The art of Melanie Wood: Dogwood Art DeTour 2015

Soft light bathes this painting of the Westmoreland Waterwheel by Melanie Wood.

Soft light bathes the Westmoreland Waterwheel in this painting by Melanie Wood.

Melanie Wood.  Ahh, Melanie Wood.  For those of you following our blog, you know we met her in 2012, wrote about her beautiful home studio and richly colored impressionistic art, and then republished the post again this spring in anticipation of a second visit. We’re grateful for Dogwood Art DeTour 2015  and Melanie’s willingness to open her home once again for visitors to enjoy!

Melanie (who’s truly as gracious as the paintings are lovely) greeted us at the door but then picked right up with her work, just as the Dogwood Arts brochures promised:  “See artists working in their own studios.” And what a studio!  Filled with natural and focused artificial light, Melanie’s art world holds tools of the trade: standing easel, oil paints, assorted brushes, and inspiration everywhere. (Even her clothing that day mimicked the colors she loves.)

Art studio of Melanie Wood

Art studio of Melanie Wood

As we faced the patio and the courtyard beyond, we saw paintings on display literally glowing in the morning light: flowers, country homes, even fish in Melanie’s soft colors of blue, gray, peach, rose, and yellow.

Close-up of Melanie Wood painting featuring a blue color palette.

Close-up of Melanie Wood painting featuring a blue color palette.

This year, Melanie told us, I’ve modified my color palette a bit.  You’ll see more blues since that’s what is trending in home decor.  (Melanie is vice-president of design for a leading home fashion manufacturer.) One of the onsite volunteers directed us to the dining room to view the “new” paintings on display.  The same subject matter — floral arrangements, still life, homes in the country — filled the room but with the colors of indigo, pale blue, and cream that Melanie is incorporating into more and more of her paintings.

On display in the Woods' dining room were a few pieces in Melanie's new color palette.

On display in the Woods’ dining room were a few pieces in Melanie’s new color palette.

In the living room, more traditional paintings were on display — mostly studies of people and places the Woods have visited, all with the vibrant color and joie de vivre that typify Melanie’s art.

Painting of ballet dancer hangs above a desk in Melanie Wood's living room.

Painting of ballet dancer hangs above a desk in Melanie Wood’s living room.

Tranformed into a staging area for more paintings for Art DeTour was Melanie’s sunroom. It held paintings a bit more contemporary, perhaps, but with Melanie’s signature soft colors and the muted blues she’s using now. We admired the one of a single boat on still waters for its serenity and peacefulness.

It was during our first visit in 2012 that we purchased one of Melanie’s originals of a home in France.  Today, Melanie’s portfolio includes even more colorful countryside vignettes reminiscent of the travels abroad she and husband Tom still talk about.

If you asked us what we liked best about this stop on the Art DeTour — the artist, the paintings, or the home studio — we would be hard pressed to make a decision.  Let’s just say this:  If Melanie Wood is a featured artist in 2016, we’ll do all we can to see her — and the art — again!

Home and studio of artist Melanie Wood, Knoxville, Tennessee

Home and studio of artist Melanie Wood, Knoxville, Tennessee

Melanie Wood, Artist: 1000 Craigland Court, Knoxville, TN 37919; www.melaniewoodart.com; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melanie.wood.731?fref=ts

For more information on the Dogwood Art DeTour or any of the Knoxville Dogwood Arts Festival events, click here.

For more posts on this series focusing on Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Festival, click here.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird

"This is what I had" sign: Abundant Acres tent at Lakeshore Park Farmers Market.  You have to get there early!

“This is what I had” sign: Abundant Acres tent at Lakeshore Park Farmers Market. You have to get there early!

You have to be an early bird if you want to buy greens on Opening Day of the Lakeshore Park Farmers Market.  And as just as we suspected, Abundant Acres from McMinn County, Tennessee, sold out early, leaving one bunch of kale from what the sign revealed:  “This is what I did have.”

Sad but undaunted, Bert lined up at the tent of VG’s Bakery, quickly grabbing three Toasty Almond Sweet Rolls before someone else did.

