Tag Archives: north carolina

UPCLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH CRAIG HAWKINS

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Name: Craig Hawkins

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 .

COME RAIN OR SHINE – EXPRESSIONS OF JOY RECEPTION

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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.

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

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

Up Close and Personal with Marcy Gregg

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

Up Close and Personal With Joel Penkman

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Name: Joël Penkman

Hometown: Right now I live in Liverpool, England

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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.

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Favorite Book:  Wuthering Heights

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

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

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Sourdough loaf (Adapted from Tartine’s Country Bread)

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE STARTER AND LEAVEN
¥ 1000 grams white-bread flour
¥ 1000 grams whole-wheat flour
FOR THE BREAD
¥ 200 grams leaven
¥ 700ml + 50ml water
¥ 1000 grams white-bread flour
¥ 20 grams fine sea salt

PREPARATION
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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!

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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.

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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.

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It was an incredible weekend and I was blessed beyond!

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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – A Time for Everything

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

This passage of scripture has really spoken to me over these past few weeks. So much emotion – so much going on in my personal life and this chaotic world we live in. A week ago Monday, my second daughter walked down a sea of green to get her high school diploma.

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Leading up to this special day, I spent countless hours pouring over old photos and then spent more tedious hours syncing each photo so that it would appear just at the right time during the several songs I specifically chose for the fifteen minute memory span of her 19 years.

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How did the time go by so fast! My emotions were raw for weeks as I was preparing to let go of another chapter of our lives and let go of yet another amazing child into this world. She is kind, she is compassionate, she is loved and my prayer for Catherine Anne Neilson as she ventures out on the next chapter in her life is that she would have a faith that sticks in this world. That she would know she is fearfully and wonderfully made and that GOD has big plans for her, plans to prosper her and give her hope and a future.

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I cling to GOD’S promise and truth in Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It was a great week of celebrating!

Then four days later, the news of the Charleston shootings. Devastating. As a mom I cannot imagine the pain that these people in Charleston are experiencing. As a believer in Jesus Christ I know there is HOPE – especially in the outpouring of forgiveness that comes from the hearts of the people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. My most precious time of prayer and worship is in my studio as I paint angels. Praying for people known and unknown, needs known and unknown, I allow the Holy Spirit to sculpt these beings onto the blank canvas.

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We packed up nine care packages of “Angels” and sent to the families who lost their loved ones last week.

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We will continue to pray for the entire Charleston community for healing, comfort and peace. They need a time to mourn…but we know that there will be a time to dance again! Peace and Blessings to all.

Up Close and Personal with Rick McClure

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Artist: Rick McClure

City: Oklahoma City, OK

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Best Breakfast in Oklahoma:  Jimmy’s Egg

Favorite place to travel: St. Remy de Provence, France

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Cocktail of choice: No cocktails. I prefer handcrafted beer, especially “Mustang Washita Wheat” a local OKC brew.

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What is your favorite item to cook? I rarely cook. To busy painting and playing golf.

Collectable Item : Golf Clubs

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Best book: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.

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Most influential person in your artistic career? James Reynolds.  I continually refer to my “James Reynolds” Book of Landscape Paintings.

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Studio Location:  A short walk behind my home.

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Object people ask about when they visit your studio: My bodybuilding trophies. I was a National Masters Bodybuilding Champion in 1996.

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Studio Mates: My two black cats, “Frenchy” and “Lion King”.

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Moment you realized you wanted to be a full time artist:  Very early, I think about at the age of 7 or 8.

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Inspiration: The landscape, God’s awesome creation.  Love taking a country drive or walk thru a quiet natural setting.

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Do you ever get creatively stuck? How do you unblock your creativity? Yes, I keep at it. By being persistent I eventually get there.

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Quote: “The 3 P’s – Patience, Persistence, Preparation” My own quote.

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Up Close And Personal with Stephanie Strange

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Name : Stephanie Strange

Hometown : Born in Dallas, Texas currently resides in rural Corsicana, Texas.

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What restaurant do you recommend in your city, hometown? No reservations required at this country café but if you want to eaves drop on the most entertaining rifts between local farmers and ranchers visit Peggy’s Place that also doubles as a gas station down a farm road in the middle of pastureland. It will make you want to own your own overalls while you enjoy a slice of homemade pie and a giggle. Or maybe that’s me.

