Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Waiting for Christmas
by Jane McElvany Coonce

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has followed my blog; this is a great way to support me.  As an artist, the most enjoyable thing about the business is the creating of art work.  The second most enjoyable thing is sharing what I've created with people who appreciate  my endeavors.  This blog has given me the opportunity to share what I've done with more people than I ever have before.

The painting , "Waiting for Christmas", is a tribute to my beloved Seamus, who passed away in September.  He was a wonderful companion who laid down in my art room while I painted.  He never passed judgement on any of my art work, not even ones that I wasn't happy with.  He was a gentle soul,and he is truly missed.
I decided to dedicate my Christmas card to him.  Every year, I paint something and turn it into a Christmas card.  This is another way I can share what I'm doing with friends and family.

This is my first Christmas card that was a watercolor.  I usually do oil paintings.  But I've been focusing on watercolor this year so that I can do a better job teaching on the cruise ships.

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday with their friends and family.  I know I'm looking forward to spending this week with my sons, my husband and my brother.  I am blessed, and I thank the Lord every day for the life he has given me.  Being an artist has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments I've ever done.  Thanks, Mom, for taking me to art class.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Contemporary Acrylic Work Shop- Dec 26, 27, 30

I am going to be teaching a workshop right after Christmas.  If anyone wants to try their hand at painting, this is the class for you. We will only use 3 colors plus white.  It's so much fun!   We start of varnishing the paper so that we can do some fun stuff with the painting later on.  Then we do an abstract underpainting with just the 3 colors.  Next, we  develop the painting into something more representational, but in a loose way.  Even if you've never painted, it's something that is not hard to do and the results are always quite interesting, never what you quite expect.  The class is for 3 days, Thursday Dec 26, Friday Dec 27 and Monday Dec 30.  It's from 10 am - 2 pm.  Everyone should bring a bagged lunch each day.  The class will be held at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Arlington.  There is still space available, so if you are interested, you can sign up on the Arlington Artists Alliance .website :
or call me and I'll help you get signed up.
If you'd like to do it , but can't come all 3 days, let me know and we will make some kind of arrangements.  I'll put up the paintings that the participants do after the workshop is over.

The Gossips
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 2013 - The Art League Show

Winter Snow on the Potomac
by Jane McElvany Coonce
As I do every month, I entered The Art League juried show and had my fingers crossed.  One never knows what a judge will like.   I put in an oil of a snowy scene of Key Bridge and Georgetown.  I had done it in watercolor, and it sold right away.  So I decided to do the same scene in oil.  I did it from a photo I took when the Potomac had frozen over and was covered in snow.  That doesn't happen very often.  I also realized that as many times as I had painted the Key Bridge, I had never done a winter scene.

Luckily, the judge liked it and selected it for the December show.  I've had a string of luck with The Art League shows.  I've been selected every month for the last 5 months.  It's not an easy feat because there are at least 600 entries each month with only room for around 100 or so paintings.

If you get a chance, go down to Old Town Alexandria and visit the Torpedo Factory.  The Art League gallery is on the first floor.  It's always fun to see what a judge selects.  You might even get some Christmas shopping in while you are down there.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Potomac Valley Watercolorists - Featured Artist

Patiently Waiting
by Jane McElvany Coonce

For the month of December, I am the featured artist on the Potomac Valley Watercolorists website.
Please visit the site:
It's quite an honor to be in PVW.  It's a juried membership and quite difficult to get in.  It's another honor to be featured on their website.

PVW has many great artists that work in water media (watercolor , acrylic and gauche.)  It's interesting to look at the different styles of the artists.

"Patiently Waiting" is a painting that I sold, and it's one of those paintings that I miss.  There was something special about that painting.  It would be impossible to replicate this pose because of the technique I used with using an abstract underpainting.  I would never be able to produce the same underpainting which influences the finished product.  So I just have to paint different paintings and hope I do another that really pleases me in the same way that this one did.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Teapot and Pears
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  It's my favorite holiday.  No presents to buy, no cards to send, no presents to wrap.  It's all about cooking and being with your family.  I always enjoy the Thanksgiving dinner.  It's a simple meal with the same ol' menu which makes it easy to plan and to pull off.

