Local Attractions: Beyond Our Doors

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Welcome to our new blog series in which we will take you around our area.

What can we say about our quaint little community known as Old Town? Old Town is the historic center of the city of Alexandria, Virginia or as we like to call it, Extraordinary Alexandria. It’s a community filled with good food, high energy, historic significance, unique shopping, and vast amounts of art and culture. It’s only a few minutes outside of our nation’s capital and exhibits a life of its own. The people of Old Town are often on the lookout for exciting, interesting, and extraordinary activities. Locals are always willing to attend events centered around entertainment, delicious food, strong spirits, the arts, and good company. The local businesses, restaurants, galleries, institutions, and event venues host functions that bring tourists and locals into their spaces. There is always something worth attending here in Old Town, the surrounding neighborhoods, and Washington D.C.

A few examples:

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Port City Brewing Company

  • Our nearby brewery, Port City, presents a variety of attractions, which highlight music, art, food, and their featured craft beers.
  • The local art center, the Torpedo Factory offers public attractions with various themes on the 2nd Thursday of every month, holds a number of art exhibitions in their Target Gallery, and many other featured events.

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    Torpedo Factory Art Center

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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Our gallery resides on the central and most engaging street in Old Town, King Street. Therefore, it’s important for us to support surrounding businesses and remain in touch with our community. As a neighborhood business we want to draw attention to the local attractions in our area, attractions our visitors and audience will find to be relaxing, compelling, captivating, and enjoyable for everyone. We want to reach out, bring visitors into our space and beyond, which is why in addition to our gallery posts we will also be creating Local Attraction posts. This way visiting the Principle Gallery becomes more than simply a visit to an art gallery, but an overall dynamic experience in Old Town.

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Principle Gallery, Main Exhibition Space

If you have any suggestions for posts or know of any events in our area, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our exhibition page contains a listing of all of our upcoming events, so please feel free to share them with your friends! Our gallery space is available as a venue for your private or business events! If you’re interested in renting our space, please visit our rental page.

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King Street: Photo courtesy of Visit Alexandria

 

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Perspective of a Model

Perspective of a Model

Following Friday night’s demo with Teresa Oaxaca we asked our lovely intern Barbara to share her experience as a model for Teresa. Here is what she had to say.

My favorite part about interning at Principle is the rare glance into an artist’s creative world. You can read up on their background or ask them about their techniques, but I think that an artist’s process is too personal and particular to try to comprehend. This past Friday though, I got a pretty cool glimpse into that world—by modeling for Teresa Oaxaca at Principle’s live demo. This was the first time I’ve ever modeled for anyone and it was definitely a daunting job. I wasn’t sure if I could sit in a chair for two and a half hours, and maintain the same expression and stare throughout. Though I was a little stiff the next day, I’m so glad I decided to model for Teresa.

Visitors watch Teresa work.

I remember entering her name into the gallery’s inventory and uploading her work onto the website. Then, she was just a name associated with some amazing paintings, but such close exposure to Teresa in her element made me realize that artists are normal people. They have their individual practices and preferences—some like to eat sushi before they work and some line up their paintbrushes in a specific order. I used to think of an artist’s vision as intangible, something I couldn’t recognize without a textbook’s explanation. But in watching Teresa work, I saw that vision unfold: it was in her quick dabbing on the palette, in her rocking back and forth behind the easel, and maybe even in my own posture and expression. That’s why I think demos are such a valuable, interesting experience. You get this unique exposure to artwork as a cumulative product of the artist and their surrounding atmosphere. And then that seemingly mysterious and foreign process of an artist becomes a little more relatable.

Teresa's work develops over 25 minute intervals.

I hope you enjoyed my perspective of modeling for Teresa. I would highly recommend coming to Principle’s next demo so you too can get a glimpse into an artist’s creative process. The next one features Robert Liberace and is on May 29th at 6:00-9pm. Below are links to the Facebook event and to the gallery’s website.

Michele, Pam,  Jessica, Barbara, Teresa, and Clint.

Robert’s Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1451121928514100/

Principle’s website:http://www.principlegallery.com/Alexandria

Time & a “Traveller”

In the Golden Light

GC Myers has a fantastic blog which is updated almost every day. His ability to come up with interesting content daily about (mostly) art and music is something most bloggers could only hope to achieve. Today’s post sharest his 15th annual solo exhibition that we will be holding this June.

Click below to learn more!

Time & a “Traveller”.

G.C. Myers at Principle Gallery Tomorrow (9/8/12)

Over the Blues, a new piece by G.C. Myers

Excitement is in the air at Principle Gallery as we prepare for the G.C. Myers talk we are hosting tomorrow.  Our doors will be open during Old Town Alexandria’s Festival of the Arts Saturday September 8th through Sunday the 9th. At 1pm on Saturday, G.C. Myers will be here in person to discuss his artwork and inspiration, and he will be free answer any questions you may have.

Myers’ Artist Talk is following on the heels of his exhibit at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY.  His solo show titled Internal Landscapes will remain up until December 31st, so if you have a chance to visit, there is still time!

You can read G.C. Myers’ thoughts on the exhibit at Fenimore here.  And, please, come visit G.C. Myers tomorrow at 1pm and see beautiful Old Town Alexandria at the street fair while you’re here.

Face Off: Q&A Session

Friday nights Face Off was a smashing success! We are so thankful to our wonderful artists, Mia, Rachel, Cindy, & Terry, our beautiful model Jen, and all the wonderful people who came out to support them!

