Playing Around

Thursday, November 29, 2012

For the last few days I've been making a wearable assemblage. I'm a collector of any cool thing I find on walks: bones, buttons, fuses, etc. I had several interesting pieces that I put together with some clay beads, lava stone, and red cord. I made all of the brass jump rings and made the little gut covered "wire beads". There's a vintage photo of my grannie and a jaw...what more could I want in a necklace. I'll be honest...this took forever to make. The design process alone was time consuming. However, I learned a lot, did a ton of wire wrapping, and now I'll get to see my little found objects put to good use.

Bellamy Mansion

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Fun

Turkey Trot 5K, feasting at Bray's Island, breakfast at the Viranda's in Wilmington. Family, Food, Fun!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Free motion stitching. Leaf on leaf...


The WAE - Wilmington Area Art and entertainment

Rainy day art colony

I went out to the No Boundaries International Art Colony on Bald Head Island on a very wet and very cold Election Day Tuesday. (See my story for the StarNews.) Due to the horrible weather, the artists, who often work outside during the two-week long colony, were working inside their respective cabins, some of them sharing rooms.
It was interesting to see Catherine Lea and Leslie Pearson working in the same room, because their styles and mediums are so different.  Lea is a plein air painter, meaning she paints landscapes outside, but to cope with the rain she painted a Bald Head Island scene from a photograph she took.  Across the room, local artist Leslie Pearson pieced together a small component of a larger installation she’s working on for the No Boundaries International Art Colony 2012 Exhibition opening at ACME Art Studios from 6 – 9 p.m. Nov. 17.  Her mediums:  wire and hog gut.
That’s right, hog gut.
“It’s sausage casing, or hog intestine,” Pearson said.  “If you’re making sausage this is what you use, but it’s a beautiful membrane that’s translucent when stretched over wire. All sorts of interesting things can be done with it:  you can print on it, you can paint on it, you can stitch it.  But I love the translucent quality you can get out of the membrane itself.“
Pearson stretched the beige, rubbery membrane over a wire structure resembling fossilized coral, or the exoskeleton of some other tube-like sea creature, with two openings on either side.  She said that when she makes the opening and closings, she thinks of body orifices, namely eyes, ears and mouths, and the ways we communicate through seeing, hearing and speaking.
“I’m totally deaf in my right ear,” Pearson said, “so I’m always conscious of that:  the way we hear things metaphorically, differently, by our tones – how you can have so many easy misunderstandings of everything.  I am also thinking of these forms relationally and how they interact with each other.”
Like many of the other artists I spoke to, Pearson felt her work was affected by the environment:  both the natural environment – an oceanfront view, dug-up clay, dolphins and dead washed-ashore sharks – and the creative environment – artists sharing ideas, insight and energy (that’s Chad Harrell offering his input on Lea’s painting), all enhanced by dancing, communal meals, and Rekia, a Macedonian plumb liquor brought over by Sergej Andreevski.  Each artist also completed a 12” x 12” two-dimensional work to be displayed at ACME and sold to benefit the No Boundaries organization.
This was Pearson’s first trip to Bald Head Island, and her first stay at an artist’s colony.  It was a good experience.  She’d like to visit more international colonies, which should actually be relatively easy for her:  you can get hog gut at any butcher shop in the world.

Gayle Tustin of Wilmington, one of the co-founders of No Boundaries, works on a painting.
What:  No Boundaries International Art Colony 2012 Exhibition
Where: ACME Arts Studios, 711 N. Fifth Ave.
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Nov 17

Wilmington artist Bonnie England

Gllen Ziemkie of Vermont works on a painting.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Spent a little time today sketching and collaging in my visual journal. Loving this journal!

DAG 58th Annual Juried Art Exhibition Reception

Friday, November 16, 2012

Please come to the Durham Art Guild's opening reception of the 58th Annual Art Exhibition during Durham's 3rd Friday Reception: November 16, 2012 5:00-7:00pm

The exhibition will be on display October 23 - November 23, 2012 in the Suntrust Gallery, located at 120 Morris St. Durham, NC 27701. The gallery is open Monday - Saturday from 9:00am - 9:00pm and Sunday 1:00pm - 6:00pm. The building is closed for government observed holidays.

