Member Profile – Greg McNabb

Into the Woods: Works in Wood with Greg McNabb

Greg McNabb is the featured artist for the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative’s April exhibit. Greg has been fascinated by wood working since he was very young. His roots run deep and his vision consistently and powerfully propels him upward and outward toward excellence in his medium. “The first piece I ever made was with my Grandfather. He set me up with some tools and the pedestal from an old table. He left it up to me to come up with something on my own.” That moment continues to influence his work, as evidenced by the stories he tells and the name of his business: 3G Woodworking, where “3G” stands for “Three Generations.”

The exhibit will be an eclectic collection of work ranging from utilitarian objects to 1374714_515830895169503_1244978352_nfurniture. Each object expresses his interest in exposing the beauty of wood and revealing it’s character. Works shown include a maple live edge coffee table, a sushi set with hand-carved chop sticks, cutting boards and boxes. He will also be showing a wall piece, which is a new form of expression for his work. Also on display will be the first box Greg made 35 years ago!

You can see Greg’s work April 3 – 30 at the AHA Fire Hall Gallery, 108 N. George St. in Charles Town. An opening reception will be held Saturday, April 5 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM and is open to the public. Regular gallery hours: Weds – Sun. 12:00 – 5:00 PM.

Visit Greg’s website for additional information on 3G Woodworking.

Posted in Artist Information, Co-op News, Coming Events, Special Exhibits

Member Profile – Bruce Chandler

This month’s feature artist is Bruce Chandler, who is a founding member of the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative. Bruce has been an artist since 1976. He worked with stained glass from 1976 until 1999. In 1993, Bruce took an interest in painting, working in oil, watercolor and acrylic. Today, he works primarily with oil paint.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAWhen asked about his current project, he responded, “With a palette knife, I’m working on a painting of several large clay planting pots, grouped together outdoors, all the same color. Because they are in sunlight, there are several tones of the same color that I’m trying to capture, along with the multiple shadows, grouped upon one another, that these pots have created.” This painting is a challenge to improve his ability to see the complexities of tone that are created by just one color. To the average observer, dealing with one color might appear to be simple, but when you really look at a subject in order to paint it, you’ll find the tones to be quite intricate. “Just getting the one color I want can be a surprise, depending on how I’ve toned the canvas.”

Most of Bruce’s work is created from photographs he has taken, which he uses as templates as a point of departure for his compositions. He considers the photography to be part of his creative process. The photos inform his ongoing investigations into light and shadow.

How did Bruce get started? “It was a water color I did while in elementary school, of the IMG_0326Easter bunny. My teacher liked it very much and gave me a “gold star”. Of course, that felt great and I think, that I still have that painting among my belongings. I’ll have to look for it. I think on a very subtle level, that [encouragement] has always been an inspiration for me.”

The deciding moment to become an artist came later – from a challenge he received from his mother while they were looking at Impressionist paintings in the National Gallery. “There was a particular painting I liked and I said, ‘I wish I could paint like that.’ My mother replied, ‘Well, why don’t you?’ Her answer really resonated with me and I asked myself, ‘Well, why not?’ That was the beginning. A couple of months later, I enrolled in a drawing course.”

From 1992 – 1997 Bruce studied art at Montgomery College. He explored various media including watercolor and oil paint. He studied drawing and figure painting. Since March 2010, he has studied with Dianne Bugash in Rockville, Maryland, where he has become particularly interested in abstract art and the effects of light and shadow on faces.

IMG_0319He’s been working on a series of portraits studied from photographs taken at least 60, and in many cases, about 100 years ago. “I find these images interesting as they are different from contemporary portraiture, particularly in lighting, hair styles, clothing and demeanor of the subjects.” Bruce exhibited some of them last October at Artomatic at Jefferson, and showed more of the series last month in a group at the Cooperative, entitled “A Look Back.”

Bruce also produced a series of abstract paintings last year for a group show at the Cooperative last fall. The theme of the show dealt with the elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The decision to work in the abstract was an exciting challenge for him. Before the show, he described his paintings as “very different from his usual work” with a big smile on his face!

The abstracts were very different from his usual subject matter of seascape, landscape, still life, figure and portrait studies. When you look across the range of his work, you’ll see his interest in light and shadow and their effects on color, which are ongoing sources of investigation as he strives to improve his painting skills and artistic sensibilities. Bruce is a thoughtful painter, communicating these interests to his viewers.

Bruce has been active with several galleries over the years. He was a member of A Salon Ltd., Wilson Center Gallery, Washington, D.C. where he participated in two juried shows. He was a member of the Washington Street Gallery, a privately owned gallery that opened in 2010 and pre-cursor to the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative, which was formed in 2011. Bruce’s paintings can be seen at the gallery every Wednesday – Sunday from 12:00 – 5:00 PM.