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What is the best place you have traveled to? Oh, that’s a difficult one, I’m not sure wanderlust allows for a favorite destination with me. The thrill of the next exploration is always present. I might have a favorite journey, walking the 96 miles of Scotland’s West Highland Way. Something in the wind, the moors, the culture, and history, this trail seemed charged and full of energy that came up from the earth through the bottom of my feet. I was pulled to the lochs like a magnet and there was a mystery in the air that beckoned me to the hills. Something about falling asleep in a tent high on the hills of the city to the sound of distant bagpipes slow dancing with the fog resonated with me.

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Favorite Item to Bake: Naming a favorite recipe is similar to a favorite location. I find that I enjoy the process of cooking more than an item. Learning the culture and history of a region through preparing their traditional or modern dishes is wonderful. Its almost like traveling. But If I had to name one item from kitchen to lips, it would be iced shortbread cookies. What is better than the comfort of butter and sugar coming sweetly together.

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Collectable Item: I have this little habit of picking up things during walks. Especially rocks and feathers, I think weight wise they balance each other out. Any trinket of interest can be included. Leaves and seeds or any organic matter will usually catch my eye. Sometimes a growth pattern of a plant I will find particularly beautiful. Sea glass and bells that can be suspended find their way to my space. And bricks. Discarded bricks, or ones from old forgotten building sites tucked away in forgotten places. This started also as the result of picking something up on a walk and ironically, the bricks are now part of a walkway.

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Favorite Book: The one book that has been in my life longer and with more impact than any other book is a mysterious one and full of wisdom. It has comforted me and perplexed me for years. The Holy Bible is a marvelous life long study for me.

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Who is the most influential person in your artistic career? I would make a Frankenstein to answer this question. There are three, four, five more people that have unlocked doors or given me an important key. Most of them involve the ‘how to’ of my own creative journey. The Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci, he seemed to know something more. His studies reached in many directions and this inspired me to allow my own creative curiosity to explore in the same manner. It freed me from being boxed in a singular path of a modern business model of being an iconic artist. When I wavered in the idea with the thought, ‘different times call for different measures’, I recalled a modern artist that also filled that role of variety, Richard Tuttle, in his own way. Creative energy is a mighty force and it is my destiny to follow it and no other model. If that means one day I work with tools of pencils, typewriters, welders, or mixing concrete then I take that journey and stay true to the art. Frank Lloyd Wright also inspired me with his complete in-depth approach to architecture. He seemed to come at it at every angle and radiate from it just the same. Reading Jung for the first time was an electrical charge in my mind and like magnets clicking together. I felt that I spoke his language. The analytical observational aspect to my mind was given approval to question and explore. And Michelangelo, yes, his work is magnificent and I am stilled to awe when I see it, but so was his approach to working. I once read a quote by him that stated, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” This was a revelation to me. It had nothing to do with technique or skill that could not be taught. It was the clarity I was looking for in my own practice of finding the spirit in the art and giving it a form. So these are a few parts of my influential Frankenstein.

Studio Location: I have such a nice cozy studio in the small attic space of my parents’ home. It is set in a Texas rural area of Corsicana. It is a perfect place to practice my philosophy transformation of living/working minimal and mindful. I am learning many advantages of a small space. Projects that I work on are with intention and focus. Space no longer allows for project parts or items to pile up and close in the room. Tools and supplies are kept tucked neatly in place when not in use. It helps eliminate visual and psychological clutter. The sort of confinement creates a real liberty for energy flow. There was a time that I sought space and more space with the idea that I always needed a bigger space. But I discovered that I already have this. So much of my work is gathered in the air, as I interact in nature with the plants, animals and weather and urban streets with people, history and culture. I take these experiences back to my work space, open the French door to the balcony when I can and let in the sound of wind through the tree tops and bird song. It’s a lovely atmosphere.

