I’ve had a several wonderful opportunities to teach this winter. This post focuses on the one furthest from home.
In February, Virginia Working Landscapes at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal invited me to teach a Nature Journaling workshop for their volunteer Citizen Scientists. What a fantastic group of people! I thoroughly enjoyed the evening sharing journaling tips and techniques with people who already had a vast body of nature knowledge. Several people who said they could not draw made wonderful observational sketches – surprising themselves! One of the great things about studying nature is that we focus on observing and the drawing takes care of itself.
Nature study has always been part of my love of art. “Nature Journaling” is a term I first heard when homeschooling my children and it immediately resonated with me as a wonderful, immersive whole-brain learning activity. My Fine Art degree is coupled with a minor in Biology, so I feel that I am making a complete circle by teaching citizen scientists to sketch their observations.
This Smithsonian facility keeps a low profile. Its work focuses on research of endangered and threatened species around the globe. There are a number of exotic species on site, but the public is only allowed on the campus one weekend per year, in October, and none of the animals are on display. I took my children last fall and was amazed at the work that goes on there and also that we were talking with the actual researchers about the work they do. I whole-heartedly recommend this field trip for both adults and children. Best trivia learned for the day: animals in captivity have different colors of glitter added to their food so when the feces is analyzed, scientists can identify the individual from whom it originated.
I’m delighted to share that I’m the featured artist at Edith J. Carrier Arboretum in JMU’s Francis Plecker Education Center for the months of March and April 2018. This is a perfect place for eleven of my forest and wild flora paintings. Large windows face the pond and woodland, a multitude of potted plants soak up the sun inside as well. Nine watercolors and two colored pencil drawings are on display in the airy room.
The Center is open Monday through Friday 8-4. It is on the opposite side of the pond from the original entrance. A second entrance and parking lot serves the center, but be aware that to reach it you must either climb a full flight of stairs or ascend a rather long, three-tiered ramp. Not a problem for pushing a stroller or wheelchair but arduous if you have trouble walking. Public bathrooms are available.
There is no reception for this show. If you are able to visit, I would love to hear from you!
Celebrating! Bloom features an article on my mom and me in the Winter 2017 issue. This is a publication celebrating women of the Shenandoah Valley. The article, which focuses on our shared love of watercolor, was written by a sweet friend, Michelle Henry, who has an authentic view into our relationship and how art has bound us together. I got all teary reading it!
The article stretches over four pages. If you are local, you can pick up a free copy at the library atrium or businesses around Harrisonburg.
In August, I’ll be a featured artist at the Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nellysford, VA along with Amy Shawley, another Virginia artist from the flatter part of the state. It’s a huge exhibit space – a gymnasium – so I’ll be bringing almost everything that’s in a frame.
The reception is from 3:30 – 5:00 on Saturday, August 12. But I’ll be hanging the pieces on August 4. You are all invited! FYI, on the same beautiful country road as the center are several wineries, breweries and a distillery. It would make a great road trip (perhaps with a designated driver).
I’ve rejoined the Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society. This is such a great group for beginners and professionals alike. I belonged years ago, but having small children in my life made that too difficult! Now, that season has passed and I’m enjoying the group again. One of the perks of being a Signature Member with the group is hanging pieces in its many exhibits around Harrisonburg.
My work is now on display at the Hardesty-Higgins House gift shop in downtown Harrisonburg. For this quarter, I have three pieces hanging there among others by Shenandoah Valley Watercolor Society members. Other galleries at which the SVWS is currently displaying include: Taste of Thai restaurant (I have one piece there), Oasis gallery (I had two pieces for last quarter, but nothing this rotation), and a member show at VMRC (I did not enter this time due to other time commitments). I am slowly getting involved again and hope to take advantage of all of these opportunities soon! I’m definitely enjoying the companionship of painters again.
Other news: I recently contracted to share a two-person show next year at the Rockfish Valley Community Center in Nellysford, Virginia. More about that as it gets closer!
Kline-May Realty posted a video this week showing how they use their unique office space in a renovated downtown building. Happily for me, it happened to be filmed while my exhibit was up in their Wilson Downtown Gallery. You can see my work not just in the background, but also in some tightly framed shots near the end. What a great surprise to pop up in my Facebook feed!
January 8, 2016: Last ‘First Friday’ reception for my solo show is tonight from 5-8 pm at Wilson Downtown Gallery. That’s in the old Wilson Jeweler’s space and currently the office space of Harrisonburg Homes/Kline May Realty, half a block south of Court Square on Main.
Wilson Downtown Gallery in Harrisonburg will host the last of three artist receptions for my solo exhibit this Friday, January 8, from 5-8 pm. The show features 16 of my recent watercolors that are mostly the product of observing Virginia’s astounding natural beauty. Come down and enjoy light refreshments during January’s First Friday (on the second Friday…hmm.). The show is also on view during business hours through the end of January.
Wilson Downtown Gallery
83 South Main Street, Harrisonburg [map]
January 8, 2015 @ 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Light refreshments provided
Friday night’s reception was a fun night! My art at First Friday, the Holiday Open House for Kline May Realty/Harrisonburg Homes and the Christmas Parade all on one night! Many thanks to Chris Rooker and the Harrisonburg Homes team for hosting my art through the end of January.
The exhibit can be seen during businesses hours (Monday – Thursday) at 83 South Main Street in Harrisonburg. All pieces are for sale. Contact the artist directly for purchasing.
Wilson Downtown Gallery will be open Friday evening for Harrisonburg’s First Fridays. Fifteen of my watercolors are on display there through the end of January. In addition, that night will be the Holiday Open House for Harrisonburg Homes. Stop in for warm drinks and cookies, then watch the Christmas Parade in front of the office at 7 pm. Come join us!
Wilson Downtown Gallery
83 South Main Street
5-8 pm on Friday, December 4, 2015
Art for Christmas gifts? All of my paintings on exhibit are for sale, but are required to stay at the gallery until the end of the show. If you purchase as a gift, I’ll be happy to print a notecard with the image for the Christmas exchange.