Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Left Out" juried art show

Teapot and Pears
by Jane McElvany Coonce
In the Afternoon Cafe
by Jane McElvany Coonce
The Arlington Artists Alliance is sponsoring a juried art show for September.  Artists are allowed to enter 2 pieces for possible acceptance.  I enter "Teapot and Pears" and "In the Afternoon Cafe."  An artist always has their fingers crossed when they enter a juried show.


I am thrilled to say that both pieces were accepted!  I think only 5 artists got both pieces accepted.  There will be a reception at the Gallery Underground on Friday, Sept 5 from 5 to 8 pm.  I hope everyone can come.  If not, the show will hang for the month of September.  It comes down Sept 27.  
The gallery is located in Crystal City in Arlington.  

The theme "Left Out" is about the process that an artist goes through when producing a piece of art.  The artist might leave out or add something into the composition to make it work as a painting.  In both of my pieces, I left out specific colors. 

 In "Teapot and Pears", I limited myself to colors that were opposite the color wheel ( blue and orange).  The table cloth is blue and the background is peach.  There are a few other colors in there, but the majority of the painting is the blue/orange spectrum.  Colors opposite on the color wheel have a tendency to make the eye vibrate.  The color combination is a little jarring.  Yet the painting as a whole is a very soothing subject matter.  

In the painting "In the Afternoon Cafe" , I used a limited palette again.  This time I used purple and a yellow that are also opposite on the color wheel.  I think if I had painted this scene in the colors that were really there in real life, the painting wouldn't have been nearly as interesting.  So I wouldn't be tempted to use the colors of reality, I painted this scene from a black and white print out of this photograph and only used the two colors to complete the work.  By leaving out the real colors, I think I achieved a much more cohesive painting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gretta Bader

Gretta Bader's obituary was in the Washington Post last week.  She was a sculptor and had taught down at The Art League in the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria.  I had taken sculpture lessons from her back in the 90's.  She was a great teacher.  She left the area, and I never knew what happened to her.  Her son was a movie star in Hollywood.  He was in the movie, The Beverly Hillbillies.  Diebrich Bader played Jethro.  When I watched the movie, I giggled through the whole thing because it was like looking at Gretta dressed as a man.  He looks just like his mom.

The sad thing about hearing about a death of someone you admired is that you wished you had told them.  I wish I had told Gretta how much I enjoyed her class and what a great teacher she was.  Unfortunately, I've lost that opportunity and will never be able to tell her how much I loved her class.
It makes me realize that we need to tell people around us what they mean to us while they are still here to appreciate the compliment.
Obit picture of Gretta Bader

Sharon - Version #2
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Sharon - Version #1
by Jane McElvany Coonce
Gretta had a model one time named Sharon.  Sharon posed for us for 8 weeks.  I started my sculpture of her, and after about 3 weeks, Gretta told me to stop and start over.  I was a little surprised because I liked what I had done so far and didn't just want to tear it down and start over.  So I put it aside and started a new one.  I'm glad she did have me do this.  I have 2 pieces, both which are in my living room.  One is the "sketch" of only a couple of weeks and the other is a more finished product.  I learned a lot from doing this, although it was very painful at the time.  Thanks, Gretta, for pushing me to do more!  I cherish both of these portrait sculptures and what they taught me.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Eagle
by Jane McElvany Coonce
My classes are over for the summer, and therefore, I've been doing so much painting!!!!  I'm getting tons of paintings done because I can stay home and paint all day.  Teaching takes a lot of time.  It's not just the hours that you have class, but it's also the preparation of getting things lined up in order to do proper demos for the classes.  Since I have both oil painters, pastelists and watercolorists in my class, I've got lots of prepartions to do in each of the mediums.

I've had several commissions that have been piling up and slowly being worked on, but this week , I've managed to finish up 3 commissions.  The one above, Eagle, is a painting I did for Nancy and Dave Mulligan.  It's rather large, and I'm thrilled with how it has turned out.  It's going to the framers this week. Rob Plati, my fabulous framer at Underground Industries, helped me pick out a beautiful frame of brown wood with a white linen liner.   Can't wait to see it in the frame.

Nancy and Dave wanted an eagle painting.  I have a great photographer friend, Bob Currie, who is one of the best photographers I know.  I asked him to take some pictures of eagles for me that I could work from.  He took so many beautiful photographs, and I had a hard time picking one.  But this was the final choice of the bird in flight, with its' enormous wing span stretching out across the water.

Can't wait to deliver it to Nancy and Dave.  Hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed painting it.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Peach from the Tree

Peach from the Tree
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I did a little watercolor sketch today to take a break from two commissions I'm working on at the same time.  They both take a lot of concentration.  So I decided to take a morning to do a sketch of a pear from the farmer's market that still had a branch and leaves attached.  It was fun and quick.

Now it's back to the grind stone to work on my commissions.  Hopefully, I'll have one of the commission pieces done by the end of the week.  When it's complete, I'll post it.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

'Scapes Show at the August juried show at The Art League's

Friday Night Traffic
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Every August, The Art League has it's landscape show endearingly called 'Scapes.  It's the one show a year dedicated to the landscape.  There were over 600 entries and they could only accept 140.  Competition is always tough at The Art League shows, but the landscape show is always the most competitive.  So I was thrilled when one of my paintings was accepted into the show.

"Friday Night Traffic" is an oil painting from my night series.  It's one of my favorite ones from my night scene series. It will hang at The Art League in the Torpedo Factory for the month of August.  I hope you will get down to Old Town and see the show.  The landscape show is always worth seeing.

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