Artist Spotlight: Ken Tate

Oct 25, 17

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Anne Neilson Fine Art is elated to report the newest addition to our gallery roster: Ken Tate. A Mississippi native, Tate is known for his unconventional painting methods that herald back to the deliberately chaotic style of Abstract Expressionism and Beats writers such as John Kerouac. His recent work superimposes vibrant and raw layers of acrylic paint unto photographs of high-fashion advertisements and celebrity icons. In the Spring of 2017, Ken notably collaborated with Bloomingdale’s Department Store for their merchandising campaign, where his work was introduced to a broader audience (photo featured above). To learn more about this highly-motivated and acclaimed artist, read our exclusive interview below!

Hometown: Columbus, Mississippi

Currently Living: Covington, Louisiana

When did you start your career in art?

7 years ago.

How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

Forever.

Describe your aesthetic in three words:

A controlled mess.

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

Have on-hand a lot of material and then just start.

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

A 6’ x 6’ acrylic on canvas called Bloodoo 3 or a 4’ x 6’ Bridget Bardot mixed media.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

Schnabel, Basquiat, Christopher Wool

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Julian Schnabel, Portrait of Elton John, 80×60, 1997

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?

Finding and keeping one’s own voice.

How do you approach/overcome them?

Intentionally never copy anybody.

Biggest accomplishment to date professionally?

Getting into great galleries.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

My studio is too small, so I’ll be getting a bigger one in the future.

A random fact about you:

I am both a visionary and pragmatic at the same time.

Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?

Big Sur or Italy.

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Big Sur, California

What are you currently reading?

Spiritual books and mysteries and something of magazines like ArtNews and “W”.

What are you currently listening to?

Ipod on shuffle: Miles Davis, Monk, Phillip Glass, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Esperanza Spalding, Ennio Morricone, etc.

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?  

An architect.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

Art, family and iced lattes.

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Julian Schnabel

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Botticelli, Weatherford.

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Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, c.1486

Dream commission?

Painting twenty pieces for a large villa on the Pacific Ocean.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

That it is soulful.

What makes your work unique?

My personality and my fearlessness when it comes to art.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years.

To be in ArtNews.

A preview of Ken Tate’s work now available at ANFA!

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Gucci Girl I & II, 32 x 25

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Girl with Turqouise Bag, 30×25

 

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Artist Spotlight: Joe Vinson

Oct 18, 17

Joe Vinson is a truly talented artist who rotates painting between two broadly contrasting styles, abstract and figurative. This contrast is partly reflective of his lifestyle, rotating between New York City in the winter and Italy in the summers. In Italy, he enjoys painting the captivating landscapes en plein air, working from direct observation of his beautiful surroundings. In New York, Joe has a large studio in Brooklyn where he prefers painting abstract and more experimental paintings. His ability to rotate between the two dynamic styles speaks to his expertise and continued experience with the paint brush. Read the interview with Joe below to learn more about his unique lifestyle and artistic process!

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Name: Joe Vinson

Hometown: I was born and raised in Florida, but now live everywhere.

Currently Living: 6 months in NYC and 6 months in Buonconvento, Siena, Italy

When did you start your career in art? How long before that did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I came late to art, I took it as an elective in College. The subject was so interesting that I took all of the art classes offered at that school. Then I went to Ringling School of art in Sarasota, FL.  In 1976, after graduation from RSA, I worked at Disney World as a portrait artist.  But it was not until I went to The School of the Museum of Fine Art that I seriously felt like being an artist.

Describe your aesthetic in three words:

Modern, Experimental, Traditional

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

I make paintings because I want to see them myself. Thankfully there have been a number of my works that I like and that helps me keep going and make more. Since I tend to create works that address some new issue, I have to say that the current piece is always my favorite.

How much preparation goes into a painting?

The short answer is , “A lot.”  There is the physical preparation of the painting surface and then there is the mental side of deciding what to paint and how to paint it.

Painting is like playing chess, you have to plan your moves several stages ahead. I learned from Friedel Dzubas, how one might simply plan a painting. I paint small studies on graph paper.  This way I can scale the works to a larger size and be sure that the ratios of the studies will be the same. I also think that one can over plan something and render it lifeless in the final version. I try to avoid that by leaving enough things undecided at the beginning and resolve them on the fly as the work is made. This keeps me totally connected to the work throughout its creation.

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Studies on paper in the planning process

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Large (42×126) painting in the first three layers, a work in progress

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

I consider myself a student of art history. I have many influences. However, there is one person that I could choose for both personal and professional inspiration, Hans Hoffman.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 1.01.59 PMHans Hoffman was a late bloomer. Born in 1880, he quit teaching art in 1958 in order to devote himself to painting full time. He was tremendously important to the advancement of art by bringing 20th century ideas to Americans in the post war period. He did this first by exposing  many young painters to these ideas at his school in New York and in Provincetown, MA. Many of his students would become famous painters in the 1950’s. He also helped make this transition to a modern sensibility in painting away from mimetic concerns to one of realizing the potential of the plastic means in painting. His paintings exploit the widest range of technical possibilities of the oil painting medium. So he inspires me both in a personal way, embarking on a new career at an advanced age, and in a professional way, through his dynamic and prolific experimentation of materials in his paintings.

the-conjurer-1959 Hans Hoffman, The Conjurer, 1959, Lenbachhaus, Munich, Germany

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?

Stability, market, money to buy, time to make art.

How do you approach/overcome them?

If you are an artist you make art under all conditions.  So the big issue is how to find the time to make art and still pay your bills.  I have found that having a number of income sources helps to spread the risk of any economic shocks that might occur.  Some of my sources  are teaching painting for myself in Italy, teaching for the Art Students League in New York and elsewhere, organizing food tours/truffle hunts in Italy, selling paintings, and  investments, etc.

