Monday, April 20, 2020

Corona Virus Painting # 7: Georgetown in the Distance

Georgetown from a Distance
oil painting by Jane McElvany Coonce
If you haven't noticed by now, I love painting the Key Bridge and Georgetown University in the background.  I LOVE that view.  I don't know why.  Here's the latest painting I have done since this Corona virus has trapped me in my studio.  To be honest, I'm enjoying being in my studio more than normal.  I am painting so much more than when I have to teach my classes and go to meetings.  I've made a list of all the things I want to paint and checking them off as I do them.

This painting, "Georgetown from a Distance" was done from a photo I took as I stood on the little bridge that goes over to Roosevelt Island.  Can't go there now, the park service has it closed off, but I have so many photos I've taken over the years that I have an endless supply. 

I've done 7 painting in a month and a half.  Not bad!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Flower Paintings

Here's the latest painting I've done since we've been in "shelter in place" for the Corona virus.
Since I'm not teaching my 5 art classes, I have a lot of time to to paint.  The painting is 16 x 20, and I painted it to go in a frame I had sitting in my closet.  I'm trying to access what frames I have in what sizes before I start a painting.  I have closets full of frames.  I need to start using them.

Pink Roses
oil painting by Jane McElvany Coonce
(16x20 inches)

Here's another painting I finished.  I actually did this last year, but it only had one flower in it.  I thought it looked boring, so I pulled it out and add the white flower, the bud and some rose hips.
When this pandemic is over, I am going to have a houseful of paintings, and hopefully, fewer frames in the closets.
oil painting by Jane McElvany Coonce
5x5 inches

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

A Funny Sculpture Story

Reclining Nude
Terra Cotta
When I do a sculpture, I can't just do it in one day.  It takes weeks to finish a piece.
So at the start of a class,  we had a beautiful model with a lovely figure.  I was so excited and enjoyed the whole day that I worked on her.  But at the end of the session, she said she wasn't coming back.  She lived in Dale City and the traffic was just too much for her.  I was very disappointed that she wasn't coming back.  The teacher said she would get another model for the next week.  I asked her if she could get another female model, and she said yes.  She knew the perfect model.
terra cotta by Jane McElvany Coonce

The next week Sara walked in.  She took off her robe and sat on a stool and took her pose.  Sara was about 5 '2'' and extremely overweight.  She was in marked contrast than the model we had the previous week.  I looked at my friend next to me and whispered, "This is gonna take a lot of clay."

But as I got into this sculpture, I enjoyed the movement of her rolls and the angles of her body.  In the end, this is probably one of my favorite sculptures that I've done.  I've never wanted to sell her.  She sits in my bedroom.

When the boys were little, they used to have a friend over for a play date, and the first thing they would do is to take the kid back to my bedroom and show off Sara.  I would hear some giggling and knew that they were "admiring" my sculpture.  Over the years, she has been used as a hat rack for my husband's collection of baseball caps.  But lately, with this shelter in place due to the corona virus, I've been doing some cleaning and straightening up.  Sara is now free of hats and is sitting there in all her glory showing the world the attributes that God gave her.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


 I don't know if many of you know this, but I also do sculpture (although I haven't done one in a while.). After I had my 2nd son, Kevin, I wanted to do something different.  I hired a babysitter once a week to come in while I went to a sculpture class.  It was a great escape, and I found that I really loved getting my hands in the clay.

Here are two sculptures that I did.  You can't really work from a photograph because you need to see the person from every angle.  You really need to have a model.   I had two great sculpture teachers.  One was Gretta Bader (who was also the real life mother of "Jethro" on the Beverly Hillbillies) and the other was Jay Hall Carpenter (who did many of the gargoyles at the National Cathedral.) I feel very lucky that I got to study with them.  They were both fabulous teachers as well as fabulous artists.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Breakfast Time

Luisa's Breakfast- Croissants
 These are two recent watercolors that I've done.  Friends have suggested that I do a breakfast series.  Does that mean I have to make fancy pancakes and photograph them and then make waffles and do the same? 

Who knows, maybe I will.  I have to say, if you haven't eaten Duck Donuts, you don't know what you are missing.  The closest one to me is at the Lee Harrison Street shopping center. My son brought these home with an iced coffee.  I really wasn't planning on painting it, but the photo turned out pretty cool.  If you go to Duck Donuts, order the Maple and Bacon Donut.  They cook the donut while you wait.  It's pretty damn delicious.
Brian's Breakfast - Duck Donuts

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Boathouse on the Potomac

The Potomac Boat Club in Georgetown
Original oil painting by Jane McElvany Coonce
Here's the latest painting I've been working on this week.  It's a scene of the Potomac Boat Club that sits on the edge of the Potomac River.  In the background is Georgetown University's towers. 

I have to give thanks to Allen Pierce who invited me to go out in the early morning with his crew team.  I had to be down in Georgetown  at 5 am. I sat in the motorized boat and snapped photos as we motored along.  I've done quite a few paintings from this early morning adventure.  It is so quiet on the river at 5 am.  There are very few cars out, and the river is very peaceful.  I can see how people get addicted to rowing.  It's a very special time. 

Monday, March 30, 2020

Cafe Scenes

Evening Under the White Umbrella
watercolor by Jane McElvany Coonce

Sunday in the Outdoor Cafe
watercolor by Jane McElvany Coonce
Another theme I like to paint are cafe scenes.  I am especially attracted to cafes with umbrellas.  People are fascinating; we are all probably people watchers.  We like to see what people are wearing.  Or maybe there is something unusual about them that attracts your attention.  I've done lots of cafe scenes with people sitting under at the table under the umbrella.  I'll post more later.

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