Hello Stranger

It has been a long time since I have posted a painting. Have you missed me? I've certainly missed painting. I've been very busy helping Kimberly with her craft shows. She has been very successful. Her spot at Design Archives has also done well.
This painting, "Elevator Six" was started while I was working the Greensboro Beautiful Holiday Greenery sale and crafts show. It was a long show, so I nearly finished it. It is already one of my favorites. There's something about the texture and how the under paint comes through, giving it another dimension. It has inspired me to roll out a few more. I'm almost finished with another, which I will post upon completion.
There is an independent bookstore/wine bar/coffee house opening in downtown Greensboro soon. I may ask if I can put my paintings in there.
I hope everyone is well and is enjoying the holidays.

Little House on the Prairie


   I went through a long stretch of time without painting. I actually started this small painting about three weeks ago. It's been through a bit. I started the painting during Art in the Arboretum. While I was carrying it in from the car, it slipped from the easel and landed face down (of course) on the sidewalk. With all the dirt particles that stuck to the wet paint it looked like I'd painted a farmhouse during the 'Dust Bowl' tragedy.
   But I was able to clean it up and finish it. I am now working on a painting of the Plant 64 building in downtown Winston-Salem. It's an industrial-style building, so no wide-open fields of grain. But I'm really curious how it will turn out.
   Stay tuned.

This painting has sold.

Art in the Arboretum

At about this time last year, I was gearing up to be the featured artist at Just Be during First Friday, to be followed by Art in the Arboretum on Sunday. Friday night was one of the more beautiful evenings we had during the fall. Sunday, however, brought tropical storm-like conditions and the arboretum flooded, forcing a cancellation of the day's events.
   Fast forward one year and we're enjoying spring-like weather now, but there are reports of a tropical storm heading up the east coast. But, it looks like Art in the Arboretum will make it before the rains come.
   I'm looking forward to this year's show. I'm bringing smaller, more affordable paintings, and I plan to work during the show.
   Also new for this year's event will be my wife's work. She will have garden art and wearable fabric (scarves, necklaces, gloves, etc.) in the space right next to me. Our booth numbers are No. 5 and No. 6.
   We still have a lot of work to do, but we're really excited about it.
   Another reason I won't have as many large paintings is they are being displayed in a couple of restaurants in Winston-Salem. I already have a few paintings in Bernardin's in the West End part of town, and I will soon have several more in a place called The Silo in Reynolda Village. I'll post pictures when I get them. There may even be a reception.
   I hope to see you at Art in the Arboretum. It is on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

   Please feel free to comment!

My first art show outside of Greensboro was, by nearly all means, a success. I was a little intimidated by the group of very talented -- and some well-established -- artists that were taking part in the Historic West End Arts Fest. However, I was well received and warmly greeted by many, many people strolling through the beautiful setting at Grace Court in Winston-Salem.

The weather was nearly perfect, albeit a little cold in the morning. My idea to create additional display space worked very well. As has almost always been the case, Kimberly's designer touch for setting up my booth was just what I needed.

I sold three paintings, which fell short of my expectations. Nevertheless, I met lots of very enthusiastic people. I enjoyed the varying comments and questions. I appreciated the attention from so many children. And I made a few contacts that I hope will blossom into other opportunities.

For now, though, I am exhausted. Next up is Art in the Arboretum on Sun., Oct. 6.

Getting my ducks in a row

The Historic West End Arts Fest is just days away and I have so much to do. I have been working early mornings and late nights to get everything complete and ready. With oils, you have to plan ahead so everything will be dry in time.
Also, I will have my largest collection of artwork to date on display. I've had to re-think my display and come up with a method that will (hopefully) work well. Honestly, I'm not sure I'll have enough room, so I may have to leave a few at home.
The photo above shows the 10 Literary Birds I finished this past weekend. I just have to add hooks. Along with these, I have several new barns, grain elevators (of course) and birds. Depending on whether I have room, I will work on a painting during the show.
Here is a link to the Arts Fest web site. Maybe I'll see you there.


All of the above works of art have sold.

