In 1975, I was given a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass which I read, re-read, and read again.
Two years later, the idea to illustrate ‘Alice’ matured into an attempt to unravel the mysteries and joys of Lewis Carroll’s tale, to search for the keys to unlock the many doors of his mind.
I traveled to many countries during these three years searching for the proper heads of friends to pose as characters, and drew them as they were. This was a wonderful time in my life, coming to terms with myself as an artist and as a man. “Alice” was an ingredient, a psycho-analytical tool that grew me up.
A trip to Oxford, England, the Lewis Carroll Library, where the head librarian, president of the Lewis Carroll Society, confirmed theories and erased doubts concerning Carroll’s life. He was the son of a preacher, one of eleven children, a bachelor, an accomplished photographer, a mathematician and wine taster for the school. He adored costumes and the theatre, and his passion for little girls melted when they reached puberty.
A growing esteem for Lewis Carroll urged me to unveil the Victorian restraints and allow a post-hippie culture to applaud his nakedness, to look directly into the eyes of this man who mirrors our own fantasies and secret passions, and who was brave enough, wise enough, to write them down.
He enchants us as children, defines us as adults; and, in truth, lets us mingle with the Gods.
“I started quilting when I retired, about 20 years ago. I made lots of quilts and gave them to friends and family and others who just seemed to need them. I had lots of fun with colors and patterns, until one of my sisters told me that everybody had enough of my quilts! She thought I should try making art quilts based on the works of famous impressionists. She suggested I try to replicate brush strokes with small pieces instead of cutting fabric into the exact shapes of objects. So I experimented again and again and finally made her a quilt copying a Van Gogh painting of olive trees. In those experiments, I found that the smallest piece I could include was about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. Now, most pieces in my work are about 1/2 inch by 1 inch. My quilt paintings end up to include about 2,000 to 4,000 pieces.
I soon found making “regular” quilts to be boring. Occasionally, I make a lap quilt or table runner in between working on another art work. I love bringing a copy of the painting that I’ve chosen to the fabric store and choosing the fabric. Figuring out how much fabric to buy is a challenge because only about half to two thirds of the fabric is on the front, the rest is used up in the seams.
I mainly “copy” Impressionist landscapes because I love the way the artists use color and I enjoy trying to figure out how to replicate their colors. I choose the paintings that make me smile. The quilt “format” makes them a bit comforting as well. I hope that they make people feel good and smile as they view my work.”
The Watercolor & Graphic Arts Society is probably the oldest arts organization in Mobile and one of the oldest in the state of Alabama. The Society began as an outgrowth of the celebrated Bayou Painters group on June 5, 1948. It was then known as the “Watercolor Society of Mobile” and was open to artists throughout Alabama. There were originally twenty-two members including Genevieve Southerland, Edmond deCelle, William Bush, and the late Bea Q. Tucker. Since then, many well known and well respected artists have become members. Records indicate that the graphic arts addition began in 1954. Today there are nearly one hundred members.
As a non-profit organization, the object of the Society is to create, through education, more interest in the media of watercolor and graphic arts, and to promote finer watercolor and graphic arts exhibitions by Alabama artists. The Society holds a minimum of two exhibitions annually, at least one of which is always juried.
Only artists working in watercolor and/or graphic arts are considered for membership. To be eligible, a person must be living in the Mobile, Alabama area or vicinity at the time of invitation, and must be duly invited as a guest exhibitor. Criteria for nomination and selection for membership are demonstrated by professional interest and technical ability.
The Society is very selective. Two active members must nominate possible members in writing eight weeks before the Member Show. Nominees are then formally invited to join and are asked to submit a resume. Each prospective member must present two pieces in the Society’s Membership Exhibit. Current active members choose new members by written ballot. Those who are not chosen are encouraged to reapply, since fierce competition in particular years can exclude talented artists.
Preferring the title “painter”over that of “artist”, Wm. Coleman Mills’ work is an exploration of mnemonics. In his own words, Mills is far more interested in “the memory of a place, with its’ inherent inaccuracies and overlays of emotions, than a photographic recollection”. An avid outdoorsman, Mills draws inspiration from hours spent in the broomsedge fields, pinoak forests, saltmarshes and grassflats of the American South. He combines the saturated colors and organic forms of this natural world with the regulating lines of his architectural education to create richly textured compositions deeply imbedded with memory and place. His paintings often catalog flyfishing excursions to the Florida Keys and barrier islands of the Gulf of Mexico. Mills’ work has been exhibited at the State Museum of Alabama, in solo and group shows and is held in private and corporate collections throughout the United States.
