Up Close And Personal With: Kathy Cousart

Jan 20, 16

Meet another new artist at the Anne Neilson Fine Art Gallery, Kathy Cousart. Hear more about the Georgia based painter from Cousart herself…


Kathy Cousart
Athens, Georgia
How did you get started?
I think I have always been “a creative” with a love of beautiful color and design. I needed an odd size painting for over my fireplace mantle and could not find one so I figured I would paint something on my own.  That was the beginning of what has been an incredible journey in this amazing art world.
What inspires your work?  
The biggest thing that inspires my work is being able to connect and share something beautiful through paint. Saying something that could not be said otherwise with paint…a way to give back some of the gifts that painting has given me. I am in constant awe of how incredibly gorgeous our world is….all the little magical miracles that are right there if you just see them.
What is your favorite subject matter/ pallet to use?
“Light” is my favorite subject matter and that is why I paint so many different things. The effect that light has on the color and value of anything and everything.   It’s that relationship of light and shadow and the gorgeous shapes that it makes. I love capturing early morning walks on a golf course or the beach where the sunlight is just dancing. I adore painting strong light and shadow on flowers too! I find that endlessly fascinating!
I mix all my own colors from a very limited palette that creates this beautiful harmony in my signature pale neutrals. I love that the colors relate with each other and can mix any color I need from just one yellow, blue and red along with white. My favorite color palette is my signature pale neutrals.
What is your favorite part about studio life AND OR do you have a certain routine?
I paint almost every single day and love the way that I feel when I paint. There’s this peace and grace that comes to me while painting and I love to share that through my paintings.  My favorite time to paint is early in the morning and mixing all my own colors helps me shift into that painting zone. Also setting up gorgeous still life arrangements gets me itching to capture all that beauty on canvas.
Who inspires you?  
My Mom inspires me still to this day. I believe that painting came to me as I started caring for her through her long journey with Severe Dementia.   I used to say that painting was my “escape” from that sadness of the long goodbye. What I have come to discover is that painting is a gift to myself that I now can share with others through my paintings. I continue learning so many lessons and aspire to be as gracious and as kind as she always was. My daughters inspire me as they are not only smart and beautiful but very kind and thoughtful too.  My husband inspires me every day to be the best person and artist that I can be and to make a difference.
If you could give a piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?  
If I can do this then so can you!  It’s a generous and kind world of talented artists that welcome each other through that commonality.  Once you learn and begin to really “see” this amazingly gorgeous world around us you will be blown away. That in and of itself is such a gift….appreciating and acknowledging nature’s color palette that is right in front of us.
Share one great adventure you’ve experienced.
I am blessed to be able to get to paint plein air at the beach a couple of times a year. One of my favorite plein air trips was with a group of fabulously talented artist friends and we had a blast.   We painted all over several Islands and beaches and every thing in between. It was such a beautiful week of hard core painting and sweet fellowship for us all. They talked me into giving a golf lesson on the beach and they all did so good. Everyone made a wish as they launched a golf ball out into the ocean. That was the best of both my worlds coming together right there. So special!
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I can’t even imagine not being Artist as painting is like breathing to me. If I had to pick… I would be coaching again at the Collegiate level. One of my most favorite occupations was the years I spent as a golf coach at Georgia. Making a difference in those students lives was so special to be a part of. Nothing better than an early morning out on the golf course talking about all the important things in life. Golf has been very good to our family.  I have been married to a PGA Professional for 36 years and both daughters playing collegiate golf. Our younger daughter is a PGA Professional at Cherokee in Atlanta. I always love when my Art and Golf Worlds collide and I am super proud to be the “Official Artist”  for the Georgia PGA!
What do you want your audience to know about your work?
 How blessed I feel to be able to do what I do every day. That I paint with intuitive intention. I have a plan but I believe that the painting lets me know what it needs and how to get my feelings mixed in with my paint and that is what is so special. The peacefulness that I get from painting is evident right back in the painting.   I believe that’s my favorite part…”Painting Peace and Grace everyday.”
KCCover copy
Cousart painting plein air
KathyCousart:CarolMarine beach:golf lesson
Cousart giving golf lessons on the beach
The 9th Hole ©KathyCousart
The Ninth Hole by Cousart. Available at Anne Neilson Fine Art Gallery. Email info@anneneilsonfineart.com for inquiries. 
To The Green (lg) ©KathyCousart
To The Green by Cousart. Available at Anne Neilson Fine Art Gallery. Email info@anneneilsonfineart.com for inquiries. 