Yellow Top

   Here's a painting I have just finished. It's a 10"X10" piece I call "Yellow Top." I'm keeping as busy as I can while working a full-time job. I have a large boat painting I'm about 65 percent through. I also have a 12"X12" bird painting I'm about half way through and a barn painting I have just started. Most of my new paintings will be smaller compared with my other works. The price range will be $35 to $85.
   Most of this is in preparation for the Historic West End Arts Festival in Winston-Salem on Sept. 14. But just three weeks after that I'll be doing Art in the Arboretum in Greensboro. That will be the first Sunday in October.
   I'll be posting photos of other paintings as I finish them. Thanks for looking!

Raising my Profile


   The last three weeks have been a blur of activity. First, Kimberly and I jointly participated in Fun Fourth in downtown Greensboro. The rain held off for most of the day and we had a steady stream of customers and onlookers. Kimberly's flowers were a huge hit. It was a real treat to watch people's faces as they first saw the colorful metal garden art.
   My paintings were well-received and I met many wonderful people throughout the day. I sold five pieces of art, including four of my Literary Birds.
   Two weeks later, Kimberly and I were back at City Market in downtown. It was the second gathering for the monthly event, and how it has grown. It went from 34 vendors to around 90. Once again, Kimberly's flowers sold well and I sold another Literary Bird. We were less fortunate with the rain as we were soaked by a 20-minute downpour. Still, we considered the night a success.
   Another bit of good news, I applied for and was accepted in the the Historic West End Arts Festival in Winston-Salem. I'm quite proud of this achievement, as it is a juried application process. To see the works of past particiapants made me feel very pleased I was deemed good enough to be a part of the 2013 lineup. This event will be on Sept. 14 in Winston-Salem.
   If you're interested in finding out more about this event, ask me, or go to the Historic West End Arts Fest Facebook page. Or, you can Google the event and see samples of artwork for this year's group of exhibitors.
   One last thing, Kimberly and I may be getting a booth at Design Archives in downtown Greensboro. I'll have more on that as we firm up that situation.
   Thanks for looking!

This painting has sold.

Flower Power

   I'm taking a step away from the usual posting involving a painting to tell you about the next event I'll be at with my wife. We'll be in downtown Greensboro taking part in the Fun Fourth festivities. Kimberly and I will have a double space to showcase her crafts and my paintings.
   Among the coolest things Kimberly makes are these flowers made from recycled metal items. Each of the flowers in the photo were made from old cookie tins, cabinet knobs and miscellaneous other items. The 'stems' are made from wood. Needless to say they will brighten up even the most bountiful garden.
   The weather is calling from periods of rain, so even though these flowers don't need watering, they may wind up pretty wet.
   We won't know where our booth will be until the day of the event, so we can't help you there. Most of the crafts will be in the area of the Cultural Arts Center and the Historical Museum.
   Come on down and say 'hi.'

"Why Do You Paint Grain Elevators?"


   The Parisian Promenade was a terrific success. The threat of rain helped keep the temperatures at a comfortable level, and the breeze was soft, which meant my paintings didn't get blown around.
   I was accompanied by Kimberly, whose decorating expertise helped create a booth display that was inviting and attractive. As was the case last year, my setup was on a slope, but Kimberly's suggestion that I spread out my paintings to take advantage of an area no one was using was spot on.
   My artwork was very well received. I sold seven pieces of art. All day long I received compliments and I heard comments about how much my paintings touched them, or moved them. "They're so simple and refreshing," was a regular comment I heard. It makes me feel so good to know that the art I make touches people in a way similar to the way it touches me.
   I was also touched by the number of co-workers and friends who stopped by to visit. I truely appreciate their support and kind words.
   Part of what makes the Parisian Promenade special is that all of the participating artists are supposed to be demonstrating their art. I started  -- and nearly completed -- a small painting of a grain elevator. Another part of what makes this event so special is the interaction with children. Kids are drawn  -- no pun intended -- to artists who are working on art. I was approached by quite a few children who were interested in seeing what I was painting. They were quick with questions about why I like to paint, how long it takes to do a painting, how long it takes them to dry, why would you paint a grain elevator? The last question was tough to answer. Truth is, I love those old grain elevator buildings. Many of the wooden cribbed versions are no longer in use -- the empty buildings still standing in wide-open spaces like tombstones. Most grain elevators now are steel built, but there are a few of the wooden ones in use.
   Next up for me and art shows will hopefully be the West End Art Festival in Winston-Salem. I'll be applying for that show and hope to get in. It would be my first show outside of Greensboro.
   Before that, though, Kimberly and I will be one of the crafts exhibitors at Fun Fourth on the Fourth of July in downtown Greensboro.

