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. 


Something New

It's a new month (how did it get to be October already?!), and I've added a new feature to Artventuring. 

In the right column, you'll find the "Blog Galleries" heading, along with links to each gallery.  This will make it easier for everyone to see my work at a quick glance (though I do hope you'll stay a bit longer).  As I create new work, I'll add to the galleries, and as always, your comments are more than welcome.

Happy October!



Filtering the Input

"Somali Spirit" work progress detail
"Somali Spirit"
 mixed media collage: oil pastel, chalk ink, paper on MDF
24"x5"  ©2014
Inspiration comes in many forms: a vividly colorful sunset, a glimpse of an ancient scroll, a photograph, the design of a mask, the way another artist uses disparate materials--the list is endless. If you ask me how I come up with the ideas and designs in my work, I'll often say everything I've ever seen and done goes into each piece.  While that's not literally true (what a mess that would make on one substrate!), it goes to the heart of what I believe the artist's life is about; filtering the input and molding it into a cohesive vision for each piece. 

For my newest work, I'm going in a bit of a different direction, which combines my recent series of African textile patterns with collage elements.  In this, I'm inspired by the work of African American mixed media collage artists, two of whom I've met personally. 

I met Romare Bearden, the world renowned collage artist, when I was working with his collaborator Harry Henderson on the book "A History of African American Artists".  I was a sophomore at Wellesley, had just declared my Art History major, and was chosen to research some primary source letters for references to the neoclassical sculptor Edmonia Lewis.  Mr. Bearden invited me to meet him at his 5th floor walkup studio in Harlem during my Christmas break. He was very gracious; autographed a book for me, and I was awed by the works in progress I saw in his studio--the first "real" artist's studio I'd ever seen.  Unfortunately, my visit was curtailed, due to his five cats and my allergies, but I've never forgotten it.

I met Charlotte-based artist Monique Luck at Festival in the Park.  Her large-scale mixed media collages are luminous, with great movement and luscious color.  You can see more of her work here.

As for this new direction my work is taking; I'm still refining and learning--it'll be exciting to see where this part of my journey will take me. 

Romare Bearden, with one of his five cats
I saw this piece "Mecklenburg Evening: Heavy Freight"
at the Romare Bearden show in Charlotte, NC a couple of years ago. 
I love the way the sky is painted, and the layered landscape.
Monique Luck with several of her
large-scale mixed media collages


Pondering Pinterest 1: Design Inspiration

Pinterest is many things.  A giant "time suck:" you visit the site to pin just one thing you like, and when you look up again, it's 2 hours later, and you have no idea how you got to the board you're currently viewing! Or, it's an indulgent, frivolous pastime, or, it's a place where people rip off the ideas of others. 

For me, Pinterest has been a great place to find inspiration to save for when I'm in need of a creative jump start. I've done extensive research on my art class projects there, and I also enjoy discovering new artists working in various media I don't.  I believe in being a good pinner, which means giving attribution to the artist (not just the person who pinned the image before I did), with name, title, and medium, and I'll often go out of my way to find that information to add to a pin. 

So I thought I'd share with you some of the artists I've discovered or rediscovered on Pinterest.  Go visit their websites, or their Pinterest boards (you might want to set a timer for yourself!).  I'll begin with my Design Inspiration board: 

Vicki Grant:  I've seen her work in person, in the Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, NC.  It's exquisite.  I love the textures, her color palette, her rhythmic, repeating shapes, her inclusion of natural materials.  I could go on forever!

Nellie Marks Nakamarra is an Aboriginal artist, and I'm inspired by her designs and the stories behind them.  And yes, I love the color palette, too. 

Carol D. Nelson:  another mixed media artist; I love the linear feel, the metal elements, and the sometimes surprising color combinations she uses. 

Have you found design inspiration on Pinterest?  If so, share please!

"Quilted Whimsies" by Vicki Grant

"Travelling Women"
by Elizabeth (Nellie) Marks Nakamarra

"Wheels Keep On Turnin'"
by Carol D. Nelson


It's over. It's just beginning...

It's Over
Our 2014 show season is over; our last outing was the African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh (AACF).  I serve as the Art Program Director for the festival, which means I not only show and sell my own work there, but I'm also responsible for recruiting artists and merchandise vendors; managing the processes of application, jurying, acceptance; and acting as liaison with show management during the festival itself.  As you might imagine, it's exhausting but fun at the same time.  This year's festival welcomed 40,000 people over the two days, and was a great success. 

Kindred Spirit Studios
Art-to-Wear Glass Pendants
$20 each
It's Just Beginning, Part 1:  Back in the Jewelry Business?!
Longtime Artventuring readers may recall that I designed porcelain jewelry many years ago, which was my very first foray into an art-related business.  I've loved cool necklaces since way back
when pop beads (remember those?!) and candy necklaces were the height of a 7-year-old's fashion sense (although I didn't particularly like the candy). I enjoyed jewelry design, but always knew my first love was painting. 
1960s era pop beads
Recently, though, an idea for art-to-wear pendants occurred to me after seeing a demo at a Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild meeting, presented by Iris Musslewhite.  It was fun for me to get back into jewelry mode for a bit, including researching suppliers of glass, findings and display items (A&B Fixtures in Raleigh is a gold mine!).  And, while I won't veer off permanently and irrevocably into jewelry land, I was surprised and pleased to see how well the pendants were received at the AACF. As you'll see, some are abstract (colorful alcohol inks on Yupo paper), and others contain reproductions of my larger wall hangings.

Just Beginning, Part 2:  stay tuned. (here's a hint: November will be a VERY busy month!)