Welcome to the March issue of Amy Funderburk's newsletter, Off the Easel. 

In my feature article this month, I encourage you to take the time to look at things in a different way. 

Also in this issue:
  • Website updates, including more Irish landscapes for St Patrick's Day
  • Last month for the 10-for-9 Art Lessons Special
  • Jimmy's new website has launched!
  • quotes by artist Georgia O'Keefe
All this and more can be found in this issue!

Welcome to the March issue of
Off the Easel

Thank you to everyone for sharing in my artistic journey through your subscription to this newsletter. A very warm welcome to all new subscribers this month!

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Happy upcoming Spring to those living in the Northern Hemisphere, and Happy Autumn to those readers south of the equator. Here, Spring arrives with the Equinox at 12:30 AM on Sunday March 20th.

Those more delicate harbingers of spring -- crocus, daffodils, hyacinth, and bluebells -- are all starting to join the stalwart hellebores in our garden. Regarding her famous subject matter, Georgia O'Keefe said:

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."

In my feature article this month, like O'Keefe, I encourage you to look at things in a different way. Particularly at this time of seasonal change, as the days grow nearly equal and the angle and color of the light shifts, you may notice that commonplace subjects can appear distinctive if you allow yourself the time to stop and take notice. 

Also in this issue:

Irish landscapes for Saint Patrick's Day. In honor of Saint Patrick's Day on March 17th, I have added several Irish landscapes to my Aisling: an Artist's Vision of Ireland Gallery. Read on for more details. 

A new page on my website. I have also created a new page for some earlier favorites. Read the details below to learn what I have added, and then please visit my site to see my progress!

Last month for the 10-for-9 Art Lessons Special. This is the final month to take advantage of the extension of my 10-for-9 Art Lessons Special. Further details are listed below. 

Don't forget: my studio will not be open for further Downtown Art District Association First Friday Gallery Hops until later in 2016. Be sure to check future newsletters to learn when I plan to reopen for these events, and for the date of the upcoming Spring Subscribers' Studio Soirée!
I hope you enjoy the March issue of Off the Easel. My deep appreciation to everyone for your continued interest and support of my work. 

All the best,

Website Updates

Irish landscapes added. In honor of Saint Patrick's Day on March 17th, I have recently added several works to my gallery Aisling: an Artist's Vision of Ireland. So far, I have concentrated on adding oils and pastels, including Windy Wicklow Bog pictured above. There are still many available black and white photographs I have yet to add, so stay tuned!

New page for Wisdom of the Ancient Lore. For those new to my work, and for those who would like to revisit your favorites from my earlier series, Wisdom of the Ancient Lore, please visit the new page on my website devoted to this body of work. In this exploration of figurative symbolism, I interpret the archetypes of the Major Arcana of the tarot as well as the Zodiac. 

My current series, Images From the Otherworld, was directly informed by each of these two bodies of work. I invite you to visit my website today to explore the evolutionary development within my art. 

Above image: Windy Wicklow Bog
pastel on paper, 9" x 12"
© 2002 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved

The Military Road (R115), Co Wicklow    
The Republic of Ireland
oil on linen, 36" x 48"

© 2000-2001 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved

My depiction of The Magician tarot card in the series, Wisdom of the Ancient Lore. My model was none other than my husband, Jimmy Williams, and the green-clad figure in the woods is a self-portrait. 

Last month for the 10-for-9 Art Lessons Special

This is the final month for the 10-for-9 Art Lessons Special extension. Through March 31st, if you prepay for 9 lessons to take place between now and December 31st, 2016, you'll receive a 10th bonus lesson! 

Between now and March 31st, if you purchase nine lessons, critiques,or tailored art marketing sessions of at least two hours per lesson at my regular rate of $35 USD per hour, you'll get a tenth two-hour lesson or session for free! I welcome artists of all skill levels, as well as those working in a variety of media.

As long as you prepay for the bundle of lessons by March 31st, they don't have to all take place between now and then -- you have until December 31st to take advantage of all your lessons. 

Email me today to schedule your lessons or for more information. If you aren't local, I can provide critiques,via your website and marketing materials, and we can conduct the session via Skype. Contact me for more information.

Critiques that take place in my downtown studio or via Skype may qualify for a minimum of nine one-hour sessions. With the purchase of nine such critiques, you will be awarded a tenth one-hour session.

Due to the set up and clean up times involved, a two-hour minimum is required for hands-on lessons to qualify for the 10-for-9 
Art Lessons Special.

