Monday, November 29, 2010

New Works by J. Robert Burnell- Art Exhibit Opens December 3, 2010 with over 20 New Marine Paintings

"Headin Home" acrylic on canvas by J. Robert Burnell
Portsmouth artist J. Robert Burnell grew up around the water in a family of watermen, and sailing his own boat since he was ten years old. He has sailed on nearly every type of workboat on the Chesapeake Bay. It's no wonder that Burnell's love of the water reflects so naturally in his marine paintings.

You won't have to go far to see one of the largest collections of Burnell's marine art all in one exhibit. Over 20 new acrylic and watercolor paintings by J. Robert Burnell will be on display and for sale in the 'foyer gallery' at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery at One High Street in Olde Towne Portsmouth. You will also be able to preview his nautical artwork on Skipjack's web gallery in conjunction with the show opening

The exhibit opens Friday, December 3, 2010 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. during Portsmouth's monthly 'First Friday' event. The exhibit runs through January 25, 2011.

"Winona Morning" watercolor on paper by J. Robert Burnell

Award-winning marine and landscape artist J. Robert Burnell is recognized for his vivid depictions of life on and around the Chesapeake Bay. The subject is his favorite - each piece open and honest, providing a unique understanding of its mood and people.

One of the keys to Burnell's success on the canvas is the work he does outside the studio. Burnell believes in details. They are a reflection of his work. He has amassed a library of thousands of slides and photographs of work boats to which he constantly refers to for accuracy of detail.

Among his favorite subjects are workboats and marine scenes of New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. He is equally conscientious of historical correctness, researching every object’s time, place and use. Each piece open and honest, providing a unique understanding of its mood and people.

About the Artist - J. Robert Burnell

"Evening Tide" watercolor on paper by J. Robert Burnell

Burnell began studies in architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology, studied printmaking at Old Dominion University, and participated in independent studies with John Pike, Edgar Whitney, Ed Betts, Don Stone, Rex Brandt, Robert Bateman and George Post.

From 1972 to 2002, Burnell was an instructor of watercolor painting at Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, and has led summer workshops in watercolor and acrylic painting for over 30 years. He is a member of the American Society of Marine Artists and is listed in Archibald’s Dictionary of Sea Painters.

During his career, J. Robert Burnell has won numerous art awards including eight “Best in Show.” He has been honored with solo museum exhibitions at The Courthouse Galleries in Portsmouth and the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum, and group shows at the Rawls Museum Arts and Virginia Lifesaving Museum.

In addition to museum shows, Burnell had annual solo exhibitions at Atlantic Gallery in Washington D.C. during its operation. Other gallery exhibitions of his work have been offered by River Gallery in Chesapeake, VA., Cudahy’s Gallery in Richmond, VA., Turtle Creek Gallery in Dallas, TX., and Vincent Hester Gallery in Portsmouth, VA,. His work is also shown in the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT., and Skipjack Marine Gallery in Portsmouth, VA.

His work is included in several museum and major corporate collections. Among them are the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Old Ebbitt Grill (Clyde’s Restaurants, Inc.), Branch Bank & Trust, Inc., Towne Bank, Bank of America, Inc., Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Nature Conservancy of Virginia, Bons Secours Health Systems, Inc. and Leesylvania State Park.

He was selected to create the signature painting for OpSail 2000, for the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race in 2002, and three times for Norfolk’s Harborfest. Additionally, his work was selected for exhibition in the 2007 Mystic International at the Maritime Gallery of Mystic Seaport Museum.

When Robert Burnell is not painting boats, he continues to maintain and sail one of his own. You just might see him out on the Elizabeth River.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

"From Rockland to Hampton Roads" A New Collection of Nautical/Coastal Themed Watercolor Paintings by Virginia Artist Shirley Cook

"Boats Docked in Maine" watercolor on paper by Shirley Cook.

"I realize now that I am painting again that, although when I was not actively painting, my eyes were open and I was absorbing layer upon layer of images. I savored the beauty of God’s universe, stared at it, meditated on it, drank it in, stored it in my memory, unaware that I would  one day be painting it". These are words expressed by Virginia artist Shirley Cook about her recent collection titled "From Rockland to Hampton Roads" of over 20 new watercolor paintings now on exhibit in the foyer gallery at Skipjack nautical Wares. The collection is comprised largely of plein air paintings created during her last visit to Maine combined with regional views of Virginia's Chesapeake Bay coastline and the Virginia Beach oceanfront.

"Lobster Traps". Watercolor on paper by Shirley Cook.

