Tag Archives: Impressionist

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.

The First Art is the Sweetest

(i.e., the first steps down this path are as familiar as the soles of my Earth Shoes on the aisles of the Little Art Gallery)

I listened to an interview with James Taylor a few years ago who’s answer to a question really stuck with me. He was asked how, with such a large catalog of songs, does he come up with new lyrics. He said something to the effect that his method is to “go back to the well” — in other words, all of his music (his art) comes from within him, and that is where he ‘goes’ to look for new ideas, in effect.

What does that have to do with The Little Art Gallery?  I have enjoyed browsing and shopping there in each of its locations over these past decades and had the inspiration to begin this blog trek at that one place where I became introduced to so many artists from this area – I would say that gallery is my ‘well’ where I go back for inspiration whether it is viewing interpretations of current design trends or how the local artists and their work are evolving, or for new subjects and ideas for my own work. I visited Little Art Gallery at Cameron Village this past weekend and checked out some of the works currently carried by owner/manager Rosanne Green Minick and founder Ruth Green, her mother.

Blackwater Falls, Micah Mullen

Blackwater Falls (c) 2013 Micah Mullen

Once I got through browsing my favorites -which always seems like re-visiting long lost friends- I came across the acrylic paintings of Micah Mullen and was drawn to the virtual 3D affect he achieves in the overlays of patterns and values -which remind me very much of the Mola of Panamá as well as contemporary art quilts and some of the works of Klimt —  and how cool to see he offers video art lessons on his website! Micah provided me with a photo of one of his newest pieces to use on my blog, “Blackwater Falls”  – Thank you, Micah!

Leah, the gallery sitter that Sunday, also introduced me to some of Nancy Hughes Miller‘s work as one of her favorites. Nancy captures that thing I stare at most -besides computer screens- while travelling the down east country or seaside: North Carolina’s horizons. The strong horizon lines she develops provide a calming fulcrum balancing the sky and earth in many of her works. I am also reminded of the color fields and horizontal lines Rothko achieved in many of his pieces.

Walk to Bird Island - Nancy Hughes Miller

Walk to Bird Island (c) 2013 Nancy Hughes Miller

My favorite paintings of Nancy’s are those that are the more impressionist seascapes, but all merit a good viewing — this artist can even make Lake Crabtree appear majestic!  My favorite piece of Nancy’s is, of course, a seascape… “Walk to Bird Island “, and Thank you, Nancy, for allowing me share it here!
Another thing to note is Nancy graduated with a BA in Environmental Design at NCSU’s SOD – my (partial) alma mater!

Another of my long-time favorite artist’s work shown at The Little Art Gallery is that of Stephen White of Carrboro/Chapel Hill. The Little Art Gallery has represented Stephen for over 35 years. I am always drawn to Stephen’s use of very simple shapes and the figures’ subtle expressions. I don’t think I could own just one, but my favorite so far is ”Two Women, Black Background” which I found on the City Art Gallery of Greenville website.

Two Women - Black Background - Stephen White

Two Women, Black Background (c) Stephen White

The composition might be simple but it offers a very dynamic visual effect much like what I see looking at a print of da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”. That is, when you at the Mona Lisa’s eyes, you see her smile! For this painting of Stephens, when you look at the eyes of the figure at the top of the composition, the lower figure’s eyes seem to smile — maybe I’m just staring at my computer too long -again! I hope to catch up with Stephen in the future when my trek carries me westward to Carrboro.


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