Category Archives: Art

The Best of the Breed: The Art of Nancy Bass

Cow, painted
 

  Given her first crayons at three, Nancy Congress Bass drew a picture of a pink poodle. She loved the slew of cats housed down the street and would grow up to be an artist with a penchant for painting animals of all species—roosters, pigs, birds, bears and sheep. Her favorite would be the cow.   In 35 years as a professional artist, Bass estimates she’s probably painted hundreds of cows and is still counting. “We live in harried times…cows take us back to when life wasn’t beating so fast. Cows are very calm, especially … Continue reading The Best of the Breed: The Art of Nancy Bass

Imagination in Motion: The Art of Benjamin Frey

drawing of carousel
 

  Twisting. Turning. Twirling. Swirling. Slipping. Sliding. Gliding. Falling. Soaring. Flying free. The magic of carnival rides, animals and the whistle of a circus calliope are evoked like silver dollar memories by multimedia artist Benjamin Frey. “I wanted to do a series of works showing movement and energy. Carnivals are an area of intense energy and a lot of movement. “For us, the carnival is a place of mystery, wonder and a little bit of darkness. In the contemporary world, the carnival is the last place where super human, herculean acts and extraordinary things are … Continue reading Imagination in Motion: The Art of Benjamin Frey

Patterns of Change: The Art of Judy McLeod


 

  As her life changed so did the patterns of her art. “I love patterns…I surround myself with patterns,” says mixed media artist Judy McLeod, a Charlottesville resident for more than four decades. “When I’m making art, I love the surface quality of textures and patterns—the opposite of minimalist and clean blocks of color—a kind of visual riot. That pleases me. “We also live patterned existences—we go to the same house every night; we have the same children every day; the same partner or set of friends; workspace. There’s a regularity to our lives. Sometimes … Continue reading Patterns of Change: The Art of Judy McLeod

The Photography of Will Kerner

young girl next to wooden pillar at construction site
 

  “To me photography is a blend of serendipity, of good fortune and conscious selection and structuring. I need to apply skill and I need to get lucky,” says Charlottesville photographer Will Kerner. “The skill is composing, lighting, using the camera properly. The luck is that which the subjects give you.” A commercial and wedding photographer for 28 years, Will Kerner cross-pollinates his professional skills shooting both weddings and travel images. When shooting a wedding, says Kerner, he’s constantly seeking to capture the moment, looking at available light, creating the composition. “Then when traveling, my … Continue reading The Photography of Will Kerner

William Crawford’s Forensic Foraging

derelict truck in the desert
 

Most things, no matter how trite and mundane, have intrinsic beauty or interest when presented in just the proper way. This is the core premise underlying Forensic Foraging, an alternative technique for digital photography. This emerging motif employs the same throwback principles that made color photography great during the heyday of the New York School, perhaps beginning as early as the 1940’s with Saul Leiter. Creative framing, high contrast, and very heavy color saturation are key elements. Moreover, the forage, borrowed from early forensic crime scene photography, employs the intense sifting, sorting, and shooting of … Continue reading William Crawford’s Forensic Foraging

New World Order Blues by Allen Forrest

ink drawing of four musicians playing acoustic instruments
 

The New World Order Blues is inspired by the late conspiracy researcher and radio personality Mae Brussell, updated for today’s concerns and presented in one of the greatest music styles ever created by Americans—Black Americans: The Blues. Listening to Mae’s weekly radio show, World Watchers was like getting a re-education in history of the 20th Century. She uncovered many well-kept secrets we were not supposed to know. The Military Intelligence Industrial Complex was her turf and each week, from a radio station in Carmel, California, she took the lid off the conspiracy machine so we … Continue reading New World Order Blues by Allen Forrest

Joan Söderlund’s Human Comedy


 

    Maybe Joan Söderlund’s mother was on to something. “My mother wanted to keep me off my bicycle because I had broken a few bones. I think she thought, ‘If we get her into art and painting, it will keep her out of the hospital,’” joked Joan. “I started taking painting lessons from the time I was seven years old. I never ever considered being anything other than an artist. I spent my whole life saying, ‘I’m going to be an artist.’ Not ever really claiming that I was. I was working at it; … Continue reading Joan Söderlund’s Human Comedy

John Younger: The Illusion of Reality


 

  Suzanne, oil panel, 32 ⅝ x 42 ½,” a National Portrait Gallery finalist, 2009   Whether nature, still lifes, intimate interiors or portraits, John Randall Younger aims for the sense of reality rather than an exact, perfect replica. “I paint more illusion of reality,” says Younger, two-time finalist of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition      at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. “If you saw me paint you’d think ‘what’s he doing.’ I use palette knives and old cheap brushes. I scratch the canvas. I don’t fuss.” Younger is the son of eminent wild … Continue reading John Younger: The Illusion of Reality

Freedom Works for Robert Strini

Dialogue, photos, paint, wood, 10'x7'
 

    Freedom. Freedom to explore. Freedom to express one’s self. Freedom to communicate your conscience. Artist Robert Strini has been answering the call for over 40 years. “The biggest key in my life was when my father said to me, ‘I don’t care what you do or how much money you make, as long as you love what you do,’” says the son of a country Italian butcher who loved his trade. Strini’s father also took his young son to lectures on the power of positive thinking. His mother was a generous-hearted, hands-on homemaker. … Continue reading Freedom Works for Robert Strini

Telling the Story: Photos by Stephanie Gross

Stephanie Gross photography
 

  Stephanie Gross was intrigued early by pictures and their stories. “I spent a lot of time as a kid looking at pictures,” she says. ”My mom was a docent at the National Gallery and she used to walk me through the West Wing. We’d look at paintings and she’d talk about their composition, how your eye moves around the frame, and about the stories they were telling. For me, it was like this giant picture book that we could walk through. I think a lot of that has stuck with me.” While first fascinated … Continue reading Telling the Story: Photos by Stephanie Gross