JOURNAL

How did February get to be so busy?

Do you feel as busy as I do? Not only is it the month of love, but apparently it is the month of art, too! Here is a list of the upcoming events I am participating (or teaching!) and I wanted to be sure you had the chance to add them to your calendar:
 

 

Love in All It’s Many Forms
KA Artist Shop

February 14 - March 31, 2017
Reception: Thursday, March 16th, 2017 7-9pm
127 N Jackson St. Athens, GA 30601 / Phone: 706-850-1224

 

 

Love On the Side
Creature Comforts Brewing Company

February 14 - Feb 25, 2017
Reception: Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 5-8 pm
271 W Hancock Ave. Athens, Ga 30601 / Phone: 706-410-1043

 

 

Solo Exhibition
Heirloom Cafe & Fresh Market

March through April, 2017
Reception: TBA
815 N. Chase St. Athens, Ga 30601 / Phone: 706-354-7901

 

 

Let There Be Art 2017
Invitational Art Show & Sale at Columbus Museum of Art

April 6-13, 2017
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, GA 31906

 

 

Solo Exhibition
Ville de Felletin, France

June 21 - August 19, 2017
Reception: TBA
12 place Charles-de-Gaulle 23500 Felletin, France / Phone: 05 55 66 51 11
 

 

Workshop - Silk Painting
KA Artist Shop

Saturday, March 11, 2017 1-5 PM, KA Artist Shop
127 N Jackson St. Athens, GA 30601 / Phone: 706-850-1224

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO + TO SIGN UP!

Businesses That Inspire Me #2: American Giant

Sometimes I am so delighted by a business transaction that I feel compelled to share how good the experience - and the company - are. In this moment of admiration, I realize how much I can learn from a well-run, ethical company about how I should transact business with my customers. 

I first read about the apparel company American Giant on another blog post, and right away I knew this was a company I wanted to watch. The clothing looked comfortable and stylish, but it was the story that really grabbed my attention: American Made and Built to Last. I requested a catalog - because I love paper catalogs and getting things in the mail - and when it arrived I was even more pleased. The catalog was sumptuous, printed on nice heavyweight paper, with good color and layout, and great photography. The message was clear -  "We started American Giant with a simple goal: MAKE EXCEPTIONAL CLOTHES IN THE USA, AND OFFER THEM AT A FAIR PRICE."      

Wow - I like it! The attention to detail, the quality of the merchandise, and the way American Giant told their story all had me reaching for the “buy now” button. I ordered their newly released pant (“designed to fit and flatter every body type”) and essential hoodie, because for me - that is the perfect casual outfit!

Once I placed my order, the communication from the company was clear and timely. I was even more pleased with the speed of delivery. I received a message informing me that “The Pant” was so popular (even though it had just been introduced) that its expected ship date would be the day my zip hoodie was to arrive, but it turned out that it actually arrived with the rest of my order, making me very happy.

And oh, how I love a good box! Everything was packed neatly in a box that was just the right size. When my order arrived (so quickly!, even with free shipping), I had the perfect ensemble for travel, work, and kicking around town - a black fitted pant and a beautiful, comfortable, well-fitting black hoodie! I have been looking for the perfect black hoodie for a long time, and now I have found it. Once I tried my new purchases on, I realized how comfortable this outfit was. I was sold. So, lessons learned from this transaction are those I want to apply to my own practice:

  • Offer a great product (well made, timeless, and high quality and attention to detail).
  • Offer exceptional customer service (pay attention to your customer, anticipate questions, and keep in touch through every step of the transaction).
  • Use high quality, attractive packaging, and ship in a timely manner. 
  • Make the customer happy with their newly acquired item.
  • Offer Free returns - “any item, any reason, any time”
  • Include the Statement of Purpose everywhere - loud and clear and in easy to understand language

Now I can carry these lessons into my art business as it grows and blossoms. Planning for success means paying attention to lessons all around me.

Another business that inspires me? Moo! Check out my review HERE

Thanks for being here! What businesses are inspiring you lately? I'd love to hear!

SPEAKING OF INSPIRATION: LOVE OF THE LOCAL

If you're in Athens, be sure to see this exquisite exhibition with artist and textile designer (& yet another business that inspires me) Sara Parker:

February 6th-24th @ UGA

Improvisation in Repeat is the result of a process of deconstruction and play. These pieces each execute a concept or set of guidelines which, while agreed on in advance, require reconsideration and improvisation at every stage of creation. The concepts on display range from a mathematical approach to color mixing, layering to create depth and density, and color blending via image masking and transparency.

