Blue Spiral 1 and Black Mountain College Museum are favorites for me), there are plenty of opportunities to view and appreciate art. Even luckier, then, that Penland School of Crafts is just a day trip away. This woodblock print by Penland artist Judith Grenell is a new favorite of mine. Completed in 1965, what I love most about this work are the contrasting cubist shapes of the artist's work table. If you look closely, you can see different ceramic objects interspersed throughout. Definitely a sophisticated piece to add to your collection. Dealer #133, Woodblock Print by Judith Grenell, $395.
2. This oil painting is simple, yet idyllic all at once. I love the setting; summertime by the river certainly strikes a chord living in Asheville. Look closely, and you'll see a row boat with two passengers aboard. Everything feels still and unmoving, and has a calming effect. And as much as I love large scale work, I equally love smaller paintings that can pull me in too. Dealer #150, Oil Painting, $85
3. In contrast, this British seascape is full of movement and excitement. Those birds moving about, the flurry of greyish white clouds, even the movement of the water provoke memories of being on the coast, sound-side. It's almost as if you can hear the waves close by. The colors are bright and vibrant, but there's something about that darker grey cloud that keeps me wondering what's to come. Dealer #44 Seascape, $145.
4. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd be writing about a still life with appreciation. This girl was a major lover of modern art, particularly entranced with performance art and feminist art from the 1970s. I struggled through the Renaissances-both Italian and Northern (I've since learned to adore the Dutch Golden Age...verdict is still out on Italy). But I've come a long way, and this still life is here to prove it. But it's not quite the ordinary still life, is it? I think what I love about it is that super weird, misshaped jawbone sticking out like a sore thumb on the left. It's all pretty vases with flowers, and then boom. Where did that weirdo come from? Also I love the texture of this painting, in its slight deterioration it gives a lot of contrast that I like. Dealer #140 Still Life Oil Painting, $95.
5. Now for something entirely different than the British oils, this mid-century modern print edition is a new favorite. It has an industrial quality about it that I can appreciate, but what I love most are the vibrant greens and blues that explode throughout the right side. Dealer #83, Mid-century Print, $149.
6. Another segment of painting that went unappreciated in my early 20s, I am now enthralled with portraiture. More than any other form of art, I am intrigued with the kind of stories that can be concocted just by looking at a portrait. You immediately begin to wonder about the person, their history, and your own ideas of who they were/are begin to form. I might have featured this painting before, and am quite honestly surprised I haven't brought it home yet. I love everything about this piece, from the giant turban, to the colorful beadwork/textile on the shoulders, right down to the tiny spectacles. Even the teal background does it for me. Such a bold statement, and the scale is perfect too since it's a little on the larger side. #NYA, Signed Portrait, $399.
7. While we're on the subject of amazing portraits, I may as well include this crazy awesome hand-painted portrait from India. It's painted on glass and framed with simple, yet elegant carved wood. This portrait is all about color, from the bright yellow background, to the tomato red turban, and even the facial hair is somehow vibrant. As a portrait it's certainly a little flat, but I think that's what I love about it. It immediately draws the eye in and begs for attention. #44 Portrait from India, $95.
8. Descriptions like "meticulous" and "attention to detail" immediately come to mind when I look at this 19th century steel engraving. This is simply impeccable work, and I can't explain my attraction to it without mentioning said attention to detail. Featuring a general atop his horse, this engraving painstakingly details the uniform, sword, even every horsehair with a sophisticated touch. You'll have to come see this in person to truly appreciate how great this print truly is. #Dealer #133, 19th c. Steel Engraving, $95.
9. Admittedly talking about photography is not easy for me, mostly because my undergrad program breezed past it. And because of that, I've always been a little stumped when it comes to expressing what I like about it. But I can say without doubt that I adore this black and white photo print. It really evokes an old world nostalgia with me, probably in large part because of the antique bicycles. And like the portraits, I immediately want to know about these men. What were their names? How the heck did they ride those bikes without falling? Dealer #150, Bicycle Photo Print, $38.
Because my 10th selection went missing, here's a sneak peek at our gallery wall. I still contend that it needs a little something more, but for now this will do. Please note in the bottom right corner, a cat with a cone around its head..haha. Anyway, in case you're curious, a bit about the art here, left to right: 1. This is a folk art textile I found in my hometown, featuring a farmer with a herd of cattle and titled "Francisco H" at the bottom, 2. While at an internship at the High Museum, I was given the task of cleaning out an office, and told I could keep whatever I found. I hit the jackpot with this poster, featuring Russian advertisements, 3. Our little deer, 4. Metal ampersand from Mary's Antiques in Greensboro, NC, 4. handmade "T&E" sign that hung on the tree above our heads while Ethan and I got married!, 5. a 1960s print that I bought from a dealer at my favorite antique store in the world (Oddfellows), 6. A framed Indian portrait like the one featured above, 7. Mixed media textile/print from the 1970s, and 8. A framed 1960s party mask, which happens to be the second thing I ever bought from Oddfellows over 3 years ago!