Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What a Difference a Varnish (and a Supportive Spouse) Make...

Not necessarily in that order.

The newly varnished "NYC Street" on our mantel
Yea for Spouses!
For any of you who follow my blog or attend my art events, you already know I lucked out in the supportive spouse category. My husband Randy has an awful lot to do with my success as a professional artist. He's my framer, picture hanger, packager, agent, mailer, money guy, bookkeeper and more. Thank goodness! All his work leaves me the time I need to paint, teach, blog and market my work.

Perhaps spurred on by collectors turning October into a very financially successful month and upcoming art sales events, Randy's helping out in new ways. He's now in the push-me-to-finish business, meaning Randy is:
  • collecting unframed drawings (a big job)
  • looking for paintings that are missing my signature (and getting me to sign them)
  • figuring out which paintings need to be varnished (and varnishing them)
  • figuring out which paintings need to be framed and checking the frame inventory to see what we need to order/select
These are all tasks that need to be done to turn this artwork into purchasable/ready-to-hang art. And yet, they are all exceedingly difficult to get around to doing, i.e., my most procrastination-prone pile of "stuff to do."

Yea for Varnish!
I'd told you that on Sunday, one collector purchased two of my paintings -- one of which is "Lots of Peppers" and the other is one of my two large-scale New York City street scenes. She couldn't decide which one yet -- but that will happen this week. Both of those paintings needed a final varnish. Randy took care of that -- and they look fantastic! Varnishing brings out the true colors and contrasts of a painting -- bringing it back to its wet-paint finish. Before the varnish, darks in particular look lighter, a little milky. By varnishing "NYC Street," all the colors in the light pop, the image looks crisper and the painting is more interesting. I figured I'd let you see it, propped on my mantel, just in case its the one to go. (I use Gamvar Final Picture Varnish.)

I plan to be in the Artists' Atelier for open hours this coming Saturday, November 5 from noon-4pm before heading to the reception for the Expressions Portrait Exhibit at ArtSpace Herndon. The Atelier still looks pretty terrific from Studio Tour in case you want to stop by at 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA 22066. And, because I'll be there, I'll miss all the activities going on at the Phillips Collection on that day in honor of their 90th Anniversary. Here's the scoop on that:
The Phillips Collection
Saturday, November 5
Free admission

On the day D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has proclaimed "Phillips Collection Day," celebrate the museum's 90th anniversary with a day of free activities, gallery talks, and live music. Highlights include:
  • Free admission to Degas's Dancers at the Barre: Point and Counterpoint
  • Cupcake party favors while supplies last (10am-noon)
  • Hands-on art-making inspired by Will Ryman's outdoor sculpture of colossal pink roses (10am-noon)
  • Hourly gallery talks on Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party and European Masterworks (11am-6pm)
  • "Happy Birthday" sing-along led by Ben Eisler from ABC7/WJLA-TV (noon)
  • Ballet students from the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington D.C. practicing in the Degas exhibition (12:30-3:00pm)
  • Interactive self-guide to the collection by illustrator Elizabeth Graeber
  • Musical performances throughout the day, featuring Parisian-inspired accordionist Manny Bobenrieth, the Capital Hearings a cappella group, Teiber Trio, Tommy Cecil Quartet, Yvonne Johnson Trio and DJ Neville C.
  • Cash bar with wine, beer, champagne, and light snacks (4:15-8:00pm)
Sponsored by AON Huntington Block Insurance. Media partner ABC7/WJLA-TV.
Exhibits & Events
Expressions Portrait Exhibit at ArtSpace Herndon, November 1 through 27. Reception and awards, November 5, 7pm. "Tranquility" was chosen as one of the finalists. 750 Center Street, Herndon, VA.

The Art League's October All-Media Membership Exhibit,  105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA. My charcoal drawing of "Oscar" was juried in and will be on view through November 7. "Cubanelle and Roses" is in the Bin Gallery.

American Artists Professional League 83rd Grand National,Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue, NYC, Nov. 1-11. "Alan" was juried into the show.

To read more about the 100 Faces in 100 Days project on my web site (, go to the 100 Faces Project Pages 1 and 2 where you can see all 100 of my volunteers. Click on the paintings, and go to my blog post for that person's sitting.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page 1 (faces 1-54):
100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page 2 (faces 55-100):

No comments: