Just west of Washington D.C., nestled in the rolling hills of Virginia’s Piedmont region, you’ll find a very special school. In fact, it is called The Hill School, an independent school delivering an educational experience which they offer up as being defined by the core values of Community, Character and Competence. Those three powerful words could also describe Hill’s Art Department Chair, Linda Conti. But one must also include the word Creative!
Garden Party People's Choice Winner - Linda Goddard
Written by Tom Neel
Live An Artful Life® Gallery in The Plains, Virginia celebrated the summer with a “Garden Party” art show featuring floral inspired garden paintings by a great group of artists. Guests had their chance to choose the People’s Choice Award and Maryland artist Linda Goddard brought home the sunshine with her 20” X 24” oil painting titled, “Sunflowers”.
Last month our world lost a great man, a great soul, Dr. Wayne Dyer. I first came across Dr. Dyer’s teachings about 15 years ago when I read one of his books, The Power of Intention. His art was that of poetry and writing and for over 40 years, he shared motivational words and inspiration on how to live fully and peacefully without fear and worry; how to tap into the great sources of love and creativity that dwell inside each of us.
I am standing center stage, looking out towards the over 1,100 seats of the Hylton Performing Art Center’s Merchant Hall, which towers nearly five stories to its hammered copper ceiling arches, in a perfect fusion of classic and modern architecture. It is a very exciting place to be.
As we welcome fall, I continue to relish in my memories of summer. I had the privilege of spending this summer with family and dear friends in Greece. As a first-generation Greek-American, my early memories of summer are in the crystal clear blue waters of Greek beaches.
Let’s face it, as artists we often have to be prepared to carry what we create in our vehicles, be it a simple delivery of a single painting or other goodies, or a show’s worth. For this little story here, I’m going to that extreme, where a dozen paintings of various sizes must be taken at one time. In this example, most of them are larger sizes - 30”X40” or 24”X36”, not counting their actual frame size.
What you look for is what you see. If you expect to see something go wrong, you can be sure you will find things that go wrong, things to criticize or things below par. If you look for something hopeful, you will begin to see elements of hope or things that symbolize it all around. The lens through which we view the world is just that, a lens.
Tenth Annual Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour (WLAST)
Written by Tom Neel
What do you get when you combine the creativity of sixty three artists and artisans, thirty five locations, ten years, a handful of mostly small villages, two hosting arts centers and one half of a county? Well, you get the Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour [WLAST] of course.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
By Brené Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.
Summer reading is always an indulgence for me. I try to alternate between fiction and non-fiction with an emphasis on books that I may be able to incorporate into the therapy process when working with clients. A few years ago, I came across The Gifts of Imperfection after hearing someone rave about Brene Brown’s 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability .
Tour veteran and whimsical painter Judith Thompson, was likely the most southern based studio on this year’s tour, but most certainly worth the visit. Her wooded lot and studio seem storybook and it’s only fitting as her colorful work is rich in fantasy. She shares that she has had more traffic this year than ever and this is her ninth tour.
Geoff and Lori DeMark are both parents, Loudoun Public School art teachers [he at Woodgrove and she at Harmony] and they are both working artisans. On this first day of the show, Stop 27, both are busy with visitors. Their two car garage studio and gallery for the day, showcases Geoff’s pottery and Lori’s jewelry.
The converted barn at Franklin Park acts as a year round arts center, with both its theater and gallery space always in use. Much like the Round Hill Art Center, for the tour it provides an open gallery for a half dozen of the WLASTS artists who may not have visitable studio space, but still wish to participate.
Artist painter Antonia Walker, moved to Waterford from Washington D.C. in 1977 and has been in her current studio at 15502 2nd Street in Waterford since 2007. The building used to be a hardware store and still offers the character of those by gone days when everything was simpler.
While they actually have separate studios, this duo teams up for the tour at Jill Evans-Kavaldjian’s wonderfully converted garage studio. While the artistry of the duo may be second only to their close friendship, it is imperative for me to state that both also hold key rolls in the organization of the arts in Loudoun, with Amy Manson acting as WLAST’s Chair and Jill as the Program Director for Round Hill Art Center and President of the Loudoun Arts Council.