Dafen Oil Painting Village: An Immersive Reality

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  • ARK Park First Released Mar 22, 2018released

  • An Affair of the Heart, Oklahoma’s largest craft, boutique show, returns to Tulsa

    Just in time for the holidays, An Affair of the Heart returns to the River Spirit Expo at Expo Square for the 38th show in Tulsa.

    Oklahoma’s largest craft and boutique shopping event offers more than 500 artists, craftsmen and boutiques under one roof, providing one-stop shopping for all holiday needs. Shoppers can find gifts, handmade items, gourmet food, apparel, gift wrap, furniture and more. Vendors from more than 20 states participate in the show.

    “What started as a small, one-day event put together by eight women over 30 years ago has amassed into a sophisticated business with a roster of more than 1,000 vendors and over 50,000 visitors who frequent our Oklahoma shows throughout the year,” said Eleanor Blakeman, founding partner. “It’s not just about the wonderful and unique items they can find at the show, it’s also about spending time with friends and family and even finding inspiration to create something on their own.”

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    It will be the third time that Tish Busking of ELLAS by ARTish in Owasso has sold her cute and cuddly elephants — she calls ellas — at the event. 

    Ellas are one-of-a-kind stuffed elephants made with love from sweaters and coordinating fabrics.

    “I do not use patterns; they truly are unique! Every ella gets a name sewn on their foot for the extra personalized touch,” Busking said.

    Ellas were born after Busking realized that a sweater she saw on the floor of her art studio resembled the trunk of an elephant.

    “I grabbed the nearest scissors, started cutting, primitively hand stitching and brought to life an original elephant,” she said. “The ellas have certainly evolved in the last 5 years. Ellas are in 34 states, five other countries, and they made it all the way to the No. 1 spot on ‘items you need if you love elephants’ internet list.”

    Babies and children love cuddling with the ellas, and they can also be used for travel pillows.

    “Memory Ellas are extra special,” Busking said of the ellas created using sweaters or shirts that belonged to loved ones who have passed away. “It’s like getting a hug from heaven.”

    She loves Affair of the Heart because it showcases local artists with unique creations. 

    “It’s fun when people realize I actually live 20 minutes away in Owasso, where I bring the ellas to life.” 

    Show times are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16-17, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Admission is $10 at the door, and each ticket is good for all three days. Kids 12 and younger get in free. For more information, visit heartoftulsa.com.

    For shopper convenience, a private service will be offering valet at the south entrance. Cost for the valet service is $10.

    Julian Schnabel painted Willem Dafoe portrait for van Gogh film

    For Julian Schnabel’s new film “At Eternity’s Gate” — starring Willem Dafoe as Vincent van Gogh — the film’s prop department painstakingly re-created van Gogh’s paintings, but for his self-portraits, they tweaked the images to look like Dafoe.

    Schnabel displayed two of the Dafoe-as-van Gogh prop paintings in his Manhattan home at a Saturday party for the film.

    We hear that a third artwork on display of Dafoe as van Gogh had actually been created by Schnabel himself, in the style of one of his famed “broken-plate paintings.”

    A source pointed out: “Van Gogh was known for painting from paintings, and that is what Julian accomplished when making the self-portrait of Willem as van Gogh.”

    We hear that Schnabel even touched up the prop versions on set while he was shooting, prompting one guest at the party to wonder, “How valuable are the props?” (Schnabel said they’re not for sale.)

    The film also stars Rupert Friend.

    Swedish interior designer Louise Kugelberg, also Schnabel’s girlfriend, co-wrote and co-edited the film, and she co-hosted the reception for such guests as Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson and Steve Buscemi.

    On set, we hear, Schnabel even taught Dafoe how to paint.

    Still time to see watercolor exhibit at the Hayner Center

    TROY – Community members are reminded not to miss their opportunity to see the Western Ohio Watercolor Society’s 2018 Juried Members’ Exhibition at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center.

    The show will be on display from through Nov. 25. The Hayner Center is located at 301 W. Main St. in Troy.

