VMFA – Terra Cotta Soldier
Citrus Bowl by Brenda Hounshell
Treadling on a Snowy Day
1991 Julia and Debra, Jamestown Ferry
2016 Lily and Eli, Jamestown Ferry
Happy New Year from chilly central Virginia, USA! Temp this morning was 11 degrees (F)! The sun’s out now; it’s up to 21! As a result, I’m staying inside, at least until after lunch. Before I head back into the studio to retool from sewing projects to water color painting, here’s an update on what’s been happening recently in Richmond town. For inspiration I’ve attended two premier exhibitions, the Terracotta Army, Legacy of the First Emperor of China at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (up thru March 11) and the 38th Annual Virginia Watercolor Society exhibit for 2017 at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia (up thru January 7).
I came away from the VMFA show with the consuming question – “How did the ancient artisans of what is now China make 8,000 unique individualized terracotta statues?” The twelve sculptures of warriors in full battle regalia look as though living soldiers were turned to stone. The figures on display are mostly uniform in color, but we’re assured by the accompanying exhibit text that all were originally fully painted in realistic detail. How did they do that?! Do the secrets lie in the central temple compound that has yet to be excavated?
The techniques and motivations of the artists behind the Virginia Watercolor Society exhibit are not quite as opaque. However, their skill and exuberance are every bit as inspiring. I took many photos. I share this one of the painting by Brenda Hounshell with you because I was captivated by the light, and the color of the oranges reflected through the crystal onto the background. Perhaps I could do that….time will tell.
We had our first snow of the season on December 9th, and as typical for our neighborhood, we lost power. I was in the midst of finishing a quilt for my grandson and didn’t want to loose momentum so hauled my treadle in front of the sliding glass doors, and kept sewing. Not my usual fabric choice for this one, since this boy is consumed by transformers. We won’t tell him that the pattern is called “Free Wheeling Single Girl” by Denyse Schmidt!
The watercolors shown above are from two photos taken on the Jamestown Ferry, 25 years apart: 1991, our daughters; 2016, children of our older daughter! My paints are calling – back to work.
I leave you with this quote from Edith Warton, “In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.”