NO BOUNDARIES Art Colony 2012 Exhibition

Please join us for the No Boundaries Reception: Saturday, November 17th, 6 to 9 pm, ACME ART STUDIOS, 711 North 5th Avenue, Wilmington, North Carolina

Exhibition featuring Artworks created on Bald Head Island during the two week Colony (November 2-16). The following artists are participating:

Sergej Andreevski (MACEDONIA) -
Stanislav "Stano" Buban (SLOVAKIA)
Eva Mayer (SLOVAKIA)
Bonnie England -
Gayle Tustin -
Pam Toll -
Catherine Lea
Colleen Ringrose -
Michelle Connolly -
Courtney Johnson -
Evalyn Boyd Hines
Fritzi Huber
Glenn Ziemke -
Leslie Stucker Pearson -
G.Scott Queen -
Shannon Rayle Bourne -
Shawn Best
Stephanie Hagens -
Chad Harrell

Encore Article

Thursday, November 15, 2012

International Draw

No Boundaries International culls inspiration

No Boundaries International
Art Colony 2012 Opening Gala
Saturday, 11/17, 6-9 p.m.
ACME Art Studios • 711 N. 5th Ave
ARTIST ON ARTIST: Macedonian artist Sergej Andreevski showcases “Painting with Artist,” to be shown at ACME Studiios this week as part of the No Boundaries Art Colony show. Courtesy photo.
This month marks the 14th No Boundaries International Art Colony, an annual gathering of artists on Bald Head Island. Local and international artists gather for two weeks to create and collaborate every November, and their works hang in an exhibition in Wilmington following its close. Taking over three Captain Charlie’s cottages and exploring the island through their particular medium, the 19 artists began November 2nd. The work created during these two weeks will be on display and open to the public with an interconnected exhibition at ACME Studios and Gallery from November 17th through December 3rd. To kick off the exhibition, an opening reception gala will be held Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with hors d’oeuvre, entertainment, and an informal meet and greet session with the artists.
Inspired by an artist colony in Macedonia, St. Joakim Osogovski, Wilmington artists Pam Toll, Gayle Tustin and Dick Roberts decided to found Wilmington’s first international artist colony in 1998. The idea came in September 1994 sometime after Toll had spent two affecting weeks attending St. Joakim. “I was given an artist’s dream there: freedom and time to create,” Toll says.
Local artists, colony organizer at St. Joakim Osogvoski and curator of the National Gallery of Skopje asked Toll to bring artists back with her to the U.S. In 1995, Toll returned with Tustin to the Macedonian colony and again in 1996 with Roberts. They used the colony at St. Joakim as the model for No Boundaries. Toll says another important piece to the puzzle was the cooperation of Bald Head Island, which was cemented in 1998 due to the generosity of their friend, Kent Mitchell.
“The name ‘No Boundaries’ was appropriate because part of our mission is about putting down boundaries, especially between countries in turmoil,” Tustin explains. “We witnessed artists workng together in peace when their home countries were hostile. This was the stepping stone we took off from.”
For 14 years No Boundaries International (NBI) has successfully connected artists from around the world in an environment that inspires camaraderie and creativity. In the past participating artists have come from many countries, including Macedonia, Bulgaria, Canada, Ghana, Holland, France, Scotland, Germany, Iraq, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Serbia, Peru, Argentina and Wilmington’s Sister Cities in Barbados, China and England
“[It’s] a brilliant way to enrich artists’ lives and, at the same time, equip them with a powerful network of talented artists across the globe,” participating artist Bonnie England says. “The connections are priceless, and the experience really has been one of complete richness since we basically feed off of each other and are immersed in so many different approaches to making art.”