MORE INSPIRATION: MY LOVE OF LIFE 

Just a handful of images to give you a glimpse into my world. I am so fortunate to make work that I love and to travel!

A Sense of Design: My UGA experience + new workshop

Thanks,   University of Georgia Fabric Design Department!

Thanks, University of Georgia Fabric Design Department!

I was invited to teach silk painting at the University of Georgia Fabric Design Department this week. It felt like full circle; this is where I went to school, and although they do not teach silk painting at this time, this is where I learned this technique!

I will be teaching silk painting again Saturday, September 17 in Athens. Sign up here! If you’ve been thinking about expanding your artistic skills, this class will be a great opportunity to explore ideas and learn a new craft. We can start refining your design ideas and we can also discuss possible gifts for your friends and family. 

If you’ve taken the class before, I welcome and encourage taking it again! We will work on extending your skills to try something new. When I teach at KA Artist, we explore the possibilities of using a resist line to create a “drawing” with the gutta (or wax-like substance), but you could easily create a watercolor effect without the lines, or paint on a pre-treated silk that will keep the dye from spreading, or we can explore layering designs on the silk – there are many interesting effects to try out.

The Sweetness of the Magnolia Bloom

What was your first experience with a magnolia blossom? I bet you remember it as well as I remember my first encounter:

The first time I saw a magnolia blooming I thought I must be in heaven. That amazing size along with the pure white hue, the density of the petals, and its amazing beauty made it seem immortal ... although I could see that it appeared to fade as all flowers do. This first encounter was on a wooden stair landing in an historic 1850’s house in North Georgia. The magnolia bloom was floating in a bowl of water. It was a magical evening filled with candlelight and the deep odor of magnolias and honeysuckle.

I created this new painting, titled “The Sweetness of the Magnolia Bloom”, to send to New Orleans for The Cultural Landscape Foundation auction this year, and the above text is what I wrote as my artist statement. I am delighted with this new painting and feel like it is moving my art in a new direction with its simplicity and linear quality.

As part of the process, I created a second magnolia blossom painting; see it here:

Both of the magnolia paintings are hand-painted with dye on silk broadcloth, a lovely, soft, dense, matte silk. Last year, the painting I donated, “Kennedy Road Beaver Pond, Oconee County" valued at $500, sold for $700. How cool is that! The second magnolia painting "Lavender Blooms" is now for sale in my shop HERE.

 

LET'S TALK ABOUT SUMMER!

Ahh, summer. I love to travel; I love the sound of the wheels on the pavement, the sound of airplane engines starting. I love to think that my art goes to places like Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, and Paris and represents me there. Where will you go this summer? I’d love to know.

T-SHIRTS ARE HERE!

As you travel, you can wear my Globe t-shirt so everyone can easily recognize which town you love! For those of you who live outside of Athens, I now have a contact at the Globe who will send shirts to you: Write to Norm at globeupstairs@gmail.com. The shirts sell for $15 each. 

NEW EXHIBITS + CLOSING DATES

The OCAF Members exhibit is opening this Friday, June 3, from 6-8 pm. I entered two new paintings, both scenes from the Ashford Manor in Watkinsville, Ga. I am especially happy with this painting of their kitchen:

Also, the closing dates for two of my exhibits have been extended – but hurry! 

  • And my year-long show at the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Ga will close on July 31st.

Thank you for supporting my work! And don’t forget to let me know where you are traveling this summer, so I can travel along with you.

 

Cheers,

-René

 

 

 

 

The One Thing You Need to Know

The One Thing You Need to Know to Get Started in Silk Painting

Painting on silk is a joy.

It is not difficult.

It is quick.

And it is rewarding.

The thing I like best about silk painting is the swiftness of seeing results – the colors, the beauty, and the immediate gratification. You can paint a scarf one day and be wearing it the next! Or hanging it on your wall for all to admire.

Personally, I love to take an image or design and simplify it down to a few lines and shapes. The color then becomes the main focus of the design. Silk soaks up the dye like magic, and it is a beautiful and stunning process to watch.

I'll be teaching a Silk Painting class in Athens in April, and I will send out more details in a few days.

Oh – and that one thing you need to know to get started in silk painting? It doesn’t take any special talent or skill. I will guide you through the process in our class.

Take care,
-René