Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Green Springs Gardens Presents "Nature's Palette"Si

Sit a Spell
by Jane McElvany Coonce

The Potomac Valley Watercolorists are having a show at Green Spring Gardens.  All paintings in the show have to be about nature, flowers, gardens, etc.
I have two paintings in the show that are of the garden of my friend, Claire DeGroot.  She has the most beautiful backyard full of azaleas.  It's on Ohio Street in Arlington, one of the prettiest streets in the county.  Her yard is a painters paradise.  I go there every year and try to paint a different area of her massive garden.  She is always kind enough to invite me so I never feel I'm intruding.

If you haven't been to Green Spring Gardens, you are in for a real treat.  There are beautiful grounds that is owned by the county.  Besides the gardens, there is a historic house and a horticulture center.

The show runs from April 26- June 26.  There will be a reception this Sunday, May 1 from 1-3 pm.

 Green Spring Gardens is located at 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, VA.  It's off of I-395.  Take exit 3B (Little River Turnpike West, Route 236).  Turn right on Braddock Road.  Then turn right at the entrance on Witch Hazel Road.

The exhibit hours :
     Historic House :  Wed-Sun from 12-4:30pm
     Horticulture Center:  Mon - Sat from 9 - 4:30 and Sunday 12- 4:30pm.
Hope you get a chance to stop by and see the show.  It's always beautiful.
Backyard Azaleas
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rocks and Surf

Crashing Waves No. 1
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Rough Surf on the Rocks No. 3
by Jane McElvany Coonce
In my class, I try to think of projects for my students to do so they get experience with all kinds of things to paint.  One of the projects this semester was to conquer rocks (which is not easy) and surf.  I teach 4 classes (2 day and 2 night classes) and in each one, I do a demonstration.  Usually, if the demonstration looks half way decent, I take them home and finish it up in the studio.

Here are two of the 4 demonstrations I did.  (The other 2, I still need to work on before they are presentable to the public.) I added the seagulls to add some life to the scenes.  I may take these down to Rehoboth Art League and put them in the gallery at the beach this summer.

I will post the other two once I finish them up.

I've got several projects going on right now so I'm not sure when I'll get to the other two.  I'm doing a portrait commission of Judge Esther Wiggins who is retiring from the juvenile court system of Arlington County.  I can't post what I've done so far because there will be an unveiling on May 20, but I will post a photo of the painting once the ceremony has taken place.  It's been a fun portrait to do.  She is a beautiful woman, and she doesn't look old enough to retire.  I'm honored that I was selected to do this commission.  Stay tuned!

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Red Hat and the Baltimore Watercolor Society

The Red Hat
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I've been beaten up lately.  I've entered several juried shows and haven't been selected.  I know that entering juried shows is a crap shoot.  I entered the Virginia Watercolor Society's juried art show and put the two best watercolors in that I've ever done in my entire life.  Both were rejected.  I was shocked.  I thought surely the judge would have a hard time making up his mind between my two entries.  It just shows that you can't ever tell what will appeal to a judge.  However, I entered the Baltimore Watercolor Society's annual show.  (Last year I was rejected, so I didn't have much hope.)  Today I got the news that my lady with "The Red Hat" was accepted!  I was thrilled!  Rejection was being to hurt!

This painting has gotten into every juried show that I've ever entered, and it's won several prizes.  I think it's partly because it has an abstract underpainting consisting of various colors.  Then I drew with some water soluble crayons and filled in some parts of the hat and face with paint and left the drawing and underpainting showing in other areas of the clothing.  I lifted the highlights with alcohol.  It's kind of a long and narrow shape which is different.  (Judges like different.)

After this, I may retire my prize winner to my brother's beach house.  I've always loved this painting, and I'm thrilled that the judge for Baltimore did, too!

Entering juried shows isn't for the faint of heart.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

Jefferson Memorial Among the Cherry Blossoms
by Jane McElvany Coonce

Several years ago, I went down to the Tidal Basin and walked around for 2 hours taking lots of photos of the cherry blossoms in bloom.  I have never painted anything from all of the pictures I took until this year.  I pulled out the envelope of my photos and looked through them until I found the one I wanted to work from.  I think it would be impossible to set up and paint from life because there are some many tourists.  People would stop and ask questions, and you'd end up talking more than painting.  But that site is a beautiful place when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hydrangeas for Manet
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I sold a favorite still life of mine today.  Interestingly, it was bought by an old friend, Jan Cullen McDermott. Jan and I go way back.  I met her through a mutual friend, Chris Romanis Bury.  Jan bought a painting from me a few years ago.  Recently, she and her husband renovated their kitchen.  They have a beautiful empty gray wall that needed to be filled, so she contacted me.  I feel honored that out of all the wonderful artists in this area, she picked me.  I'm glad that a painting that I love found a good home.  It looks great in their "new" kitchen.

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