Grabbing the last three Toasty Almond Sweet Rolls from the VG's Bakery tent.

Grabbing the last three Toasty Almond Sweet Rolls from the VG’s Bakery tent.

Stuffing one each of the delicacies into our mouths, we perused the other farmers’ wares wondering which one of us would enjoy that third roll with coffee the next morning.  But we knew the answer:  the early bird, of course.

Grabbing the last three Toasty Almond Sweet Rolls from the VG's Bakery tent.

Grabbing the last three Toasty Almond Sweet Rolls from the VG’s Bakery tent.

For more entries in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird, click here.

For more information:

On farmers markets in the Knoxville area including schedules, go to East TN Farm Markets: www.EastTNFarmMarkets.org. 

On the Yoder family of Abundant Acres, click here.

On VG’s Bakery, click here.

 

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Travel theme: Centre

Dogwoods — whether creamy white or delicate pink — have four petals (called bracts) attached to a greenish-yellow floret in the center.  In full bloom, dogwood trees seem snowy or lacy, as the branches make a showy stand or move gently in the wind, adding unexpected color to the landscape.

 

In addition to these centrally focused flowers, the town of Knoxville, Tennesee celebrates dogwood blooms as the central motif and focus of the Dogwood Art Festival.  It’s an annual celebration of spring, the profusion of arts in the area, and outdoor activities enjoyed by all.  People from around the world travel to Knoxville for the celebrations.  But those of us who live here take nothing for granted: the arrival of both the dogwoods and the festival have become the center of something beautiful and enjoyable each and every spring.  Hope you’ll come, too1

For more entries in Ailsa’s Travel theme: Centre on her blog Where’s My Backpack?, click here.  

For more information on Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Festival, click here.  All our posts on the 2015 Festival are located here.

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The art of Diana Dee: Dogwood Arts Art DeTour 2015

Art by Diana Dee Sarkar: Art DeTour 2015

Penrose Horse Stable by Diana Dee

Art DeTour, an annual event of Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Festival  has become a don’t-miss-this-if-you-can-help-it tradition for us.  We block out this weekend each year because it’s a rare invitation to see the inside of an artist’s studio and get to know artists in our area more personally. For this year’s Festival ’15, we began by meeting Diana Dee Sarkar in her spacious, well-appointed studio on Kingston Pike.  And you’d be impressed as we were right when you open the door.

Welcoming area of Diana Dee's studio on Kingston Pike in Knoxville.

Welcoming area of Diana Dee’s studio on Kingston Pike in Knoxville.

Diana, formerly an emergency room physician, greeted us and walked us through rooms of this office suite turned studio.

An easel holds art in progress in the studio of Diana Dee.

An easel holds art in progress in the studio of Diana Dee.

The tour became an educational one as Diana shared her techniques with us, teaching us about her media of choice from oil on linen to pastel pencils and even silverpoint.

The Bandana by Diana Dee.  Pastel Pencil.

The Bandana by Diana Dee. Pastel Pencil.

She’s a scholar of art, even though she began as a self-taught artist.  But workshops in Santa Fe, Woodstock, and Foster City, California, broadened her perspective and provided the guidance she willingly accepted.  In 2014, she received an MFA in Figure Painting from the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

Charcoal portrait by Diana Dee Sarkar

Charcoal portrait by Diana Dee Sarkar

Subject matter ranges from equine studies to portraits — all capitalizing on the detail Diana deftly manages no matter the medium.  In 2011, during a study abroad program with the Academy of Art University, Diana captured scenes of Venice and Florence as well as life in Corciano, a small hillside village in Umbria, Italy, where she lived for two months.

 

Venice Small Canal with Laundry by Diana Dee

Venice Small Canal with Laundry by Diana Dee

Bigness of heart also comes through.  She pointed to Willis, the man in this painting who was touched by rescue efforts for abused horses but had found no organization or efforts on the behalf of abused donkeys.  As a result, he began his own charitable activities designed to care for the animals he loved.

