Singular Focus: Variations on a Theme by Chuck Larivey

Koi and Lillies by Chuck Larivey

Virginia artist Chuck Larivey’s Singular Focus – Variations on a Theme collection is one to behold! Larivey is known internationally for his captivating use of translucent light in oil paintings. Specializing in vibrant atmospheric and water effects, Larivey has a fabulous new collection of koi fish and water lily paintings that we are excited to display at the Stravitz Fine Art Gallery on Laskin Road.

Larivey began painting koi and lilies in 2010, inspired by the koi fish at Maymont Park in Richmond, Virginia. He has always enjoyed painting flowers, and he quickly came to love the artistic freedom this subject allowed him in terms of colors, composition, size and scale. He also loves that this is a subject that can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere in the world. Larivey has enjoyed having one “singular focus” to paint, as he feels this has allowed him to improve and perfect his new style of hyper-realism.

The artist has always been fascinated with light and reflective objects. Understanding light and color as one and the same comes naturally to him. In all his paintings, he follows light and expresses it through vibrant colors. In his koi and lily collection, this is especially apparent in the green lily pads whose color pops out of the dark water.

Chuck Larivey’s new collection will be on display at the Stravitz Sculpture and Fine Art Gallery on Laskin Road through the month of April until May 3rd. Come and experience these beautiful new works!

Charles Kello: In His Own Words

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Oil Painting of Norfolk Docks by Charles Kello


As dictated by Charles Kello

Oil Painting by Charles Kello


Charles W. Kello was born in the Ghent section of Norfolk on August 19th, 1942. The son of a terrific commercial artist, Charles W. Kello Jr. and “Myrt” his mother. He is the first child among five children, introduced to art at the age of nine. His dad stated that young Kello “Just never stopped painting”. Since then, he began to receive awards as early as age twelve and even now at age seventy-one. As a teenager, he was an illustrator for several printing companies, before photography was what it is now. In order to reproduce ships and buildings, they had to be painted in detail, the reduced before printing. This gave him a firm foundation for his painting.

Charles is proficient in drawing, watercoloring, oil and acrylic. He has devoted his later years exclusively to oils. He has mastered landscape, seascape, still-life, florals, and portraiture. Charles states that this is a “Feat rarely seen in any artist”. This statement was also made by Vincent Price who bought several paintings from Kello in 1963. The following year Kello had a one-man-show in New York on Madison Avenue, which was a total sell-out. Kello has paintings in collections around the world. He commented, “From South Africa to Alaska, I have been quite prolific and painted over 5,000 pictures”. As one collector said “I have been looking at one of the landscapes I purchased three years ago and I still have not found everything in it”. “Last Flight”, a painting by Kello, was acquired by the Norfolk Museum, now known as the Chrysler. Kello teaches classes in oil at his studio in Norfolk. That is my “little painting factory”. Richard Stravitz Gallery on 30th Avenue and Pacific Street is the exclusive agent for Mr. Kello’s work.

The Old Print Shop | New York City as Art or Imaging the City.

It’s always so interesting to see a progression of a state, or city, or country even. What is different now? What stayed the same? I would love to see this exhibition! The oldest painting is from 1671!! Wow!!


The Old Print Shop on artlineNew York City as Art or Imaging the City. A spectacular exhibition containing prints and paintings from 1671 to contemporary artists using New York City in their art. The Old Print Shop, January 10 – February 7, 2015

The exhibition covers almost 350 years of art based on New York City as a theme. The earliest is Ogilby’s Novum Amsterodamum from 1671 and ends with images by a group of contemporary artists.

The earliest images of New York City, (then only Manhattan) date from the third quarter of the seventeenth-century. Very few were produced as there was not much here with the exception of a great natural harbor and a navigable river. During the eighteenth-century there are a few images of New York City produced and in interesting group of maps. The real romance of images of New York City begins with the Hudson River School era. So many…

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10 things that being an artist taught me last year

This is some great food for thought for all you artists out there, no matter what medium you choose!

emily_jeffords-web-cip_01252014Last year around this time I wrote a list of 10 things that being an artist taught me in 2013, and many of those things ring so true today too. Things like, “Your fingers can create more than you think they can” and “A creative community is incredibly beautiful and worth cultivating…”

This year, I feel like I’m building on these things and adding a few more to the list as well.
Such as:

