Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's a New Year - 2013!

Remains of the Day
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's eve and that your house looks something like this painting up above.  If it does, it means you had a good time.  This is a painting I did last year.  I set it up and painted for 3 days straight.  It's supposed to be a joyful painting. I hope this year brings joy to all of you.  Happy New Year - 2013!!!

New Year's Eve

Celebrating the New Year
by Jane McElvany Coonce
It's hard to believe that this year is just about over.  Time seems to slip past us without us realizing it.  I hope everyone has a wonder New Year's Eve.  Celebrate with your friends or just at home, but celebrate just the same.  We are all blessed in different ways and must learn to be more thankful. I know I feel truly blessed by having such good friends and family members.  Thank to all of you for making my life that much richer.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boats at Eastern Shore

Marina Haze
by Jane McElvany Coonce

I had a nice Christmas gift today.  A patron came over to look at some paintings and bought this one above, "Marina Haze" which I did last spring when I went up to the Eastern shore for a few days of painting.  I actually had planned to take this painting up to my brother's beach house next time I went up.  I was going to swap it out with another one that's been up there a while.  However, I was beaten to the punch.  Sometimes it's bitter sweet when you sell a painting.  You are happy because you sold it, but sometimes your sad because it's one that you really enjoyed painting or there is something about the painting that makes it harder to part with.  I know this painting has found a good home.  They also commissioned me to paint another scene for them. Now that Christmas is over, I need to get out of the kitchen and back to work at the easel!   I still have a few paintings I want to finish up before the year ends.  Not sure I'm going to make it.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Brian's Trophies

Brian's Trophies
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I have 3 sons, and each one has a trompe l'oeil painting of mine.  Nicholas has "33 Bottles of Beer on the Wall", Kevin has "Harry Potter's Bookshelf", and I knew I had to do one for my youngest son, Brian.  Brian is a diver.  He has been diving since he was 9.  He now is a senior at University of Delaware and has been diving for them for 4 years.  As a kid, he won many trophies and medals.  The problem is, as one gets older, what does one do with all of these trophies.  Eventually, people have to throw them out to make way for other things such as blenders and toasters.  So I decided to do a painting of all the trophies he had. That way, if he ever does get rid of the real trophies, he will have a painting to help him remember all of his accomplishments of his youth.  This is not a painting that would appeal to most people, but to him, it carries the memories of all the hard work he put into his passion for dive.  I know through the years he will cherish this painting I did out of love for him and his love of the sport.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


33 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
by Jane McElvany Coonce
This is another trompe l'oeil painting I did for my oldest son when he was in college.  Trompe l'oeil means  "fool the eye", so although this is painted on a canvas just like any other painting, I painted it to look like a wooden bookshelf.

When Nicholas was in college, he told me he wanted a painting for his apartment.  I asked him what he wanted, and he said he didn't know.  I asked him what he liked, and he said, "Beer." So I decided to do a trompe l'oeil beer bottle painting.  I wanted every bottle to be different.  I went over to the Lost Dog Cafe which carries every beer known to man and asked them if they recycled their beer bottles.  They said no, but that they had a big trash bin in the back alley, and I was welcomed to look through there.  I was dressed in my painting clothes, so I figured, what the heck.  I proceeded to dig through the bin full of bottles and pulled out many interesting ones.  Each label is like a separate still life.  As I was rummaging through the bin, I saw a couple walking by on the side walk.  I saw the woman glance over  at me and heard her say, "Oh, the poor thing is hungry."  That was when I figured I better get out of there before someone I knew saw me.  Gosh, the things we do for art (and for our kids!)

Tompe l'oeil paintings take a lot of time.  They have to be perfect or the artist won't fool anyone.
I did make some giclees (reproductions) of this painting because I think it would make a great painting over a bar or in someone's rec room.  I also make notecards with this image.  It's a perfect way to make college kids write thank you notes and think it's a cool thing to send.   Whatever it takes!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Harry Potter

Harry Potter's Bookshelf
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Yesterday, 2 of my sons and I went to New York.  We caught the Vamoose Bus in Rosslyn and traveled up to see the Harry Potter Exhibition at Discovery Times Square.  The exhibit was awesome.  But first you have to understand that my whole family are Harry Potter freaks.  We've read all the books and seen all the movies many times over.

