Row on row

These are rows of grapes at the Addison Farms vineyard, whose owner, Jeff Frisbee has been kind enough to host  Wild Art 2016: the Art Show to Benefit Appalachian Wildlife Refuge on August 6 from 12noon to 5pm.  It all happens at 4005 New Leicester Highway, 15 minutes and a whole world northwest of Asheville, NCafrows

For some annual crops, at least, we shall see the row system, maybe even tillage itself, vanish in our lifetimes.  And good riddance, too.

Perennial crops, though, are another matter.  Since the earliest gardens in the Near East, rows and compass points have predominated.  There is something intrinsically reverent and hopeful about the conjunction of geometry, next year and fruit.

Where these things intersect, you can have a culture, because culture demands that someone see life on the side of order and not chaos.


The Vineyard.  Walnut ink on prepared paper.

Agriculture, culture, cult: these three perdure.

New studio

I have rented a studio in Asheville, NC’s River Arts District.  It’s in Riverview Station at 191 Lyman St., # 249.

Normally I push paint around for fun and profit.  For the past week, it feels like I’ve done it for the sake of character-building.

I expect to open for art classes by July 1 in basic drawing, ink drawing, oils and pastel.

The Saints of Paint


My collaborators and I are forming an association to continue our work of mounting benefit art shows for non-profits.

Together, we are the Saints of Paint: John Mac Kah, our visionary; Christine Enochs, our internet publicist; Dana Irwin, who makes us look good; and me, the chief cook and bottle-washer.

Our first show produced under this name will benefit Appalachian Wildlife Refuge and will be held in early August at Addison Farms Vineyard, a beautiful site just northwest of Asheville in Buncombe County, North Carolina. The Refuge is raising funds for a new rescue facility for the treatment and release of injured wildlife.

Details on the show to come.

We were inspired (and advised, too!) by the Oak Group, a few landscape painters in California and SCAPE, a larger group which works in the same area.  Both groups have contributed mightily to the stewardship of the landscape they paint.

Like them, we aim to continue paying bills, making culture and doing good.

Making statements

One of my teachers, Rebecca Hawkinson, used to remind me, “every time you touch your canvas, you’re making a statement.”

That’s true whether one means to state anything or not; it holds true for statements good and bad alike, accurate, inaccurate, considered or careless.

What, then of all those lines that surround whole bodies or body parts in master drawings and are clearly not part of the figure at all?

They are questions, or better yet, statements reconsidered.

Four figures in walnut ink

Four figures in walnut ink. 13 x 19″

Easels in the Gardens, April 15-16

It’s time for Easels in the Gardens, the biennial benefit for the Cupola House Association of Edenton, NC.

Both the town of Edenton and the event have enjoyed a stream of good press in the last decade, including Forbes Magazine, Smithsonian, Coastal Living and Our State, which aside from this mention, has run a paid ad for the event in the April 2016 issue. The July 2015 print issue offers a wealth of photos of Edenton, too.

The town really is as beautiful as the hype. Fortunately, the strong agricultural economy, which surrounds the town has damped down any centrifugal concrete that has been the ruin of so many beautiful American places.

The Cupola House, which was rescued from neglect almost a century ago, is a monument to craftsmanship, design, and people with enough good sense and love to value such things.

The Cupola House (left) in the middle of Edenton, and Martinique Plantation(right) about ten miles north of town in Chowan County.  Both were built in the 1750’s.  The town and environs abound in 18th- and 19th-century architecture.

The event itself offers access to artists, abundant food and a band that does justice to Charlie Parker and Stan Getz.

All during a beautiful April weekend




Out of due season

Behold the Great Dismal Swamp, a sodden near-wilderness between the James River of Virginia and the Albemarle Sound of North Carolina.

In the swamp are the origins of the Pasquotank River, which drains into the Albemarle Sound at Elizabeth City.  Along its upper reaches, there will appear wind farms, where the ground is too low and wet to till.

But upwards of these new-minted towers of virtue about to built on sand, the ospreys play, the snakes climb the trees, and even the insects keep silent at noon.

This painting is about a third of the way done.  Already it makes me feel warm during the short days of the year.

Copy of swamp01

We set some wild places aside and feel proud; we fail to wreck others, and fee humble.  Rightly so.


Black walnut ink in Mason jars

Black walnut ink

I am now offering walnut ink for sale.  It has a rich warmth unmatched by other kinds of ink.

Grey Wolf

Grey Wolf.  Reed pen with walnut ink and wash.

I’m working on a full-service web outlet, which will be up and running by December 1st.

If you can’t wait, visit the Ink page on this site to reserve some.  I’ll ship it or you can pick it up.