Opening night is such a thrill! The vernissage for Nature of Delight, my latest Solo Exhibition at Hill Center Galleries, in the historic and chic neighborhood of Capitol Hill in Washington DC was brilliant: so well attended -with so many friends, historic and new, so many new faces. It was a wonderful evening, filled with conversations, curiosity, and encouragement. I am a quiet being, so these many people wanting to talk to me and being the focus of attention was a challenge. And in the end, a delight.
The exhibition was laid out beautifully by Curator Nicky Cymrot, president emeritus of Hill Center, and an icon in Capitol Hill. A true doer and talented entrepreneur.
The exhibit of 24 of my oil paintings takes up two consecutive galleries (Sister Beatrice Duffy Hall and Constantino Brumidi Gallery, both on the 2nd floor). These galleries have magnificent views of the grounds of the Lincoln-commissioned, and beautifully reconstructed, Old Naval Hospital and the majestic tops of mature trees.
The week before the Opening Reception my husband and life-companion, Fernando, drove me -and my paintings from the historic Town of Leesburg VA to Washington DC. It was pouring rain, so bringing the paintings into Hill Center was a challenge. When we were all done, the rain ceased, and he took these pics of me in front of the back entrance of the Old Naval Hospital.
Ah! Not a small detail, the majority of the paintings are framed in natural wood, and Fernando made the frames all by hand. They are a labor of love!
I was able to meet with a few other artists, also part of the Fall Solo Exhibitions at Hill Center. In the pics below, with Ellen Baer and Dorian Jay Durrah. Lots of talent under one roof!
Some paintings were a hit, most commented, pulled people for a really close look, or the topic of questions and comments. These were the ones:
- Autumn Hues, people were drawn to the colors as well as the discovery of hidden figures within the trees. This painting seemed to create a yo-yo effect, drawing people in and very-very close, to then step back for a zoom out view. It is true, you can see two magnificent and intertwined trees that have grown together with deep roots, and also realize the human face, the bird, the wind, the details of the leaves. And that burnt-orange color, mixed with earthy pigments, truly gives your heart a jolt of joy.
- Three Trees on a Hill (I have to thank my dad, Giancarlo Puppo, for the original way to frame this painting). People also seemed to sense that there was more than just 3 trees on a painting, and wanted to know the story behind it. The subtitle of this painting is “we have seen you before,” and it is about us, as viewers of the art and passengers in Nature. The trees watch us pass by them, and with their long decades on this Earth, they also can tell stories about us.
- Any Way You Choose, which you can hang in any orientation you want. This painting is in a solitary corner of the Brumidi Gallery, so it allowed people to twist and bend and turn to catch the multiple points of view of this painting, and
- When Glaciers Melted (Chesapeake Bay) the largest painting in the show, and a lot of guessing as to the red center. Many people also asked about the geometrical areas within the farmlands and landscape, not recognizing some times the cities of Baltimore, MD or Washington DC itself.
Friends from childhood and school, new acquaintances, visitors signing the guestbook with inspiring messages, people taking pic of paintings, others intrigued about the details in the paintings. All so much fun! A lot of work too, but mostly a ton of fun and endless gratitude.
Thank you to everyone that could make it to DC on a Wednesday evening. It was a delicious evening in a gorgeous spot of the city.
Thank you to the wonderful team at Hill Center. You made everyone feel at home.
I hope to see you in one of the private tours I am planning to give in late October, and also in November and December: right before the holidays.