Shirley earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana University in 1971, and then she went off with my husband to minister the gospel to college students. She carried her sketchbook all the time until starting a family, at which time there was no longer room or time to pursue her artwork. So she took a 35 year sabbatical to be a wife, mother and missionary. I guess I “forgot I was an artist."

"Three boats, Rockland, Maine". Watercolor on paper by Shirley Cook.

"I am learning to paint from life or photographs and choose shapes and colors to make an intriguing composition. I like recognizable subject matter, but I don’t fuss. Ultimately I realize God has given me this ability and I hope to honor Him with all of it. My joy is in watching the painting develop to a stage at which I can say: I like looking at this."

"Owl's Head Light". Original plein air watercolor by Shirley Cook

Stop by and peruse through Shirley Cook's new collection of nautical/coastal themed watercolor paintings this month at Skipjack nautical Wares & Marine Gallery. You can also see a portion of the collection on-line on our web gallery. Please click here to visit her page.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Folk Art Artist Joe Marinelli Carves Folky Fish

"Folky Grouper" three dimensional wall hanging by Joe Marinelli

Joe Marinelli  has been carving fish for more than 15 years and his folky fish are creations he's developed throughout that time. He loves to  carve and paint in a folk art style with exaggerated fins, lips & eyes  and decorated with bright Island/ Key West colors. Joe's favorite  fish to create is a hanging full scale three dimensional carving of a grouper. What's not to love about this fish-it's folky fabulous!

"Folky Fish" wine cabinet by Joe Marinelli.

"Woodworking is part of me, Joe stated.  My grandfather was a cabinet maker from Italy." He started building his own furniture when he was 22 and over the past few years started incorporating fish carvings into his furniture. His inspiration for his fish comes from kayaking bodies of water around his lake community in Millville, New Jersey. He observes nature through his frequent outings and interprets them into his dynamic carvings.

Joe Marinelli's "Folky Fish" carvings in colorful Key West colors.

I first saw Joe Marinelli's carving in an art magazine article that featured his carvings with other folk artwork. I loved them and had to have them in our gallery.  There colorful, folky, a bit outrageous, contemporary,  unique and I love to look at them each and every day.

Folky Sailfish by Joe Marinelli
Three dimensional folk-carved "Cobia" mounted on a wood base. Carving by Joe Marinelli

Joe's folky fish wall art and furnishings is perfect for the coastal home decor and I can see these used in so many interior applications. Though his art style is defined, each of his pieces are one-of-a-kind originals.

What's next? Joe's now working on creating folk-carved dining room table and a three dimensional whale carving. Now that's a whale of an idea and I can't wait to see this!

Folk artist Joe Marinelli stands next to his "Folky Grouper."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Marine Paintings- North Carolina Artist Sandy Nelson Brings Nautical Art to Life at Skipjack

"Summerwind" by Sandy Nelson, oil on canvas measuring 24 X 36 inches. "In mid-summer, the winds beckon sailors to sail the marshes and intracoastal waters. A lazy afternoon is all that's needed to beckon participants out onto the water of the intracoastal

My influences are as diverse as the great Spanish, Russian and French impressionists to a childhood amid the dark hills of eastern Kentucky. In the latter I found a sincere appreciation for the beauty of the world around me, in the former, inspiration to express it. My work is not edgy nor avant-garde; it doesn’t follow fads or trends – it is simply truth, as I perceive it. That is what I hope the viewer takes away with them.

"Evening Sail" by Sandy nelson, oil on canvas measuring 24 X30 inches " A long day sailing invites the sailors to come home late, taking to port just at dusk. A good meal, a glass of wine are all that's needed at the end of the day of working the sails. Tomorrow is another day of taking the wind."
The subjects of my painting may be a cloud, a boat, a figure or bowl of fruit – one is as monumental as another. The paintings are memories of a moment in time, a representation of my emotions and ideas, which is transferred to the viewer. In my studio I live with these words, which remind me that it is truly a gift to be an artist.

"Coming Home" by Sandy Snyder, oil on canvas measuring 24 X 30 inches. " The working boats along the coast are a different layer to the sailing tradition. There is a time of day, where the evening sky meets the water, and there is almost no separation. In this painting, a small glimpse of a distant shore is the only thing between the sky and the water, Against this color and reflected color, the lone fishing boat comes home."

 "I believe in Michelangelo, Velasquez and Rembrandt; in the might of design, the mystery of color, the redemption of all things by Beauty everlasting and the message of art that has made these hands blessed: Amen. Amen." George Bernard Shaw

 These works were created in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, Sandy's home away from home and in the coastal area of Wilmington and the Cape Fear which stretches along the coast to South Carolina.