"Teapot and Pears" is a painting I completed this month.  It's got the colors of autumn.  It's a simple arrangement, but I loved how it turned out.  It's at the framers as we speak.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and rested up because now the hectic season begins: the shopping, the wrapping the decorating, the parties.  Hopefully, I will see many of you before the year ends.  I am thankful for all my friends and family that have supported me through the years.  Life is good when you have good friends and family. That's really what is important in life.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2014 Calendars

For the past several years, I have been making calendars with the paintings that I've done that year.  They have become quite popular, so I decided to order more this year to meet the demand!  Many of my students buy them as well as people who enjoy my art.  

I will have them at Stifel and Capra, 260 W. Broad St in Falls Church.  You can also get them from me.  I may even put them on Etsy, my on line store.  

Here's a sample of a few of the paintings that are featured.  I have picked out my favorite paintings that I did this year.  Actually, I have painted 76 paintings so far this year.  So I have to narrow it down to my 13 favorite ( one for the cover).  This year I've featured both oil and watercolor paintings.  And of course, December, is always my Christmas card painting.  



Friday, November 22, 2013

Ft. Smith Show -Fall 2014

Snowy Day on the Potomac
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Tonight is the opening reception of the Ft. Smith Show, the biggest show of the Arlington Artists Alliance of the year!  I will be there tonight so I hope you can stop by and say hi.  The reception tonight is always lovely; it's like going to a cocktail party.  If you can't make it tonight , you can always stop by on Saturday or Sunday.  Ft. Smith is located at 2411 N. 24th St. in Arlington.

   Fri, Nov 22,   6 - 8 pm
   Sat, Nov 23, 10 am - 5 pm
   Sun, Nov 24,  12noon- 4 pm

The painting above is the first winter scene I've ever done of the Key Bridge.  As many times as I've painted that bridge, I never did a winter scene, much less a snow scene.  My husband asked me why I'd never done a winter scene of the bridge before, and I guess it's because I don't go over to Roosevelt Island as much in the winter.  It's too cold!  But maybe this winter, I'll try to get over there more and take some new photos.  I'll take the new puppy, Leila, and introduce her to Seamus' favorite walking spot. He loved going over there and taking a swim in the Potomac.  Some how, that doesn't sound too inviting in the winter, but as crazy as Leila is, she'll probably jump in.

Hope to see you tonight!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Art League's Small Works Show- Nov 2013

Piper Playing Cello
by Jane McElvany Coonce

The Art League had the jurying today for the small works show.  I entered "Piper Playing the Cello" and it was accepted!!!!  That always puts me in a good mood when I get into their shows.  Competition is stiff, so it's not an easy feat.

This is a watercolor I did of my great niece, Piper.  Her mother, Leighanne, took the photo and I couldn't resist.  I've really been working on my watercolor techniques.  I am more comfortable as an oil painter, but watercolor is intriguing.  I think when an artist tries a new medium or a new technique, it makes them grow as an artist. Watercolor is a lot less messy.  Easy set up and easy clean up.

This is my first watercolor that has been accepted in a juried show at The Art League.  The show will hang for the month of November, so if you get a chance, take a trip down to Old Town Alexandria and see all the small works in The Art League Gallery.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Analysis of the Studio Tour

Bright Lights on a Rainy Night
by Jane McElvany Coonce

The Arlington Artists Alliance's 3rd Annual Studio Tour was held this past weekend.  I held my studio tour at my house since I no longer have a studio at Stifel and Capra.  ( I still rent wall space at S&C, but I paint at home; this was a decision I made when Seamus, our beloved German Shepherd, was diagnosed with cancer.)

I had a great turn out this weekend, and I want to thank my friends and neighbors that came by to support me.  I had 76 people come by my house.  It was great!  I got to talk with lots of interesting people and met quite a few of my neighbors that I did not know before.  Sales were good, and I am glad I participated.

"Bright Lights on a Rainy Night" was the painting that represented me on the brochure/map.  It's finding a new home, and I have to say, I'm going to miss it. This was a fun painting to do, and I enjoyed it being in my home.  But I know it will be happy in it's new home, and it  inspires me  to paint more.

Thanks everyone who stopped by.  I love you guys!  Everyone needs a cheerleader on their side, and that's what you are to me.  I can't thank you enough!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Studio Tour this Weekend, Oct 26-27, 2013

Spanish Fountain
Painted by Jane McElvany Coonce
after John Singer Sargent's painting
This weekend is the 3rd annual studio tour sponsored by the Arlington Artists Alliance.  My home is on the tour.  If you don't have a map, you can download one off the website of the Alliance and print it out.  (  I'm number 4 on the map.  There are 22 artists participating.
I will have framed and unframed pieces as well as notecards and Christmas cards.

