Hope you can make it!
For the past several years, I've been making artwork for the centerpieces at Knox Heritage's annual fundraiser, The Scruffy City Soiree. It's been really fun to showcase my artwork made from reclaimed wood this way since it's directly inspired by historic preservation, and Knox Heritage raises money through this event to help save historic buildings. It's a lovely marriage.
In past years, I've painted mason jars on slate and wood to display. This year, I showcased my prints of mason jars on wood but also added a new element: historic Knoxville buildings cut out of and painted on reclaimed wood.
I used wood from The Salvage Room. It made sense to use reclaimed wood from historic buildings, but it proved to be a bit of a challenge. With these pieces, before I even touch a paint brush, cleaning, sanding, and cutting the wood is a laborious task. And while the thickest wood used (reclaimed stair treads) looks so great, it is definitely hard to cut with a small hand-held jigsaw.
Through this process, I've learned a lot about woodworking. I've gotten tips here and there from people, but I've basically been teaching myself. I'd love to invest in some really good tools in the future for projects like this, but for now, I'm using what I have. Not using the most efficient tools can put a damper on things, but I'm sure I'm building character with the added challenge. Perhaps.
Once I cut the buildings, I add wood filler to those that need it and then prime the wood. My plan was to use carbon copy paper to trace the buildings on to the wood because I had to make so many in such a short time, but I had trouble getting the image to transfer so I ended up drawing several free hand.
If you haven't gathered it by now, I came up against many unexpected obstacles while making these. I learned a valuable lesson from these buildings: When creating anything new, I need time to hit obstacles. Lots of time. Procrastination is my enemy!
Each building uses a combination of paint pens and acrylic, so they are like little drawings and paintings in one. They are made to sit on a table, shelf, or mantel so there isn't a bracket on the back for hanging. I added information cards to the backs of them to give some current details about the buildings. I chose seven buildings to create and made two of each. They were all chosen based on their significance to historic preservation and Knox Heritage over the past year.
I painted Patrick Sullivan's (Old City), 18th Street IGA (Fort Sanders), Pryor Brown Garage (downtown), Westwood (new KH HQ), White Lily (Old City), Mary Boyce Temple House (downtown), and the McClung Warehouse (downtown).
The first set of buildings made their debut at The Scruffy City Soiree on September 27 at The Standard on Jackson Avenue. Those attending the event could purchase them at the end of the night and partial proceeds went to Knox Heritage.
Recently, my work has been inspired by painted wooden cut outs of different objects. They are folksy, simple, and colorful.
A perfect example are the wooden couple below. My grandparents have always had these hanging in their home, from their historic house in Brownsville, Tennessee to their farmhouse outside of Memphis, to the retirement community my grandmother now lives in.
Objects like this that I grew up looking at are beginning to show up in the work I'm making now.
A friend gave me a jigsaw from my birthday (which was one of the sweetest gifts). Now I can take this idea that I enjoy so much and run with it.
The first shapes I cut out were cats. I cut them with the jigsaw in my studio. Then I can take them anywhere to sand and paint. I took this particular batch to my parent's cabin near the Smoky Mountains. So much of this work has to be done outside, which I've really enjoyed.
At some point, they usually migrate to my house where I can draw on them in the company of my muse, Juicy.
Right now, I'm accepting offers on the following pieces of artwork.
Click on the thumbnails to view each piece's information. Then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your offer.
You can view all of these pieces (live and in person!) right now at Old City Java on Central Street near Jackson Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Offers will be accepted until noon on August 31 and each piece will go to the highest bidder.
This is the second annual Art For the People, and I do it for two reasons:
One- It helps me move work out of my studio to create more space for new work and
Two- I want to put original artwork into the hands of those that want it but may not necessarily be able to afford work sold in galleries.
"Will she be offended by the amount I offer?" you might wonder.
The answer is no, I will not be offended, because that's probably all I could offer, too.
I hope you'll participate and help this artwork move to walls to be enjoyed by more and more people. Thanks in advance for your offers!
The way Shoppe works is that Scoutmob offers a discount off the retail price of products from artists, and the artist always receives the wholesale price. Scoutmob also takes care of shipping and some of the packaging materials on behalf of the artist, which is really nice.
Since opening my Shoppe, I've shipped my mason jar prints all over the country, which has been really fun. It's been a great way to spread my work to people who may have never seen it otherwise.
Also, as an Artist-turning-business-woman, it's really pushed me to fine tune my methods of finishing and packaging work. These things have definitely been a learning process for me, but I find myself, over and over, asking the question, "If I were to receive my art in the mail, how would I want it to be presented?" That, in and of itself, has been extremely valuable.
To visit my Scoutmob Shoppe, please go here. Happy discount shopping!
Stop by Rala for First Friday to see my newest work.
323 Union Ave Knoxville, TN 37902
Opening Mach 7 from 6-9pm
I'm really excited about these pieces, inspired by some of my favorite things. All work is hand-painted and drawn on reclaimed wood with spray paint, acrylic, marker, and paint pens.
If you can't make it this Friday, don't worry! It will be on display until Sunday, March 30.
Here is my artist statement for this show:
Driving from Knoxville to the Smoky Mountains, there are hand-written signs on the side of the road that read "Boiled P-nuts" and "Walking Stick World." I've pulled over to buy the peanuts from the back of a trailer and admired a row of bears carved out of tree trunks nearby. Later I hike and feel a connection to the heritage of this area, and also yearn for a little more.
Back in Knoxville, there are hand-painted signs all over, my favorites being an ice-cream cone and miniature football players holding up a giant hoagie. I go square dancing and watch hipsters dance with silver-haired sweethearts.
And then there is this other side of things. I drive around singing the lyrics of catchy pop songs and follow some of the world's most famous fashion designers on Instagram.
Some artists use innovation as their driving force while others have tradition in mind. Some people paint a sign without thinking too much about anything at all. Through my artwork, I give a nod to what is esteemed today while delving deeper into the rich heritage of The South.