The exhibit had many of the props and costumes that appeared throughout each of the Harry Potter films.  It made me realize how many artists go into making a film.  The costumes were works of art in themselves.  The props and the creative thought that went into each and every item is truly amazing.

The painting above, " Harry Potter's Bookshelf", was a painting I did for my son, Kevin, when he was younger.  He was a non reader in elementary school.  Absolutely hated to read.  I started reading the Harry Potter books to him out loud.  We were both mesmerized with J.K. Rowlings ability to weave a tale with her gift as a wordsmith.  He was hooked and begged me to read them again.  I told him, "No, you'll have to read them yourself."  And so he did.  He went from a nonreader to a voracious reader.  Only a true creative artist like J.K. Rowling can change a person's life with her gift of writing.

As for the rest of the trip to New York, it was crazy.  The city was having a Santa Bar Crawl which meant anyone in their 20's had a Santa suit on.  The sidewalks were filled with drunk Santa's everywhere.  The sidewalks were so crowded you could barely move.  Every bar and restaurant was filled with Santas. It was enough to give you nightmares.

We got back to D.C at 11:15 at night and the streets were empty and the night was quiet.  I realized, once again, that I love Washington.

Friday, December 14, 2012

2nd Painting with the Finishing Touches

Key Bridge Squared
by Jane McElvany Coonce
So I'm still on my project of finishing up paintings.  This one is called "Key Bridged Squared".  Sounds like a weird title, but actually, I did this one for a show that is coming up called "Imagination Squared."
Vienna Art Society is having a show at the end of January, and every painting has to be painted on a square canvas that is 10 inches by 10 inches.  I wanted to finish this by the end of December so that is totally dry and ready to be entered into the show.

I won't work on any paintings this weekend because I'm going to New York with two of my sons to see a Harry Potter exhibit.  (More on that after the trip.)

Don't forget that Sunday is the open house at Stifel & Capra (260 W. Broad St. , Falls Church)
I will be there from 12 - 2 pm, but the open house continues until 5 pm.  Stop by and have some refreshments and do some Christmas Shopping.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Putting the finishing touches on a Painting

My goal for the next 3 weeks is to add the finishing touches on some paintings that I started earlier this year but never quite finished.  Some of them are 90% done and others are more like 75%.  "Late Summer Sailing" is a painting I started up on the Eastern Shore.
Late Summer Sailing
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I started it when I was up in Oxford on the Eastern Shore, and I had it about 90% done.  I didn't finish it on site, and it has been sitting in my studio for months.  So today, I decided to do that last 10% so that I could sign it and get it ready to frame.  

As an artist, if you put a painting aside, you can lose the momentum that you had, and it makes it more difficult to finish.  I have about 5 of these unfinished pieces.  So each day, I will pick one up and work on it.  This is the first of the lot that I focused on and finished.  

I have a few more to go, and I will show them to you as I finish. Finishing these paintings also helps to clean up my studio.  When you have a bunch of unfinished paintings sitting around, it takes up room, and it's also like having a cloud hanging over your head.  So there is one less cloud in the sky today.  4 more to go! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Painting Sold at Northern Virginia Art Center

Key Bridge in the Morning
by Jane McElvany Coonce

This month has been a busy time for artists.  We have so many shows for the holiday season.  The reception on Thursday night at the Northern Virginia Art Center was a huge success.  We had a good turn out for a week night reception.  I sold "Key Bridge in the Morning".  I am always happy when my paintings find a new home.  This was a painting that I had been commissioned to do.  But half way through the painting, the client decided he wanted it bigger.  I told him that it was no problem because my Key Bridge paintings always sell.  Now probably if I lived in San Francisco, Key Bridge wouldn't be that popular.  But here in Washington, D.C, that sight from the parkway is one of the most breathtaking views of Washington.  (At least in my opinion.)  I have a hard time keeping my eyes on the road whenever I'm driving down the parkway.

Don't forget, the last show of the year is next Sunday at my studio at Stifel and Capra.  The open house is from noon to 5 pm up on the 2nd floor.  I will be there from noon to 2 pm.  Then I'm off to some other holiday parties myself.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Open House Next Sunday at Stifel and Capra

Next Sunday at my studio that is located on the 2nd floor of Stifel and Capra, we are having an open house.  It is from noon to 5 pm.  I will be there from noon to 2 pm.  if you'd like to stop by and say hi.  I will have paintings and notecards there.  Notecards make great hostess gifts.

There are 14 artists that will be participating.  We have jewelry, glassware, icons and paintings.  And besides that, if you've never been to the lower level of Stifel and Capra, Theresa Stifel, the owner, has an interesting array of antiques, vintage items, and collectables.  You can find the perfect Christmas present at very reasonable prices.

My painting is in the upper right hand corner, The Capitol in Snow.  Not only is it a painting, but I also have cards with that painting on it.

Good luck with all of your holiday shopping and don't forget to give Stifel and Capra a try.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

First Friday at Stifel & Capra-Dec 2012

Box of Ornaments
by Jane McElvany Coonce

First Friday at Stifel and Capra is tonight, Dec 7.  If you have missed my other shows, you may want to stop by and say hi. I will have lots of boxed cards.  Some are Christmas cards such as "Box of Ornaments." Other boxes of cards are from my crab series.  I also have Key Bridge Cards, my flower series and my azalea series.  These make great hostess gifts.

There's plenty of food and drink so stop by and do some Christmas shopping.

Stifel and Capra is located at 260 W. Broad St in Falls Church.  First Friday runs from 5- 8 pm.  

Hope to see you there.

Crabs and the Copper Poacher
by Jane McElvany

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2 Art Events this Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012

Rock Creek in Spring

Ft. Smith was a very successful show.  Thanks to all of you who came by and said hi.  It was great catching up with so many friends and former students.  I sold 5 paints!  I was glad so many of my paintings have found new homes.

There are two events coming up this week that I would like to extend an invitation to all my friends and patrons.  The first one is this Thursday, Dec. 6 , at the Northern Virginia Art Center in Crystal City.  There is going to be a holiday reception from 5-8 pm.    Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.  The gallery is located at South 20th St. in between Crystal City Drive and Jefferson Davis Highway.  There is free parking in the garage.  Enter on 20th St and walk into the shopping area.  We are located next to Au Bon Pan.    The show will be focusing on Metroscapes.  I am putting several of my paintings of the Washington DC area.
Key Bridge Reflections
by Jane McElvany Coonce
King Street Blues Restaurant which is located in Crystal City is going to donate 20% of the bill of anyone who eats at their restaurant that night and mentions the Northern Virginia Art Center.
So come out, have a glass of wine with us and then support the arts by eating at King Street Blues.
Rush Hour Evening
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Capitol in Snow
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Hope to see you this Thursday.  If you'd like to join me for dinner, I'm going to the restaurant at 8 pm.  The more the merrier!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Part 2 : Ft. Smith

Day's End
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Last night's reception at Ft. Smith was a huge success.  We had a huge crowd, and I got to see so many of my friends who came out to support the arts!  Thanks to all of you who came to this fantastic reception.  I hope you had as much fun as I did.  I sold three pieces, so I am very happy.  Of course, when  a piece sells, the artist is allowed to replace it with another painting.  So if you missed the reception (or even if you went) you can still see some new art work that went up Saturday morning.  The show will hang on Saturday from 10 - 5pm and on Sunday from noon to 4 pm.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gearing up for Ft. Smith

Afternoon Glow
by Jane McElvany Coonce

This week I've been getting ready for the Ft. Smith Show.  I just got "Afternoon Glow" back from the framers.  Rob Plati, of Underground Framing, is my framer, and I think he did a beautiful job.  I was so pleased how the painting looked in the frame.  A frame can make or break a painting.