A native of Fairhope, Wm. Coleman Mills is educated as an architect. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Auburn, Cornell and Harvard and has studied and trained under AIA Gold Medalists Samuel Mockbee and Michael Graves. Mills’ formal training in oil painting came at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he earned his Master of Design Studies in Architectural History and Theory. He has lived, worked and studied on the East Coast, Europe and Mexico and returned home to Alabama nine years ago. He lives in Fairhope, with his wife Alix and three young children Georgia, Rosie and Gus.
Artists by the Bay was founded by Dianne Daniell and Brenda Anderson over 15 years ago. They so enjoyed taking art classes together and spending time with other creative and ‘arty’ people, that they wanted to create a venue where artists (both hobby and professional), artist wanna-bes, art appreciators, and art enthusiasts could come together to enjoy, be inspired by, and support each other.
This annual exhibit showcases various work from the members of the Eastern Shore Art Association. The Art Center encourages everyone to enter ONE original work done in any media. The Members’ Open Show will take the place of the November/December Sales Gallery exhibit.
Howard employs elements of the natural world to enhance and sustain the beauty of the gourds. Replacing the bristle brushes and light fast pigments found in the studio of an artist, are leather dyes, bones, and wood. Howard’s work is a celebration of earth’s beauty and his commitment to preserve it.
Howard W. Smith’s artwork has been displayed in numerous arts and crafts shows throughout the Southeast. He has been the recipient of many distinguishing awards including “Artist of Distinction” in the 2018 Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival.
“I have enjoyed photography since receiving my first 35mm camera at age 16. That was quite a few years ago and it is still a passion in my life. During the past year, I have started to promote my photography again and I have been gratified with the acceptance I have received.
Over my early adult years, I was content to be the family photo-archivist. After my children left home, I began to promote and incorporate other areas into my photography. I was, by my standards, fairly successful. I then took another sabbatical to again be the family photo-archivist with the next generation – grandchildren. Now that everyone has a camera/phone and the grandchildren are, for the most part, semi-grown the archiving has become distributed.
When asked what kind of photography I do, I am never sure exactly how to answer. I enjoy a variety of subjects: Landscapes, Cityscapes, Seascapes, Architecture, Children, Still life, Nature, Flora, Birds, and Wildlife. It’s really, never been as important what I photograph, but how I approach the subject. Each one entails different technical, artistic, and emotional considerations. But, I always try leave room for serendipity.
Through the use of light patterns, form and personal perception my goal is to capture the beauty and magic I see around me.”
– Paul Gray
“A small works show featuring art works by 20 artists in our region. Each piece in this collection explores the physical and emotional realms of reflection as a human experience, all on a visual scale of 8×10 inches and smaller.”
Exhibiting Artists include:
Kristin Dunreath Harris (pictured)
Vikki Turner Finch
Sarah Rutledge Fischer
Haley Hall (pictured)
Cat Pope (pictured)
The show includes a group of artists including Lynn Yonge, Tameka Johnson, Kathrena Rivera and the late Fred Marchman.
“Tameka could be described as an “outsider artist” and we are delighted to include her work in the Gulf Show at ESAC. Her painting of boxes exemplifies the theme of this show: using boxes in a playful way to experiment and tell a story,” Curator Yonge says. “The work by Fred Marchman tells some of the story of his life. He called the work “Time Capsule”. The perfect use of a box. The works in this show will be diverse, polished and unpolished, unstructured and unedited. It should be interesting.”
HISTORY: Gulf ArtSpace was founded in 2000 as an exhibition area for contemporary art on the Gulf Coast. Gulf ArtSpace (commonly referred to as Gulf) hosted a widely successful series of exhibitions that featured the best of the regions artists. The combination of excellent art, interesting exhibitions, and determination made Gulf an entity that was respected around the Gulf Coast and the State of Alabama. The Alabama State Arts Council provided Gulf grants for four consecutive years and its exhibitions traveled the state. Over time, Gulf became a 501(C)3 corporation.
