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."