Mountain & Vine Artisan Show

I mentioned in my last post that I would be doing a show at Mountain & Vine, a local winery, on Saturday February 3rd from noon to 5. That’s tomorrow! In addition to the pieces I’ve shown in the past I will be showing some new paintings that I also shared in that last post, including this one.

I am also trying something new. I have a lot of nice artwork that I’ve never framed. Much of that is because I don’t have frames to fit. I have observed in past shows that people sometimes like to buy unframed art because it’s a little cheaper and they can use a frame they already have, or chose one to their liking. I also painted a few new pieces for this show that I chose not to frame. These will all be on display in a bin on my table in my booth. I am curious to see how people react to that. Here are a few photos. These were harder to photograph because they are in plastic and there is a glare if I light them directly.

These first two are things that I painted for this show and matted but did not frame.

These two were in a sketchbook but I like them. They are very tiny, but I removed them from their sketchbook and matted them and I think they are cute and would go well in a small space.

Finally, the opening of the second show in The Trillium Gallery went great! We got some fabulous artwork from our local art community. We had a wonderful turnout and sold four paintings! There is still a lot of good work up so hopefully sales will continue. This show will be up until late April or early May.

Gallery, Show, and Christmas Cards

Sorry it’s been a while, but I have been busy! Happy New Year to all.

First, the Trillium Gallery has been doing well. It’s had good traffic and we sold four paintings, which I think is not bad for a first show. We plan to rotate the work on display quarterly and that time is nearly upon us. We have grown our mailing list considerably by including a signup sheet in the gallery. We are taking submissions till tomorrow, and we already have 44 artworks to select from. We have refined our selection process and I’m really looking forward to presenting another strong body of work. The new show will open on January 27th. We have also worked on our branding and I created a logo, which is not my forte, but it came out okay.

I am doing a show the first week in February at the Mountain & Vine winery. This show is only open to Nelson County artists. I don’t know if I will sell anything but I’m proud to support the winery and other local artists. I’m doing something new for this one. I’m going to try including a bin of unframed original works that will be less expensive than my framed pieces. We will see how that goes. I have painted a few new pieces for this show, and for the next gallery show. Here are a few that I’ve recently completed.

Finally, every few years I get ambitious and decide I’m going to hand paint Christmas cards. Usually somewhere in the process I kick myself, but in the end, I look at it as a labor of love. I did 21 in total this year and it was really good for me to focus on painting that much. I got to experiment a bit with some new techniques. And the recipients were all very appreciative. Several have told me they plan to frame them. They are all included in the gallery below, which I learned does not appear in the email version. Hopefully people will click through.

Trillium Gallery Grand Opening

First a little background about Wintergreen. There is an independent organization here called The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen (TNF). They are a naturalist organization that performs several important environmental functions, maintains our hiking trails, tracks wildlife sightings, etc. Inside TNF there is a meeting room maintained by the Wintergreen Property Owners Association (WPOA) for use by residents.

When this room was opened last year, the WPOA noted that it needed art. I suggested that it be a gallery where local artists could show and sell their art, to which WPOA said they didn’t want to be in the business of selling art. Understandable.

TNF has a gift shop that does some retail sales, so I suggested that they could do the sales and take a commission. I thought it was a win-win. People resist change, so I was not able to get any interest from TNF, until I learned that a friend and fellow artist, Carolyn Velletri had the same idea. Carolyn and her husband do a lot of volunteer work for TNF so she had the attention of the right people and we managed to get them to commit to a trial.

Carolyn and I wanted this to be a class act! We wanted a professional gallery where local artists could submit art work. Carolyn, myself, and a representative from TNF would curate the work submitted and select art for display. Art would have to meet the mission of TNF which is “to foster an understanding and appreciation of the natural and cultural heritage of the Central Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and our community through conservation, research and education.”

We wanted to hang the first show well before the holidays in hopes of getting gift sales. The art will be rotated quarterly. We worked hard to create a submission form and disseminate it to local artists. We got some great submissions and held our grand opening on October 28th. It was well attended and we received numerous compliments. Most importantly, we sold three paintings!

I am excited about this new venture. It will give me more credibility as an artist and it will help me grow and foster our local art community which is very important to me. Here are pictures of the art shown.

