Rebecca Grace Jones was born and raised in Hagerstown, Maryland into a family of artists where creativity was encouraged and nurtured. She studied art at Towson University, receiving an MFA, and taught commercial art at her alma mater for twelve years.
Rebecca’s career as an artist has morphed over the decades from freelance illustrator to fine craftsperson to painter. She now focuses on painting in mixed media at her home/studio, just outside of Shepherdstown, WV, which gives her great happiness.
When I start a mixed media painting I rarely know what it is going to turn out to be. I work intuitively and without reference. I am interested in building up textures with my materials and creating a series of layers that reveal the history of each one’s application. Often a collage is painted over, scraped off and reapplied in a new form. The repeated constructing and destroying and recreating builds a rich surface. The pieces are often finished with details, sometimes whimsical, always with attention to the subtle beauty of the mark. I paint mostly with acrylics on watercolor paper and wood panels and add Thai and Yupo papers, tissue and rice paper with inks, chalk and oil pastels, charcoal and colored pencil.
Rebecca Grace Jones
Rebecca's work can be found in the gallery or you may view online by simply clicking on the images below to be taken to her page at our online store.
"Wasatch II" by Laura Edwards
Oil on Yupo
27" x 34"
We have but one artist that uses "Yupo" for their works and it has raised quite a stir among those who attended our artist exhibition last week. "What is Yupo"....has been the equivalent of "Where's Waldo" and we enjoy nothing more than questions concerning art.
What is Yupo - Yupo is 100% recyclable, waterproof, tree-free Synthetic Paper that is extruded from polypropylene pellets. (cool right?)
What are its attributes - Super-smooth, durable, wipes clean, waterproof, and it will not tear.
Which mediums can use Yupo - You can paint on it with watercolour, colored pencils, water soluble crayon, inks or acrylics.
As you can see, this is a somewhat new material for artists to create on, yet still unfamiliar to most. Laura's paintings may be created differently being that they are on board, canvas or yupo. It does not go without saying they are all equally impressive. If you have not yet been to, The Cooley Gallery, to view Laura's works; she is here through the end on November.
You can view all of Laura's available work here: the-cooley-gallery.myshopify.com/collections/laura-edwards-abstract-artist
There are many reasons we enjoy having a gallery in a small town. I had the pleasure of assisting an adorable couple one day while they were in town visiting their son. They glossed over several pieces of pottery until Jennifer laid eyes on "Maria" and fell in love. "Maria" is an impasto painting in a deep mahogany colored frame with a ballet leotard and tutu adorned in rich colors of wine and blush and a stance of a young woman who can do anything on her toes. The elegance and confidence of this painting is something that does not go unrecognized. In "artistic" terms...it spoke to Jennifer.
In working at the gallery, we meeting interesting people daily. Dave and Jennifer shared where they lived and how they loved art, small talk but, still familiar. If one thing was certain, it was that they were a couple that have been through many happy years together. It was just a pleasure to speak with them as they had so many genuine words to share. Dave and Jennifer left may have empty handed but had left a warm spot in my heart.
It was about a week that had passed and Dave, not short for David - just Dave - called to ask me about "Maria". If I could articulate sufficiently enough to put into words the tone of absolute love and excitement in his voice I would. Dave and I had several conversations over a few days in which he lovingly told me that Jennifer's birthday is coming up and she loved "Maria" so much that he wanted to surprise her by purchasing. Dave asked if "Maria" would incur any damage if she were shipped, would it still arrive as beautiful as she hung on our gallery walls. I assured Dave that I would package her up with as much care as he has for his Jennifer. We exchanged several phone calls and text messages before we boxed Maria up and sent her to her forever home.
Dave has this husband thing to a science as Jennifer had no idea this had even happened, this is Jennifer's story:
Last month my husband, Dave, and I were strolling the streets of Leesburg, VA and walked into The Cooley Gallery. This might seem like an average thing to do for DC folks but not for us. We are from the Reno, NV area (northern Nevada, close to Lake Tahoe - we just had our first dusting of snow a few days ago!) and were visiting our son and his family who recently moved to Ashburn, VA. We both enjoyed The Cooley Gallery very much. When we walked through I saw your painting, Maria, and said to Dave, “I could look at that painting every day – she is so beautiful!” Dave and I left the gallery, had a wonderful dinner in Leesburg and headed back home a few days later.
Fast forward three weeks and a huge box is sitting at our front door. Once I looked at the return address on the package I knew immediately what it was. I kept saying to Dave as we unpacked Maria from the box, I can’t believe you bought this! Why? Do you love it too? He said he bought it for me for my birthday, which isn’t until November. He said to me, “You said you could look at that beautiful painting every day so I thought you should have something you could enjoy looking at every day.” Dave assured me that he loved the painting also. What a fantastic surprise it was! Yes…Dave is a gem, I am lucky to have shared our lives together for 35 years.
After much discussion on where to place Maria in our home, we agreed that our dining room was the right spot. As you can tell by the pictures I’ve attached, she fits in perfectly with the antique furniture in the room.
Thank you so much for sharing your talent through your paintings.(Meredith Hannon) You truly are a gifted artist. We will enjoy Maria forever!
We so enjoy hearing that our art is something you will forever cherish, it is the backbone of why we have a gallery. It is why we love what we do because it is so much more than "just art".
