 313 Mill Street in Occoquan.

Here's a sneak peek at the back of the postcard with all the details:

Please look to this tab for the latest.


Birdhouse at Burke Lake

Begun with a watercolor underpainting en plein air, I sought to keep it loose and to preserve the watercolor feel while applying different thicknesses of pastel and pastel pencil.The pretty fringe of grass is what interested me at the outset, but I really like the orange offset by the blue. Begun the same day, Glow used a different underpainting technique.

Birdhouse at Burke Lake
soft pastel with watercolor underpainting
8x10 Pastelbord

Photography Prints


Fort Willoughby

Oh the rains! So I paint inside.

In the spirit of my ambitious underpainting demo at Fairfax Art League on Saturday, here's a bit of step by step as inspired by a recent Pastel Journal demo by Robert K. Carsten. I enjoy painting rock formations and his first demo really caught my eye.

On a piece of Gessobord, I began with a thick and textured layer of Golden's Fine Pumice Gel. Some parts were made fluffy with my brush, others shaped with a palette knife. Then it dried overnight.

I chose several values to force in the tooth as a preliminary layer of pastel.

Next, I brushed on rubbing alcohol.

Finally, I worked in foliage with additional pastels and used the texture to catch bits of pastel in order to create extra depth.

Fort Willoughby, USVI
pastel with alcohol underpainting


Top Ten

Of one of the top ten beaches in the world, this painting of St. John, USVI was based on one of my pictures.

Top Ten
Pen and Ink with Watercolor


How'd She Do That?

Watercolor Underpainting * Floated Pastel Underpainting * Acrylic Underpainting

I will not only answer questions about "How'd She Do That?,"  I'll actually demo it, too.

The Flexibility of Pastels and Relating Them to Your Media
Pastels are not just for pastelists anymore. See Bonnie Ferguson Butler demo numerous methods of underpainting for pastels as she begins paintings using four different media. An underpainting is a layer of color applied prior to the painting itself. She will show three methods of using pastels under pastels as well as watercolors, oils, and acrylics under pastels. The secret is using sanded supports, which allow for wet applications and getting pigments into the tooth of the paper or board.

Fairfax County artist and published biochemist Bonnie Ferguson Butler is a juried artist at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton and The Loft Gallery in Occoquan, who enjoys experimenting with art techniques. Approaches that utilize her vast collection of art supplies make her happy. While her emphasis is en plein air painting, she also enjoys photography, which are often works that began as reference materials, but wind up deserving on their own. Award-winning and active in the local arts community, she maintains blogs devoted to her art and her photography and is Founder of the Pastel Society of Virginia, which meets twice monthly in the Springfield Art Guild Community Room.

Attend this informative demo at Fairfax Art League's monthly meeting on Saturday, October 1 at their Village Gallery at 3950 University Drive in Fairfax near the library. The meeting begins at 10a.

See address and directions here.

This is my hand out available for your reference.


The Loft Gallery in Occoquan VA


Celebrating 25 years, The Loft Gallery in Occoquan is the co-op home to 21 talented professional artists. I am thrilled to have begun our association this earlier year. My page and gallery on The Loft's website has been created and you're welcomed to check it out. Although I have blogged for many years, really applauding the merits of  that presentation style, I appreciate how concise a gallery can be, too, so go there for more bang for your clicking and viewing buck.

In breaking news, I will be featured artist at The Loft beginning December 6 and running throughout the month, plus the collection will hang until the end of February. My theme will be "Coming Clean: Clotheslines in Italy," to honor my pet photography image, laundry.


Pastel Society of Virginia Opening

Labor Day was a special day for the members of the Pastel Society of Virginia. We installed 29 paintings from eight pastelists for the first group showing of pastels in Virginia, plus we had about 60 guests, many of whom voted in our Terry Ludwig People's Choice Award. Adults and children alike took voting very seriously.

The exhibit is located in the Community Room of Springfield Mall and is hosted by Springfield Art Guild.

Have a stroll through our images.

See also:View even more on our Facebook page. And learn more about us in this Springfield Art Guild Newsletter article.