The painting above is a watercolor I did after a John Singer Sargent painting.  I figured since I'm going to Italy in May, it wouldn't hurt to practice doing sculptures and fountains since we will probably see a lot of them there.  This piece will be in my bin of unframed pieces.

Please stop by and see me (and my new puppy!)  The tour is both Saturday, Oct 26 and Sunday, Oct 27 from 10 am to 5 pm.  My address is 4057 N. 27th St. , Arlington, VA.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Oct 2013- The Art League Show- "Body Language"

Bright Lights on a Rainy Night
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Every month I play the lottery by entering The Art League show.  Members of The Art League are allowed to submit 2 paintings for jurying, although only one is allowed to be accepted.  I help with the jurying.  I'm one of the workers who holds up the paintings for the judge to see.  I always try to hold up my own two paintings in front of the judge and try to send him mental telepathy that he must select one of these fabulous paintings that is before him.  This month, it worked!  Jay Hall Carpenter was the judge, and he selected my painting, "Bright Lights on a Rainy Night."  It's a small 8 inch by 8 inch painting and it's one of my favorites.  I was happy the judge liked it, too.  It's one of my night series paintings.  I am always in a good mood when I get accepted in The Art League show!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Save the Date: Oct 26-27, 2013

    I want everyone to save the date for the Arlington Artists Alliance 2nd annual studio tour.  It will be held this month on Saturday Oct 26 and Sunday Oct 27 from 10 am to 5 pm each day.  Artists will open up their homes to show their art work.  
    My painting, on this flyer below, is # 4.  It's one of my night scenes.  But I will have lots of paintings at my house not only from my night scene series, but also from my crab series, Key Bridge series and some new painting I've done recently.  I will also have cards, giclees (prints), and shrink-wraps (unframed works of art).  
    Even if you aren't interested in buying art, come by and see me and see what I've been up to recently.  I'd love the company. We can catch up and I'll have some nibbles and drinks.  Last year I had a good turn out, and I'd like to repeat it again.  There are over 25 artists participating, so you can go and see as many or as few of the studios as you'd like.  Put this date on your calendar because it's only 3 weeks away.  My address is: 4057 N. 27th St., Arlington, VA.  I will also be glad to send you a flyer with all the names and addresses of the artists if you will just drop me a line.
Hope to see you. And as an added bonus, you will get to meet our new puppy that is due to arrive to our house next Friday.  We want our pup to be well socialized, so you will be helping us by coming and letting the dog meet lots of people.   

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cruise trip Part 3: St. Petersburg, Russia

by Helen Pierce
Church of the Spilled Blood
by Jane McElvany Coonce
by Janet Coe

by Gale Sivis
by Sheila Lyons
This was probably the most difficult lesson I taught on the cruise ship.  First of all, architecture is never easy.  Plus, there was only had an hour to teach the class and have them complete the lesson.  However, I have to say, my students stepped up to the plate and blew me away with what they did.  Keep in mind, most of these people had never painted before.  One fellow, Don Dale, had worked in oil before, but never in watercolor.  He did the lesson in class and then, went back to his cabin, and did it a 2nd time.  He had learned what not to do with the first painting.  The 2nd one was much better.  I was really proud that these students went back and painted in their cabins.  A lot of them did this.  They were truly amazing.

by Kate Fandetti
by Rita
by Don Dale

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cruise Report: Copenhagen, Denmark

The Little Mermaid
by Jane McElvany Coonce
One of the cities we visited on the  cruise was Copenhagen.  This is a beautiful city.  The Little Mermaid is something everyone recognizes that represents this town.  So this is what I chose for my students to paint.  In painting this, the artist has to capture the rocks that the sculpture sits on as well as the bronze look of the sculpture itself.  I think my students did an amazing job.  Here are a few of the ones that were brave enough to put their paintings up on the wall so I could photograph them.  These are all first time watercolorists.  It's interesting how each artist interprets what they see in a different way!
by Kate Fandetti
by Gail Sivis

by Don Dale
by Helen Pierce

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cruise to Scandinavia and Russia - Part 1: Amsterdam

Sorry it's taken me so long to post about the teaching cruise I just finished.  Unfortunately, life got in the way.  But I'm getting back on my feet and ready to blog.