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Joe teaching landscape painting to students in Italy

Favorite location to paint? What is your studio like?

I paint in a lot of places. I can paint outside making landscape paintings wherever I go. I also have two studios. I own a large industrial space in Italy to which I usually ride my bike, after the long airplane ride. It is not heated, but  I’m there in the summer. The view to the east is of a farm field that rises up a steep hill and in the summer it is usually full of wheat or a mix of hay. I also rent a small studio in Brooklyn, which I share with my wife, Maddine Insalaco, and a harpist. If you have never painted with a professional classical harpist playing Debussy in the same room, you will not know what divine pleasure that can be.

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Painted on location (the best studio light) in Italy

Joe in Studio

Joe’s working in his studio in Italy

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Joe’s studio in Brooklyn, NY

A random fact about you?

I collect antiques and art. Specifically I have a collection of 17th-19th century prints, mostly depicting scenes in Italy. I also collect glass ,Chinese porcelain, MCM furniture and early Barbie dolls, and early brass candlesticks. In the last few years I also have bought contemporary paintings. I like to have some beautiful things visible in my environment.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?

I have a lot of interests, but for an alternate career it might be in Art History or Real Estate.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

Maddine Insalaco, who is my wife.

Biggest accomplishment to date?

In 2012 Maddine Insalaco and I Organized a Show in Civita Castellana  called “Through Foreign Eyes”. This was a show composed of small works by over twenty non-Italian artists all of which were painted on location in and around Civita Castellana in the early plein-air tradition and exhibited at the Sangallo Fortress Museum. It was an attempt to educate the local population and government of the beauty and value of the local landscapes and its important connection in the development of western painting.  It was the first show organized in that facility outside of the display of cultural artifacts and grave goods from the local ancient historic past.

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Link to show catalogue

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years?

To see installed in a public space  a very large abstract painting of mine.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

It is my intent that looking at my abstract paintings is enjoyable at the sensory level. It is enough to just enjoy looking.  My hope is that through this simple pleasure one can be more appreciative of what  we are and more appreciative of the world around us.  I want the various colors to blend in the eyes and create a subtle vibration in them.  This is what Delaunay called the fourth dimension.  It is not something that is in the painting, you feel it in the eyes.

My paintings are made free hand whether abstract or landscape.  In the past I have worked from photos but even then it is a free hand copy, not traced from a projected photo.  My current abstract works really must be seen directly in the flesh. I recommend that you do not rush your viewing.  Look at them at different distances and at different angles, then look away at something else for a while and then return for another gaze.

Most of the ideas embedded in the paint relate to decisions I’ve made about what kind of paintings I wish to make.  I do not paint these paintings because “that is how I paint”, I paint them that way because I decided that is the way I want to make them. A painting by me is an act of will in a working partnership with the material. They are not accidents, happy or otherwise.  They can be explorations.  I do not make the same painting over and over again. Even when they look similar I am exploring something new in them, even if it is only a color, which is a lot.  I can paint in a lot different manners using various materials.  I take full responsibility for the paintings.

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Thank you for sharing Joe!

View some of Joe’s work available at ANFA now!

Optilicus 40x90 - Joe Vinson

Optilicus, 40×90

Big Box - 30x30 - Joe Vinson

Big Box, 30×30

L2 Italy Vinson Oak and Well Tenuta Nardi 24x30in oilcanvas 2010 Italy

Oak and Well Tenuta Nardi, 24×30

L7 Italy Vinson Compriano Fall AM 9.8x13.5in oilpaper 2010-2012

Campriano Fall AM, 9.8×13.5

Categorized:

Denver Moore

Oct 16, 17

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Along with incredible works by Julio Larraz, ANFA is extremely honored to exhibit Ron Hall’s private collection of paintings by his late friend, Denver Moore!

Denver was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on January 30, 1937. He was raised on a cotton plantain in Red River Parish. In the mid-to-late 1950s, he left Louisiana for the first time and lived briefly in Fort Worth, Texas, before moving to Los Angeles. He left LA in the mid 1960s, riding the rails before returning to Texas then Louisiana. He was living in Dallas at the time of his passing.

Though his lips were always flapping’ like the Bible pages, he would say he never claimed to be a preacher, just a sinner saved by grace with a message of hope for those that didn’t have any.

His story, well known by millions, is told in Same Kind of Different as Me, a word-of-mouth, best-selling book written with his friend, Ron Hall. Their story begins when he meets Denver through his wife, Deborah Hall, who works in the local homeless shelter. Denver was living on the streets of Fort Worth, Texas. Miss Debbie, as she is referred to by Denver, dreamt of this poor man with wisdom that would change the city. And did he ever! A few years after her dream, Denver was honored as the Philanthropist of the Year for his ministry and fund-raising for the homeless in Forth Worth.

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Denver Moore & Ron Hall

Denver spoke at more than 400 fund-raising events and countless radio and TV shows. He attained rock star status with fans, but the only introduction he ever wanted was, “Tell ’em I’m a NOBODY that is trying’ to tell EVERYBODY about SOMEBODY that can save ANYBODY.” And he did. That “SOMEBODY” was Jesus, and Denver woke up in His arms on March 31, 2012. His famous quote and the final words in his book are, “We are all homeless workin’ our way home.” Welcome home, friend; you were a good and faithful servant. – Ron Hall

In honor of the upcoming debut of the movie, Same Kind of Different As Me, which officially hits theaters this Friday, October 20th, ANFA has partnered with Beacon Partners, Medalist Capital, and R.B. Pharr to host a private showing of the movie at Phillips Place Theaters on Wednesday, October 18th before it opens to the general public. Tickets to the event are complimentary by emailing events@anneneilsonfineart.com with your name, phone number, and number of tickets requested.