Up Close and Personal With: Scott Harding

Jan 15, 16

858920_10200886548830472_589930185_oWe are thrilled to welcome one of our newest artists, Scott Harding, to the Anne Neilson Fine Art Gallery. We invite you to hear more about Harding from the artist himself.

Scott Harding
Current: Warrenville, IL   Grew up:  South Bend, IN
How did you get started?
“I started drawing before I could talk.  I continued drawing throughout my childhood.  I was never bored!  I almost took a different path in college but then knew this was my calling.”
What inspires your work?
“I get stopped in my tracks all the time when I see the beauty in simple things: the way light falls on a subject, a glance, or an unplanned pose.  Though these may seem simple at first, there is a limitless depth to them as well.  Digging into the infinite while maintaining the simplicity is what inspires me.”
What is your favorite subject matter/ pallet to use?
“The human figure is my favorite subject but I’m equally inspired by landscapes and still-lifes.  I love to paint!”
What is your favorite part about studio life AND OR do you have a certain routine?
“I love putting out new paint, turning on my music and turning towards a blank canvas that is full of possibilities!”
Who inspires you?
“Everyone!!  I love art and enjoy seeing how others have tackled certain problems or how they saw something differently.  But I have favorites as well:  Sargent, Zorn, Monet, Inness, Monsted, Levitan.”
If you could give a piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?
“Always be willing to learn!”
Share one great adventure you’ve experienced.
“I once took a horse trip into the mountains outside of Santa Fe.  I could not believe that just a small distance from that desert city such lush and wet forests were hidden!  One morning I woke to a beautiful mist rising through the aspens.  I hurriedly got out my paints and did a decent plein air.  Well, I soon got the attention of some of the other trip attendees.  One fellow in particular just had to have the painting.  I sold it to him, but it was a little bittersweet.  I wanted it too as a memento of my trip!”
What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
“Paid assassin.  (Just kidding!).  I came kinda close to going into medicine.”
What do you want your audience to know about your work?
“That I deeply appreciate that I can share my vision of the beauty I see.  And I’m humbled when someone else appreciates that vision.”

Harding is making his debut with the gallery in January’s show, Lovely, opening Thursday the 21st from 5pm – 7pm. We invite you to stop by, drink some wine and see his gorgeous work in person.

For more information email info@anneneilsonfineart.com and Martha, our Gallery Director, would be happy to help.

Lovely Exhibition
“Field’s Edge” 9 x 12
What to Wear 24x20
“What to Wear” 20 x 24
At the Turn 12x9

“At The Turn” 9 x 12


Harding painting plein air


Harding giving a demonstration




In The Studio With Adrian Chu Redmond

Dec 8, 15


  1. Name: Adrian Chu Redmond


  1. Hometown: Tarrytown, NY


  1. What inspires your work? What inspires me is taking ordinary objects and painting them larger than life, giving them importance. I want the viewer to walk away with some sort of emotional connection, whether negative or positive, it is important to me that my work elicits some sort of reaction or feeling.


  1. What is your favorite subject matter/ pallet to use?  I love painting sunflowers super big. Sunflowers always make me smile. I find them unique because of their unusual height and their huge blossom. It is intentional that I paint them larger then life so that the viewer can feel the personality and energy that these flowers provoke. I enjoy mixing different yellows to get just the right petal shades given the light source. I always add a touch of yellow ocre for continuity and depth. My favorite part of painting sunflowers is using oil crayons to define the shapes while adding energy to the piece with mark making.



  1. What is your favorite part about studio life (and or) do you have a certain routine? My favorite part of studio life is being surrounded by many talented and creative people. The positive energy in the Dilworth Artisan Studio building is electrifying. I am so blessed to have landed here. I love everything about my studio space. The high ceilings accommodate my urge for painting large while the natural light from the big window nourishes me!