Willis & Donkey, George by Diana Dee

Willis & Donkey, George by Diana Dee

Her oils on linen were perhaps our favorite pieces — not just for the textures they offer but also for the bucolic scenery and restful nature of her subjects.

Oil on linen by Diana Dee

Oil on linen by Diana Dee

Her philosophy of art is embedded in this quote from her website: Even as a child, I took much pleasure in drawing and painting people and landscapes, and as I matured I realized how important creating art was for me a process of centering and finding a place of joy. 

This is one Art DeTour we won’t soon forget.

For more information:

The studio of Diana Dee Sarkar: 6906 Kingston Pike, Suite 203 in Executive Place, Knoxville, TN 37919; 865-603-4465; http://www.dianadeeart.com/

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Sidewalk Magic: Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk 2015

Artist working at Chalk Walk 2015

Jessie Langley works on her entry for Chalk Walk 2015. Winner: Second Place, College Single Artist.

For the seventh year in a row, artists (professional, novice, and student) turned ordinary sidewalks in Knoxville’s Market Square into magical canvases for Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk 2015.  Arriving mid-morning gets you a view of artists at work.  So you may need another visit after lunch to see finished art. Here’s a little of both.

We began by talking with Michael Gunnels sketching this sassy, bug-eyed cat.

And then watched Curtis Glover capture the Knoxville skyline and Tennessee logo in chalk.

Knoxville collage by Curtis Glover

Knoxville collage by Curtis Glover

Some artists campaigned for votes. Like Blythe Lundberg.  And why not? Cute snail on a quilt-pattern background — all finished by lunchtime.  No small feat, we thought.

Snail design with blue background by Blythe Lundgren.  Vote for #16!

Snail design with blue background by Blythe Lundgren. Vote for #16!

It didn’t escape us that young, young people were hunched over these drawings, too.  Like the team from Sequoyah Elementary slamming colorful gumballs into their orange machine. And their reward?  First Place in Elementary division.

This sweet entry done by kids from the Montessori School had something extra: origami birds laid on top.

Montessori School entry -- Chalk Walk 2015

Montessori School entry — Chalk Walk 2015

When we finally looked up, we saw folks on the square in the middle of a party of sorts.  So much going on — musicians, magicians, and kids sketching chalk drawings in their own area reserved for kid spontaneity.

Even furry friends got into the action.  Like this dog belonging to a hard-working artist who kept shushing the dog away from the art only to find the pet smack dab in the middle of the chalk — again.

But I like it here!

But I like it here!

Winners

Best of Show

Drawing the most attention, and for good reason, was Shane Sandberg‘s astronaut. Winning Best of Show for detail and a sense of humor (Space guy’s holding a drink called a Shaneberg), Sandberg’s drawing took chalk art to a new level.  Literally.

Working from a picture, Shane Sandberg adds exquisite detail to his astronaut chalk drawing.

Working from a picture, Shane Sandberg adds exquisite detail to his astronaut chalk drawing.

Astronaut holding a Shaneberg by Shane Sandberg. (Instagram: @theshaneberg)

Astronaut holding a Shaneberg by Shane Sandberg. (Instagram: @theshaneberg)

People’s Choice Award

Who doesn’t like Anna and Elsa?  It took hard work all day by Deirdre Pokrzywa and Sarah Bellah to bring these young ladies — and Olaf — to life in chalk

People's Choice Award from the movie Frozen by Deirdre Pokrzywa and Sarah Bellah

People’s Choice Award from the movie Frozen by Deirdre Pokrzywa and Sarah Bellah

Other Favorites

On the Market Square stage, Jessie Steinberg (2014 Best of Show winner) wowed us with detail: a very friendly dog in a garden setting.  (Winner 2015:  First Place, Adult Division)

Nearby, the girls we featured in a previous post (Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat) were busy free handing a drawing of a girl in a koi pond.  (At least that’s what it looked like to us.) The dreamy effect and the matching koi patterns weren’t lost on us: these two UT Elementary Education majors said they were enjoying the design work as much as the hard work.  (Winner: Second Place, College Collaborative)

After our lunch, we stumbled (literally, since there were so many people in close quarters) upon other notables that struck our fancy.

