The City of Alexandria says that the Old Town Farmers Market “is the oldest farmers’ market in the country held continuously at the same site” and that “George Washington sent his produce from Mount Vernon” to be sold there. Wow. I wonder if George Washington ever imagined that I’d be standing there munching on some sort of delicious stuffed croissant from a vendor selling foods from the country of Georgia, some 250 years later? Probably not!
“Originally, Market Square was little more than a scruffy field where housewares, foodstuffs, animals and farm products could be sold to local townspeople or those coming to Alexandria from its rural hinterlands. The area was also used for other purposes, such as the sale of African slaves and the mustering of militias. By the late 18th century, the square started to fill with permanent structures and buildings providing a home for prospering commercial sellers, taverns and warehouses.”
I very much enjoy a leisurely weekend visit to Old Town Alexandria, a city that I lived in for a couple of years, once upon a time. It’s interesting to learn about its history, and especially to consider the trauma that took place there in the past, and its lingering effects on the collective consciousness of all of us.
Did you ever catch fireflies as a kid? How about as an adult?
I remember seeing these beautiful bioluminescent beetles on summer evenings as a kid. A couple years ago, while reading about massive declines of insect species, it dawned on me that I hadn’t seen fireflies in a very long time, and that my kids still hadn’t seen them (my boys were only 5 and 4 at the time).
So I went out with my own kids, and my brother, on a summer night to find fireflies along the edge of a forest. We looked around and didn’t see any. Then as it got darker, we saw a few lights. Before long, the whole edge of the forest was floating in fireflies. Ah, yes, there they were, still there, as magical as ever!
Here are a couple photos of paintings that I’m currently working on!
Old Town Alexandria Farmers Market Painting
This one of the Old Town Alexandria farmers market is one that I had posted about last month. I’ve been slowly but surely working on finishing this one, and hope to complete it in the next couple of weeks.
Fireflies in a Jar Painting
The idea for this painting came from lyrics from a few different country music songs, which reminded me of the magical joy of catching fireflies in a jar in the summertime. I just started on this one last night and it’s got lots of layering and color blending left to do, but I thought I’d share the beginnings of it:
A few weeks ago, a couple in Washington DC commissioned me to paint this picture of The Washington Monument. Measuring 18″ x 24″, I painted it on archival canvas paper, with acrylic paints.
The Washington Monument was completed in 1884 to honor the leadership of George Washington!
Now 245 years after the end of the Revolutionary War, I am feeling especially grateful for George Washington and the revolutionaries who fought for freedom and sovereignty. May we always have it, and may we know our divine human rights, so that we know what is ours to defend.
There is a beautiful field nearby here, in Sterling, Virgnia, that is full of migrant monarch butterflies. I photographed this monarch last week and hand-embellished the photo with acrylic paint and the words “follow your internal compass”.
It’s fascinating how monarchs annually navigate great distances along the North American continent, using their built-in GPS system! There is so much wisdom to be reminded of by being in nature.
I had to look up the physical differences between a llama and an alpaca. A llama is larger in size, has longer banana-shaped ears, and has a longer snout. I also learned that they have wild cousins – the vicuña and the guanaco!
Here is a photo of my son checking some llamas out in Ecuador back when he was 3 years old!
This is a watercolor painting, painted in the golden ratio dimensions, of a flock of geese gliding over the Potomac River, during a late afternoon a few weeks ago. Every minute or two, for about the ten minutes we sat there watching this, another flock of geese would come, and they’d all gather in a big group a little further down the river. It was very peaceful to watch.