Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Painting January Away
Since the weather outside is truly frightful, we have turned our attention to indoor projects for this year's coming fairs. While I am sewing and puttering at my little work table, Peter has been busily painting and is now about half of the way through with a picture of the lovely little town of Bluemont, Virginia, about six miles up the road from us and where the Bluemont Fair takes place every year. This painting promises to be a lovely tribute to this once bustling resort town, located on the side of a mountain, where Washingtonians once came to escape the heat of the city, up until about 100 years ago. Today, it is a sleepy little town filled with charming Victorian homes being fixed up by young families who want to escape living altogether in, or in the immediate suburbs of Washington, D.C.
The success of his painting of the Hamlet of Philomont, done several years ago, and the scene of Middleburg, finished last year, has shown us both that there is a definite desire for these Loudoun County towns to be preserved by an artist so I think he is embarking on a journey of his own making and attempting to paint and portray these lovely historic villages in his own style.
Originally, I had hoped that the Bluemont painting would be done by the Bluemont Fair in September. Now I'm hoping that not only Bluemont will be done but also Lincoln, VA and perhaps Round Hill, VA. too? Lofty goals, I know--especially when spring is lurking right around the corner and we can return to spending our time in the gardens.
Peter a Landscape Architect by education, training and trade, found his painting "niche" way back when we were first married and living in married student housing at Purdue University. We couldn't afford pictures to help cover the white-washed cinder block walls of our tiny apartment. So, in his spare time, he would paint on old breadboards and sometimes canvas. He even would buy lathboard, nail it together, and paint on that turning ordinary pieces of wood into charming country scenes displayed in our small rooms then and that still grace our home today.
My sister, Chris, a talented artist herself, became one of his biggest fans through the years and she and I were always encouraging him to paint more but there was never a lot of time for Peter to pursue this particular hobby. Now that school, baseball and all of the trappings that come with a growing child have bitter sweetly set us free, Peter has returned to painting. These two pictures, left and below, are among my favorites and done on kitchen bread boards were painted about 15-20 years ago. Today, the church's home is in our guest bedroom while the New England town is diplayed in our kitchen.
Many of his paintings have now been converted into prints at a local gallery and Peter, the ever-discerning artist, prefers to mat and frame his artwork before selling them. We have not parted with any of his originals yet (other than to various family members like my sister and Pete's mother) except for the Philomont picture which was painted for and sold at the Banneker Elementary School Auction when our son, Kevin, was in fourth grade there. However, Peter's collection is growing and, thankfully, we have a print of the Philomont painting which also hangs in our kitchen and in the homes of many other Philomont and Loudoun County residents' homes, too.
What a wonderful hobby to have and what is even more wonderful is to have the talent to be able to practice such a hobby as to paint beautiful pictures. There are a lot more pictures he has painted and I will show them to you in future blog entires but, for now, enjoy these as I do.