Archive for the ‘Serendipity’ Category

The movie, Loving Vincent, that we saw on Monday at The Avalon reminded me of some things about Vincent Van Gogh.  Here are some of his famous paintings that the movie brought to life along with some interesting facts:

  1. Did you know that Van Gogh didn’t start painting until he was 27 years old?  Maybe that gives hope to all of us late bloomers out there.
  2. Did you know that he produced his most famous painting while in an asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France. He painted Starry Night while in this mental hospital.  (You can paint Starry Night with us on Friday.  Click here to register.)
  3. In just the ten years that he painted he produced about 900 oil paintings….some the most famous paintings in the world today.
  4. Van GOgh Red VineyardSome say none but other references say he sold just one painting in his lifetime.  It was called “The Red Vineyard”.
  5. His brother, Theo, supported him in his art providing supplies and encouragement was with Vincent when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. (Some sources say that he was shot by a village boy.) Theo reported that Vincent’s last words were  “the sadness will last forever.”

It’s hard to believe such a tortured soul produced so many beautiful works of art.  He painted flowers and landscapes like no other and mainly because he was so poor he couldn’t afford to pay models to sit for him.  We’re lucky he chose to paint.


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We have been following along with the group that created the film “Loving Vincent” for several years now and finally yesterday we SAW it!  It is an amazing film.  Many artists painted for several years to created the 65,000 painted frames that made up the film.  They painted 853 shots in the film.  They began by painting a scene on canvas and then continued to paint over it as each frame was shot in order to make the painting “move and come to life”.  WOW!

20171017_060008.jpgHere’s what their website says about the film:  “Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully painted film.  We painted over 65,000 frames on over 1,000 canvases. We shot the film with actors, and literally painted over it frame by frame. This is a very laborious and time-consuming process. It has taken us 4 years to develop the technique, and it took us over 2 years with a team of over 100 painters working at studios in the Polish cities of Gdansk and Wroclaw, and a studio in Athens to complete the film.
The reason we made the film is not because we want to be the first, or that we want to set any records, it is because we believe that you cannot truly tell Vincent’s story without his paintings, so we needed to bring his paintings to life.”

If you appreciate Van Gogh’s art you MUST go see the film.  Watching his paintings move…come to life is amazing.  For those in our area it is playing at The Avalon in DC, where we went yesterday to see it but it will be opening in Winchester at The Alamo on October 27th.  Go see it!  There is a lot of information on the production’s website.  Take a look.

(The photos above are an exterior shot of the Avalon Theatre on Connecticut Avenue in DC and the poster outside the door.  There is also a photo of the group from The Studio who went to see the film yesterday.  The final two photos are the ceiling inside the theatre at The Avalon and a shot of a advertising banner about Loving Vincent.)

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A few more photos from the trip to Capon Springs.  Here is the spring house.  The sign above the door says, “Capon Springs – called by local Indian tribes Cape-Cape-pe-pon (the healing waters) rises through 1600 feet of rock, the last 300 feet being sandstone-a natural filter.  The flow-100 gallons a minute – has been undiminished for centuries.  It’s origin unknown.” 

Wednesday night after Bingo they served a homemade pizza snack.  Yum.  It was made in their huge brick oven where they also make tons of bread which they serve at all meals.  Every morning at 8:30 the flag is raised in a ceremony and the National Anthem is sung proudly by all who attend.  Traditions are alive and well at Capon Springs.  It is such a beautiful place.

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Deb Spins 31We are still at Capon Springs teaching at the Artist Retreat.  But last night we had a special treat.  My good friend, Deborah Ray who is assisting me at the Retreat gave us an explanation and demonstration on spinning wool into yarn.

It was fascinating.  It helped us all understand the amount of labor that goes into making this beautiful yarn.  It’s worth every penny they ask for it! Thanks Deb.

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We arrived yesterday afternoon at Capon Springs Resort and Farm for an artist Retreat that will run through Thursday.  Last night we had a Paint Party that was open to everyone…even if you had never painted before.  And I think we may have some converts!

I love it when people paint for the first time and find that they can really do it!  What fun…and we had some really nice paintings come out of this group.  Today we are setting up for our first session which is and Introduction to Painting.  While we have some people coming to the Retreat that have painted for years, we have many who are new to art.  There will be something for everyone.

And look…I’m the “Artist in Residence”.  Cool, huh??!!    It’s not too late.  If you are close enough and are interested you can join us.  Just contact Capon Springs for room availability.  It’s just $99 per night and includes 3 meals and all art instruction.  Bring your own supplies or use ours for a small supply fee.  You won’t regret it.  This place is AWESOME!  Did I mention the spa and mineral springs??!!

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I am over the moon this morning as I’ve been named Best Local Artist again by the Northern Virginia Daily.  Thank you all for your votes of confidence!!!!  I love what I do and it is fun….but it is also work.  When you honor me with something like this I get really reenergized.  Thank you so very much for the boost.  I know we’ll have another GREAT year!

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20170918_165302While painting at Sanders’ Ranch on Monday I was joined by Marlys Bernal.  Marlys is one of the ladies that has horses at the ranch and she comes out to The Studio every few months to paint Pet Portraits.  She is a very good painter and has done some beautiful work with me but her favorite medium is watercolor.  I was happy that she came out to keep me company painting this week.  I was so involved in what I was painting that I didn’t pay attention to what she was working on  until the end of our session.  Imagine my surprise when she showed me her work….ME!  She painted me painting!  And I LOVE it!!!  I was thrilled that she gave the little watercolor sketch to me.  I’ll be hanging it with my collection of other “painters at work”.  (I have about a half dozen with this subject matter and I love them.)  Thanks so much Marlys.  I can’t wait to frame it up and get it on the wall.  Let’s get together soon and do this again.

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