Windmills of Amsterdam
by Jane McElvany Coonce

We flew to Amsterdam a few days ahead of time to adjust to the jet lag.  We visited the Rijks Museum that has a great collection of paintings including The Night Watch by Rembrandt.  On Saturday, Aug 24,we boarded the Celebrity Constellation and began our journey for Scandinavia and Russia.  The first day at sea, I taught my first class.  We did "The Windmills of Amsterdam."  Most of the students had never painted before.  What they did was incredible.
by Don Dale
by Janet Coe

By Ellen Borkenhagen
I was very impressed what these students accomplished in one hour.  I will be putting up a selection of paintings from throughout the trip in the next couple of days.  I hope the students are checking my blog and getting to see their work knowing that people around the world are looking at their success!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tribute to Seamus

Life of the Party
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Our family really misses Seamus who departed this world on Monday night.  I thought I'd share a painting I did for my son, Nicholas.  It's in the trompe l'oeil fashion so it's not really framed; the "frame" is painted on the canvas.

I did this painting of Seamus breaking through a painting of dogs playing cards.  He's looking for where the party is, just like his master, Nicholas, did all through college.

This painting was a labor of love.  Painting that frame to make it look like the painting has a frame on it was probably the hardest part.

I don't do many trompe l'oeil paintings any more because they do take so much time.  However, they sure are fun to paint.

My next blog will be about my trip to Scandinavia and Russia and I will share some of the paintings that my students did on the ship.  Stay tuned.  They really did a fantastic job.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sept 2013 Art League Show

Hide and Seek
by Jane McElvany Coonce
 For the September Art League show, I submitted "Hide and Seek", one of the paintings from my crab series.  As I've mentioned before, entering The Art League shows is like playing the lotto.  You keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.  I was one of the lucky ones this month.  My piece was selected for the show!  I was in Europe when I got the news, so it made my day!  The show will be up for the month of September, so if you are looking for something fun to do, visit Old Town Alexandria and go into the Torpedo Factory.  The Art League Gallery is on the first floor.  I haven't gone yet, but I plan to go down and see it this week.  It's always and interesting show.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Be Square Reception Tonight

Tonight from 5 - 8 pm, there is a reception for the Be Square show at the Gallery Underground in Crystal City.  I hope all of you are planning on coming.  I went over to see it today, and it's very beautifully hung.  There are some great pieces.  I will be there having just returned from Scandinavia and Russia.  Just got back yesterday, and I will be putting up some blogs about the trip.  So stay tuned.  In the meantime, come have a glass of wine with me tonight.
Neon Nights
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cruise to Scandinavia and Russia

The Little Mermaid- Copenhagen
watercolor by Jane McElvany Coonce
watercolor by Jane McElvany Coonce
I've been preparing for another teaching cruise.  This time we are going to Scandinavia and Russia.  It takes a lot of work to get ready for one of these trips.  I first research all the places we are going and look for pictures of the places we are visiting.  Then I work up a watercolor and write down all the directions on how I did it.  I type these up so that the students will have a cheat sheet.  I will demo for them, but they may forget what to do first.  They can refer to the sheet.
We are visiting Holland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Russia (St. Petersburg). I try to pick relatively simple things to paint.  Most of the people that come to my class on the ship have never painted before.  I want them to have fun painting, but I also want them to have a souvenir to take home so they will remember their trip.  Here are the paintings they will be doing.  Like last time, I will take pictures of what students do and put them up on the blog. It's incredible what people accomplish with no experience!
St. Petersburg, Russia
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Tallin, Estonia
watercolor by Jane McElvany Coonce

Monday, August 19, 2013

Teaching in Italy - May 2014

Copy of John Singer Sargent's
Spanish Fountain
Next spring, I am taking a group of artists to Italy to paint for 2 weeks.  It's from May 1-15, 2014 in an old monastery that has been converted to an art school.  We will be painting plein air (meaning out on location.)  People can work in oil, acrylic, pastel or watercolor.  Each day we will visit a different hill town and paint a view of that village.  We might paint architectural studies like this one I did of a John Singer Sargent painting.  Or we might do vistas of the hill sides.  Each town is different and it will be fun to explore and paint.

If you've never painted in Italy, why don't you join me.  All the meals are prepared for us and wine is included!

I still have a few openings, so let me know if you'd like to find out more about it.
Countryside of Umbria
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Save the date - Friday Sept 6 from 5 - 8 pm: Be Square Show

I want everyone to mark their calendars. In September, the Gallery Underground will sponsor the "Be Square" show for the Arlington Artists Alliance.  Everyone that enters will have a painting that is on a 10 x 10 canvas.  It should be a very interesting show.  I have submitted the  two paintings you see below.  The reception is Friday night, September 6 from 5 - 8 pm.  It will also be a reception for the first anniversary of the gallery.  Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.  We will also have a small band playing in celebration of our anniversary.  I'll be there and would love to see you.

Neon Nights
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Gumball Machine
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Two Italy Paintings Sold

Boats Along a Venice Canal
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Today I went out to my friend, Nancy Mulligan's house.  She and her husband, Dave, have been renovating their home for the past several months.  The results are beautiful.  The kitchen looks like something out of Architectural Digest!  They have done some amazing things that have transformed their home into a visual paradise.

Nancy asked me to bring some of my Italy paintings.  She was looking for 2 paintings to go in her dining room.  I took several out there.  These are the two she chose.  I feel honored that they are going to be in this luxurious home.

Both of these paintings are from my trip to Italy.  The one on the left is from Venice, and the one on the right is from Assisi.  I am going to be teaching in Umbria next spring for two weeks.  I'm taking a group of students to Italy to paint the gorgeous scenery of the area.  If you are an artist or would like to go and learn to paint, let me know.  The trip is from May 1-15.  It's going to be a blast.
Narrow Walkway of Assisi
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The August Show at The Art League - " 'Scapes"

View of Georgetown and M St.
by Jane McElvany Coonce
The Art League, located in the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, has a monthly juried show.  Each month, members are allowed to submit 2 paintings for jurying.  The judge picks the paintings that he or she likes.   No artist is guaranteed to get in, and if the judge likes an artist's work, he or she can only select one of the artist's paintings.

Every month I enter two paintings hoping to get one in.  I always equate it to playing the lottery.  I hold my breath and hope for the best.  This month I was a winner!  I got a piece into the show!  It's a large piece called "View Of Georgetown and M St."  It is one of my Key Bridge paintings.  

The show is called " "Scapes" and will hang for the month of August.  All of the paintings in the show are of landscapes.  It's their biggest show of the year.  It's a very interesting show and if you are looking for something fun to do on the weekend, go to The Art League Gallery on the first floor of the Torpedo Factory.  It has over 160 pieces in the exhibit.  There is something for everybody there.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Neon Nights

Neon Nights
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I finally got over my artist's block of trying to figure out what to do for my second square painting for the "Be Square" show coming up in September.  I really had a hard time becoming inspired.  I started a night scene one night, and after about 2 hours, decided that I hated it.  So I took a paper towel and wiped it.  I immediately stopped and looked at the wiped painting and thought, "That looks better!"  So I started painting on it again.  After about another hour, I realized I was feeling the "hate" again.  I wiped it again.  Again, I liked it better.  I decided that was enough for one night, and I would let this "wiped painting" dry and serve as my underpainting.  Two days later, when I came back to it, I liked what I saw.  I began to build on top of this "wiped painting" not covering up the underpainting, but letting it show through.  This was the result.  I'm much happier.

Put Friday, Sept 6 on your calendar.  That's the reception for "Be Square" at the Gallery Underground. Reception is from 5 - 8 pm.  I'll be there and would love to see you.  It should be an interesting show.  All paintings will be on a 10x10 square canvas.  It will be amazing to see what each artist does with his or her 100 square inches of space.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Miniature Painting

Miniature:  Crab Feast
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Crabs and Mallets
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Some of you might be wondering what I've been up to lately.  I started doing a few miniature paintings because there are two shows for miniature paintings coming up in September.  In the past, when I've done miniatures, I've done them in oil.  It takes forever because you have such a small space to work on, and then you cover it with oil paint and then have to let it dry before you can go back and work on it some more.  So this time, I decided to try doing miniatures in watercolor.  Much easier!  Very little drying time between coats. You can even use a hair dryer to speed things up. They were fun to do.  I based them on the oil paintings I had done in a bigger format.  But these guys are tiny.  "Crab Feast" is 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches.  "Crabs and Mallets" is even smaller - 3 inches by 4 inches.  I'll take them to the framers, and he will put a tiny mat and tiny frame on them and make them look even better.  There are a whole group of people out there that collect miniature paintings.  The shows are juried so I will enter them and hope I get in.  I'll keep you posted.

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