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Denver showing off one of his paintings

Denver used art spoken through images, scripture, and symbols to convey his strong beliefs and values. Despite his lack of training, Denver’s artworks are very powerful and depict the special and unique life he led. His journey starts as a struggling homeless man and ends as a dynamic influencer who made a large impact on the world. His art is created from the heart and   his subjects range from self-portraits, crosses, angels, scenes from his books, and animals. His unpredictable use of color expresses his different emotions.

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Three paintings by Denver on view at ANFA

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Self Portrait by Denver

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categorized:

Julio Larraz

Oct 12, 17

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ANFA is thrilled to show works by the esteemed Cuban artist, Julio Larraz in honor of the upcoming major motion picture, “Same Kind of Different As Me” opening in theaters October 20th. Featuring renowned actors, Greg Kinnear, Djimon Hounsou, and Renee Zellweger, the story follows an international art dealer, Ron Hall, who befriends a homeless man, Denver Moore, who changes his life for the better. Julio, portrayed in the movie, is part of their remarkable journey and his original artwork is highlighted in the film.

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ANFA is excited to display works by Julio Larraz along with Ron Hall’s private collection of Denver Moore’s paintings until November 17th. The show will benefit the homeless and a portion of all proceeds from art sold will be donated to various homeless organizations including the Same Kind of Different As Me Foundation and various organizations in Charlotte. Julio, like ANFA, believes in giving back through art and eloquently described his belief stating , “We are all particles of sand, and many particles make a beach. I am just trying to do my part to make a difference.”

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Julio Larraz in his historic home in Florida

Julio was born in Havana, Cuba in 1944 and moved to Miami, Florida in 1961 where he first started drawing political caricatures for top media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vogue Magazine, and many others. He began painting full time in 1967, leading to many solo exhibitions at prestigious galleries such as, John H. Surovek Gallery in Palm Beach, FL, Marlborough Gallery and Ameringer McEngery Yohne in New York, NY, Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome, Italy and has been featured in museum exhibitions including the Perez Art Museum in Miami, FL. His dedication to art and innate talent has lead to many awards ranging from the American Academy of Arts and Letter, the Center for the Arts and Education, Instituto de Educacion Internacional, and FACE in Miami, FL.

The Red Moon,2013,Oil on Canvas, 60x72in

The Red Moon, 60×72

Julio’s work hovers between real and imagined, depicting recognizable figures and places but not necessarily in realistic proportions or proper contexts. He describes his paintings as daydreams and images reflected in his mind, which he seeks to capture on canvas before they disappear.

From the Deep Recesses of the Mind,2017,Oil on Canvas,60x72in.Hi-Res

From the Deep Recesses of the Mind, 60×72

In the above painting, From the Deep Recesses of the Mind, Julio transcribed a realistic dream in which he encountered the famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh. Before going to bed, Julio was reading a book with images from the Caribbean. As he drifted asleep, Julio saw himself walking through an enchanting landscape filled with different sea animals and the most vivid colors he had ever seen. The brilliant blues, greens, and reds mesmerized Julio. As he walked closer he saw someone painting the scene before him. Suddenly he realized the artist was Vincent Van Gogh! He was so startled by the image of Van Gogh’s face that he emerged from his dream and immediately wanted to paint the alluring scene.

An afternoon with Hesiod,2016,Oil on Canvas,60x72in

An Afternoon with Hesiod, 60×72

En el Jardin de las Hortensias_16x20_28K

En el Jardin de Las Hortensias, 16×20

In addition to dreams, Julio is highly influenced by Greek mythology and the ancient poet, Homer. Many of his paintings depict the white-domed, House of Homer on the end of a narrow peninsula surrounded by cliffs and looking out to the Mediterranean Sea. An Afternoon with Hesiod shows a bird’s eye view of the Homer’s house and a glimpse of a white boat making its way towards the house. The ship is meant to represent another ancient Greek poet, Hesiod coming to visit Homer. In his other painting, En el Jardin de Las Hortensias, you can see Homer walking among his hydrangea bushes surrounding his house on the tip of the island.

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Arrival, 18×24

On the Bay of Mirrors,2012,Watercolor&Pastel on Paper,39x53in.

On the Bay of Mirrors, 39×53

The Fall of Icarus, a well know story from Greek mythology, is depicted in Julio’s paintings, Arrival and On the Bay of Mirrors, as shown above. Icarus attempts to escape the island of Crete with wings his father, Daedalus, made him out of feathers and beeswax. Icarus ignored his father’s warnings of hubris and flew too close to the sun causing his wings to melt. Known as a superior craftsman, Daedalus, is shown testing out the handmade wings he made for his son in Arrival. In Julio’s other painting, On the Bay of Mirrors, Icarus falls out of the sky to his death and drowns in the vast sea in front of the House of Homer.

Check out this short film about Julio and his work and stop by the gallery to see his fascinating paintings in person. Hurry! They are only here for a short period!

Stealth,2015,Oil on Canvas,62x70in

Stealth, 62×70

Colosso The Feet_24x30_45K

Colosso the Feet, 24×30

Winter Ride, 2000, Oil on Canvas,40x50in

Winter Ride, 40×50

Categorized:

Art Texture 101

Oct 4, 17

In the last blog post we learned about different fine art mediums. Today we want to take a closer look at texture and explore the different ways artists use texture to emphasize aspects of their work. As we learned last week, medium is not texture. Unlike medium, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art. It refers to the tactile qualities of a work and has elements of two-dimensional or three-dimensional designs. Texture is distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties.  Therefore, medium can contribute to the texture of an artwork but texture does not influence the medium of the artwork.

