Welcome to the May issue of
Off the Easel
I hope you enjoy the May issue of Off the Easel. A warm welcome to new subscribers, and thanks to everyone for your continued interest and support of my work.
Happy May Day to those who celebrate it! While still technically spring, this was traditionally seen as the start of summer. While writing the article below about my recently completed pastel, The Welcoming, I discovered an exciting event happening in England on this Bank Holiday that ties in beautifully with the location I depict in this pastel. As a bonus for this May issue, since the traditional English costumed folk dancing called Morris dancing takes place at May Day celebrations and throughout the month, I have included two shots below from our 2010 trip to Lyme Regis on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, England. While we were there, by chance we came upon an impromptu performance by a troupe of Morris dancers!
Also coming up on Sunday May 10th is Mother's Day in many countries, including the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Don't forget that original artwork would make the perfect unique and special gift for this or any other special occasion! Read on to find out more about the various gift options available at my studio.
Please note these two important upcoming dates. We hope to see you at my studio during both of these events!
As you will see below, the German Bearded Irises are blooming in my garden, making our outer space its most beautiful. In the language of flowers, irises symbolize faith, hope, friendship, and wisdom. May the qualities of faith, hope, friendship and peace grace those parts of the world that may be feeling a lack at this time.
Have a wonderful month, and all the best,
- Please join us Friday, May 1st, for the Downtown Arts District Association's First Friday Gallery Hop in downtown Winston-Salem, NC! Read on for more details.
- It's almost Soiree time! The 2nd annual Spring Subscribers' Studio Soiree will be held on Sunday, June 7th, from 2 PM - 5 PM. See below for more information on this exclusive event!
On Friday, May 1st, what better way to celebrate May Day than by hopping over to view works based on my travels to Ireland, England, and Scotland? Please visit my studio at the Artists On Liberty Building during the upcoming Downtown Art District Association's First Friday Gallery Hop from 7-10 PM, in Winston-Salem, NC. I have invited my husband, photographer James C. Williams, to keep his photographs of larger angels, as well as his Little Angels and Lil' Devils series on display since they look so nice in the space. Mother's Day is right around the corner, so be sure to keep a gift for her in mind! See the Gift Ideas article for additional information on gift options.
Not able to make the Hop this month? I am available for studio visits by appointment. I will also be open during the June Gallery Hop on Friday, June 5th.
The Artists On Liberty building is located at 521 North Liberty Street in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, between 6th and 5th Streets -- please refer to the photograph below. Starting at 7:00 PM the day of the Hop, Liberty Street will close between 6th and 5th Streets, but parking is available in nearby parking decks, as well as on Main Street just behind the Artists On Liberty building. Look for a sidewalk sign out front featuring our poster on the night of the Gallery Hop. We look forward to seeing you!
Above: Detail, Manifestation of Rabbit
oil on linen, 30" x 36"
© 2007 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved
Standing stone on Cnoc Áine,
Knockainy, Co Limerick, Republic of Ireland
Spring Soiree and Raffle Details
In appreciation for your support of my work through your subscription to this newsletter, on Sunday June 7th from 2 PM to 5 PM, I will host the second annual Spring Subscribers' Studio Soiree. This exclusive event will be open only to newsletter subscribers and, since I've had such an overwhelming Twitter response to my newsletter, to my Twitter followers as well.
When and Where. The Subscribers' Studio Soiree will be held Sunday, June 7th, from 2 PM to 5 PM at Studio #107, the Artists On Liberty Building, 521 North Liberty Street in downtown Winston-Salem, NC.
Special Events and Special Guests. Look for further details in the June newsletter, but we'll definitely have several special activities and items on display that you would not be able to experience during the May or June Gallery Hops.