Through the generosity of the Fairhope community, Gulf occupied the old nut processing plant in downtown Fairhope. That location was eventually demolished and the site became the home of the Fairhope Public Library. Gulf relocated in Spring 2004 to a two-story, historic structure on Young Street. The building was purchased and renovated by Dr. and Mrs. Lynn Yonge. Unfortunately, lack of wheelchair accessibility ended state funding. Moving away from downtown decreased community participation and financial support. Gulf closed in 2008.
Judy grew up in Fairhope and graduated from Fairhope High School. She attended the University of South Alabama and Auburn University, majoring in Visual Design. She lived in Selma for 33 years and Ono Island before moving back to Fairhope roots.
Oxford was featured in ESAC’s book “Painters in Paradise” and has received numerous awards for her work, including ESAC’s 2011 Members’ Juried Show “Best of Show”. She has also previously served on the Cahawba Advisory Committee. The state committee worked along with the Alabama Historical Commission in the development of “Old Cahawba”, Alabama’s first capital.
Growing up in the rural south, elements of farm life and nature run deep through Kellie Newsome’s past. In Farm to Gallery, Kellie aspires to enhance and celebrate the quite, simple beauty of the flowers, fruits, and animals that make up so much of her visual memories. In these works, she has been exploring new techniques, experimenting with mediums, and pushing her style.
These works are abstract and at the same time representational of flowers, fruits, and animals. You can find the subject matter within, or simply appreciate the lines, colors and composition as purely aesthetic abstract marks and shapes. In this way, the art shifts between reality and imagination, effectively capturing the ethereal nature of fond memories.
Kellie’s process is fluid, impulsive, and improvised based on years of training her instincts and having a deep understanding of her tools and materials. This process can be predictable while at the same time creating surprising experimental results. This balance of control and chaos allows her to create works that have her unique visual style while also having a life all their own.
What makes a fairytale timeless? Stories have been told before the invention of writing, painting beautiful imagery for the listeners to hang onto. They leave an impression that spreads like a drop of dye rippling through water. Thinking back to my time as a child, listening to my mother’s tales made me want to look further into the classic fairytales and folklore that we know and love.
In my search for origins, I was able to study the world through stories. I tracked down countries’ more popular tales and saw how their stories were passed around. I learned that for the most part, stories were passed through sea trade; with each long voyage travelers would share tales and fables. Like wildfire, the stories spread, enlightening the world with magic and mirth.
Those tales have faced the passage of time and still hang with us today. Now as an artist I want to do my part in this long living tradition. Through art I want to help share and preserve my favorite classics and obscurities. Using narrative painting styles, I can tell countless stories without text, keeping the vast sea of fables alive.
– Benjamin Kaiser
Born and raised in the South, Jason Braly uses a variety of culturally familiar elements and materials in both his two and three-dimensional works: acrylic and collage on canvas, and metal with wood sculpture. His use of aged and weather-worn, reclaimed, materials create timeless works that are, “… moving, nostalgic, haunting, and unpredictable”. Since childhood, Jason has been a scavenger of the world’s “junk”; seeing it as artistic material waiting to be transformed into something new and beautiful.
Jason earned his B.S. in Theater and Art from the University of North Alabama and his Masters in Education from Tennessee State University. He taught Elementary Art for fifteen years, College Art for seven and received Limestone County’s, “Teacher of The Year” award.
Jason Braly’s work has been shown in several galleries in Alabama and Tennessee and has also been seen on the television show, “Nashville”. Now living in Fairhope, Alabama, Jason received the, “Best of Show” award for his sculpture, “Polo Express” in the most recent member’s juried exhibit at ESAC. You can see more of Jason’s work on Facebook.
In 1598, Juan De Onate, his soldiers and settlers from Spain traveled up the Rio Grande River basin up to the confluence of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama in Northern New Mexico. There he settled and started a colony and township called San Juan just north of what is now the town of Espanola. He brought when him livestock including churra (now known as churro) sheep. The churra sheep is an ancient Iberian breed of sheepfrom Zamora province in Castile and Leon, Spain. These sheep provided meat, milk and wool that helps sustain generations of settlers. The Spanish settlers were only allowed to bring the churra sheep from Spain. Churra means common or ordinary. The prized sheep in Spain at the time was the Merino sheep. However, the king of Spain did not allow the Spanish settlers from bringing the Merino sheep to the new world. From this Spanish township of San Juan the entire sheep, wool and weaving craft spread out to influence the entire southwest.