Old truck by Cody Swaggerty.  Winner:  Second Place, Adult Single Artist

Old truck by Cody Swaggerty. Winner: Second Place, Adult Single Artist

Diver by the McQuilkin Family.  Winner: Second Place, Family Division.

Diver by the McQuilkin Family. Winner: Second Place, Family Division.

Striped figure by Elena Lawson.  Winner:  First Place, Middle School Single Artist

Striped figure by Elena Lawson. Winner: First Place, Middle School Single Artist

Barry Gibb by Erin Pelicano

Barry Gibb by Erin Pelicano

Lauryn Darby's entry.  Winner:  First Place, College Single Artist

Lauryn Darby’s entry. Winner: First Place, College Single Artist

Our vote for best detail:  Chalk Walk 2015.

Our vote for best detail is this portrait by Sarah and Abigail Gibson.

Great work, don’t you think?  We’re still wondering how artists 1) decide what to draw, 2) select colors and chalks, and 3) stay in the bent-over position for hours.

Mark this on your calendar for 2016.  It’s just one of many artsy events of the Dogwood Arts Festival. See you in Knoxville next year?

Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk 2015

List of winners:  http://www.dogwoodarts.com/chalk-walk/

Sponsors:

Avanti Savoia: http://www.avantisavoia.com/

Jerry’s Artarama: http://www.jerrysartarama.com/

For more information:

“Chalk it up as a great weekend.” The Blue Streak.  http://bluestreak.moxleycarmichael.com/2015/04/16/chalk-it-up-as-a-great-weekend/

 

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Travel theme: One Colour

Lion - Thornybush Game Preserve, South Africa

Nature’s plan to blend even the biggest, boldest of animals into the landscape works well. So well, in fact, that coming (surprisedly) upon this kingly fellow — mostly of one colour — had all of us in the safari Jeep scrambling for cameras while speaking in hushed tones.  Better to let sleeping lions lie, right?

For more photos in one colour, go to Ailsa’s blog site — Where’s My Backpack? — and look at Travel Theme: One Colour right here. (And please.  Do it quietly.)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat

Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Festival Chalk Walk frequently receives entries showing something afloat.  If nothing else, those of us with little artistic talent feel as if we’re floating as we walk between the chalk drawings simply amazed that anyone can stay hunched over for a day creating art that we could only dream of doing. Here’s a peek.

Seemingly afloat is this diver who’s taking a closer look at sea vegetation.

Entry from the McQuilken Family (Steven,  Lauren, & Suzanne) in the Dogwood Arts Festival Chalk Walk 2015.

Entry from the McQuilken Family (Steven, Lauren, & Suzanne) in the Dogwood Arts Festival Chalk Walk 2015.

Another entry seemed afloat just by the process of creation:  the artists (University of Tennessee students) were freehanding the painting!  No paper picture beside them.  No preconceived notion of how this should turn out.  Just one artist sketching freehandedly (Is that a word?) while the other one filled in the color.

UT Art Education majors creating a watery picture for Chalk Walk 2015.

UT Art Education majors creating a watery picture for Chalk Walk 2015.

End result?  A dreamy, purple-haired lady afloat with the creatures beside her.

Lady with Koi -- Chalk Walk 2015

Lady with Koi — Chalk Walk 2015

For more entries in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat, swim over here.

Dogwood Arts Festival 2015: Chalk Walk

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Art DeTour: Melanie Wood

Pat Wood, Melanie Wood, Pat Medley

Note to readers:  We are re-publishing this post from May 12, 2012, on the Art DeTour we took visiting the lovely studio and home of artist Melanie Wood.  Her home is open again for Dogwood Art DeTour 2015 on April 11 and 12.  If you love quality impressionistic art filled with color, you’ll love seeing what Melanie has produced.

A map and listing of all artist studios open (and there are many!!) this year, please click here.  The Dogwood Arts Festival website has it all, and there’s a lot to do and see this weekend.