Physical vs. Visual Texture

            Physical texture differs from visual texture by having a physical quality that can be felt by touching the surface of the artwork. Visual texture is the illusion of having physical texture. Some materials are perceived as smoother or rougher than others and can influence the outcome of the artwork. Artists take into consideration both physical and visual texture in order to give a sense of personality or character to their design. Repetition of shape and line and elements of the surface (canvas, metal, glass, wood grain, etc) all effect the perceived rhythm, contrast, or tactile quality of the work of art – also known as texture. Lets look at a few examples from some of ANFA’s artists.

 

Vesela Baker

Acrylic and watercolor are Vesela Baker’s, a full time artist based in Chatanooga, TN, art medium’s of choice. On many of her acrylic and watercolor paintings, Vesela applies a thick coat of resin over her different landscape paintings. The end result creates a texture that appears glossy, thick, shiny, and clear as seen in her works below.

Mossy Creek - VB - 36x48 - $1,800

Mossy Creek, 36×48

Summer's End - VB - 60xx48 - $2,800

Summer’s End, 60×48

 

Troy Dugas

Troy Dugas, an artist based in Louisiana, creates collages made from shredded, vintage product labels. He cuts and arranges the labels onto flat surfaces, usually paper, canvas, or wood, to create texture that appears woven. Repetition, pattern, precision, and scale all influence the perceived texture and distract the eye from seeing the original product label.

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Purple, 30×30

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Still Life, 48×36

 

David Burdeny

David Burdeny, an award winning photographer based in Canada, translates his appreciation for travel, structure, and space into photographic observations of the sublime. His sparse landscapes are characterized by an aerial perspective that renders pattern and repetition within his captured details. He uses an aluminum composite panel and lustre laminate when printing his photographs to emphasize the smooth and sleek texture of the landscape that is perceived to continue off the surface of the work.

David Burdeny - Tupips 02 - 32x32 - $4,900

Tulips 02, 32×23

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Saltern Study 06, 32×32

 

Kinuko Hoffman

Kinuko Hoffman has lived in countries across Asia while studying traditional Chinese brush painting before she moved to New York City to study at the National Academy School of Fine Arts and explore painting in oil. Her training has led her to create mixed media assemblages full of texture, depth, and contrast. She experiments with different materials such as pumice, paper, wood, string, and cloth, adding and taking away elements from the canvas until her finished work emerges. The assemblage of raw materials and limited color palette of bold tones creates varied texture within each abstract painting.

142_Distinct_Path_50x40 - Kinu Hoffman

Distinct Path, 50×40

150_Origin_48x48 - Kinu Hoffman

Origin, 48×48

As with all things, the computer screen can distort images especially when it comes to color and texture. Stop by Anne Neilson Fine Art to check out different textures for yourself!

 

 

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Art Mediums 101

Sep 27, 17

With close to 50 artists represented at Anne Neilson Fine Art, we see a wide variety of art mediums. An artwork’s medium refers to the different materials or supplies that an artist utilizes in order to create a work of art. In painting, medium can refer to both the type of paint used (oil, acrylic, watercolor, etc) and the base or ground to which the paint is applied (canvas, wood, paper, etc). Knowing the paint medium when you look at a work of art is key because it greatly affects the way one can perceive the color, texture, and overall appearance of an artwork.
At the gallery, our artists utilize a variety of media. This permits differences between artworks where the style and subject matter cannot compete. Below we’ve highlighted a few examples to show you why medium matters and how it contributes to the diversification of our fine art collection.

Painting: Oil vs. Acrylic vs. Watercolor

Oil on Canvas: Sandy Ostrau, Joe Vinson

Oil is a type of slow drying paint. It consists of particular pigments suspended in a drying oil. This kind of medium does not dry quickly. It blends into the surroundings and allows the blending of color. It produces vivid colors with a natural sheen and distinct context. It provides a surface translucency similar to human skin making it an ideal for portrait painting. Oil paint eventually became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became widely known. The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in northern Europe, and by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had almost completely replaced tempera paints in the majority of Europe.

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Sandy Ostrau, Outdoor Seating, 18×12

Art Critic, John Seed describes Sandy Ostrau and her work, “An intuitive artist who loves paint as a substance — and who has a tendency to obliterate her imagery with painterly gestures — Ostrau doesn’t go all the way to abstraction. To do so would remove the emotional connection she wants viewers to have with her source material. “I’m not a fully abstract painter,” she explains: “I want people to feel the landscape.”

Tangerine 24x24- Joe Vinson

Joe Vinson, Tangerine, 24×24

Joe Vinson explains his love for oil painting, “I love painting, especially oil painting.  There is something wonderful and unique about the immediacy and totality of this art form.  I love its long history and the many forms that it has taken.”

Acrylic: Stuart Coleman Budd, Adele Yonchak

Acrylic is a fast drying paint allowing far less time than oil to blend colors and apply minute details unto the painting. It contains pigments suspended in polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are usually diluted with waters, but become water resistant when dry. Using acrylic, the artist must work far more quickly than if they were using oil.

Folly - SCB - 44x72 - $8,000

Stuart Coleman Budd, Folly, 44×72

Viaduct View - 30x30 - $1,100

Adele Yonchak, Viaduct View, 30×30

Watercolor: Ellen Levine Dodd

Watercolor is a painting method in which the paints are made of pigments suspended in a water-soluble vehicle. The traditional and most common support for watercolor paintings is paper; other supports include papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum or leather, fabric, wood and canvas. The art of water color began with the cave paintings of Paleolithic Europe, used in the manuscript illumination by the Egyptians, and continued to flourish during the European Renaissance. Water color paint consist of four principal ingredients; colorant (commonly pigment), binder, the substance that holds the pigment in suspension and fixes the pigment to the painting surface, additives, substance that alter the viscosity, hiding, durability or color of the pigment and vehicle mixture, lastly, the solvent, the substance use to thin or dilute the paint for application and that evaporates when the paint hardens or dry.

