“The Genius of Small” - thoughts from our intern

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“The Genius of Small” - thoughts from our intern

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My name is Gaby Vazquez and I’m a rising senior currently attending Southern Virginia University (SVU). Never heard of it? That’s because its located in a small, rural town called Buena Vista. To shed a little light on what I mean by small, there is a sign when you drive into town that says “6002 happy citizens and 3 old grouches” and you can pretty much see where the town begins and ends from the same point. It may seem suffocating to some, but I have come to find comfort in the small and simple things. 

About a ten minute drive from Buena Vista is the quaint and historical town of Lexington; where the citizens adore Lee Jackson, horses, and VMI cadets. SVU students often go there for food, fun, and shopping. But the main thing I love about Lexington are the multiple art galleries found right on Nelson Street, probably because I’m an art major. My art professor, Barbara Crawford was the one to first tell me about the Cabell Gallery. She told me how she used to teach Cabell Gorman (the current owner of the gallery) back in the 80’s and that they still talk to each other today. I was interested in looking for some type of internship over the summer that involved art and long story short I was able to get an intern position at the Cabell Gallery. Similar to Buena Vista, you can pretty much see the whole gallery standing at the entrance. But what it lacks in square footage, it makes up for in beauty. 

I’ve learned about local and regional artists and what is takes to run an art gallery, specifically on a local level. Every artist featured in the gallery is unique and has something different to offer. With a variety of style, subject, and technique, it’s hard to decide who your favorite artist is. But if I had to choose, my top three would have to be Julia Lesnichy, Ed Hatch, and Bonnie Mason. 

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Julia Lesnichy is originally from Russia, but lives in Crozet, Virginia and is known for her paintings of the Blue Ridge Mountains. My favorite painting of hers is titled “Sunset in June”. She beautifully paints Virginia sunsets in pastel colors resulting in a perfect combination of warm and cool colors. Her work allows me to feel like I am standing there taking in the mesmerizing view. 

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Ed Hatch is one the of the master painters featured in the gallery. His impressionistic style never ceases to amaze me. Ed is best known for his depictions of water scenery. To most, water is simply the color blue, but to Ed, water is not only blue, but also purple, pink, green, yellow, white, etc. This can be seen in his piece “Double Ledge” which is a whopping 30 x 40 in. 

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Bonnie Mason is known for her gallery wrapped landscape paintings of the outdoors in the mountains of Virginia. Her choice of vivid colors are reminiscent of a storybook setting which you can’t help but smile at when you see it. My favorite piece of hers is titled “Glad Morning”. 

As an artist myself, I feel I am drawn to those artists who are more impressionistic in style because it is so different from what my personal style is as an artist. Although my end goal is not to become a professional artist, I feel I have learned so much about art in general and the impact it makes, not only in small town, but in an individual’s life. So if you just happen to find yourself in or near Lexington, Virginia, stop on by the Cabell Gallery and see the “genius of small.”

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Vraisemblance of Lexington

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Vraisemblance of Lexington

It’s hard to believe Ed Hatch isn’t from Lexington. Many of his paintings here at the Cabell Gallery of Virginia Art offer a true slice of life for any Lexingtonian. One instantly recognizes the Washington Street gallery row, the interior of the Southern Inn, and the Maury River. In fact, Ed is from Spring Grove, Virginia, nearly three hours away. His studio is located in the exact location his grandparents once owned a general store. A professional, accomplished, and honored artist of over twenty years, Ed Hatch captures the beauty, warmth, and community spirit that only a native, rural Virginian can encompass. 

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Ed’s luminous and realistic paintings give the feeling of being able to jump into them and participate in the action. Place. Time. See your reserved table at the Southern Inn for the evening, float down the Maury River in your kayak or inner tube in the afternoon, and walk down Washington Street’s gallery row in the morning. When you do, don’t forget to stop in and see us, Cabell Gallery of Virginia Art, and see all the great things we have to offer Lexington, our many visitors, and friends.

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Cabell Gallery Receives "Best of Virginia 2019" Honor

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Cabell Gallery Receives "Best of Virginia 2019" Honor

Virginia Living magazine, a source for “celebrating all things Virginia” has distinguished Cabell Gallery of Virginia Art as one of the best art galleries in the Commonwealth. In a reader survey conducted in January 2019, 45,000 people voted in over 100 categories including Shopping, Food & Drink, Entertainment, and the Arts. The top three establishments in each category are featured in the magazine’s current May issue, Best of Virginia 2019. Lexington, Virginia businesses took many of the awards spanning multiple categories, including a second place honor for the Cabell Gallery of Virginia Art in the “Best Art Gallery” section.

