Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I'm Teaching a New Class - Watercolor!

Sunflower Bouquet

I have some exciting news!  I've been asked to teach a watercolor class for the Art House 7.
This is an art school founded by 2 former Arlington County Art teachers.  They have asked me to teach a class for adults in watercolor.  It's an 8 week class, and it starts on Jan 11.  It runs every Wednesday for 8 weeks from 1:30 - 3:30 pm.

Art House 7 is located at 5537 Lee Highway in Arlington, VA.  There is plenty of parking.

 You can look at their website at:  There you will see a schedule of classes. Look under Class Descriptions and then weekly classes.  If you think you might like to try watercolor, sign up and give it a try.  It's lots of fun, and it's easy clean up.  It's a great medium to travel with because you can pack it in your purse!  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  
Chickadee in Winter

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Wishes for 2016

Sunset on Winter Snow
oil painting by Jane McElvany Coonce

I want to take a few moments to wish everyone a happy holiday, whether it's Christmas or Hanukkah or anything else you celebrate, and to wish you a Happy New Year.  This is to all my friends and family and people who support me through my life.  I'm am grateful for all of you because you make my life so rich and joyful.  I am indeed a lucky woman.  I don't see some of you often, but none the less, you have enriched my life. Even the students I have had on the cruise ship, you have brought me joy!

I read somewhere that if you wake up every day and name what you are thankful for, you will have a happier day.  I think this is true.  With so much negativity in the world, we need to focus on the positive.

What brings you joy?  Focus on that.  If you can't think of anything, then you need to start painting!  As one of my lawyer students said, " Taking your class and painting is a lot cheaper than if I had to pay a psychiatrist. "  There is a reason there is such a thing as art therapy.

Whatever you do this upcoming year, I hope it is filled with joy and laughter and also thankfulness.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

With the new Harry Potter movie out, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them", it made me think of a painting I did a number of years ago.

Lots of people ask me why do I paint what I paint or how do I decide what to paint.  Each painting has it's own reason, but I think "Harry Potter's Bookshelf" has a good story. 
Harry Potter's Bookshelf
painting by Jane McElvany Coonce
When my son, Kevin, was in elementary school, he was a non reader.  He hated to read, and it was difficult for him.  So I bought the first Harry Potter book, and each night, I would read a chapter to him before he went to bed.  If you haven't read it, it is a book that draws you in.  It's funny, it's scary, you fall in love with some of the characters and you hate some of them.  You become totally involved in the story.  Every night, Kevin would sit next to me in bed as I read.  When we got to the scary parts, he would snuggle even closer.  It was a very special time for both of us.  At the end of the book, he was so excited!  "READ IT AGAIN!" he screamed.  I calmly handed him the book and said, "No, you read it.  It's your book now." From that day on, he began to read.  He read all of the Harry Potter books (I think there are 7 of them), and when he finished, he read them again.  
The author J.K. Rowling changed Kevin's life when she wrote the Harry Potter series.  He's an avid reader now. 
As an adult, he's in 2 book clubs.  I did this painting for Kevin because of the importance that the Harry Potter books played in his life. I know he will cherish it long after I'm gone, and for me, it was a labor of love.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

1st Place Prize in the Hollin Hills Show 2016

Hot Dog Stand in the Theatre District
by Jane McElvany Coonce
I am on a roll lately.  Last week I won 2nd place in the national juried show, "Figuratively Speaking", with my sculpture "Harriet".  This weekend I won first place in the "Famous Artists of the 21st Century" show held at Hollin Hall in Alexandria, VA.
I had several pieces in the show, but my watercolor, "Hot Dog Stand in the Theatre District" won 1st place.  It's quite an honor because there are some really FABULOUS artists that are in this show.  So I was quite shocked when I found out I won.  There were so many beautiful paintings in this show.

If I had known I was going to have my picture taken with my painting, I would have combed my hair and worn something a little nicer.  Oh well, that's what artists are like - half the time we look like rag-a-muffins. Today was one of those days.

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