Friday, December 19, 2008

"Merry Christmas"

"Wild Persimmons", Linda Volrath, 6" x 6", Oil on Panel

Linda and I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We truly appreciate your comments and interest in our art. We look forward to sharing our art filled lives with you in the new year.

Steven Parrish and Linda volrath

Thursday, October 09, 2008

"Great Week of Plein Air Painting"

Our good friend and fellow artist Sandra Corpora spent a week with us recently and we went out painting everyday, morning, afternoon and one sunset too. We had one rain day so we all painted still lifes which was a nice change of pace. Three painters, four days and twenty paintings started, what a week. We painted the farms of the northern Shenandoah Valley, from apple orchards to horse farms. With a critique of our work at the end of each day, it was all art, all the time, with a little wine and good food to keep us going. The last afternoon we had a marathon session painting a row of old retired John Deere tractors. They are still unfinished and need some work in the studio, but here they are;

"Deere John", Sandra Corpora, 11" x 14". Oil on Panel

"Fence Row Ornaments", Linda Volrath, 9" x 12", Oil on Linen

"Ran Like a Deere", Steven J Parrish, 9" x 12", Oil on Linen

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Blue Ridge Hunt's Point to Point to benefit Blue Ridge Hospice"

"At the Start", Linda Volrath, 18" x 24", Oil on Linen

The Blue Ridge Hunt held it's fall point to point race and Calcutta dinner to raise money for Blue Ridge Hospice last weekend. Linda's "At the Start" painting was on the cover of the race program and it and her "Dust Devils" painting were auctioned at the dinner to benefit hospice.

"Dust Devils", Linda Volrath, 11" x 13", Oil on Linen

The auction was a huge success, with the winning bids well above the estimates. We wish to thank and congratulate the winning bidders for their support of Blue Ridge Hospice. We would also like to thank Melanie Marks of Wiseman & Associates, Co-Chair of the event for getting us involved and for putting on an excellent weekend of events. The weather was perfect and the races were spirited, no horses were injured, and despite a couple of thrown jockeys all went well. Co-Chair Michael Hoffman kept everything running smooth and safe, for more information check this website

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Two Art Shows Opening This Week."

"Pure Golden", Linda Volrath, 12"x16", Oil on Linen

Linda has been very busy painting for two shows that open this week. First was the Oatlands Art Show in Leesburg, VA which opened Monday July 7th. The second which opens today July 10th at Main Street Gallery in Annapolis, MD. These images are from the Main Street Show.

"Studio Window", Linda Volrath, "11x15", Oil on Linen

"The Red Cup" Linda Volrath, 10"x8", Oil on Panel

I will post the images from the Oatlands show next week. Linda and I both have paintings in the Oatlands show.

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Recent Plein Air Studies"

"Plein Air Study, Azaleas in the Rain" Linda Volrath, 8 x 10, Oil on Linen

"Plein Air Study, Dogwood in Bloom" Steven J Parrish, 9 x 12, Oil on Linen

These two paintings are examples of Plein Air quick studies that we have done since we took Kenn Backhaus's Workshop last month (See post below). Linda and I both learned a great deal from Kenn and will continue to use what he taught us in our landscape paintings.

We are now both busy painting for upcoming shows, hopefully I can post some of them in the near future.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Oatlands Plantation 2008 Gala"

"Morning Sun on Oatlands Mansion", Linda Volrath, 8" x 10", Oil on Linen

We attended the Oatlands Plantation spring 2008 black tie gala last weekend. The gala is a fund raising event to benefit this historic trust property in Leesburg, VA. Linda and I have been involved with them for about 10 years. We have had paintings in their annual art show every year and have always done well selling paintings. Linda donated this painting "Morning Sun on Oatlands Mansion" for the silent auction. Bidding was strong and the painting raised the most money of all the silent auction items, we would like to thank and congratulate the winning bidder. We would also like to thank Cynthia Bridgman for having us at her table. We enjoyed speaking to William C. Travis and his wife Sally, William's watercolor painting of Oatlands was used on the invitation and was donated for the live auction. His painting raised a substantial amount of money for Oatlands benefit. We would like to thank everyone involved at Oatlands for always being so kind to us, allowing us to paint on their property and giving us opportunities to be involved in their fund raising events. If you can visit Oatlands it is well worth the trip.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Kenn Backhaus workshop and mini-tornado"

"Moravian Church at Dusk", Linda Volrath, Oil on Linen, 9"x12"