Here is a photo of me and Carolyn.

Here is a photo of several people viewing the art. We were having too much fun to remember to take pictures so we didn’t get photos of the crowd at its height.

Now we need to keep the buzz going.

Fall Foliage Art Show October 14th and 15th

I hope for those who are in Central Virginia that you can stop by the Fall Foliage Art Show presented by the Shenandoah Valley Art Center. This is an excellent juried art show and sale that fills the downtown streets of Waynesboro Virginia. The show runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday October 14th and then from noon to 5pm on Sunday October 15th.

I am very pleased to have been accepted as one of the Emerge participants for emerging and local art. This part of the show will be inside the new main SVAC gallery at 416 W. Main street. I will be showing some of the things that I showed in the Woodstock show, but will also include some of other pieces that have not been shown before. Here are a few.

I actually painted this painting some time ago from a photo that an online friend of mine took in Finland. Painting all of those tree details was very relaxing.

This is a scene I’ve painted a few times before. One of those was the first to sell at the Woodstock show, so I decided I needed to replace it for this show.

This is a tiny painting I did this past winter of the Raven’s Roost overlook. It’s kind of light and airy but I like the feel of it and thought it might appeal to others.

I painted this from a reference photo taken at a nearby vineyard. It was taken in the spring but with autumn in the air I decided to make it a wine harvest picture instead.

I’m hoping to do one or two more this week. I have one nearly finished and have a scene in mind for another.

I hope to see some familiar faces at the show!

Completed Commission and other News

It’s been a while since my last post. I have been busy with art and other life activities. I will try to catch up a bit.

First, I completed my commission of Brian’s view in Afton. This one was quite different because the medium was fluid acrylic. I ended up doing a composite from many reference photos. As with all of my commissions I worked with Brian, doing several prototypes, to understand what resonated with him. Then I went to work on the final painting. It is 22×18 and is on hot press watercolor paper. This is smoother than cold press, which is what I use for my watercolors. We experimented with many seasons before we settled on summer. Brian really liked the flowering trees in the spring scenes, so I made them crape myrtles to keep true with the season. I worked hard to make sure Humpback Rocks was clear, because that was important to Brian. Here is the final result. Brian was happy. I’m waiting for him to share a photo of the painting framed and hung in his house.

I have been accepted into the Waynesboro Fall Foliage show that will be held to be held October 14th and 15th. I will be in the emerging artist section which will be inside the gallery on Main Street. I will post more about this when it gets closer. It would be great to see some friends there.

Finally, I just returned from a wonderful cruise traveling from Amsterdam to Bordeaux. It was wonderful to walk in the footsteps of some of the great impressionists. While in Amsterdam we visited the Van Gogh gallery which was excellent. I highly recommend it if you are ever there. Here are a few photos I took of some of his magnificent works.

This one of a church is quite famous.

I really loved this landscape of thunderclouds over fields.

I found it quite moving and emotional to be in the presence of the palette he left behind when he died.

I always plan to paint when traveling and I take supplies and a sketchbook with me. I find that I have limited time, but I did manage to do a few sketches.

I have a few more exciting things that I’m working on to share and I will be doing that in subsequent posts soon.

Shenandoah Valley Artfest 2023 – Preparations

Tomorrow is the big day! I will be participating in the Shenandoah Valley Artfest 2023 in Woodstock Virginia! The weather this week has been terrible, and for a while it looked like the festival would be a wash out. Things are looking a little better, so fingers crossed.

I assembled all of my racks, which was a bear, and staged my setup in my garage. I think this will look fine.

I will be showing about 20 pieces. There are a few that I don’t have good photos of, but here is a gallery of most of what I will be showing.

I hope to see some familiar faces. This is my first show, but hopefully it will encourage me to do more!

Shenandoah Valley Artfest

I just got confirmation that I was accepted in the Shenandoah Valley Artfest to be held on 24 June 2023 in the town of Woodstock VA. I am so proud as participants were selected by a jury and I submitted my application as a complete unknown. I have a busy month ahead of me to get ready! Stay tuned and I will share more info when we get closer.