Painting Session

The artists worked in 20-minute sessions of painting, followed by 5-minutes of questions. We realize trying to fit all your questions in six 5-minute sessions is difficult, so for those who didn’t have a chance to get all their questions answered, we have compiled a list of the most asked questions from the night.

Question Session

Mia

Q: Why do you use a mirror when painting?

A: By looking at my paintings in the mirror, I am able to see the image in reverse. This helps me see the shapes more clearly and give me a fresh eye, since after about 30 minutes, my eyes start to think everything is correct on my painting. It also helps me see the model in a new way, in reverse.

Q: Where did you study?

A: I studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, then the Charles H. Cecil Studio in Florence, Italy. Since my return from Italy in 2005, I have attended multiple workshops, including one given by Joseph Todorovich.

Q: What type of paints are you using?

A: I use all types of brands for oil paints, including Windsor & Newton, Rembrandt, and Gamblin.

Q: What are you painting on?

A: I am painting on a handmade wooden panel available locally in Chattanooga, TN. It is a birch panel, with a poplar cradle, that has been primed with high quality gesso and a layer of oil.

Q: How old are you?

A: A lady never tells her age!

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Rachel

Q: How did you choose your composition?

A: This is a great question. I believe that the most important element of a painting is design, and that the most beautifully painted image falls flat without it. (One could even argue that with strong design technique becomes secondary, but that’s a separate conversation.)  Luckily for all of us, the moment Jen sat down in that blue kimono and turned her head, she became a painting. Every once in a great while a painting seems to paint itself, the composition is obvious and you just have to color it in. Jen emoted such elegance and that she really made it easy for me. In terms of composition, what struck me immediately was the lovely curve created by the slight tilt of her head, leading down to the kimono, then traveling down the swoop of her arm, through the curve of her wrist and down to her fingertips. Abstractly, that hand then draws you back into the picture, back to her profile.  My goal was to create an image that evoked a similar response to the one I felt by looking at her. I wanted to capture her GRACE.

Rachel

Cindy

Q: Is it hard painting in front of an audience?

A: A bit. I was totally fine during the first 20-minute session because I was concentrating so hard I was completely unaware of how many people had snuck in. When the first break was called, I stood and turned around, and was like WHOA! Where’d you guys come from?  I noticed my hands shaking a bit during the second session, but once I really started concentrating again, I was able to relax and get back into the zone. It helped immensely that everyone was talking and having a good time. Whispered conversations would have been very unsettling.

Q: Why do you have all your colors pre-mixed on your palette?

A: I mix strings of value and color ahead of time in order to simplify the painting process. I mix my palette the same way every time I paint a portrait, so just like a pianist develops muscle memory to know where the piano keys are, I know exactly where each color is on my palette without having to hunt for it, or having to mix a color on the fly. This allows me to concentrate on what I see in front of me and what’s happening on my canvas.

Cindy

Terry

Q: Why are you looking in a mirror?

A: Because Mia does it! Not really but I did leave that trick from Mia. At home I always use a mirror. I actually haul my paintings into the bathroom so I can see the entire thing in reverse to see them with a fresh eye.

Q: Is that a wood panel?

A: Ampersand Gessobord stained with Rembrandt Burnt Umber.

Q: Is that really Lois Lane in your Fast Lane painting?

A: Yes. See her in the photo in the Superman (Call of Duty) painting?!

Q: What is your palette hooked to?

A: A contraption my husband Dan made that hooks to my easel. I like to see the paint in the same light as the painting. (When one of the ladies saw this she said “I want a Dan!”)

Terry and her palette contraption!

Thank you again to our wonderful artists, who gave their all Friday night, and a big thank you to everyone who came out to support them! Two of the paintings have already found wonderful homes and we hope the other two find homes soon!

All four finished pieces, left to right: Terry, Mia, Cindy, Rachel.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to pose your questions to the artists! Thank you again!

Face Off Prep

We are starting to get excited for tonight’s Women Painting Women: Face Off Demo featuring Mia Bergeron, Rachel Constantine, Cindy Procious, and Terry Strickland from 6:30-9pm! The ladies arrived yesterday and already had ideas running through their head about the set-up!

Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to around the gallery since the ladies arrived!

We started by moving the front desk! A whole new look for the gallery.

This morning the ladies started setting up. First the lighting.

Then their easels.

Next it was an afternoon prep-session with the model, friend and collector Jen.

The big decision: which color kimono to wear!

We hope you’ll join us tonight to check out the great work these artists will be creating! We can’t wait to see the finished products! We will also be giving away a palette signed by all four artists!

Out and About: Fenimore Art Museum – G.C. Myers

G.C. Myers will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY from August 18 – December 31, 2012! We are so excited for Gary to have this opportunity and encourage everyone to visit the museum during the exhibition! The show will even feature a few pieces from Principle Gallery clients including “Archaeology: The Story Told.”

Here is what the Fenimore has to say about the exhibit:

Internal Landscapes: The Paintings of G.C. Myers brings together fifteen recent works in acrylic on paper, wood, and canvas by Ithaca-area artist G.C. Myers. His crisp, clean compositions, bold coloration and stylized renderings transform the natural landscape into one that resonates with human emotions and qualities.

Myers describes the emotional tone of his work generally as “A sense of being calmly in the moment, taking in the stillness of the paused now.” His peaceful landscapes encourage reflection and a renewed sense of purpose.

‘Archaeology: The Story Told’, 20 x 30, Mixed Media on Canvas