Lexington, Virginia has much to offer visitors and residents alike. Not only are there award-winning restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues, but the scenery and location among the Blue Ridge Mountains is breathtaking. The beauty of the area is often captured by Virginia-native artists. The Cabell Gallery of Virginia Art has carefully curated works featuring the local and regional landscapes and cityscapes by these artists, which is no doubt one of the reasons they earned a “Best of Virginia 2019” award.

Come visit the gallery to see why they are named one of the best in the Commonwealth and take a piece of Lexington, Virginia home with you.

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Capturing the VMI spirit with Maria Reardon

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Capturing the VMI spirit with Maria Reardon

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Another school year is about to pass and once again there will be a new crop of eager VMI graduates ready to take over the world. This year is kind of special as Cabell’s son Jack graduates. He comes from a long line of VMI grads including his father, uncle, and both his grandfathers. But that is not that unusual with Virginia Military Institute. Tradition is a core value, it practically seeps from the imposing walls. It’s a feeling that you recognize as soon as you walk onto post, but it is not necessarily an easy thing to capture in a painting, unless, or course, you are Maria Reardon. Maria knows about VMI tradition. Her husband is a graduate (‘87) and her twin boys both graduated in 2014. It is with this familiarity that she is able to capture simple moments of life at VMI and allows you to truly feel the emotion of what it must be like to be there.

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Maria works in pastels and she loves being outdoors, immersed in the world, observing and experiencing everything going on around her. She's drawn to the unique and ever-changing relationships of form and color. She is intrigued by the unexpected combinations of light and color which characterize her work. If there is one thing people always remark to me is that her work has so much color, but she is able to do this while maintaining the realism of her subjects.

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Maria is a Virginia native and received her formal education from Virginia Commonwealth University earning a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in illustration. She lives in Richmond but has a getaway home in Goshen, here in the wilds of Rockbridge County. This love for Rockbridge County and Lexington also shows up in her work, her ability to capture the slices of life locally is as intimate and impressive as those she does of VMI.

The Cabell Gallery is proud to feature Maria Reardon’s work year round. True, many people seem to get sentimental around graduation time. But the thing about VMI tradition it is a lot more than one season. And the thing about Maria Reardon is she has the uncanny gift of the ability to capture it all.

Click here to see Maria’s available works.

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Two Artists - One View

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Two Artists - One View

I wish I could take credit for this compelling idea, but it was Michele Fletcher who brought the idea to us. Michele is a local photographer and a longtime friend of Cabell Gallery. Her work is remarkable, I will say that I have a piece or two adorning my own walls at home. But when she suggested this exhibit, we just couldn’t say “no.”

Michele Fletcher

Michele Fletcher

The idea was to get two different artists perspective on the same view. In fact, we would have a painter work directly from Michele’s photographs to create her own work. Michele enlisted her friend Tammy Hinkle, a well regarded artist out of Richmond, to take up the challenge.

How fascinating it was to see these works side-by-side.

Autumn Morning - Michele Fletcher

Autumn Morning - Michele Fletcher

Lee Chapel - Michele Fletcher

Lee Chapel - Michele Fletcher

Stonewall On Watch - Michele Fletcher

Stonewall On Watch - Michele Fletcher

Autumn Morning - Tammy Hinkle

Autumn Morning - Tammy Hinkle

Lee Chapel - Tammy Hinkle

Lee Chapel - Tammy Hinkle

Stonewall On Watch - Tammy Hinkle

Stonewall On Watch - Tammy Hinkle

The exhibit was in place throughout March 2019 and was extremely popular. I honestly can’t say that I’ve ever heard more “I heard about this from so-and-so and had to come see it.” Although Michele and Tammy were both guest artists at Cabell Gallery, we continue to get questions on their work. If you have any interest in owning a piece of either of these talented ladies’ art, just give us a ring or shoot us an email at Cabell Gallery and we will be happy to facilitate that for you.

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Yes, THAT Dick Fowlkes.

Dick Fowlkes

Dick Fowlkes

House Mountain Sunset - 9x12 - $340

House Mountain Sunset - 9x12 - $340

If you've ever met Dick Fowlkes, then you two are friends. He never seems to forget a person and he is the kind of guy who that you just instantly want to be around. When you meet him, I guarantee he will spend the first 5 minutes figuring out the “three degrees of Dick Fowlkes” in how he knows someone who knows you!

He has been extremely successful in his "day job" creating and selling ties through his company Peter-Blair Accessories based in Richmond, where he also has his men's clothing boutique Peter-Blair. But if you didn't know that Dick also is a very accomplished painter, well then, as they say, you don't know Dick.

Dick's known nationwide for his neckties, but his heart will always be here in Virginia. He lives in Richmond, but spends every moment he can at his weekend home in Brownsburg. With as much time as he spends here in Rockbridge County he really knows the mountains. He can forage for wild mushrooms and asparagus with the best of them!

