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Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 | 0 comments

Kate’s Custom Crochet Doll: The Rainbow Lady

Kate’s Custom Crochet Doll: The Rainbow Lady

If you live in Del Ray and have kids, I can all but guarantee you’ve heard of Rainbow Rock. They’re local musician Kate Moran’s band that has been performing for children since 2012 at parties and festivals, in cafes, and at the annual festival that Kate also produces in the spring, the Tot Rock Fest. When Kate performs, she transforms into “Rainbow Lady” in a colorful bob, rainbow t-shirt and hoodie, sky blue skirt with rainbow appliqué, and black-and-while saddle shoes. What would be more fitting than for Rainbow Lady to have her own lookalike plush doll. The idea came to her in a moment of serendipity, when Kate was browsing the booths at Del Ray’s annual Art on the Avenue last fall and met crocheter Sarah Potter from Hooked and Loopy. Sarah specializes in amigurumi, the Japanese art of making knit and crochet stuffed toys. Kate says, “I walked into Sarah’s booth to buy a penguin and I noticed she had these superhero dolls which were SO cute!...

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Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 | 1 comment

A Charlie Brown Christmas in Del Ray

A Charlie Brown Christmas in Del Ray

In the next few weeks, many of the businesses along Del Ray’s Mt Vernon Ave. will feature winter wonderland-themed murals on their windows. For the mural at Del Ray Pharmacy, my friend Candi and I offered to paint an ode to one of our favorite holiday stories, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Our supplies: Washable tempura paint and black tempura pen (not shown). Powder tempura paint. Adding about a tablespoon of powder to about a cup of the premixed paint makes the paint thicker to allow better saturation of color on the windows. Dish soap. One squirt in the mixture also helps the paint to stick to the window better. Paint brushes of various widths. Hair spray (not shown here). Spraying the final artwork will help protect it from the elements. First, we found images online and had them enlarged in black and white (we got ours printed at Affordable Signs) to the actual size we would paint. We then taped the images in place on the inside of the...

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Posted by on Nov 7, 2016 | 1 comment

Meet the Mural Artist: Patrick Kirwin

Meet the Mural Artist: Patrick Kirwin

You may have noticed a new mural gradually taking shape in the neighborhood, becoming more and more colorful and elaborate, alongside the long wall of the VéloCity bicycle co-op on the corner of Custis and Mt. Vernon Avenues. The local artist who proposed the idea of painting an outdoor market scene and has been doing the painting is Patrick Kirwin. He specializes in Trompe L’oeil. Patrick currently teaches at the Alexandria Art League and has taught at The Corcoran College and the Smithsonian Institution. He has completed large commercial projects, as well as the interiors of many small shops, private wine cellars, and residential murals. Initially, Patrick worked with children from the Community Kids Club, a group of nine 4th and 5th graders from Mount Vernon Community School, to paint the flower pots along the bottom of the length of the mural. As the mural acquires more and more detail, Patrick fills the flower pots. He is also beginning to paint people and dogs into the mural to add...

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Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 | 0 comments

Meet the Artist: Samantha Testa

Meet the Artist: Samantha Testa

From street chalk art to custom water colors, hand-lettered invitations to wall art, local artist Samantha Testa embraces a wide variety of art mediums.  I met Samantha last spring when she participated in La Bella Strada: An Italian Street Painting Festival. Samantha cleverly used the artist-grade sidewalk chalk as watercolor paint to create an exquisite landscape. She also recently appeared on Art on the Avenue in Del Ray, where she sold the one-of-a-kind watercolors and hand-lettered paintings that she features on her Painted Palettes website and Etsy store. One of Samantha’s signature features is hand-lettering, which she makes the centerpiece of a piece, or an enhancement. Photo credit: @melindasnyderphotography She does many custom projects for clients as well. Her main requests are for watercolor animal portraits, watercolor venue/house paintings, hand-lettered invitations, and hand-lettered gifts, such as a wood slice with a family’s last name, picture frame mats hand lettered with a saying, wine glasses, ornaments, nursery art, and personalized art for specific rooms in a house. Stayed Tuned! Samantha...

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Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 | 3 comments

La Bella Strada: A Chalk Painting Festival Coming to Del Ray

La Bella Strada: A Chalk Painting Festival Coming to Del Ray

We are so excited about the first ever chalk painting festival coming to Del Ray on May 14, 2016. La Bella Strada is a modern street painting festival that originates from an ancient Italian art form. Organized by the parents of students who attend The Del Ray Montessori School, this unique event takes place along Mt. Vernon Avenue. As a fundraiser to help the school with the New Building Fund, local artists, sponsored by businessses and individuals, will decorate Del Ray’s sidewalks with their unique chalk masterpieces. Families and individuals can also reserve designated sidewalk squares for making their own colorful work of art. To test out the artist-grade chalk the artists will use and to show how anyone – not only the professional artists among us – can be involved and make a beautiful chalk painting, my co-chair Candi and I designed a couple of squares ourselves. We started by marking off the squares with painters tape. Candi drew a grid on the design she wanted to paint...

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