  1. Who inspires you?  My mother inspires me. She is the most creative person I know. In her 86th year, she is still passionately painting and her zest for life continuously inspires me. Her energy and super fun spirit can fill a room. I adore her and appreciate being brought up being handed paper and pencil when restless and being encouraged to play outside and enjoy all that nature offers. She is why I am who I am today. Her love of life is contagious. I love her so.


  1. If you could give a piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?  TO SMILE. A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever…


  1. Share one great adventure you’ve experienced : The decision to take the spiritual journey on the ROAD TO SANTIAGO this past June was, by far, the greatest adventure I have ever experienced. The El Camino de Santiago de Compostela (The Way of St. James) commences in the French Pyrenees and travels 550 miles to the Spanish city of Santiago, Spain. This ancient Christian pilgrimage, which dates back to the 11thcentury, offers a modern day retreat that provides an opportunity for spiritual growth while hiking for weeks on foreign land. With the mountainous terrain, aggressive distance, a 22lb backpack, and blistered feet, I found inner strength to push ahead and embrace the mental and physical challenges of the unknown road ahead. For me, living out of a backpack, hiking the beautiful Spanish countryside and walking through small hamlets with pilgrims from around the world has taught me much about myself while providing an adventure away from the bustle of day to day life. Here are a few valuable lessons I learned on the Camino:

*Take time to pause– you can’t appreciate the present if you are not in it

*Trust yourself – it is important to honor and trust in one’s self. This allows you to be confident in anything you choose to do

*Be open– this is where there can be a never-ending supply of what one searches for or needs- love, energy, support, guidance, learning, nurturing, etc.

*Share yourself– give freely of your time, your heart, your wisdom and your hopes

*Believe in what you do and you will do it better


  1. What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist? If I was not an artist, I believe I would be working with children in need.


Stop by our Gallery to visit with and meet Adrian and see her stunning work.




Sep 30, 15


Name: Craig Hawkins

Hometown: Laurinburg, NC (Born) Valdosta, GA (since 1998)


Best restaurant: Bleu Pub – Get the Braveheart burger and sweet potato fries with spicy peanut sauce and Steele Magnolias – Get the fried green tomato sandwich with truffle parmesan fries.

Best place to travel:  I spent three months in England years ago and loved Newcastle, York, and London.


Favorite Drink:  I’m not very well versed with cocktails. I suppose I’m most familiar with a Margarita or a Bloody Mary. Given a choice I usually opt for a simple sweet tea.


Favorite item to cook: Apple + Peanut butter + Raisin “sandwich”

Core 1 apple and cut it into circular slices.  Top with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a sprinkle of raisins.  Add a second apple slice and enjoy!

Collectable Item: I want to say “Personal revelations that I try to publicly share as a drawing or a painting” because it points back to my artwork and the reason I create, but I have to admit I am a bit of a Pixar nerd and Pixar publishes a series of books titled “The Art of (insert Pixar movie title here)”. I have several of these and love to look at the concept art and storyboards behind such wonderful movies.


Best Read:  This is always a tough question to answer. I don’t have just one. I have a running list, however, I always imagine I have a list that is longer than I can recall.

Current list:
The Gospel of John by John the Apostle
Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias
Refractions by Makoto Fujimura
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Love Does by Bob Goff
You are Mine by Max Lucado

Who is the most influential person in your artistic career? It’s hard to narrow it down.  Greatest teachers are artist Harry Ally and artist Margaret Morrison.  Most influential artists are Jim Dine, Mark Rothko, Makoto Fujimura, and Alex Kanevsky.

Studio Location:  It’s a mix of studios and my office at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA.



Object or thing people ask about when they visit your studio:  Either a bronze sculpture I made years ago of a fetus chained to the inside of a cast apple representing mankind having been born into sin or my drawing board that students keep thinking is a finished work of art.

Bronze Sculpture

Favorite Quote : “Art has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”  – C. S. Lewis from The Four Loves

Where do you find inspiration? Sermons, books, podcasts, good conversation, and good art. Scripture, conversations with God, my wife, my kids, good art, and my job as an assistant professor of art.


