Category: show

Wide open: the show

On Thursday, December 4, I’ll show 30-some works in oil and ink at the Chowan Arts Council at 504 S. Broad St. in Edenton.  The show is titled Wide Open and features the overlooked landscapes of North Carolina’s Northeast.  This is a land of forgotten explorers, a four-and-half-century history of visual art, small Indian tribes, and big skies.  Between now and then, I’ll offer previews of some of the works and reflections on the places that inspired them.

The little sketch below grew into a study, a 2 x 3′ rendered drawing, and a painting almost as big.

Bunch's Garage

Bunch’s Garage. China ink. 3 x 6″

Of Time and the River, redux

The hardworking folks at Riverlink hope to do another show next year, and I’m grateful.

A motivated crowd is a good thing for artists and art lovers alike, but not for the reasons you’re thinking.

Here’s how:  because people came willing to pitch in for a charity they believe in, they showed up generous.  That’s a good attitude to have when looking at art.

People respond to beauty in much the same way as they respond to goodness.  They might be hungry–even starving–for it, but they can’t just sit passively and soak it in.  Both ideal things require one to go out of oneself, to take a moral or sensory leap as the case may be.

I’m grateful for two more reasons.  First, the folks at Riverlink have been leading the cleanup efforts along the river where I learned to draw the landscape.  The first landscape I ever sold was a view of Ledges Park.  Second, I got an education in North Carolina history and culture from those who attended.  Turn up next year, and enjoy the party as well as the show.

Mill Shoals Falls

Mill Shoals on the French Broad River

Of Time and the River

That’s the eponymous title of the benefit art show for Riverlink, the non-profit that has cleaned up and made accessible the French Broad River near Asheville.  The French Broad is the third oldest river in the world, it flows north, and its beauty has been neatly reduced to little rectangles and hung on walls.

The French Broad River, Hamblen County, Tennessee.

The French Broad River, Hamblen County, Tennessee.

A ticketed event opens the show on October 23rd at Sol’s Retreat, overlooking said river above the New Belgium site. Free public viewing, albeit without live music and bottomless gluttony are available the following two days, 11am-6pm.

Bowen Bridge

The show takes place just uphill from where I’m standing. This is in the flood plain of the French Broad under the Bowen Bridge in West Asheville. Downtown is over my shoulder.

You can sample works by some of the exhibitors here.  Many are my teachers, and I’m pleased to show my work next to theirs.

Small bites, September 25, 5-7 pm

The Windsor Boutique Hotel at 36 Broadway in downtown Asheville is presenting me along with two other painters in its next “Art at the Windsor” series.  In addition to art in the lobby, there are three floors of realist paintings as well as a few abstracts.

Kudos to the Windsor for assembling a group of a dozen or so realist painters.  Precious few galleries show such a belief in art that depicts actual things.

Check out the hotel’s teaser here:  http://www.windsorasheville.com/blog/

Long gone

Long Gone. 18 x 24″

The painting above will be there, as well as some that are not featured on this site; for lovers of fine drawings, a large-format crispy autumn scene with ten botanically accurate tree species and a three-hundred yard depth of field, executed in walnut ink without brushes on a frosty November morning.  Yum.

Oh, and the chocolates at these functions are swell, too.

Of Time and the River

Thus the allusive title of a late October group show for the  benefit of Riverlink, the Asheville non-profit that does so much for the health of the French Broad River.  It will be hosted by Alchemy Fine Art at Walnut and Rankin Streets in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.

The French Broad is narrow, winding and unnavigable for most of its length, and therein lies its charm.  Unlike its better-known and larger brethren such as the Delaware, James and Mississippi, it unites geography but divides people.  You can follow the James along US 60 in Virginia from Hampton Roads to Scottsville in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the people all along your route speak with the same Tidewater accent.  Centuries of reliable transport has united them.

Try the same thing from the mouth of the French Broad at Knoxville, Tennessee to its source near Rosman, North Carolina, and you’ll have a widely different experience.  You’ll be in the car all day.  You’ll drive on Federal, State and County roads, many of them dirt and gravel.  The sweetness of East Tennessee speech gives way to the sour note of Western North Carolina.  The churches go from Baptist to Pentecostal to Baptist again. And seeing the river will involve walking.

