Squareup.com Market Feature

I've just updated my Squareup.com store, and will feature items here on the blog periodically.  Today's feature:  "Inspiration:  Block Print".  To purchase, use the link below, or the "order online" button in the column at right. 

I enjoyed the process I used to make this 11.5"x24" wall hanging.  My challenge was to create a foam stamp large enough to accommodate the design I wanted on both the background and the clay elements. Once that was done, (you can read more about the process here) I settled upon this vibrant color scheme, and voilĂ ! 

Fun fact: this piece got its "15 Minutes of Fame" last summer, when it was featured on the publicity poster for the African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County! 

on Square Market


A Different Kind of Christmas

This year, instead of exchanging our usual amount of gifts, our family adopted a charter school in Durham, NC which didn't have a library.  The school, Reaching All Minds Academy (RAM), has grades K-3, and when it opened last August, only 25 of the 122 students in the school could read.  The staff has been working diligently to remedy the situation, and now, 5 months later, 40% of the students are reading at or above grade level.  That's remarkable progress, and they know there's much more work to do, and we all decided to assist in that effort. 

Our Wake County Library has a huge yearly book sale, around Christmastime, where thousands of books are made available to the public at extremely discounted prices.  So, Melanie and I got up early on the Saturday morning of the sale, and ventured out to see if we could find enough books to stock the RAM library. Knowing there were 122 students, we were excited by the prospect of giving a book to each student to keep, and we were also looking for reference books for the library, including multicultural, science, math, and history titles.  We split up, gathered books, and came back together to see what we'd chosen.  Amazingly, we had almost no duplicates, and we'd fulfilled our lists pretty well.  That day, all books for children were $1, including dictionaries, atlases and large picture books...a great deal!  We filled 6 large boxes.  Included were many of our sons' favorites, and we loved reminiscing about reading to them, and having the boys read to us, oh so many years ago (Melanie's twins Cameron and Colin are 26, and my son Jordan is 21).  We loaded up my SUV, and on the way home, began talking about how great it would be to REALLY stock the library.  And, though we were pretty exhausted from our 5 hours of choosing books, we couldn't resist the allure of Sunday's pricing:  boxes of books, no matter how many:  $5.  We returned to the sale on Sunday, stood in a long line, gathered even more books (including a few for ourselves), and ended up with over 300 books!

On Christmas day, everyone pitched in to categorize and wrap books.  Jordan designed a bookplate with the RAM logo, and we placed one in each book for a student to keep.  Thinking the  children would love opening a surprise, we gift wrapped the kindergarten and first grade books, then ran out of energy!  We agreed the older kids would probably prefer choosing their own books (which was also a way NOT to have to wrap about 60 more books), and we all enjoyed this fun day of sharing, stories, and more reminiscing about favorites.  Colin, who is a filmmaker, shot this video of us around our dining room table having a great time! 


Last week, Melanie and I delivered the books to RAM, and there were excited squeals, big smiles, choruses of "Thank You," and happy faces all around when the children unwrapped their books. I explained about the bookplate, the first graders busily wrote their names in their books, and began to read. We visited the two kindergarten classes next, and watched as they too eagerly opened the books and sat down to read.  The grand opening of library was scheduled for the next morning, and everyone would see Colin's video as part of the program.  Unfortunately, neither Melanie nor I could be there for it, but we heard it was a rousing success.

So, that was Christmas 2014 for the Davis/Jones/Holmes/Petelinz family.  We loved this project; having everyone involved, sharing time together on Christmas day, laughing (lots of it!), remembering when the boys were learning to read, and knowing that what we would have spent on gifts for each other was used to give the wondrous gift of reading...what could be better than that? 
'Wonder what we'll do next year?  


"It's All in the Details"

As promised, here are the images from our featured artists' reception on First Friday.  Jeanne Rhea, Sharon DiGiulio and I had fun meeting people and talking about our work.  The resident artists and new gallery owner Allen L. Clapp were on hand for the grand opening, which made for a lively crowd.  And to top it all off, when the evening was over, I had sold two pieces! 

"It's All in the Details" will be at 311 Gallery at 311 West Martin Street, Raleigh until Saturday, January 24th. 

Thanks to my good friends and fellow artists Jeanne and Sharon for being willing to take the leap with me...I hope we'll be able to do it again soon!

Posing in the front display window...those 24"x24" pieces look great!

One of my walls, filled with Inspiration: Wax-Print bowls

One of Jeanne's walls, with her alcohol ink and resin pieces

Posing again, under Sharon's doll pieces


Out with the old, in with the new...

As you can tell from the date of my last entry, I've been too busy to post.  As I gaze across the studio on this, the final day of 2014, I'm reminded of the past year, and I look forward to what's to come. 

First up will be my gallery show with friends and fellow mixed media artists Jeanne Rhea and Sharon DiGiulio.  Our show's entitled "It's All in the Details," and includes over 100 pieces.  The show will be the first of the year in the new 311 Gallery in downtown Raleigh, which opens on First Friday (January 2nd).  Here are some shots of us hanging the show last Monday, and our publicity piece. 

There'll be more images to come after the opening.  If you're in the area, I hope you'll join us; it'll be a fun evening.  Address:  311 West Martin Street, Raleigh.  First Friday hours:  6pm to 9pm. 


Opening Reception: cimos

Next on my November to Remember calendar is the opening reception for my work in cimos, Raleigh.  If you're in the area, I'd love to see you on November 7th!  The reception is part of downtown Raleigh's First Friday celebration, so there'll be many artsy happenings to explore.  The collage shows a sneak peak of some of my work in the gallery, including my newest alcohol ink paintings, the "Waves of Nirvana" series.  Thanks to the fabulous Amy Griffith, cimos owner, for featuring my work, which will be up through January, 2015. 
See you on Friday night!


Opening Reception: Liquidambar

Here's the official advertisement for my show's
opening reception next weekend
I'm excited to have my work in this lovely gallery in Pittsboro, NC.  The owners, Kitty and John Mecham are artists themselves, and know how to create a beautiful ambiance for the work of the artists they represent, as well as featured artists.  The opening will be during Pittsboro's First Sunday celebration, and my pieces will be on display until Sunday, December 28th. 
If you're in the area, I hope you'll stop by. 


A November to Remember

I've been preparing for two exhibits of my work, set for November.  One has been on my calendar since 2012, and the other came about just a couple of months ago.  When the second opportunity presented itself, I took a deep breath and said yes, realizing I'd have to figure out how to make both exhibits happen at the same time.  Taking that leap was a bit daunting, but I'm happy I did, and I'm excited to have my work displayed for sale during the holiday season in two beautiful venues. 

At cimos, " Downtown Raleigh's shopping destination for great books, local art, fun and fabulous gifts,"  I will have my painted paper and Gelli print collages, my "Leaf Dance" series small bowls, and my glass pendants.  The opening will be on First Friday, November 7th, and I'll be sure to post photos of how it all comes together.

And, at Liquidambar Gallery and Gifts in downtown Pittsboro, I will display my large bamboo bowls from the Sinuous Rhythm, Spirals, The Elements, and Synergy series.  The opening reception will be Sunday, November 2nd, from 2pm to 4pm, and the work will be at the gallery until December 28th.  Photos to come, of course! 

That's it for now...back to work.