What influences your work?  Our world views hold great power over the way we think and behave and differing world views are going to exist in a pluralistic society like the one we live in today. To paraphrase a quote by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, he states that “When you turn on the radio and listen to a… song…you can be sure it is a lifestyle and a worldview that is coming through the airwaves there.” Art illustrates the popular philosophies of our culture so the content of art can be very powerful. Even if the artist tries to avoid it nature abhors a vacuum and people tend to look for purpose and meaning, it’s part of our design. We are curious creatures. Even toddlers are infamous for constantly asking “why”.


Moment you realized you wanted to be a full time artist:   It became a commitment during my freshman year of college. Up until that point it was something I loved to do and couldn’t see myself not doing but I didn’t know where to go with it. I became a Christian that same year and my walk with Christ is deeply connected to my art making.


Do you ever get creatively stuck? How do you unblock your creativity? Yes, in various ways, sometimes it’s for lack of clear ideas or desires to explore. Other times it’s for lack of proper time to implement my ideas. I’m currently stuck in the latter. In the past prayer, rest, exercise and a plan of action have helped me persevere.


When developing content through questions and research for a series of work it’s important to recognize that our worldview, which is to say the total answers people give to the most important questions in life, will guide the decisions that populate the work. Intent is prior to content. If I believe that we are communal creatures designed for fellowship then that belief will lead to developing work that shows this concept. Work that asks questions like: What is ephemeral? What is eternal? What should be private? What should be public? What do we notice? Are we more than the bodies we possess? and Can we control our desires and emotions? For me this happens as my relationship with God grows. I journal in my sketchbook. Questions that I have and lessons I learn develop the content of my art. As I grow my art grows. My intentional following of Jesus determines what content I entertain and invest my time in at the table of my ideas.


What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist? The UPS guy. I’ve always thought being the guy that delivers the package that people are eagerly expecting would be exciting.


Please add anything else you think is important for readers to learn about you!
I want to travel more and I want to expand my viewership. I’m constantly looking for opportunities that can afford me the chance to travel with my family to see more of this beautiful world. My concepts for new work keep involving participation or collaboration with more and more people. I have ideas that require travel to various old cathedrals around the world, prison visits that I need help with, or surveys and event organization that I can’t implement on my own. I’m eager for any chance to share my vision of the bigger ideas I hope to produce but can’t without someone willing to invest in an artistic partnership with me. In short, I think the old school idea of patronage is very desirable and I have an open position to fill .



Sep 21, 15


Name: Ashton Shaw Despot

Hometown: Born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana.



Favorite Restaurant: I currently live in New Orleans and would recommend Jacques-Imo’s as my favorite local restaurant. The atmosphere is casual and eclectic with delicious southern style cuisine.

Best place to travel: My favorite place I have traveled to is Ireland. I studied for a month at the Burren College of Art and Design and loved every second of it. It was absolutely magical.



Favorite Cocktail: Martini with extra olives.


Collectable Item: I collect pretty coffee table books. I absolutely love pictures and vibrant colors.


What is your favorite item to cook? What is the recipe for it? My favorite thing to cook is spaghetti and meatballs. I have an amazing recipe for real Italian meatballs that’s to die for. I am not sharing my secret recipe though.

Favorite Book: My favorite book is the Harry Potter series. I just love the fantasy and whimsy.


Most influential person in your artistic career: Michael Crespo, a college professor and most talented artist himself was the most influential person in my artistic career. He taught me to not be afraid, push the limits, and always be curious. He was also extremely kind and taught me now to love the process and love the life we live.

Favorite quote: “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart” -Confucius

Studio Location: My studio is located in Uptown New Orleans, 4524 Magazine Street. I have door on Magazine Street that leads to a charming studio upstairs. My favorite part of the studio is the two front windows, which let in natural northern light.

IMG_2341 - Version 2


Object or thing people ask about when they visit your studio : People usually ask about my hanging system when they walk into my studio, or I tell them about it as we are talking because I am so very proud of it. Carl Dautreuil with Dautreuil Framing built this beautiful system for me and it is a total game changer. It is basically a fancy peg board with movable pegs. It helps to make hanging, moving and working so much easier.


At what moment did you realize you wanted to be a full time artist?
I realized I wanted to become a full time artist when I was studying in Ireland. It was the first time I had my own studio space that I could be completely free and messy.


