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Archive for the ‘Charlotte Art Galleries’ Category

Sgraffito.

n. pl. sgraf·fi·ti (-t)

1. Decoration produced on pottery or ceramic by scratching through a surface of plaster or glazing to reveal a different color underneath.
2. Ware decorated in this manner.
 
If I just taught you something, you’re welcome!  Beginning August 1, we will be featuring the artwork of Janine Medlin, a local artist who applies this technique to oils on canvas, creating depth and complexity in each piece she touches.   Whether you have never heard the word before, or you know all about this beautiful approach to artwork,  you will want to drop in for the artist’s reception this Friday evening, August the 3rd, to celebrate Janine’s art, chat with her, and enjoy some delectable bites, and a glass of prosecco (or two!).
 
Janine, a Tennessee native and UT Knoxville alumna, began painting in 2000 after moving to Charlotte from Nashville with her husband and sons, and quickly fell in love with it, realizing she had a knack for capturing the complexity of single elements in nature.   Some of her most personal and prolific artwork has consisted of nests of eggs, which have connected with people in countless personal and beautiful ways.  Some of these paintings have gone to new mothers, mothers leaving abusive relationships with their children (symbolizing that home would be wherever they were safe together), the Ronald McDonald house for families away from their homes, and recently to a woman who just lost her husband.  Janine says that her faith directs the feel of a piece as it reflects the serenity and grandeur that she sees in nature back to God who created it all.
 
Janine has been a participant in many charities including Art with Heart, where she has been a finalist in the emerging artist competition for the past 6 years, earning second place in this years event.  In addition, she’s been featured in Charlotte Living,  and Baby and Child Magazine among others, and one of her pieces was selected for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition house built in Shamrock.
 
And, even more wonderful than all her accomplishments, Janine is a lovely woman with a sparkling spirit and a deep and beautiful heart.  Just like her art.  Come check her out on the feature wall of Slate Interiors from August 1-31.

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Have I ever mentioned that I love my job?  I do.  I love my job.  Weird stuff happens here.  The awesome kind of weird.  For example…

Once upon a time (not so very long ago…) a lovely lady heard great things about Slate and came to see what all the fuss was about.   Little did she know as she drifted through each vignette, that hidden among all the loveliness was a buried treasure in the form of a painting,  from her life decades ago.  Until there it was, staring her in the face with a sense of irony too unlikely for words.  So she sought out the charming and witty store rep (who bears an uncanny resemblence to your dear writer…) and told her, “You will never believe it, but I painted this in the 60’s.  I can’t believe it’s here.”  So I will tell you the story of how the painting came full circle, and then you will know why this place is so awesome. 

You can still see hints of the original colors, and still in it’s original frame!

Five decades ago, the aformentioned lovely (Chris is her name) gifted a sizable red and yellow magnolia flower painting to her sister for her birthday, which remained with her for her entire life.  After she passed and her husband remarried, it was thoughtfully returned to her, where it sat in a closet for several years. 

One day her daughter came upon it, decided it might be useful in a different color palette, and gave it a cream and sky-blue make-over.  Voila!  Sadly, her husband hated it.  So back to the closet it went.  Years come and go, and nob0dy wants it.  It’s time.  The daughters sells it.  A short time later, another daughter hears the painting has sold, and is beside herself.  Really? How could you just go and sell a family treasure like that?  I want that painting! 

Now at this point in the story, Chris pauses to qualify that (she swears) she talked to everyone and nobody wanted the darn thing.  But there we are.  The painting is gone.  I mean, what can you do?   And so she stares at this painting in serendipitous disbelief that it has made it’s way back to her.  It even has the original rough wood frame that her husband made for it.  And so it came to pass, my friends, that I made a call, relayed the story, and Cookie (the sweetheart  merchant who owned said painting), was as charmed by the story as I was, and returned it to the family for her cost.  The painting is home again, and hopefully not in the closet.   Full circle.  I love my job.

The end.

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It’s a new month, friends, and though 2012 is half played out, we are here to give you something to look forward to each and every month.  Yes, those new year’s resolutions may be but distant memories, but at this, the halfway point in the year, we are hosting  a reason to put on a dress and drink some prosecco.  Our feature art wall changes the first of the month, so it is time to celebrate a new month, new artist and new season of summer fun. 