California Contemporary painter, photographer and printer

Ellen Dodd, Saguaro Sunset, 11×15
Sea Bluff 2 - ELD - 4x3

Ellen Dodd, Sea Bluff, 4×3

 

Mixed MediaKen Tate, Kinuko Hoffman or Kim Fonder 

Wait…. What does “Mixed Media” mean? Mixed media indicates that an artist used a variety (two or more) of mediums to produce a single artwork. 
Burberry - KT - 31x25 - $2,000

Ken Tate, Burberry, 31×25

CIELI GRIGI E BLU DELLE NUVOLE - KF - 60x72 - $7,200

Kim Fonder, Cieli Grigi E Blu Delle Nuvole, 60×72

143_Bliss_II_50x40 - Kinu Hoffman

Kinuko Hoffman, Bliss II, 50×40

 

CAUTION: Medium is not Texture!

Sometimes the best of us confuse medium with texture. Although medium contributes to the texture of a painting, the two terms are completely different. Texture refers to the tactile qualities of a work. Does it look smooth and glossy? Or rough, like sandpaper? Is the painting built up in drips/globs? The texture will differ depending on the medium that the artist chooses. We will discuss more of texture in a later post, so check in soon!

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Artist Spotlight: Michael Barringer

Sep 20, 17

Anne Neilson Fine Art would like to introduce one of our most distinguished artists, Michael Barringer. A fellow North Carolina native, Michael has been painting full time for as long as twenty-five years. His work provides the viewer with a fresh perspective, often breaking down forms and exploring multiple layers. Interested in the history of the natural, spiritual, and primitive world, Michael’s work questions, “how the world fits together from its many parts, and what drives our need to know and create and seek the spiritual.” He uses charcoal, conte crayon, and washes of acrylic paint to create his image and continues by sanding and carving directly onto the canvas with a razor blade to develop multiple layers within his work. To gain more insight about Michael’s artistic process, read the exclusive interview below!

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Michael and his son, Ben hiking at Stone Mountain Park

Name: Michael Barringer

Hometown: Granite Quarry, NC

Currently Living: Lilburn, GA

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?  

I began painting full time in 1992. From early on, I drew constantly. I remember always feeling the magic of being in the ocean or the mountains, and wanting to make my own version of those experiences. My maternal grandfather was a stonecutter in the quarry. My paternal grandfather was a blacksmith for Southern Railroad. I suppose some of their ability for making objects, and crafting out form came down through the gene pool. As well, both were Renaissance men: making their own tools, planting and harvesting many vegetables and fruits, and making wine.

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Michael’s maternal grandfather, Arthur Lefler’s handmade hammer, chisel, and cut paving stone from Granite Quarry, NC, circa 1920s – 30s

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

Inevitable, layered, lingering

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Close up detail of Michael’s work

Describe your artistic process and preparation.

I paint by natural light during the day, and never work at night. I enjoy taking walks through our woods and meadow, as this exposes me to textures and lights and natural sounds. Lately, I have been using my computer to continually run through images and texts and ideas from all over. This “universal brain” we now have is astounding. I keep regular studio hours, Monday through Friday, generally 6 to 7 hours daily.  I need the structure.  

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Michael’s light-filled studio

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?  

I like to think my most recent completed painting is my favorite piece!  But then, there is always the restlessness to keep going, and make the next work the one I am most proud of making

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

I greatly admire these poets: TS Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Kenneth Rexroth, and Walt Whitman. Eliot’s major work, Four Quartets, has been the main foundation for me for many years, because of his exploration of the spiritual in humankind, from the primitive sense of the Other, on through to highly developed rituals and sacraments. Wallace’s use of colorful language and his supreme imagination have all been intriguing. Rexroth’s concern with integrating many religious belief systems, throughout eras and geographies, has been inspiring. With his exploration of the animal desires in us all, Whitman has always opened my eyes to our place in the natural world.

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T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?  

There is always the desire to keep the work honest and original and untainted from popular tastes and demands.   

How do you approach/overcome them?

I try my best to stay fresh, but I realize that it is an honor to paint for a living, and that compromise is unavoidable at times.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?   

I think striving to meet the challenge of helping to raise my three children with my wife, Mindy, and maintaining an active studio practice as well.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

My studio is filled with natural light, with several windows and skylights and a large garage door on one end which I can open – so it is an airy, bright space. I enjoy an orderly and clean environment. I work to music of all kinds, but lately, jazz, and the more free form expressions of Eric Dolphy, Dave Holland, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, and Charles Mingus, to name a few. Acoustic guitarist Michael Hedges, with his primal groove and unbelievable dynamic range, always inspires. PJ Harvey’s raw emotion and artistry are examples of urgency.

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Musical artists often played in Michael’s studio and influencing his work

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Years of accumulated layers and drips of paint in Michael’s studio

A random fact about you?

Rufus Barringer, a general in the Civil War, and a distant relative, was married to Stonewall Jackson’s daughter.

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Rufus Clay Barringer (1821 – 1895)

Favorite place to vacation?

Our honeymoon trip to Alaska was life changing. We flew into Anchorage, rented a car and drove over 2500 miles through awe inspiring terrain: huge expanses of tundra, soaring mountain ranges, rushing snow melt fed rivers, and mammoth slow creeping glaziers. Another adventure up the coast of California to Humboldt State Park and the largest Redwood trees on earth was truly reality altering. The gigantic scale and otherworldly quiet within the groves made for a primal exhilaration. Frequent trips to the southwestern mountains of North Carolina always reacquaint me with the ancient cycles and the frightening indifference of the natural world.