What inspires you? I am inspired by daily by colors, sights and sounds. I am fascinated by the world around me and always look for new compositions or combinations of colors in everyday events. I also inspired my light and how it plays such an important role in nature. I studying tree, clouds and all natural forms.  I find inspiration through pictures, books, magazines, instagram, pinterest, fabrics, beautifully designed interiors, and architectural details! Basically I am always on the look out anything that might catch my eye or spark my interest. I take a ton of pictures and screen shots! Then I used these to create concept boards and organize new ideas.

AshtonShawDespot_Aztec Pearl_24x24

What influences your work? My work is influenced by my experiences and situtations I am either currently going through or have been through in the past. You may noticed touches of graphic elements in my work, as I studied graphic design in college and often find my self drawn to simplistic modern forms. I also currently work in Interior Design find that my color choices are often reflections of fabrics or rooms where I find color to be interesting. I love impressionism and try to mimic a modern twist to an impressionistic landscape within my work.

Blues Traveler_24x36

Do you ever get creatively stuck? How do you unblock your creativity? Oh of course I get creatively stuck. Every artist does. The best way I have found to unblock myself is to pull out some blank canvases and start painting back ground colors and adding washes to pieces. I like to try new things and experiment when I am stuck too. Never take your self too seriously and always have fun. This frees up my mind and gives me a chance to let go. Best just to push through creative blocks. Like life your work will be cyclical, always going through ups and downs but the best way to make it through is just to keep going.


What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist? If I wasn’t an artist I would love to be an architect or an interior designer!! But if we are getting real crazy maybe I would say a vet!




Sep 16, 15

Marcy Gregg-3806

We had a great turn out for Charlotte local artist Marcy Gregg’s Expressions of Joy show despite the weather.  With over 40 abstract pieces it was beautiful to see the gallery’s first solo show filled with family and friends familiar with Marcy’s story of painting.  If you don’t receive emails about our events please sign up on our website, www.anneneilsonfineart.com and make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Marcy Gregg-3646

Marcy Gregg-3660

Featured artist Marcy Gregg and gallery owner, Anne Neilson.Marcy Gregg-3690

Marcy Gregg-3762

Marcy Gregg-3798

Marcy Gregg-3855

Marcy Gregg-3867

Marcy Gregg-3841Featured artist Marcy Gregg with husband Dev, their three children, her mother and her sister.


Up Close and Personal with Marcy Gregg

Sep 1, 15


Name: Marcy Gregg

Hometown: Jasper, Texas, it’s a small town in southeast Texas.

Best Place to Travel To:  My husband and I just returned from seven days in Harbour Island. We were there with very special friends.  Today, I would say, Harbour Island.



Favorite item to cook: I love to cook my Mom’s famous apple pie.  Served hot…it doesn’t last long!


Favorite Book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.


Who is the most influential person in your artistic career?  I believe that initially I was influenced by my aunt who is an artist. I greatly admire her and her work.  When I returned to painting in the early to mid  2000’s, Andy Braitman played a large role in putting me back in front of the canvas. I was in his Artist-in-Residence program and during this time, he shared his great wisdom with me.

Studio Location:  The Dilworth Artisan Station 118 East Kingston Ave. Charlotte, NC.


Object or thing people ask about when they visit your studio:  People want to know what I do with my palette knife when they see it.



Favorite Bible Scripture: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

At what moment did you realize you wanted to be a full time artist? In 2006 I sold my corporate consulting business and soon after that, began to paint again. Once I got back in the studio and started painting, I knew I couldn’t just “play” with art. I had to do it all the time. The more I painted the more I wanted to paint. I decided to take the jump to go for it.  I have never looked back.


What inspires you? I am really stimulated outside of my studio. I would have to say serving at the Harvest Center.  My husband and I go there each Tuesday morning and serve breakfast and share the gospel.  We go there to give back but we receive so more than we could ever give. You never leave there the same.


Do you ever get creatively stuck and how do you unblock your creativity? Sure I get stuck, sometimes a simple walk will clear my head.  Sometimes I go and take photographs. After I get several good photos, I head back to the computer and edit them.  I often find treasures that are hidden within the images, then I am excited to get back in front of the canvas.