England, a local painter, met NBI co-founders Tustin and Toll while an undergrad in UNCW’s studio art program. Later, she interned with Gayle before going on to be a local entrepreneur, opening and selling galleries like Bottega and Projekte. England was invited to attend the colony in 2006 and has been invited back every year since; in 2010, she joined the NBI board of directors.
Aside from Toll, Tustin and England, this year’s colony also features local artists Catherine Lea, Colleen Ringarose, Courtney Johnson, Stephanie Hagens, Evelyn Boyd Hines, Fritzi Huber, Leslie Stucker Pearson, Michelle Connolly, Shannon Bourne, and Shawn Best. Visiting artists are G. Scott Queen (Charlotte), Sergej Andreevski (Macedonia), Stainslav Buban (Slovakia), √Čva Mayer (Slovakia) and Glenn Ziemke (Vermont).
Andreevski, one of the artists who originally met Toll in Macedonia, has participated in NBI since 1998. He says the transition from painting in a predominantly mountainous country in Southeastern Europe to the ebb and tide of the coast on Bald Head Island is quite drastic. Yet, the change awakens something new in his work.
“[The ocean] inspires my paintings very much, and especially the sun and sky,” Andreevski says. “Here, each day the sky is ever changing. After the storms, the sky is very dramatic before night comes,and we can use this dramatic part in our artwork.”
Even with environmental inspiration, Andreevski’s post-expressionistic style ultimately comes from within. “I watch the nature, but my artwork is more about how I feel,” he clarifies. “I never make sketches before I work; I’m like a jazz musician, I go right into my work. Nothing on my canvas is in my mind. I feel and take the energy from nature and the people [here] and, with my hands, try to organize something with my artwork.”
Tustin says the one of the main points of No Boundaries is about getting out of one’s familiar environment to meet a challenge somewhere outside the box.
“What I love about the colony is the exposure to so many different approaches to making art,” England concurs. “I can test-drive these methods myself and then forge it into my own style, and if it doesn’t work then dispose of it and try something else. Creating alongside other artists is a certified guarantee to artistic growth.”
Though what seems like an artist’s boot camp on paper, Toll’s description of an average day makes it sound like an artist’s resort. She describes the typical itinerary as: coffee, walk on the beach (“scavenging for materials or meditation on the beach, maybe making art on the beach.”), breakfast, making art, lunch, a swim, making more art (“which might involve finding the perfect site”), celebrating the sunset, a glass of wine (“with lively discussions, laughter, good food made by artists or locals”), and dancing and looking at the stars.
“Because there are no other distractions or hindrances—and we’re away from our daily obligations—this is a time to play and explore,” England explains. “I attend the colony without a preset agenda and respond to it wholly with an open mind to all possibilities. We are creating from sun until sun down—sometimes even through the night.”
Likewise, at every turn an artist has turned a normal space into her work place—from living rooms and kitchens to bedrooms and front porches, the beach or forest.“Really anywhere and everywhere,” Tustin says.
After the two weeks’ end, the artists will pack up and leave their cottages armed with many new works of all mediums. They will all reconvene at ACME Art Studios, downtown Wilmington, where they will exhibit the fruits of their labor. The exhibition opens on Saturday the 16th and hangs at ACME through December 3rd.
“No Boundaries is unique in that we bring artists here from around the world, most whom have never been to the U.S. before,” says Tustin. “It’s in part about sharing our culture and who we are as citizens. It’s a small way to make the world a better place, a ‘drop in the sea’ for world peace and understanding.”
If an artist would like to be considered for next year’s art colony, an application process that can be found on their website

