Category Archives: Blog

Earth, Sky and Sea by Gray Dodson


 

Artist Gray S. Dodson, Tidewater born and bred, moved to the meadows and mountains of Nelson County in 1995. Dodson’s wide array of “en plein air” oil paintings now reflect her Virginia journey as well as scenes painted onsite throughout the U.S., Canada, Curacao, France, Italy and Mexico. Fifteen of her works illustrate SUNDAY DRIVES, Cruising the Back Road of Amherst and Nelson Counties by Margaret Myers and Ann Rucker. “Nature captured me from the moment I stood before it with easel and paints and wondered how in the world I could do it justice,” … Continue reading Earth, Sky and Sea by Gray Dodson

Whaddya Mean Rosebuds?


 

 Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,    Old Time is still a-flying;  And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying.   I suspect the above is familiar to most readers, even though it was written mid-seventeenth century and so much from that period would seem totally closed to us, or at least, unfamiliar. It’s from a poem called, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by the Cavalier poet and clergyman Robert Herrick. It was a big hit at the time and it seems to have stood the test of time. … Continue reading Whaddya Mean Rosebuds?

Uncle William and the Bard


 

Our guest blogger this week is Miles Fowler, who lives in Charlottesville. In this blog he talks about the Shakespeare Controversy and a part played in it by one of his own relatives: At the same time my mother told me about the Shakespeare authorship controversy, she told me one of our relatives was an anti-Stratfordian, someone who believes that William Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon (1564-1616) was not the true author of the plays and poems attributed to him. Later I got to know that relative as “Uncle William.” William Plumer Fowler (1900-1993) was an attorney, … Continue reading Uncle William and the Bard

No Spoilers Here


 

I’ve been reading some of Ruth Rendell’s work lately. That sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? Just picked up a couple of her latest, enjoyed the experience, had a nice day, eh? The fact is I have, over the past couple weeks read every single one of the Inspector Wexford series that the Charlottesville Public Library could provide for me. The whole series comprises twenty-five books, but that would be expecting too much. I did find some twenty (or rather, they were found for me), going back to From Doon With Death, 1964, and ending with … Continue reading No Spoilers Here

Daily Feast: process before product


 

Meet Anna Bryant, a local painter/Montessori teacher/mother/wife/friend of mine. Currently, her exhibit, “Daily Feast”, is running at New Dominion Bookstore. I advise you to stop by when you’re downtown, but try to go after a meal; aside from their visual appeal, her paintings might stir up the munchies. As the exhibit name implies, Anna’s pieces are 6″ x 6″ snapshots from the kitchen table, done in delightful colors applied with thick brush strokes. They’re part of an artistic exercise she embarked on recently–a commitment to to create one painting a day–and though my artistic genre is … Continue reading Daily Feast: process before product

Virginia Writers Club Sponsors Symposium by Betsy Ashton


 

I’m very happy to be a guest blogger because I can write about two things that are very important to me, Virginia Writers Club (VWC) and our annual VWC Symposium at Piedmont Virginia Community College on Saturday, August 3. I have the honor of being the president of VWC this year. This state-wide writers club has been around since 1915 and has ten chapters from Northern Virginia to Abingdon, from Charlottesville to Hampton Roads, from Manassas to Roanoke. Chapter members share their work, learn about writing and publishing, do book readings and signings, and listen … Continue reading Virginia Writers Club Sponsors Symposium by Betsy Ashton

Get ready to write…


 

WRITERS SYMPOSIUM SET FOR AUGUST AT PVCC Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House, will be the keynote speaker at a symposium, “Navigating Your Writing Life,” on August 3rd at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Grissom will share lessons she found helpful in becoming a writer. Symposium sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at The Dickinson Fine & Performing Arts Center. A resident of Forest, Virginia, Kathleen Grissom was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. She and her husband now live in a plantation tavern which they renovated … Continue reading Get ready to write…

Artists Worth Watching


 

Two young Virginia artists are worth watching. Laura Bell, a 2012 graduate of the University of Virginia and a native of Pennington Gap, Virginia, has shown her work across the state and has a current show, “Movement While Waiting,” at Writer House in Charlottesville. The show runs through June 29th. Bell’s intense colors and fluid oils explore “the anxiety or struggle of thought before understanding is reached..I use bright but complex colors and patterns to represent both the enjoyment and subjectivity of thought. Painting helps me work though these ideas and present a conversation with … Continue reading Artists Worth Watching

Pretty cute for a 19th century assassin


 

I recently read a critique in New York magazine by Jerry Saltz about a current MoMA exhibit, “Photography and The American Civil War.” The piece mentioned Alexander Gardner, a Scottish-born war photographer famous for his Civil War coverage and portraits of Lincoln. When I read about a particular photo of his, Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, I went a-Googling. Scrolling through Gardner’s images, one particular portrait stopped me –– but for all the wrong reasons. It was a young gentleman, clean-shaven, out of uniform, staring starkly at the camera. Let’s put it this way: I could imagine … Continue reading Pretty cute for a 19th century assassin

A Creative Collaboration

house with ocean storm and bee
 

While at first glance Virginia artists Robin Braun and Rob Browning seem drawn to different subjects, techniques and philosophies, their unexpected collaboration has surprised and delighted them both. Artist’s Statement, Robin Braun: The ocean is never far from my thoughts and is constantly in my dreams. It can be ruthless and it can be supremely calm. I like to paint all of the moods of the sea. Having grown up near the water, I feel that it is an inherent part of my consciousness.     My paintings are about both the sublime and the … Continue reading A Creative Collaboration