Two Red Trees - 12x9 - $340

Two Red Trees - 12x9 - $340

Dick’s intimacy with the landscape really shows in his paintings. His fun, contemporary, whimsical style is mixed with the love he expresses when he paints. What you get is a treasure. It is art that isn't just about looking pretty over your couch, it's art that makes you feel. Perhaps that is why his art is so appealing to collectors, it's not something you can judge from first glance, rather, you'll find it unfolds its story over time.

Get to know him. It can be certain that if you have the chance to spend some time with Dick Fowlkes, you’ll want to hang out with the guy. If you have a chance to spend some time with his paintings, well, then you’ll want to know him.

Lee Chapel - 11x14 - $385

Lee Chapel - 11x14 - $385

Pink Line - 12x12 - $390

Pink Line - 12x12 - $390

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Why is Julia Lesnichy so popular?

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Julia Lesnichy is one of the best selling artists at Cabell Gallery and it is easy to see why. Arriving here from Russia a decade ago, she wanted to give her son the opportunity at an American education. Her family settled in beautiful Crozet Virginia. Already quite an accomplished painter in Russia, she found herself surrounded by breathtaking inspiration. Her work with both pastels and oils was quickly embraced by the new audience in the United States. Her sweeping views of the Blue Ridge, painted plein air, were snapped up by collectors, and Julia has done nothing but grow and grow her fanbase since.

Julia was born in Leningrad, raised in Moscow, and throughout her life in Russia, was a "city" girl. Perhaps this is why she is so drawn to nature. She is captivated by the colors shes sees depending on the time of the day and season and resorts to oils and pastels to capture these fleeting moments. She often finishes her plein air paintings in her studio in Crozet, which is located in the quiet rural area in Virginia. Julia says that she literally lives in the woods, among the trees, with the tree tops hovering above the house. These trees have always served as a great resource of inspiration when they turn scarlet, bright yellow and glowing orange in the fall.
Julia captures more than the colors of those moments, but she captures the moment, the moment in time with all the sights and smells and emotions. Each time you look at one of her works, you are transported not just to the place, but to the feeling. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons that Julia's work is so popular.

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Tom Tartaglino "Rivers and Mountains: the Beauty of the Shenandoah Valley"

Occasionally, there is an artist that becomes such a part of the Cabell Gallery, that we wouldn't seem complete without his work. That's how we feel about Tom Tartaglino. He is an artist that we have represented for many years, but now through this highly anticipated solo show, we will get to see an entire collection of work that he put together just for us...and more importantly, for you.

Buena Vista from Above - 18”x61”

Buena Vista from Above - 18”x61”

In September of 2018 we will feature the works of artist Tom Tartaglino with his show "Rivers and Mountains : the Beauty of the Shenandoah Valley." His realism can be astounding, but what I like the most about his paintings is that I could look at it for years and every time see something I hadn't seen before. Come meet him and discuss his new collection. It's so fascinating to hear how much thought goes into each work (down to the handmade frames!) yet he makes it look so effortless.

Tom Tartaglino at work

Tom Tartaglino at work

“Headwater” etching - plate size 12”x12”

“Headwater” etching - plate size 12”x12”

Tom was born 1956 in Heidelburg, Germany, but he grew up in suburban Maryland, married, and moved to Palmyra, Virginia in 1979. There he bought a house in the country to raise vegetables and children before attending Virginia Commonwealth University, receiving a BFA in 1994. He has worked as an artist since.

"Although I am an art school graduate, my training and experience come from a lifetime love of painting. Art school gave me helpful hints. My inspiration for a work of art usually happens while observing a scene many times. The scene will draw me in and I start to see what it is I am attracted to. I will try to capture a psychological truth about my subject, which I see in plein aire impressionism, but I will be looking for subtleties that an impressionistic handling would miss. Through close observation, I concentrate on the details that make it realistic and truthful. When complete, it will be about something beyond the scene. It will have a depiction of a physical person or place, but carry a mood we all identify with."

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M. Stephen Doherty. You have heard his name, now see his art!

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The Cabell Gallery is especially excited to be able to bring you the work of an old friend, Steve Doherty. Does the name sound familiar? If you have read about art in the past 30 years you have probably read his work. Steve has been in the center of American art and artists for decades. His story goes like this...He majored in art at Knox College in Galesburg, IL and graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; taught art in public schools, a community college, and at Knox; worked in the marketing department of a company that manufactured screen printing art supplies; and then moved to a suburb of New York City.

