Bronzed Lines III A Commission

Bronzed Lines III Installation


Early in 2016 visitors to our gallery discovered and fell in love with the work of AnaMarie Parades when they viewed a sculpture on display.  The work is entitled “Bronzed Lines II” which is illustrated here.

 They said they were very interested in the work but wanted something larger for a wall they had in their home.  As the discussions with the client and the artist became more specific it became clear that the complexity of the work would be considerable.  As it turned out the wall contained a door to a half bath that they still wanted to have available.  This was proposed to AnaMarie who went right to work designing a sculpture that not only fit on the wall but also opened in the central panel as part of a door.

In order to accomplish this complex project AnaMarie made many visits to the client’s home measuring and discussing the design.  It was final decided to create a sculpture, similar to the one they originally viewed in our gallery, but divided into three parts, the central unit acting as a door to the half bath.  To accomplish this AnaMarie built a wall in her studio which included a door using the exact measurements of the clients wall and went to work creating the sculpture.  During this process she made many visits to the clients home, and at one point brought the semi-finished work and attached it to the wall and then made minimal adjustments so the door wood open without the work having the appearance of this secret function.  She then took it back to her studio to finish the bronze finishing of the piece.   Below is a video of the work in progress.






















Here is the finished product with the door open followed by an image of the door closed.

Vantage Point: Three Person Exhibition

"Vantage Point:  Plein Air Paintings by Gray Dodson, Lynn Mehta, Meg Walsh "

 R.H. Ballard Gallery presents “Vantage Point”, new paintings by three regional Plein Air artists Gray Dodson, Lynn Mehta, and Meg Walsh which opens ­October 22nd and runs through November 16th, 2016.  

An Opening Reception with the Artists takes place Saturday, October 22nd from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.  The public is invited, Gadino Cellars wine will be poured and light fare provided.

This show is part of “An Evening of Art in Little Washington,” which also includes the Opening Reception of the Gay Street Gallery’s exhibit of Kevin Adams, Robert Bouquet and Paul X. Rutz, from 4-7pm, which runs Oct. 22 – Jan 2.

In the Ballard’s three person show, artists Dodson, Mehta and Walsh have exhibited widely and all get their inspiration from being in the landscape and painting directly from it. The following artist’s statements give us an interesting insight into their process and vision.­

Meg Walsh states: “Though I am a representational painter, I am more concerned with creating a strong composition than accurately depicting a scene. I try to translate the landscape, emphasizing what interests me most about a specific place at a moment in time, whether it be a dramatic shadow pattern, the blazing heat of a summer day, or the rolling sky of a passing storm. My paintings have a strong abstract element, and I often limit my values and simplify shapes to make a more forceful statement.”

Lynn Mehta has this to say about her work and process: “When I paint I connect with changing light, the color of the landscape, and movement. I feel the most free when I paint outdoors, whether I paint deserts, cities, mountains, farms, docks, rivers, or beaches. I focus on abstract shapes and forms that create a whole, seeking inspiration that makes a universal connection.”

Gray Dodson has these observations: “My work is about place and mood.  Color and light are extremely important.  I adjust them as they relate to each other and the entire composition, often emphasizing the contrasts of lights and darks while relying on my emotional response to the landscape.  I hold a deep reverence for nature and strive to connect with its spiritual aspect.”

Click here to see a preview of the exhibition.

New Sculpture in Town

The iron works at Artifacts-on-Main


Sculptures by (from front to back) Jonathan Bowling, Hans Gerhard and Nol Putnam are among the new works sprouting in the yard at Artifacts-on-Main.

Artifacts-on-Main is now displaying outdoor steel and iron sculpture by local artists Hans Gerhard and Nol Putnam as well as an artist new to the area, Jonathan Bowling.

Like Gerhard, the North Carolina-based Bowling uses found objects and scrap metal to create durable art — the former creating expressions of single or multiple figures, as well as abstract works using mostly farm scrap metal, the latter using every type of scrap one can think of to create depictions of animals, from horses and goats to pigs and deer.