Both Don and Maya will have textiles at the Eastern Shore Art Center. To see more of Don’s work, visit his Instagram page here.
“Painting, like the rest of life, is a journey filled with glimpses of the less obvious truth if you take the time to look. What is truly there beyond the impressions of a first glance?
This question filled my mind after an early painting experience. I was younger than school age and was sitting at a child size picnic table in my back yard on a glorious summer day. The scent of fresh laundry that my mother was hanging, filled the air. In front of me was a coloring book with an image of an elephant already covered in a layer of black dots. There wasn’t much room to color between those black dots but I picked up a crayon and was about to begin when my mother set a brush and glass of water beside me. “You need this.”I touched a dripping brush to the page and jumped back in startled amazement as a sea of viridian green raced across the page.
I was so intrigued by color hidden within black dots, that I started looking more closely at other things to see if there was another reality underneath. I scraped rocks to see if they held color under their dusty surface. I took pieces of bark off off tree trunks hoping to find hidden colors. I peeled the beige paint off the metal buttons of my shirt to see if the paint was masking other colors. When I didn’t find colors there, I dreamt dreams of buttons with layer upon layer of vivid colors. I knew I wanted to be an artist though I barely knew what that meant. I was still in elementary school when I began painting in oils.
Today I still paint in oils, and I’m still searching for what lies hidden within. What am I really seeing and what combination of line, brush stroke and color do I need, to reveal the true character within the seemingly ordinary? That is the journey I’m so fortunate to have been set upon. I invite you to enjoy the results”.
Theresa grew up in New Jersey near the Palisades of the Hudson River. She started painting as a young child and her art has always been the focus of her life. After living in Canada for twelve years, she moved to the Florida Panhandle, where she paints outdoors and in her studio in Gulf Breeze. Through her generous use of color and bold brush strokes, Theresa creates oil paintings that represent the intimate and emotional bond she has with her natural surroundings. Theresa was honored to have her painting Gulf Islands National Seashore, selected to become part of the Permanent Art Collection of the Federal Reserve Board Bank in New Orleans. She has been juried into and has exhibited with both the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society. Theresa teaches painting from her Gulf Breeze studio and is an adjunct instructor at Pensacola State College teaching plein air painting, floral still life and color workshops.
Born in January 1940, Herb Willey has devoted much of his life traveling an artistic path that lead to his present identity as an internationally known Mississippi watercolorist.His first structured art lessons were in the public school system in Miami, Florida.
While serving in the US Naval Air, Herb attended the University of Hawaii as a part-time art student. After leaving the Navy he attended USL at Lafayette, Louisianaon a senatorial scholarship as a fine art major. While attending USL, Herb’s collage work was selected by the LouisianaState Art Commission in 1963 for a 1-year traveling exhibit in all the Louisiana State Art Museums.
His acrylic paintings of Louisiana swamp scenes were chosen by the LaSalette Hospital Board to decorate theirhospital in Loreauville, LA.Working part-time and following school, Herb worked as staff artist and advertising designer at the Daily Iberianin New Iberia, Louisiana and later as Advertising Manager at the Hammond Daily Star in Hammond, LA.
As a self-employed advertising designer in New Orleans from 1965-2003, Herb won awards from companies includingMercury Outboard Motors and Cook Chemical Company. His primary watercolor instruction was with the well-knownNew Orleans watercolorist, Harrel Gray and his work was on display with Harrel’s at the Old Quarter Galleryin the French Quarter during the 90’s. Herb has been a full-time Mississippi resident since 2000 and Bay St Louis since2013. His work is displayed at Galleries along the coast including Gallery 220, the Biloxi Visitors Center and Bay Life.
