Friday, September 30, 2011

True Blue in the Blue Ridge!

True Blue Art Supply

True Blue is a wonderful art supply store in Asheville. So our day in Asheville included a stop to look at all the new art supplies. They also have a large selection of hand made papers that are beautiful. When I am in town this is one of my favorite haunts.
You might want to check them out if your are in the area, or for a virtual visit from where ever you live. With so many artist living in one area, the art stores need to carry a lot and often!

Merhaba !

Nasil sinez? Welcome Izmir, Turkey!!! My home for two years. I loved Izmir and the time I spent with professors at Dokuz eylul Universtity art department. Turkish people opened their hearts and minds to me as a researcher and friend. I will never forget that time, it has a special place in my heart. teşekkür ederim Turkiye

Ashville in a Haven of Craft Artist!

Asheville is a haven of craft artists, as well as, the surrounding areas of the Blue Ridge, and Smokey Mountains. There are weavers, potters, glass artist, wood and metal artist quilters, knitters, jewelry makers and more and more. The mountain people that originally in this area brought skills from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and other countries. Interestingly enough much of the mountain folk music can be traced back to Elizabethian England. There is even a wonderful movie about it called "Song Catchers".

Purl's Yarn Emporium/Asheville, North Carolina

There are crafts people in the mountains that raise their own sheep and llama's, dye and spin their own yarn. Living on the land, and being self sufficient draws people who want a simpler more independent life to the Western North Carolina areas.

A Virtual Day in Ashville/Blue Ridge Mountains

Lets start with breakfast! One of my favorites is Early Girl Eatery, they specialize in healthy, wholesome, and local foods. Asheville restaurants as a whole are dedicated to local foods and local farms. What a difference in taste that makes when foods are not picked green, gassed for color, and shipped across the country.
Asheville is so thick with artists that if you throw a stone, you are bound to hit one! The walls of Early Girls has doodles done on the brown paper from the tables. Most restaurant doodles are very basic, these look like an art gallery!

Here is our pick for breakfast, potato garlicky cakes with fresh home grown tomato gravy, and a whole wheat biscuit(for you Brits it is not sweet!), soft scrambled eggs, and coffee. check side website favorites for a clickable version of address)
Now that we have had our late breakfast and lunch together we are off to see the city!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Artist as Channel

The quote is Modrian, but the photo is Gaudi's architecture in Barecelona. I can not conceive of any way Gaudi did not channel his ideas for architecture, they are not angular, they melt, and slip down walls while fascinating the eye with detail, color and texture. This is the roof top of the house of Bones he designed for a wealthy client. Chimney tops that stand like soldiers and a jade pearled necklace with cross adorn the roof view. This mind, how the ideas flowed, was a mind of a genius.

The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.
Piet Mondrian


United States
United Kingdom
Panama 1

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome Panama!!

Welcome aboard Panama!!! It is so nice to have you visit. I look forward to hearing about artists of your region and your art interests.

Welcome Our Readers from Denmark, Hungary, and the Netherlands.

Welcome Demark, Hungary, and Netherlands!!! It is nice to have you with us. Don't forget to join, it just makes us stronger and able to serve you better.

Pumpkins are Out/Must be Fall

You know its fall when the pumpkins go up for sale! There is something so beautiful and seasonal. I love the long shadows and angle of the sun at this time of year. It makes the contrast so much more interesting. Taking even a small camera along for sudden unexpected shots, a visual memory journal or ideas for art work later is a good idea. Sometimes I use it like a visual note pad.

Look at the dappled light, the range of oranges and yellows, the texture of the stems and grasses. Our minds eye takes all this in at the moment we see it, but when ones goes back and looks again there is more to see.

I am not sure if other countries sell pumpkins for fall decoration and carve them for halloween. I don't know if it is just an American custom. I would think not, but I will enjoy hearing from all of you what is done in your country. I think there is some part of us that welcomes the season like our ancient ancestors did. There is an excitement and heightening of the senses. For artist that can translate in to creativity.

I grew up in Florida where we don't really have fall. We just go from rainy season to wet. It does get a bit cooler in the winter, but there is not really a fall. I have only experienced a few falls in my life as an adult and I am just like a kid when I get to. The first turn of the leaves, the first hint of coolness, the decorations by the farm mailboxes and in the small towns. A scarecrow here and there.

In Florida when we did have pumpkins, they were trucked in from North of us, like Christmas trees. And when I was a child it was rare to see pumpkins brought down to South Florida.

I think it is not only the season, the colors or temperature, but emotion that is triggered in holidays and traditional festivities. And that emotion can translate to art in many different ways.