Bowling’s work arrived at the outdoor space last week and the artist himself hoisted it into place. Bowling says he has “been working on a series of steel horses, which focus on interior and negative space as much as on contours and surface. Each ‘horse’ is a series of abstract sculptures which are combined to form the armature for the whole. These pieces are made with the intention of staying outdoors in a public area without the need for extensive maintenance. The materials I use are often from the turn of the last century, which I feel is appropriate for depicting an animal so intertwined with our agrarian past. Repurposed steel provides a sound structure which allows me to work on a scale that lends itself to public spaces.”

Hans Gerhard work has been a staple of the local arts scene for decades, and has found a home at Robert and Joanie Ballard’s Artifacts-on-Main. Both a painter and sculptor, Gerhard says of the latter: “I had to deal with a lot of broken machinery and scrap metal on the dilapidated Rappahannock County farm I had bought 30 years ago. The cleanup took years, and it turned into a new passion to make something amusing and even beautiful out of the crude material.”

Article from The Rappahannock News

A Weekend With...DeLoss... 05/31/2016

Huffington Post Arts and Culture

A review of one of our favorite artists, DeLoss McGraw, at the exhibition of his new work "As With A Picture, So With a Poem" at a well known Los Angeles gallery just appeared in the Huffington Post by Edward Goldman, art critic.  He writes:

"...A new exhibition at Couturier Gallery of works by painter, poet, and illustrator, DeLoss McGraw, evokes the memory of his award winning illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. In this exhibition of works on paper, DeLoss quotes from his poems and journals, with references to his childhood, his relationship with his mother, and the influence of music in his life and work.

The palette in this new body of works —with DeLoss’ trademark silhouettes of children and animals —is more restricted than usual, but somehow the overall effect is even more dramatic. It’s always a mystery for me how this artist is able to combine in one work both a sense of innocence and sophistication..."

We have a number of works in this series by the artist in our gallery, click here to see them.

To give a little background of how we happen to be carrying DeLoss McGraw's work, the following might be of interest:  In the mid 80's, when I directed a gallery in San Francisco, an artist came in the door, unannounced, with a portfolio of gouache paintings on paper.  He said that he was represented by another gallery but that they had only placed them in a bin, and that he had sold nothing.  Mentioning that he had recently quite his teaching job at the University of San Diego to paint full time he wondered if I would be interested.  I said "let's take a look."  So we spread them out on the floor to see what he was doing.  It was a jaw dropping moment when I saw all these wonderful pieces and I offered him a show on the spot, a show that sold out later that year.  After that show and another I took his work to the Basel Art Fair in Switzerland and got him shows in London, Munich and Barcelona.  His career has continued with shows in major galleries in New York, Los Angeles and across the country, and has been collected by important collections like The Metropolitan Museum, Harvard University, and the Bodleian Collection of Oxford University in England among many others. 

Congressional Art Competition

For the past several years, Robert H. Ballard has been asked to judge Virginia's 5th District’s school arts contest called the Congressional Art Competition, sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. This competition was started to recognize and encourage the artistic talent of young people across the nation and in each Congressional District. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.  The theme for U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt’s 5th District’s contest is Virginia’s Farm Life, and Robert H. Ballard judged the works on Tuesday, April 26th. The winners will be announced very soon.

Ballard has judged over 40 competitive exhibitions throughout his career in California, New Zealand, Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia

Here is a link to more information about the competition:


New Work by AnaMarie Paredes, "Bronzed Lines II"

Just delivered to the gallery is a new wall sculpture by AnaMarie Paredes.  This is a stunning piece measuring 69"H x 48"W x 9"D and can be hung vertically , as shown here, or horizontally.  The work consists of iron rods, manipulated and bent with a textural coating of bronze applied by torch.  A truly impossing work.

Read More

The Creative Process, by Paul Erlenborn

Two new works from Paul Erlenborn were delivered to the shop and gallery this week. A trompe l'oeil painting, and a one-of-a-kind re-purposed table created with found vintage materials from many sources.  The artist describes his inventive, creative process here, along with his inspirations.