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Alaska

What are you currently reading?  The Idea Of The Holy, by Rudolf Otto.

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

I would enjoy being a chef or landscaper. Chefs are perhaps the truest artists we have, as they create beauty which arouses and satisfies all the senses. Landscaping provides the joy of witnessing first hand, and in focus, the shifting seasons and growth rhythms.  

One thing you couldn’t live without?  

I would like to think that I could adapt to losing anything.  

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Albert Einstein.

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Brice Marden, James Bishop, Willem deKooning, Paul Klee and Kurt Schwitters are visual artists of great importance for me. I admire Marden for his integrity and purposefulness and ability to evoke deep emotions within a rigorous, minimalist aesthetic. Bishop’s sense of improvisation, and his confident acceptance of the accidental are both powerful strategies I admire. DeKooning’s versatility and sheer energy are almost beyond belief. Plus, his supreme dedication to the craft of painting always amazes. With his ability to create profound visual statements within a small format, Klee demands my continual respect. As well, his highly sophisticated visual language (in the guise of primitive markings) is a wonder. I go to Schwitters for his pursuit of the collage sensibility.

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Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1952

Dream commission?

The next one!

What do you want your audience to know about your work?  

Each time out, I do my best.

What makes your work unique?

Only one me in the world, so it could not be otherwise.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:

Just being able to keep working steadily, and feel that the work is illustrating my vision.

Come check out some of Michael’s works now hanging in the gallery!

Bloomstone (Tabernacles) - MB - 48x36 - $5,800

Bloomstone (Tabernacle), 48×36

Bloomstone (Chauvet Rain) - MB - 44x44 - $5,800

Bloomstone (Chauvet Rain), 44×44

The Rock (Broke Into Bud) - MB - 48x36 - $5,800

The Rock (Broke Into Bud), 48×36

In Search of Crowns - MB - 22x22 - $1,700

In Search of Crowns, 22×22

 

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Artist Spotlight: Eliza Thomas

Sep 13, 17

 

Anne Neilson Fine Art is pleased to introduce another impressive female artist on our roster: Eliza Thomas. A well-traveled artist, Eliza iterates how her works are often inspired by the natural formations that she encounters while she travels, and how she enjoys painting in quiet, rustic places that provide a refuge from daily life. To learn more about Eliza’s fascinating opinions regarding her artwork, read the exclusive interview below!

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?  

I committed to art as a “day job” in 2005, after completing an artist residency program in France that winter and spring. I had always known I was an artist, but never allowed myself to think that it was a viable career. In college [Columbia University’s Barnard College], I was strictly an academic. I studied Medieval Italian poetry. Albeit there were no art classes, what I learned about artistic sensibility, sensuality, emotionality and the like, through four years of immersion in all those verses, is more than I believe I ever would have via formal art classes. The six months I spent in the Luberon in Provence changed all that—I painted all day every day and realized there was nothing else. It was just a calling.

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

My honest response to this is that my aesthetic: Changes Every Day. This question is a challenge because I feel my aesthetic is vast, in terms of what I like and what appeals to me on an artistic/emotional level. That said, I do love shadow, light, reflections.

Describe your artistic process and preparation.

My artistic process is very intuitive. I really never plan paintings too much in detail beyond ideas about color(s) and material(s) and format and basic approach. I conceive of them in my mind and then, when ready to paint, I try to clear my head. Once having done that—and the key is having complete silence in my studio save for the sound of a box fan maybe—I just let myself go and try not to think. Painting for me is a moving meditation. Intuition and chance are also guiding factors in my process.

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

Well, I have lots of favorite paintings! And I love them for how different they all can be.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

Personally, my family and my friends inspire me. Professionally, I am inspired by the artists Darell Roberts and Malou Flato, because they have an insanely committed relationship to their work!

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Darrell Roberts (c.1972), Flow of the Wind, 2016, 12″x9″

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Malou Flato, Gianicolo, acrylic, 60″ x 72″

What challenges do I think exist in the world of fine art?

I can only speak for myself, and that challenge is to stay true to oneself and not compare. To believe in one’s own way, and to keep learning and growing and listening. To trust the process, and to keep the purity of the inspiration intact at all times.

Biggest accomplishment to date?

I am unable to answer “my biggest accomplishment to date,” because making small accomplishments along the way is my focus.

What is your studio like?

I very much enjoy my studio. It is comforting, rustic, and spacious…and vacillates between order and chaos. Which I love.

A random fact about you:

I LOVE decorative pillows, and collecting fabric, even though I can’t sew.

Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?

I’m dying to go to the Blue Lagoon geothermal springs in Iceland. And I would love to return to Scandinavia. My favorite place to vacation/retreat is a little log cabin on the banks of the magical Cypress Creek, about an hour outside of Austin.

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Blue Lagoon Hot Springs in Iceland

What are you currently reading?

I have a stack of books next to my bed that I need to read! But I am somewhat ADD so I tend to mostly read articles in The New Yorker magazine. I also read a lot of cookbooks, which—along with cooking—I find extremely soothing.

What are you currently listening to?

As I answer these questions, I can hear the sound of a floor fan to my right…I also really love Beethoven.

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

I would be cooking if I weren’t an artist. I mean, I cook all the time as a creative outlet, but if I had to have a different “job”, cooking would be it.

One thing you could not live without?

Fountain pens.

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

For a day, I would switch lives with my dear friend and artistic mentor, the artist Ben Livingston, who also made me a fabulous neon sculpture called “Unicorn”

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Ben Livingston, Neon for Eliza

Your all-time favorite artist?

