I’m headed to South Carolina this weekend to help the Cheryl Newby Gallery celebrate their 3oth anniversary. I’m bringing two new egg tempera paintings.
Appalachian Spring and Early Snow, Chickadee. Both paintings were in Crossnore Gallery in North Carolina last year. When I went up there this past summer to deliver new work, I brought these two back home.
While they were sitting around my studio, I took them out of their frames to inspect them. Next thing I knew I had brush and paint in hand and was once again immersed in their mini worlds. Mostly, I was adding more layering of depth and subtle nuances of tonal color. And I fluffed up the chickadee a bit.
Appalachian Spring, egg tempera painting by Daniel Ambrose
I painted this rhododendron tempera from a plein air study I made on the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Linville a few years ago. It tickled me to imagine I was an ant crawling around this flower’s landscape — in and out of the hills and hollows.
Early Snow, Chickadee, egg tempera painting by Ambrose
Well I heard that I should see the leaves change color in the fall in North Carolina. October was the best month to go. So I was there in 2008 when the mountains of western North Carolina got their earliest snow on record since 1952.
I wonder if this chickadee was as surprised as me.
I ended up going over the paintings a lot, and I completed Appalachian Spring with oil glazes. So, I reckon I was only partially fibbing. In the spirit of American merchandisers, they are the new improved models. Much better —really — did I mention they come with a lifetime guarantee?
Details about the exhibit are on my events page. If you are in the area we would love to see you at Cheryl Newby Gallery.
This past weekend we traveled to Pawleys Island, South Carolina to attend an opening at Cheryl Newby Gallery. I have a drybrush watercolor and three new egg tempera paintings in the show. We had a grand time meeting some well known, interesting people and I gave an informal talk about my egg tempera painting technique. After the reception, Cheryl and her husband Fred treated us to a wonderful dinner.
The next day, our hosts graciously invited us to their home which is on the site of an old rice plantation from the 1700’s. They gave us an enlightening tour of their beautiful art collection and then withdrawing from the house, we piled into their car, and made a turn about the area. The country is steeped in southern history and certain to inspire many future paintings. Winding up at Brookgreen Gardens we had lunch and a pleasant stroll through the magnificent landscape.
In the sultry Sunday afternoon air, Magnolia perfume mingles with birdsong while iridescent green dragonflies flit among the bountiful gardens in the June sunshine. Dramatic marble and bronze sculpture explode over pools of water and bright flowers greet us at every turn among tunnels of centuries-old Live oaks. The splendor of their ancient limbs, robed in Resurrection fern and draped with Spanish moss, hold court over the pageantry like medieval kings. Marble plaques inscribed with inspiring poetry are placed judiciously along luxuriant ivy covered brick walls. Everywhere you look, the gardens’ vistas are a feast for the eyes and soul.
A fine meal, art and gardens restore the spirit. I whole heartily recommend a visit to Cheryl Newby Gallery, Bistro 217 and Brookgreen Gardens on Pawleys island.
On the way home we stopped outside of Charleston and picked up a sweetgrass wreath for the front door. Grace, the weaver learned the art from her grandma when she was a child and is passing it on to her grandchildren. Her grandma used to sit the kids in the front yard and taught them how to plait the grass into wreaths before they learned to make the baskets. Now 58, she showed us a small wreath she made forty years ago. She said the kids had to help work back then.
A few miles down the road we stopped at another basket stand to compare prices. A woman wove a basket while two young girls sat near by. The weavers don’t like their photo taken so I snapped this picture surreptitiously with my Ipod.
The dichotomy represented in this photo; the girl playing on the phone, the older woman weaving. Our technological centered culture today. Thinking about what Grace had just said about her grandma teaching her how to weave in the front yard, and that kids were expected to help back then, made me wonder once again if a future remains for the art of American handmade objects. Will future generations value art made by other humans if our children don’t lift their eyes from a screen long enough to appreciate a handmade craft or painting? Throughout history, after basic needs have been met, art has been the highest expression of a civilizations culture. Evidence of all that our ancestors believed, valued, appreciated and loved are recorded in their art. Humanities soul survives in our art.
Daydreams, drybrush painting
My exhibit at Hughes Gallery is winding down, closing the end of May. In between long walks on the beach and humoring the cat, I’m painting for new shows coming up in the next couple of months.
Daydreams, a drybrush watercolor painting has been selected to feature on the postcard invitations Cheryl Newby Gallery mailed out to collectors this week. This year marks the 3oth anniversary of the gallery opening on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and to my great pleasure I was invited to participate in the celebration. I will be exhibiting several new egg tempera paintings. The reception is June 8, 2013. If you would like a postcard mailed to you, please contact Beth at Cheryl Newby Gallery. More details on my events page.
July 2nd, 2013 is the date of my 4th annual solo show at Crossnore Gallery in North Carolina. I have a new tempera I’ve been working on for a while that is a departure for me and I can’t wait to show it. Heidi is doing a marvelous job managing the gallery and will have a fresh new look this year. I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends again in the mountains. My mouth is already watering thinking about the homemade fried chicken and buttermilk biscuit dinner at the horse farm on Linville river — mmmmh!
I hope to see you around this summer.
About the painting featured at Cheryl Newby Gallery
Drybrush on Twinrocker handmade paper
10 x 14 inches