This painting will be one of the paintings that I have a Ft. Smith.

Where:  2411 N. 24th St.  Arlington, VA. 22207
When:  Friday, Nov 30 is the Reception from 6-8.
             Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 am - 5 pm
             Sunday, Dec 2 from noon - 4 pm.

The reception is the most fun.  If you can't make , stop by Saturday or Sunday.  I will be there on Friday evening for the reception, and I will be working the sales desk on Sunday from 3-4.
Hope to see you.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ft. Smith Show this Weekend

Cafe at Night
by Jane McElvany Coonce

This weekend is the Ft. Smith Show.  If you have never been to it, you are really missing something.  It's the premier show of the Arlington Artists Alliance.  The show's opening is this Friday evening with a reception.  It's like going to a very nice cocktail party.  There is beautiful art to look at and lots of interesting people to meet.

I will have several paintings in the show.  "Cafe at Night" is one of my small works that will be there.  It's 5 inches by 5 inches and is in a black floater frame with gold trim.

The show will continue all day Saturday and until 4 pm on Sunday.  Hope to see you there.  It's a great place to do some Christmas shopping.  Why not become an art collector and own original art?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Support Small Business Saturday

Cafe Light
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Saturday is "Support Small Business Saturday".  I hope all of you will come out and support the Northern Virginia Art Center.  We are located at Crystal City (20th St. between Crystal Drive and Jefferson Davis Highway).  Parking in the garage is free on Saturday.  I will be working at the gallery from 2 to 6 pm and would love the company.

We have several shows going on.  The 2 Sisters will be there with their glass works.  There is the "Small Works of Great Importance", and there is the show " Room with a View".  My painting, "Cafe Light", is in this last show.  It 's a view of 2 woman I saw in a cafe in Amsterdam.   When I saw them sitting there, I knew it would become a painting.

I hope you'll come by and see the show.  The show ends on Dec. 1, so you only have a week left to see it.  Come by and see me, too!

Black Friday 2012

Glow among the Sand Dunes
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Black Friday is a big shopping day as it is the kick off for the holiday season.  Northern Virginia Art Center is celebrating Black Friday by having a trunk show of 2 Sisters Glass.  Heide and Laurie make beautiful plates and serving platters with multi colored glass.  They will be there Friday and Saturday.  I will be there, too, in the afternoon,  from 2 - 6 pm.  I am working while our 2 co-directors are away for the Thanksgiving Holiday.    Come by and visit with me and see all the beautiful art.

The show this month at the gallery is "Small Works of Great Importance".  All the works in this show are 8x10 and under , a perfect size for a gift.  My piece, "Glow Among the Sand Dunes" is in the show.  It's 5 inches by 7 inches and framed in a dark brown frame.

The Northern Virginia Art Center is open Friday and Saturday 10 am - 6 pm.  I will be working both days in the afternoon.  Saturday has been declared small business day, so come out and support small businesses!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Name this Painting by Cupcake Jane

by Jane McElvany Coonce
Twice a year, I leave town and head for the Shenandoah to an art retreat with my mentor Diane Tesler and paint with other artist-friends for 3 solid days.  Still lifes are set up and the painting begins.  It's great because I can really focus on the still life at hand with no interruptions.  No laundry, no telephone, no computer, no cooking, no grocery shopping. We paint all day and go out to dinner at night. It's amazing what you can get done when you don't have to take care of anyone else.  I look forward to my painting get-away and have been doing this for many years.

This Fall,  I did the cupcake painting.  I don't have a good title yet.  That's one thing I'm terrible at is naming paintings.  Please help me name this one.   This painting had many challenges.  One was the lamp that I put on the still life started melting the frosting, and cupcakes were sliding out of place. However,  the light is needed on the subject matter to create light areas and shadows.  Another problem was the striped towel. It gave me fits, and I repainted the towel 3 times.  But I finished "the bloody thing" that weekend and now I need a title.  So put your creative juices to work and help me out of this dilemna.