Thank You Russia

Thanks Russia, 8 readers in one day! Fantastic. Don't forget to join, it helps you and me.

Wow Bulgaria

You are making you presence known 38 readers in one day!!!!

Welome Hungary

Welcome aboard Hungary

Good Morning Blue Ridge Mountains!

I thought you might like a virtual trip up my mountain and to the Asheville studio. This is the deck of the house, it wraps around the front and side. The finches and hummingbirds are waiting for me to fill their feeders. The deck needs sweeping and the umbrella unfurled. The days are warm and nights cool. The crickets sing me to sleep every night. This morning I have the fireplace on to take the chill off.

This is our road. It is a gravel road and steep in parts. The summer rains work on washing it away, but it is repaired and ready for winter. Last winter my neighbors were snowed in for two weeks. Every season here is as different in contrast as the last. Now we are in transition, from summer to fall. The leaves are beginning to turn, little bits here and there. I see reds out in some kinds of trees.

The is the view from one part of my road. The mountains really do have a blue cast, hence, the name Blue Ridge. Actually we are in the areas of Blue Ridge and the Smokey Mountains. Several well know movies have been filmed in this of which is the Last of the Mohigans with Daniel Day Lewis. The native Americans that were in this area, and are still a presence, are the Cherokee. I am very please to know I have some Cherokee heritage as well.

When we chose this area, we looked in two areas, one West one East of Asheville. One was a tourist area and one a family farm area. We chose the family farm area. I didn't need country clubs, and golf courses. I needed nature and the down to Earth people of the Earth. I love driving through the back roads looking at the farms and growing crops. Right now the farmers are growing lots of corn for their cows for winter. One of my favorite drives is on a road called Potato Creek, it winds and climbs up to beautiful vistas.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Allow yourself to make mistakes!

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams


Welcome aboard! It is so nice to have you. Please feel free to share you art, Bulgarian art sites, and art.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Story of Rabbit Moon Studio

A friend recently ask me to post this. I believe you will enjoy knowing the story. The name was not chosen accidentally nor by happenstance. It was born out of one of the most difficult trials in my life as a teacher and artist.

A long time ago when I was a younger teacher and artist I taught special education. I taught varying disabilities, blind, deaf, autistic, educable( below 90 IQ), trainable (below 75) and profound (below 25 IQ), and severely emotionally handicapped students. The ages could range from 3 to 21. At one point I was teaching at an severely emotionally disturbed center. I taught art on a stage that was in the cafeteria. There was no wall, no curtain, and three lunches a day. The noise and conditions were unbearable. My students had little patience and exploded unpredictably daily. Lunch students would jump up on stage and threaten my art students continually. The principal was one of the worst I was to have my whole career. The principal was not mentally not stable either and continually attacked the teachers verbally in a very demeaning way.
It was all I could do to force myself to go to that school to teach.

I had read a little about positive thinking and how it can help if you can control your thinking.

On the way to school I noticed a rabbit in an impossible place to live, in the middle of a four lane highway with no water source. The next day I noticed another and the next day another, until I counted up to 5 rabbits.
I remembered how rabbits were good luck in our culture and in Japan. I also noticed on Friday's no matter how bad the day was, I didn't mind because I knew the weekend was coming.

So then I decided to trick my mind..if I saw a rabbit it would be a good luck day, and the more rabbits I saw the better the day. If I saw 5 rabbits it was a fantastic day! I can't tell you every thing was wonderful overnight, but I began to control the situation I was in. That year I was threatened by a 19 year old who had a history of beating up teachers. The principal brought him in and blamed me. However, the teachers and students all stood up for me. That year there were 22 grievances against the principal and there were only 23 teachers. The next year all was changed and better.

I learned in my young mind, that I could control the situation by controlling my reaction to it. It has been a valuable lesson that has stood by me all my life. I later dreamed I would have a business with the name rabbits and I do!!!! So that is the story of Rabbit Moon

Join Today!

Join Rabbits Moon Studio site today!
Remember Rabbits are good luck!

Asheville Art Scene

Woolworth Art Building offer another wonderful venue for art and artists in Asheville. This gallery is really wonderful about carrying local and emerging artists. (if this is not clickable go to the websites of interest, and click on the site there)

Blue Spiral/Asheville

Blue Spiral is one of the finest galleries in the South East. It carries modern art, as well as, fine crafts. Three floors of gallery space with wood floors, high ceilings and great lighting. If you are in Asheville make sure you pay them a visit, if you are traveling virtually check out the website, if you are an artist make contact.
"BLUE SPIRAL 1 presents work by exceptional Southern artists and object makers in a beautifully renovated building in the heart of downtown Asheville. The light-filled, 15,000 square-foot gallery spans three floors connected by an open stairway. This spacious setting allows Blue Spiral 1 to offer considerable diversity, affording accessibility to various tastes and aesthetics. "
Here is the website, and I will put in our favorite websites for easy reference for you to click on anytime.