This painting has sold.

Parisian Promenade!


It looks like we've finally shaken free of Winter's grip. Here's two ways to celebrate the warmer weather: The Arts and Crafts Festival at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market; and the Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden.
   Kimberly and I will be at both events. The Arts and Crafts Festival is May 31 and June 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and the Parisian Promenade is June 2 from noon to 5 p.m.
   The arts and crafts show will mostly be Kimberly's deal. She will have a variety of mason jar manipulations. They are quite beautiful and shabby chic. I think she will sell them like hotcakes. She will have some decorative boxes, garden art and a number of other cool, clever and whimsical works of art and craftiness. I will be there with my Literary Birds and Boats, and a few small paintings.
   On that Sunday, I'll be at the Bicentennial Garden in Greensboro with many of my paintings, small and large. I'll also be doing an oil painting demonstration, just like they do at the markets in Paris. Here's a few paintings I've been working on for the past month.
   Please stop by either -- or both -- events and check out where our creative minds have been taking us.

Symphony in Yellow

Call me a feather-brain, but lately I've been painting lots of birds. I have just finished two paintings featuring my winged friends -- one to be raffled at The Business Journal's Women In Business Awards luncheon, and the other to be offered for sale at the same event.
   "Good morning, Red Birds" is similar to others I have done, while "Yellow Birds on Blue"is a step in a different direction, not only in the color of the birds, but also the direction of the branches. I really like the blue I mixed for the second painting, and would like to use it again in other works.
    As I have mentioned before, my Etsy site is back up and running. In fact, I had a couple of paintings displayed at an art show at the Radnor Hunt Club near Malvern, Pa. (west of Philadelphia). Someone there liked my work enough to go onto my Etsy site and purchase five of my smaller paintings. I emailed the woman who bought them to ask what it was about my paintings that attracted her. She said, "I like artwork that speaks to me and makes me smile." Mission accomplished!
   Here is the address for my Etsy page: www.etsy.com/shop/tatestreet
   One other thing: I will once again be participating in Greensboro Beautiful's Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Park on Sunday, June 2nd. There will be music, food, dancing and, of course, artwork. Please stop by and say "bonjour."

   Thanks for looking!

The top painting has sold.

Keep Your Feathers Crossed

My mother, who lives in a small town west of Philadelphia, called me a week ago. She was excited to tell me that she had shown someone photos of several of my paintings, and this person was the director of an art show at the Radnor Hunt Club in Radnor, Pa. The woman liked my paintings enough to want to know if I was interested in exhibiting them at their show. I won't be able to make the trip, and it's much too expensive to send paintings by mail. However, my mother and one of my sisters -- who also lives near Radnor -- will contribute to the art show the two paintings I had done for them.
I'm very excited to be getting exposure in Andrew Wyeth country.
Along with having two paintings at the Radnor show, I also will have a portfolio of my work, including commissioned pieces and paintings still available for purchase.

Closer to home, later this month I'll be making my now-annual contribution to The Business Journal's Women in Business Awards. One of my paintings will be raffled at the luncheon. As a bonus, The Business Journal is giving me a booth to display other paintings during the pre-lunch business expo. They are expecting 350 people, so I'm looking forward to a great opportunity.

Also, I have re-opened my Etsy store. You can go here to pay it a visit:


Many of the paintings on this blog are available for purchase. If you are interested, please comment or email me to discuss pricing. Also, I will work on commission. Here is my email: tatestreet@gmail.com

 Thanks for visiting!

Both of these paintings have sold.

Field of Dreams


   I love movies that take place in wide-open spaces. Movies like "Dances With Wolves" and "There Will Be Blood" put such emphasis on the land and the sky that what happens in between is a subplot. It is to me, anyway.
   This painting, which I'm calling "Wide Open," expresses the joy I feel when I see this type of landscape -- in a movie or in person. The field of wheat clearly assumes the role of main character, with the sky offering a strong co-star. The windmill and barn are cameo appearances by a couple of past-their-prime actors, offered one last role before retiring.
   It would be a wonderful place to retire, or just get away. The noise of cities and development quietly sssshhhh'd by the wind in the wheat fields.
   This is a very large painting -- the biggest single-canvas painting I've done. It's 36"X48".