Raffle: Attend to Win! Complete raffle prize details will be in the June newsletter, but there are some fantastic prizes for you to have a chance to win just for attending -- no purchase is necessary. The raffle drawing will be held at 4 PM; you do need to be present to win. Each newsletter subscriber attending the Soiree will receive one raffle ticket for a chance to win one of the following:
- One Little Angel or Lil' Devil photograph by James C. Williams. The winner will receive his or her choice of one 5" x 7" framed archival pigment print from one of these two charming series by Jimmy. He photographed his Little Angel series at various locations throughout the US and Puerto Rico. In the Lil' Devil photographs he depicts grotesques -- think gargoyles, but without the runoff water spout -- from St Peter's Church in Winchcombe, England. Jimmy has been a photographer for over ten years, and he is now available to provide for all of your photographic needs.
- One of two $25 Gift Certificates to Mooney's Mediterranean Café. This is one of our favorite restaurants, and for good reason. Mooney grew up in the kitchen, and it shows through his superb quality Lebanese food prepared with beautiful simplicity. The enthusiasm and care taken in the kitchen is evident: the hummus, falafel, sides, sauces, and dishes are handcrafted on location and the falafel is always freshly fried to order. Mooney's is conveniently located on the corner of 4th and Liberty, so when you visit to redeem your gift certificate, you may see us there. I highly recommend the falafel, tempeh, hummus, moussaka, and lentil soup! Thank you so much, Mooney!
- Be pampered at Yodi International Hair Salon. The winner will receive a luxurious shampoo and conditioning treatment with scalp manipulation (a type of massage), along with a hair and scalp consultation -- a $70 value! A healthy hair salon, Yodi International Hair Salon is located just a few doors down from my Liberty Street studio, in the heart of the Winston-Salem Arts District. Team Yodi is eager and ready to assist you with your hair care needs and concerns. Thank you to owner Yolanda Moses for providing this heavenly sounding prize! Follow Yodi on Twitter @Yodi507, and on Instagram @YodiInternational. You can also find them on Facebook.
Increase your chances of winning! As a newsletter subscriber or Twitter follower, you get one raffle ticket for the above prizes just for attending, but you can receive additional raffle tickets by doing one or more of the following:
- If you bring a guest to the Soiree who signs up for my mailing list during the event, you will get one additional raffle ticket per guest who subscribes.
- If you forward a copy of this newsletter to a friend prior to the Soiree and that person subscribes to my newsletter, you will get one additional raffle ticket for each new subscriber. (To get the credit, simply have your friends list you as the reason they learned about my artwork when they subscribe.)
- If you are a Twitter follower and you subscribe to my newsletter between May 1st and just prior to the Soiree on June 5th, you will get one additional raffle ticket. Simply mention that you are subscribing as a Twitter follower on the subscription form. Please note that you do have to be present during the drawing to win.
- If you are a current newsletter subscriber and you start following me on Twitter between May 1st and just prior to the Soiree on June 5th, you will get one additional raffle ticket. Simply send me an @ mention when you follow me to say that you are a newsletter subscriber.
Grand Prize. The Soiree raffle will feature a fabulous Grand Prize that I will announce in my June newsletter. In addition to receiving a raffle ticket for the above prizes as a newsletter Subscriber or Twitter follower, between May 1st and during the Soiree, patrons who purchase one of my original artworks, a five-pack of my greeting cards (or a minimum of five individual cards), order a giclee reproduction, or schedule a private lesson or critique will also be eligible to win the Grand Prize. Patrons will also increase their chances to win the list of prizes above by earning between one and ten additional raffle tickets depending on their level of purchase. (Private lessons or critiques must be for a minimum of two hours, and must take place between June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015. Please email me for rates and further information.) Check my website to view some of my available artworks, or email me to schedule a private studio visit to see more options. Further details about this prize will be announced in the June newsletter, but it will have something to do with yours truly.
We look forward to seeing you at the Spring Subscriber's Studio Soiree! Please RSVP by Sunday May 31st.
Above: Our fabulous Soiree raffle box
by Chris Williams of Creations by Chris
Twitter Stats and My Blog
April Newsletter link stats. If you read my newsletter on Twitter, well done! Wow! As of this writing, my April newsletter link on Twitter has received an astounding 3,552 clicks -- nearly three times the 1,289 from my March newsletter! Thank you very much for your interest, and I appreciate your favorites and generous retweets.
