Monday, May 28, 2012

Jane's Art Class on the Farm

My friend, Sue Tepaske, has a farm in Maryland.  She invited me to come there and paint.  I went with 2 other artists.  We spread out, and I set up in front of the barn and silo with about 25 cows in front.  But of course, as soon as I got everything ready to paint, the cows left the scene.  I was disappointed but figured I'd just do the barn and silo and the path leading up to them.  I painted away and then I got a strange sensation that someone was behind me.  I knew there couldn't be anyone there because we were out in the country.  I refused to turn around and look because I thought I was being ridiculous.  But the more I painted, the more I felt like someone was sneaking up on me.  The hairs on the back of my neck stood up on end.  Finally, I decided I would slowly turn around and prove to myself that no one was there.  To my surprise, I had an audience watching me paint.  There must have been 10 cows gathered in a semi circle watching me do my thing.  Luckily, one of the other artists snapped a photo.  Otherwise, no one would have ever believed me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Next Crab Painting in the Series

The Copper Poacher
by Jane McElvany Coonce

As many of you are well aware of, I'm on a crab jag.  This is my sixth painting in my series.  My friend, Jean, had the most beautiful fish poacher.  It's copper and has brass handles and a brass fish on top.  Although you probably wouldn't just cook two crabs in a fish poacher, ( "I bet you couldn't eat just two!")  I couldn't resist the color of the copper against the color of the steamed crabs.  I started painting this when the sun was out.  The colors in the copper were magnificent.  The next two days were overcast, and although I worked on the painting, the copper wasn't as vivid.  On the forth day, it was still over cast, but as I worked on the painting, the sun burst through the clouds.  I immediately went back into the copper and started painting madly.  Then the sun would go behind the clouds and I would  feel my spirits drop.  Five minutes later, the sun came back out, and I again painted like a mad man trying to capture the colors before the sun disappeared.  It was a like a contest between me and the sun.  I've never experienced that before with a still life; it was crazy!  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wrap Up on It's A Steal

Reading at the Beach
by Jane McElvany Coonce

     For anyone who missed the show, "It's A Steal", you need to make sure you put it on your calendar for next year.  It was a great success.  All paintings were $75 or less.  The last post I displayed a painting of "The Flute Player" which sold!  The one on today's post "Reading at the Beach" also sold!  Actually,  8 of my paintings found a new home, so I was pretty happy.  The painting above was one that I did "plein air".  That is, I set up on the beach and painted this woman reading her book.  It must have been a VERY good book because she never noticed that I was painting her.
     Whenever we do a show like this, it's exhausting.  So I'm going to put my feet up tonight and relax.  But tomorrow is a new day with paintings waiting to be born.  Don't want to deny their right to exist, so I'll start again tomorrow.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's A Steal!

The Flute Player by Jane McElvany Coonce

"It's A Steal" is the name of a show that opens tomorrow, Friday, May 18, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church at the corner of Lorcom Lane and Military Rd.  in Arlington , VA.  There are about 35 artists participating in the show.  All paintings are $75 or less.  I have put in about 45 works, some hanging on the walls or screens and some in a bin that you can flip through.   Plus I have my notecards there, too.
"The Flute Player" is one of the paintings that I have in the show.  Stop by , if you get a chance, and check out the great bargains.

The show runs for 3 days:
     Fri. May 18 from 5 - 8 pm (reception)
     Sat. May 19 from 10:30 - 5
     Sun. May 20 from 11:30-2:30

Come early and get first pick!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Medicine Cabinet by Jane McElvany Coonce

I got the most amazing email for Mother's Day.  It was from someone who bought a painting from me back in 2008.  I had a show at Georgetown University's Hospital. The painting was of a medicine cabinet painted in the trompe l'oeil style.  The cabinet was full of things that you would find in a medicine cabinet such as tooth brushes, tooth paste, razors and even false teeth! (You always need a little humor in a trompe l'oeil painting.)

Anyway, here's the email I received today:

"Hello Ms. Coonce,
I am writing to thank you for creating"The Medicine Cabinet" acrylic artwork that I discovered while my son was hospitalized at Georgetown 4 years ago.  I enjoyed your display there which coincided with his recovery from a very serious condition.  The happy ending included purchasing a piece of your work which now serves as a daily reminder that miracles do happen!
I hope the knowledge that your work lives on in meaningful ways brightens your day?

It's stories like that that make being an artists one of the most fantastic jobs in the world.  And what a great Mother's Day present , too!

Another Crab Painting

"Crab Feast" by Jane McElvany Coonce

My last post was of my most recent crab painting.  I'm working on a crab series.  I'm trying to get enough crab paintings to do a show somewhere.  This was one of the first ones I did in the series.  The basket was one that my dad used to catch crabs.  He would catch crabs by the bushels. When I set up this still life,  I positioned the crabs on the newspaper, and I loved how it looks like one of the crabs is getting ready to do the crossword puzzle. Of course, you can't have crabs without beer!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The March of the Steamed Crabs
by Jane McElvany Coonce

This weekend I had a marathon painting session.  After setting up this still life, I painted  Saturday, Sunday and Monday until I finished my latest painting in my crab series.  I froze the crabs each evening so they wouldn't stink up the studio.  I had found the tea towel with the crab motif down at Rehoboth Beach, and I've been waiting to use it in a still life.  The biggest challenge was the holes of the steamer, but it was actually fun to do.  The holes also cast an interesting pattern on the table top.

Now, I just need to do a few more crab paintings, and then I'll have enough to do a show somewhere with just my crab series.

The best part of doing this series is that I never know how many crabs to buy.  When I went down to Maine Ave in DC, I bought a dozen.  I only used 5 in the still life.  So guess what?  I ate the rest!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dawn in her Easter Dress

Dawn in Her Easter Dress with Ping
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Here's the latest commission I did.  It's from an old photo of Dawn when she was a little girl.  She is decked out in her Easter dress and hat and is holding her beloved Ping, a duckling that she received for Easter.

Dawn commissioned me to paint this as a Mother's Day present for her mother.  What a great gift for a woman who has everything!

This commission will be on display at First Friday tonight at Stifel and Capra, 260 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA.  The reception is from 5 pm to 8 pm.
I won't be there, but please come anyway.  It's always a fun time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

First Friday for May

Boat at Dock
by Jane McElvany Coonce

This Friday will be "First Friday" at Stifel and Capra.  My studio is located there on the 2nd floor at 260 W. Broad St. in Falls Church.  I won't be there this Friday, but I did hang a new show.  The painting "Boat at Dock" is a large oil painting (24 x 36 inches).
Come by for wine and cheese and see all the new work.

Next Saturday, May 12,  at 2 pm. I will be demonstrating how to paint reflections..  All of the artists on the 2nd floor call themselves The Little City Studios. There will be other demos going on during the day.  There will be refreshments and nibbles, so stop by if you get a chance.

Also, put on your calendars, the show called "It's A Steal" sponsored by the Arlington Artists Alliance.  It will be May 18, 19, 20.  All paintings will be $75 or less.  It will be at St. Andrew's Church  on Lorcom Lane and Military Road.  I will have more about this as the time gets closer.

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