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Object most commented about when people visit your studio:  I didn’t mention this item in the previous question about collecting. I think for me, the typewriter is in a category of its own. I am often asked this question even before a studio visit. “How many typewriters do you own?” Perhaps thirty four is a high number for an antiquated machine but each one stands on its own. Different fonts, platen and type sizes, typing styles and ribbon value or colors, all these elements are discerned in each work I create using the typewriters. Of course I do the same with my pencils and drawing. I have at least thirty different variations in the graphite value and function but pencils are small and don’t have many distinguishing characteristics to their form so they don’t get much questioning. But I enjoy a studio visit and talking about the typewriters or any other element in my studio.

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Favorite Quote:  I think my creed comes from the spiritual side of human nature. It is one word but not at all simple but then again, it is. Love.

Moment you realized you wanted to be a full time artist: Going to the mall with my mother has always been fun. When I was a very young girl, we visited one particular mall that included a fenced play area for kids in the courtyard. It was full of beautiful stylized round smooth animal sculptures made of bronze with a patina. Kids were having a fun time climbing on them but I was not. I was more concerned with quizzing my mother on how I could also make art that a mall might want to buy. I was frustrated looking at them because I didn’t know where to learn how to shape metal. It seemed mysterious and out of reach. At school we were learning our alphabet with fat pencils and coloring with crayons. I was irritated that I didn’t know where to take my art that I would make when I grew up so that a mall could buy it. I remember asking my mom where the store was that sold art. I knew of museums and malls but had a great deal of anxiety because I did not know where they went to buy their art. I felt that I needed to know so that I could go there with my art one day. I think I never decided to be a full time artist, I was just aware that I was an artist and wanted to create.

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Inspiration: I have pondered many times what it means to have a moment of inspiration, wondering where it comes from. Although there are many things that intrigue me, I can’t fully say they give inspiration. It is something more. It seems that finding it could be a matter of asking and listening for the answer. I have recently been embracing the ancient idea of having a group of guides or angels that communicate inspiration. Maybe this can explain why the more alive a piece feels the less it came from my own direction. Communication fascinates me. I believe it has an invisibly energy. I liken it to the wind. The effects can often be seen in moveable objects and sometimes it can be traced by elements like smoke from a fire, or bird flocks in the sky. Communication is similar; the effects can be seen and sometimes traced. It is everywhere and in all life forms as just the act of surviving is communicating. Being surrounded by it is convenient to observing it at any given time.

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What influences your work? My father often says, “Everything has consequences” and I believe it too. So it would be easy to say that everything influences my work whether I am conscious of it or not.

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Do you ever get creatively stuck and how do you unblock your creativity? There is a practice that I do to stave of the stuck. For example, its been said that a writer should write everyday, a painter should paint everyday etc. I do something creative everyday. Sometimes it’s as simple as allowing a creative thought to crest, but to do something. The most severe moments of blocked creativity for me comes when I allow fears or doubts to occupy my mind. In these cases the most effective way to unblock the flow is to move. I can go for a walk, I can dance about, I can write nonsense, I can scribble or do lots of things. The import part of the movement is that I attach a metaphor of what I am doing to moving through the fear. Soon I am flowing in creativity again.

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What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist? I couldn’t imagine…but I do have a long list of interesting possibilities. At the top, I might try my luck at being a stand up comedian.

Happy First Birthday

Can’t believe it has been one year since we opened Anne Neilson Fine Art.  It flew by fast and we can’t thank God enough for all the artists and clients he has put into our lives!  A certain percentage of our sales this month will go towards The Harvest Center, A MOVE THAT MATTERS.

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Catered by TRUE Crafted Pizza and their food truck “Big Red”.  Wonderful brick oven pizzas!

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Our featured artist Deb Kaylor, known for her lamb paintings and Anne Neilson.

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Deb’s little 6×6 lamb painting was the first painting we sold up in Anne’s studio while the gallery was under construction.  I’m crazy about her work, and she gave me a little lamb painting for Christmas!

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New resident artists to the Dilworth Artisan Station,  Marcy Gregg and Adrian Chu Redmond.

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Artist Marcy Gregg’s painting and little artist Stella who helped paint the cross in the painting behind her.

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The whole Anne Neilson staff plus Deb Kaylor, minus Brian Schindler who is taking the photo!  Stop by and see us soon!  Deb’s show runs until May 30th!

Up Close and Personal with Deb Kaylor

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Name: Deb Kaylor

Hometown:  Aurora, Colorado

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Favorite Restaurant:  I love True Food Kitchen in Denver. It serves seasonal, sustainable, organic food that’s just plain GOOD! So you can take anyone there…even those who have food allergies or intolerances as well as those who just want a good meal.