 It’s a toss-up between Egon Schiele and Henri Matisse.

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Egon Schiele, Setting Sun

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Henri Matisse, The Joy of Life

Dream commission?

I don’t have a dream commission. However, when a commission piece succeeds in being just what the client was thinking and feeling—and when it soothes the soul—then that’s a dream come true!

What would I like my audience to know about my work?

Generally speaking, my work is about trying to capture the essence of something. Living or dead, animate or inanimate, a moment, a place: an overflowing bouquet of tulips; a bundle of dancing entwined dead twigs gathered in winter; the feel of the wind in the evening when summer is fading and fall is coming; a poem, epitaph, or other verse that has significance to myself, to others, to a certain individual, or to a cause.

The aim is to engage the viewer on an emotional level, to speak to the soul.

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From Eliza’s Script series: Dream of Sky, 45×45

What makes my your work unique?

I think it’s unique because it’s spontaneous.

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Homage to Darrell, 5×7

One goal you would like to achieve in the next five years?

To be able to fully let go and JUST PAINT.

To view Eliza’s artwork in person, please feel free to stop by the gallery!

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Weave Light Into Words, 39×72

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Come to the Living Water, 39×72

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UNSEEN: A Conversation with Marcy Gregg

Aug 28, 17

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Anne Neilson Fine Art has been itching in anticipation to reveal its newest exhibition, UNSEEN for local Charlotte artist, Marcy Gregg. Marcy has been an integral part of ANFA since its inception in 2014 and we are beyond excited to showcase her exceptional talent on view in the gallery now. After months of hard work and determination, Marcy has created a brand new body of work consisting of over thirty new paintings. UNSEEN is a collection of work that explores Marcy’s intimate process; the writing of a hidden message across the canvas as the inspiration from which she paints. While this foundation will forever be unseen, the process and end-result will remain, challenging her viewers to dig deep, discovering meaning and life within. Keep reading our conversation with Marcy below to learn more about the artist and what drives the creativity and inspiration behind her exquisite work.

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Name: Marcy Gregg

Hometown: Jasper, TX

Currently Living: Charlotte, NC

Is there a recurring theme in your solo exhibition? If so, how did you choose it?

The emphasis in all the paintings is line work and color. As for the theme, ultimately it became about what is unseen: the Scripture boldly written on the raw canvas which is unseen once the painting is completed and the line work in each painting which subtly appears and disappears leaving room for the viewer to interpret what is being seen.

Do you have a favorite painting in the show?

Asking me to name a favorite painting in the show is sort of like asking which of my three children are my favorite – I love them all for different reasons. I love the blue of “Seeking” that is featured on the invitation, and I love the diptych “Revealed I” and “Revealed II” because of the amount of energy in the line work.

Seeking - MG - 60x60 - $8,600

Seeking, 60×60

What is the hardest and the most rewarding part about preparing for a solo exhibition?

By far the hardest part is the constant creativity required to produce the number of paintings needed for a solo show. The most rewarding part is the day I stepped back and they were all done. To be able to see all those paintings, over a year’s worth of time in front of the canvas, finally completed is so fulfilling.

Have you ever done a solo exhibition before? Is so, what kind of atmosphere do you strive to create for the viewer’s of your work?

I have done two solo exhibitions before. I want the viewer to be pulled in by the work, to be engaged, to bring their own thoughts and perspectives to what they are seeing for the first time.

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

I started my career about 11 years ago. But as for wanting to be an artist—pretty much my entire life I guess—I majored in Studio Art at SMU beginning my freshman year.

Describe your aesthetic in three words:

Edgy, colorful, hidden

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

My early morning scriptural reading and meditation dictate the theme of each painting. When I find a verse that resonates with me, it then becomes the first thing I paint on the blank canvas—usually in red, always big and bold. It’s the heart of the painting, as well as the foundation of the title once the work is complete.

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Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

A painting I did in 2014, titled New Beginnings. The reason? Because it just happened. I was totally in the zone; and from beginning to end the painting almost seemed to create itself. It was the first time I painted on a larger canvas and used line work—as the title suggested at the time, although I didn’t know it, it really was a new beginning for me as an artist.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

I am inspired by people that I encounter in my day who I know have a hard life and in spite of their circumstances, they choose joy.

Biggest accomplishment to date?

I married off 3 kids in 5 months – that’s definitely my biggest accomplishment this year!

What is your studio like?

I have a second-floor studio at Dilworth Artisan Station. It’s full of light, with high ceilings and a cool warehouse vibe. Every day when I unlock my door and smell the paint, I immediately get a rush. I get excited every time, even when I’m painting six days a week, 6-8 hours a day.

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Marcy’s Studio

A random fact about you:

At one time we had two greyhounds, both of who had been rescued from the race track.

Favorite place to vacation? And dream trip?

Italy – no question. I went for the first time last year so it is my favorite and it is also my future dream trip. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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Italy

What are you currently reading?

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.

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“The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis

What are you currently listening to?

Being from Texas, I love Hill Country music by artist like Robert Earl Keen but I am also inspired by praise and worship music.

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Robert Earl Keen

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

I probably would still be teaching seminars in corporate America which I did for over ten years prior to starting my career as an artist.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

My morning quiet time. I’m a very early riser, and I love the silence and solitude at the beginning of each day.

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I would love to be head of a foundation that could give money and resources to missionaries and other worthy organizations around the world. That would be awesome!

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Cezanne. I love his colors and his line work.

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Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire, 1887, Courtaud Institute of Art

Dream commission?

All commissions are dreams. Because when you hand a commission off to someone and they’re happy with it—it’s the best! As an artist my dream is always to make the buyer of my paintings happy – and being able to do that is awesome.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the 5 years.