For 31 years, he was the editor of American Artist magazine and launched three other art magazines: Watercolor, Drawing, and Workshop. In 2011, he became Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir magazine and moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He continues to edit PleinAir, participate in plein air events, judge art shows, teach workshops, exhibit paintings, and give lectures. I hesitate to say that Steve "wrote the book" on painting...but he kinda did! He has recently had a book published, "The Art of Plein Air Painting: An Essential Guide to Materials, Concepts, and Techniques for Painting Outdoors."

Stephen will be the featured artist for August with his opening reception (coinciding with the First Friday Art Walk) from 5:00-7:30pm on Friday August 3rd at the Cabell Gallery in downtown Lexington. Everyone is invited! If you aren't able to join us on 8/3, make sure you come by the gallery at some point in August. His work will be featured through the end of the month.

 

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July's Artist - Tanya Broderick

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Tanya Broderick is truly interesting. She was born in Russia and moved to Ukraine where she earned her master's degree in geophysics engineering. She worked in Kiev as a fashion designer for several years creating custom knit–works for a select group of clients. After meeting her now-husband, John, Tanya and her daughter, Masha, moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. This alone would make for an interesting life, but there is more.

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In 2010 she started painting and with no formal training began to produce these astounding works of art. It's almost a modern folk art style but the fine detail is just incredible. Maybe it's the engineer in her that helps her reproduce nature and architecture with such precision. It would be very easy for one so skilled in accuracy to turn out a cold blue-print like reproduction. Tanya does not. The artist side of her takes the details and puts them in a painting filled with warmth and admiration. If you have the opportunity to come see her collection in July, don't miss it.

Appreciation and respect is what I see when Tanya shows me what she sees through her eyes. Whether it is a bird, a building, an animal, or one of her favorite subjects, the American flag, she fills it with that same emotion. Yes, her detail is beyond impressive, but her appreciation for what she's painting comes through so strong, you can't help but smile.    

See Tanya's work on our website cabellgallery.com                        

 

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Sally Lawson - new to Cabell Gallery

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As our featured artist for June, this will be Sally Lawson's first appearance at the Cabell Gallery. One look at her bright colors, appealing texture and whimsical landscapes and you'll see why she has her own solo show this month. Her paintings bring joy!

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I'll let Sally use her own words, "I am drawn to many different subjects, but the common thread between them is color!! I use bright colors in my paintings and I find great satisfaction in the joy it brings my clients and me. I love the richness of oils and often paint with a heavily loaded brush or palette knife for texture. I find it stimulating to experiment with different styles and techniques, but, again, my colors remain the common thread. Many of my paintings are of the landscape. I am constantly amazed at the beauty and intricacy of God's creation."

I think what draws me to Sally's work is that I can see her influences, be it the colorfield work of Wolf Kahn, or Vincent van Gogh's playfulness, or just a nod to the old Dutch masters' style in her mysterious skies. She can take these influences add her own touch of realism and make something completely her own. I love her different sides (I mean we all have different moods, right?) But the common thread you will find in her work is the color. The joyful color! With her many moods, I bet something she has will touch you. And if you take it home, it can bring happiness for a lifetime! 

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10 Tips for Buying Art

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10 Tips for Buying Art

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People come into the gallery every day and say “I don’t know anything about art.” First of all, it doesn’t matter, but second, yes you do. Unless you are spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on collecting art, all you need to know is does it speak to you. If it moves you, then it is good. If it does not make you feel, then it is not for you and move on. Don’t settle for art that you have no connection with. You will be looking at this every day so it better feel like the real thing. Just like my mom used to say, “When you know, you’ll know.”

If you still feel that you want more tips in buying art, here it is quite simply…

Top 10 Tips for Buying art

#1    Choose art from the heart

Choosing art doesn’t need to be rocket science nor do you need a degree in art history. If a work of art makes you smile, or moves you in some way then you have been inspired, making a spontaneous emotional connection. If you find an artwork that you can’t stop thinking about, chances are it is meant to be in your life. Sometimes you find art and sometimes art finds you. All you need is a love and appreciation of fine art and a desire to collect it. If you don’t feel it, don’t buy it. It’s that simple.

#2    Be confident

Buy art for yourself and because you love it, not because you think others will. Visitors come and go however you’ll live with that artwork every day. Have the confidence to express yourself with the art you choose. Don’t be scared to buy big and make a statement. Art is a great reflection of your own personality. Chances are if you are into it then people you love will be too.

#3    The right place for your art

You absolutely don’t have to buy art to fit a spot or a particular wall. If you move or redecorate then the painting you matched to the couch or choose for the position may not work anymore anyway. Speaking from experience, if you love it, there will always fond a perfect spot for it. Think about moving your art around your home. Swap your art around from wall to wall, room to room. That’s what we do all the time at the gallery. It’s a great way to reinvigorate your home and you’ll find art can look quite different once moved. Just experiment and you’ll soon be appreciating your collection all over again!

