Sunday, November 18, 2012

Open Studios - high inspiration

It was another great year for Open Studios in Greenville, SC where Mark, Kendall and I toured our favorites and met some new artists.  We started off at White Whale Studios, saw Jason again who made the great journal I bought last year, met with Patty Brady and had the chance to see portrait artist, Craig King,  who made my draw drop.  He does the best charcoal portraits I've ever seen outside of a museum.
But when I asked him if he gave lessons, he told me he taught trombone. He's given me incentive to draw some more portraits after the four I did recently -  two of Jeff and two of my good friend, John, one of him when he was about 19 in his punk, goth days and another of him now.  I don't use charcoal - too messy for me and I can't control it and I don't do photo realism, but rather expressionism, but still, Craig's use of shading and detail is mind boggling.
Then we headed off to The Art Bomb Company on one of the most gorgeous days of the year and had a chance to see more of the goodies from Diane Kilgore, Paul and Gregg Flint, Teri Pena and our friend, Tim  Speaker, We had a great conversation with Tim who had been looking for us, since we were two of the first people to welcome him to
Greenville a few years ago. During the conversation I couldn't stop looking at one of his pieces.  I had spied it from the door as soon as I entered, and it caught me somewhere in the gut.  I couldn't take my eyes off those eyes.  Finally I walked over to check the price and lo and behold it was amazingly doable. I was ecstatic!! I haven't bought original art in forever. I think the last piece I added to my collection was the Linotype I made at Artisphere last year at the movable Print Factory.
So I added another artist to my collection of original art and am thrilled. I have it hanging in my bedroom now while I figure out what this poor guy is trying to tell me. I should be disturbed by him, but I'm not - instead I relate to him.
 When you read Tim's biography and philosophy of what he tries to do with his art it's amazing.  Tim has a unique perspective, since he lived in various states of blindness for 4 years when he was 18 and underwent corneal transplants. His paintings show this agony and the dichotomy between opposites of light/dark.

Perhaps I relate because it has something to do with the way I felt during the time I was sick recently when I couldn't fathom what  happened when my body stopped processing potassium and I ended up with a number of emergency room visits and complications. 
Mark and I loved Tim's work ever since we first saw his rather disturbing paintings and collages on cardboard and we were so glad we had a new artist in Greenville willing to take risks and make people think.
After I have a chance to read Tim's book of poetry, Le Saison De Moyen The Mean Season,  (it just arrived YAY!).  I'll write a post on why this painting grabbed me.  
Onto the Village Studios where Kendall bought her first two pieces of original art.  She already has two in her room, but those I painted or picked out.  When she saw two word block pieces of Paris by Susannah Mele, Kendall was in heaven, since she wants to visit there due to her interest in fashion design. Let alone the fact, she's a romantic like her grandmother.  I'm so glad she loves art and reading as much as I do and once collectors buy their first piece they will never hang mass produced art on their walls again. I'm so proud my granddaughter, in addition to her mother, is now one of the folks supporting the arts community and making sure the arts will flourish in Greenville. Something we need big time in order to ensure the balance of the soul of the city with the rapid high tech growth.

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