 

Last year, Bert and I visited an artist’s studio — the studio AND home — of Melanie Wood during Knoxville’s Dogwood Arts Festival.  So, when the Art DeTour brochure arrived in our mailbox this year, we were delighted to see that she had once again opened the door to her colorful world of impressionist art!

I took Pat Medley this time around, because Pat loves anything related to the lovely countryside of France, and Melanie’s subject matter spans two continents from the fertile land of Provence to the shores of Hilton Head, South Carolina.  I also knew Pat would enjoy seeing the home of Melanie and Tom Wood filled with antiques collected during their travels and visits with their daughter who lived in France.

According to her website, Melanie grew up in Texas, the granddaughter of a celebrated artist.  The tradition has continued since Melanie’s daughter Amber followed in her mother’s footsteps pursuing a fine arts degree.  Melanie led us to her studio through the kitchen where she had displayed some of her favorite subjects — like colorful chickens — seen during her travels.

Melanie (interior designer, colorist, and former president of the Color Marketing Group, an international association for color design professionals) is right at home in her studio at the back of the house where she looks out at neat plantings in her courtyard and colorful potted annuals during this time of the year. We watched as she began painting red geraniums sitting on a wrought iron table right outside the door.

In the courtyard (and throughout the downstairs of the house), Melanie had set up easels to display her scenes of France and colorful bouquets of summer flowers.

Her husband Tom shared his love of antique clocks, Oriental rugs, and primitives with us.  These blue painted crocks caught my eye, especially the one on the far left — puzzling me with its bulging front.  What was that one used for, Tom? I asked.  He smiled and answered, Why that’s a chicken feeder!  There’s a hole in the front of that crock!

We were quite impressed with Melanie’s range of abilities: She not only is accomplished at painting flowers and landscapes — she can capture the expressions of people quite well, too.  Here are several of our favorites.

After spending quality time admiring each piece, we settled on these two:  the one on the left is now mine — Afternoon Shadows in Sauveterre and the one on the right depicting a favorite little town in France has found its way to the Medleys’ home: Village of Roussillion.

Bobbie Helms, Jillian Morse and Tom Wood seem pleased with the ones we selected!

If you go to Melanie’s website, you’ll see many more examples of her work, like these three favorites of mine.

Trees on Fire

Sunflowers of Tuscany

Special Occasions

Don’t pass up an opportunity to tour an artist’s home or studio next year for the Dogwood Arts Festival, if Art DeTour is repeated! You’ll see — Knoxville is an artist haven!

Melanie Wood, Impressionist: www.melaniewoodart.com

Melanie’s art can be seen in Knoxville at Upstairs and in Hilton Head at Smith Galleries.

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Chalk one up for fun: Dogwoods Arts 2014 — Chalk Walk

We are republishing this post on the 2014 Dogwoods Arts Chalk Walk since the 2015 event will take place this Saturday, April 11.  After you see these fabulous designs in chalk, we know you’ll want to be there on Market Square in Downtown Knoxville to see what the artists produce this year.  One of our favorite events at dogwood time!!

Chalk drawing by students at STEM Academy, Knoxville

Favorite entry in Chalk Walk 2014 by students of the STEM Academy.

It its sixth year at the Dogwood Arts Festival, Chalk Walk has again brought out artists young and old, amateur and professional to create ephemeral art from mere pieces of chalk.  Although last year’s Chalk Walk was mostly washed away by heavy rains only an hour or so after completion, this year’s event left lasting impressions in Krutch Park and Market Square downtown. Chalk Walk 2014 sign And the crowds loved it! Sidewalks were packed as viewers moved cautiously, elbow-to-elbow, careful not to disturb those carefully shaded areas of the designated, marked-off squares.

Chalk Walk is art.  But it’s also an event.  And this year’s combined the best:  great weather, huge crowd, fabulous art!

Artists at Work

The artists were as much fun to watch as they moved in closely or stood up to get a better idea of how the work was flowing.  Sometimes they talked to the crowd; sometimes they worked in silence.  We found it fascinating to watch an artist and then return an hour later to check on the progress.

