No Starving Artists Here

The start of this year was busy, busy, busy. Courses are filling up fast; a nice number of return artists and that is a good sign. Two are even returning for the 4th time; which make art guests turn into good friends. We also had two guests from Australia, about two weeks apart. The international guests always bring a special flavor to our classes! Luckily the weather has been cooperating and we could spend a lot of time outside plein-air painting. More and more people want to be like Monet and feel the sun and the beauty of the outdoors. We even had to purchase two more French easels. Some days painters get their canvases set up by 10:00 am, come in for lunch and then back outside again ‘til the end of the day. That certainly makes everyone hungry for a good meal with a glass of wine. Talking about meals, we have had many requests for our recipes. Our art guests have suggested we put a cookbook together with Nancy’s recipes and Jan’s illustrations – maybe a winter project. I think the favorite appetizers (starters) of our guests are the Greek bruschetta and the grapefruit shrimp cocktail. Their favorite entrees are the Indonesian chicken sate with peanut sauce and Indonesian salad, or the Beef Burgundy. We try to make every meal special, change off the choice of carbs and meats. And, of course, every meal ends with a delicious desert and coffee. Here the bread pudding or apple crisp are the clear favorites. We certainly have diverse menus – from Indonesian, Indian, Mexican to Italian and French....

Spring in the Shenandoah Valley

May is a beautiful month in the Shenandoah Valley. The trees are in full bloom and the flowers are starting to thrive. With everything turning green and the temperature rising near 80 degrees, it is time to get our paints together, pack up the easel and do some plein-air painting. Our art classes starting in April were filled with talented painters. This year we made some improvements to the Shenandoah Art Destination fixing up the bathrooms, adding more easels and tables, stacked a giant pile of wood for the fire pit so we can sit outside in the evenings and, of course, expanded our wine assortment. When I look outside the theme of this year should be COLOR. We added Henche’s color theories from the Cape Cod School of Art to our instructions and I can’t wait to see the paintings that will create. I am sure you will love it. We started to experiment with Mono printing and the results are great. It makes as much of a mess as dry point etching, but it is a lot of fun. We are on our way to another successful year at the Shenandoah Art Destination. More than fifty students have already signed up for our courses until end October. Often they are friends of previous students. That means that our guests have had a great experience here in Virginia. A true ART VACATION! Jan-Willem is currently painting for his personal show coming up in September in Nelson Gallery in Lexington. The Gallery’s theme in May is ”Here is looking at you Lexington” so he did some urban sketching and...

How has your artwork evolved since you started painting?

Have you found that your style of painting has changed over time? That is quite normal and will automatically happen as you explore and experiment with various mediums and subject matter, different techniques, etc. over time. I don’t think there is anyone who looks back to their original work and it looks like what they are currently doing today. Elements, of course, will always perhaps be the same but exploration is how we learn and grow. Some facts about Pablo Picasso (from 2014). The years between 1901 and 1904 were known as Picasso’s Blue Period, during which nearly all of his works were executed in somber shades of blue and contained lean, dejected, and introspective figures. The pervasive tone of the pictures is one of depression; their color is symbolic of the artist’s personal hardship during the first years of the century—years when he occasionally burned his own drawings to keep warm—and also of the suffering which he witnessed in his society. Two outstanding examples of this period are the Old Guitarist (1903) and Life (1903). In the second half of 1904 Picasso’s style exhibited a new direction. For about a year he worked on a series of pictures featuring harlequins, acrobats, and other circus performers. The most celebrated example is the Family of Saltimbanques (1905). Feeling, as well as subject matter, has shifted here. The brooding depression of the Blue Period has given way to a quiet and unoppressive melancholy, and the color has become more natural, delicate, and tender in its range, with a prevalence of reddish and pink tones. Thus this period was called his...

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Shenandoah Art Destination, 325 Union Run, Lexington VA, USA. 24450

Established in 2010, The Shenandoah Art Destination is one of the only, art vacation retreat schools in the United States.  Home to students from all continents, the Shenandoah Art Destination offers rigorous art classes that include painting (oil and acrylic, watercolor, pastel), plein air painting, drawing, airbrush, drypoint, lino, mono printing and mixed media.
The Manors’s beautiful, 10-acre property is located in Lexington, Virginia, 50 miles north of Roanoke, VA.