His watercolor pieces have been juried and honored in regional, national and international shows including the Arts ofHancock County, The Louisiana Watercolor Society, The International Watercolor Society Global Division, The Gulf CoastArt Association, the Ocean Springs Art Association and the Pass Christian Art Association annual shows. He has also beenfeatured in other venues including the Hancock County Courthouse, the Bay St Louis Mayor’s Office and the DiamondheadLibrary. In August 2014 Herb was chosen by the Sea Coast Echo newspaper as both “Artist of the Week” and “Artist of theMonth”. He was chosen “Peoples Choice” Artist in 2015 in “The Arts Invitational Jury Show” at the Waveland City HallGallery. His art project for his solo show “Along Beach Boulevard” (scenes along Highway 90 in Mississippi) was featuredin a story in the April 2017 edition of “South Mississippi Living magazine”.
Myers’ new works are released in an exhibit fit for the senses…
“My enjoyment of & passion for my work originate in that pre-intellectual realm where sight, touch, smell & sound guide the interaction of artist, tool & medium as a work emerges.”
“This collection of ceramic work is simply inspired by life on the Gulf Coast. I grew up in Mobile, Dog River specifically, spending a lot of time on the water. Life, jobs, and family have moved me around a great deal. But, I am now settled back to my roots. I am happy to be back to where my heart has always been. I have a reverent love and respect for this water.”
Some of Morgan’s work will include stoneware, finished in a matte white glaze that she says “represents the splash and fluid aspects of gulf waters. Some of the works will flow like waves on a calm day, others are intended to portray a more violent yet beautiful conflict such as a crashing wave, or a bulkhead in a storm.”
Mary Elizabeth Kimbrough is a native Alabamian currently living and working in Mobile. A graduate of Auburn University and the University of Illinois, Kimbrough has done post graduate work at Penland School in North Carolina, Loyola University in New Orleans, IDSVA in Portland, Maine, and Brown University. Known throughout the southeast for her colorful ceramics and two dimensional work, Kimbrough has work in many public and private collections in the United States, in Japan, in Bahrain, and in Cyprus.
Her interests lie in using texture, gesture, and color in an open, spontaneous way. Subject matter comes from all aspects of Kimbrough’s life, from the flora and fauna of Alabama, to her love of pattern and decoration. Currently represented by Ashland Gallery in Mobile, and Lyons Share Gallery in Fairhope, Kimbrough has shown all over the country, and in Europe.
Her images have also been used in commercial illustrations, advertising campaigns, and licensed by manufacturers.
The South Mississippi Art League is an artist collective that was established in 2015 with the goal of creating traveling exhibits and providing an outlet for MS Gulf Coast-Based professional artists to promote and display their work.
2018 SMAL members include twelve artists: Pat Abernathy, Carolyn Busenlener, Paulette Dove, Kat Fitzpatrick, Sandra Halat, Carmen Lugo, Patt Odom, George Ann McCullough, Cissy Quinn, Julia Reyes, Norma Seward, and Ann Madden. Exhibits always feature a variety of selected works by each of these Mississippi Gulf Coast Artists.
Visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/South-Mississippi-Art-League-1518242125142239/
“Everything can be artistic. Even when it’s weathered and falling apart it can still be beautiful. Last year I was given an immense amount of metal that had been saved for decades, in Theodore Alabama, many pieces spanning back well over a hundred years. Instead of melting these pieces down for scrap they were given to me to see what I could do with them. This new line of work is a direct result of these pieces being handed down for generations, finally to be reshaped into art.”
“To stand within Susan Lenz’s Anonymous Ancestor is to become immersed in the myriad for family stories handed down through generations. Thousands of anonymous, vintage photographs have been altered to create a nostalgic interior. Works include over 200 individually framed, altered images; furniture upholstered with image transferred fabric; and three sculptural garments. Viewers are invited to sit, browse through altered photo albums and scrapbooks while contemplating the future of their own heirlooms. Minds wander to visions of forgotten friends, past holidays, ancient occasions, former cars, and hilarious fashion trends. Yet, these are anonymous photos. They come from yard sales, auctions, and abandoned locations. Who are these people? Who really knows? The site-specific installation transforms the gallery into comfortable sitting parlor where the inhabitants become distant aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents, siblings, and in-laws. They are society’s family tree, our collective wall of ancestors.”
“He painted subjects from his environment and from the cultural curses and bold and strong life experiences. Fred was a friend to many and enjoyed being a part of the art and literary communities of both Mobile and Baldwin counties through the years.”
Fred Marchman, April 12, 1941 – April 19, 2016
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