Welcome World!!!!

Welcome South Korea!!!! Welcome Chile!!! Together in Art!

Asheville Art Scene

Let's start checking out the Asheville Art Scene
Here is your first website to check out, Asheville's very own art Museum.
I will start posting art websites for you to check out in the Western North Carolina Area and information in general about this scenic treasure of the USA.

Asheville Art Museum

Asheville Facts/ We are here!!!! Get ready to learn more.

Asheville continues to morph itself into one of the trendiest cities in the Southeast. The lofty Western North Carolina mountains, with their world-class natural beauty and four distinct seasons are luring thousands of retiring baby boomers and younger, affluent city dwellers to what so me have dubbed “The Paris of the South.”

How do you define a town that constantly changes?

Plenty of people try, summing up Asheville, N.C. with such catch phrases and comparisons as “Paris of the South,” “Santa Fe of the East” and “New Age Mecca.” Even, “Top-rated place to retire” and “Land of the Sky.”

As a lifelong Asheville resident, I’ve been aware of the labels used to define my hometown’s unique individuality. I can even see rays of truth in many of them. But none works as a stand-alone description. It’s when you combine them all that you get a sense of the real city.

The Early Ground-Breakers

Asheville has long been a destination for the rich and famous. George Vanderbilt was so taken with the beauty of the region that he bought a huge chunk of land in and around Asheville. In the late 1800s, he built his 250-room mansion and filled it with priceless art, sculptures, tapestries and elegant décor and surrounded it with lavish gardens and landscaping.

Later, E.W. Grove moved to Asheville from St. Louis for health reasons; the city had proved to be a wonderful destination for those seeking relief from breathing ailments, including tuberculosis. Grove marked the landscape with his money, creating the Grove Park Inn, which was built in 1913 and has catered to famous guests since its beginning, and the Grove Arcade, completed in 1929 and touted as “the finest structure in the South.”

Until the stock market crash of 1929, Asheville was a boomtown. Then, saddled with a huge debt, the city could not afford downtown urban renewal. This financial burden led to the preservation of Asheville’s architecture and today, it would be hard to imagine Asheville without its art deco City Building designed by Douglas Ellington, who also created the domed First Baptist Church and the old S & W Cafeteria building. Other buildings add to Asheville’s architectural wealth with gargoyles or faces carved into building eaves.

sheville Now

If you visit downtown Asheville today, it’s easy to see the Paris connection with the multitude of art galleries and sidewalk cafés; the Santa Fe connection with the unique stores and restaurants that you won’t see anywhere else and working artists in studios in the river district. The New Age reference comes through acupuncture schools, organic groceries and shops that cater to those looking for tarot cards, crystals and feng shui cures.

Without question, Asheville is also a lovely place to raise a family or to retire, with a moderate climate, four beautiful seasons, a low crime rate and stunning scenery. It’s a town that offers something for everyone, from tattoo parlors to antique stores; sushi bars to used bookstores; upscale salons for the perfectly coifed to acceptance of those with dreadlocks.

It’s a town that Self magazine proclaimed America’s “Happiest City,” and one which Rolling Stone Magazine dubbed “America’s New Freak Capital.” Money Magazine has called Asheville one of the “Best Places to Retire,” and AARP cites it as one of the “Best Places to Reinvent Your Life.” It’s also a town with a strong literary history, serving as the hometown of authors Thomas Wolfe, Gail Godwin, Wilma Dykeman and John Ehle, as well as a place of inspiration for O. Henry, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Pat Conroy, to name a few.

As these slogans suggest, Asheville is a melting pot, a location that offers small-town charm, friendliness and acceptance of alternative lifestyles, along with cultural offerings, art, architecture and diversity in stores, shops, and cafés.

What is amazing for those of us who have lived through various stages of Asheville’s renaissance is the degree of transformation that’s taken place.
As a child during the ’60s, I spent many Saturdays shopping in downtown Asheville with my mother and two aunts. I have fond memories of browsing through the elegant department stores located on Haywood Street and Battery Park Avenue. Ivey’s was situated in a corner building that now houses the Haywood Park Hotel, and Bon Marche and Winner’s were set a little further up Haywood Street. I quickly learned the rules: The higher the number on the elevator, the higher the price of clothes. You’d find bargains in the basement, moderate prices on the first and second floors, and more expensive items on the upper levels.