If you are a Twitter follower and you like what you see here, why wait to find my future newsletters on Twitter when you can subscribe? Click here to subscribe to my mailing list today! Remember, if you subscribe to this newsletter as a Twitter follower between May 1st and June 5th, you will receive an additional raffle ticket for a chance to win one of the initial level of prizes listed above if you attend the Spring Soiree! See the above article, Spring Soiree and Raffle Details for more information.
If you are a newsletter subscriber and you are on Twitter, remember that you can follow me here: @AFunderburkArt. It is a great way to augment your newsletter subscription. My husband, photographer James C. Williams, can be found here: @JCWilliamsphoto.
My blog. Please be sure to also visit my blog. Your subscription to this newsletter is separate from signing up for blog notifications, so please subscribe today!
I confess, I have been neglecting my poor blog lately -- it's hard to write and paint with pastels at the same time! I look forward to resuming my blog entries very soon, and to sharing more of the many things that inspire me.
Above: German Bearded Iris and Goldmound Spirea
© 2015 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved
New Work Off the Easel!
The Welcoming. I am delighted to announce that I have recently completed my new pastel, The Welcoming, the first visionary-themed piece I have executed in this media. It was interesting to determine the best way to create similar visionary effects with pastel that I am accustomed to doing with oil glazes. However, what I found to be the most surprising aspect of creating the final composition was how many alterations I ended up making to my original reference photograph.
In this work, I depict the path to Uffington Castle in England, a large early Iron Age hill fort that sits above the famed White Horse, thought to date from the Bronze Age to the early Iron Age. We had planned to take a day trip from the Avebury area to see this ancient, stylized equine figure that is etched into the earth to reveal the white chalk ground. What we didn't expect was how evocative a place the mysterious Horse and its associated sites would prove to be.
Avebury features a stone circle so large it encompasses the town, so we got a late start to Uffington since we chose to explore more of the stone circle before heading off on our day trip. We were following in the symbolic, if not literal, footsteps of our Neolithic predecessors, for the complex of sites on White Horse Hill is located on the Ridgeway, a prehistoric route that also includes Avebury.
A trip to Uffington has more to offer than the White Horse, though she would have made for a very rewarding day trip destination were she by herself. This iconic chalk figure was an amazing site to experience in person, and was larger than I expected her to be. The ridged valley below the Horse is called the Manger, where they say she eats. Just below the Horse is Dragon Hill, where St George is said to have slain the infamous dragon. On the flat top of this hill, one can view the comma-shaped place where the beast's blood was spilled, leaving a bare patch of chalk where no grass will grow to this day. The hill fort "Castle" above consists of one rampart and a ditch. The highest point in Oxfordshire is between the White Horse and the Castle, so this area offers spectacular views.
After spending some time sketching at the White Horse and photographing a stunning sunset, before all light had faded, we turned to take the path leading from the Horse to the Castle. The full moon had recently risen into a sky painted clear purple by the retiring sun. A hawthorn -- a tree rich with lore and known to be a guardian of ancient sacred sites and the Otherworld -- stood as a welcoming sentinel to usher us into the hill fort. It is this moment and my impressions there, just before entering the Castle, that I depict in The Welcoming.
After entering, we walked clockwise along the edge together, but at some point, Jimmy and I separated as the remaining light started to fade from the sky. As artists are prone to do, we lost track of time; our enthusiasm for this historic site got the better of us, and we stayed later than we should have. Once it became pitch black, we had no idea where each other were within the space -- the size of the Castle is such that we were out of each other's vocal range. Considering we had a dark walk back to the car once we did find each other again, needless to say, unfortunately we never made it to Wayland's Smithy, the nearby Neolithic chambered long barrow a mere one and a quarter miles away. I consider that just one of many reasons to return to this inspiring site on a future trip. Please note, however, that I've recently learned that opening hours are dawn until dusk, so if you go, be sure to get an earlier start than we did! I highly recommend this location for fellow travelers, but in the meantime, please come by my studio to see the finished pastel.