#4    Make artwork the star

At the Cabell Gallery the artists each frame their work themselves. But if you don’t like the frame just say so! Never let that be the reason you pass by a good piece. If your artwork needs framing, be sure to create an overall harmony with the piece itself. The frame should neither dominate nor under whelm. Well-considered, quality framing will add value to your overall investment. We are happy to help with suggestions.

#5    It’s OK to be eclectic

Creating a diverse art collection is inspiring and unpredictable. Why not pair an original vintage poster with an oil still life? Mix it up and make your own rules. You don’t just have one mood, neither should your collection. A home with one style of artwork can be predictable. Diversification is also great if you are considering art as a long term investment.

#6    Use good lighting

Position lamps, rotate down lights and track lights to highlight artwork and create an inviting atmosphere in your home. You will be amazed what a difference a simple repositioning of light makes. If renovating or building, talk to the architect and electrician about your art (or future art collection) and how to use lighting to display it to its greatest potential.

#7    Create your own artworks

Essentially art is human expression finding form, so give form to your actual life! Pin up your children’s drawings. Blow up an old photo and print it on canvas or wallpaper. Frame a series of postcards you find on your travels or give your toddler’s ceramic creation pride of place for all to enjoy. This mixed with your collected art tells the story of YOU. It’s about being real and feeling connected. Be creative - it doesn’t need to last a lifetime; but you can enjoy it for now.

#8    Give the gift of art

Giving art can be a perfect symbol of friendship, love or gratitude that will last a lifetime. Or be on the receiving end by asking family and friends to contribute towards an artwork you have selected to celebrate a special occasion. Don’t forget that we have gift certificates!

#9    Meet the artist

Meet the artist and hear their story, let that experience enrich your own connection. We have a different artist in every First Friday. Share the artists story with others, inspiring them to fall in love with art too. If its not possible to meet the artist, we would be happy to put you in touch with them as we believe understanding why it was created adds depth and furthers your knowledge and connection. Put simply, choose art from the heart. Fall in love with it, enjoy and cherish it. Talk about it with your friends. Tell them why you chose it and how it makes you feel. Art is a great way to start a conversation and connect to other people.

#10    Start your collecting today

There’s no better time to start collecting original art than now. It takes just one piece then you are on your way. Always keep it original and authentic. Buy a smaller original work if your budget is tight. Ask us about a payment plan if your heart is set on piece. And if you are concerned about whether it will look right in you home, let’s talk. We can often arrange for you to loan it out so you can take it home and see. And, of course, you always have 15 days to return it for any reason or no reason at all! But whatever you do, don’t be afraid to buy art. Imagine the collection you could have in 10 years from now if you start today!

 

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November's Featured Artist:  Maria Reardon And Painting With Pastels

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November's Featured Artist: Maria Reardon And Painting With Pastels

Remember those GIANT boxes of Crayola crayons you loved as a child? There was nothing like opening that box of 64 brand new colors – with the built-in sharpener, no less –to feel like you had truly won the coloring book artist’s jackpot. 

Now imagine having almost 500 different colors to work with, but instead of crayons, each piece is just pure vibrant pigment, and you will get an idea of why Cabell Gallery chose Maria Reardon’s stunning pastel works to feature this November.  

 

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Maria's Plein Air Pastel Kit

Because Maria uses her pastel palette in a manner that yields strokes similar to brush marks, she calls her pieces “paintings” and not “drawings”.  She has now been working exclusively with pastels for almost 15 years, after re-discovering a passion for fine art. Although she had always painted, Maria majored in illustration at VCU’s arts program in college. 

Maria lives between Richmond and her farm in Goshen (just over the line in Augusta County), but her connections to Lexington extend to the fact her husband, Kevin, and her twin sons all graduated from VMI.  Kevin often joins Maria as she scouts locations for her plein air pieces – he drives while she finds that perfect view.  Her sons also help, once suggesting she check out the sweeping vista they saw on their runs as “rats” from a property called “The Vue”, which resulted in the oil painting below titled “The View Towards VMI”.

Plein air and studio paintings of The View Towards VMI

Plein air and studio paintings of The View Towards VMI

For Maria, nothing is better than having the opportunity to work on location and especially en plein air because it affords her, “that one on one experience, where you also get a lot of the other sensory experiences such as the time of day, whether it is hot or cold, how the wind is blowing and all of that resonates with how I’m painting.” 

Come and see her beautiful work at Cabell Gallery throughout the month of November -  we sold two already at our First Friday opening reception on November 3rd!

 

 

The Spirit of VMI by Maria Reardon

The Spirit of VMI by Maria Reardon

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Fine Art...With A Side Of History at September's Very Special First Friday

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Fine Art...With A Side Of History at September's Very Special First Friday

We know you already have First Friday’s Gallery Walk on your calendar for every month because we always have a wonderful turnout, but in September we have an extra-special reason to make 5 W. Washington your first stop!