For two hundred and more years, anyone travelling any distance was concerned to get across the French Broad rather than up and down it. It was hard. That goes double for those with baggage, horses or automobiles–or, in my case, an easel, paints and lunch.

The bridge in the oil painting below is a triumph all the more impressive when one recalls that people actually died crossing this river in private ferries as late at the 1940’s. Underneath it settles the graffiti-covered tobacco warehouse in the ink drawing, itself a little monument to works and days now gone, as vice gives way to vice between watery death and sunny achievement.

Bowen Bridge

The Bowen Bridge, carrying I-240 across the hundred-foot wide French Broad River into downtown Asheville–and the large gorge it cuts. I’m in the space dugout to catch floodwater, and the river is behind me over the berm.

Many of the better views of the river are lost to public memory or overlooked.  And that’s a shame.  Degas famously said, “Art isn’t what one sees; it’s what one makes others see.”  Art can make you remember, too; or question a hole in your memory.  The next few posts will feature some of these overlooked places, which are no less beautiful for that.

Visit Riverlink’s website here.  They haven’t forgotten the river.

River District Warehouse, Asheville.  Walnut ink

River District Warehouse, Asheville. Walnut ink

 

 

Art takes wing

Through August, patrons may view and purchase my art at the Asheville Regional Airport.  Now is your chance to take home a piece of North Carolina.

Patrons may purchase art by emailing art@flyavl.com or visiting the Airport’s art page:

http://flyavl.com/pages/passenger-services/in-the-terminal/art-music.php

 

The Trading Post, Edneyville.  8 x 13.5"

The Trading Post, Edneyville. 8 x 13.5″

Tomato 'Costoluto'

Tomato ‘Costoluto.’ 6 x 6″

Sharecropper's House

Sharecropper’s House . 8 x 9″

 

 

December Show

On December 5th at 5:30, I’ll have a one-man show of about 30 works at the Chowan Arts Center in lovely Edenton, NC.  That’s in the northeastern part of the state. In the show, I’ll focus on a world that has gone unnoticed since the expeditions of Walter Raleigh and that was already legendary at the time of the first permanent English settlement in 1607.

The CAC sits at the end of Broad Street on Edenton Bay where nature meets a small eighteenth-century town.  Few places in the South so handsomely reward a visit.

In case you can’t make the trek, I’ll post the contents of the show on the site after it opens.  In addition, I’ll post some studies for larger works as I make progress with them as well as details of finished pieces as they come.

Bunch's Garage

Bunch’s Garage. China ink. 3 x 6″

For now, the sketch above, done with a reed pen and a brush.  I drew it because I liked the rectangles struggling to keep their shape despite the passage of time.  It spawned a medium-sized drawing done with three pens and walnut ink that played up the texture of the sheet-metal building and the lacy disposition of the oak leaves behind.  Next will come a 2′ x 3′ ink drawing dwelling on the building’s trim and the paved surfaces below.

Last, I’ll do a large oil painting that ties together the elements just mentioned. I’ll also relate the the greens in the building’s painted trim and moldy siding to the greens in the trees.  What began as a musing on shapes has turned into a sustained color study, and a meditation on nature and culture.

Here is one of the charms of a painted scene; things appearing winsome or repellent in isolation find new homes, new relationships, and new meanings when someone pays them enough attention.

Paris of the South–really

The owners of the newly restored Windsor Boutique Hotel in Asheville are showing my art in the hotel’s public spaces.  You can see some of North Carolina’s oft-overlooked beauty on its walls.

The hotel sits in the heart of downtown and is a quick walk from restaurants, bars, shopping, festivals, etc.  The building itself wears its old fabric gracefully and positively gleams with old wood.  http://www.windsorasheville.com/

Hanging alongside my work is that of Alisa Lumbreras, about the hardest-working artist I know.  She paints and sculpts with joy.  You can see some of that joy here: http://www.cottonmillstudiosnc.com/young-artists-classes.html

I’m grateful to the owners and staff for choosing me and my fellow Ashevilleans.  There is a difference between airlifiting a load of imported culture onto a city and letting the city produce its own culture, and the folks at the Windsor have chosen the better course.