   I'm going to begin attaching a tagline to the bottom of my blog postings. Basically, it will say that many of the paintings on this blog are available for purchase. If you are interested, please comment or email me to discuss pricing. Also, I will work on commission. Here is my email: tatestreet@gmail.com

   Thank you for looking.

Spring Fever

As much as I enjoy cold weather -- I'm a big fan of sweaters -- I am ready for spring. I'm ready to work outside and get the garden going. I enjoy gauging the progress of flowers in the yard. The weather here, of late, has been very spring-like. So, as a tribute, I offer these Bluebirds of Happiness. They also are ready for spring.

Hope you enjoy them.

This painting has sold.

House of the Holy


   In the South you can't swing a cat without hitting a church. And the architecture pretty well runs the gamut. Two blocks from my house is a church in a small building that was once used by a beauty salon. A nearby strip mall has a church in a space that once was a furniture store. Go a few more blocks and you'll find a church that is one of the largest, most castle-like buildings in town.
   My preference -- as the architecture goes -- is of the smaller, more modest churches of the South, with  their white clapboard structures and tin roofs. Even with arched stain-glass windows, these buildings have a simple elegance.
   As for this painting, I often begin my work by under-painting the canvas -- often with a burnt umber (deep brown). Then I'll work out the sky and the land colors. This time, though, after I finished the sky I was happy with how the sky color worked with the burnt umber under coat. So, I left it.
  This painting is very nearly finished. Just a few touch ups and straightening of lines left.
   I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to comment, if you would like.

"I must confess that I have a weakness of empty places."

   The title of this blog entry is a quote by author Tony Hillerman, who is best known for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels.
   It's a confession that I, too, have realized. A weakness, or fondness, for empty spaces has become a reoccurring theme to my landscape paintings. The only thing limiting the sky and field is the size of the canvas. The farmhouse, windmill, barn or -- in this case -- grain elevator acts as a detail that draws your eye and further emphasizes the vastness of the sky and land.
   It's a place where I feel I can breathe. 'Empty' can have such lonely and negative images attributed to it. But when I look at this painting -- or some of the others I have done -- I am filled with a sense of calm and reflection.
   I hope that you also find a similar feeling when you look at this painting.

   Thanks for looking and please feel free to comment.

Blueberry Thrill

It's been a long time since I have painted fruit -- or any food, for that matter. On a recent trip to the grocery store, I looked at pears and apples, but decided on something new.

Blueberries are expensive, but so delicious. And, as I took a much closer look at the tiny fruit, quite beautiful. The soft and unmistakable blue, mixed with just a pinch of purple and green. Why not paint one? Two? I'll stop at three, for now.

I really like the way this has turned out. While I admit it's not quite the blue I was hoping to achieve, I do still like the overall result of my efforts.

On a side note, I will again be donating a painting to be raffled at The Business Journal's annual Women in Business Awards luncheon. This will be the third time I have donated a painting, which has always been well-received. I look forward to this every year.

Thanks for looking and please feel free to comment.

(I got a bit of a 'bounce' flash off the canvas. The middle blueberry really isn't that light. It looks much more like the one on the right.)

This painting has sold.

Literary Favorites

     It has been a while, but I finally have something new to post. The holidays have taken a lot out of me. Even though I had some time off from work, I felt like I had even less time to devote to painting. I am in the process of completing a large painting of another grain elevator.
     I am also in the process of completing five Literary Birds. I'm so pleased with how they turned out, particularly the one that has two blue birds on branches. The design on the birds looks remarkably like feathers.
     Tomorrow I will spend time building frames for them, and then frame them to complete the works of art.
     Each of them will be available for purchase. I sell them for $45, which includes a frame made from recycled wood, a cloth backing and a hook. Each is an original piece of art. You can get an idea of what the frames look like if you refer to an older post, "Frames on the Brain." If you are interested, please contact me by email at: nest214@triad.rr.com
     My wife and I will soon be launching a Facebook business page dedicated to wonderfully creative items we have made that will look perfect in your home -- or nest. The name of the business is The Nesting Place. We do not yet have a launch date, but when it happens, I'll blog about it, and post a link. You will then be able to go to it and 'Like' the page.
     The site will provide visitors with an opportunity to view, comment on and purchase items from us. We're looking forward to it.
     Until then, keep stopping by to check out what I have. As always, please feel free to comment.