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.