Show opens at the Leesburg Town Hall

Town Hall photo exhibit VirginiaI hung my solo landscape photography exhibit at Leesburg Town Hall today in northern Virginia. This show contains photos that have not been previously displayed. The photos displayed include scenes of Loudoun County pastures, farms, mountains and the Appalachian Trail. The photographs are a blend of framed and canvas prints. I’m honored to be showing on the first floor of town hall now through May. This show would not have happened if not for KD at Photoworks in Leesburg. She was kind enough to mention my work to a Leesburg Town art advisory board, which she is a part of. Thanks to you KD, for this and past showing opportunities. Her, and her husband Neil, just received recognition from the Town of Leesburg for their 35 years in business. Congratulations to both of them!

 

While I have previously shown in the Loudoun County, Library and Courthouse buildings, this is the first time hanging at town

hall. Leesburg Town Hall lies directly behind the Tally Ho theater on W. Market Street. The photos appear in the lobby of the building, and along the hallway of the admin and legal offices. There are ten photographs 

in all, measuring 20″ x 30″ and 22″ x 28″. All of the prints shown are available for purchase. If you visit the show, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading. Press release: http://www.leesburgva.org/index.aspx?page=29&recordid=2723&returnURL=/index.aspx

 

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Glenowen Farm Round Hill Virginia

Northern Virginia was locked in a week of bitter temperatures, followed by a day of rapid warming. This warming trend sent warm air over frozen ground and produced oceans of heavy thick white air. Distance multiplied by this natural opaque filtering can produce photographs of amazing beauty.

A recent foggy weekend morning in Loudoun County was a perfect time to seek out these serene settings mixed with meandering Loudoun tree farmtree lines and farm features. The Blue Ridge Mountains consistently produces these types of environments when the light is right. The fog led me to Glen Owen Farm located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge in Round Hill. Spanning hundreds of acres, this Century Farm, not only raises cattle but also wheat, barley soy and corn.

The flowing tree lines appear as earthy seams that playfully hold the ridge together. Now leaveless, these barren bones help to create a patched jacket look dotted with cows and veins of snow. The layers of trees blend as each successive rise fades with distance.

Adjacent to this place is a Christmas tree farm, also pictured here. I’ve also photographed this location many times over the years. Whole sections of trees grow and shrink upon comparison of pictures taken over time. Fog can lend itself well to trees arranged in rows. The contrast between nature on its own time, and the human element, can create a metaphor of man and nature.

Loudoun farm photographyI’ll often drop what I’m doing in the name of photography and fog. This alluring mixture has often yielded moody photos that beg for attention.

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Landscapes on canvas at Atoka Properties

The new Atoka Properties office in Purcellville, Virgina now features four large Loudoun Landscape photographs printed on stretched canvas. Each measuring five feet in width, the newly hung photos nearly fill the wall space in this recently opened real estate office. These photographs will be on display permanently for all to enjoy. The office is located on 21st Street in Purcellville should you want to view them yourself.

photos

Atoka Properties is a division of Middleburg Real Estate.

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Fog and Blossoms in Spring

As Loudoun County slips into something more emerald, the browns and grays give way to change. On a recent foggy morning shoot, the signs of spring were unmistakable. The chirps of Cardinals and Robins filled an otherwise silent landscape, blanketed with thick fog that was in no hurry to dissipate. Dew clung to every natural feature as the new season clawed its way above ground. A shockingly orange Koi fish, ten pounds or more, meandered at pond’s edge in search of sustenance. A misty stone pump house in the distance served as the backdrop for this early morning feeding. Rings in the water from breaching turtles made tree reflections swim beneath the low hanging fog.

Over the rising and falling hills, geese harked their approach ahead of their arrival. Once overhead, the flaps of thier wings could be heard between loud honks. It was not difficult to imagine the large birds leaving swirling trails of fog behind them. A Red-winged Blackbird darted about the marsh while emitting sounds reminscient of an old school arcade game. Mating and nesting season in northern Virginia is upon us, and it’s hard to miss. Including the Starling that made its way into my house last week.

Blossoms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This black and white photograph was taken during the described early morning shoot. Loudoun County pauses to change its palette.

