Fountainhead Regional Park is the widest portion of the Occoquan Reservior. In nearby Fairfax Station VA, it is perfect for water sports and fishing. We went there to paint several times this summer; the boardwalk works well for plein air setting up. The pace is slow and people often stop by to chat.
This artwork has a simple watercolor underpainting. I found that the density of PastelMat makes for a long drying time for water media, so I would probably try alcohol or terp in the future, particularly on humid days.
Soft Pastel on PastelMat with watercolor underpainting
Menokin Is Hosting A Reception and Show of Entries from the
Menokin Photography Contest
(Results are TBA, but mine's the center one: the fish scale carved mantle piece from the Architecture Division. Menokin is the historical home of Lighthorse Harry Lee, signer of the Declaration of Independence.)
Please join the Menokin staff, contestants, trustees and contest judge Hullihen Williams Moore on the evening of November 30, 2012 from 6 pm until 8 pm for a light wine and cheese reception and the results of the Menokin Photography Contest.
you dreading the crowded malls, the endless lines, and the panic caused
by not finding the perfect gift? Avoid the holiday stress and Escape to
Black Friday at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton with
family and friends on November 23 from 9am-5pm. Enjoy hot cider, artist
demos and workshops, while you explore the beautiful campus and start
your holiday shopping. There will be exclusive holiday gifts in all
price ranges, created by more than 100 Workhouse artists.
all day event will serve as the opening reception for the 30 x 30: 30
Works in 30 Days, which will be on exhibit in the McGuireWoods Gallery
from November 23 through December 30. Support your local artists and
community while finding the perfect holiday gifts for family and
Hand-made Ornaments by Ceramic Resident Artists will
be for sale to support the Workhouse Ceramics Program this Holiday
Season in the Gift Shop.
The Workhouse Arts Center is located at 9601 Ox Road Lorton, VA 22079. (800) 453-8179.
~ Sharon Bulova Newsletter
Bonnie Notes: This month, I have four pastels, both small works and larger pieces, one of which won an award in the People's Choice on Second Saturday.
Art in the Courtyard
Lorton Station Blvd
Saturday, October 20 noon-4pm
Come see over 20 local artists with booths of fine art to jump start your gift giving! MIX 107.3 radio will be there with music and giveaways from 12 to 2 pm,
followed by smooth jazz from DJ Duane Williams. There will also be a
complimentary wine tasting from local VA Greek Wine Distributor,
It's near the VRE station, so there's plenty of easy parking, too.
Coming Events and News
from the artists at Gallery West
is located just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC in
historic Alexandria, VA near popular restaurants and other attractions.
Visit the Gallery at 1213 King Street in Old Alexandria, just blocks from the King Street Metro. Gallery hours: Thursday - Sunday, 11 am - 6 pm and other times by appointment.
Gallery West is pleased to present Dimensions, featuring the work of ceramics artist Daiva Balkus and photographer Ruth Ann Lowery.
Combining these three-dimensional and two-dimensional art forms into
one show offers a unique and richly diverse art experience.
became committed to ceramic art due to the tactile nature of clay, the
ability to use her love of color and paint when applying glazes, and the
challenge of making work that shows the supple, flexible nature of the
material in the final form of its hard and glassy state. She enjoys
making soft, voluptuous pieces that frequently include contrasting
hard-edged features. She loves exploring the rich history of pottery
making and ceramic sculpture and finds inspiration in virtually every
period of great pottery making. Currently she is experimenting with
creating shapes and forms that surprise and delight ~ forms that reach
or slump or push out in some unexpected way, and creating ways for form
and surface to sing together. Ruth Ann Lowery
approaches photography as a tool for more closely observing and
experiencing the places and people she encounters, and ultimately for
making connections with viewers. By sharing images of the world as she
perceives it, she seeks to communicate and share a common wonder at the
subtle order, dignity and beauty that waits to be seen in places both
expected and unexpected. Ruth Ann’s passion for creating images
recently took her to New York City, where she worked to uncover new
layers of -- and capture beautiful human moments in -- this singularly
unique urban landscape. The result is Bytes of the Big Apple: NYC in Digital Photographs,
featuring images of scales large and small, and ranging from the grit
of the city’s subway system to rarified images of style and fashion.
She recently expanded the project to also include images of Chicago.
You can see more of Ruth Ann’s work, which available as archival digital
prints and fine gallery wraps, at www.nuancedviews.com. Don’t miss this unique and richly textured combination show from two of Gallery West’s newest members!
Also Coming to Gallery West in October
Pulse4Artists - “4 Ways of Color”
artistic exploration of color by the group: Pulse4Artists, will be on
display at Gallery West from October 3 - November 4th. The opening
reception will be Saturday, October 13th between 5 - 7PM in the
gallery. It is their first show together after investigating new
mediums and styles.
are a diverse group of four artists who have painted and exhibited
together since 2003. Our work includes acrylic, oil, watercolor,
monotype, graphite, pastels, and photography. We are drawn together by
the textures, movement, and colors that pulse through our work.
Baumbusch’s artwork reflects her love of the beauty of nature, captured
in acrylic, oil, pastel, and watercolor. She brings energy and movement
into her paintings with a rhythm found in the music that is ever
present in her Georgetown studio www.cherrytreeart.com
Blackwell’s art explores moments within the family environment and
reflects them in oil and acrylic paintings, photographs, and mixed media
Brady works in monoprints, acrylic, pastels, watercolor, and mixed
media. Painting for her is a release of energy. She is an impulsive
artist. Color and impact are her primary interests. www.kathybradyart.com
Correa’s work captures instances of her multicultural life where
frequent travel, family, memories, and beauty give rise to her emotions.