 Thanks from your friend, Cupcake Jane.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Triple Lottery!

View of Northwest Washington
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Two posts ago, I told you I felt like I had won the lottery, twice!  I had gotten into the juried show in the November show at The Art League, and that I had won honorable mention with my piece, "View of Northwest Washington."  I thought it couldn't get any better until today.  Now I have to say I won the triple lottery because the painting sold today!  Someone came into The Art League this morning and purchased it. Megan Fox, from the gallery called me and gave me the news, and it really lifted my spirits.  It is the ultimate compliment when someone is willing to put cold hard cash down on a painting.  Needless to say, I'm totally thrilled!

 The other exciting compliment I received was from the Northern Virginia Art Center. My piece, "Grand Canal in Venice" was chosen as the Gallery Staff favorites for the small works show.
The show will hang until Dec. 2.  This is a beautiful show.  If you are looking for a unique Christmas present, now is the time to visit the gallery.  There are a lot of small works that are very affordable.
The gallery is conveniently located in the Crystal City Shoppes  at 20th St. south and Crystal Drive.
I will be working there next Wednesday, Nov 21 from 2-6 pm and on Black Friday, November 23 from 2-6 pm.  Stop by and see me.  I'd love the company!

Grand Canal in Venice
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Friday, November 9, 2012

Seascape Project in my Art Classes

Path to the Beach
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Each semester, I give my students a theme that we will focus on.  I try to make it something that they will learn multiple things from.
This Fall, our theme was the seascape.  I wanted them to do something with clouds, sea, sand dunes, and sea oats.

Afternoon Glow on the Dune
by Jane McElvany Coonce
The first week, I demonstrated the sky and clouds and we also blocked in the sand, sand shadows and placement of the grasses.

We allowed the painting to dry for a week.

Day's End
by Jane McElvany Coonce
The next week, we focused on the thin grasses and the sea oats, added fences and birds.  We also went back and punched out the lightest lights and the darkest darks.  

All of my students did an amazing job.  For some of my students, it was the first painting they ever did. For my long time students, they painted like a pro.

My three demos all look like they could be Fall scenes at the beach.  Someone may ask why paint beach scenes in the Fall.  I think the Fall is the best time to go to the beach (less crowds, whether still nice) so why not paint the beach in the Fall, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 2012 Show at The Art League

View of Northwest Washington
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Entering juried shows is part of the life of an artist.  It's like playing the lottery.  You never know if your work will be chosen or not.  If it is, you feel elated; if it is not, you can feel dejected.  However, I have a different attitude in entering juried shows.  I realize it's one person's opinion.  Depending on the judge, the piece can get in and win a prize whereas another judge will look at the same painting and give it the thumbs down.

Today was my lucky day.  I entered the juried show at The Art League located in the Torpedo Factory of Old Town Alexandria.  Not only was my painting juried into the show, it also won an honorable mention!  I was thrilled!  It was like winning the lottery twice!

The show will hang for the month of November.  The reception for the show is next Thursday evening, Nov 15.  Unfortunately, I teach that night, so I can't go down and receive my prize.  But I'm still thrilled that I was selected this month and honored that I won the award.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Potomac Valley Watercolorists Show

Secret Destination
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Shopping in the Rain
by Jane McElvany Coonce

This weekend there is another show that I am involved in.  It seems like the Fall is a busy time for artists!  This show is sponsored by Potomac Valley Watercolorists.  I am a member of the organization.  An artist has to be juried in to become a member.

I will have some of my acrylic night scenes in the show as well as some of my collages that I showed in a previous post. I will also have notecards there for sale.  Come by and see me!  I will be there on Saturday, Nov 3 from 4-5 at the card booth.  I will be selling notecards at the tiime.  But I will also be there before my work shift and afterwards.  I will also be there  on Sunday from 3 to 4 pm.

