Video #3: The impressionist

The third Artists of Rappahannock video, part of a series exploring the symbiotic relationship of art and nature in Rappahannock County, Va., focuses on impressionistic oil painter Nedra Smith. After a 20-year career as an art director in the D.C. area, Nedra returned some 13 years ago to her first love — plein air and studio painting — and quickly earned a name for herself with the American Impressionist Society and her many patrons.

I could say more, but probably best to let Nedra tell you (and show you) herself. The video is below.

This series was underwritten by the Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund of the Rappahannock Association for Art and Community — which, by the way, holds its annual Artists of Rappahannock Studio and Gallery Tour this year on Nov.4-5. It’s a great opportunity to meet some of the artists profiled here, and get a first-hand look at their works.

New artist video: Bob Lucking

In our continuing series of videos on the Artists of Rappahannock, we move down the road a bit — and up a steep, narrow lane — for a too-brief visit with Sperryville furniture craftsman Bob Lucking, who apparently can make anything out of wood that you can think of (and quite a few things no one’s ever thought of). Bob’s hand-built home and workshop are carved into the side of a mountain just a stone’s throw from Shenandoah National Park, where Bob says he gets some of his best ideas out hiking with his dogs.

There were more than the usual number of extraordinary bits of this interview that we couldn’t fit into the finished video; one of them worth mentioning: A few years back, Bob and his wife, Carol, decided after Bob’s father became ill that he’d build a house next door for his mother and father — which he did. A few weeks before they were to move up from Florida, however, his father passed away. His mother, who’s 92 now, still lives right next door. “I’m not sure if I’m keeping an eye on her, or she’s keeping an eye on me,” he says, “but it works.”

Thanks to a generous 2016 grant by the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community’s Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund, we are on track to have six short videos on Rappahannock’s amazingly diverse and talented artists completed by late September.

I’ve been working on two almost simultaneously over the past three weeks, so the video on plein air painter Nedra Smith should be online here — and on the Synergist Media YouTube Channel — by the end of this week as well. Please head over to YouTube and subscribe to our channel. I plan to keep making these videos through the end of the year, beyond the six that were originally supported by the Claudia Mitchell Fund grant.


Synergist Media, and especially these videos, would not be possible without the hands-on assistance of photographer and videographer extraordinaire Luke Christopher, and the full-hearted advice and support of Luke’s mom, Charmaine Lee, my wife, ally and inspiration.

Artists of Rappahannock video series: Launched!

Maggie Rogers in her Sperryville printmaking studio.

Because of my unplanned return last spring to the Rappahannock News, my planned series of short videos on the artists of Rappahannock took nearly a year to get rolling. But thanks initially to the generous 2016 grant by the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community’s Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund, and then to the Mitchell Fund committee’s patience and understanding in allowing me to get the promised first six videos done by the end of September 2017, we are now launched!

This first video is a brief visit with Maggie Rogers in Sperryville, Va. — where Maggie’s printmaking studio shares the building with her family’s coffee roastery, and from which Maggie also pursues her love of hiking, nature and gardening. You can play the video below, or visit the Synergist Media YouTube channel and subscribe — especially as we add videos.

The next one coming up in early August is on plein air painter Nedra Smith of Washington, Va.

Synergist Media, and especially these videos, would not be possible without the hands-on assistance of photographer and videographer extraordinaire Luke Christopher, and the full-hearted advice and support of Luke’s mom, Charmaine Lee, my wife, ally and inspiration.

(Also stepping up — from Florida, no less — to make music for this first video was my brother John Piantadosi, a guitarist/bassist like no other.)