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An Art-Filled Weekend; Live Painting on Friday, Museum on Sunday

April 9, 2018

Hello everyone! Welcome to new friends, and welcome back to those who have been here before!

            I had a really inspiring weekend, and am thrilled to share it with you. I am a member of an amazing co-working space in Virginia Beach, called 1701VB, and Friday evening was the First Friday member’s social. {For a bit of background, many different types of people are members there, most of them entrepreneurs. It is a cool space to get out of the house and work for a day, and as an artist member, I get to display my work there.}

            So, Friday night, I had the opportunity to bring my watercolors and paper and work live during the event. At the same time, a community painting project was happening on two canvases, so people could come and go, painting and talking. I brought a lot of extra paper, not sure if anyone would want to join me, but wanting to be ready just in case. There was live music, and the weather was gorgeous and warm, so the doors were open to let in the sunset light and ocean breeze. 1701 is just a couple of blocks from the Atlantic oceanfront!

           

             I had never done a live painting event quite like this, so I was pretty nervous. What if what I painted ended up looking awful and everyone suddenly realized I’m a terrible artist? What if no one wanted to talk to me or paint with me? Well… as it turned out, a lot of people wanted to try out watercolors with me. (Good thing I brought so much paper!) There is nothing like the energy of a group of people all creating art in the same space, just for the joy of it, and I have to say there was just so much positivity happening. Everyone who sat down and painted with me was fabulous, but I will say my favorite collaborator was a 7 year old girl named Eva who stayed at the table with me for the entire two hours, and made about EIGHT paintings. This girl was on fire. Seeing the undiluted creativity of a child filled my well in terms of my own inner artist, and was a beautiful reminder of what is so universally magical about being creative.

The evening ended way too quickly but left me looking forward to doing something like that again, as soon as possible. 

                                                       ~

       Saturday was a studio day for me. I spent it working on some illustrations and abstract watercolors. My creative energy was really overflowing after Friday night. I knew I wanted to see some more art this weekend, so when I woke up this morning, I decided I would pay a visit to the Chrysler Museum of Art, in Norfolk. I worked there for two years as a gallery host, and since graduating in February, I hadn’t been back to see what new exhibitions are on display.

 I grabbed my sketchbook, waterpens, and Winsor and Newton Cotman travel watercolor set, and took off for the museum. Since the last time I was at the Chrysler, the Modern and Contemporary galleries have been rearranged, and there is a new glass exhibition. These were the two things I was most interested in, and I definitely was not disappointed.

           

       The glass exhibition is called “Promise and Perception: The Enchanted Landscapes of Sibylle Peretti,” and it was stunning. In my own work, themes of nature, and the female human figure, are some of my favorite subjects, and Peretti’s cast and fused glass sculptures featured those same themes. They were at once whimsical and haunting.

 

 

          My favorite wild animal is the red fox, and they played throughout many of her works. She also intermingled man-made objects such as beaded jewelry into forest scenes, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the magic and fantasy of it.

 

 

            It is very difficult to say which piece was my favorite, because the exhibition was so beautiful arranged as to give the sense of it all being one larger work made up of all the intimate and discreet parts.

I spent considerable time sketching the largest three-dimensional piece, which was of a young girl lying asleep while what appear to be falcons rest on and around her, like guardians.

 

 

         I had to drag myself away from that exhibition because I really wanted to see what changes had come to the Modern and Contemporary gallery. When I worked there, many pieces were mainstays of the gallery, but I knew that the collection held so many incredible 20th century works that hadn’t been on display for years. Today, I finally got to see some of those pieces out in the light of day, and it was delightful. The layout of the galleries is airy and the seating is optimal for sitting and sketching. I broke out my watercolors (and don’t worry, brush pens don’t have loose liquid, I’m not a museum monster!) and sketched and colored my view from in front of Totem by Alexander Calder. This mobile has a dark, geometric base, rather than the more common ceiling mount. From where I was sitting, I could see Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová’s Green Eye of the Pyramid, which is a striking, bright green, triangular piece of glass. It is quite large, and has always been a favorite of mine. The backlit green glass looked gorgeous looming behind the Calder mobile.

 

 

 

The Modern and Contemporary galleries were my favorites during my time at the Chrysler Museum, though obviously, when working in an art museum, “favorite” isn’t saying much if you love almost every single thing there. (I did not and will not ever love Alex Katz’ Ada, Late Summer. I bite my thumb at that painting.)

           

       

 

            I left the museum absolutely refreshed and brimming with excitement. This upcoming week is going to be crazy for me, as I gear up for my Etsy launch NEXT MONDAY! (AGHHH!) and as I prep for Suffolk Earth and Arts Festival on the 21st. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities coming my way, and love being busy and feeling so inspired. I can’t wait to show you all the things I’ve been pouring my heart into, and to keep sharing my working artist journey with you! Next week, of course I will be talking about my Etsy launch, since that will be happening on Monday, but I also want to talk about how I recently rearranged my ENTIRE studio to clear out leftover anxious energy from grad school and to make my space much more inviting to make art happen. Thank you so much for your time, and please feel free to share this blog with friends! I will have a comments section up and running soon, when I find a plug-in for the site that I really like. Until then, feel free to shoot me a message on my “Contact Me” section if there’s something you want to know or would like for me to talk about.

                                                                    Until next time, friends!

 

 

 

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