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.
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.