Around the corner on Battery Park Avenue, we shopped at John Carroll, an upscale boutique, and J.C. Penney, where a little woman sat in the store’s alcove for years selling carnations. Fain’s, a discount store with great prices and wonderful linens, stood on Biltmore Avenue where Mast General Store is now open for business. And there were other smaller shops sprinkled around town.

We’d literally shop ’til we were about to drop, then head for a bite to eat at the S & W Cafeteria, located in a stunning art deco build ing, the lunch counter at Woolworth’s on Haywood Street or Brown’s Restaurant on Battery Park. I also spent countless hours reading in Pack Memorial Library, visiting my aunts in the federal building where they worked for the U.S. Forest Service, getting my teeth checked in the Flat Iron Building, and enjoying summer Saturday evenings on the courthouse lawn watching cloggers and listening to old-time music at the Shindig on the Green.

Downtown Asheville pulsed with activity as people buzzed in and out of stores and restaurants, amid awe-inspiring architecture and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain skyline. But when I was in the sixth grade, construction crews built the Asheville Mall off Tunnel Road and the downtown area began its decline.

Beginning Another Boom

In 1979, as a high school senior, I had my first taste of working in downtown Asheville. I drew my paycheck from the Buncombe County Board of Education, then located in the Buncombe County Courthouse, and spent lunch hours combing through bargains at Bon Marche’s going-out-of-business sale.

That summer, the city launched a festival in hopes of bringing people back downtown. The first year, the festival spanned just the length of Haywood Street and brought out a modest crowd, but the energy was set and Bele Chere became a yearly tradition. Now, it is the largest free outdoor street festival in the Southeast, attracting more than 350,000 people each July.

In the early 1980s, I stayed close to home and studied at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. At that time there were few reasons to venture downtown, especially after dark when most of the sparse stores and businesses were closed. Then, after graduation in 1984, I began my second stint working downtown, this time at The Asheville Citizen-Times on O’Henry Avenue. The sight of the Grove Arcade next door depressed me, its architecture still impressive but its usage grown stale with government offices inside. I felt a deep sadness for my town and yearned for the time it would throb again with crowds, stores and restaurants.

A New Visionary

John Cram, owner of the prestigious New Morning Gallery in Biltmore Village, had a hunch about the potential for downtown revitalization. He bought property along Biltmore Avenue and on New Year’s Eve 1990 opened Blue Spiral 1 fine arts gallery.

“It was a ghost town when I opened,” says Cram. “Now it’s packed full. Arts always pave the way for downtown development.”

Today, Blue Spiral 1 anchors one of the busiest, most successful areas of town. It’s surrounded by restaurants, stores, galleries and Cram’s Fine Arts Theatre next door. Any given weekend, throngs of people parade up and down Biltmore Avenue, stopping in the shops, eateries and the nearby Orange Peel nightclub.

By the Numbers:
All About Asheville

Population Asheville City:69,425

Asheville Metro:

Cost of Living Index
97.9% of 2003 national average

Climate Average Temperature:
56 degrees

Average Annual Snowfall:

Property Taxes per $100 value Asheville City:

Retail Sales:

North Carolina Income Tax


Average Housing Costs 2003:

Outdoor Activities
Fishing, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, hunting, white-water rafting, road & mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, llama trekking, canoeing, gem mining

Recreational Facilities

34 public parks and play areas
14 public & semi-private golf courses
Asheville Civic Center
Asheville Community Theater
Minor league baseball, the Asheville Tourists
23 tennis facilities
Montford Outdoor Theater
3 private residential full-service country clubs
2 private swim and tennis clubs
Semi-pro hockey, Asheville Smoke

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quirky Drug Store/ Taxidermy and Pharmacy!

Small Town America Creativity

I love the individuality and creativity of people in small towns. They are far away from expensive ad agencies of Madison Street and big city rules. People can put up displays with out corporate permission and hand make their own signs. The uniqueness of human thought emerges, sometimes in a happenstance fashion and sometimes with a sense of humor, and sometimes very funny when not intended. This drugstore in downtown Summerton, South Carolina is one in which two odd concepts come together in an ironic way, drugs and stuffed mounted wildlife!

I particularly like this one of the duck hanging as if flying, while the wild turkey has his tail feathers fanned by the HEALTH sign! I can imagine the though process that went into this decoration.
This area is a big wildlife and hunting area. Hunting and fishing are big sports in this area. South Carolina is blessed with lots of wildlife.
Canadian Geese on Column

Looking out the front window of the Pharmacy toward the artisans gallery

Dollar wise Wood Ducks!