Rockfish Gallery and Gifts Grand Reopening

There is a gallery in the Rockfish Valley Community Center (RVCC) not far from where we live called Rockfish Gallery and Gifts. I’ve had several pieces in the gallery for quite some time. Some have sold. Recently, the founder decided to retire and it changed hands and is now owned and operated by the RVCC. They are having a Grand Reopening Open House this Sunday, October 30, from 1 to 3 PM in which I will be participating.

I plan to bring some additional paintings to display in the RVCC auditorium for the event. The new operators suggested that people like to see recent work and to learn about an artist’s process. With that in mind I finished two paintings this week. They are from a photo of the same autumn scene taken right around the corner from where I live. The first one is mostly watercolor with a little bit of white ink. The second is watercolor washes with gouache for the more detailed foliage. I’m still assessing the differences. The colors in the gouache definitely pop more, which is to be expected. The foliage in the watercolor has some nice shapes and detail. I was hoping to do a third version in fluid acrylic, but I don’t think I will get to it.

Watercolor with white ink – 10×8
Watercolor washes and Gouache – 10×8

I will also have a few other paintings including two from the Plein Air Paint Out a few weeks ago. If you are in the area this Sunday please stop by.

RVF Plein Air Paint Out 2022

The Rockfish Valley Foundation’s Plein Air Paint Out 2022 was held on October 7th, 8th and 9th. We had spectacular weather with clear crisp fall days. The colors were changing before our eyes. It was a wonderful experience. For those of you who follow me on Facebook, much of this will be a repeat, but there will be some additional commentary.

Day 1 – Morning

We started on Friday. We were asked to check in at the Rockfish Valley Foundation Museum between 9AM and 11AM. I checked in at about 9:15. There were a few other artists there and I’d already seen some out painting.

I went to my first scouted location. I had a wagon for my stuff, but I knew there was a bridge with a step up and a step down between me and where I was going, so I decided to put minimal supplies in my backpack with my easel and grab my chair. As it turns out, this was a good warm up location, but I really didn’t like the work I did there. Here is a photo of the scene and the two paintings (one is really just a sketch) that I did while I was there.

Day 1 – Afternoon

I had chosen a setting overlooking a field with hay bales, and foothills in the background, one with a higher elevation field. I later learned what I was looking at was Glenthorne Farm. We had a dinner up there on Saturday evening. It was open to painters, but I didn’t know this till I’d already planned my activities. It has stunning views and I will definitely paint from there next year.

Once I got set up in this location, I realized that about 90 degrees from where I was facing there was another nice view so I decided to make that my sketch and the original site my painting for the afternoon. I’m really glad I painted this scene on Friday, because at the end of the day they started picking up the hay bales and they were gone by Saturday. Artists love hay bales and we were incensed that they took them away.

Here are the photos of my afternoon set up and scene, and my paintings.

Day 2 – Morning

We were told that artists were gathering at the Camille Trailhead in the morning. That was already my planned site, so I was happy to oblige. I set up in the field facing Three Ridges and did a sketch and a painting. I struggled with this painting but I was okay with the final result. One challenge with painting fall in watercolor is that the colors mix together on the paper. Green and red are complementary colors, so if you let them mix together you get a muddy brown. I worked hard to prevent that. My mountain isn’t particularly realistic, but the effect is nice.

Here are photos and paintings from my morning.

There were a lot more people out walking around watching us paint on Saturday. Everyone was nice. I talked to a reporter from the local press, and I also saw our friends Kate and Mike. Once I was done with my first two paintings for Saturday rather than moving, I turned to face a scene that had been catching my eye all morning. It was the roof of the Elk Hill house peeking through the brilliant fall-colored trees that surrounded it. I decided to do this in fluid acrylics, which resulted in very vibrant colors. In hindsight, I realized I will need to bring my wet pallet into the field with me if I ever use fluid acrylics for plein air again. The paint in my wells dried very quickly. But I did get a nice little painting out of the exercise.

Here is the painting.

Sunday morning there was a quick paint exercise, but I needed to frame my work so I skipped it. I barely had enough time as it was. I took five paintings to the show and sale, and I sold three of them… Yay! The five I took included three that I’d painted in the field, and the two that I painted from my scouting exercise. Both of the fluid acrylics sold. I will take this as a sign that I need to keep painting with them.

Here is a photo of the paintings I showed.

It was a great experience. I got to meet several other local artists which was nice. I will definitely do it again next year.