Sperryville column for Feb. 19

Signs of spring

Tired of dreary, cold and barren days, unending snow, ice and slush, gray skies and monochrome mountains? Spring may not yet be busting out all over, but at River District Arts, spring and summer themes are definitely in the air — or in the works of two new artists at the cooperative, Kate Anderson and Virginia Costello, whose works are bold with colorful motifs.

A work by artist Kate Anderson at River District Arts.
A work by artist Kate Anderson at River District Arts.

The women’s paintings are filled with color and life, especially Virginia’s signature tiger lilies. Bursts of color adorn Virginia’s studio walls; pictures of wildlife, wolves, charcoal grey cranes, quail surrounded by nests of brightly colored, pastel wildflowers.

One of Virginia Costello’s paintings, on display at her RDA studio.
One of Virginia Costello’s paintings, on display at her RDA studio.

Kate’s studio is filled with oils, and her rural landscapes evoke country solitude and celebrate nature’s simplicity. Both artists showcase talents in varied disciplines, including the poignant poems Virginia writes to accompany individual pictures.

Summer themes are splashed all over Emilio Fontan’s El Quijote restaurant, also in the RDA building. Where else in the tiny hamlet of Sperryville, in the dead of winter, can a restaurant’s ambiance allow you to feel the warmth of the sun on your shoulders, sultry Mediterranean sea breezes under powder-blue skies; and taste the culinary art of Andalucia, Costa del Sol and more?

Foods and wines are delivered fresh from the sun-drenched Spanish coast to the RDA building. One can savor authentic sangria, paella or tender conch tapas — all of it complemented by local produce. Emilio says he was touched by the response to December’s month-long flamenco dance extravaganzas, which played to packed houses. Said one patron who’d lived many years in Spain: “Who knew I would see authentic flamenco again, and here in Sperryville!”

Emilio says plans are underway for additional upcoming entertainment; visit elquijotevirginia.com for more about that, or visit the restaurant (winter hours are 11 to 8 Friday-Saturday and 11 to 7 Sunday).

Cindy Devore at Valley Green Naturals says the company’s all-natural bath and body product business is growing by leaps and bounds, adding retail partners from San Francisco to Missouri, many just within the past few weeks. “Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be visiting natural grocers in Fairfax, Spotsylvania and Williamsburg and Georgetown,” she says. “Next month, we’ll be heading to Virginia Beach.”

We’ve happily reported in the past on Rappahannock’s Brittani Dodson, a nursing student at Shenandoah University and a young woman passionate about children — in particular, special-needs children in Panama, where she’s helped with the creation of a special-needs orphanage, the first of its kind in the country.

Brittani will soon graduate and says: “All of the hard work and dedication that I have put into nursing school has paid off. I have accepted an offer to work as an RN in the neo-natal ICU at UVA Children’s Hospital after graduating in May. I can’t wait to begin the career that I have always dreamed of having!” There is a quote from philosopher Franz Kafka, recently offered up by my good friend Molly, and it made me think of Brittani: “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

Creekside Bakery and Deli recently reopened to a February filled with well wishers, all ogling the new addition to the Yilmaz family, namely Lucky and Eileen’s beautiful daughter, Jasmine. “Thanks for all the love shown today,” says Eileen. “It’s great to be back open and among such an awesome community!”

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Chris Green
About Chris Green 127 Articles
Chris Green (formerly Chris Doxzen) is an an executive recruiter by profession who enjoys exploring and writing about all things Rappahannock. Friends and neighbors with potential stories for her Sperryville column should email her at chrisdoxzen@gmail.com.