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Loudoun Arts – Loudoun Culture

Arts Banner

 

There is a new arts information resource for Loudoun County; LoudounArts.com. This website provides timely information about local cultural events in our area. Aside from a terrific arts events calendar, the site provides information about Loudoun theater, music, wine, gallery exhibits, and locally grown.

 

 

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Courthouse Exhibit Press Release

Media Contact:
Gale Waldron
Gwaldron1 [@] verizon.net

For Immediate Release

 

New Exhibits on Display in County Courthouse

Dean Drewyer Paintings and Dave Levinson Photographs Celebrate

Loudoun’s Beauty 

Leesburg, Va – The Courthouse Grounds and Facilities Committee recently installed two new exhibits by acclaimed Loudoun artists in the public areas of the courthouse.

Loudoun Landscapes – Photographs by Dave Levinson

Dave Levinson has lived in Loudoun County since 1997.  In that time, he has enjoyed exploring his surroundings, seeking out the natural beauty that Loudoun has to offer.  Dave’s passion for the outdoors, hiking and exploring serves as a canvas for his chosen medium, photography.  He enjoys sharing the beauty that he captures through his lens while using rural culture and preservation as backdrops.

A lifelong artist, Dave has created bodies of work that have been shown in galleries, museums, libraries, government facilities, restaurants and interior design boutiques.  His photographs can be found in businesses and homes across Loudoun County and Virginia.

In addition to his love of photography, Dave has years of experience as a designer, inventor, entrepreneur, author and public speaker.  For more information about Dave and his Loudoun photographs, visit loudounlandscapes.loudoundesign.com or contact him at LandscapePhotos [@] gmail.com

Looking Back – Original Paintings by Dean Taylor Drewyer

The former Chair of the Art Department at Loudoun Valley High School, Dean Drewyer recently retired after 32 years of teaching art in the Loudoun County public schools.  He makes his home and studio with his wife and son in the old Hughesville Church and School near Lincoln, Virginia.

For Dean, making art is a personal celebration of the joy of being alive.

Whether standing in an open field, knee-deep in a stream in the woods, or floating on the lake in his aluminum rowboat, Dean works in a rapid wet-on-wet style in oil, concentrating on capturing the ‘premier coup’, immersed in the process of investigating and seeing as if every subject is new.  This approach lends his paintings a spontaneity and freshness while it also captures the feel of time and place. Shadow and light, brush handling, the thickness of the paint, and color with its atmospheric/spatial effect are his primary concerns.  The chosen subject is simply a visual trigger to discover and record these dynamics.

Dean has been exhibiting his paintings and drawings in the mid-Atlantic region since the early 1970s.   His work is in private collections throughout that area, from Tennessee to Pennsylvania.  His most recent plein-air work is based on locations along the upper Potomac river, the Virginia Piedmont, the Blue Ridge and the low mountains of western Maryland, and on or near the lakes in downeast Maine.

Both displays will continue through March 31, 2012.

The mission of the Courthouse Grounds and Facility Committee is to make recommendations to the Court and the Board of Supervisors concerning the maintenance and improvement of the Courthouse grounds and use of buildings for other than the administration of justice; and to administer the day to day use of the grounds in response to requests for use by the general public. The Committee is charged with establishing the rules for the use of the grounds when requested by the public, as well as the review and resolution of requests for usage.

For more information, contact Gale Waldron, Courthouse Curator, at gwaldron1 [@]verizon.net or 703-771-0127.

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Moon Rises

Taken near Seneca Rock in West Virginia, this photograph shows the changing leaves below a high, bald ridge. The moon rises behind, appearing like a ball bouncing on the horizon. While camping in Gandy Run, we discovered a truly wild and wonderful landscape. This area is known as the Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks Recreational Area.

 

 

The nearby Secena Rocks formation is a spectacular sight to see. A tall jagged rock formation plunges skyward against the backdrop of a wide river. Tiny climbers can be seen scaling the rock face, dwarfed by it's enormous size. On this visit, the fall leaves were exploding with fall color.