She uses acrylic, oil, pastel, graphite, ink, and watercolor. http://carolinacorrea.com
I'd heard so many good things about the Clarke County Historical Society's Art at the Mill in Millwood near Berryville that I decided to participate this year. Two pastels were accepted and I look forward to this very active show. Their big weekend, with other Clarke County activities happening in conjunction with the exhibit, is October 13-14. Visit before it's all gone!
Hours: Sunday - Friday 12-5p
The Pastel Society of Virginia is pleased to host Maggie
internationally known and respected pastelist and author, on Veteran's
Day weekend November 10-12, 2012 (Saturday through Monday) at the Franconia Governmental Center.
The theme is developing your vacation photos into pastel paintings,
whether you're a beginner or advanced. The $400 registration fee
includes three days of instruction, daily boxed lunches, and 2012/2013
membership in the Pastel Society of Virginia. As part of the workshop,
but separately and only for workshop participants, Maggie will judge a
painting contest, awarding gift certificates for Richeson products.
See Maggie's website maggiepriceart.com for workshop registration information and
direct any questions to Susan Webster at email@example.com
703 533 0891. This workshop already has reached the attendance quota to
be held, however, the registration deadline has been extended to October
10 to assist you in getting your payment submitted. Due to Maggie's
extensive teaching schedule and limited availability, Susan Webster asks
that you contact her, instead of Maggie, with all your questions and
Created en plein air at Burke Lake, Shore Grasses has a different look due to the surface I used. On a tinted canvas board, I applied pastel medium containing a sand component. The orange underpainting shimmers with the cool pastels on top.
Completed with an underpainting of shades in blue pastels and an alcohol wash, Eastward at Sunset is based on one of my photos from Riverside Park near Mt Vernon. Part is of Virginia, part across the Potomac into Maryland. It goes to show that some sunsets are brilliant as they reflect off of the opposite sky and shimmers in the twilight.
The Green Springs Show and Sale is an annual event
Springfield Art Guild and Friends of Green Springs. The exhibition runs
from August 28 through October 28 with a reception on September 9 from
1-3pm. Artwork submitted must be based on natural, horticultural or
local history themes. Lisa Semerad of The Art League School in
is the judge and her exciting statement in the prospectus is specific
about what she is seeking in submissions; she will award $500 in cash
prizes. Details about this Call for Artists are at the Springfield
Guild website: springfieldartguild.com .
The 11th Annual Something Hot Regional Juried Show and Sale runs from August
10 - August 27, 2012 with the Opening Reception on Friday, August 10
from 5:30 - 8 pm. It is at ArtSquare at 12 Cardinal Park Drive SE in
I had not exhibited in Leesburg prior to this show, so I am very happy to expand toward this venue. Just finished, "Morning Drive" was juried in. The philosophy of the juror, within the overall topic, concerned action because of the heat or action chosen to beat the heat. My interpretation of this theme was this pastel of a sticky, humid morning, based on a photograph I'd taken several years. The weather is "close" to use a Virginia term.
It was my first trip to Easton. We did a prelim trip a few days in advance; this painting was my practice run. My version during the 2h competitive portion on Saturday was washed out in the deluge; I am in awe of what others accomplished during that time, very glad that one award winner was a pastelist.
Visit the group exhibit at the Gallery of Pavilion I of Mary Christie, Kathleen Stark, and me in Virginia Beach from July through September. It is available for viewing during business hours, covering the lobby and five more floors.
In their first ever plein air exhibit, LibertyTown in Fredercksburg is hosting plein air artwork created in the last year. The exhibit runs through September 1 and I have four pieces in it: two pastels from Burke Lake and two pen/ink/watercolors from our cruise last summer.
Double Take is the study of images from Italy through photography and as pastel paintings by Bonnie Ferguson Butler as she doubles up and combines her two primary fine art interests. Although her general
use of photography supports her creation
of pastel paintings, Butler's overall philosophy is that great photos
should stand alone as works of fine art, elevated beyond interpretation
in other media. As a result, Butler's exhibit, Double Take: Photographs & Paintings of Italy,
covers Northern, Central, and Southern Italy in both media, which are
displayed as pastel paintings, metallic ink prints, and on canvas.
with the Workhouse Arts Center, Butler exhibits at The Loft Gallery in
Occoquan. Her works are displayed on her websites, bfbutler.blogspot.com and bfbutlerphoto.blogspot.com. She is a Board Member of Springfield Art Guild and Founder of the Pastel Society of Virginia.
Double Take runs from June 6 through July 1 at the Workhouse Arts Center, Rt 123
at Lorton Road in Lorton VA. The opening in Building W-16 is in conjunction with the
Workhouse Second Saturday Gallery Walk on Saturday, June 9 from 6-8pm. Light refreshments will feature an Italian influence.
Oasis Near Bologna
Based on poor quality photographs taken across the inside of a moving train headed from Rome to Venice, Oasis Near Bologna joins sister paintings Villagio del Vino and Tuscan Harvest, which were developed the same way. Many thanks to the patient passengers on that train.
Two Dips is a series of nine mix and match photographs based on gelato
flavors and colors. It features the likes of a youthful Sophia Loren,
the source of inspiration traced throughout. Two Dips, Cherry Two Dips. Mango 8x10
metallic ink photograph
PS - Look for Ciao, Roma in the calendar section of June's élan magazine.
Note that my page on the Workhouse website is temporarily out of commission as they are redesigning the site.
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.