  • Ask for the things you would like. Dreams require a little boldness and a lot of follow through.
  • Practice the habits that help your creativity.
  • When you feel trapped by the expectations that are put on your work (by yourself or others) change it up – pronto.
  • Rest. Creativity has a hard time working in a tired mind.
  • The first thing you have to do is pick up the brush. Then, make as many mistakes…

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Surreal Paintings by Micha Arkhipoff

Oil on wood  by Micha Arkhipoff

Oil on wood
by Micha Arkhipoff

This is one of the great oil paintings on wood by Micha Arkhipoff, that we have at our Laskin Road gallery in Virginia Beach. He is one of our newest artists to have work displayed. The little tag that you see below the rose says “Maison de Bonmeur” which translates to “House of Happiness”. Arkhipoff’s style is quite similar to that of Salvator Dali’s. Very three-dimensional, mystical, and definitely surreal.

On the shores of time lost Oil on wood by Micha Arkhipoff

Ok, so I have to show you one more example of his work. Just look at all of the symbolism and how detailed it all is. You can’t help but feel that the artist is trying to send some sort of message to his audience.

We do have one more painting by him at our Laskin Road gallery in Virginia Beach, VA, but you’ll have to come in to see that for yourself. I do realize that some of you may live no where close to Virginia Beach so instead you can click here to see the other painting. And feel free to browse around the rest of the site!

Advertising in Alumni and Sports Magazines

Article written by Richard Stravitz

Some time ago it was discussed about the possibility of selling the idea of making a bronze mascot or other sculpture to a number of colleges, universities, and or athletic organizations in the United States. More to the point it was thought that it would be best if we first applied our efforts to the states of Virginia and North Carolina to make follow up and coordination easier than if we spread ourselves too thin around the country. I know an effort was made to get the idea in to several colleges in the area, but with little success that I am aware of. I am going to throw out a different approach to getting us accepted into the schools and athletic organizations in the area mentioned above. Keep in mind, if it works in this limited area it could work in Canada, England, Germany, etc.. anywhere the colleges and sport organizations and their sports organizations. I tried to get a sample of the sports organizations without much luck. It looks like the Alumni info is easy to get and their magazines are generally published quarterly. Sports info and magazined will (it seems), require some digging and interpretation. What are we trying to do? We are trying to present our Mascot and Sports bronze sculpture program. We would like to advertise our sculpting expertise by buying spaces in Alumni and Sports magazines. If there is an interest in what we are advertising they can visit our website here:!commission/c6m3 The difference in this approach is that we are offering advertising dollars and if the Alumni and/or Sports organizations want it, we can produce exquisite sculptures reasonably priced that will make them proud.

Ancient Art Process Alive at Stravitz Gallery

701 Hand of Fate

Bronze Sculpture “Hand of Fate” by Richard Stravitz
Written by Richard Stravitz

Three dimensional objects were the first things created by man and some animals. These objects were made from natural resources such as objects of wood and stone.  They were made into the tools of survival, weapons to hunt with; weapons to protect; objects to cultivate the soil. The struggle for survival left little time for anything else by day but the nights were long and when story telling was exhausted, boredom and fear of the unknown and the mystery of life entered the mind of prehistoric man. The idea of multiple gods came into being, with the god of fertility, god of war, etc. being examples of those gods.

Talismans or objects that were believed to contain magical or sacramental properties were highly prized. They were to be the embodiment of the gods that were created. There was a need for these Talismans to be seen, felt, handled and ultimately worshipped. An unusual stone crafted by nature or shaped by early man may have been the first Talisman and perhaps the first sculpture man created. As time passed, softer stones such as sand stone and later marble began to be sculpted into better and more realistic human forms.

Copper and tin had been known for some time when around 3700 BC someone came up with the concept of mixing molten copper with moltin tin. This created Bronze which was substantially stronger than either tin or copper alone. This was the beginning of the Bronze Age and a major leap forward in the creation of sculpture.

Around 1750 BC the process of “Lost Wax” sculpture was discovered. The artist would make his sculpture using bees wax. The bees wax sculpture was then wrapped in clay. A kiln was used to fire the clay and in the process also melted the wax out from what was the clay and is now a ceramic mold. This ceramic mold would then be filled with molten bronze. Upon cooling, the ceramic coating is chipped off the now bronze sculpture that was within. Even with all the technological improvements this is still the way true bronze sculptures including my own, are made today.

Before the written word, before recorded history, there was sculpture. Sculpture was a wonderful thing, it could express the life history of early man without the need for language. It could depict wars and deeds of the victorious, but it could also show the subtle values of life like love, hate, pain, etc.

