Patricia Temples Photography

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Archive for the month “August, 2014”

Woodberry Forest School, Upcoming Art Show

On September 5th, the artists of Firnew Farm Artists Circle will open their show “New Beginnings” in the Walker Fine Arts Building on the campus of Woodberry Forest School. A reception will be held from 5-7 pm and promises the attendees wonderful art to explore and local food to taste.

Reynolds Family Dining Hall

I have three photographs in this show that were taken on the campus of Woodberry Forest School this summer.  Most of you know by now that I look for and love to find coincidences and connections between my current life and something in my past.  Well, I found it at WFS.  I took this photograph of the dining hall, a beautiful, quaint room with warm colors, Clore furniture handmade in Madison County, and plenty of history.  As I was trying to determine a name for this photograph, I had to ask for information about it from a faculty member. I learned that the dining hall is called “Reynolds Family Dining Room.” I had previously learned that Bowman Gray, Jr. had attended WFS.  He was a former president of Reynolds Tobacco, but that didn’t tell me about this dining room. Of course I did an online search and found a more direct connection between the Reynolds family and WFS.  But, before I tell you that connection, let me tell you about my own, somewhat weak, connection to the Reynolds family.

I grew up in Patrick County, Virginia.  A little community in my county is Critz, and it is the location of the Reynolds Homestead.  Hardin Reynolds was the patriarch of this family who lived in Critz, and two of his sons were responsible for founding Reynolds Tobacco Co. and a third founded Reynolds Metals and Reynolds Aluminum.  My nephew is currently teaching at Hardin Reynolds Elementary School in Patrick County.

The member of the Reynolds Family who attended Woodberry Forest was J. Sergeant Reynolds, son of the founder of Reynolds Metals.  “Sarge” went on to become Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in the late 1960s.  Sadly, he developed a brain tumor and died at age 34 in June 1971 (coincidentally, the month I graduated from college).  He is buried at the Reynolds Homestead.  Virginia lost a rising star when he died.

There’s the connection.  My photograph of the Reynolds Family Dining Room took me back to my roots in Patrick County.  I suppose as a lifelong Virginian, I should not be surprised when I find links to other Virginians, but it continues to delight me, no matter how tenuous the link might be.

It’s Getting a Bit Crazy

I have written in previous posts about my art collaborations with two friends, one a watercolorist, the other a colored pencil artist.  That isn’t a totally accurate description of my friends’ talents:  they both use a variety of media in their work.  I am the photographer, and that’s about all I do.  Oh, well. We have completed a seventh collaborative art piece, and this one was the most challenging yet.  As we progressed on the work, we all had doubts about whether it would be a successful piece of art when we finished.  That doubt lingered until it all came together. Yesterday we matted and framed it and showed it to our artists’ group.  It was a hit!  It will be in a show at Woodberry Forest School in Orange VA, September 5 through November 3.  If you live nearby or within an easy drive, try to come to our reception on September 5th, 5-7 pm.  There will be a lot of great art, great food, wine and wonderful artists to make the evening enjoyable.

So….what is our collaboration?  We made a crazy quilt.  Not out of fabric, but out of paper.  Let me tell you first about crazy quilts.

The history is a bit confusing.  One source says they became popular in the late 1880s in the US, but another says that they originated during Colonial Times.  I will give you my take on what I’ve read.  I believe that the Colonists, who came from Europe with limited supplies, started using patchwork as a way to repair old and torn garments so that they could continue to be worn.  They probably didn’t start out as beautiful, but more functional in nature.  As fabric became readily available, the artistry and design components followed for quilting in general.  In the late 1880s the CRAZY quilt emerged among the wealthier classes as a way for them to show off expensive fabrics and their extensive embroidery skills.  Oddly shaped pieces of silks, velvets and satins were sewn together and embellished with a large variety of embroidery styles.  As the popularity of quilting increased, quilters began to establish themes to commemorate an important event, or they used fabrics that were of sentimental significance in their lives. Crazy quilts were not created for warmth or function, but for decorative use.  I have three of these quilts in my possession, all pieced and embroidered by my great-grandmother, with satin on the opposite side that my grandmother quilted.  These quilts were presented to all female members of my family.  Oddly enough, crazy quilts were rarely “quilted” per se.  The embroidery was embellishment enough.

But, I digress.  I was talking about an art collaboration, wasn’t I?  Yes, we made a crazy quilt.   None of us were sure we could pull it off.  I will show you first what our finished piece looks like in black and white.  Notice the placement of the light and dark pieces.  I see movement and texture. Do you?


Black and White Study


This is our finished art quilt.  The colors we chose are warm golds and reds, some grey and black, and sepia tones.  See if you can determine which square addresses each segment of a community.  Then see if you can name all of the things within the square that support it. This collaboration is large.  The finished size is 24″ x 24″ framed.  You need to see it up close and personal!


The Finished Product

The Finished Product


A quote from the book Crazy Patchwork, 1884, says this:  “No species of fancy-work yet invented has ever given more scope for the exercise of artistic ability and real originality:  hence, the secret of its popularity.”

I would say that the Crazy Quilt has once again provided an avenue for creativity, artistic ability and originality.  Leslie Barham, Frances Lacy and I hope you feel the same way.



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