Spring has Sprung & Art is Blooming!

I’m always so excited when spring finally arrives – the trees and flowers bursting forth with life are overwhelmingly beautiful and spectacular.  Each day brings new changes in my yard and never fails to dazzle me.  The birds are building nests and feeding like crazy at my feeders (yes, I’m a bird lover!).  The frenzy of it all is almost exhausting. This frenzy is also occurring in the art world with multiple art shows clustered together and a couple of plein air paint outs coming up fast in which I will be participating!

“Silence is Golden” is actually a fall scene I painted from a photo I took at Greenfield Lake here in Wilmington.  I’ve been wanting to paint this for a couple of years – loved the golden glow of the backlit trees behind the lake with the egret sitting peacefully in the giant Cypress tree, draped in Spanish Moss.  The scene is so peaceful to me and is a good reminder to stop, breathe and reflect on the accelerating new life that we see all around us.  This oil painting is one of two submissions from me to the annual Azalea Art Show, which runs from April 2 through April 10th and is an official Azalea Festival event.  It is historically the most prestigious and largest show in the area and one that I have routinely entered for years.  Both of my submissions were juried in and I have 10 original pieces of art for sale in an art bin as well.  “Silence is Golden” was awarded 2nd place in this show and needless to say, I am over-the-top excited and honored! This piece is only for sale through the art show.  The other piece displayed in the show is “A New Wave Coming”, which is available as a canvas print on this website! 

The judge for the Azalea Art Show came with impressive credentials.  Beth Handler Riebe worked for 20 years in the NYC art world with curatorial stints at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Paula Cooper Gallery.  She has served as an art consultant to Donald B. Marron (one of ARTnews”top 200 collectors); also is a former trustee of the Cameron Art Museum, and occasionally teaches art history at UNCW.  She has 3 degrees in art history: a BA from Oberlin College and a MA and PhD from Yale.  She now lives in Wilmington as founder and director of LOCAL:Art+Ideas, a cultural think tank.  I was very honored to meet her and thrilled that she chose my artwork as an award winner!

During the Azalea Festival Weekend, April 8-10, I will be one of 20 plein air artists painting in the beautiful gardens on the Cape Fear Garden Club's Azalea Garden Tour.  It will be an intense weekend of painting outdoors, weather permitting.  I’ve done this previously and it turns out to be quite enjoyable as I will move around to several locations each day and interact with people touring the gardens.  It is also a good opportunity to sell art right from my easel to those who stumble upon a piece they love during the live painting.  Each day, all completed work will be uploaded to www.AzaleaArtSale.com where anyone can purchase pieces from the entire weekend.  A portion of the sales benefits the Cape Fear Garden Club’s beautification grant program, which helps our community.

On that same weekend, the Cameron Art Museum will open their “State of the Art/Art of the State” exhibit on April 9 from 10 am-5 pm.  This is an awesome chance to see contemporary art from artists all across the state – any NC artist who wants to participate was able to submit one piece of art to hang in this exhibit.  The catch was… you had a 24 hour window from 5 pm April 1 to 5 pm April 2 to personally bring your art to the museum, have it photographed and meet with a curator.  I waited 6 hours in line along with hundreds of other artists from across the state to submit my piece.  It was a crazy, wild experience – the people close to me in line became my “line buddies” as we had lots of time to connect.  The time elapsed was from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am before I finally made it into the museum and through various stations to have my art photographed and finally meet with a museum curator to submit my painting!  The curator I met with was from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  She was quite nice and gave me very favorable feedback during our 2 minute meeting, and it didn’t feel rushed at all while I was with her.  I compare it to childbirth – a lot of pain up to the event, then joy and relief that you made it through!  This exhibit will hang for 6 months so there is plenty of time to view it, which I highly recommend – it's a massive exhibit of art from across the state displaying a huge variety of visual expression!

As you can see, art is blooming just like spring!  I’m ready to get outdoors now and paint in this beautiful weather and will also try to take time for moments of reflection and stillness as inspired in “Silence is Golden”.  Take care and please spread the word to your friends on where they can find my art  and also check out my website to keep up with new works!!