All About Art Exhibition Tonight

Tonight is the opening reception for the No Boundaries International Art Colony exhibition at the All About Art Gallery at Bald Head Island, NC. Several pieces of art work created during the two week art colony will be for sale including my small wire, gut, and found object sculpture called "Sailing".
The gallery is located at 6B Merchants Row on Bald Head Island. The reception will be from 5 - 7 pm tonight, November 15, 2012.

Star News Article

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Community of artists inspires new works

Artists Stano Buban (l) and Sergej Andreevski (r), both from Macedonia, high five in excitement. Photo by Brianna Elliott
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
What: No Boundaries International Art Colony's 2012 exhibition. Featuring work by Sergej Andreevski, Shawn Best, Shannon Rayle Bourne, Stanislav Buban, Michelle Connolly, Bonnie England, Stephanie Hagens, Chad Harrell, Evalyn Boyd Hines, Fritzi Huber, Courtney Johnson, Eva Mayer, G.Scott Queen, Colleen Ringrose, Pam Toll, Gayle Tustin and Glenn Ziemke
Where: Acme Art Studios, 711 N. Fifth Ave., Wilmington
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
Tickets: Free; some work will be for sale
Details: 352-4314, 443-8253 or
Chad Harrell was in a bit of a slump. Ever since the young artist graduated from the art program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in May, he hadn't found much time to make art.
"I just haven't done anything since my senior show," Harrell said in his relaxed, monotone way of talking. (When a photographer tried to get him to pose for a picture, he claimed to be physically incapable of smiling.)
"I've probably just done two paintings and drawings every once in a while," he said, "nothing too serious."
But on Nov. 2, Harrell had the opportunity to take off work and stay at the No Boundaries International Art Colony on Bald Head Island. Every other year, No Boundaries brings international, national, regional and local artists to Bald Head for two weeks of sharing communal meals, soaking up nature and creating art, uninterrupted. (Every other year, it's a local/regional colony.) The fruits of the artists' labors from this year's colony will be displayed at Acme Art Studios on Saturday.
For Harrell, being around the artists in the colony changed everything.
"In the last five days I've done two paintings and lots and lots of drawings," Harrell said. "It's just a good experience."
I visited the arts colony on a cold and rainy Election Day Tuesday, so the artists weren't working outside but inside, easels up, warming up. In Charlie's Cabin No. 2, plastic covered the floor of every room, and loud funk music was playing. The funk was Harrell's doing; he stayed in the cabin with this year's international artists, Sergej Andreevski from Macedonia, and Stanislav "Stano" Buban and Eva Mayer from Slovakia.
This is Mayer's first trip to the United States. She has become fascinated with the legendary Captain Charlie of Bald Head Island, spending most of her time researching the famed lighthouse keeper for an installation that will be on display at Acme.
This is also Buban's first trip to No Boundaries, but the Slovakian painter and arts educator has visited many other art colonies in Europe.
As for Andreevski, he feels like No Boundaries is his art colony. He's been here five times and is close friends with many of the Wilmington artists. In 2011, No Boundaries co-founder and UNCW art instructor Pam Toll took a group of students, including Harrell, to Macedonia to visit Andreevski. Andreevski and Harrell are now the best of friends.
On the oceanfront back porch of cabin two, Andreevski and Buban showed off the paintings they finished that day. Buban completed a large-scale figurative painting titled "Intimacy," featuring a man holding up a female before a dark, maroon background. Andreevski also finished a figurative work, his character drawn in minimalist patches of vivid color. The bright greens, yellows and blues of Andreevski's work clashed with the dark gray sky as it poured rain into the choppy Atlantic, but for Andreevski, this view is what makes No Boundaries stand out among other international art colonies, even on stormy occasions.
"The view is very powerful," Andreevski said. "For us artists, it really is something very special."
It seems to be the environment that makes the art colony special for the artists. The island offers rare opportunities to view nature in action – one day the artists were swimming with dolphins, two days later they found two dead sharks on the beach. But the colony also offers a creative environment to help artists grow.
"Last year was my first full week," Wilmington artist Catherine Lea said. "It really pulled me out of the funk I had been in. I just got so inspired by all these people. I went back and just worked, worked, worked, worked. I sort of depend on these people to keep me working. And once again they brought me out of my depression and back into the creative. We get into little funks every once in a while, and so now I'm re-energized. I had my battery re-charged on Bald Head Island."
Lea normally goes outside to paint landscapes, but due to the rain, she was inside cabin three, painting from a photograph in a room shared with local installation artist Leslie Pearson.
"It's just great being around other artists," Lea said. "It just gets you stimulated."
Pearson agreed.
"Making art is such an isolated endeavor," she said. "When you work alone in a studio you sort of get myopic, and you have a tendency to get into your own mind. When you come out here you can kind of visualize art through someone else's mind, and they look at things differently, and that makes you start to see things differently too. I think it's interesting that you can come here with a preconceived notion of what you will be working on, but then your work becomes more and more defined by your environment."


Monday, November 12, 2012

Today I spent some time sketching the treasures I found on Bald Head Island.


Friday, November 9, 2012

New work

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Sunday, November 4, 2012

I found some clay on the beach at Bald Head and so I've been able to continue making my bowls for my on going project called "Vigil". What a surprising little blessing.