What influences your work?  As an abstract artist, I am totally in awe of the color and shapes that I see all around me.


What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist? If I weren’t an artist, I would be sad.  No, really, I love what I do.


What else would you like us to know?  I majored in Studio Art at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas.



Aug 26, 15

Wanted to give a big shout out to all the people who participated in our back to school drive.  We partnered with All We Want is Love as a drop off location for The Battered Women’s Center of Charlotte.  With over 100 children in the shelter the week that school started we thought it was a good idea to give 10% off all original artwork in exchange for school supplies.  Since Anne and I have both been teachers we can relate to the importance of education in our society.  It breaks my hear to hear that the Battered Woman’s Shelter has over 100 children that are going to school the next day with very little.  Please stay in touch with us on Facebook or Instagram to keep in touch about the organizations we are giving back to.



Up Close and Personal With Joel Penkman

Aug 14, 15


Name: Joël Penkman

Hometown: Right now I live in Liverpool, England


Recommended Restaurant: The Baltic Bakery makes the most fantastic sourdough bread and is great for breakfast, brunch or lunch. We don’t really eat out much as we love to make our own delicious food.

Favorite Place to Travel to:  There are too many beautiful places. Morton Island, a small sand island off Australia’s Queensland coast was really special and nearly deserted.




Favorite Book:  Wuthering Heights


Favorite Cocktail: We make a yummy red currant shrub cocktail from our homegrown berries.


What is your favorite item to cook? What is the recipe for it? Right now I love baking bread!


Sourdough loaf (Adapted from Tartine’s Country Bread)

¥ 1000 grams white-bread flour
¥ 1000 grams whole-wheat flour
¥ 200 grams leaven
¥ 700ml + 50ml water
¥ 1000 grams white-bread flour
¥ 20 grams fine sea salt

Make the starter: Combine 1,000 grams white-bread flour with 1,000 grams whole-wheat flour. Put 100 grams of warm water (about 80°F) in a small jar or container and add 100 grams of the flour mix. Use your fingers to mix until thoroughly combined and the mixture is the consistency of thick batter. Cover with a towel and let sit at room temperature until mixture begins to bubble and puff, 2 to 3 days.

When starter begins to show signs of activity, begin regular feedings. Keep the starter at room temperature, and at the same time each day discard 80 percent of the starter and feed remaining starter with equal parts warm water and white-wheat flour mix (50 grams of each is fine). When starter begins to rise and fall predictably and takes on a slightly sour smell, it’s ready; this should take about 1 week.(Reserve remaining flour mix for leaven.)

Make the leaven: The night before baking, discard all but 1 tablespoon of the mature starter. Mix the remaining starter with 200 grams of warm water and stir with your hand to disperse. Add 200 grams of the white-wheat flour mix and combine well. Cover with a towel and let rest at room temperature for 12 hours or until aerated and puffed in appearance. To test for readiness, drop a tablespoon of leaven into a bowl of room-temperature water; if it floats it’s ready to use. If it doesn’t, allow more time to ferment.

Make the dough: In a large bowl, combine 200 grams of leaven with 700 grams of warm water and stir to disperse. (Reserve remaining leaven for future loaves; see note below.)

Add 1000 grams of white-bread flour to bowl and use your hands to mix until no traces of dry flour remain. The dough will be sticky and ragged. Cover bowl with a towel and let dough rest for 25 to 40 minutes at room temperature.

Add 20 grams fine sea salt and 50 grams warm water. Use hands to integrate salt and water into dough thoroughly. The dough will begin to pull apart, but continue mixing; it will come back together.

Cover dough with a towel and transfer to a warm environment, 75-80°F ideally (like near a window in a sunny room, or inside a turned-off oven). Let dough rise for 30 minutes. Fold dough by dipping hand in water, taking hold of the underside of the dough at one quadrant and stretching it up over the rest of the dough. Repeat this action 3 more times, rotating bowl a quarter turn for each fold. Do this every half-hour for 2 1/2 hours more (3 hours total). The dough should be billowy and increase in volume 20 to 30 percent. If not, continue to let rise and fold for up to an hour more.

