Kamala Dolphin Kingsley's organic,kitsch, Art Nouveau-inspired watercolor paintings have never failed to amaze me with their offbeat subject matter and attention to detail. She depicts creatures and fauna in a way that is gorgeous and quirky while appearing both antiquated and contemporary. In addition to selling her original paintings, Kingsley offers prints of varying sizes so that even the brokest of us can afford to hang her magic in our homes. Here is a play by play description of how creates her paintings:
"I begin with reference images and initial, pretty bad hand sketches
...after I figure out the general layout I want, I paste all the different things together in Photoshop to make the final sketch.
Yeah, I'm a cheater. I blow the photoshop sketch up to 22x28 (the full size of the final painting), tape it to the back of the watercolor painting, and trace it onto the paper.
I work on it in pencil until I like it, then start on the sepia (watercolor & acrylic) wash, and then start on the colors, and add many layers of colors until I get it where I want it.
I like the interaction of light & dark, good and bad, innocence and complication, humour & gravity, and the reality of the natural world & the human need to idealize it. Oh yeah, and I really like glitter. "
On Friday, January 2nd at Bobo Gallery, the S.S. Drawing Club will debut their handbound and illustrated book, Newsworthy. These limited edition books are collected illustrations loosely based upon factual news reports gathered from various sources throughout the year of 2008. The show is a retrospective of the most macabre and strange events from around the world during the year as we come to its close. The S.S. Drawing Club (formerly known as Segment 16) is currently comprised of Julie Armbruster and R. Brooke Priddy - both accomplished artists in their own right.
Vickie L. Wrenn is a local artist who sells color copies of her paintings in downtown Asheville for a donation of $1 - $5. If you don't have $1 to spare, she'll probably just give you print anyway. Wrenn can usually be found outside of Malaprop's Bookstore on Haywood St. on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights. She told me she generally makes one painting a day and has been painting for over a decade. Her original paintings will eventually be auctioned off via the Internet. Visit her downtown to see and purchase prints of her inspired and varied paintings.
Last weekend I attended the studio sale of fiber artist Lisa Klakulak. Her one-of-a-kind hand-crafted and sculpted felt accessories are precisely executed as well as designed. I especially like her necklaces, rings, and pincushions. She gave us a demonstration on how to make felt which turns out to be quite a tedious process but I imagine it could be sorta fun if you can get into the zen quality of it. Check out www.strongfelt.com for more information on Klakulak and the workshops she teaches.
"Rock-n-Roll" Jacket by Valerie Hoh
So there we all were, making felt, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed the super stellar jacket of one of the participants in the group. I guess it caught my eye because it was so funky and unexpected. It was made out of a yellow leather and suede patchwork material with black zippers sewn onto it. Turns out, the woman wearing it, Valerie Hoh, also made it, and is the creator of Hoh Couture. Check her website out! It's pretty terrific. www.hohcouture.com
According to Wikipedia, creativity is a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts. Or simply the act of making something new. Inspiration refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in an artistic, musical, or intellectual endeavor. Literally, the word means "breathed upon." Whatever. I've been having a bout of neither of those lately, which explains why I'm copying and pasting out of Wikipedia.
Here is my personal remedy: 1. Go to a store. Purchase anything that has stimulating qualities on your physical and mental psyche. ie: coffee, green tea, matte, trucker speed (aka mini thins, yellow jackets, or ephedrine, they make an herbal version of this stuff as well and I hear it works wonders.), Pepsi (gag) or an energy drink with lots of stuff in it (double gag.) 2. Consume the upper of choice with a friend and then talk about art for 15 hours. 3. Before you crash, start painting or drawing or writing, or whatever it is that you do. 4. Go ahead and sleep if you need to. 5. When you wake up you will be so blown away by the masterpiece you've created that you won't be able to stand your genius self and you'll just have to keep going with it.