Above: Cloud Planet with Jack-o-Lantern Face, Corrimony Cairn 
archival pigment print            
" x 12", framed to 26" x 21"
© Amy Funderburk 2013, All Rights Reserved

Near Cannich, Inverness-shire, Scotland 

Jimmy's New Website

Recently, my husband, photographer James C. Williams, launched his own new and improved website. For those of you who haven't already visited, please check out JamesCWilliamsPhoto.com today! 

Jimmy specializes in black and white infrared film photography and color night photography. He is currently exploring the potential of digital infrared, and is also expanding into figurative and color imagery, a departure from his portfolio of black and white landscapes.

Above: Globe Monument
black and white infrared digital photograph
© James C. Williams 2015, All Rights Reserved

Green Hill Cemetery, Greensboro NC, US


Taking Time:

Looking at things differently

“I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.” (Georgia O'Keeffe)
When I saw the following tweet by David Borthwick (@BorthwickDave), I was delighted:
“Turn your back on sunset: watch what the trees do when you are looking the other way.”
His eloquent words were accompanied by a lovely shot of dancing limbs painted deep rose and burnt orange by the fading light. I have noticed this myself many times – trees facing the closing day are set aflame by the retreating sun.

Seeing things differently is a major component of the artist’s mental toolbox. Sometimes that means looking in an altogether different direction, or, like Georgia O’Keefe, taking the time to see things on behalf of others -- which is perhaps as good a definition of the role of artist as any other.
“Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven't time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” (Georgia O'Keeffe)
When I was in Painswick in the famed Cotswolds region of England, I made a discovery. Before our arrival, I had not heard of a holy well there, but as an enthusiast, I knew that wells could reveal their whereabouts via street names. The city of Wells in Somerset, home to the famed cathedral, is itself named for the presence of three wells. A bit of code breaking or translation is sometimes involved – it helps to know that Tobar is Irish and Scottish Gaelic for well or spring, for example.

When I saw “Tibbiwell Lane” on the map at the bed and breakfast, I was eager for the quest.
We found the modest well wedged between the lane and a retaining wall. The clear, refreshing water flowed from a stone channel into a small, shallow pool just below. A gentleman who lived above was out tending his garden, and he showed us an inscribed stone on the wall: Saint Tabitha, the origin of the “Tibbi” part of Tibbiwell Lane. This well was dedicated to her.
At first, I photographed the entire well in a more documentary fashion, showing it in its narrow space. As I got closer and started looking for more unique views and angles, however, I began to capture what I felt were more artistically successful images.

The Purple Spiral and Patterns, St Tabitha’s were two such works from this shoot. Focusing on the way the bright light fragmented the leaves below the surface or on the spiraled snail shells from the well’s encased inhabitants led me to discover more than just the small well itself.

Had I been satisfied with my initial photos and not taken the time to look closer, I would not have been so fully rewarded.
Another of my photographs, Cloud Planet with Jack-o-Lantern Face, Corrimony Cairn (pictured above the 10-for-9 Art Lessons Special) is perhaps a more extreme example of my desire to photograph the essence of a location beyond the appearance of the outer whole. I realize now that by lying down in the center of the Scottish cairn and looking up at the blue sky peeking through the clouds where the capstone had been removed, I aimed to capture the substance of the place as I experienced it.
I also now utilize this philosophy of seeing when installing certain paintings. My
ceiling boss paintings are designed to hang from and parallel to the ceiling. When developing these works, I was inspired by the medieval carved wooden ceiling bosses in St. Andrews Church in South Tawton, Dartmoor, England. I designed this installation to give a viewer the same sense of place as I had when visiting the church. At the opening reception when I debuted these works, it amazed me how many viewers neglected to look up unless prompted.

I invite you to take up the artist’s stock in trade – to take the time to really see something. Perhaps this will be a subject that you pass by every day, like one of O'Keefe's flowers. They say that 
artists can see approximately thirty values of any given color, whereas non artists only see ten. I think this is simply a matter of training the eye, of taking the time to discern subtle shifts in light, dark, and intensity. 
If you are a fellow artist, I encourage you to look again, and to look within. To see with the wide eyes of a child, with that boundless level of wonder, enthusiasm, and curiosity.

Above: Patterns, St Tabitha’s
archival pigment print,
" x 12", framed to 26" x 21"
© Amy Funderburk 2012, All Rights Reserved

St Tabitha’s Well

Painswick, The Cotswolds, England
Above: The Purple Spiral
archival pigment print
18" x 12", framed to 26" x 21"
© Amy Funderburk 2012, All Rights Reserved

St Tabitha’s Well
Painswick, The Cotswolds, England
Above: An Explosion of Crocus!
digital color photograph
March 16, 2015
© Amy Funderburk 2015 All Rights Reserved
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Studio 107, Artists on Liberty Building
521 North Liberty Street, Winston-Salem, NC USA 27101

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