First Prize in Photography, Menokin

The results are in at the Menokin Photography Contest!

I won First Place for "Reassembled"

and earned an Honorable Mention for "Best Chimneypiece"

both in architecture.

It was a pleasure to meet the judge, Richmond photographer Hullihen Williams Moore, who studied with Ansel Adams, and to hear his evaluation of my photos.



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 Photography Contest Winner

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.


Escape to Black Friday, November 23

Escape to Black Friday, November 23

Hot Cider and Cool Art


Art by Tuula Rissanen Ross.
Are 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.

This 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 friends!

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 at the Mill Closing

Art at the Mill ends tomorrow in Millwood, near Berryville. See what makes this show and sale so popular!

Hours:  Saturday  10-6p
            Sunday 12-5p

Admission:  Adults  $5
                   Seniors $3
                   Students Free


Art in the Courtyard, Lorton Tomorrow

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, Dionysous.


It's near the VRE station, so there's plenty of easy parking, too.


Last Call: Maggie Price Workshop

Closing date for registration and fees is Wednesday. Contact Susan Webster to participate in this workshop.


Gallery West Goes Out With A Bang

Coming Events and News
from the artists at Gallery West

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.   


Coming to Gallery West in October 2012


An Exhibition of 2-D and 3-D Artwork
by Ceramic Artist Daiva Balkus
and Photographer Ruth Ann Lowery
October 3 – Nov. 4, 2012
Artists Reception: Saturday, October 6, 5-8 pm

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.

Daiva Balkus 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”

An 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.
Pulse4Artists 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.
Cherry 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
Diane Blackwell’s art explores moments within the family environment and reflects them in oil and acrylic paintings, photographs, and mixed media presentations.   
Kathy 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
Carolina 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


Art at the Mill

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!

October  6-21
Hours:  Sunday - Friday  12-5p
            Saturday  10-6p

Admission:  Adults  $5
                   Seniors $3
                   Students Free


Pastel Society of Virginia hosts Maggie Price in November

The Pastel Society of Virginia is pleased to host Maggie Price, 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 susanwebster@verizon.net or 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 registration needs.


Shore Grasses

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.

Shore Grasses
soft pastel on board


Eastward at Sunset

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.

Eastward at Sunset
soft pastel


SAG at Green Springs Call due this week

Call for Artists: The Fall 2012 ART SHOW AND SALE
Presented by the Springfield Art Guild & Friends of Green Spring Gardens
August 28th - October 28th

The Green Springs Show and Sale is an annual event sponsored by 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 Alexandria 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 Art Guild website:  springfieldartguild.com .


Something Hot at ArtSquare, Leesburg

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 Leesburg.

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.


Morning Drive

The morning fog on the 198 was taking its time to lift, lingering long enough to actually be called clouds.

Morning Drive
pastel on Uart

Photography Prints


Turners Lane, Easton

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.

Turners Lane, Easton


Avenue of the Giants

Avenue of the Giants
soft pastel on Wallis Belgian Mist

Sell Art Online


Pastelists Three, PSV in Virginia Beach

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.


LibertyTown Arts Workshop Plein Air Exhibit

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.

Leaving Miami


Vatican Illuminated

Preliminary Studies - pencil   :   pastel pencil   :   watercolor

Vatican Illuminated
soft pastel on Pastelbord, watercolor underpainting


Last Look at Double Take

With 34 pieces total, this is my largest exhibit to date. It comes down on Sunday at the Workhouse in Lorton.

photography, either metallic ink or on canvas

gelato flavors featuring a young Sophia Loren

night photography

some of the pastels on display


Double Take: Photography & Paintings of Italy

My exhibit at Workhouse Building W-16 in Lorton ends on Sunday, July 1. A combination of pastel paintings and photography, it's a mini-vacation in Italy!

Murano Bound
photo on canvas


Venice Breeze

Venice Breeze
soft pastel on Pastelbord


Double Take Begins

Double Take
is the study of images from Italy through photography and as pastel paintings by Bonnie Ferguson Butler as she d
oubles 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.

Along 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
soft pastel
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
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.

Sell Art Online Art Prints


PSV Exhibit Ending at Hylton Center

The Pastel Society of Virginia has an exhibit going through June 9 at the Hylton Center on the campus of GMU-Manassas. Take in an event or head up to the balcony on your own.