Check out Andy Goldsworthy, Artist who uses nature

Andy Goldsworthy/Nautre Artist
This is the site to go to Andy Goldsworth's site, if it is not clickable go to me Websites of interest and click on the site there.

Harp Tree

We were riding through a nature reserve near my brothers lake place when I spotted this unusual growth in a tree. I call it the harp tree, what does it look like to you? Nature is an artist also, and sometimes with a sense of humor! This one of the things I love about travel, there are so many surprises and new things. Your awareness is heightened and everything is new. It is good for an artist, it awakes the creative spirit in a new vein.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Arcimboldo, artist who painted portraits with vegetables.

Arcimboldo Vertumnus A keen observer as well as celebrated wit, Arcimboldo created composite portraits that were both enjoyed as jokes and taken very seriously.

Flowers Family Farm and Farm House

Flowers Farm

The farm house has a simple elegance about it. It is strong and sturdy like the people that have farmed the lands of South Carolina for generations. One almost feels as if sitting on the yellow porch chairs looking out at the fields it could be a much earlier simple time.

Rattle snake striped Watermelons

Tomatoes growing on the vine, fried green tomatoes are a Southern delicacy.

Barn and farm equipment

The back of a shipping truck with a coors beer advertisement

Flowers Farm

At Flowers farm the fields are lush with growth. The tomato and corn fields are abundant in growth. I love the county side, being out from the city. I love hearing birds chirping and a hen clucking. I love not hearing the rush of traffic or the sounds of sirens. There is a peace and quite that just heals ones soul, and the smell of growing things is so refreshing.
The family dog is good company market day. He takes it easy and smiles as his owners work away.

sweet potatoes

Bundles of fresh picked corn

Cantelopes, sweet and tasty

Flowers Farm

Flowers Farm
is near Summerton, South Carolina.
It is a wonderful local family owned farm that has rich soil with a clay base. The vegetables grown there are healthy and beautiful with a wonderful flavor. They have a wide variety of crops. In the photo below are two different kinds of peppers.

Todays crop was fresh picked and wonderfully abundant. Peanuts, bell peppers, zucchini squash, eggplant and melons. We were already dreaming of what supper might be. There is a movement in restaurants in the United States to use more local foods produced by family farms. It is easy to see why. They are not picked green, and shipped over long distances. Chemicals are not used to give them fake color, but they are grown the old fashioned way and picked fresh for you that day.

zucchini squash

yellow squash

Lake Marion Artisans

This is an addendum to the previous posting about Lake Marion Artisans. The picture below shows the new store and finished sign. The first space the artists were in was an older building that was lent to them. This past year they moved into their new space and with the sweat and labor of many people finished the new gallery into the space you now see.
Raku Bowl

Mosaic of the cabbage palm and quarter moon that is the state emblem for South Carolina. The effort a very few dedicated people can make in a community can be considerable. It is a small gallery in a small community, but reaches out to many.

Lake Marion Artisans

Lake Marion Artisans

Summerton, South Carolina is near the Santee Cooper Lake System. In the early 1940's a large part of this area was flooded to make two of lakes. Lake Marion alone covers 177 square miles. A damn was built to provide hydro electric power and a recreation area for boaters and fishermen. It is the 50th largest lake in the United States and the largest lake in South Carolina.

(Pottery by April, my sister in law, and a member of Lake Marion Artisans)

Summerton is a small rural town that once had a thriving lumber and cotton mill. Once the rail road ended the town began to slowly die out. There are many towns throughout the South that are like Summerton. There are lovely old brick buildings and sidewalks, even old schools, but many are empty. As an artist all I see is studios!!!! All the space an artist needs to work and have display areas too. I see art villages and art towns, place that could be alive again.

A small group of artistic minded individuals came together to start an art group. Starting any venture is difficult with different ideas and opinions that a variety of people may have. How do you get a building, how to pay electric bills, or get someone to keep the store open. This group is no different, but they are surviving and growing. Below are photo's of some of the artists work.
Judy, a retired art teacher from New Jersey, is pictured below with a stained glass window she and some other artists are working on for the Episcopal Church in town. Judy also built and designed the heron bowl above.

There are a number of clay artist in the area with differing styles.

The mosaic gallery sign is lively and fun. Summerton could not have a gallery, nor people who care about art. It could be one of many little towns where people do not value the arts, but someone cared, some one made a difference and the community is stronger for it. Positive influences have a tendency to ripple out and touch many.
This piece is by John, a potter who has interesting shapes and glazing techniques.

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