Paul Erlenborn, "Man The Machine", acrylic on panel, 32" x 24"
"The concept for "Man the Machine" had been in mind for over a year and was the second in a series using similar subject matter, that being an antique elevator governor device along with a wooden artist model mannequin. The idea came out of sheer play as my studio is often filled with objects that inspire me. Both this painting as well as the first that was named "The Governed"  came from my love of mechanical devices, antiquities,  as well as weathered surfaces. The way that light plays off of all of these is of particular importance to me.  I've always felt that man's creations become more beautiful through the processes that nature puts them through; oxidation, rust, weathered paint etc.

My years of faux finishing came into play when it came to rendering the wood grain and the distressed qualities of both the wood and the machine.Both brushes and trowels were employed in the creation of this work. I very consciously aimed at the play of warm colors against cool to create an illusion of depth. I felt that the mannequin added a sense of life to what might otherwise be lifeless and still and at the same time be more in context to the mechanistic feel of the painting rather than having a warm blooded person "operating" the machine.

I have framed this painting in my signature style frame, that of copper pipe as no other frame seems to connect to the industrial feel of the imagery as well. But for the first time a painted finish on the copper seemed to be in order and here was the opportunity to connect even further through the use of color as well as distress and the look of oxidation.

I should also mention that the elevator governor is in my possession (the blue green one in the painting) and that it came out of a fabric mill in West Warwick Rhode Island. Not sure the age on this one but the mill was established in the nineteenth Century. I feel this governor, that was the braking mechanism for the freight elevator, might have been made in the 1940's. That mill was later turned into condos and that is when this device was pulled from the building."

Paul Erlenborn, "Industrial Kitchen Island/Bar", found objects, 50"L x 31"W x adjustable height

"This kitchen work table is a great example of re-purposing of bits and pieces of antiquity. Much of the base of this piece, including the turn wheels and gearing mechanism, as well as the casters were once an early 20th C. doctors office table. However, both the work surface as well as the under shelf were cut from a 20 ft work table from a bakery in Warrenton. The function of the turn wheels has been adapted so that one can raise and lower the work surface to fit one's individual preferences of height. The tubular steel parts of the table top have been newly made to fit the base but also to be of convenient size to fit many different kitchen spaces. The small lock knob wheels were once part of a refrigeration system in an apple packing facility in Sperryville and now serve to lock the table at the desired height.  

Once the entire piece had been constructed, I painted all of the steel parts in a faux peeling and "rusty" finish. The wooden surfaces have been treated with a food safe butcher block conditioner made by Howard products, (available at Home Depot), that contains mineral oil, carnauba wax, as well as beeswax."


Gallery Artist Nol Putnam's New Book

Nol Putnam has just come out with a new book "Beauty in the Shadows" about the history and beauty of the gates and iron work at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.  The sculptor was a major force in the production of iron gates and decorative elements that were created for the cathedral.  He and other artists forged massive decorative work which make the Cathedral a true showplace of the arts.  Nol has worked on this book for more than a decade and it finally has come to fruition.

R. H. Ballard Gallery is proud to hold a signing of this newly released book on December 7th from 2 - 5 pm in Washington, VA on the day of that towns annual "Christmas in Little Washington" following the parade.  The gallery represents Nol Putnam's sculpture in their Gallery and their Artifacts-on-Main space.

Viviane de Kosinsky, "View with a Room"

A stunning show of the intricate and detailed images of Viviane de Kosinsky opened recently at r. h. ballard gallery on Main Street in Washington, Virginia.  The show runs through October 12th.

View of installation in the gallery

The artist uses the time honored technique of line etching, which uses a copper plate with the image being "scratched" through a coating or resin.  Once the image is complete the plate is dipped into an acid solution which "eats" the metal to the desired depth, before it is stopped with another solution.  The resin is then removed and the ink is applied, wiping off the excess and leaving it in the etched lines.  The plate is then put through a press and the image is transferred to the paper.

Viviane does an edition of each plate from 35 to 100, hand coloring, in most cases, one area in red as below:

"Downton Abbey", etching, ed. 50, 5' x 4'

She then prints additional images which she hand colors with watercolor as below:

"Downton Abbey", Hand colored etching, 5" x 4"

These images do not hvae editions since each is a unique hand colored work.

Installation view of black and white images.

Installation view of hand colored images.

The showing includes over 40 works, a large portion can be seen here.