I’m in love with my new (to me) weaving loom. I put off buying a floor loom after starting to weave with a simpler kind of loom a few of years ago. Then after taking an experimental weaving and drawing workshop this summer at Penland School of Craft, I ended up going deep in the weaving rabbit hole, and took the plunge a couple weeks ago with this particular floor loom. This one is a four-shaft loom built like a tank because it’s made to be able to weave rugs on it.
I’m learning more complex weaving structures now, and while setup and troubleshooting patterns like this one are slow, in the process of fixing mistakes I’m learning a lot. Taking the time to do things right is worth it. The weaving is going smoothly and it is magical to see the pattern appear on fabric. As I do this, I’m getting ideas and I plan to use weaving techniques to make some large-scale installations combined with sound and video in some upcoming exhibits… Ultimately I hope to figure out a way to make work that pairs my paintings and textiles in a way that makes sense conceptually and visually.
I went all in with the weaving/fibers and took everything off one of my studio walls to build yarn storage. My father in law and partner built these shelves with me and I must say that seeing all these yarn colors neatly arranged brings me lots of satisfaction and gets my creative juices going!
And in other news, Saatchi Art is featuring my work in their New This Week selection of artists. You can see Of stones and earth and air with an interesting pairing of works here.
Earlier this week The U.S. Department of State sent an art shipper to my studio to pack up “Field and Forest with pink.” Through the Art in Embassies program, this painting is headed to the Kyrgyz Republic to live with the U.S. Ambassador there on their tour of duty.
The U.S. Department of State has run Art in Embassies since 1963 to create cross-cultural dialogue and foster mutual understanding through the visual arts. I love the idea that one of my paintings is headed to a country I haven’t visited.
As part of the Art in Embassies program, the U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic selected my painting for the official residence in Bishkek.
Writer Scott Sexton wrote a great piece about it in today’s Winston Salem Journal and you can read it here.
I turn 43 in a couple of weeks and I’ve been thinking about what it is I’m doing with my life and asking myself a lot of questions around my purpose. This year for the first time, I realized that I do this every year before my birthday, and so it hasn’t negatively impacted me like it has in the past. Rather than being upset and doubting myself, I’m noticing my thoughts and acknowledging that this is normal for me at this time of year. It feels good not to freak out over this stuff, to have perspective and to be able to sit with what used to be uncomfortable thoughts for me.
Does your birthday mark a time of reflection for you? Or send you into a tailspin? What kind of things do you think about during that time?
My family really enjoys watching the wildlife in our backyard right now – the squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks and birds of all kinds – busily and sometimes loudly living their lives. If you’re in Winston-Salem, NC this weekend, I invite you to an art exhibit fundraiser to benefit Gateway Nature Preserve. Here are the details:
Nature-Inspired Art Exhibit, May 19 – 21 at Culture Studio/Gallery The exhibit kicks off at 7pm on Friday night with an opening reception at Culture Studio/Gallery located on the 9th floor of the Liberty Plaza building at 102 W. Third St. Check out Gateway Nature Preserve’s website for more info about the event, and scroll down to see the artworks I’m contributing to the exhibit.
Can’t make it this weekend, but still want some artwork that supports the environment? I donate a portion of my art sales each year to Yadkin Riverkeeper, so any purchase through my Shop benefits this nonprofit that helps keep our waterways clean.
Photographer and all-around awesome human Daniel White interviewed me a few months ago for The Free Pizza Podcast, and our conversation is now live on Episode 188. We talk about early influences, studying in Europe, living in Australia, my approach to painting, teaching at UNCSA and more… You can listen to it wherever you like to tune in.
I recently finished this painting of people and cars at a dirt track, and thought you might like to see how it progressed from start to finish. For reference, I used photos I took at the local county fair in Winston-Salem, NC. I combined parts of the images, then made changes to that and invented other bits.
In this video, I’ll show you the different paint layers and explain what’s happening in each one.
My painting installation The space between the clouds is headed to South Carolina for the ArtFields competition. I’m excited to see my work among many others at this art festival at the end of April. All the work there is juried into this festival/exhibition/competition, so I’m humbled to be in the company of this group of artists.
At the end of March I delivered the paintings at the Jones Carter Gallery to be installed and there and took a few photos of the process:
And here are the paintings installed as photographed by a visitor:
We finally got around to shooting my new work this weekend… which means these paintings will be available for purchase. Subscribers will get first dibs this week before the work goes live here on my shop, so if you don’t already get my emails, follow this LINK to sign up.
There is something odd or awkward about the images, and at the same time a sense of joy. By playing with shapes, color and composition, I’m searching for a way to elevate the ordinary.
A few weeks ago I had a chance to sit with Tyler Nail, the Winston-Salem song writer and music producer, on his Red House podcast. In our wide-ranging conversation we compare notes on making visual art and music, discuss why taking care of your health is a rebellious act as an artist, being purposeful in life and in your creative practice, making tough decisions as a parent and when to let go, the resurgence of tradition and technique in art and music and many other ideas on life and art. Thanks Tyler for the excellent conversation!
You can watch it on YouTube or listen to it on any of the platforms below. And give Tyler a listen if you haven’t already. You can find his music here. Enjoy!