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Best Place To Travel: I have two! I LOVE visiting my recently- found French relatives in a tiny little town in Provence called Le Poet Celard. The other place is just over the Alps into Italy. It is in another little village at the foot of the mountains called Frazione Fenils where I visit my Tante Marisa. The beauty is breathtaking, the food delicious, and the people have greatly enriched my life beyond belief.

Cocktail of Choice:  A “Moscow Mule” that my husband makes.

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Favorite Recipe: I was just introduced to THE BEST super easy no-knead bread from the Sullivan bakery in NYC. Now I actually bake bread once a week.

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What do you collect? I collect and save all the wonderful notes, emails, gifts, surprises and words of affirmation and encouragement that people send me. I have a Blue Box that I stash them in and then every New Year’s morning I open my Blue Box and read them all. Sometimes I remember them and sometimes I am surprised and enjoy them all over again. Often I’m in tears reminiscing over the kindnesses that have been extended to me.

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Best Book:  I love anything by Malcolm Gladwell. His latest book, David and Goliath is probably my favorite. I was surprised by the last chapter on Andre Trocme. I was familiar with him and knew his story because his story was also my family’s story. Nevertheless I was totally surprised when Trocme showed up in Gladwell’s book. Both Trocme and my family were French Huegenots who lived in small French villages in approximately the same vicinity. They worked to protect and save any Jew who came to their door during WWII.

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Most influential person in your artistic career:  Probably my great-great grandfather, Horatio Shaw, who was a Michigan farmer and painter in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His beautiful landscape paintings and sheep “portraits” graced the walls of my family home. I have always admired his simple and elegant style as well as the tenacity and courage of his story. He never achieved artistic success during his lifetime. It wasn’t until the 1973-74 that the Smithsonian rewarded him with a wonderful exhibition of his work.

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Studio Location :  I would love to say that I have a huge studio with tall ceilings, lots of storage, and north-facing windows. The truth is that I have 12×12 space that doubles as my studio and office and also converts into a guest room when needed. It works just fine!

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Object or thing people ask about when they visit your studio: The bulletin board behind my desk and computer is filled with pictures, cards and quotations…all reminders and inspiration to me. Guests are immediately drawn there and pause to see what it’s all about.

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Favorite Quote:

“Live simply,
Love generously,
Care Deeply,
Speak kindly,

and leave the rest to God!”

– Ronald Reagan

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At what moment did you realize you wanted to be a full time artist? Hmmm…that’s interesting. I was working in the soul-crushing corporate world. One day I literally heard God speak into my life. He said, “How difficult do I need to make this before you get it?” It wasn’t long after that I gave my letter of resignation to my boss telling him that I wanted to pursue my passion and become a full-time artist. I’m sure he must of have thought I was crazy. But he has become one of my greatest supporters. I have his picture on my bulletin board reminding me from where I came!

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Inspiration : I like to say that I find inspiration in the extraordinariness of the ordinary. It can be the beauty that I find along the path that I walk in the morning, the quizzical expression on a sheep, having lunch with family or friends at a sidewalk café, or the wonderful sculpture on the ceiling of an old European church. As I mature, I find that I’m not so driven by schedules and planning every facet of my life. I lean more toward taking things as they come and being surprised. So too with inspiration. I never know from whence it will come. It could be from something I read or see or something someone tells me. I find that by being open to any possibility, I’m never short on inspiration.

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What influences your work? LIFE! All my paintings are snapshots from the scrapbook of my life. They all have a story that is a part of my story.

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What would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?
I would be a writer/researcher. I just finished a 140 page coffee table book documenting my family’s history and legacy. It was 50% text and 50% pictures. It was a labor of love and I totally enjoyed the process of researching, writing, and combining old photos, stories, recipes, and genealogy from multiple family sources and putting them together in one place for my family and for future generations.

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I came to my art career relatively late in life. I am the “Poster Child” for It’s never too late! Never say never! You’re never too old. You can teach old dogs new tricks.

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Stop by and see Deb”s show which will be up until the end of May.  Opening reception will be Thursday April 30th from 6-8pm!