Linda and I just got back from a plein air painting workshop with Plein Air Painters of America member Kenn Backhaus. Kenn is a great landscape painter, and a wonderful instructor. This was one of the best workshops we've taken, Kenn is an enthusiastic, thoughtful teacher that gave us a great fundamental foundation to improve our plein air painting. If you get the opportunity to take a workshop with Kenn Backhaus you should take it. Thanks to Sandra Corpora President of the Bethlehem Palette Club who organized this workshop. Thanks also to Sandy and Pat for their wonderful hospitality. The weather though cold at the beginning of the week, turned warm and sunny for the remainder of the week. The weather event that none of us had ever experienced while painting occurred on Tuesday afternoon. Kenn was doing a painting demonstration along the banks of the Lehigh River, there was not a cloud in the sky and the wind was calm. Soon a slight breeze picked up, and intensified to the point that we went running to our easels to keep them from blowing over. Things were blowing in all directions and a dust devil came spinning down the path we were all on, it took a right turn about twenty feet before where Kenn was set up and headed down the bank onto the river. Easels and painting supplies were rolling down the banks and into the water. Once over the river the dust devil transformed into a sixty foot tall water spout a mere fifty feet from where we were standing. After fifteen or twenty seconds it moved to the opposite bank and burned itself out over the steel mill buildings. Then all was calm and there was still not a cloud in the sky. We picked ourselves up and resumed the demonstration. As usual there were at least twelve cameras in the group and no one took a picture.

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Paintings from the Blue Ridge Hunt Races"

"The Red Cup" Linda Volrath, 10"x8", Oil on Panel

These two paintings are Linda's exploration of a new genre for her. She was inspired by the spectators at the cold and windy Blue Ridge Hunt horse races chronicled in a previous post. I love them and hope she continues to paint people in the process of enjoying life. You really get a sense of how we all were feeling that day.

"untitled" Linda Volrath, 14"x11", Unfinished Oil on Panel

These paintings will be added to Linda's website once she has finished them. When we finish redesigning her website we will add a category for People and Animals other than Horses. She has some great paintings of birds that need to be included.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Spring is Springing"

"Daffodils and Ball Jar",Linda Volrath, Oil on Linen, 9" x 12"

Spring is Springing at our house in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the birds are busy building nests, the rabbits are trying to eat everything growing in our gardens, and the trees are budding their brains out. That can only mean one thing, IT'S PLEIN AIR LANDSCAPE PAINTING TIME! We're dusting off our outdoor equipment and will be back out there battling the sun, snakes, bugs, wind, and whatever else nature wants to throw at us. It is all worth it when you stand in front of God's beautiful creation and really look at the light, shape, and color of nature. Nature is gloriously simple and amazingly complex and it all would take care of it's self if not for our destructive human behavior. So take some time this spring to go out and really see what God has created for us, and give nature the respect that it deserves.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Dust Devils" Linda Volrath, Oil on Linen, 11" x 13"

Linda and I went to the Blue Ridge Hunt point to point steeplechase races last weekend. Thanks to Chris and Andy for the wonderful food and hospitality. The weather was a major character in our day. It rained hard all morning, but by race time the rain had stopped and the temperature was in the mid forties. That all changed at 3 PM when a cold front came through bringing hail and heavy rain. It only lasted 30 minutes or so, but the horses weren't happy and the spectators ran for cover. Those that chose to seek shelter in the porta-johns came to regret their decision as they were blown over. After the rain the temperature dropped a good ten to fifteen degrees and the wind howled at 20 to 30 mph. The races continued and those of us who stuck it out were rewarded with several close finishes and a fun story to tell. No horses or riders were injured and it was another success for the Blue Ridge Hunt.

Me face into the wind

We got some great photos of both horses and spectators. We captured some images that Karin Jurick would love. If you don't know Karin Jurick's work here is a link to her Blog;

Karin captures ordinary people in the act of doing ordinary things, and elevates the scene to a beautiful moment in time with her expressive paintings.

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Linnin' em Up, Newmarket", Oil on Canvas, Sir Alfred Munnings, Collection of Paul Mellon
Image from Virginia Museum of Fine Art website

Linda and I went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art this weekend to see Paul Mellon's, Eugène Boudin and Sporting Art collection. We weren't that familiar with Boudin, but we really liked his work. The show was titled "The first impressionist." I can see that, he was painting in an expressionist style, but not to the extent that the later Impressionists would take it. We specifically went to see the sporting art, which unfortunately was a very small collection, separate from the permanent collection. The sporting art show featured; John R. Skeaping and Sir Alfred Munnings, we went to see the Munnings. Skeaping was a pleasant suprise, we liked his work a lot, we don't follow watercolorists as closely as oil painters. The three Munnings paintings were amazing, and we studied them for a very long time. His use of color is fantastic, especially in the shadows. We also spent time looking at Paul Mellon's permanent collection at the VMFA, what an amazing art collector.

Monday, January 14, 2008

"Pickled Pear", Steven J. Parrish, Oil on Linen, 22" x 16"

Critique my latest painting.

We do not normally post images of unfinished paintings, but I thought I would try it with this one. This is the painting I have been working on for the Oil Painters of America National Competition. I need to submit it in the next week or two, please feel free to critique this painting and make any suggestions that you feel would be an improvement. This is the level of finish that I have reached when I say a painting is in the review process. The painting moves from the studio into a room in our house with more representative lighting conditions, and varying viewing distances. Linda and I then discuss any changes or improvements that need to be made.


Friday, January 11, 2008

"Duet", Linda Volrath, Oil on Masonite, 6" x 9"

The holidays are over and we're back to work, I am 99% finished with the still life I am submitting to the OPA National Juried Show. Linda is finishing up a painting that has already been sold, and working on some paintings that were in various stages of completion.