Sandy Nelson has been a professional artist for many years. She studied Fine Art and painting at the University of KY and the Scottsdale Art School. Her portraits and landscapes have been accepted to national juried competitions from Maine to California, many winning national awards. Her work is included in over 60 corporate and museum collections including those of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and George Steinbrenner, owner of the NY Yankees. She was named one of the top 200 artists by the Artists Magazine and has been profiled in “The Rotarian” an international publication. One of Nelson's portraits was the cover of “Bench & Bar” magazine in 2007 and one of her marsh landscapes graced the cover of “Carolina Art” magazine in 2008.
She maintains her studio in Leland, NC but travels extensively to paint. She is a member of ASOPA, the New Mexico Pastel Society, Pastel Society of the Southwest, Midwest Pastel Society and Women Artists of the West.

Click here to visit Sandy Nelson's artist page at Skipjack's web gallery or stop by and view her exceptional marine paintings in our Olde Towne Portsmouth gallery.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marine Artist Bob Holland Captures the Essence of our Maritime History

The Bounty, Greenport, New York.  Limited edition Giclee reproduction From original watercolor . Image size 20"x 27"

I met Bob Holland for the first time in 2009 at his studio in d’ART CENTER in Norfolk, Virginia. We were about to open an exhibit titled "Celebrating our Maritime Heritage" as part of the 20th Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and our first annual "Schooner Days" events held in conjunction with the Schooner Race here in Olde Towne Portsmouth. As a Hampton Roads native, I've grown accustom to seeing the art work of this well known artist and I really wanted to have Bob Holland's marine artwork in our gallery and as part of this exhibit.

"The Eagle" USCG United States Coast Guard New London, Connecticut. Limited edition Giclee reproduction from original watercolor. Image size 20"x27"
     Bobby Burnell, another exceptional marine artist that we represent had just delivered to us a few  new paintings to be shown in the upcoming exhibit. Fortunately Bobby Burnell and Bob Holland were old acquaintances and  he suggested that I give him a call, so I did and the rest is as they say- history! Of course the icing on the top is that Skipjack is the only gallery that represents both of these tremendous Hampton Roads artists under one roof. I'm not trying to brag about it- I just believe that such a momentous pairing of artists is certainly worth mentioning and  I'm just delighted out of my socks to be able to display such legendary marine artist's works here in our waterfront Olde Towne gallery.

Add c"The Battle of the Ironclads" by Bob Holland. Oil on canvas. The Ironclad battle in Hampton Roads, Virginia, March 9, 1862 as described on the brass name plate located at the bottom center of the frame. Measures 30 X 54 inches framed.
"The Pride of Baltimore I & II - A Tribute." Limited edition Giclee reproduction from original watercolor. Image  20"x 27"
    Bob   Bob Holland is as passionate about the story behind his paintings as he is in the creation of it. "Pride of Baltimore I & II- A Tribute" as Bob shared with me in a recent conversation, was painted from the perspective of standing on the deck of Baltimore I with the Pride of Baltimore II sailing in tranquil seas in sight from the stern of the ship. The Pride of Baltimore was an authentic reproduction of a 19th century Baltimore clipper topsail schooner commissioned by citizens of Baltimore, Maryland. It was lost at sea with four of its twelve crew on May 14, 1986. The Pride of Baltimore II, a replica vessel of more modern design commissioned to replace the Pride in 1988, now sails as a Goodwill Ambassador from Baltimore and the State of Maryland. 

Mast, Boom & Jaws Giclee reproduction From original watercolor Limited edition Image size 20"x 27"

    You can clearly see where Bob goes to find inspiration for a painting. These are incontestable moments that artists seek to find- the passage, the way, the emotional connection found in a subject that stimulates the artist to pick up a brush and create their next work of art. I personally love to hear the artists stories, the poetry of ideas that inspires one to create. Bob Holland is a master of stories as you can clearly see in his paintings. 

Bob Holland is an established American Artist with home and studios in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. His involvement with the arts for many years and his career includes many accomplishments, awards and exhibits in design and fine arts. His paintings are in private and corporate collections around the world.
An Art Center School of Design graduate with a career of Industrial Design, Graphic design, Illustration and Fine Art provides him with an extensive knowledge and awareness of composition and the essential elements that comprise a successful presentation.

     Please come and visit us at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery and preview Bob Holland's marine art. You will be inspired too! You can also preview his work by visiting his artist page on our website. Click here to open the link.
      Thank you for allowing us to share this with you. Please add your comments below (we love favorable comments) or write Bob Holland yourself at