Thursday, March 25, 2010

Contemporary Realism Workshop

I'll be teaching a six week oil painting workshop at
Forstall Art Center in Birmingham, AL.
"Evolution of a Teleportation Device" 10"x20"

This is a “back to basics” class for all skill levels, appropriate for any student searching for the right tools to paint in a realistic manner.

The class will emphasize core skills necessary to create convincing illusions in oil paint. Working from still life we’ll explore color theory and paint mixing. Students and I will explore the tried and true skills necessary to render 3-dimensional forms and capture light with oil paint. Class size is limited to 10 students.

The center is located at 402 Palisades Blvd, Birmingham, AL beginning May 4, 2010, Tuesdays 9:30-12:30, $195. To inquire or to register email me at

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Enlightenment" ponderings

 A quest for enlightenment must include a questioning of traditional thinking and a search for something deeper than what's apparent on the surface. That's a rather intangible idea to communicate in the visual world of paint. What better way than with the use of chiaroscuro and an expression of wonder?
 I love the symbolic nature of light and darkness; its near perfect analogy for opposites and its power to evoke the struggle between good and evil. The sheer drama of it is tantalizing and seductive!
 I tried several different boxes to house the light, finally choosing the open crate. It seemed to acknowledge the fact that this matter, symbolized by the light, is alive and to be shared.
It is appealing to me that light is a vague enough metaphor to be interpreted by the viewer as their own quest for enlightenment.

This painting is 24x24, oil on panel and part of my Building a Life Series.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Uniquely Louisiana Collectors-David and Nicole Holcombe

David and Nicole Holcombe have a selection of 24 pieces from their amazing collection on display at The Meadows Museum of Art at Centenary College in Shreveport, LA. The work will be on display in the Focus Gallery through May 23, 2010.
Two of my paintings from this wonderful collection were selected to be included. "Fledgling Portal" and "Make-Way" are both from my Awakening Series.
The Holcombe's have been called "visual arts powerhouses" and have had a mission to passionately collect southern art for the past 25 years. This passion is evident in their choice of works as well as in the voice of the collection. David and Nicole have forged long-term relationships with many of the artists whose work they have acquired including me and my family.

David gave a talk at the museum highlighting 6 principles of collecting, principles that explain the "Hows" and "Whys" of their collecting.

1. Original art is always better than posters. Even bad original Art is better than a poster. (Yipee!)
2. You don't have to be rich to collect art. You just have to be attentive and interested. (Absolutely)
3. Never buy art as a financial investment. Art is a human investment. (I could not agree more)
4. Don't buy anything from dead artists. (I like this!)
5. There's no one gold standard for art. There are two common elements and they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. One is passion and the other is technique. (Two parts that make up the the whole in inspired art!)
6. When your house is full don't stop buying. (Yes! Yes! Yes!)

My husband and I use these same ideas when we add to our own art collection!
This was taken when we delivered the second painting to the Holcombe's at their beautiful Alexandria, LA home where we were treated to their wonderful overnight hospitality last fall.
This is what David had to say about "Make-Way":

“Make Way (Portrait of their son, Kyle Strickland).” We saw this work in a Masur Museum of Art Annual Competition (in Monroe, LA). The work was a stunning combination of feeling and technique. After much thought, we decided to purchase it. Terry Strickland and her husband, Dan, were delighted…the acquisition took on the character of an adoption more than a purchase. They insisted on delivering the painting in person, seeing where it was to be placed in our home, and revealing lots of details about their son. It captures that moment when young people pass through the portal of childhood into adulthood.The marbles represent the dangers of the world and the Christmas light symbolize the reassuring warmth of family.

And about "Fledgling Portal":

“Fledgling Portal (Portrait of Shannon).” This was another in Terry’s coming of age series. We so enjoyed “Kyle” that we decided to add this companion piece many years later. Originally, we thought it was Kyle’s sister, but Shannon proved to be a close family friend. It has the same attention to detail as the portrait of Kyle.  Unlike Kyle, the lighting comes from below and creates a more ominous effect.  Shannon, her wings attached, stands with her arms crossed, as if resentful and undecided about going through the “Fledgling Portal.” 

Becoming friends with my collectors has been an amazing aspect of this profession that I had not anticipated before I became a full-time painter. To be able to hear a family's story and know why they relate to a piece is such a privilege.

When David and Nicole say that buying a piece of artwork is an investment in relationships they are so right. Our lives are enriched on so many levels by all of our collectors and patrons of the arts...I hope they know they are appreciated!

Here is part of David's gallery talk about their collecting practices. 
 Thanks to David and Nicole for use of their photography!


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