This rural area of West Virginia is truly beautiful. Spotted with family owned farms, the wide vistas exhibit rolling hillsides contrasted with high, sheer cliffs. Being that the nearest town, Elkins, is 40 miles away, one must rely upon the local stores. These often are former homes decorated with stuff animals, a wide selection of bait and typical soda and candy offerings. We were welcomed in like neighbors, even with out of state plates.

 

A steel framed walk bridge spanning a flowing river.

 

This is part of the charm of West Virginia. Just a couple of hours outside of the northern Virginia area is a life that is slower, more personable and without typical suburban stress. Inside of the Spruce Knob area lies something known as dispersed camping. Made available by the national Forest Service, strings basic campsites can be found along Gandy Run in Tucker, WV. These unserviced camping sites are set in thick forest are adjacent to a wide river. Finding this place was a stroke of luck, as we never found our intended destination.

 

 

Waking in a camper without heat with temperatures in the low 20's was not the best part of the trip. Hiking the area and eating by the fire was. There's nothing like a rustic weekend with friends and photography.

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Appalachian Trail in Fall

Hiking along the Appalachian Trail in fall often produces wonderful photography. Couple the hike with a rocky foreground and sunlight streaking the sky with brilliant rays and you have the makings of a pleasant Virginia afternoon. This photograph also shows distant pastures spotted with sunlight that managed to slip through the heavy clouds on this day.

This western facing overview is located near the Blackburn hikers hostel in Loudoun County, Virginia. After reaching the mountain top above the cabin, this particular spot can be found about one mile north along the Trail. Due to the ever changing weather along the Blue Ridge Mountains, this view is subject to change every few minutes. Often the sky here is filled with soaring Turkey Vultures, which are always a pleasure to watch.

Being a lover of beautiful landscapes, this photographer visits here often. I've come to appreciate the few generous views that the northern Virginia mountains offer. Both sides of the ridge tend to be covered with thick, young trees that hinder such terrific views.

 A rocky overlook along the Appalachian Trail in Clarke County, VA.

 

As the locals know, Loudoun County, Virginia has been inundated with stink bugs over the last year. The rocks and boulders in the foreground were covered with these insects on this day. It was difficult to simply walk on them without crushing one of these small, smelly creatures. As a photographer, I strive to leave a location untouched, including the sparing of bugs. I won't pick the vegetation, tear down branches or change the living environment to suit my photography needs. I will, however, move something around to get  better shot.

The Blackburn cabin offers through hikers a place to stay for the night as they journey along the east coast. Aside from the main lodge, this hostel also features several small cabins and a place for tent camping. On a clear day, visitors are treated to views of the Washington Monument from the front lawn. This is also a fine place to simply sit in a chair and ponder.

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Legacy Barn

An expansive historic barn rests next to a slow moving creek in central Loudoun County, Virginia. The unique brown stain covering the boards of the barn seem to "hum" in the ambient glow of the setting sun. Similar effects have been seen on weathered red boards of other barns, but this particular hue seems to react with the sun in a more dramatic way. Adding to the late, long rays of the run were the swaying tops of long field grass. Topped with perfect-day clouds, it was hard to leave this spot.

Today, this barn is mainly used to store landscaping and agricultural equipment for the plantation. In its day, it was likely used to store grains and hay. With a large second floor "vault", several years worth of field fruit could have been stored for future use, and sale. Lately I've come to know that seed barns were used here in Loudoun County like today's modern banks. Farmers could store their seeds and use them as capital.

 

Between the barn and the creek stands a large Osage-orange tree. The amazing and unusual fruit from this tree could be seen in various places around the plantation this day. The fruit are lime green in color (in fall), are covered with oblong raised bumps (drupes) and average 5" in diameter. I've since learned the wood from this tree was used by American Indians to make bows.

Being a Loudoun County Landscape Photographer surely is not difficult with scenes like this. While barns such as this one are disappearing, they are still in abundance if you know where to look. Oatlands Plantation is unique in that the working complex remains much like it did a hundred years ago. While the central plantation does not farm today, the buildings and roads remain in tact.

This national historic site is working hard to uncover untold stories of its past. There is currently an archeological dig underway to examine foundations long lost under existing buildings. This weekend the site was exposed for visitors to peer into the past; a five foot hole under another barn.

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