This month, at the crux of summer, we highlight the art of Kate Gaither.  Inspired by nature and frequently a painter en plien air (frenchy speak for open air painting), she often takes a multi-media approach, and has been known to use everything from recycled materials to beach glass she finds along the Carolina shore. 

Born in Indiana and raised in Florida, Kate moved to NC in 1980 after college at University of Florida. She owns Newport Properties, a full service real estate firm at Lake Norman and has been in Real Estate for 32 years. Kate finds it relaxing to create new visions of what she sees in nature in her spare time.

 This collection of works is inspired by spring’s bloom – everything coming to life; it is a collection featuring acryllics and collage.  And with the heat bearing down on us these days, these flowers may be the only ones not wilting in the sun.  Come see them here beginning the 1st of July.  Stay tuned for more information on our artist reception July 13th.

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You have a defined style, you know what you like.  Why, oh why, then, can’t you get it to feel right?  Forgive the cliché, lovelies, but too much of a good thing…  In design (and just about everything else), we all know that while too much sweetness is cloying, too much masculinity can be cold, just as too many neutrals can feel monotone but overwhelming color feels like a circus. Do you find yourself drawn to the same elements over and over?  Marinate on this: One element in the absence of  its opposite may feel incomplete, but the whisper of its opposite magnifies itself. ( I theorize this is why kettle corn may be the world’s most addictive snack, as illustrated by my recent trip to the mountains.  But I digress… )  So if you are plagued by a Groundhog’s Day sense of safe and similar, what to do? Throw a wrench in it!  Highlight all the things you already love by peppering in a tiny hint of its counterpart.  You like clean lines and crisp finishes?  Drape a sumptuous throw over your sofa.  You have a room full of dark wood? Lighten up with a white-painted chest.  Lots of solids?  A kiss of pattern will banish the boring. Shall we begin?

Look your space and take stock.  What themes are repeated?  Is it all hard lines and crisp finishes?  Or perhaps you are a creature of comfort and many of your surfaces are rounded, soft and cozy.  Look at the colors in your space.  Are they cool or warm? Lots of color or all neutrals?  What words describe your aesthetic?  Super glam or casual?  Dark or light?  Preppy or romantic? Relaxing or energizing, etc?  Assign shapes to the elements in your space. What shape is most often repeated?  Look at the lighting, furniture, art and accessories, and take some notes.

Next step: Analyze.  Determine your comfort zone by what you see a lot of and your fears by what you don’t.  Perhaps you have a space filled with rounded shapes, comfy chairs, pillows and throws, lots of neutrals.  What are you missing?  You want it to feel comfy and relaxing but not boring!  Here’s the trick.  Your space is craving a tiny touch of the elements you run from.  It should be 90/10.  You need a few hard edges, some reflective surfaces (maybe a touch of sparkle?), a few shakes of bold color, and Voila!  Treat it like a spice.  Just a touch will wake up the flavor.  Perhaps a mirrored tray, a sleek accent chair, and a bold geometric pattern.  Take a color you love and introduce it around the room in small doses to add excitement and energy.  One, two, three, done.

Conversely, for all you hard-edge modernists out there wanting expansive breathing room, but living in sterility, your space is aching for the softness of a curving line or two, a touch of texture, and some organic shape to warm it up.  A few luxurious pillows, a touch of warm wood or fresh flowers, and an unexpected vintage accessory will replace the echos with exhales and coldness with an invitation to live  life within your walls.  Check out the driftwood lamp, the abstract flower painting, and the antique elephant garden stool.  Fresh flowers that never die add energy, and the organic shapes of the coral pillow and vessel are dynamite for breaking up the defined lines of a, ultra-contemporary space.

Overall the key is this:  take a risk.  Try something you normally wouldn’t.  A few opposites make a room feel just right.  Keep your modern or traditional, but juxtaposing just a few elements enhances the style you already have.  Don’t take my word for it – try it!  Come into Slate with a few pictures and we’ll help you find exceptional elements to carry it to the next level.  And because you can try nearly anything in the store on approval, there is no excuse to let your room sit stagnant!

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Our featured artist this month is Susannah Raine-Haddad. Here she tells us a little about herself:

ZouZou was my grandmother, who had a basement full of all kinds of stuff. After she passed away and her house was being cleaned out, I took a whole bunch of flower pots from her basement, after my mother begged me (I resisted the several hundred aluminum pie plates). I painted a few, gave a few, sold a few, then sold a few more. Then I moved on to other art projects. And ZouZou’s Basement was born.