At 5 p.m., Cabell Gorman, owner of the Cabell Gallery of Fine Art, and Harry H. Warner, owner of the building at 5 W. Washington St. in downtown Lexington, will be celebrating the dedication of a plaque commemorating the unique history of our 1914 building, which has been designated officially by the Historic Lexington Foundation as the “Withrow Gift Shop”. 

Although the current building is just over a century old, it stands on one of the original half-acre lots on the six original streets laid out after Lexington was created as a county seat in 1777.  In 1792, William Alexander purchased all the lots on the present west side of Washington Street between Main and Jefferson Streets.  He built one of the oldest – and finest - standing structures in town, known now as the Alexander-Withrow House (location of The Georges today). 

Owned by a succession of other prominent citizens and their families, including John Leyburn and George Baker, Jack Withrow purchased the property in 1886 and constructed the “Gift Shop” in 1914. Withrow and his descendants owned the property for over 80 years. 

In 1969, 5 W. Washington and the Withrow Gift Shop was sold as a separate parcel, despite the earnest endeavors of the recently created Historic Lexington Foundation, which hoped to keep the property intact.  Although outbid at auction on the Withrow Gift Shop, the Historic Lexington Foundation was able to acquire and preserve the Alexander-Withrow House. 

Even with all the interior changes in recent decades, the Withrow Gift Shop has had the good fortune to maintain what has been described as, “the typical Victorian Shop Front configuration.  This entails two large windows flanking a central recessed door.  “Up above, the cornice is quite simple with small brackets and carved blocks.”

Between 1969 and 2013, when it was purchased by Harry H. Warner, the Withrow Gift Shop housed several businesses including Lexington Lighting and the law office of renowned attorney Larry Mann (husband of Lexington's most famous photographer, Sally Mann.) And, of course, Cabell Gallery of Fine Art will soon be celebrating three successful years at 5 W. Washington with many more yet to come. Future historians take note!

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August's Featured Artist: Kim Hall

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August's Featured Artist: Kim Hall

When Kim Hall learned she had been selected as Cabell Gallery’s featured artist for August, she traveled to Rockbridge County and got lost – but don’t worry, that’s just part of the fun and challenge of plein air painting for this Richmond resident.

“I had not spent much time in the area before the show.  I like to get lost and find these out of the way places, they’re getting harder and harder to find”, Kim said of her time exploring our beautiful area and creating many of the paintings showcased.  She saw the view in “Valley Splendor” (below) while driving in Rockbridge County with her faithful dog, Romeo, and pulled over into the parking lot of a shuttered gas station to set up her easel and paints.

 

Raised in Arlington, VA, Kim’s mother, Ann Hall, was a self-taught landscape painter and very involved in the local arts community. As a child, making art was “just what we did”.  Kim studied art in college and transitioned to art as a full-time career after moving to Richmond, VA.  She feels fortunate that some of her greatest influences include her contemporaries, including Curney Nuffer, another Cabell Gallery artist. 

A veteran of many established plein air festivals and competitions, Kim started painting outside for the first time about 10 years ago. “It really changes the way you see color and light.  You end up picking more of the atmosphere of the scene than you do from a photograph.  It has taught me to be a better painter, a faster painter, and be better able to edit a scene.  As opposed to capturing each detail when painting from a photograph, you get to focus in on what is the big picture of the scene and things that aren’t important you can leave out.”  

Corner of Washington and Main.jpeg

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July's Featured Artist:  Bonnie Mason

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July's Featured Artist: Bonnie Mason

After welcoming her to Cabell Gallery in the Fall of 2016, we are so pleased to have Bonnie Mason as our featured artist for July.  From breathtaking mountain vistas to beguiling still life compositions, the common thread in Bonnie’s paintings is the depth of emotional connection she has with her subject matter.  This connection begins with her deep roots in Virginia, especially the city of Salem, where she has lived her entire life. 

Bonnie’s father, an avid hunter, shared his extensive knowledge of the woods and mountains by pointing Bonnie to many a spot to paint that she might never have found otherwise. Since his passing in 2016, Bonnie especially treasures memories of her father accompanying her in his later years while she painted plein air, he by then having traded his gun for a camera.

A full-time artist for almost a decade, Bonnie finds her smaller plein air pieces can sometimes inspire larger works. But, there is always a story beyond just what you see on the canvas. “Summer Breeze” (below), expands on a smaller commissioned work for one of her first collectors for whom memories of that particular view had a special meaning.  Bonnie sought to capture what it would have been like to wander through those fields years ago and also how she felt when she saw it for herself on a beautiful, breezy summer’s day. 

