Welcome to the January issue of Amy Funderburk's newsletter, Off the Easel. In this issue, read on for a report on the recent Winter Subscribers' Studio Soiree, works in progress, and more! Please remember, my downtown studio will be closed for January's First Friday Gallery Hop. 

Welcome to the January issue of
Off the Easel

Happy New Year! I hope you have all had a peaceful holiday season. A warm welcome to new subscribers, and thanks to everyone for your continued interest and support of my work. To kick off the new year, I hope you enjoy this issue of Off the Easel

A reminder that due to the holidays, my downtown studio will be closed during this Friday's Gallery Hop. Please read on for a report on the recent Winter Subscribers' Studio Soiree, works in progress, and more. 

I wish you all a prosperous and very Happy New Year!

All the best,

Currently on the Easel...

I currently have several works in progress. One example, pictured above, is a triptych made of found aged cedar. Among the many traditions at some of the holy wells of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales is the hammering or wedging of coins into the bark or wood of the trees that often accompany these sacred waters. Each coin represents a wish. Locations featuring this practice include the tree growing within St Fechin's holy well at Fore in the Republic of Ireland, and at St Nectan's Glen in Cornwall, England. This act can be detrimental to the tree, as I have seen with the example at Fore, but when I found these pieces of cedar, I knew it was an opportunity to explore my long-felt inspiration that has been fueled by this tradition. 

This triptych is thematically connected to my works in other media. I first explored working with actual wood and mixed media in The Wishing Tree installation project. For this triptych, to date, I have cleaned the wood and carefully carved into it to augment and draw out the natural shapes that had formed during the aging process. Eventually, I will add coins or perhaps washers in certain patterns, and perhaps employ wood burning or a natural stain in specific areas of the wood. 

I am also working on a new pastel, the first visionary-themed piece I have executed in that media. The subject matter is the entrance to the Uffington castle in England, a large early Iron Age hill fort that sits above the famed White Horse, also thought to date to the Iron Age. 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. As you can imagine, I found this collection of sites to be extraordinarily evocative, so this pastel is only the first work I plan to execute based on Whitehorse Hill. I should have this piece completed quite soon, so stay tuned!
Above: In progress triptych (title TBA)
aged cedar
overall height 27 3/4"; average approx. depth 3"
component sizes vary:
top, 7 3/4" H x 7 1/2" W
center, 8 1/2" H x 7 3/4" W
bottom, 9" H x 5 3/4" W

© 2014 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved

Below: Amy Funderburk sketching at the famed Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire, England

Photograph by James C. Williams
© 2008 James C. Williams, All Rights Reserved

Quotes of the Month

"Be as you wish to seem." - Socrates

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it." - Kurt Vonnegut

"I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think." - Rumi

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist” - René Magritte 

"Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further." - Keith Haring

“Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.”
― Salvador Dalí

Calling All Artists:

Make 2015 the year you 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: Hand-knitted scarves by Chris Williams of Creations by Chris
© 2014 Chris Williams, All Rights Reserved
photograph © 2014 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved

Winter Soiree Report

Thanks to all those who attended the Winter Soiree on Sunday, December 7th! Our special guests were Rachel Juren and Robin ‘Bountourabi’ Leftwich, co-founders of Happy Beat Drumming, who treated us to some fantastic rhythms as well as shared a wealth of information on both the health benefits of group drumming and the importance of the instruments in the West African culture. Many thanks to Robin and Rachel, and I look very forward to having them play again at a future event. In the meantime, merchandise is available on their website, including t-shirts featuring their adorable logo. 

Raffle winners! The first happy winner of a raffle prize was subscriber Julie Harris, who won a Swedish massage gift certificate. Our very own guest drummer Rachel Juren proved the value of earning multiple raffle tickets by winning the second Swedish massage as well as the European facial! For his prize, Tim Clodfelter selected one of my personal favorites from among the beautiful hand knitted scarves by guest artist Chris Williams, while the first prize, an unframed 8" x 12" Artist's Proof of my photograph, Coastal Walk to the Tomb of the Eagles with Crescent Moon, didn't venture too far from home. It went home with my other sister-in-law, subscriber Judith Williams! For those of you who didn't win, framed copies of these and other archival pigment prints are available for sale. (I plan to update my website soon with additional photographs from our trip to Scotland, so please keep checking back.)

Huge thanks and great appreciation go to my husband, photographer James C. Williams, and his sister, Chris Williams of Creations by Chris. Not only did Jimmy and Chris both add to the event by displaying their work, but they both helped me greatly with preparations for the Soiree. Most of all, Chris generously donated that beautiful hand-knitted scarf as one of the top raffle prizes. Thank you so much, Chris and Jimmy!

The remainder of our raffle prizes for the day were very generously donated by manager Demetris F. Johnson of Perfect Touch Day Spa and Wellness Center at the Ramada Plaza, located at 3050 University Parkway in Winston-Salem, NC. Thanks to Demetris for offering my subscribers a chance to win a European facial, or one of two discount certificates towards a 55 minute Swedish Massage. Thank you, Demetris! Didn't win this time? Perfect Touch Day Spa is now offering a VIP special -- join for $100 to receive 50% off all services. 

I have already received several generous offers for prizes for the next Soiree, so I hope you can all join us in the Spring for the next exclusive event!
Above: Robin Leftwich (L) and Rachel Juren (R) of Happy Beat Drumming at the Winter Subscribers' Studio Soiree

Robin and Rachel are in front of:

The Portal
painting installation, in progress
oil on linen, each canvas 90" x 40"
© Amy Funderburk 2014 All Rights Reserved


Gallery Hops: My studio will be closed during the January Gallery Hop on Friday, January 2nd for "Hoppy" New Year. Please stay tuned for updates on future Gallery Hops in the next newsletter. 
Follow me on Twitter! You can follow me @AFunderburkArt. Following me on Twitter will definitely augment your newsletter subscription, so I look forward to seeing your name in my list of followers! 

Please visit and subscribe to my blog: Drinking From the Well of Inspiration. Remember, your subscriptions to this newsletter and to the blog are two different things, so to avoid missing a new blog post, please sign up today! If you visit soon, you will find a new post about a powerful New Year's Resolution.  

I now accept credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express)! I also offer a layaway plan for up to six months; please email me for additional information on any of these payment options.
Above: Winter Subscribers' Soiree raffle prizes and decorations
© 2014 Amy Funderburk, All Rights Reserved

Below: Santa didn't bring everything you wanted?
Contact me today and treat yourself to an original piece of fine art, a pack of greeting cards, or a giclee!
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Copyright © 2014 Amy Funderburk. All rights reserved.


Studio 107, Artists on Liberty Building
521 North Liberty Street, Winston-Salem, NC USA 27101

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