During Sunday, May 3rd and the May Day Bank Holiday, the 4th of May, England's conservation group that owns and manages this and many other sites, National Trust, is sponsoring a rechalking of the Horse. This will be a time when volunteers pull weeds and rechalk the lines of this ancient piece of earth art. As one of the oldest pieces of art I have ever seen, it would be an honor to participate in this event were I on that side of the Pond this month! Additionally, on Sunday, the 7th of June, a ranger will lead a guided walk and share the history and lore of these sites with those who sign up in advance.
Above: The Welcoming
pastel on sanded paper mounted on board
9” x 12”
© 2014-15 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved
Uffington Castle, Whitehorse Hill, Oxfordshire, England
photograph of my pastel by James C. Williams
Gift Ideas for Mother's Day, Graduates, or for Yourself!
Original artwork is the ideal gift for Mother's Day, a wedding gift, graduation, or any other special occasion, especially for that "someone who has everything" as well as those just starting out who need artwork to brighten their walls. Please note that I have original works available at a variety of price points, and thanks to The Square, it is easier than ever to purchase that certain work you have had in mind. I accept credit cards, including Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Discover, and am excited to offer this payment option to my clients. I also offer a layaway plan for up to six months; please email me for additional information on any of these payment options.
Giclee reproductions of two of my works -- Manifestation of Rabbit and Lakes of Killarney (Michael's View) -- are also available in a variety of sizes. Both are printed on archival rag watercolor paper with archival inks. Each size will be produced in limited editions of 100. Please visit my website to view available sizes and prices.
A variety five-pack of one of my greeting card collections would make the perfect affordable gift, or for you to send befitting any occasion. I print both of my current collections, The Trees of England and Cornwall and The Loch Ness Sunrise Suite with the same quality Red River paper and archival inks as the original photographs. They are blank inside, making them ideal for any purpose. I also sign each card in acid free ink, making each card suitable for framing. Five-pack collections include one card of each design along with envelopes; single cards and Artist's Proofs are also available. For larger views of each photograph, please visit my website. Email me today to place your order! I hope to have greeting cards of some of my paintings available soon, so please stay tuned to future newsletters for updates.
Gift Certificates. I am also available by appointment for art lessons at any skill level, from beginner to advanced, as well as critiques and art marketing strategy sessions for professionals. Email me for details, rates, and to purchase a gift certificate for a loved one, and please refer to the article For Fellow Artists below for more information.
Remember, any of these purchases will give you a chance to win the Grand Prize in the upcoming Spring Subscribers' Studio Soiree raffle, as well as earn you additional raffle tickets for increased chances to win the other prizes! See the article Spring Soiree and Raffle Details for more information.
Above: Lakes of Killarney (Michael's View)
oil on linen, 15" x 29"
private commission -- a giclee reproduction is available of this painting
© 2008-09 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved
Co Kerry, Republic of Ireland
Below: The Loch Ness Sunrise Suite
Greeting Card Collection
archival pigment prints; each card 5" x 7"
© Amy Funderburk 2013-14
For Fellow Artists
Spring is a great time of year to think about sowing the seeds of your career goals. Realize your dreams of either starting on a creative path, or getting your career back on track! I offer private lessons, critiques, and art career and marketing consultations customized for artists at any point in their career, from beginners to professionals. For those needing assistance with arts writing, including Artist's Statements, grant narrative editing, press releases, and articles, I also offer this service. Email me for more information and rates, or to schedule an appointment. In-person appointments as well as long distance consultations are available.
Above: Morris Dancers in action!
Lyme Regis, Dorset, England
© 2010 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved
Above: Morris Dancers
Lyme Regis, Dorset, England
© 2010 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved
Above: The Artists On Liberty Building
521 North Liberty Street, Winston-Salem, NC USA
© Amy Funderburk 2014
Look for our sidewalk sign on Gallery Hop night as well as during the Soiree!