Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tobacco Sticks for the Garden Fence

It's been over 10 years since we first put up our garden fence using old tobacco sticks from a local farmer. They have withstood the test of time, kids, dogs, soccer balls and scrambling squirrels but recently many were looking a little worse for wear.  So again I located another farmer and secured around 700 of these useful sticks to replenish our current fence and build an additional one next to the Art Studio.

I think of it as Green Building :-). After all, I have given new life to virtually antique wood..left over from North Carolina's tobacco past. Humbling to think that there was a time when these tobacco sticks were an indispensable piece of harvesting equipment on so many farms. Times really do change!
We picked a frigidly cold day last week to go and get them.   Our van was full of art equipment so rather than unload all of it,  we drove our two Hondas up to the farmer's barn and loaded them both down with the sticks that he had. I showed him the photo I had snapped of our fence and he was impressed
"Never thought about doing that," he said. "We've been using them as kindling to start fires."

These sturdy, handmade 4 ft long "sticks" were used to hang (string) tobacco from and then laid across the beams in the tobacco barns to dry. I think that virtually anyone in NC over 35 who was born and raised here, "worked tobacco" as a youngster. It was then the money crop of the State and the way to make good money as a teenager back in the day. It was apparently dirty, sweaty, back breaking work (and I wonder if a teen today would even consider it? :-)  )

Ah well, to each his own! Below is the winter photo of a section of the garden fence with tobacco sticks along with a spring one of the Seven Sisters roses in bloom! And you thought artists only painted!
Winter View of garden fence section with tobacco sticks

Blooming Roses on the tobacco stick fence

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Going back in time with a Portrait

Wow. This lovely woman was my client's grandmother!

This large 18 x 24  pastel portrait was created from a photo of a tinted photo and it was great fun to do!  It is often easier working virtually life size than working small and the impact is stunning.

Most of the "historical" portraits that I create for clients, who go back this far in time, are for genealogists who come to me with faded black and white photos...sometimes even tin types. 
Not all of my subjects come from the nineteenth century or have such an elegant photo of themselves. More often than not I am presented with black and white photos of hard working men and women who are squinting in the sunlight, momentarily stopped by a photo in their day to day labors.
Most of those portraits are my popular "cameo" size. (around 9 x 12) Often the clients know the coloring of their ancestors and together we bring to life, in a portrait, the very people who gave them life! Upon completion, I send them the digital file and they in turn create small copies for other interested family members.  A good way to share the memories or history of one's life and remember the important role that earlier family members played in who you are today!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January art workshops that POP!

What do all these happy people in the photos have in common?
They all came to our studio, and whether they were new to painting or experienced, two hours later, they all left with a completed painting!
And best of all, the class was just $30.00 with ALL supplies included! And better yet, if they participated (and almost everyone does) in the second class, it's just HALF PRICE! Convenient online sign up.

There will be hot coffee, hot chocolate, lemonade and tea for refreshment. Bring your lunch (or places nearby!) If it is nice weather (we can only hope) we can picnic outside......we hope you are animal lovers (5 dogs, 2 ponies, 2 goats)

So what classes are coming up at Art Student Academy?
This link takes you to a list for the next few months:

Saturday, Jan 15 from 10-12 we will learn all about colors, what to select, what to mix..this is a must have class for anyone who wants to learn and improve their painting skills! 
We have just a few openings left!
Same day from 1-3: Beautiful landscapes! This class is designed to take the skills you just learned and put them to work!

Sat Jan 29 from 10-12: Paint DOGS and CATS! Only 2 spots left for this popular class! . Popular class for a parent with a child.
Same day from 1-3: Paint Horses! Oh my, this class is full!

But we have another Dog and CAT class in Raleigh which is ALL DAY at the Jerry's store in Raleigh, NC

All of our contact information can be found on the website of
Sign up today!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Theresa's radio interview!

Radio Interview!

I spent an hour on the phone for a radio interview with Dana Woods on Blog Talk Radio last month. What a fun experience that was! Visit the link below, which is on my "about Me" page on the Art Career Experts website and for an hour listen to what the motivating reasons were in my becoming an artist.

(Hint) I guess I should also add that there is a direct correlation in pursuing goals between need and motivation! Enjoy!
Related Posts with Thumbnails