I actually work in my attic, and like ZouZou, I save lots of goodies, sometimes not knowing exactly how I will use them.  Each day I go to work and am surrounded by paint, glitter, ribbon, and my “paper pond”. Professionally, I’ve worked in advertising, dressed store windows and mannequins, and taught art to high schoolers for 8 years. I presently teach private lessons to children and adults, and am Artist In Residence at Westminster Canterbury Richmond (Gables/Monticello/Parsons) . I am lucky enough to be able to devote myself fully to my creative ideas and to making my two little boys good  people.

The animal collages have fermented slowly. I painted various dog portraits for several years. Gradually, my paper projects have become meshed with my paintings so that a large part of my work is a collage of paper and paint. I saw a book called The Zoo by Suzy Lee with brightly and whimsically colored animals on grey backgrounds, and I played around with the idea. Then I went to my pile of animal photos that I’d been collecting, and also tore up my sons’ Ranger Rick magazines (with their permission). When you really look at the crazy variety of animals that are walking around on earth, it’s mind-boggling. I can’t help but feel a spirituality when I see a giraffe, or a zebra, or a peacock! And interestingly, most people relate to animals, and most have a favorite.

Whatever my subject matter, color is always my first decision. Then I decide which animal would look best, with for instance, purple fur. I hope you will enjoy a good dose of color, and have a giggle or two.

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“Dogs have no pretense, just an innate desire to please, and a lack of self-awareness that makes them beautiful.”

Five Buck Chuck 22x28 Oil on Canvas

For all of you dog lovers, we have a special treat in the works for you. We’ve all seen dog portraits, good and bad, and loved or hated them, but this is something else altogether.  We’re honored to introduce you to Heather LaHaise, a fine artist whose work has been featured in the New York Post, The State Newspaper, Modern Dog, and HGTV as well as several other publications and notable blogs such as Dog Art Today and Design Milk.  Heather treats dog as muse, evoking dignity in “the underdog,” often capturing the essence of rescue pups, senior dogs and strays in ways that elevate puppy love into high-fashion amor.

When you cast your eyes on her dogs, you instinctively feel the spirit of the animal; the sweet-tempered loyalty, the high-spirited adoration, or the curious adventurer.   Not only that, but the dogs feel like part of something bigger.  Something insatiably swank, haute couture, impressing upon you a love of urban landscapes and gorgeous textures.  This is fine art, darlings.  You have never seen anything like it.

She balances abstractionism with realism in her portraits with graphic use of space and expressive layering of paint.  Planes of uneven color, gestural marks and calculated drips mark her style, often with dogs as the focus of the finished piece.   And, while the dogs may give her a voice, she strives to transcend the singular category of “dog art” and continues to work toward contemporary ideas, including a collection of abstract works, collectively showing at Slate beginning March 1st.

So come in this Friday, March 2nd, enjoy our later hours with a beer or glass of prosecco, and organic delights provided by Thomas Martin Catering.  And don’t forget to bring Fido, Fluffy or Butch.  We love your pups.  And as always, treats provided for them too!

To see more pictures, Like us on Facebook.

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It’s time to start the new year with another Gallery Crawl. On Friday, January 6 we’ll be open from 5:00-8:00 to offer you the opportunity to browse the original art and home furnishings at Slate Interiors. Have a glass of wine and enjoy refreshments provided by Bisto La Bon, our popular across the street neighbor.

Our featured artist for January is Linda Dahlin. Linda expresses herself in oils on large canvases with an emphasis on luminosity. Linda has worked in creative arts all of her life as an actress in NYC and London.  She has also worked as a costume and set designer, web designer, and now as a full time oil painter. She has studied at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, the Pratt Institute in NY, and now studies under Andy Braitman at the Braitman Studio in Charlotte.

Linda’s over-sized paintings take a tremendous amount of time due to the very thin layers needed to achieve the translucent effect she desires. She uses rare oil colors from the Renaissance period to richly create her works of art. Lighting is also important to bring out all the character in her designs.

Linda intends to work even larger in the new year. Her pieces can be seen on our front wall through the month of January. She is one of more than 30 artists whose original work is on display at Slate. We offer a wide range of affordable art that is always warmly received.

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