    Numerous techniques are represented in the more than 60 works of art that are featured in this exhibit. All paintings included in the show utilize transparent watercolor or other aqueous media. However, the subject matter being displayed ranges from abstract to photo realistic. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

    The Western Ohio Watercolor Society was founded in 1974 for the purpose of furthering interest in, and adding stature to, the use of watercolor as a fine art medium.

    The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is supported by the citizens of the Troy City School District through a local tax levy and gifts to the Friends of Hayner.

    Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is located at 301 W. Main St., Troy. Hours of operation are Monday 7-9 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday 9a.m.-9p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m. The Hayner Center is closed on holidays.

    For more information, visit the Hayner website at www.troyhayner.org or call 937-339-0457.

    This Artist Reimagines Disney Characters In Oil Paintings, And The Results Are So Stunning

    For Disney fans, beloved characters from the company’s many hit animated movies are an indelible part of pop culture. Many of us grew up watching the films and TV shows that became an integral part of all our childhoods.

    Because the movies are so universally beloved, artists have often used their impressive skills to reimagine Disney characters in a variety of ways. Some have re-created Disney princesses as film noir-style femmes fatales, while others have imagined the iconic characters in hyperrealistic detail.

    Now, another artist’s unique — and downright gorgeous — renderings of Disney characters have gone viral.

    Professional artist Heather Theurer reproduces Disney characters in oil paintings. In classical style, she produces works of art that truly look like they belong on a museum’s walls.

    Scroll through below to learn more about Heather’s work and to see just a few of her spectacular pieces!

    To order one of Heather’s works, you can go to her website.


    Heather’s stunning Disney-inspired paintings have been compared to Renaissance-style works of art. But as she tells Bored Panda, she believes her work is closer to the Pre-Raphaelite painters of the late 19th century.

    She explained that she doesn’t attempt simple re-creations of what other artists or Disney itself has already done. Instead, she tries to focus on and bring out the characters’ innermost thoughts — their “struggles, hope, and pride.” Above, you can see Heather’s stunning portrait of Emma Watson’s version of Belle from the live action version of Beauty and the Beast.

    The above topsy-turvy piece of artwork perfectly captures the absurdism of Alice in Wonderland (or, perhaps more accurately, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Lewis Carroll original novel on which it’s based).

    “Life is what inspires me. It’s interesting, in retrospect, I’ve noticed that most, if not all, of my paintings spawn from experiences I was going through at the time,” Heather told BuzzFeed. Above, you can see the artist’s rendering of Ariel, the titular mermaid from The Little Mermaid.

    Here’s Belle huddling under her cloak in another familiar scene from Beauty and the Beast. “One of the truest joys I’ve ever had are those shared with my viewers when they connect with those same (or similar) emotions and revelations,” she continued.

    Cinderella’s dress (prior to a bit of style help from her fairy godmother) should be instantly recognizable here.

    Anyone who sobbed along to this scene in Dumbo probably feels a similar sense of emotion looking at this beautiful piece of artwork, which the artist has called Baby of Mine (after the Oscar-nominated song from the animated film).

    Frozen was a smash hit when it was released in 2013. This rendering of Anna, Elsa, and Olaf looks like something from a classic children’s storybook.

    Ohana Means Family is the signature phrase in Lilo & Stitch, and it’s also the name of this painting.

    Heather truly captured Merida’s fierce Scottish warrior spirit in this rendering of the Brave heroine.

    While he might not be as instantly recognizable as some of the Disney princesses on this list, Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows gets a cool classical makeover here.

    Heather perfectly melds Mulan’s feminine look from the beginning of the movie with her warrior spirit.

    Peter Pan, Wendy, and even Tinker Bell look hyperrealistic in this style.

    Rapunzel’s lanterns and her endless hair are beautifully depicted here.

    And here’s one of Disney’s more modern princesses: Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. For more of Heather’s work, check out her website and her Facebook page.

    Arboretum to sponsor 2019 Juried Art Show

    RIDGELY — Adkins Arboretum will sponsor its 20th annual Juried Art Show in February and March 2019.

    The theme of the show — “Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore” — celebrates the arboretum’s mission of conservation. The Leon Andrus Awards, named in honor of the arboretum’s first benefactor, will be given for first and second place.

    The show is open to original two- and three-dimensional fine arts in all media, including outdoor sculpture and installations.

    It will be juried by Julie Wills, an assistant professor of studio art at Washington College in Chestertown and an interdisciplinary artist working in the expanded field of sculpture, including installation, collage, performance, video and site-specific practices.

    Wills holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado and a Master of Arts in art criticism from the University of Montana. She has exhibited widely, including solo exhibits at Arlington Arts Center in Virginia, Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C., Whittier College in Los Angeles and Kohl Gallery at Washington College. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Jentel Foundation, PLAYA and the Hambidge Center, and she has received support for her solo and collaborative work from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation.

    Wills is a frequent collaborator with artists, writers and others, and is the founder and curator of China Hutch Projects, a domestic project space for contemporary art in her home.

    The deadline for submissions is Dec. 21. Digital images of up to three pieces of art by each artist should be sent to art@adkinsarboretum.org. Submissions should include title, medium, dimensions (maximum of 6 feet in any direction, excluding outdoor sculpture), and the artist’s name, address and phone number. Works should reflect or interpret broadly the show’s theme of wild nature and landscapes of the mid-Atlantic coastal plain region.

    Artists whose work is selected will be contacted by Jan. 15 to submit the original work ready to hang by Feb. 2. The exhibit will run from Feb. 5 to March 29, with a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. There is no entry fee, but artists are responsible for all shipping expenses. Selected artists may be considered for future exhibits at the Arboretum.

    Why Algorithms Will Never Make Great Art

    The composition is awkward and the brushstrokes are a touch clumsy. Even so, the “Portrait of Edmond de Belamy,” which sold at Christie’s Auctions & Private Sales in New York City for $432,000 (£337,000), looks suspiciously like art.

    The creative energy behind the image is not a person but an artificially intelligent system built by a French digital collective called Obvious. The A.I. system was programmed to compare its portraits to thousands of authentic, painted portraits, and to keep adjusting its image until it is unable to detect a difference between the two.

    In the province of modern art, there are countless examples of art that have been created by mechanical mediation, or even completely surrendered to the vicissitudes of a predetermined process.

    Undoubtedly, the A.I. painting looks like art. Not good art, I would argue, but since it fits into the convention of three-quarter view portraiture, is contained within a gilded frame, and is hung on a wall in an environment where we expect art to be displayed and sold, it looks like the real deal.

    But is it?

    Countless works of art — particularly modern art — have been created by mechanical mediation. Some pieces completely surrender themselves to the vicissitudes of a predetermined process. Perhaps this is how we should view the A.I. portrait. John Hilliard, for example, made Camera Recording Its Own Condition (1971) — a work consisting of 70 snapshots taken by a camera aimed at a mirror. Each snapshot showed the moment of exposure, and the shots differed by film speed, exposure time, and aperture size. More recently, Anish Kapoor created Shooting into the Corner (2009). It consisted of a canon that periodically fired 11-kilogram balls of wax into a corner of a room, allowing them to hit the wall and splatter.

    These are just a few examples of “process art,” or art made according to methodology rather than explicit intent. On these terms, the A.I. portrait could be considered part of the tradition of process-driven art.

    Some commentators have argued that the real artists behind this work are the computer programmers of the French collective. They used the A.I. system as a tool, a vehicle of artistic realization, like a complex paintbrush.

    And yet, I suspect the French A.I. programmers had no intention of contributing to the acclaimed history of modern art, or “process art.” I suspect they wanted to create something else altogether.

    Hanford painter sees art everywhere

    HANFORD — Art is everywhere.

    Hanford artist Diana Leoni learned how to “see differently,” she said, due to an influential Hanford High School teacher named Nelly B. Cook who had a motto on her classroom wall that read, “Art is everywhere.”

    Leoni takes that motto into her own work, which will be shown at the Kings Art Center’s Winter Show, which runs Saturday, Nov. 17 through Dec. 29.

    “Art can help educate people and let them know what’s going on and it can also preserve history,” Leoni said in an interview with the Sentinel.

    It was in an effort to preserve history that Leoni and her fellow Plein Aire Painters laid brush to canvas to capture the image of Hanford’s historic Art Deco firehouse. The building was a downtown staple since the 1930s — until earlier this year when the City decided to destroy it.

    “It was a work of art, that building,” Leoni said.

    Leoni and her colleagues painted the building in the 11th hour after the demolition was announced, hoping to paint what they could, as quickly as they could. They captured the visage of the front from across the street while the back of the building was being destroyed. Leoni said that whenever she heard the thump of the wrecking machines hit the building, she could feel it in her heart.

    Leoni’s painting of the firehouse, and many other pieces will be on display throughout the exhibit’s run.

    The Hanford native has spent most of her life making and teaching art for a living. After graduating from Hanford High School, “during the crescendo of the hippie thing,” she bought a one-way ticket to Europe with the intent to travel wherever the winds took her.

    Finding herself in Nigeria with her bank account depleted and not wanting to return home, she decided to get a job teaching art at a local school – but she enjoyed it so much she ended up staying in the African country for nine years.

    “Turmoil was just starting in that country, but it wasn’t too bad. It was a lovely place to live,” she said.

    When she returned to America, she earned a Master of Arts degree in African Art History from The University of California, Los Angeles.

    Afterward, she taught local teachers how to include art into their regular curriculum. She said that she believes when students draw something they’re learning about in science, or turn a history lesson into a song, they’ll retain the information better.

    “You can teach anything through art,” she said.

    In addition to painting and pottery, Leoni also teaches yoga.

    While the artist began in the medium of pottery, she has since changed her focus to watercolors, which is what she’ll be showing at the exhibit.  She said that if her time studying Africa art has influenced her, it’s in the motion of her painting.

    “My art has a lot of movement and rhythm and I attribute that to the African influence,” she said.

    The artist said that even now, her art is always evolving and it’s that progress and change she hopes to show in her work at the Kings Art Center.

    “I just feel like I’m on this incredibly expanding motion with art and where it takes me, I don’t really know but I’m really enjoying it,” she said.

    Cradle of China’s art scene celebrates opening-up with exhibition

    image Artworks by Qian Liu and Pan Hongha are among the pieces on show at the Shanghai exhibition that showcases the country’s art scene over the past 40 years. [Photo provided to China Daily]

    An exhibition at China Art Museum Shanghai shows the drastic development of the country’s society, economy and art scene over the past 40 years.

    On display are large oil paintings, with some featuring China’s aircraft carrier patrolling the nation’s maritime borders, iconic high-rise buildings that have changed Shanghai’s skyline and scenes from urban life, such as the Shanghai Marathon and people using the city’s new shared-bike system.

    The exhibition also shows the work of established artists who continued to create after 1978, such as Liu Haisu, Tang Yun and Zhu Qizhan. One of the most important pieces on display is perhaps The Lion Grove Garden, a 2.9-meter-wide Chinese ink painting with an innovative composition and abstract strokes by Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010).

    Rising Tides: An Exhibition Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of China’s Opening-up is jointly presented by four art museums from the Yangtze Delta region. They’ve brought together a total of 120 paintings, sculptures, prints and picture-book manuscripts-all of which were created from 1978 onward-from their respective collections.

    Ling Ning, an engineer and pilot of China’s domestically developed large passenger plane, the C919, was a special guest at the opening ceremony. Among the exhibits is a painting by Han Juliang that depicts the aircraft in midair after taking off with its nose pointed toward the clouds.

    “I can’t figure out what the artist did to achieve this, but the plane is so vivid and three-dimensional that it feels more real and striking than photography-she seems to be flying out of the picture at you,” Ling says.

    “We used to work in the plane and at the airport looking up at it. The artwork brings back lots of memories.”

    November ushers in a season of holiday shows

    Before Wendy, Captain Hook, Peter Pan and even Neverland there was a young apprentice named Molly, Black Stache the pirate and a nameless orphan.

    See their story brought to life in the Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts presentation of Peter and the Starcatcher, Nov. 16 and 17 at the WCS Performing Arts Center in Sterling Heights.

    “This show will keep the audience members on the edge of their seats,” said Lexa Burchman, a junior at Sterling Heights High School. “Always expect to see a new and innovative twist on theater when you visit WCSPA, there’s never a dull moment.”

    Audiences will love this comical piece about a haphazard crew thrown together in a perilous (and wildly hilarious) adventure on the high seas. But, of course, none of this actually exists, unless you use a little star stuff.

    “Peter and the Starcatcher” by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys & Addams Family) is based on the 2004 novel by humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Pearson.

    “This is a brilliantly written comic piece filled with gags, action and delightful musical numbers,” said Madison Ramsey, a senior at Sterling Heights High School. “The music in this show is perfect and is only complemented by the fact that all sound effects are performed live”.

    The Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts (WCSPA) is an award-winning, nationally recognized program specializing in all aspects of theatre. Classes involve a daily, two-hour, in-depth program set in a professional working environment. WCSPA classes are offered to 9th-12th graders enrolled in any WCS high school.

    “At WCSPA, we pride ourselves on not only teaching students the values of art, but also its many forms,” said the show’s director Jonathan Gillespie. “‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ is a prime example; not only does it showcase fresh and extraordinary local talent but it emphasizes the idea of creativity and imagination. Many of the show’s audio, sound effects, shifts, and props are completely operated by the actor. This helps to eliminate the overworked structure of theatre, allowing both the actor and the audience to interact in a fresh way.”

    Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens.

    Performances are held at the Warren Consolidated Schools Performing Arts Center on the campus of Sterling Heights High School at 12901 15 Mile Road in Sterling Heights.

    Show time is 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

    To purchase tickets in advance, call 586-825-2525, ext.1 or visit www.ticketracker.com/store/events/218.

      A Golden Age Holiday

    Grosse Pointe Theatre will present “A Golden Age Holiday” on Dec. 16.

    This is a special one day gala performance and silent auction to benefit the community theater group, which has been entertaining audiences for more than 70 years.

    Audiences will be wined, dined and entertained by a nine-member ensemble who will take a sentimental journey through the favorite showstoppers of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s with a holiday twist.

    Tickets are $75 each (supporter level) or $125 (star supporter), which also includes two tickets to a show next season and recognition in event signage.

    Included with admission is a strolling cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception at 4:30 p.m.; Musical performance of Golden Age show tunes and holiday favorites; intermission offerings of delicious desserts and final silent auction bids followed by the closing act of musical performance.

    GPT’s holiday event will be held at The Ark at St. Ambrose, 15020 Hampton Road (north of east Jefferson Avenue, between Alter and Maryland) in Grosse Point Park.

    Reserve your tickets today as seating is limited.

    For tickets visit gpt.org or call 313-881-4004

    Christmas Chaos

    Clintondale Community Theatre – which is known for its family-friendly productions — will present “Christmas Chaos,” Dec. 6, 7, and 8.

    Tickets are $11.50 each.

    Shows start at 7:30 p.m.

    Performances of “Christmas Chaos” will be held in the Clintondale High School Auditorium at 35200 Little Mack (entrance off 15 Mile Road across from Baker College) in Clinton Township.

    To purchase tickets call 586-219-0782 or email clintondalect.yahoo.com

    David Hockney painting poised to smash auction records

    A visitor views “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” by David Hockney during a press preview for the British artists’ retrospective at Tate Britain on Feb. 6, 2017, in London.
    A visitor views “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” by David Hockney during a press preview for the British artists’ retrospective at Tate Britain on Feb. 6, 2017, in London.
    Related content (CNN) – On Thursday, a well-known painting by British artist David Hockney is poised to smash the record for a work by a living artist sold at auction.

    “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” is set to be sold at the Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in New York on for an estimated price of $80 million. The current record was set by Jeff Koons in 2013, when his “Balloon Dog” sold for $58.4 million.

    Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s, called the 1972 painting “one of the great masterpieces of the modern era.”

    “David Hockney’s brilliance as an artist is on full display with this monumental canvas, which encapsulates the essence of the idealized poolside landscape, and the tremendous complexity that exists within human relationships,” Rotter said in a statement. “With this painting, Hockney cemented his placement within the realm of history’s most venerated artists.”

    World’s most popular artist

    Now 81, David Hockney is regarded as one of the world’s most popular artists. Well over a million visitors to his attended his last retrospective, hosted by Tate Modern, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Pompidou Center in 2017 and 2018, and his current auction record stands at $28.5 million.

    Swimming pools have been one of the artist’s muses since he first moved to California from England in 1964.

    “I always loved swimming pools, all the wiggly lines they make,” he told CNN in 2017. “If you photograph them, it freezes them whereas if you use paint, you can have wiggly lines that wiggle.”

    “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” has long been in private hands (Christie’s has not revealed the identity of the seller) but is still one of Hockney’s most recognizable works.

    The double portrait shows a young man standing on the pool’s edge, looking down at submerged swimmer. The swimmer is based on Hockney’s former lover, Californian artist Peter Schlesinger, with whom he had broken up a year prior. (A study for the painting sold for $2.1 million at a 2016 Sotheby’s auction.)

    Ahead of its sale in New York on Nov. 15, the painting was exhibited in Hong Kong, London and Los Angeles.

    Women build friendships, hone skills through years of painting together

    TUPELO • They declare different backgrounds and various vocations, but they were brought together years ago by a common appreciation of art.

    These seven women would likely agree they’d feel lost without a paintbrush in hand, and the company and critiques of one another at least once a week.

    Their styles vary – several do portraiture; one loves painting wildlife, a few like landscapes. Most prefer oil while one has a penchant for watercolor.

    Among the group, they can’t agree on just how many years they’ve been painting together – they’ve joined the group at different times – but nearly two decades would not be an unreasonable guess.

    Some of the women first met at a place called The Gallery, where they took art lessons from JoAnn Wood. The others met when Wood began teaching classes at Hobby Lobby.

    The Gallery, owned by James and JoAnn Wood, offered art and photography supplies, as well as art lessons.

    Since Wood’s illness and death four years ago, the Hobby Lobby class ended, but the group has continued to gather on Wednesdays to paint, each working on her own project and eagerly anticipating honest critiques from the others.

    The longtime paint pals agree Dru Jolly of Shannon is the one who has kept them together.

    Jolly, the only painter proffering her age with no hesitation, is said to be the matriarch of the group. She’s 83.

    Retirement came at the end of a 33-year run as a furniture instructor at Itawamba Community College, Tupelo.

    Jolly’s more than honest when asked what drew her to painting. “I’d see other people’s paintings and I’d think, ‘I can do that.’”

    Suzanne Long of Tupelo is a retired nurse. She’d had no official training when she started taking Wood’s art class.

    “I think I was her last student before she became ill,” Long said of Wood. “She got me started and I have not quit. I always painted, but I didn’t know what I was doing.”

    Long learned about the painting class from Jolly.

    “I met Dru when she was a patient at the Cancer Center,” she said. “She said she couldn’t come for any appointments on Wednesdays because that’s the day she painted.”

    Sarah Beckham grew up in Leland, admiring an art teacher and her Delta paintings.

    “I took classes here and there,” she said. “I always piddled, but didn’t have a lot of time when I was raising a daughter by myself.”

    Beckham’s the junior member of the group – “We call her the baby,” Jolly said, laughing.

    Pat Garrison became interested in art when living in Vicksburg. An art class in Mound, Louisiana, was her introduction.

    When raising a daughter and tending a career in real estate, Garrison said her art was neglected. In 1996 when her husband retired from the Corp of Engineers and they moved to Tupelo, a friend told Garrison about the art class.

    “My husband carved ducks and wanted me to learn to paint ducks,” she said. “I never got good at painting ducks but I was introduced to canvas painting.”

    Alycia Stegall of Pontotoc worked as a maintenance administrator for Bellsouth – “for 31 years, four months and 10 days.”

    When living in Memphis in the late ‘90s, Stegall’s daughter was attending a church where the pastor’s wife taught art lessons for $5 a lesson. Stegall signed up.

    She noticed a sign touting art classes at Hobby Lobby after she and her husband moved to Pontotoc.

    “I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it,” she said.

    Linda Riggan has always painted and has taught art lessons since the late ‘80s. She worked in home health.

    “I’d come by and visit Dru on my days off,” Riggan said. “When I retired four years ago, I started painting with them, and I’ve been painting with them ever since.”

    Sharon Works rounds out the group. When her husband retired, the couple moved from Houston, Texas, to Mississippi. First Aberdeen, and nine years ago, they moved to Tupelo.

    That’s when she discovered The Gallery and JoAnn Wood. Works studied portraiture for several months before leaving Texas, and her love of painting people has continued to grow.

    Clearly, a reverence and appreciation for their art instructor is something else these seven have in common.

    “She called us her Wednesday Girls,” Works said. “She said we were the best group of women she’d ever had.”

    They miss Wood and her name is evoked often. But they all agree they don’t miss having a teacher.

    “We’ve been painting on our own for so long now, we just rely on each other for help and critiques,” Works said.

    Besides, they’ve got Jolly to keep them on task.

    “I called Dru one rainy Wednesday to tell her I wasn’t going to come paint that day,” Riggan said. “She told me a little rain never hurt anybody.”

    Stegall nods her head in agreement.

    “Dru won’t let us drop out or not show up,” she said. “She’s got a whip and she cracks it. Dru motivates us all.”

    Despite the fact some of the artists fretted about the mentioning of ages, their playful demeanors and physical appearances belie the numbers.

    “It’s the paint fumes,” one said and all laughed.

    Every Wednesday, the seven start gathering to paint about 9:30 in the morning – some are earlier than others.

    “I come about the crack of noon,” Riggan said. “I didn’t quit work to get up early.”

    They bring lunch and normally paint until 5 or later.

    There are no rules – they’re truly a laid-back bunch. Sometimes their painting is peppered with chitchat. Jolly says in all the years they’ve painted together, they’ve solved lots of the world’s problems.

    Other times, hours pass with no words spoken. The seven are comfortable within their creative silences.

    “Sometimes it’s so quiet, you can hear a pin drop,” Garrison said, as several sets of eyes looked toward Works.

    “It takes me a while to settle down,” she said, in her own defense.

    “Is that what it is?” Jolly said.

    As the group’s laughter dies down, Works said Jolly keeps her in line – “I’ll be talking and Dru will sometimes just tell me, ‘Sharon, paint.’”

    No one plans to put down their paintbrushes and leave the group in the foreseeable future.

    “Not while we’re reporting to Dru,” Riggan said over group guffaws. “As long as she’s cracking that whip, we’ll keep showing up.”

    USC Aiken Professor Featured in Augusta Art Exhibition

    AIKEN, SC (11/09/2018) The annual SEEDS exhibition at the Westobou Gallery in Augusta features several local artists, including one of University of South Carolina Aiken’s own.

    Joseph Kameen, an art professor at USC Aiken, has 10 new paintings in the show, which runs Nov. 9 – Dec. 21.

    “In my paintings, I use narrative imagery and invented spaces to explore our innately human need to ask ‘why’ and to analyze the relationship we form with such inherently unanswerable questions,” Kameen said. “We all ask questions that cannot be answered definitively, [including those] as abstract as wondering about our purpose in life or as personal as asking why we act the way we do.

    “When we ask these questions, a part of us understands that the full answer is either non-existent, or unknowable. At the same time, the act of asking that question is an essential part of healing and self-improvement. I am interested in our need for these questions, the benefits that they provide us, and the contradictory nature of a search for answers known to be non-existent.”

    The USC Aiken art professor’s works and others are on sale to exhibit goers.

    “The fourth annual juried exhibition of small works priced at an affordable $300 or less features 14 local and regional artists working in a variety of media and styles,” according to a flyer promoting the event.

    The Westobou Gallery is located at 1129 Broad Street, downtown Augusta.

    Mumbaikars get to see art made from scratch

    Bandra’s Carter Road was buzzing with activity in a one-of-a-kind painting exhibition, where 15 artists from all over India came together to paint and sculpt live against the background of the setting sun at the promenade. Spread over three days, the third edition of Art by The Sea drew crowds who came to watch the artists creating art works. Participating artists included Dhyan Passika, Gajanan Kabade, Gautam Mukherjee, Gopal Pardesh, H R Das, Madan Pawar, Prof Madhukar Munde, Minal Rajurkar, Rajendra Patil, Satish Wavare, Shailesh Patne, Swati Sabale, Tai Borate, Varun Kapoor and Vipta Kapadia, who were busy creating art in line with the theme — ‘Childlike Innocence’.Bridging the gap between artists and viewers
    While the artists are used to staying in art camps to create art, this was a new experience for them as people were walking in even as they were creating their art work. That was the intention, says Shraddha Puranye who curated the event. “The plan was to get art closer to people in an informal environment so that they can view art being created from scratch while also having a conversation with the artist. It is interesting for the viewer to know the thought process of the artist as they create their art work while for the artist, the interaction helps them to know what viewers want. We have a mix bag of artists, including senior artists, who have been in the profession for 40 years to someone who has just passed out this year. So, it’s the coming together of the young and the old generation. There is an artist making sculptures from scratch and another artist making a collage from clothes while another artist is making art from cello tape.”
    The purpose was achieved as you could see adults as well as kids taking an active interest in the making of the art works. They had queries and could address these to the artists who were eager to share their knowledge. The senior most artist at the event, Vipta Kapadia had little children coming to tell her how much they liked her work. She said, “People are walking in and taking interest, even small children are appreciating and telling me what they felt about my work. That was the purpose of painting live — so that people could come and see, and discuss art.”
    The sea in the background worked wonders for creativity
    The sea was a source of inspiration for the artists, who said it helped them feel close to nature and enhanced their creativity. Dhyan Passika, who came from Himachal Pradesh, found a connect with nature through the sea just like he found a connect with the mountains. “I create spiritual paintings mainly on Buddha and his journey. In Dharamshala, I experience pin-drop silence until morning when you can see the mountains and here, I feel the sound and vibration of the sea and the waves. The sound does not bother me because just how we need Buddha’s silence in our lives, we also need the cheerfulness of Lord Krishna to celebrate life. Hence, I’m not disturbed by people since they are part of nature. The only vibration I’m getting is from the sea and those are very positive vibes,” he said.
    Variety of art work on display
    Amongst the paintings, there was a sculpture and textile collage, which were being made from waste material. The youngest artist at the event, Tai Borate was making a collage of Mahatma Gandhi and his charkha using cloth material. “I do paintings too but this time I decided to do a textile collage. While people are appreciating that I was making something from extra cloth, which would have otherwise become waste material, the senior artists appreciated my effort and gave me tips on how to improve my work.”
    Yet another artist who was using waste material was sculptor Shailesh Patne, who said, “I used metal from scrap material to make a lotus symbolising purity and the eyes which are supposed to be the medium to gain knowledge. The idea was to show how to gain pure knowledge. People were curious to know what I was making and were impressed that I was making something out of waste.”

    Defense attorney seeks removal of Confederate portrait

    LOUISA, Va. (AP) — A defense lawyer in Virginia made oral arguments seeking removal of a portrait of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee for his African-American client’s upcoming trial on a murder charge.

    The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports defense attorney Douglas Ramseur argued before a Louisa County judge on Thursday that his client shouldn’t be tried in the courtroom unless the painting is taken down. A motion over the portrait was filed in October. The trial is scheduled for May.

    Darcel Nathaniel Murphy is charged with the 2016 killing of another man who was black.

    Ramseur argued the painting of Lee was meant to venerate Confederates who fought to uphold slavery and white supremacy. He said the painting could have a prejudicial effect.

    The prosecutor’s office said it doesn’t have a position on the matter.