Monday, October 28, 2013

Back to Bellagio

Hotel Splendide, 8"x10" oil on canvas

I have really been enjoying a change of pace with painting recently, focusing on Italian scenes.  This past May, my husband and I went on a great trip over to Europe, and everywhere we went we had camera in tow, taking more pictures than I can count.  You never know when you are going to get a great shot or not, but I'm happy to say that I got a few that have inspired me to pick up my brush.  That includes the shot above of Hotel Splendide, lcoated in the heart of Bellagio in Lake Como.  Lake Como is one of my favorite places to paint, there is just something magical about the lake region in Italy.  The weather there is temperate, the landscaping lush, and the buildings are beautiful nestled into the mountainside.  

In other news, we have a new "old" art car, a 1992 blue Volvo 240 wagon.  As our last one died, we were on the hunt and have always been fond of old Volvo's.  Since I am usually hauling many pieces of work at a time, I need something with lots of space, and as Volvo's are built like big rectangular bricks, they are a perfect solution for anyone trying to haul lots of stuff.  Yesterday was a bit cold so I took her to the car wash, and I had to laugh when the girl looked at my car like I was crazy to even think about spending $8 on Old Blue.  Ha!  Well, now she's all shiny inside and out and ready to hit the road!  Woo hoo!

Hope you have a wonderful Monday, see you next week!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Loosen Up!

This past weekend, the local arts group I am a member of (Northern Virginia Artists League or NOVAL for short) hosted an oil and watercolor workshop at ArtSpace Herndon.  We were able to get the lovely Vicki Blum, oil painter extraordinaire to teach the morning class and do a painting demonstration for us!  Vicki is a great teacher, very disarming, and just a lot of fun.  

After Vicki showed us how she does what she does, Vicki let us loose to paint our own scene on a small canvas.  The intimidating part?  We only had an hour and a half to finish the piece.  What?!  Listen, for some people, an hour and a half is plenty of time to complete a small piece, but for others (ahem), this is a near impossible task.  As you can see by some previous works, I paint in lots of detail, with very tight strokes.  So this was definitely quite a challenge and forced my brain to flex a little to practice the technique of using larger, looser brush strokes.  The results are quite different from the normal style, but I like it!  I mean, I love some purple with yellow highlights (I went to JMU for undergrad after all), so I guess in a way I couldn't go wrong!

This workshop was especially refreshing because, if I'm being completely honest, I really did not have a great week when it came to painting.  I worked on two paintings, both sketches I shared, and neither, NEITHER worked out at ALL.  How does that happen?  I should have known from the start, but alas, I have two canvases sitting in the trash because they just did not turn out the way I had hoped.  Oh well!  What are you going to do?!  It happens!

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday so far and that you have a great rest of your week!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Arts Crawl!

Happy Columbus Day!  Today many of you are celebrating this holiday...or are sitting behind your desk lamenting the lack of holiday.  Well, whether or not your company observes Mr. Columbus, I think we can all be more than pleased in the DC area to say that the sun is shining!  After beginning to feel trapped under all of this rain, we finally have some relief!

Last week, I participated in the Third Annual Herndon Arts Crawl.  I had a great time setting up shop at Jimmy's, where people drank, ate, and merrily looked at art throughout the course of the evening.  I had a blast, and the staff at Jimmy's was fantastic.  So if you're ever in downtown Herndon and want an awesome spot to eat some great food and have your favorite beverage, be sure to check out Jimmy's!

Before shot.  Jimmy and his crew set up special lighting and everything!

After shot.  Believe it or not, all of this fit into the Beetle!

Okay so next up, a small painting of Venice.  I know what you're thinking, whoa, Venice is not in DC?!  Well, I'm taking a break from the DC collection briefly to focus on some European coastal scenes.  It's been way too long so I figured I would take a quick break from the city!  I just finished sketching out the latest, so take a look of the before and I'll show you the after next week!

Happy Columbus Day!  Hope you are enjoying the beautiful Fall weather and wonderful sunshine!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Come on Out! Arts Crawl at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern

Photo Courtesy of virginia.org

Come on out this Wednesday starting at 5:30 p.m. for the third annual Arts Crawl in Herndon!  Sponsored by the Council for the Arts, Herndon area artists display their work at one of four local restaurants:  Ice House Cafe, O'Sullivan's Irish Pub, Jimmy's Old Town Tavern and the Mediterranean Breeze.  I will be present, displaying my work at Jimmy's, which is located at the corner of Elden and Spring Street, and there will be original works as well as prints, in addition to appetizers and the atmosphere that only Jimmy's can bring.  Be sure to come on out, it's a wonderful fun, free event for the family!

In other news, it's been a whirlwind weekend with ValeArts now coming to a close, and it was a really great weekend.  God gave us a wonderful, warm and sunny weekend to display our works and there were people from all over the Northern Virginia region and beyond to see the pieces and do a little shopping! 

Photo courtesy of ValeArts

Shoppers checking out the smaller works table.

Photo courtesy of ValeArts

Friday night reception, replete with twinkling lights!

Hope you are having a happy (albeit a bit rainy!) Monday!  Until next week!