Lover's Lane
by Jane McElvany Coonce

The show runs for two days.  On Saturday, November 3, it's open from 3 - 7 pm.  The awards ceremony will be at 4 pm.  On Sunday, November 4, the show will be from noon to 4 pm.  Refreshments will be served both days.

St. Andrew's Episcopol Church is located at 4000 Lorcom Lane in Arlington.  It is located at Lorcom Lane and Military Rd.
There is plenty of parking on the side of the church and a huge parking lot in the back.

Hope to see everyone there!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review of the Home Tour Studio

The 2nd Annual Studio Tour, sponsored by the Arlington Artists Alliance, was a huge success despite hurricane Sandy's impending presence.  I was afraid the coming of the storm would keep people away.  (The news reporters were trying their best to get everyone to go to the grocery stores.)  
However, I had 40 people come by on Saturday and 17 people on Sunday.    
Five of my paintings found new homes.  I got several commissions.  But the most popular item was my notecards.  The Key Bridge notecards were the biggest seller, but coming in 2nd was my crab series of notecards.

I took a tally to see where most people heard about the show.  By in large, most people came because of my efforts to send a personal invitation that I hand delivered to 150 houses in my neighborhood.  I took the dog with me
We delivered the letters over the course of 3 days.  The poor dog slept the rest of the afternoon because our neighborhood is so hilly.
So although it was a lot of work to hand deliver the invitations, it did help to bring people to the tour and it gave me (and the dog) some exercise.

Thanks to all of you that came by and kept me company.  I had 2 friends from high school that stopped by, and I got to have a glass of wine and a long chat with Karen.  We probably haven't talked that much since lunch in the Yorktown cafeteria!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Last Day of the Home Studio Tour

Christmas Day Parade in Middleburg
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Today was the first day of the Home Studio Tour.  I opened up my house from 10 am until 5 pm.  I had over 40 people stop by.  I sold 3 paintings and tons of notecards.   The painting, "Christmas Day Parade in Middleburg", was a painting that I just completed a couple of weeks ago.  It will be my Christmas card this year.  Every year I paint a painting that I turn into a Christmas card.  Today, someone who came to the open house bought the painting!  I haven't owned it very long, but I know it's going to a good home.

Tomorrow will be the last day of the tour.  Again the hours are from 10 am-5 pm.

I hope you can stop by and do some Christmas shopping.  There are notecards, paintings and sculpture.
The Nanny
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Notecards: The Crab Series
10 cards/10 envelopes
5 different images

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This Saturday and Sunday-Home Tour

A Place Within
by Jane McElvany Coonce

I have been experimenting with abstract collage.  I recently did about 13 pieces over the course of a week.  Abstract isn't really my thing, but every once in a while I make myself stretch and get out of my comfort zone.  I focus on color and value and also design.  Abstracts aren't as easy as you may think.  They really take a lot of work.

I will have my pieces at the home studio tour this weekend.  This is the first time they have been seen by the public.  You'll have to tell me if you think they work or not, or if I should stick to my day job!

by Jane McElvany Coonce
                                                                    The studio tour is in conjunction with the Arlington Artists Alliance's 2nd annual studio tour.  It is on Saturday. Oct 27 and Sunday, Oct 28 from 10 am- 5 pm.
I hope you'll stop by and give me a critique.  My address is 4057 N. 27th St. Arlington, Va.  I'll have maps if the other studios that you can visit on the tour.  Hope to see you.
Haunting Melody
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Home Studio Tour This Weekend

Key Bridge in the Morning
by Jane McElvany Coonce

I hope everyone has put this weekend on their calendar to attend the 2nd annual Studio Tour and Sale.  It's Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28 from 10 am until 5 pm, both days.

That's a long time for me to sit around and I need company.  Please stop by and have some refreshments and see some art work.

Key Bridge in the Evening
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I have 3 Key Bridge paintings on display and lots of other paintings of still life and landscapes.
The tour begins at my house at 4057 N. 27th St. in Arlington.  Here's your chance to see lots of McElvany-Coonce paintings all at one time.  Hope to see you this weekend.

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