Posted in Artist Information, Co-op News

Member Profile – Joyce Alexander

Back Roads

Pink FlowersThe Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative welcomes its newest member, Joyce Alexander.  Joyce is originally from Greensburg, Pennsylvania.  She’s also lived in Arizona, New Jersey, Virginia and currently, West Virginia.  She recently retired (June 2013) from the Loudoun County Public Schools after 30 years of teaching and now enjoys painting with oil and watercolor.  She lives in Harper’s Ferry with her husband Barry, 3 dogs and 1 cat.

“My oil painting style revolves around a strong sense of color.  I enjoy painting landscapes, nature and abstracts.  I paint weekly with good friends and also at home.  I have always been a visual person and color is a big part of my world.

Southwest AbstractI Have the most fun with abstracts, because my brush and palette knife seem to connect with my thoughts. I never begin an abstract…they just seem to happen from feelings. My landscapes are from photographs, although I have experienced plein air painting. I discovered painting outdoors directly increases my ability to get oil paint on myself and the car. I just love oil painting!”

Oil painting can be messy, and it appears she’s got a good sense of humor!   When you look at her work, you can tell she has a passion for painting and color.  Her work has great energy, which is shown in the movement created by her brush and palette knife.  Come visit our gallery and experience her paintings!  We’re open every Wednesday – Sunday 12:00pm – 5:00pm.

Posted in Co-op News | Tagged ,

“A Look Back”

Earl Mills, Bruce Chandler, and Annette Verna, members of the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative, will present themes of things past in their show, “A Look Back”, on exhibit February 1-27, in the Fire Hall Gallery in Charles Town, WV.

LuftwaffePhotographer Earl Mills presents images inspired by World War II.  “I attend many battle reenactments and the  most interesting to me are those of World War II and the Civil War.  My relatives fought in World War II and I’ve always wanted to learn more about the war and those who served.”  Earl uses Photoshop and a digital painting program, which gives the photos an unique artistic appearance.

Bruce ChandlerBruce Chandler’s oil paintings are portraits studied from photographs taken at least 60, and in many cases, about 100 years ago.  “I find these images interesting as they are different from contemporary portraiture, particularly in lighting, hair styles, clothing and demeanor of the subjects.”

Annette VernaAnnette Verna presents a retrospective of pitfired and raku pottery.  “These pieces represent important moments of discovery that have shaped my work over time.”

The Fire Hall Gallery is located at 108 N. George Street, Charles Town, WV, at the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative and Charles Town Visitor’s Center.  The opening Reception is Saturday, February 8 from 5:00 – 7:00pm.

Posted in Co-op News

Artists Profile – Bruce Waldron

SunflowerBruce currently resides in Kearneysville, West Virginia by way of his birthplace, Silver Spring Maryland, where he grew up and was educated during the late 1950 and 60’s. His working career includes a short stint in the US Army, which included a tour of Viet Nam in 1971. Professionally he spent time as a surveyor, engineering inspector, and now retired from a career in civil service. He KOIcurrently occupies his time writing short fiction, poetry, and painting. Now in retirement, he shares his life with his wife Dianne and daughter Kelly. His days are spent working in his yard and gardens, and nights rereading the classics. Bruce’s artist statement would certainly include taking his artistic cues, as well as finding his muse, in the quiet whispers that abound in nature.Cassandra

Posted in Artist Information, Co-op News

Artomatic@Jefferson Grand Opening Set for Oct. 4

Artomatic@Jefferson (2013) opened to the public on Oct. 4 at 5:00 PM at the Rock & Tile building, 154 Wolfcraft Way, Charles Town, WV.  Produced by Jefferson County artists in collaboration with the Arts & Humanities Alliance of Jefferson County (AHA), Artomatic@Jefferson is a community celebration of the arts. WSAC members Greg McNabb, Joanna Athey, Annette Verna, Suzanne Ravgiala, Martha LeRoi and Ginny Fite are exhibiting at Artomatic@Jefferson.

Every weekend in October, visitors were treated to an art exhibit, concerts, dance performances, comedy and readings by the area’s poets, playwrights and writers. All events were free and open to the public. Visitors were encouraged to come back as often as they like.

Each Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm, the Artists’ Market gave visitors an opportunity to buy “art to go.” Every Sunday, Miss Emily Art sponsors Kid Art, children’s art activities from 1 – 3 pm.

All visitors to Artomatic@Jefferson were invited to add their own art to our “Art Fence,” located at the front of our building, and take photos with their work on this organic art happening.

Please visit the Artomatic@Jefferson website for additional information.

Posted in WSAC Archives

WSAC October Exhibit

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