Sarah Huntington, photographer, is exhibiting a new body of work that is a collaboration of both photography and sculpture. The theme focuses on the human face and body in relationship to form, texture, light and shadow. It’s about both content and process. Sarah Huntington, a native of South Carolina, is a commercial and art/documentary photographer and videographer. She is best known for her portrait work. After graduating from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington in 1985, she has since created and works from her commercial studio here in Loudoun County. Sarah Huntington’s photographs are a combination of film and digital images. The base image is from large-format film, scanned and then combined with two to three layers of digital imagery, mostly textural with variations of light and shadow, giving the final photograph a layered, more dimensional look. Sarah has teamed with Matthew Parse who uses re-purposed metal, wood, and wood-working materials in order to give the already dimensional images even more depth and meaning, which makes them both unique and one of a kind.
The Cooley Gallery, located at 9 N. King Street, will be hosting an opening reception on Friday, October 7th from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, please join us and see these works first hand.
The Barns of Hamilton Station will be pouring samples of wine.
We are excited to announce our new visiting artist Jordan Xu. Jordan began studying portrait painting at the Art League School in the historic Alexandria, Virginia, under the tutelage of Washingtonian artist Kurt Schwarz and later Danni Dawson. Over the years, Jordan has developed a style that combines classical realism with intensely vibrant colors and broad, casual brushwork.
Portraiture remains one of Jordan’s primary focuses as he searches relentlessly for more ways to capture the stories and emotions behind the faces. The subjects in his portraits often present the image of people in our everyday life as well as various cultures around the world. One of the most important aspects of his portrait and figure work is that he tries to describe the subjects in their “natural habitat”, where they are placed in their favorite environment or performing their favorite activity.
Jordan’s artworks often depict scenes and people he has seen or met during his travels as well as daily life experiences. Throughout his painting career, he passionately pursues the perfect depiction of a rich, diverse world, anywhere from the picturesque water alleys of Venice to the quiet wooded hills of New Hampshire. His love for the different cultures and their people is apparent in his works like the painting of the Egyptian man standing next to his camel or the Brazilian teenager trotting down the street on horseback.
Jordan now lives in Lovettsville, Virginia as a freelance artist.
After enjoying a long and successful career of over 25 years, as both an editorial and medical illustrator; illustrating magazines, newspapers, and institutional publications, I've recently returned to traditional oil painting. My strength and my passion have always been in my ability to capture a person's likeness, as well as their personality, or "essence". I enjoy depicting the human condition... I'm fascinated with discovering what makes someone look like they do; going beyond just the physical features... capturing what makes them tick. Portraiture and people have always been my passion, but, I prefer capturing the subjects “story” or moment, not just mirroring their features.
As an illustrator, I have enjoyed creating portraits and interpretive paintings and illustrations for noted clients, which included, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The National Institutes of Health, and DC United.
My oil painting journey began in 2012 when I traveled to Italy for a painting workshop led by acclaimed artist, Kurt Schwartz. I realized, then, that I could wait no longer to pursue my passion. So I followed my muse and the experience changed my life. I continue to study with Kurt, and also have added the tutelage of renowned artists, Danni Dawson, Mike Francis, and Ted Reed.
We get many questions from visitors of the gallery. Hands down, the number one question,
"what is functional pottery" we love this question!
In a simple terms, our homemade pots are meant for everyday use, they are sturdy pieces of pottery. Our pots have been lovingly created by hand from clay that was specifically selected by each artist. Our pots come with hand brushed artwork, they come sculpted, some with decals that are burned on and imposed while being fired. Our pots come in vibrant colors and neutral colors; we could go on and on about glazing, but know we fall into the pottery nerd category in doing so. It is important to say though, it is truly a scientific and mathematical formula which end result is "stunning". It is also the crowning moment for the pots as we see just how the colors turned out after they've been fired. Let's talk about firing, it is a gamble. A potter loads the kiln with great expectations and the haunting reality of knowing that some pieces will make it...others [sadly] will not. Regardless, the potter is always looking for the end result being a large quantity of pieces and whole lot of artistic satisfaction.
So in closing, know that prior to coming to the gallery, your pottery spends some impressive personal time with each potter and comes with such attention to detail that not using it is almost a crime...in at least five states. Use your pots, you will be so glad you did. [we will too]
Our First Friday Event at The Cooley Gallery will be featuring Shawn Grove. Shawn’s work is on exhibit April 1, 2016 from 6pm - 9pm through April 30, 2016. Shawn is a wood fire potter with an eye for individuality and a large selection with a vary of mediums in his work. Shawn not only creates his pottery to be an art form in the home with his honey pots and casserole dishes or, uncommon gifts like his flask with a lid that serves as a shot glass to adorning your outdoor space with beautiful planters. If you find an opportunity to visit us during his exhibit, you will be glad you did.
Carrie Althouse is a local potter who is situated on Rockland Farm in a quaint farm house in Leesburg, Carrie finds this backdrop a factor in helping her create her pottery out of her home studio. A former Art Teacher of 9 years, now stay at home mom/Potter, Carrie creates both functional and non-functional stoneware. Either one you choose you will agree she has a rustic yet elegant style to her finished pieces. She is an avid outdoorsman which highly influences her pieces. "I am artistically inspired by hiking tall mountains, paddleboarding crystal blue lakes, climbing textured rocks, camping under soft pine groves and skiing the curved face of mountains. I am in love with the smells, sights and sounds of nature". Carrie set out in 2007 to find and refine her pottery niche. She eventually developed a highly textured natural feel to her pieces. Each piece is wheel thrown, hand carved, glazed and fired twice to a stoneware state and are food, microwave and oven safe. Please visit our website to purchase one of Carrie's pieces, or visit us on First Friday, February 5 and leave with your own work of art.
We are busy gearing up for Valentine's Day at the gallery and thought we would share a little video to show just how "fired up" we are...stay tuned (be still my heart)