I’d love to have some West Coast collectors of my work. It would be a privilege to know my paintings were all across the continental US.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

I deliberately lose portions of the lines in the process of painting the canvas. I draw a line and then paint over parts of it so that the lines—both those seen and unseen—become a critical part of the painting itself. My hope is that through the line work the viewer is able to find an unexpected perspective.

Check out some of Marcy’s new work below!

Always Heard - MG - 24x24 - $1,800

Always Heard, 24×24

Cast Away - MG - 48x48 - $5,000

Cast Away, 48×48

Paths Shown - MG - 40x40 - $4,000

Paths Shown, 40×40

What We Do Not See - MG - 60x40

What We Do Not See, 60×40

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Artist Spotlight: Adele Yonchak

Jul 10, 17

Anne Neilson Fine Art is proud to introduce the talented artist, Adele Yonchak, who is featured in our most recent exhibition, Rooted.  A Southern girl at heart, Adele was born in Martinsville, Virginia and raised in Knoxville, TN. Now a current resident of Charlotte, NC, Adele enjoys painting subjects that inspire not only herself, but her clients as well. To learn more about Adele, read the exclusive interview below!

View More: http://cassbradley.pass.us/adele

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist? 

I have always been creative, but after deciding to drop physics and take an extra art class my senior year of high school, I really got the art bug. I had an art teacher that was so enthusiastic and really encouraged me to embrace it. I ended up double majoring in Business and Studio Art in college, but still did not plan to make a career out of art until almost 10 years after working in the corporate world and two children later. 

Describe your aesthetic in three words:

Textured, bold, and movement

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Close-up detail of Adele’s bold and textured colors

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

My process typically begins with a photograph of a place or a flower that inspires me/or my clients. I then create a simple black ink sketch to lay out the composition. The sketch is then simplified even more and transferred to the canvas with a pencil – sometimes just a few lines to block out the piece. I paint exclusively with a palette knife using active strokes to create texture and big blocks of color, layering as I go into more detail. I work quickly and decisively and tend to do my best work in a few sittings.

View More: http://cassbradley.pass.us/adele

Pre-painting sketching

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why? 

My favorite pieces are those that capture client’s happy places or favorite memories and that I know will be cherished forever. I recently painted a mountain view that was meaningful to a father and their infant daughter before she passed away and knowing that it reminds them of their precious girl is what it’s all about for me.

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Who inspires you personally and/or professionally? 

Personally my family, specifically my children, inspire me every day. Whether it is in something they discover or create or just in finding joy. Professionally, I love getting to know other artists that I can relate to in both their careers and family lives. It can be a hard balance since our work is not a traditional one and it’s encouraging to know other women out there doing it as well.

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art? How do you approach/overcome them?

Art, like all things, has evolved so much in the modern world. I think technology has made art much more accessible and approachable but has also made it easy for folks to devalue the time and work involved in original art. With social media it’s hard to not compare yourself to everyone else but it’s so important as an artist to stay true to yourself.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)? 

Honestly my biggest professional accomplishment is that people want to buy my art. When people value your creativity enough to purchase your work, it feels like such a validation and honor.   

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

When we did an outdoor renovation at our home, I was fortunate enough to create a studio attached to our carport. It’s a small comfortable space with vaulted ceilings and tons of natural light. I am able to escape and focus in a space that is all my own.

View More: http://cassbradley.pass.us/adele

Adele painting in her studio

A random fact about you:

Adele, now a household name thanks to the singer, was my Great-Grandmother’s name. Her friends used to call her Mrs. Big Think and I like to think I inherited some of her spunk and big thinking.

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Adele Rankin and friends

Favorite place to vacation?

My favorite vacation spot is Sea Island, GA. My husband and I met there while working in college and got engaged there a few years later. It is such a beautiful place to escape and will always be special to us. 

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Sea Island, Georgia

What are you currently reading

I am currently re-reading, The Shadow of the Wind, one of my all time favorite books.

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Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

What are you currently listening to?

Nathanial Rateliffe & The Night Sweats on repeat recently 

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

I would continue to be a mother to my three children and I have always wanted to be a novelist. Maybe some day! 

 One thing you couldn’t live without? 

Professionally, my medium size palette knife. Personally, cheese. I’ve tried more than once unsuccessfully.

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If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I would love to switch lives with someone who lives completely off the grid. Preferably somewhere beautiful. But just for a day or two!

 Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

My favorite artist is Nicolas de Steal, the Russian abstract landscape painter from the 1940s. I love his slabs of color and the texture in his representational landscape work and he has been a huge influence on my work.

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Nicolas de Steal, Les Martigues, 1954

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Nicolas de Steal, Paysage du midi, 1953

Dream commission?

Such a hard question but I recently saw photos of a home designed by Charleston’s Amelia Handegan and her use of yellow makes me think we would be kindred spirits.

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Amelia Handegan’s yellow-filled hallway

What do you want your audience to know about your work? 

I hope the audience can feel the love that goes into each piece. Whether it is the love of a specific landscape like the North Carolina High Country or just simply the love of color – I hope people can tell each piece is made to provide joy to myself and to my viewers.

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Washed, 30×40

 What makes your work unique?

My favorite thing about my work is that it is familiar while still being abstracted and ambiguous. The ability to elicit feelings and memories to many different people in many different ways is something I am very proud of. There is power in the simplicity and suggested.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years.

My biggest goal is that people continue to respond as positively as they have to my work. I want to stay current and meaningful while continuing to challenge myself and love the process.

Stop by the gallery to see Adele’s work in person before the conclusion of Rooted on July 15th!

 

Splashed 40x40

Splashed, 40×40

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Harvested, 40×30

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Bloomed, 24×24

Mixed Media 5

Mixed Media, 14×11

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