Summer Breeze

 

Ideal

Bonnie also strives for meaning beyond aesthetics in her lovely still-life compositions.  In “Ideal” (left), the blue mason jar is one of several that her parents have passed down to her.  The blooming lilacs in the jar are from Bonnie’s garden, but they are especially precious to her because they were grown from a cutting Bonnie made from her mother’s lilacs, which in turn were cultivated from a cutting from her mother’s lilac. 

If learning about a native Virginia treasure like artist Bonnie Mason and the story behind both “Summer Breeze” and“Ideal” has you interested in seeing more of her work, we hope you will make plans to come to Cabell Gallery – we have already sold half a dozen of her paintings as of this posting!  We are always updating our inventory on the website, www.cabellgallery.com, or you may contact us directly with any questions or to make an appointment outside of gallery hours. 

 

 

 

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The Art You Treasure Most

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The Art You Treasure Most

So we just went through the crazy busy time of year here in Lexington. Where the parents and families of all the graduating students from VMI, SVU, and W&L descend on Lexington. Don't get me wrong, we love it! Any opportunity to show off our town to other people we'll take it. 

I NEVER get tired of hearing out-of-towners say, "Lexington! What a wonderful town. I had no idea! You have such a great art vibe here."

Yes :)  We do.

When all the families come for graduation, they come in looking for art that will remind their graduate of their school or maybe just Virginia. Having grown up in Lexington, I can certainly speak for VMI and W&L that their graduates love this town so dearly that many of them grow up to get second homes here, or retire here. Or, like me, just move back to the best place they could find on the planet. 

When picking out a graduation gift, many of the families get what I get. Nothing is a better gift than art. See, some people think you shouldn't buy art for other people. Not true. Especially when it is someone young. When they are graduating and going to live in their own place, perhaps their first apartment, few young adults can prioritize art. It's just not what they are spending their money on yet. But somehow, when they are given art, hanging an original work in their home makes them feel like an adult. There is a right of passage almost to "Now I have more than framed posters of Monet or Bob Marley. Now I have original art." And when that art reflects on a very important time in their life, say, college, that makes you treasure it even more. And you have created an heirloom, perhaps their first. One that their kids and maybe their kids will always know too. The gift giver always like to think that they will be remembered when they give a gift. Well, something as meaningful and permanent as art certainly does that.

At the Cabell Gallery we really focus, not just on Fine Art, but on Fine Art from the central Virginia area. Sometimes even scenes of the schools themselves. I tell you, it's a real kick for me to see a young person get their first real piece. The first of many hopefully. So think about it; if you have a young adult in your life, whether they have graduated or not, maybe it's birthday, Christmas, new baby, or no reason at all, the gift of art is something that you treasure your whole life. And, if it is a work that represents an important time in their life, even more so. Stop by or check out our website. And if you have something specific in mind, tell us about it! Many of our artists would gladly paint you the vision that you have in your head. Talk about a personal gift! People who say that you "can't" give art as a gift don't know what they are missing. Art, it may be the gift they will always treasure the most.

 

 

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Susan Egbert's Monotypes

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Susan Egbert's Monotypes

The return of the First Fridays art walk was a success as we celebrated the work of Roanoke artist Susan Egbert. Her work will be featured in the gallery throughout the month of March so be sure to stop in! To fully appreciate Susan's unique work, it's important to understand the process of creating monotypes, which constitute the majority of her collection in the gallery. 

First, a definition: Mono-typing is a form of printmaking that has lines or images that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, where there are multiple originals. There are many techniques for creating monotypes. Examples of printmaking techniques which can be used to make monotypes include lithography, woodcut, and etching.

And now the process with photos below borrowed from the blog "'Diary of a Madd Weekly Painter': Small Paintings by Sue Furrow" and the post titled "Monoprint Demo by Susan Egbert" (Aug 8,2012). 

First, Susan uses brayers to mix water soluble oils on a piece of plexiglass. Next she rolls the oils onto another piece of plexiglass that is customized to the size the final image should be. Susan then continues to add more colors and layers. To create the image she uses brayers, brushes and nibs to remove paint and create textures. 

Once the artist is satisfied with the image she places the painted plexiglass on the press table with a damp sheet of watercolor paper on top. Next, she cranks the plate and paper through the press and TA-DAH!! A Susan Egbert monotype!

Pictured above is "October Meadow," an 18x18 framed oil monotype, which is still available at the gallery! 

Pictured above is "October Meadow," an 18x18 framed oil monotype, which is still available at the gallery! 

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New Artist: Wendy Musser!

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New Artist: Wendy Musser!

We are so pleased to welcome North Carolina native, Wendy Musser to the Cabell Gallery! 

Oil and pastel landscape painting is her primary focus.  Her education includes obtaining an Associate of Arts Degree from Peace College, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Returning to school later, she completed a second major in Interior Design at Meredith College.

