Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anything Can Be A Canvas

This is one post I'm excited about and I'll share with you why. My parents had an old wooden door on the back of their house to the basement and it had rotted out from water damage. My husband went to the task of removing the door and replacing it with a new one. Once he had finished, he started to carry the door to be placed with the other trash. I stopped him and said, "Let's not throw the door away, let's see if we can re-purpose it!". A new artist friend of mine came to my mind, ....Ah, Joyce Thornburg! She paints on anything, doors included, I thought. I'll give her a call. Sure enough, Joyce was delighted to hear I had a wood door for her to paint on if she wanted to and she did.

Click here for my previous post on Joyce's work: Asheville's River Arts District And It's Talented Artists

Joyce had a recent art exhibit with a 1800's farmhouse door she had painted and it was well received. She calls herself the compulsive painter, she'll paint on anything and it's paying off! You'll see what I mean later on in this post, but for now I thought it would be nice to journey Joyce's process of this recycled door for you.

Here's is Joyce Thornburg with my parent's old wood basement door ready for her to paint.

My husband had to cut off the bottom of the door since it had water damage. Here the door is actually shown upside down.

I recently visited Joyce's studio during the River Arts District Art Studio and Stroll. And I was so happy to see the re-purposed finished beautifully painted door!

Joyce's brightly light sun-infused art studio at the River Arts District in Asheville, NC.

A close up of the painting on the door.

With Joyce's willingness and talent to paint on anything, along with her artistic vision, she has been commissioned by a local green builder to paint a door for his recent custom-built house in thriving West Asheville!

Here's the new commissioned door for a green custom-built home.

The above commissioned door with be installed at this new home. Here's the write-up about the green home for sale.

Way to go, Joyce! From just having fun painting on everything to getting a new start on commissioned doors for custom-built homes right here in our mountain city of Asheville, NC!

To find out more about Asheville's River Arts District, click here; River Arts District

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Look At Fall Leaves in Asheville, NC

Hello again! Hope you've had a great Autumn this year. Since I live here in beautiful Western North Carolina, I thought I'd share with you photos and videos for your enjoyment. One warm Fall day we took our daughter over to the Botanical Gardens at Asheville right next to UNCA to walk in the leaves and through the stream. Did we ever had such a great outing and it's right here in town, yes, I know we are spoiled. If you get the chance while in Asheville, it's worth the visit to the Asheville Botanical Gardens. There is a nice walking path around the gardens, not too long at all. Great areas to stretch out on a blanket or pick your favorite private bench. But the best part, is walking down along the stream and hopping on river rocks! Yes, grab your water shoes and get prepared for loads of fun river rock hopping or just sit and soak up some sunshine.

Here's our photos from our Autumn outing on a warm sunny day. And I've included a few videos of the mountains showing off their colors this Fall. Enjoy!

A Fall beautiful day. Colors just beginning to show.

The pathway begins.

Lots of yellows and golds.

Now the pathway winds.

A bench for you!

A lovely wood bridge over the stream.

Time to put on the water shoes.

The gentle stream in all of it's glory.

Close up of the water.

Walking on the river rocks. Oh, did I add my husband loves to take butt shots?

A child's delight.

Sitting on a fallen tree over the water.

 What fun, a day at the Asheville Botanical Gardens!

Here's a youtube video of Western North Carolina's Fall Leaf 
Color 2011. Enjoy!

And another video of fall color:

Asheville Early Fall Color, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina Mountains

Friday, November 04, 2011

How Was Your Halloween? Here's Ours.

Greetings from wacky West Asheville!  Do you remember your childhood Halloweens? I got to thinking about my own childhood Halloween experiences, as I was just leaving to take my daughter trick-or-treating.

I grew up West Asheville when it was still a small community, separate from the main city of Asheville. The city street I lived on was a traditional neighborhood with a wide street of different sized bungalow and arts and craft style homes situated close together. Back then, I won't say how far back, we all knew each others' kids and pets. It was the time most families were still one car families, so the streets weren't packed with vehicles like they are now. I walked or rode my bike to the main road at the end of the street to get something needed for my Mom and after school picked up my candy at the dime store. Located off the main street was a bakery, doughnut shop, rock shop, hardware store, library, and etc. The street is still lined today with maple trees that arch over to form a tunnel of great shade in the summer and is a showcase of Autumn beauty when the leaves turn from green to yellows, oranges and reds. And the fun part, as a kid, was walking or riding my bike through all those leaves in the fall.

When Halloween came, my Dad took me out trick-or-treating along our street. Naturally, as a kid, all I cared about was the candy, but it was great to see our neighbors as well as to get to compare costumes with the other kids in the neighborhood.  The elderly people on our street were so delighted to see how I'd grown from year to year. It's been a fond memory of mine as an adult, even remembering the years when it rained on Halloween night and walking through wet leaves to get that treasured candy!

Now, to the present, and young, new families have moved into the neighborhood and on our street, remodeling and updating the old bungalows of the 20's and 30's and creating a whole new vibe on a once dying street. These families go all out for Halloween, decorating like crazy and putting out tons of Halloween lights, graveyards in their front yards, skeletons and various other Halloween decorations to the max! They invite friends over to sit on their porches (yes, we still have porches in the South!), to watch what is about to happen that night.

About 6pm, cars and families, all dressed up in their Halloween costumes (including many parents), flood our street! Literally, thousands come. At times you can't walk on the sidewalks for all the people and you wind up walking the street. It's an event, our West Asheville Halloween night. We still get to see our new neighbors as well as the old and my daughter had the pleasure of seeing some of her classmates, while walking up and down the street. But most of the people are from other parts of the city or from the county areas. But we don't mind one night of crowds.  A police officer was there, watching the crowd and giving out stickers to the kids and the crowd was well behaved. One home gave out popcorn in little bags and showed a movie in their yard. We really enjoyed ourselves and are still amazed about how these homeowners knock themselves out, decking their homes and yards in Halloween decorations.  Here are some of our photos from this annual event.

First of all, my precious 6 yr. old daughter in her fairy costume that she designed herself.

Getting a bag of popcorn and do you see the white chairs set up for movie time?

Here we go, off to the next house!

Walking down the sidewalk, see the leaves and our lovely maples?

A neat jack-o-lantern with a scene of an owl on a bare tree branch in the light of a full moon. Hats off to that pumpkin carver!

Street packed with cars and people!

Look at this decorated yard!

The other side of the same yard!

Another house that goes all out with lights and decorations.

And the other side of their yard.

What were your childhood memories of Halloween? Or your present experiences with your kids or grand kids? Would love to hear them, Allison.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Grand Funk, do you remember?

Another painting completed, would you be interested in seeing this one? "Grand Funk" is full of vibrant color, lines and texture. Don't you just love vivid  rich blues, purples, reds and little touch of warmth add from the yellows to the oranges? I do. This abstract painting has movement with a blue texture grid running through the painting. What does it make you think of, a railroad, perhaps? I gave the pleasure of naming this painting to my husband, Mike. Thus, the name "Grand Funk". Do you remember the The Grand Trunk Western? (And you thought I was referring to the band, right?) A former railroad line, and if he had the opportunity, he'd love to give you all the details. I did enjoy working on this one, I have to say...the vibrancy of the palette...just makes one feel alive.

Moving right along, here's the painting!

"The Grand Funk"
24" x 36"

Close Up View

Another Close Up View

Hope you enjoyed seeing my latest addition from the art studio.


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