Artists sometimes worked together to share chalk — whether the rainbow shades came in neat boxes or in sacks of leftover pieces like children use on home driveways.  Jerry’s Artarama donated some of the chalk, but we have a feeling that there could have been several runs to the store for more as artists wore the pieces down to nubs.

Chalk Walk: color selection

Artists worked together to select and share the right colors

Chalk Walk: Colorful bird

Sometimes we wondered if artists dressed to match their creations!

Chalk Walk: Artist using baby powder

Baby powder was the medium of choice for the faces in this entry.

Teamwork for Chalk Walk

Teamwork helped Faith McDaniel, Katy Rivers, and Sam Artman create this dancing lady piece.

Chalk Walk: Curtis Glover's entry

Curtis Glover dedicated his chalk drawings of the characters from Monsters, Inc., to his nephews, Anderson and Max.

Young Artists

Some of the best entries in the competition came from students.  Teams and soloists from area schools gave it their all in the hot sun — and made quite an impression with their creativity and detail.

Chalk Walk: Blue Grass Elementary

Taking a picture of the entry by students at Blue Grass Elementary.

Chalk Walk: Princess painting

Loved this picture even more when we discovered the artist was only 14 years old!

Chalk Walk: Entry from Vine Middle School

An eighth grade student from Vine Middle School worked on this creative drawing and then talked with us about what inspired her.

West High Students draw tiger

Sent a picture of this colorful tiger done by students at West High to the LSU fans in my family!

Chalk Walk: Summer Meiling finn

Summer Meiling Finn, the 2013 People’s Choice Award winner, won again this year in the Middle School category.

Personal Faves

Of course, any time you go to an event like this, you have some standouts. Here are the ones we remember most . . . just because we like them.

Portrait of a lady with artist

The artist evaluates the many shades of color in this portrait of a lady.

STEM students painting a dreamlike lady

Many hands — students from STEM Academy — worked on this dreamlike creation while the principal and teachers cheered them on!

Chalk Walk: Smokey

If you live in Knoxville and you love the Vols, you’ll crowd around (like just about everyone did) to snap a picture of their favorite hound dog, Smokey!

About the only thing I can remember drawing with chalk during my lifetime is a hop-scotch grid, so I’m thinking we just may have to join our granddaughter when she creates something special in our driveway this summer.  After all, if  you mess up a chalk drawing, so what?  It’s not like we could compete with the artists on Market Square.  They’re good.

Chalk Walk: Emerson quote

Emerson quote rang true with a lot of folks judging by the number of photos taken of it!

Chalk Walk 2014 was sponsored by Avanti Savoia.  Chairing this event were Kathy Slocum and Jim Dodson.

For more information, click here for the Dogwood Arts Festival Website.  You can also check out the history of street art as well as the winners in this year’s competition.

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Teachers can paint: Art Source 2015

Located in the UT Downtown Gallery, this show opened on Knoxville's First Friday to a packed house.

Located in the UT Downtown Gallery, this show opened on Knoxville’s First Friday to a packed house.

Yes, teachers can paint.  And sculpt.  And put together interesting collages.  And all the while help little kids who spill paint, can’t think of anything to draw, and would not like to clean up even though the bell is about to ring. Want to see what teachers can do in the quiet of their own homes and studios?  Then you need to visit Art Source 2015: A Knox County Art Educators Exhibition located in the UT Downtown Gallery.  

A large crowd, some who had also been to First Friday at the Emporium’s Regional Fine Arts Exhibition, gathered at this gallery next door to enjoy the creativity of these busy art educators.

 

A Few Examples: Art Source 2015

 

We’re not ones to pick a favorite, but the face of this lady in Right Now?!? by Jessica Stewart reminds us of some familiar moments.  What about you?

Close-up:  Right Now?!? by Jessica Stewart

Close-up: Right Now?!? by Jessica Stewart

The UT Downtown Gallery is located at 100 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902.

 

Posted in Art Show, Dogwood Arts, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments