Category Archives: Pittsboro

Strikings – applied patterns and theme

Notes from my Artist Studios of Fearrington Village preview tour…


Vidabeth Bensen

Original hand-pulled screen prints
— cards, calendars, t-shirts and framable prints

[#15 on the ASFV studio tour map]

(c) Vidabeth Bensen

(c) Vidabeth Bensen

    Of all the art techniques I have tried, I have to say print-making is probably the most difficult to pull off, second only to etching.  Vidabeth has triumphed over the process of enacting the multiple steps of designing the print, preparing the screen(s) and then inking and pulling in such a way there is no perceived effort evident.

   Vidabeth gave a mini tutorial on making the screens and shared her long teaching career outside the US, and her collections. Her discussion of the process and all she puts into it -as well as the prints’ blossoming from her experiences in Europe, Asia and the Middle East- leaves me in awe to know the finished prints are a just single pieces of paper.   

    I chose this image to highlight here for two important reasons. It displays multiples of the Chinese character for “Art” and, as I didn’t take the opportunity to buy a t-shirt she sells of this marking, this post is a great way to remember the image. The ink and background colors in this piece, as well as the texture of the paper it is on make it very conducive to a happy patch of bamboo.



Murry Handler

Award winning contemporary acrylics, bold ink-brush prints, diverse styles

[#19 on the ASFV studio tour map]

(c) Murry Handler

(c) Murry Handler

    I am presenting this partial image of one of the many paintings I fell in love with of Murry’s. This piece is both painting and illustration, both static and full of movement. As is Murry’s history. He began as tight-lined, deadline-oriented Illustrator and is now a free flowing, mistake forgiving artist wielding a dream brush. 

   I love the movement Murry’s splatters have as well as the clean-lined pine cones and needles. I also love the pine cones being the only objects with color, almost reminding me of the drapes Mom had years ago – this painting makes me smile with a bit of wistfulness.

   Over all, I believe Murry when he mentions how his paintings “take shape while [he is] semi-asleep.” The muscle memory he stored up after the years as an illustrator must allow him to jump past any pause of how to represent his thoughts- even if it is just a mere suggestion of an object. One can accept his brush shows him the way.



Artist Studios of Fearrington Village Studio Tour 2015

I hope you are able to make it out to the First Ever Artists’ Studio at Fearrington Village —Please share your favorite Triangle artist in the comment section and perhaps I will introduce them here as well!

Kinetic* – Personal-sized captivators

*alternate title: “Insights” – Vietta’s seeing everything in everything; Horty’s “seeing beauty in the faded, cracked, rusted surfaces transformed by the relentless power of time and elements” in her photography.

Notes from my Artist Studios of Fearrington Village preview tour…


Vietta Maher

playful things, kinetic sculptures (fish, movement, ballerinas)

[#3 on the ASFV studio tour map]


(c) Vietta Maher

     Vietta’s studio is a fairyland – playful and entertainingly adorned with spinning ballerinas, acrobats, and articulated fish. The playfulness she creates in her work is infectious – one cannot help to almost giggle at these sculptures. This is not to say she is not a serious artist, but like many now (in retirement) chooses play.

    She is not so much a seeker of materials/subject matter, but recognizes these opportunities in and around the studio – a shadow, the shape of a leaf, and uses them both representing itself and becoming an ‘ah-ha!’ portion of another piece. I enjoyed very much listening to her describe having come upon a smooth, variegated stone in the surface of which she could ‘see’ the whole world in the striation.

    Both Vietta’s ballerinas and circus people attracted me as I am very fond of marionettes and puppets and in these I recognized Vietta’s use of the mind’s need to make non-whole objects, whole. Many of the figurative pieces have parts separate from the whole or even duplicate. A playful interaction given a home.



Horty Jacobs

Enchanting necklaces to appeal to every taste: chic,
elegant, bold, whimsical, extravagant (fishing lures and inherent but personal kinetics)

[#13 on the ASFV studio tour map]

     Just like it says on the tin! In the short time I visited with Horty, I experienced elegance, boldness, whimsy –but only the most chic of extravagance.

(c) Horty Jacobs

(c) Horty Jacobs

     I felt a personal connection to her jewelry as I create beaded necklaces (though, much more sedate than Horty’s) and -there’s those fish again!  Her studio is brimming with such volume and array of artwork – from the “Jazzy Balls” to the alluring earrings (earrings made of fishing lures much like I wore in my high school days) –  it was difficult to focus on just one piece to highlight here until beginning this post.

I chose this necklace to highlight here for the reason it is comprised of a few objects I don’t recall seeing in jewelry before: WINGNUTS and SAFETY PINS!  I also love the way Horty re-purposes bits and chunks of old jewelry to create neat focus points for her necklaces.

     In Horty’s “prior life” she was a professional photographer and has taken some arresting photos of old rusted cars.  Of the photos, Horty remarks: “My photos are unnamed allowing the viewer to tell their own story of what has been captured on film.”  Many seem to have faces or reminiscences of other objects. Any color + rust is good in my eye!




Artist Studios of Fearrington Village Studio Tour 2015
Look for my next installment highlighting the final two artists from the
Artists Studios of Fearrington Village preview tour: Vidabeth Bensen and Murry Handler.

Voices – Two artists who listen for inspiration

Notes from my Artist Studios of Fearrington Village preview tour…

Forrest Greenslade

sculptures and paintings from nature (professional voice)

[#2 on the ASFV studio tour map]

     Forrest – molecular biologist – that to me indicates he worked with the minuscule and the non-tactile. He would not have been able to hold the observed and organized objects – quite different from his sculpture and paintings, both of which “ …are highly stylized… built up with inches of thick acrylics and modeling paste to the point they nearly jump off the canvas…”

Oppossum - (c) Forrest Greenslade

Opossum – (c) Forrest Greenslade

Inasmuch as his professional world was, I imagine, flat and perhaps all that ‘jumped’ were the childhood memories of salamanders and such from under the rocks, Forrest’s “Organic Forrestry” artwork shouts a full exploration of natural subjects bringing textural “motion and emotion [to his art].”

I first knew of Forrest’s cement sculpture work during my own ‘sculpture-ation’ at Central Carolina Community College but it is his painting and drawing I viewed in his studio that kept my attention at our visit. He does impart texture in many of his works but some are also less-stylized, making me want to explore the fur of the groundhog or opossum, or the wet noses of the raccoon or his pup Stanley, even as they are neither furry nor wet.



Reynold Ed Maher

mixed media paintings (reflections from his inner voice)

[#4 on the ASFV studio tour map]

     As Leslie Palmer remarked of Reynold’s work, “…Each work is a flow of emotion- a play on the creative process…”. His works are flowing, formless energy without narrative, yet their color-filled dialog holds the viewer near in hopes of discovering their stories.

(c) Reynold Maher

RA the Sun God (c) Reynold Maher

    Reynold’s work reminded me that if you push for the just the right hues, they shimmer when placed next to each other. He shared with me a postcard of an ancient Egyptian artifact with a particular shade of blue – the Egyptian blue of calcium copper silicate. Reynold pairs this blue with shades of the complimentary and vibrant orange/golds and rust/browns which ask me to see the composition in a reciprocal manner to the shimmering of the colors — they need each other.

   Another complementary observation is that of Reynold and his wife Vietta who shared delicious cookies (and the recipe) with us — both such a treat to meet and spend time with!




Artist Studios of Fearrington Village Studio Tour 2015
Look for my next installment highlighting two more from the
Artists Studios of Fearrington Village preview tour: Vietta Maher and Horty Jacobs.

Fearrington, the first of the first

Artist Studios at Fearrington Village Open Studio Tour

Artist Studios at Fearrington Village Open Studio Tour APRIL 11 & 12 2015

Last weekend, I spent a fabulous morning on yet another art tour – the Media Preview of the very first Fearrington Village Artist Open Studio Tour! I was invited by Leslie Palmer (, one of the Fearrington Artists, who opened my eyes, broadened my blog boundaries, and made me an enthusiastic devotee of this very special Art Destination. Now, I’ve known of the Belties (but not the Beltie Goats!) and the Inn, built by R.B. Fitch, is legendary – and perhaps I ran across a recipe by one of the Chefs… but how I missed the fact that the entire development is an Art Destination was the prize of this Pittsboro puzzle! Fearrington background: Fearrington Village as an Art Destination is the vision of Artist Studios at Fearrington Village, the artists’ group. Leslie described to me how, when she was developing the ASFV Marketing plan, she learned it is “very unusual for an artists’ group to have one but we do and it is actually working!”   Following is the list of Fearrington Artists as I was introduced to them by Leslie that day – all of whom I would love to stay connected to when they are part of Salons or other shows.   And, Reynold, I need that cookie recipe!!  Smile

  • Forrest Greenslade (#2 on the ASFV map) – Highly stylized organic sculptures and paintings, derived from a life-long love of nature any mythology (and an AirBnB!)*
  • Vietta Maher (#3) – Playful Things, Kinetic sculptures and Reynold Ed Maher (#4) – Mixed-media, acrylic, oil pastel and watercolor pencil
  • Horty Jacobs (#13) – Enchanting necklaces to appeal to every taste: chic, elegant, bold, whimsical, extravagant (previous life as photographer of ‘old things forgotten’)
  • Vidabeth Bensen (#15) – Hand-screened original prints, cards, calendars and T-shirts
  • Murry Handler (#19) – contemporary acrylics, bold ink-brush prints ( illustrator background).

I will be presenting these artist in the following pairs. The images are taken from the ASFV brochure:

Voices: Forrest Greenslade’s sculptures and paintings from nature (professional voice)  and Reynold Maher’s mixed media paintings (reflections from his inner voice).



Forrest Greenslade –

Reynold Ed Maher –

Kinetic*: Vietta Maher’s sculptures (fish, movement, ballerinas) and Horty Jacob’s necklaces (fishing lures and inherent but personal kinetics)

VMaher HJacobs
Vietta Maher – Horty Jacobs –

*alternate title: “Insights” – Vietta’s seeing everything in everything; Horty’s “seeing beauty in the faded, cracked, rusted surfaces transformed by the relentless power of time and elements” in her photography.

Strikings: Vidabeth Bensen’s printed and Murry Handler’s applied patterns – (duo-tri color themes)

VBenson MHand
Vidabeth Bensen – Murry Handler –

Let us begin – and Thank You for coming along!  Look for my next blogs of my favorites pieces from these ASFV artists above (Voices, Kinetic and Stroke) in the next coming weeks.


Thank you’s and final thoughts … Our tour took roughly 3 hours to cover all six – please read the bios and preview the art online to plan your trip accordingly. I do not feel I spent enough time with these artists simply due to other demands on my time – perhaps I’ll make reservations at The Artists’ Garret at Fearrington to catch up with the others on another tour next visit! Personal note from Leslie: “I must mention that there are 20 artists opening their studios.. I have heard from several artists  who are disappointed that you were not able to visit theirs.. You are welcome to come back anytime! “ Thank you so much for this introduction to the artists of the Art Studios at Fearrington Village and this wonderful Art Destination, Leslie – we’ll be back! Thank you as always for accompanying me, Evelyn – always a joy and usually an adventure!!  :) -rj Randi Jean Veiberg Editor,


I have been lucky to know some of the great artists and teachers in the Triangle area. Some are professional teachers of art, some are professional artists that teach their craft, and some are the art objects themselves!

…Every person interested in local art from the Triangle area should get to know these folks and their art! Do you have an inspirational artwork or artist in your life you’d like to add to the discussion? Share with us in the comment section.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be focusing these posts on the art and artists nearest me and then move concentrically through the Triangle as my “sightings and lightings” lead.