Transfer dough to a work surface and dust top with flour. Use a dough scraper to cut dough into 2 equal pieces and flip them over so floured sides are face down. Fold the cut side of each piece up onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf; this will become the crust. Work dough into taut rounds. Place the dough rounds on a work surface, cover with a towel, and let rest 30 minutes.

Line two 10- to 12-inch bread-proofing baskets or mixing bowls lined with towels. Generously flour the proving baskets or towels so the bread won’t stick.

Dust rounds with flour. Use a dough scraper to flip them over onto a work surface so floured sides are facing down. Take one round, and starting at the side closest to you, pull the bottom 2 corners of the dough down toward you, then fold them up into the middle third of the dough. Repeat this action on the right and left sides, pulling the edges out and folding them in over the center. Finally, lift the top corners up and fold down over previous folds. (Imagine folding a piece of paper in on itself from all 4 sides.) Roll dough over so the folded side becomes the bottom of the loaf. Shape into a smooth, taut ball. Repeat with other round.

Transfer rounds, seam-side up, to prepared baskets. Cover with a towel and return dough to the 75- to 80-degree environment for 3 to 4 hours. (Or let dough rise for 10 to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Bring back to room temperature before baking.)
20 minutes before baking, place a Dutch oven or lidded cast-iron pot in the oven and heat it to 500°F. Dust tops of dough, still in their baskets, with whole-wheat/rice-flour mixture. Very carefully remove heated pot from oven and gently turn 1 loaf into pan seam-side down. Use a razor blade to score the top of the bread a few times to allow for expansion, cover and transfer to oven. Reduce temperature to 450°F and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid and cook for 15 – 20 more minutes or until crust is a rich, golden brown color.

Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Return the pot to the oven and increase the temperature to 500°F for 10minutes. Reduce temperature to 450°F and repeat this process with the second loaf.



Most influential person in your artistic career:  My husband James for his emotional and financial support when I made the career change.

Studio Location: I share a loft studio with my husband at our home.


Object people ask about when they visit your studio: People seem most interested in the gesso boards which I paint onto. I think because they are unusual – a lot of work goes into making them, they look like porcelain tiles.


What is your favorite quote and who is it by?  My mother told me I should always try and be the best person I can be.

What inspires you?  Inspiration comes from my present and past surroundings and experience.  I choose familiar subjects, then look at colour, shape, texture, and also association for inspiration.

When you get creatively stuck how do you unblock your creativity? Sometimes its good to take a break and look at what other people have created, in books, online, galleries, museums, libraries.


What influences your work?  I was a graphic designer for 8 years before I began painting in my current style, I think you can see this in my layout, choice of subject matter and brushwork.


What moment did you realize you wanted to be a full time artist?  It wasn’t a moment but a slow realization that I could make a little money from this, it could be my career and being happy in your job was very important.


What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?  I nearly trained as an architect, that would still be good.


Blackberry Farm: Artist In Residence

Aug 7, 15

One week ago today, my husband and I (and our two middle girls) traveled to Blackberry Farm where I was invited as a special guest – Artist in Residence.

IMG_8008This was the blurb for their event calendar, The 2015  Blackberry Year : The newest edition of our yearly almanac showcases returning and exciting new events featuring the nation’s hottest chefs, innovative winemakers, GRAMMY award-winning artists, talented artisans and top athletes. Names so big, you’ll just have to read it to see them – plus up-and-comers so talented you’ll want to be in the know!

I was humbled to say the least to have been invited to share my art and my story: Painting with a Purpose and to have spent some quality time with Blackberry owner Kreis Beall.



IMG_8334The scenery is stunning. Situated on a pastoral 9,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains you feel like you have stepped into heaven.  The peace. The tranquility.  I woke up Saturday morning to the sunrise just praising GOD for the journey He has me on. As a wife, a mother, an artist, an employer and friend.  It has not been all glamorous as some would think.  Just like the bumpy, gravel, winding road leading to Blackberry Farm, my life has been just that. But even in the midst of twists and turns and the bumps in my path, I cling to a God who’s promises are true. He will guide every step along the way and He will bring me that peace that passes all understanding.




It was an incredible weekend and I was blessed beyond!