After years of working in art related fields Wendy aspired to return to her college art training.  She then began to study acrylic studio painting under Mary Anne K. Jenkins.

 To better understand the landscape and to capture the inspiration of being in nature as one paints, in 2001 she began studying “plein air” pastel painting.  Due to the array of pastel colors available the medium has energy and immediacy that makes painting on location an exciting experience.  Translating the stimulation of painting in nature into a vivid yet harmonious image of colors is a rewarding challenge.  The plein air paintings are generally worked to near completion while on the painting site.  Back in the studio the pieces are evaluated and finishing touches are added.  Once finished, they may become an inspiration for larger scale paintings.

Believing that learning should be a life long experience Wendy has continued to study pastel painting with Kevin Beck, Albert Handell, and Richard McKinley.   Her studies in oil has been under Scott Christensen, Rick Mc Clure, John Poon and Libby Tolley.  She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, a Charter member of PAiNT NC and the Pastel Society of North Carolina.  She is the Co-fonder and Secretary of the Western Wake Artist Studio Tour and has been accepted in and received awards in juried shows in the Triangle Area since 1997.  

"Plein air painting is not only observing the object as you paint it, but painting in the out of doors.  My first experience with the medium of dry pastels and my first experience of painting in nature were at a workshop.

I was immediately hooked.  I am convinced that painting out in nature is both the most challenging and most rewarding painting experience.  Not all of my selected painting locations are breathtaking.  All, however, are unique and the test is to create an inspiring image from any location.  Concentrating on a single focus of interest among a vast array of subject matter is very challenging.  Light changes so quickly that the image you see is constantly changing.  As I paint, the light is quickly moving, the birds are singing, the bugs are biting, the air is refreshing (or muggy, or freezing) and the subject is directly in front of me for translation into a painting.  Dealing with the distractions of the elements and working hard to capture a moment when the light is favorable makes the painting process even more exciting and exhausting.

My goal is to capture the beauty of the places that I have discovered and to lure viewers to want to visit the very spot where I have painted.  God has given us a beautiful world that is quickly being altered by our actions.  I hope that my painting experiences can preserve a glimpse of the natural beauty of this great land and to entice others to take time to celebrate the environment we have been given by enjoying the gift of our landscape"

(Pictured above: "Greener Pastures" 20x20 Pastel)

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Arts and Education: Inspiration and Creativity

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Arts and Education: Inspiration and Creativity

When I first began my position at the Cabell Gallery I wrote a blog about the importance of art and now, almost four months later, it is still a relevant topic from another perspective. Each day as I watch my six year old daughter color, paint, craft and create beautiful pieces of art I realize how much this act of creation, of doing something she is proud of and that challenges her to be unique, helps her to grow intellectually and makes her feel special. 

Lucky for my daughter and for myself, we have been fortunate to grow up in beautiful little Lexington, where community leaders and the public education system value the positive impact the arts make on small children. Here, we are blessed with after school enrichment programs, middle-school band, FAIR, Lime Kiln, the Rockbridge Choral Society and Youth Chorale, the list goes on. There are great opportunities for children to be exposed to fine art, music and theatre right here for relatively little cost and that is certainly something to be grateful for while the world continues to become more complicated. 

When I think back to my childhood, I am most nostalgic for the unlimited imagination I once had that made the most ordinary tasks more entertaining. As we age this power of creative imagination becomes jaded with the harsh realities of adulthood and we find alternative ways to escape the monotonous daily routine. Many find their alternative reality in the pages of novels, while others prefer the less mentally laborious method of "Netflix and chill." From the Middle Ages through Baroque, prior to modern technologies and the immediate accessibility of entertainment, fine art provided entertainment through edifying tableaus that were inspirational and imaginative. Elaborate sculptures and architecture were created in honor of popes, kings and saints to demonstrate power while beautifying and modernizing large cities during the Baroque period. As an art history student, I understand the value of learning history through art and architecture. We read the story of contemporary culture, politics, and socio-economics through clues in each masterpiece.

Each time I visit an art museum with my daughter I see art through a totally new perspective. Specifically while in modern and contemporary museums I love to hear her interpretation of completely abstract, non-figural pieces. Many adults lack the freedom of imagination to let go of science and reality to truly understand or enjoy these pieces. Children, however, approach such pieces with their full imagination to allow their brain to construct the image in their own understanding without the pressure of feeling inadequate if their analysis is "incorrect." Perhaps to young, creative minds the potential to grow their own talent to such a masterful level attracts them to art, or maybe it's the colors and textures. No matter what draws us or our children to art and more importantly, to creativity in general, we should nourish this desire because ultimately there is always something to be learned and gained while creating or viewing art. 

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