Please visit my studio at 1217 Laskin Road and see the demonstration set up of the “Lost Wax” bronze process and the wonderful sculptures that we have created using that process.

Please visit our website at to view the beautiful art work we have in both of our galleries!

Capturing Movement


Written by Jennifer Przadka

“Jitterbug” bronze sculpture by Richard Stravitz

When someone mentions the word “Jitterbug” I think back to 1989 when the Wizard of Oz first came out on VHS. I remember watching that movie over and over in its entirety. At the very end you get to see edited scenes. One of the scenes was about a song that was recorded specifically for the movie “The Jitterbug”. I watched Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion all dance in a frenzy as if running from a literal bug. They all sing about watching out for this bug that will give you the “jitters”. The producers decided not to add it into the movie claiming that it would make the movie too long.

Come to find out “jitterbug” was a term used that described alcoholics when suffering from the “jitters”. This term became correlated with swing dancers who dance beyond any discipline or know-how of the dance. In pop-culture, it developed to mean swing dancers or a sort of swing dance.

We have a sculpture at our Laskin Road gallery that was recently created and unveiled by Richard Stravitz entitled “The Jitterbug”. If you were to come in it would be the first thing that you would see resting on a rotating potium. Which is quite appropriate considering the movement that the artist captivates in his work. It is such a lively piece and you can almost feel the excitement when you look at the expression that is permanently sculpted in both of the dancers faces. The detail doesn’t end there. Looking at the clothes gives away the era the sculpture conveys. The female is wearing the typical bobby soxer outfit, the close fitted sweater, the poodle shirt with a petticoat underneath, saddle shoes and bobby socks. The male wears rolled up slacks, penny loafers, a cool blazer with a buttoned up shirt underneath, and a neck tie. The movement of the piece is incredible with the guy pulling the girl underneath him as he jumps over her. The gentleman’s cap rests besides the sculpture as if to imply that it had flown off of his head due to the dance of a fast rhythm. It is certainly no wonder why Richard Stravitz is an award winning Master Sculptor.

 Please visit our website at to view the beautiful art work we have in both of our galleries!

Something to Consider For First Time Art Collectors

779 Koi and Lotus

Oil Painting by Chuck Larivey

Article by Jennifer Przadka

Only in a perfect world would buying art be as easy as walking into an art gallery and paying for the first piece of artwork you like. You’re going to want to purchase a piece you will enjoy seeing everyday without getting gouged.

How much money are you comfortable spending? If you find a piece you “love” then you should allow yourself to splurge— but you certainly don’t want to go through buyer’s remorse. At an auction it is easy to get caught up in the moment with all that energy buzzing around.

However daunting, art collecting doesn’t have to be a difficult task. It’s all about educating yourself, setting your budget and sticking to it. Figure out what you like by visiting museums and galleries. Speak with art consultants or other art collectors. Attend gallery events and speak with other people involved in the art community. You will learn about different periods, styles, values, and most importantly, what you like.

If you plan to spend a lot of money be sure it will be something you love. And you may also want it to be an investment piece. According to Forbes the typical expected budget for an investment piece is between $1000 to $10,000 for a rising artist’s work. Look for young, emerging art because these pieces are inexpensive in price and are likely to increase in value and lead to future gains.

To figure out what art best suits you the internet is the best place to start looking. One website called, based out of New York, is considered the “Pandora of the art world”. This site allows users to find artwork they like and similar works. The internet is also a great place to explore prices. Sites such as Artinfo and Artnet can offer input regarding auction prices of comparable works. It’s good to see what works have sold at auction, and what kind of prices they produced.

You may want to see the artwork of interest in person. What you see online doesn’t necessarily mean it will look the same in person. You may find that you have more of an appreciation of the piece in person (or not).

Find out the reputation of the artist in question, by speaking with dealers who typically  know about the artist who is exhibiting his or her work. What awards has he/she won? Have they been featured in major art shows? How long have they been well known?


Some questions to ask yourself before you make your big art purchase (from

– Why do I like the kind of art I’m buying?

– What about it satisfies me?

– Do I like the subject matter, what it represents, the colors, the historical aspects, the lives of the artists?

– Does it take me to a special place?

– Does it make me feel a special way?

– Do I admire it’s technical aspects the most?

– Does it make me see life differently?


Above all have fun viewing and shopping for art you enjoy the most. Don’t let the task intimidate you in anyway. Great art comes with a price but in the end it is well worth it.